December 16, 2014

Going Home?

Reports have been fluttering around the internet as of late, indicating that Princess Charlene and her babies are headed home from the hospital. Are they true or false? Your guess is as good as mine, but I’ll roll up my sleeves, put on my thinking cap and try to reason out this one. Let’s speculate, just for fun! I’m going to go with false: they’re not home just yet.

First of all, let’s get back to basics: this pregnancy/birth was centered around twins, which means several different things in terms of recovery, both for the children and for mom. In a singleton pregnancy, the gestation usually lasts around 40 weeks; however, with a twins pregnancy, the babies almost always arrive early (some docs in the US won’t let a twins mama go beyond 38 weeks before they induce labor and get the babes the heck outta there). Charlene gave birth at 38 weeks, according to a recent interview (read it here). Induction or no, they came early, bless their prompt little hearts.

Given the fact that 1) there are two babies in there, and 2) they are delivered early, twins are usually on the smaller side at birth. Many twins spend some additional days in the hospital to make sure that they’re healthy, thriving, and gaining weight steadily.

That being said, Charlene did carry the twins to 38 weeks, which is actually quite a lengthy gestation for twins. My guess would be that they were right as rain when they were born, and probably didn’t need extra time in the hospital at all. But since they were early and they were twins, it would be safe to assume that the docs wanted to keep an extra eye on them for another few days.

As for Charlene, it was reported that she had a Caesarean section instead of a natural birth, which would also indicate a different sort of recovery on her end. C-sections are no joke, that is major surgery. (I have one doctor friend who only once ever got close to passing out at work: it was the first time she witnessed a C-section.)  Charlene probably has spent enough time in the hospital at this point – after all, it has been almost a week – and she’s probably strong enough to go home. But she may decide to hang around the hospital until the twins are released – assuming she is able to do so, because hospitals can be funny about that sort of thing. But she’s the Princess, right? Can’t she tell them what to do?!

The best thing I’ve read thus far, though, has nothing to do with the hospital: Charlene is quoted in the above-linked interview as saying, “Every second with them is magical…I’m crazy in love with them.” So sweet. How much do you want to bet that her next thought was, Now if they would only just take a nap

Here’s wishing Charlene, Gabriella and Jacques a speedy and comfortable hospital stay – if they’re still there! – and a very welcome home whenever the time may be. (But we want to see those babies, so come on already!)

December 13, 2014

Welcome! Let’s be friends!

Let me be the first to welcome you to this site, which will follow the life and style of Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco. I am so looking forward to sharing my enjoyment of royal watching with you, and I hope we can become a wonderful community of friends. (Just as a sidenote: I know I promised baby pictures in the last post, but I have since learned that the twins won’t be introduced to the public until early January. So those pics are coming, just not quite as soon as I’d hoped!)

This blog is an extension of Jane Barr’s blog, From Berkshire to Buckingham, which follows HRH the Duchess of Cambridge. For all of us Kate watchers, that site is an absolute treasure-trove of the Duchess’s engagements, fashion, and her life as a royal. It is my hope that this space can be an additional watering hole for those of us who delight in those very topics, with the slight shifting of our gaze from Britain to Monaco.

And after spending some good time strolling the chilly, rain-slicked, romantic English streets that surround Kate, it will be such fun to look at how the other royal-half lives. We shift from the UK’s rolling, magical clouds, to the rocky coast of the warm Mediterranean, sun-soaked and with the tingle of seaspray on our skin (or on our laptops, as it were).

Ah, Monaco. The Riviera, Monte Carlo, hypnotic French accents and the deep-blue sea, all in one fell swoop. Bonjouuuuur to the glamour, excitement, beautiful vistas, and bikini-clad starlets (with their impossibly impeccable suntans). God certainly gave with two huge handfuls when he carved out that little piece of paradise, and it is an idyllic backdrop for royalty. When Prince Albert II was looking to settle down, Charlene arrived in gorgeous perfection, like a real-life mermaid splashing out of the sea. Given the fact that Charlene is a former Olympic swimmer, is breathtakingly beautiful, and married a Prince from a seashore principality, it’s actually not such a far fetch. And for those of us who already were waxing poetic about the beauty of Monaco, well, Charlene just became the jewel in Monaco’s crown.

Just a little backstory, in case you’re curious: HSH Princess Charlene was born Charlene Wittstock, and spent the first portion of her life living in Zimbabwe and South Africa. As previously mentioned, she is a former Olympic swimmer, and represented South Africa in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. As far as her life with Prince Albert II goes, she reportedly first met the prince at Monte Carlo over 13 years ago, but the two have been officially an item since 2006. They were married in July of 2011, just a few months after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were wed. A few years later (read: this year!) it was announced that Albert and Charlene were expecting twins, which she delivered on Decmeber 10, 2014 (see the previous post for further details!). Now the Princely Palace is abuzz with excitement in welcoming the newborn heir to the throne, Hereditary Prince Jacques Honoré Rainier, and his twin sister, Princess Gabriella Thérèse Marie.

All that being said, I still can’t figure out what it is exactly that draws me to Charlene…all I know is that I just really, really like her. Charlene is so intriguing, and her eyes always seem to hold something behind them, giving her an air of mystery. Perhaps it’s her beauty that draws us so, or perhaps – and let’s just call a spade a spade here – it’s the fact that she is filling the shoes of Princess Grace that does it. After all, Charlene’s predecessor lived such a fairytale life of icon-turned-Princess that we all were taught to find so romantic. Maybe it’s the fact that Kate and William were in the spotlight at around the same time, upping the royal ante and the interest in royal everything. Or maybe it’s all of the above, none of the above, a pinch of this and a dash of that, or something else entirely. But as long as that intrigue is coming from a good place, it doesn’t really matter.

Whatever the case may be, I’m sure we’re all drawn to this experience for different reasons, and I’m excited that you’re here with me! Please share your thoughts if the spirit moves you, introduce yourselves, and make yourselves at home. Check back soon, so together we can get acquainted with Monaco’s princess!

December 11, 2014

Two (Royal!) Babies for Monaco

Hello and welcome to this new site! I had planned on doing a big  introduction for you…but royal births always take precedence. Babies trump greetings. Let’s instead pretend we know each other already and celebrate the birth of Princess Charlene’s twins!

The Princely Palace of Monaco has joyfully announced that Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco was delivered of twins – a girl and a boy – via Caesarean section on the 10th of December, 2014. The children have been named Gabriella Thérèse Marie and Jacques Honoré Rainier. The children and their mother are said to be in very good health.

There were oodles of celebrations in Monaco, including cannons firing, boat horns sounding, and church bells ringing for a steady 15 minutes. How grand! Though I can’t help hoping that the noise didn’t interfere with the twins’ and Princess Charlene’s rest. I couldn’t imagine what I’d do if I heard cannons firing after having just given birth…no matter how sweet or well-intentioned the gesture may have been!

This is the first case of twins for The Princely Palace of Monaco in 700 years. Jacques will be the first in line to the Monegasque throne, in accordance with the Monegasque laws of primogeniture, which give preference to males with regards to royal succession. The children will be styled Hereditary Prince Jacques Honoré Rainier of Monaco, Marquis of Baux, and Princess Gabriella Thérèse Marie of Monaco, Countess of Carladès. Glorious names, and very full titles indeed. I believe that young Jacques also carries the title Crown Prince somewhere in there, but I am not sure where it would go. Anyone care to venture a guess?

Prince Albert II married Princess Charlene, who is originally Charlene Wittstock of South Africa, in July of 2011, in a widely celebrated wedding ceremony viewed by much of the world. The newborn twins are the first children for the couple, and have been highly anticipated since the announcement of Princess Charlene’s pregnancy last May.

Prince Albert and Princess Charlene are expected to introduce their children to the people in the next day or so. Stay tuned – I will release more info as it comes in, including any photos of the babes that I can get my hands on!

And once again, WELCOME to this brand new blog! I’ll post an introduction in the next few days to give you a more formal welcome…but let’s hope we get some baby pictures before that time comes!