Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella's celebrations included face painting, balloon animals and a bouncy castle

By Peter Mikelbank
December 12, 2019 12:35 PM

What’s more fun than a kid’s birthday party? One held for royal twins in a palace (with the Smurfs, face painting and cake, of course).

Monaco’s royal twins, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, asked their Montessori classmates over to the palace on Wednesday afternoon to celebrate their fifth birthday. A video posted on the principality’s Facebook page appears to show that the fun began in the palace courtyard with a bouncy castle and carried on upstairs with balloon animals and face painting.

Hosted by both Princess Charlene and Prince Albert, the “boum” was scheduled the day after the twins’ actual birthday (to coincide with the Monaco school system’s traditional half-day Wednesdays) and organized in the palace’s historic Salon des Glaces, the same suite used by the royal family on National Day.

Palace employees decorated the salon as a Smurf village, turning it into a blue-hued wonderland.

Credit: Prince's Palace Monaco/Facebook

This is the second year the children’s birthday party was held in the palace — last year’s theme was Marvel superheroes. According to one insider, the event has become the informal start to the palace’s holidays and a kick-off to the annual Christmas party, a tradition begun by Princess Grace. The bash invites Monegasque youngsters to the palace for an afternoon of live entertainment and the chance to speak directly to the prince while receiving a “bespoke” gift — and to taste the palace’s “secret” hot chocolate, which many claim the best in the world.

“The secret of the palace’s famous Christmas hot chocolate, palace chef Christian Garcia has revealed to PEOPLE “is certainly the quality of the whole fat milk provided by Roc Agel dairy cows, and to that I add a good dark chocolate mix.” Garcia uses a 70% chocolate blend from the Dominican Republic. As European-style demands, the mix should be spoon-stand-up-in-it thick, served in cups and thinned to individual taste with additional milk.

“It’s meant to taste like melted chocolate bars,” says one palace insider. “And I think he uses a dash of cinnamon too.”