Festive photos released of Monaco's new royal babies

A handout picture released by the Palace of Monaco on Dec 23, 2014 shows Prince Albert II of Monaco and his wife Charlene posing with their twin babies Jacques and Gabriella at the Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco on Dec 22, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
A handout picture released by the Palace of Monaco on Dec 23, 2014 shows Prince Albert II of Monaco and his wife Charlene posing with their twin babies Jacques and Gabriella at the Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco on Dec 22, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
A handout picture released by the Palace of Monaco on Dec 23, 2014 shows Prince Albert II of Monaco and his wife Charlene posing with their twin babies Jacques and Gabriella at the Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco on Dec 22, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
A handout picture released by the Palace of Monaco on Dec 23, 2014 shows Prince Albert II of Monaco and his wife Charlene posing with their twin babies Jacques and Gabriella at the Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco on Dec 22, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
A handout picture released by the Palace of Monaco on Dec 23, 2014 shows Prince Albert II of Monaco and his wife Charlene posing with their twin babies Jacques and Gabriella at the Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco on Dec 22, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
A handout picture released by the Palace of Monaco on Dec 23, 2014 shows Prince Albert II of Monaco and his wife Charlene posing with their twin babies Jacques and Gabriella at the Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco on Dec 22, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
A handout picture released by the Palace of Monaco on Dec 23, 2014 shows Prince Albert II of Monaco and his wife Charlene posing with their twin babies Jacques and Gabriella at the Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco on Dec 22, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
A handout picture released by the Palace of Monaco on Dec 23, 2014 shows Prince Albert II of Monaco and his wife Charlene posing with their twin babies Jacques and Gabriella at the Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco on Dec 22, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

Official Christmas-themed photos have been released of Prince Albert II of Monaco and his wife Charlene posing with their twin babies Jacques and Gabriella at the Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco.

The latest members of the House of Grimaldi were born on Dec 10, with Gabriella arriving first at 5.04pm, and Jacques at 5.06pm.

But it is Jacques who will be the future Prince of Monaco, because of the Mediterranean principality's male inheritance laws, according to the Daily Mail.

The festive photos show the twins' adoring parents gazing at their newborn children, with Princess Gabriella in pink and Prince Jacques in baby blue.

They are the first children for former South African Olympic swimmer Charlene, who married Prince Albert three years ago. The Prince has a daughter, Jazmin, 22, with former waitress Tamara Rotolo, and a son Alexandre Coste, 11, from an affair with Nicole Coste, a former Air France hostess. 

Prince Albert, 56, was with Charlene, 36, as she gave birth at the hospital, which is named after Albert's mother, the late actress Grace Kelly.

Soon after 7.30pm, 42 cannon shots rung around Monaco, confirming that the babies had been born. Prince Albert had arranged the 42 shots, in place of the 21 that would boom for a single baby.

The babies are the first twins in the royal household, which dates back to the 13th century.

Before his wife gave birth, Albert said that they did not know the sex of their babies, calling the moment-to-come "one of the beautiful surprises that life offers us."

Had the twins been of the same sex, the child which was delivered first would have been first in line to the throne.