With a smile so radiant that it lights up the room, Dwina Gibb looks adoringly at the baby in her arms. He is only a few weeks old yet this little boy, her first grandchild, is staring directly at her, his big blue eyes meeting her gaze with extraordinary tenderness.
“Seeing his sweet little face takes me right back to when my son Robin-John was a baby,” she says. “He looks just like him!”
It has been just over a year since Dwina’s beloved husband, Bee Gees legend Robin Gibb, died of cancer, but now their first grandchild has replaced her heartache with happiness.
In an exclusive interview with ! at their beautiful 12th century home in Oxfordshire, she looks on with pride as Maxwell-Robin John, poses for his first photo-shoot alongside his parents, composer Robin-John Gibb and his girlfriend, Megan Golub.
“I miss Robin every day,” says Dwina of the musical genius with whom she spent 32 years. “But our first grandchild has dispelled the grip of that aching emptiness. From the moment he arrived, he has brought joy into our hearts and filled our home with laughter again.”
Little Maxwell-Robin John was born at 5.50pm on July 16th at The Portland Hospital in London, five days earlier than his due date. That morning, Dwina reveals, she saw Robin in a dream.
“He was smiling at me and his presence was reassuring,” recalls the 60-year-old artist and author. “I woke up with a warm feeling of contentment. It felt as if Robin was telling me that everything would go well.”
She was right: baby Maxwell bounced effortlessly into the world, weighing in at 8lb 4oz.
“It was magical,” 30-year-old R-J says. “When I gazed down at him and saw his tiny face, it was like looking at a mini version of myself. I felt so proud and protective.”
“I was so happy that I burst into tears,” says Dwina. “I drove straight to the hospital and so Maxwell-Robin was just over an hour-old when I held him.”
However, shortly after Maxwell was born, they discovered that Robin has passed on a special legacy to his grandson.
“Just like my father and I, he has an extra bar of hearing,” says R-J. “It’s very rare and means his hearing is so super-sensitive that he can hear sounds from very far away.”
Devoted ‘Nana Dwina’ helped design Maxwell’s nursery, which features British made furniture by Bambizi, multi-coloured impressions taken of his tiny feet in an Iris panel by Wrightson and Platt, and a model of the Titanic that used to belong to granddad Robin.
“R-J grew up here and so will Maxwell,” she says. “It’s a beautiful, place for a child.”
To read the full interview buy the latest issue of ! Magazine, out now!