For the first time since Monaco was founded in the 13th century, its royal family gave birth to twins on Wednesday, and dozens of cannons were fired to celebrate.

Princess Charlene had a girl first and a boy second, but the boy will be the principality's future ruler, reflecting the male priority of Monaco's laws of succession.

The royal twins Gabriella Therese Marie and Jacques Honore Rainier - born to Charlene, 36, and Prince Albert II, 56 - are heirs to the centuries-old Grimaldi dynasty that rules the wealthy principality.

Albert, son of the late American actress Princess Grace, had some subjects worried by his long bachelorhood and his lack of an heir since his two previous children were born out of wedlock and are not eligible for the throne. Then the prince married Charlene Wittstock, a South Africa-raised former Olympic swimmer, in 2011. - AP