Prince Albert says he’s keeping his birthday festivities very low key this year, although he does have an appointment that day to be kidnapped.
To celebrate turning 65 years old, the monarch is planning to spend a quiet day with his wife, Princess Charlene, and their two children, 8-year-old twins Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella. “It’s going to be very subdued. We’ll have a little family lunch on Tuesday. Afterward, when the children return from school, I’m going to be kidnapped,” the royal told People. “Really. I’ve been told to be available to be kidnapped. At 5:30.” He added, “It’s a secret. The kids want to kidnap me. They want to take me to a play at a theatre, but actually, I’ve only been warned I’m going to be kidnapped.” And the festivities won’t stop there. The next day, the whole family will attend a St. Patrick’s Day concert held at the Princess Grace Irish Library in Monaco. Prince Albert will then travel to Ireland where they are doing a formal dedication of “a new statue of my mother in County Mayo.”
While Albert recognizes that he’s reached another milestone age, he said he’s not taking it too seriously. “It’s only really important in that I see friends, who are the same age, retiring now. I can’t do that,” he told the outlet with a laugh. “I mean, 65 is important, but it isn’t. I prefer decimals, so 60 was important, 70 will be important. And hopefully, I’ll reach 80 and 90 and beyond. Sixty-five has some resonance, I suppose, but for me, it’s just another birthday. It’s not a milestone. I’ve said before that 60 was the new 40.” He noted with another laugh, “And so it continues incrementally—65 is the new 45!” The prince also revealed that he doesn’t “want too many gifts” this year as “People think this palace is big, but our storage is full. I’m serious…I don’t know where to put things anymore.”
The royal has been on the throne for 18 years now and when asked about his proudest achievement during that time, he replied, “You mean aside from my wife and my children? Because they are.” Describing his twins, the royal said, his daughter still “has that little mischievous twinkle in her eye. She has her own little personality and sometimes does things that are, you know — she’ll try to use her brother and get him into trouble…But Jacques stands up to her now, and when he’s had enough, says ‘No!’ So he’s not squashed by her strong personality.” As the children get older, Prince Albert and Princess Charlene have begun including them in more of their public events and royal duties. But the monarch shared that Gabriella can sometimes feel a little uncomfortable around too many people. “I see it. Between them now, Jacques talks more, engages more, in public,” he said, adding, “The fact they have normal school activities again, school sports, aren’t in the little palace school room and are interacting with numbers of other kids has given them back a lot of confidence. Character develops in different situations, and different experiences bring out different qualities in them.”
While both his children will have many responsibilities as they grow older, Prince Albert says that the most important duty he’s passing down to them is their responsibility towards leaving the planet a better place. “It’s that relationship with nature, I believe, which is the first important step — and they’ve gotten that because they’ve spent a lot of time at the Roc Agel property, and then we’ve been out on different boat trips so they understand the natural world, both terrestrial and marine life,” he explained. “They have that connection. So then you try and show them there are problems. And that’s why I’ve taken them on different events like World Cleanup Day, and they also learn that at school. It’s by little steps, that you transmit the ideas of not only of caring for the environment but making certain you don’t have too much impact on it.”
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