It’s a glorious day in Monaco and we’re in one of the suites of the famous Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo, waiting for South Korean superstar Song Hye-Kyo to arrive. As I’m told it’s Princess Grace of Monaco’s favourite hotel, I look to admire the suite’s Murano glass chandeliers, sleek wooden floors and Louis XIV-style carvings on the walls and think that it’s a perfect place to meet South Korea’s very own modern-day princess.
Ranked 6th in Forbes magazine's Korea Power Celebrity list, Song has made a string of successful TV dramas, but is perhaps best known for her role in the series Descendants of the Sun. Today, she is one of South Korea’s most sought-after actresses, whose fame has spread feverishly across Asia.
See also: 7 Things To Know About Song Hye-Kyo
I had a brief encounter with Song the previous day, during a photo call at the Grimaldi Forum where Chaumet had just opened their patrimonial exhibition and she is a special guest, and again later that evening at the extravagant gala dinner held at the Casino de Monaco, where she stunned in a simple but sophisticated white lace dress that she paired with a suite of diamond jewellery.
Constantly surrounded by people, she seems understandably guarded, but at the same time exudes elegance, confidence and a sense of calm that makes her appear approachable but also rather enigmatic.
She arrives at the suite wearing a rose-pink dress and diamond jewellery. “Hi, it’s so nice to meet you; I remember you from yesterday,” she says smiling, stretching her arms for a handshake. I’m admittedly giddy at the recognition, and at the same time pleasantly surprised by her candidness. We sit across from each other and Song gets into the conversation with ease, and right away I understand why everyone is enamoured by her.
Read highlights from the exclusive interview here.
Is it your first time in Monaco?
I did a shoot many years ago in Europe where I was travelling from Italy to Nice. Then I only passed by Monaco very quickly so it’s the first time I’ve really spent time here and I am having such a great time! It’s a beautiful city—its buildings have a lot of beautiful details, and a lot of history. I like it here.
And you were also at the Chaumet exhibition—what did you think of it?
I’ve worn a couple of tiaras by Chaumet at photo shoots and I’ve also seen their beautiful jewellery in books, but it’s the only time I’ve seen that many pieces in one place. It was an amazing experience for me. There was so much history and beauty. One day, I wish I will be able to wear one of the tiaras I saw! (laughs)
Was there a particular piece you liked?
There was so much variety—from classic to modern pieces—but I am personally into more classic jewellery. One part of the exhibition I particularly enjoyed was the section that featured the pieces the Empress Joséphine wore. Those pieces really spoke to me.
If you were allowed to wear one of the tiaras, when would that be?
If I were allowed, I would love to be able to wear a tiara on my birthday, on November 22. When I put on a tiara, I feel like a princess.