After being shrouded in mystery all their lives, the King of Pop’s three kids were finally unmasked this year under the saddest of circumstances. Who could forget 12-year-old Prince Michael I’s brave face, 11-year-old Paris’s tearful speech and 7-year-old Prince Michael II (“Blanket”) clutching his Michael Jackson doll at their father’s July memorial service?
Five months later the children “are wonderful,” uncle Jackie Jackson tells PEOPLE. Adds This Is It director Kenny Ortega: “They have a beautiful home, a beautiful life and lots of love around them.” With an extended support system anchored by grandmother Katherine Jackson and nanny Grace Rwaramba, the kids have been easing back into a normal life. Home-schooled, they are growing up with their cousins and studying karate. Paris and Prince are even big Twilight fans. Says Ortega: “They’re independent and curious.”