Have you heard the news? Monaco’s Princess Charlene and husband Prince Albert II, welcomed newborn twins, Gabriella Therese Marie and Jacques Honore Rainier, into the world this past Wednesday. Now normally I don’t pay much attention to “royal news,” but this one caught my eye for it’s odd circumstances. Namely that Gabriella, who was born first, will take a backseat to her twin brother. It is Jacques, and not Gabriella, who is now the royal heir, the future ruler to the centuries-old Grimaldi dynasty.
Why? Because Prince Jacques is a male, and Princess Gabriella is not.
Here’s the explanation:
“Prince Jacques Honore, Rainier, has the quality of Hereditary Prince. According to historical use established by the Treaty of Peronne (1641), he received the title of Marquis of Baux (in Provence),” the Palais explained. “Princess Gabriella, Therese, Marie, the second child in the line of succession, received the title of Countess of Carladès (Auvergne).”
Oh, those crazy royals. Such sticklers for rules. And talk about setting up a twin rivalry. Just wait until Princess Gabriella grows up and realizes she was majorly shafted simply because of her sex.
But not every royal family follows this archaic rule of succession. In 2011, for instance, the crown prince and princess of Denmark also gave birth to boy-girl twins. Prince Vincent is fourth in line to assume the throne but only because he emerged from the womb ahead of twin sister, Princess Josephine.
Now that’s more like it.
Furthermore, that same year just before Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, announced her first pregnancy (Prince George), the British monarchy quietly changed their succession laws. Now, gender no longer matters—whoever is born first will assume the throne in the United Kingdom.
For those parents of twins who go through great lengths to keep their twins’ birth order a secret in order to avoid a rivalry between their twins, Monaco’s succession laws must seem completely outdated.
What do you think?