Monaco’s royal twins, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella share an indescribable bond of “incredible affection and gentleness for one another.”
The 4-year-old royal siblings are also frequently “exhausting,” according to their mother.
In a new interview with French magazine Point de Vue, 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.
Princess Charlene describes herself as a very hands-on and protecting mom — even admitting that raising twins while “often exhausting is also very stimulating in many areas.”
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.”
The interview was held in Charlene’s palace office just before last week’s National Day celebrations, where Prince Jacques wore his first-ever uniform. The milestone found the Princess reflective of the official role her children increasingly fulfill.
“They know that this is a particularly busy time for their parents, but I think they’re still a bit too young to fully understand the meaning,” she said.
Like any proud parent though she reveals that this year for school, the principal, the teachers and students “prepared a little show. Jacques and Gabriella sang the Monegasque national anthem with their classmates for the first time. It was very touching.”
Princess Charlene praised her husband, Prince Albert, as “a remarkable, wonderful, fun father; a dad who listens and encourages his children. He spends a lot of time with Jacques and Gabriella and takes care of them as often as he can.”
Because of their separate official schedules (hers includes extensive travels for charity work), “unfortunately, we’re not always able to be together — that’s why Albert took them to Japan alone. “Our children have been traveling with us since they were born.”
“The children accompany me on some trips, accompany their father on others,” she said. “They’re [being] raised everywhere. But when we’re just four, it doesn’t matter where we are: that place is our home.”
Charlene also provided a glimpse of a busy day in the life of a family at the palace.
“In the morning, their father takes them to school,” she said. “When they come back, my work begins, continuing until the next day. Evenings are usually a lot of movement. When I’m alone with them, the kids fight over who will sleep with mom. They love to climb into our bed, suddenly we find ourselves a little cramped. And all this without counting our two dogs, Poppy and Harley!’
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. We will see, in the next two or three years, how this taste evolves. And which disciplines will have their preference.”
Reflecting on her visit home to South Africa last February, she enthuses with sentimental attachment, “I’d dreamed of taking them there for a long time, showing them South Africa, certainly, but also Benoni, the city where I grew up. The children were impatient to see grandpa and grandma. On the plane, when we arrived, we were all three looking through the porthole and Jacques cried “Wow, this is the country where you come from, Mom? It’s so big!’ It was very moving for me.”
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In Benoni, the family visited her nephew’s school. “Jacques and Gabriella were able to play with their cousins’ classmates, and there was absolutely no barrier between them,” she said. “I saw my children confident, happy, and it gave me immense happiness. Then Albert and I took them, into the bush, to see animals in the wild. The twins were able to see a rhinoceros for the first time.
“These,” she concluded, “were moments that will remain within me forever.”
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