Baby love on Monaco's National Day

Albert, Charlene, Jacques and Gabriella of Monaco on the palace balcony on their country's national day, November 19th 2016
(photo Palais Princier Facebook)

It might also be known as the Prince's celebration but this year, Monaco's National Day was all about the babies of the family. As was to be expected, twins Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella stole the show but they had pretty close competition from cousins Sacha, India and Raphael and a new member of the family set to make an appearance early next year. Welcome to baby love on Monaco's National Day.

There were high hopes that the heir to the throne of Monaco, Princes Jacques, and his twin sister, Princess Gabriella, would make an appearance for this big celebration. They came out to party on the balcony last year just before they turned one so as they approached their second birthdays next month, there were great expectations that they would make another appearance on this special day. 

But they made us wait for it. The day started off with the adults taking centre stage as Prince Albert and Princess Charlene were joined by other members of the family, including Princess Caroline and Princess Stephanie, at St Nicholas' Church at mass.

Back at the Prince's Palace, the first signs of the baby love takeover made themselves present as Monaco's Royal Family stepped out to watch a march past. Sacha Casiraghi, who turned three earlier this year, is a past master at National Day but this time round he brought his little sister, 19 month old India, with him. 

The littlest lady of the House of Grimaldi seemed pretty spellboud by the events but as she stood still, holding mum and dad's hand. another new family member was making their presence felt. Beatrice Borromeo, wife of Pierre Casiraghi, was seen at an official event for the first time since confirming she is expecting her first baby.  The latest grandchild for Princess Caroline is due early next year. From that point on, the grown ups didn't stand a chance.

Jacques and Gabriella didn't make their audience wait any longer. No sooner had the traditional balcony appearance got under way than they royal twins of Monaco appeared in the arms of their parents for a smile and a wave.

Albert and Charlene shared the duties, swapping the twins half way through so that everyone got a chance to see both Jacques and Gabriella in the arms of mum and dad during the day.

Sacha and India also got to have a wave while Charlotte Casiraghi also brought her son, Raphael, out on to the balcony. Raphael, who is three next month, joined Sacha in a bit of flag waving as the children really took over.

Once the kids were safely tucked up in bed, Prince Albert and Princess Charlene headed off for a gala at the Grimaldi Forum which was also attended by Princess Caroline, Andrea Casiraghi and his wife, Tatiana Santo Domingo.

The gala rounded off a day of glamourous celebrations and a series of engagements marking National Day - earlier in the week, the royals had distributed gifts with the Red Cross and Prince Jacques had visited a ship as part of the festivities. 

But while the adults got to take the final bow of La Fete du Prince 2016, this year's celebrations will be remembered for the starring role given to the future of Monaco's Royal Family. This year's National Day was all about baby love.