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At the end of November, the Princely Palace of Monaco announced what has been planned to celebrate the birth of Prince Albert and Princess Charlene’s children (in case you missed the announcement, Charlene is indeed having twins). There are a few updates to old traditions, and an interesting issue (for me, at least).

First, there will be a 42-gun salute from Fort Antoine (21 for each child). In the past, first-born daughters (such as Princess Caroline, Prince Albert’s elder sister) received 21 guns, but there was a 101-gun salute for the birth of Prince Albert, who was born Hereditary Prince. Following the salute, bells will ring across Monaco, and boaters will be encouraged to honk their horns.

The Palace will post the birth proclamations in the Palace’s “Petit Quartiers,” and there will be registry books available for the people in Monaco to sign. Finally, the Monegasques* may put up bunting and flags in their homes from the day of the births to the day the children are presented to the country at the Palace (a day which will be a national holiday).

The interesting issue to me is that Monaco seems willing to retain male-preference primogeniture, meaning one of two things will happen when the twins are born:

  • The first is that the elder twin will be the heir/ess, either because both twins are the same gender, or because they are mixed twins where the elder twin is a boy.
  • The second is that a younger boy twin will succeed Albert ahead of his elder sister.

Especially after the debate about the succession in other countries (and two princesses** taking traditionally-male positions as heir apparent in the last year and a half) It will be interesting to see what happens in Monaco in the future (the babies are due before the end of the year).

Above all, however, I wish Princess Charlene a healthy end to her pregnancy and an easy delivery.

*If you read the proclamation, you will see it make a distinction between “people of Monaco,” or the Monegasque citizens, and “residents of the Principality” which I assume are ex-pats living in Monaco. There is also a phrase about “people working in the Principality,” which I assume means everybody living in Monaco.

**Princess Amalia, Princess of Orange in The Netherlands and Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant in Belgium. As Spain still has male-preference primogeniture, Princess Leonor, Princess of Asturias, is still heiress presumptive and could still technically be supplanted by a younger brother… as would girl/girl Grimaldi twins if Charlene were to have a son in the future.