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Announcement expected from Monaco Palace in next few days about Princess Charlene's twins

October 17, 2014
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After the happy news was confirmed that Princess Charlene of Monaco is expecting twins with Prince Albert, royal watchers began to wonder what the prospect of double baby joy would mean for the issue of succession to the Monegasque throne. There has been much speculation, but in the absence of knowing the sex of the babies, or if they will be delivered by cesarean or naturally, commentators have been left to guess.

Prince Albert © Photo: Getty Images

According to the publication Paris Match, everything will soon me made clear during an official announcement from the Princely Palace of Monaco in the next few days. Princess Charlene confirmed this to the magazine during an interview about her charitable causes and her feelings towards impending motherhood. "It is an adventure in itself," she told them. "Any mother will tell you of the intense feelings, the incredible emotion. I am very well and we're obviously very happy, I would say filled with happiness. The prospect of the upcoming birth is so magical, so powerful. We are full of love, gratitude, as well as a great sense of responsibility. I am particularly grateful for the spontaneous love bestowed on me in these special moments. The show of affection for my family, of the totality of the Monegasque people and all our friends around the world".

Prince Albert1 © Photo: Getty Images

Given that this is the principality's first case of twins in 700 years, the Princely Palace will need to confirm which of the babies will be designated as heir. The birth will change the order of the line of succession, which currently holds Princess Caroline, Prince Albert's sister, as heir.

However the law of transmission of the crown doesn't address what should happen in the case of multiple births. Until the law is set out there are several possible avenues the designation could take. Monegasque law provides in article 10 (as amended by law no 1,249 of April 2 2002) that the succession to the throne, by death or abdication, rests on the direct and legitimate offspring of the reigning prince, by the rule of primogeniture - giving preference to males over females.

So if Charlene is expecting a boy and a girl, there is no dilemma, but if the babies are the same sex the issue of which is the heir is slightly more complicated. The rule of primogeniture that has dictated the royal succession for centuries would mean that if the twins are boys, the first-born would ascend the throne. But if the twins are girls, the first-born would be the heir - unless the royal couple go on to have a baby boy, who would eventually take the crown. The Palace's announcement should make everything clear in the next few days.

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