Hollywood’s golden couple now have a golden boy and girl, after the “Brangelina” twins were born in southern France.
The actress Angelina Jolie, 33, had them by Caesarean section at the Lenval hospital on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, with her partner, Brad Pitt, the father of the babies, believed to be at her side.
The girl and boy, named Vivienne Marcheline and Knox Leon, mean that the couple, dubbed “Brangelina” in the media, now have a total of six children.
Exclusive rights to the first photographs of the babies have been sold for $11 million (£6 million) to an unnamed US magazine, reported the newspaper Nice Matin, which broke the news of the birth yesterday. The couple intend to give the money to charity, it said.
After the couple’s first child, Shiloh, was born in Namibia in 2006, worldwide photo rights were sold to People magazine for between $5-7 million.
“The parents and the babies are in excellent health. Everything is fine,” Jolie’s doctor, Michel Sussman, said.
The couple, who first announced their relationship in 2005 after acting together in the film Mr and Mrs Smith, have adopted three children – Maddox, 6, Pax, 4, and Zahara, 3 – from Cambodia, Vietnam and Ethiopia, respectively.
Vivienne Marcheline weighed 2.27kg (5lb) and her brother an almost identical 2.28kg, according to Dr Sussman. He believed that the girl may be named after Jolie’s mother, the actress Marcheline Bertrand, who died in January 2007 after a 7½-year battle with cancer.
Marcheline Bertrand raised Jolie and her brother, James Haven, after divorcing their father, the actor Jon Voight, when Jolie was a toddler.
Jolie arrived at the Lenval hospital in late June by helicopter from the Provence villa where she and Pitt had been staying with their other children.
Dr Sussman said that the Caesarean delivery had been planned for a long time but the date was brought forward for medical reasons.
Jolie first confirmed that she was expecting twins during an interview at the Cannes film festival in May. As the world’s paparazzi descended on Nice yesterday, Dr Sussman said that Jolie was expected to remain in the hospital for a few more days.
Before the birth, the Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, told the Associated Press that the twins would always be considered honorary citizens of the city, regardless of whether they sought French citizenship.