Their Serene Highnesses Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques of Monaco celebrated their second birthday in the small principality today but did so without their mother, Princess Charlene. Her Serene Highness is currently in India to participate in the “Laureates and Leaders for Children Summit.”
Just ahead of the birthday of the twins, on 7 December, Prince Albert and Princess Charlene hosted a small jungle themed birthday party for their children at the Société Nautique de Monaco on Le Petit Train. Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques celebrated with their godparents, children of palace employees around the same age, and friends from the Red Cross Crèche-Garderie. The Prince’s Palace of Monaco said the children had “a wonderful safari adventure of fun.”
In June, Prince Albert told People Magazine that his twins would celebrate their second birthday with their daycare friends saying, “We’ve decided to have a little something here at home with some of the children in their daycare. They go two, three times a week, and they’ve made friends, and so we’ve decided on an early afternoon party in the palace.”
Earlier in the month, the twins surprised their dad at Monaco’s Christmas market on the Port of Hercules pier. He was there to open the market, and he was surprised to see his wife and children after the opening. The family of four then enjoy some time together at the Christmas village.
Princess Gabriella Thérèse Marie, Countess of Carladès, was born on 10 December 2014 at the Princess Grace Hospital Centre. Two minutes later, Jacques, Hereditary Prince of Monaco (Jacques Honoré Rainier) was born. He also holds the title of Marquis of Baux. Their birth was celebrated with a 42-gun salute from Fort Antoine and the ringing of the church bells. They were presented to the Monégasque people by Prince Albert and Princess Charlene on 7 January 2015, which was declared a national holiday in the small principality.
On 10 May 2015, they were baptised at the Cathedral of Monaco when they were five-months-old. The twins were both dressed in white christening gowns. Their paternal aunts, Princess Caroline and Princess Stéphanie attended the ceremony with their children. Princess Charlene’s parents, Michael and Lynette Wittstock, and her brothers, Gareth and Sean Wittstock, and their wives were there, as well. Their half-sister, Jazmin was also in Monaco for the christening.
Gabriella’s godparents were her maternal uncle, Gareth Wittstock and the wife of a retired South African rugby player named Francois Pienaar, Nerine Pienaar. The godparents of Jacques were his paternal cousin, Christopher Le Vine Jr and Diane de Polignac Nigra.
Even though Jacques was born two minutes after his sister, he is the heir to the throne. Monaco is one of the few remaining European monarchies which still reigns under male-preference primogeniture.