With their second birthday coming up on December 2, the “terrible twos” are officially approaching for Monaco’s twins, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella. The royal pair, however, aren’t showing signs yet, according to their father.
“The kids are great,” Prince Albert II tells PEOPLE exclusively. “They’re running around everywhere, still jumping in and out of the pool up at the ranch [Roc Agel] on a day like today when it’s still warm enough here.”
“They’re still all smiling and laughing,” he says. “I still haven’t seen any tantrums, though those are probably coming, but for now, they’re very sweet and alert.
“Jacques, for the moment, is a little boy of very few words. If he wants you to pick him up, he’ll say, ‘Up!’ and then he’ll say, ‘Down,’ but he’s not into using full sentences.
“Gabriella, like a lot of little girls, and is more talkative than her brother — both in English and French. She encountered the phrase ‘c’est pas possible!’ (‘it’s not possible’) and has picked that up pretty quickly.”
“That one,” he laughs. ‘I’m certain it’s going to serve her really well later on in life.
“She has certain other phrases like, ‘I’ll miss you’ and ‘I love you, Daddy,’ which make it really hard to leave the house in the morning.”
These phrases “have only intensified the constant battle I’m having with my staff,” he says. “They keep insisting I accept this invitation or go to this event or travel here… I’m resisting and accepting only the essential ones.”
Invitations are a current household topic, he says, as he and Princess Charlene have already begun planning for the children’s second birthday. Last year, the day was marked by Prince Jacques taking his first steps in public — and this year promises to be equally memorable.
“We’ve decided to have a little something here at home with some of the children in their daycare,” he says. “They go two, three times a week and they’ve made friends and so we’ve decided on an early afternoon party in the palace.”
The proud father says his twins are increasingly comfortable, enjoying friends and public outings. Besides daycare, “they’ve been going out regularly to a public playground,” he says.
“They’re encouraged to have contact with children they encounter and the other people they meet. We both want them to be as comfortable as they can be and to experience as normal an upbringing as possible.”
The upcoming holiday season (and a prospective visit in 2017 to Philadelphia, where Prince Albert just purchased his late mother Princess Grace’s childhood home) is turning into a busy one for the young royals.
“There’s a number of potential outings,” their father says, mentioning the possibility of their second annual appearance for Monaco’s National Day on Nov. 19, and their birthday celebration.
Family plans also call for the pair to participate at both of the palace’s legendary Christmas events — one for the principality’s children followed by an equally festive affair for palace employees and their families.
Confirming the upcoming round of holiday plans, the prince shares, “There’s their birthday party and then they’ll be coming to both Christmas parties. And after that I think we’ll take a little needed private New Year’s vacation away.”