With more twins being born than ever, it should be no surprise that a handful have royal blood. In Europe, four monarchical families currently have a set of twins—but only one pair includes a future sovereign. Here are the four sets of royal European twins and their family relationships.
1. Jacques and Gabriella of Monaco
Hereditary Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella of Monaco were born on December 10, 2014, at the Princess Grace Hospital Monaco (which was named for their late grandmother, the former Hollywood movie star Grace Kelly). Jacques is first in line for the throne even though he was born two minutes after his sister because in Monaco, men take precedence over women in the line of succession, no matter their birth order. The 9-year-old twins’ parents are the tiny country’s ruler, Prince Albert II, and his wife of 12 years, Princess Charlene, a former Olympic swimmer from South Africa.
Jacques and Gabriella are in extremely rare company. The only other twin to rule in Europe was James II of Scotland, born on October 16, 1430. James II was the younger of twin boys born to James I and his queen, Joan Beaufort, but his older brother, Alexander, the Duke of Rothesay, died before his first birthday. After James I was assassinated in 1437, his only surviving son succeeded him as James II at age 6.
Before Jacques and Gabriella were even born, Monaco clarified how twin heirs apparent would affect the line of succession and royal protocol. Jacques received the title Marquis of Baux and Gabriella became the Countess of Carladès. The twins also each received their own 21-cannon salute.
2. Vincent and Josephine of Denmark
Twins are also currently in the direct line of succession in Denmark. Prince Vincent was born on January 8, 2011, arriving 26 minutes before his sister, Princess Josephine. They are the two youngest children of Denmark’s heir to the throne, Crown Prince Frederik, and his wife, Crown Princess Mary, and are the grandchildren of Queen Margrethe II. Vincent and Josephine have two older siblings, Prince Christian, 18, and Isabella, 16.
3. Nicolas and Aymeric of Belgium
The only same-sex twins on the list, Prince Nicolas and Prince Aymeric of Belgium, were born in 2005 to Prince Laurent and his wife, Princess Claire. Laurent is the younger brother of Belgium’s King Philippe. Nicolas and Aymeric are currently 15th and 16th in line for the throne. The twins and their older sister, Princess Louise, have been raised away from the royal spotlight.
4. Jean and Margaretha of Luxembourg
Twins Prince Jean and Princess Margaretha, born on May 15, 1957, are the younger brother and sister of the reigning Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg. Their parents were Grand Duke Jean and Princess Josephine-Charlotte of Belgium. Grand Duke Jean abdicated in 2000.
In 1982, Margaretha married Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein, the younger brother of the reigning Prince of Liechtenstein, Hans Adam II. The couple has four children. Her twin brother, Jean, renounced his succession rights to the throne in 1986. Jean married Helene Suzanna Vestur the following year; the two share four children. Jean divorced Helene in 2004 and married Diana de Guerre in 2009.