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It's a boy and a girl for Princess Charlene

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Princess Charlene on Monaco has given birth to a baby boy who they have named Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier and a baby girl who they have named Princess Gabriella

Princess Charlene on Monaco has given birth to a baby boy who they have named Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier and a baby girl who they have named Princess Gabriella

Princess Charlene on Monaco has given birth to a baby boy who they have named Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier and a baby girl who they have named Princess Gabriella

For the first time since Monaco was founded in the 13th century, its royal family has welcomed twins.

Princess Charlene had a girl first and a boy second, but the boy will be the principality’s future ruler, reflecting Monaco’s laws of succession.

The twins Gabriella and Jacques Rainier, born to Charlene (36) and Prince Albert II (56) are heirs to the centuries-old Grimaldi dynasty that rules the wealthy principality.

Gabriella was born at 5:04pm yesterday and her brother Jacques two minutes later, according to a palace statement.

Monaco is a square mile enclave of ritzy apartments and luxury shops on the French Riviera with a population of around 30,000.

WORRIED

Albert, son of the late American actress princess Grace, had some subjects worried by his long bachelorhood and his lack of an heir since his two previous children were born out of wedlock and are not eligible for the throne.

Then the prince married Charlene Wittstock, a Zimbabwe-born, South Africa-raised former Olympic swimmer, in 2011.

Now the tiny royal state on the Riviera has two reasons to rejoice.

“This is going to create an immense joy. Immense,” said Monaco resident Isabelle Roux. “They are awaited like the messiah. Everyone is talking only about that.”

“Two babies for the price of one. I think it’s very good for the image,” said Adelaide de Clermont-Tonnerre, editor-in-chief of the celebrity weekly Point de Vue. “With twins, there’s always an extra interest.”

Only one woman has ever reigned over Monaco, but Princess Louise-Hippolyte died months after assuming the throne in 1731.

In 2002, with no heirs in sight, Monaco’s parliament quietly changed its constitution to allow royal power to pass from a reigning prince with no descendants to his siblings – potentially Albert’s two sisters.

That ensured the continuation of the Grimaldi dynasty, one of the oldest royal houses in Europe, even if Albert never produced an heir.

By palace decree 42 cannon shots were fired to announce the births, instead of the 21 that would boom for a single baby.

hnews@herald.ie


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