Interviewed by: Patricia Bitar Cherfan, Editor-in-Chief
Photo by: Masha Romanovskaya, Time City Magazine
Princess Tania de Bourbon Parme is a designer, international ambassador of Pasarela de Asfalto magazine, president of the association Autrement Dit that promotes French art to foreigners, is active in sports, and is a direct descendent of the Danish royal family.
The royal personnel was one of many contestants in the past Rallye des Grâces. She talked about her first experience at the event and her first time in Lebanon with HOME.
You were one of the participants at the Rallye des Grâces, was it your first time in Lebanon?
Yes, and I totally loved it.
How did Lebanon differ from your expectations in reality?
I have always had a good image of Lebanon, as I have many Lebanese friends that always spoke about their HOME country with love. That being said, the positive image that I had of the country was reinforced after my visit, especially with the wonderful hospitality and the generosity of the people.
What was the most unexpected thing about Lebanon?
Apart from hospitality, the people’s vigilance, and the food that I just adored! It was such a wonderful experience, and I am actually considering taking a cooking class the next time I’m in town.
Are you also known to be a designer?
That is correct. I am mainly aimed at designing tableware, and it has become a passion. I am currently working on an extensive project with a family where I am designing everything that has to do with their tableware in their HOME and pool house.
Do you promote French customs through your work?
I hold etiquette workshops for kids and adults, teaching them the à la française manners and traditions — it is fun seeing the immense curiosity that people have for all of this stuff. I have also written a children’s book about this exact topic, with a launch event happening in Lebanon very soon.
You have been interested in art since childhood. Did you catch a glimpse of Beirut’s art scene?
Unfortunately, due to the short time, I could not visit any artists, museums, or galleries. However, the city is full of beautiful architecture that I have appreciated. Lebanon has amazing craftmen that produce beautiful pieces. I am definitely coming back.
You come from a royal family, and you have the title of a Princess, which is an absolute dream for a lot of girls.
Can you tell us more about life as a Princess?
Of course, I consider myself lucky to be a descendent of staple, historical French figures, such as Louis XIV and Queen Marie Antoinette. I am the cousin of the Queen of Demark by my great grandfather Valdemar of Denmark, son of King Christian IX. I also have Spanish and Italian blood running through my veins. My royal background has allowed me to do a lot of traveling in my life, and gives me a lot of pride to have the name that I do. In terms of negative experiences, the French revolution stands out as a powerful historical moment where our families were targeted. Despite that, we are still here and our legacy lives on.