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Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco announce birth of twins

December 11, 2014
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The world has two new royal babies to celebrate! On Wednesday, Princess Charlene of Monaco, 36, gave birth to a little girl and a little boy, named Gabriella Thérèse Marie and Jacques Honoré Rainier. Her husband, Prince Albert, was by her side at Princess Grace Hospital during the delivery.

A statement released from the Palace read: "It is with immense joy that the Prince and Princess of Monaco have the great pleasure to announce the birth of their children named: Gabriella, Thérèse, Marie (born at 17h04) Jacques, Honoré, Rainier (born at 17h06). The births took place on 10th December 2014 at the Maternity of the Princess Grace Hospital Monaco. The Princess and the Children are doing well."

These are the first offspring for the Zimbabwe-born former Olympic swimmer, who married Prince Albert, 56, the son of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier, in July 2011.

Prince Albert and Princess Charlene as seen on their wedding day

The Prince has two children from previous relationships, but as they were born out of wedlock, they do not qualify for the Monaco throne.

The birth has changed the order of the line of succession, which previously held Princess Caroline, Prince Albert's sister, as the heir. Now Jacques is the crown prince and shall receive the title of Marquis of Baux (in Provence).

As previously decreed, the heir is whichever twin is born first, unless it's a male. "In the case that one is a girl and the other a boy, it will be the boy," the Palace announced earlier this year.

The little prince is set to inherit an estimated $1 billion fortune along with leadership of the Grimaldi clan, which has ruled Monaco since the 13th century.

The royals celebrated Princess Grace earlier this fall

Per the country’s tradition, the Palace will celebrate the new bundles of joy with military cannons.

"In celebration of the joyous arrival of these two children, and without distinction, forty-two cannon shots (twenty-one for each child) shall be fired from the Fort Antoine and church bells shall ring for fifteen minutes, followed by boat horns," reads a statement from the royal household.

Actress Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III on their wedding day in 1956

In addition, an official proclamation signed by Prince Albert will confirm the birth of the twins and will be displayed at the entrance to the palace. Knowing that their nation will want to catch a glimpse of the new additions, the royal parents will present their children to the people of Monaco at a later date.

The pair have been quite public about their excitement over their twins' arrival

The royal family are encouraging their people to help them celebrate today, asking they "put up bunting and flags, under the same provisions as on National Day.”

The couple has requested in lieu of presents, fans instead make donations to their chosen charities in honor of their twins.

Earlier this year, Prince Albert admitted he did not know the gender of the twins, even though Charlene may have known.

Princess Charlene sweetly showed off her baby bump

"You know, one doesn't often have the opportunity to have such pleasant surprises in life, that is why I prefer not to know the babies' gender before the birth," he said in November." The princess probably knows but she is playing the game. She is keeping the secret as I asked her to.”

Prince Albert took over the reins of the tiny Mediterranean principality of Monaco upon the death of his father Prince Rainier on April 6, 2005. A longtime bachelor, his country was thrilled when he finally married in 2011 and then announced his South African wife’s pregnancy earlier this year.

The monarch revealed that the pair were "overjoyed" and "thrilled" when they found out the news.

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