Princess Charlene of Monaco gives birth to twins
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Charlene has spent little time at her home in Monaco this year. A combination of the coronavirus pandemic and a mystery illness meant that she was forced to remain in her native South Africa for an extended period of time. Months passed without her being able to see her two children, twins Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques.
Today, the pair celebrate their seventh birthday.
Given Charlene’s illness and recent move to a hospital outside of Monaco, the royal is expected to miss out on the birthday celebrations.
Prince Albert of Monaco recently revealed that he and some of Charlene’s family members agreed that she needed to seek treatment for her illness outside of Monaco for “privacy reasons”.
Privacy means something else for the Monaco Royal Family when compared to their British counterparts.
Before the pandemic, Albert and Charlene regularly walked around Monaco, accompanied by a loose security personnel.
The pair also gave regular interviews to publications around the world.
In 2019, Charlene spoke to the French magazine, Point de Vue, and gave a number of insights into family life.
The pair were four years old at the time, and Charlene revealed how they could at times be “exhausting”.
However, she offered a heartwarming assessment of their relationship: “[They] 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.”
The royal will likely be very glad her children support each other, given that she has been forced to be away from them for so long this year.
The South African-raised former swimmer also suggested that they had “inner strength,” which “allows them to say what they think and feel, whatever the circumstances”, without knocking them off balance.
She continued: “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.”
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Charlene also expressed amazement “at the way they adapt to all situations,” describing Jacques and Gabriella as having confidence in themselves.
She described herself as a very hands-on mother, even admitting that, while raising the twins was “often exhausting,” it was also “very stimulating in many areas”.
Aged four, the royal twins were already bilingual, speaking English at home and French at school.
Charlene said: “This leads them to develop their own thinking, their own vision of things.
“Me, as their mother, I discover, I learn. I find it marvellous following their evolution, accompanying them on this path.”
The interview was held in Charlene’s palace office before Monaco’s National Day celebrations, an event that saw Jacques don his first-ever uniform.
The milestone left her reflective about the official role her son will be expected to fulfil in the future.
She said: “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.”
Charlene praised Albert as a “remarkable, wonderful, fun father; a dad who listens and encourages his children”.
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She added: “He spends a lot of time with Jacques and Gabriella and takes care of them as often as he can.”
The pair have busy and often conflicting schedules, which means that getting the four of them together is a rare thing.
That is why, Charlene said, whenever they do get the chance to spend time as a four, regardless of where it is, that place is “home”.
She gave a glimpse into their busy schedule: “In the morning, their father takes them to school.
“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 mum.
“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!”
It is unclear when Charlene will return to Monaco.
In a recent interview with PEOPLE magazine, Albert explained that she had been moved outside Monaco to have her illness treated.
He said: “I sat her down with her brothers and a sister-in-law.
“She had already made her decision, and we only wanted her to confirm it in front of us. She wanted this.
“She already knew the best thing to do was to go and have a rest and have a real medically framed treatment. And not in Monaco.
“For privacy reasons, it would have to be someplace outside of Monaco.”
He added: “Obviously there were consequences of her different surgeries and the procedures she underwent in the last few months.
“That certainly was a factor, but at this point I prefer not to comment further. I can say she was suffering incredible fatigue.
“She hadn’t slept well in a number of days and she wasn’t eating at all well.
“She has lost a lot of weight, which made her vulnerable to other potential ailments.
“A cold or the flu or, God help us, COVID.”
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