Five years ago, the arrival of Monaco’s royal twins — Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, Marquis of Baux and Princess Gabriella Therese Marie, Countess of Carlades — resulted in a national holiday, complete with a cannon salute. Since then, their annual birthday celebrations have become a much anticipated treat.
After a jungle-themed excursion for their second birthday, a museum party (with mechanical polar bears!) for their third and a palace firemen visit last year, something a little more special was going to be required to ring in their fifth birthday. Turns out, they saved the simplest and sweetest celebration of all.
On Tuesday morning, their mom Princess Charlene shared the twins’ “Birthday Message For Grandma” on Instagram. In the video (intended for Charlene’s mother Lynette Wittstock in South Africa ), Jacques and Gabriella are seen dressed for school, wearing party hats and holding favors, announcing “It’s my birthday!” in English (instead of Monaco’s national language, French).
Then, with a little prompting from her mother, Gabriella adds “I miss you. I love you!”
In the background, dad Prince Albert II — who shot the video — is heard chuckling at his daughter’s enthusiastic performance.
The royal twins already shared a spectacular pre-birthday celebration together. They traveled to Dubai last weekend with their mother, and were spotted at Aquaventure Waterpark on Saturday, where the pair — who were taught to swim before they could walk — swam with dolphins at the park’s Dolphin Bay Encounter. Charlene was in the emirate as a sports ambassador to attend an F1 race and an international rugby tournament.
As a former Olympic swimmer, Charlene “encourages my children to do as much sports as possible. Jacques and Gabriella have a great deal of physical activity — the fact that they learned to swim early, both for their safety and for my peace of mind, has probably been a determining factor,” the royal mom said in an interview with French magazine Point de Vue.
Charlene opened up about her twins, saying Jacques and Gabriella share an indescribable bond of “incredible affection and gentleness for one another.”
The royal siblings are also frequently “exhausting,” according to their mother.
Princess Charlene says the pair “talk to each other all the time, and like all children they sometimes can be a little abrupt, a little hard even in their exchanges, but they support each other unconditionally.”
They also have “inner strength,” suggests the South African-raised royal, “which allows them able to say what they think and feel, whatever the circumstances” without knocking them off balance.
“When it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, and we encourage them to express themselves. And when all is well, then nothing and no one can stop them,” Charlene said. She also expressed amazement “at the way they adapt to all situations,” describing Jacques and Gabriella as having confidence in themselves.
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The royal twins are already bilingual, speaking English at home and French at school.
“This leads them to develop their own thinking, their own vision of things,” said Charlene. “Me, as their mother, I discover, I learn. I find it marvelous following their evolution, accompanying them on this path.”