Due to the coronavirus, many events—big and small—have been sacrificed. So too fell Princess Charlène's birthday, as the Monaco Royal turned 43 on Monday. But that didn't appear to bother her, as her husband, Prince Albert II, told People magazine: "She doesn't like big celebrations." Charlène's birthday was therefore "going to be pretty much a family affair," he explained shortly before his wife's big day.

Princess Charlène with her family on Jan. 26, the day after her birthday.

Following COVID-19 protocols is important to the couple, which is why they only celebrated in a small group for the 6th birthdays of twins Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella in December. Albert said: "We can't have big gatherings because we're restricted even in private situations. We can't be more than six."

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Princess Charlène and Prince Albert: COVID brings changes

The coronavirus changed a lot in the Princely House of Monaco. On the one hand, large gatherings are no longer allowed. On the other hand, old habits are broken. The twins, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, even wore pyjamas on their birthdays instead of wearing formal attire. Here's the picture Princess Charlène posted of her children on Instagram last month.

But even more is unusual, because Prince Albert—a self-confessed "last-minute" shopper—had already bought a 43rd birthday gift long before Charlène's birthday. He told People: "I already have Charlene's gift." When asked to reveal the surprise gift, he said, "I cannot divulge that at this time."

The family birthday for Charlène, with a prearranged gift from her husband, comes after the Royal couple spoke out in support of their marriage—which has been dogged by rumours of infidelity and a "secret" love child.

Stan Lee

Pixar's 'The Incredibles' is inspired by these characters created by Stan Lee: