Sporting an ever expanding paunch that’s noticeably bigger than that of his nearly nine months pregnant consort, Monaco’s Prince Albert ll rang in his micro state’s annual National Day yesterday by planting a slow, dry, deliberate and obviously staged kiss on his awkwardly smiling wife’s lips on the balcony of his palace while crowds, composed mostly of tourists, cheered them on from the palace courtyard. The Grimaldis, or perhaps just the sovereign couple, and their minions certainly have much to be excited about these days. Within a matter of weeks from now Princess Charlene will make Monegasque history by being the first of its princesses to deliver twins. Regardless of their shared sex, unless one turns out to be a girl while the other’s a boy, it’s likely the second child born will be declared the heir.
According to the May 31, 2014 post Twins For Albert and Charlene? on her blog, Royal Musings, renowned royal historian Marlene Eilers Konig states that French succession laws dating back to the Ancien Regime stipulate the second child born from a set of twins is considered the older one. The author has no idea why French law considers that the case, but like Mrs. Konig, he doubts Monegasque jurisprudence views the situation differently. Should “Char,”as her friends and family are rumored to call her, give birth to twin girls, the second one out the box will presumably be Monaco’s heiress presumptive, until such time that her mother delivers a male heir apparent that shall usurp his sister’s place. Given the ongoing rumors concerning the passionless nature of Their Serene Highness’ marriage, coupled with ongoing speculation that a series of IVF treatments had far more to do with the conception of these twin bundles of joy than actual intercourse between “Al and Char” ever could have, the author doubts seriously these twins will ever hear the pitter patter of a younger sibling’s feet.
This leads one to speculate upon the possible gilded quagmire of an existence that awaits the twin sibling to be designated second in line. After all, these children will shortly be born into a dynasty with a long, inglorious history of younger siblings literally stabbing their older sovereign kinfolk in the back in order to lay claim to the main prize of the Monegasque throne. Per Anne Edwards’ The Grimaldis of Monaco, a tome Prince Rainier lll is rumored to have authorized, in 1505 Jean ll, Lord of Monaco, the country didn’t officially become a principality until the 17th century, was murdered by his little brother, Lucian, who subsequently succeeded him. The new seigneur would, several years later, himself fall victim to usurpation, Grimaldi style, when he, along with his brother, Augustin, was murdered by their nephew, Francois. Those already familiar with this blog’s earlier posts concerning Monaco’s ruling family are well aware of the alleged usurping machinations of Princess Antoinette, Rainier lll’s older sister, in the early ’50’s followed several decades later by Princess Caroline’s rumored attempt to have her only brother disinherited. Family betrayal is a veritable tradition within the Grimaldi dynasty, and should the spare twin wish to ascend past the secondary position allotted them at birth, they’ll have a centuries old legacy to live up to. After all, it’s one thing to have been literally dicked out of the throne owing to being born a little brother or an older sister to the Hereditary Prince, but it’s another circumstance altogether to be cheated out of Monaco’s gilded, Napoleonic throne, and the several billion dollar estate that comes with it, by only a matter of minutes, possibly seconds! As this child grows older, it’s inevitable that this consequence of fate will cut them at the bone.
Since the author’s on the subject of distaff members of the Grimaldi family being reminded of the futility of their existence, this past National Day afforded Alexandre, nicknamed Sacha, Casiraghi his first, and likely only, moment in Monaco’s national spotlight. Looking like a slightly disheveled, but nonetheless adorable, cabbage patch doll, Andrea Casiraghi’s formerly bastardized son acquitted himself well during the day’s proceedings. While being held by his emaciated, though at least clean scrubbed, looking father while the Grimaldis, minus Charlotte Casiraghi, her son, and Princess Stephanie’s children, held court aloft the balcony of the Prince’s Palace, one can’t help but wonder what was going through Monaco’s soon to be former heir presumptive’s mind as he gazed out at a principality that very nearly was his, and would’ve been his baby son’s after him. One will probably never know. It’s recently been announced that Tatiana Casiraghi, Andrea’s frequently ill dressed and seemingly always ill at ease wife, especially when she’s being forced to endure official occasions in the land of her uncle-in-law, is pregnant again. One hopes a growing family will keep Tatiana from being lonely during her husband’s rumored semi annual stints in drug rehab.
In a recent interview with Monaco Matin, Prince Albert ll announced that his likely only legitimate children will be born around Christmas, and he’s chosen not to be informed of their sex beforehand. Though the author finds that hard to believe, he does believe that Monaco’s sovereign couple are happier with each other now than perhaps at any other time during their relationship. Their marriage might be more platonic than anything else, and it appears only they know the exact reasons why they entered into holy wedlock, but they appear to be holding up the respective ends of the bargain they struck at the time of their engagement. Their public displays of affection might still appear stilted and staged, and probably are, but their marriage also appears to be based on a solid foundation of mutual respect. For those of you who’ve followed this blogs chronicle of ill conceived and ill fated royal and princely marriages, that’s far more than many couples in their position had in the past. Hopefully it’ll stay that way.