Grand Duke and Duchess Reach Pearl Anniversary

  February 14, 2011 at 11:12 pm by

From the TRF Avatar Gallery

Today, February 14th, marks the thirtieth wedding anniversary of the Grand Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg.

The groom, then Hereditary Grand Duke Henri, son of Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte, was 25; while his bride, Cuban-born Maria Teresa Mestre y Batista, daughter of José Antonio Mestre y Alvarez and María Teresa Batista y Falla, was 24. The couple had met while studying political science at the University of Geneva, from which the both graduated in 1980.

A civil wedding ceremony, as required in most European countries, took place at the Grand Ducal Palace in Luxembourg City prior to the religious ceremony, held at the Notre Dame Cathedral in the grand duchy’s capital.

View the image at Cour Grand-Ducale

The religious wedding on February 14th drew representatives from all of Europe’s reigning houses, to several of which the groom is a relation. A chilly winter’s day, the dress code called for long dresses, hats and fur coats.

Ms Mestre was escorted down the aisle of the Cathedral by her father, and was supported by her sister, Catalina, as bridesmaid. She wore a white silk gown with standing pleat tucks throughout the course of the design, with fur trim around the hems; designed by Pierre Balmain, a Parisian fashion designer who was famous for his designs on Broadway and in film. The bride also was leant the Congo Diamond Tiara of her future mother-in-law, Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte. The tiara was originally a wedding gift to the-then Princess of Belgium from the then-Belgian African colony of Congo, which she wore to her own wedding. The tiara was also worn by Hereditary Grand Duke Henri’s two sisters, Marie-Astrid and Margaretha, at their subsequent weddings in 1982.

The bride’s entrance into the cathedral was described by the Hereditary Grand Duke as “one of my best memories.” Following the traditional Catholic ceremony, the newly married couple exited the cathedral under a military guard, and headed to the Grand Ducal Palace for a balcony appearance. They were joined by the groom’s parents and siblings for a short time before heading inside for their reception.

View the image at Cour Grand-Ducale

Over the course of their thirty-year marriage, the now-Grand Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg welcomed five children – four sons (Guillaume, Félix, Louis and Sébastien) and one daughter (Alexandra). They also have two grandsons, Gabriel and Noah, by their third son, Louis.

A thread for the couple’s wedding can be found here; while a thread celebrating their anniversary can be found here.

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