The Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille Stuns Once Again


Men have long claimed automobiles as their domain, puffing their chests and revving powerful engines as they race around the globe, containing the sport, and often times hobby, to their realm of interest. Viviane Zaniroli successfully defeated this notion with the creation of the Rallye des Princesses (Princesses’ Rally), a European summer staple since its inception in 1999, putting women at the forefront of the competition. 


Drawing her inspiration from the historically women-only Paris – Saint Raphaël (1929-1974) rally, Zaniroli created a celebration of classic cars, competition and elegance: “It  is  by  talking  with  women  that  I  realized  their  desire  to  take  the  wheel  and  challenge  themselves  in  a  men’s  sport.” The Princesses’ Rally is a regularity rally, different from most for it measures success not on total speed but rather on maintaining an average throughout the 1080-mile course and reaching the 5 stages along the scenic French route. This year’s route began in the iconic Place Vendome in Paris and finished in Biarritz, on the sunny Basque coast.

The 19th edition of the Rallye des Princesses brought together 180 women from 9 different countries fiercely steering a series of 1946 to 1989 collector vehicles, reaching a total of 2600 participants since the rally’s creation. Maison Richard Mille, the famed Swiss horlogerie, has been a partner of the event since 2015 assuring consistent speed performance, timekeeping and unwavering support during the 5 day-race.


To celebrate its 20-year mark, next year the Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille will return the finish line to Saint Tropez with triumph: teams and collaborators will enjoy a 2-evening stay at the Domaine Bertaud Belieu, a picturesque estate on the French Riviera owned by the winery of the same name, surely setting a higher standard for future events.

“The car is also a women’s history!” declares Zaniroli, and it will definitely continue to be thanks to her ingenuity, creativity and joie de vivre that established the Rallye des Princesses.