Monaco is celebrating today as Prince Albert and Princess Charlene baptized their 5-month-old twins. The royal couple stepped out in the May sunlight with their daughter Princess Gabriella and son Prince Jacques for the ceremony at the Cathedral of Monaco.
Shortly after the twins had arrived in the capable hands of their nannies, proud parents Albert and Charlene drew up at the picturesque church to carry the youngsters inside. Charlene, 37, looked radiant in a cropped ivory top and elegant matching skirt and happily cradled her son in her arms.
Like her brother, Gabriella was dressed in a white christening gown and bonnet and also sported a sweet pink pacifier personalized with her name. The twins were as good as gold throughout the ceremony, with Jacques looking on wide-eyed as his elder sister appeared to be sleeping.
Neither one of the pair seemed phased when the moment came for them to be doused in water. The twins, whose full names are Gabriella Thérèse Marie Grimaldi and Jacques Honoré Rainier Grimaldi, were then looked after by their nannies in a separate room while a visibly emotional Charlene listened to the choir singing hymns.
Caroline was accompanied by her sons Andrea and Pierre and her youngest daughter Princess Alexandra. Notably absent, however, were her daughter Charlotte Casiraghi and Andrea's wife Tatiana Santo Domingo, who recently welcomed their second child.
Princess Stephanie's son Louis Ducruet, 22, and daughters Pauline Ducruet, 21, and Camille Gottlieb, 16, also made up the royal party. Charlene's parents Lynette and Michael Whittstock were also in attendance, as were her brothers Gareth and Sean and their respective wives.
Earlier in the week, the Prince's Palace of Monaco announced that Gareth would be godparents to Princess Gabriella along with Nerine Pienaar, the wife of retired South African rugby player Francois Pienaar. Prince Jacques' godparents are Christopher Le Vine Jr., one of Albert's cousins, and Diane de Polignac Nigra, who gave a reading during the service.
At midday, when the ceremony was over, Albert and Charlene stood on the steps of the cathedral to watch a traditional folk dance before taking the time to greet their guests and well-wishers who had turned out for the special occasion. The couple then returned to the palace via the Rue Bellando de Castro, which was lined with fans carrying pink and blue balloons, while their twins were driven in a car for security reasons.