This Friday, December 10, the twins of Charlene and Albert of Monaco celebrate their seventh birthday. If Gabriella is the eldest of the siblings, it is Jacques who is the first on the list of the succession of the throne.
While in most monarchies, the eldest child of the incumbent monarch, whether boy or girl, is eligible to claim the throne, in Monaco, the rules of succession are somewhat different. Jacques and Gabriella, the twins of Albert and Charlene of Monaco, who celebrate their seventh birthday this Friday, December 10, are the next to be able to reign on the Rock. Only if Gabriella was born two minutes earlier than her twin brother, it is Jacques who will succeed to the throne. It is the Monegasque Constitution that has defined this very precise rule. “The succession to the throne, opened by death or abdication, takes place in the direct and legitimate descendants of the reigning Prince, by order of primogeniture with male priority in the same degree of kinship”, specifies article 10.
In concrete terms, it is the first son of the reigning prince who will succeed his father. Whether he has one or more older sisters, this will not change the succession since there is a “male priority”. The case of Jacques and Gabriella of Monaco is not rare. In 2005, when Prince Rainier III died, he was succeeded by Albert and not Caroline, who was older than him. However, this does not mean that there will be no woman reigning on the Rock. If the reigning prince has no direct male heir, it will be his first daughter who will become the reigning princess.
Very different characters
Although Gabriella and Jacques of Monaco are twins, they do not have the same character. According to Albert of Monaco, the elder daughter is “outgoing and outspoken”, while Jacques is “a little more shy and quiet”. In public, they do not adopt the same behavior either. The son of Charlene and Albert is “a great observer” while Gabriella “has no embarrassment in front of people”.
Photo credits: Claudia Albuquerque / Bestimage