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GrandDuchess 03-01-2006 04:14 PM

March 2006 Newsletter: Featuring Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
 
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THE ROYAL FORUMS' NEWSLETTER – MARCH 2006 *

Welcome to the March 2006 edition of The Royal Forums’ newsletter.

March 8 is a day designated by the United Nations as International Women's Day. It is a day when "women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development."
(Source: International Women's Day)

The first International Women's Day took place on 28 February 1909 across the United States. By 1911, Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland had also joined the celebration.

The goal of this day is to celebrate women and their accomplishments, to recognize how far they've come, acknowledge their successes and to inspire future generations of women.

On the subject of royalty, the notion of equality amongst the sexes seems contradictory. Royalty afterall, is an establishment rooted in patriarchal views. For centuries, male offspring have taken precedence
over their female siblings, whether it was titles or succession rights. In the most recent history, this is the case in various monarchies: Crown Prince Haakon trumpeting Princess Martha Louise in Norway, Prince Felipe leap frogging over both of his sisters, Infantas Elena and Cristina in Spain, and Crown Prince Phillippe over taking his sister Princess Astrid in Belgium.

The one exception has been Sweden -- although it wasn't always the case. Although the eldest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia was born in 1977, she was not named the heir apparent to the Swedish throne until 1980 after a change in the constitution, which stated that the eldest child would inherit the throne, regardless of sex. This constitutional change made Sweden the first country to adopt full and equal primogeniture, and made the King and Queen's eldest child the first ever female in the line to the Swedish succession. This same decision meant that her brother, Prince Carl Philip, who was born in 1979 and was the heir apparent for two years, was now second in line to the throne, following his sister.

Of her future role,
Crown Princess Victoria has said, "The prospect of becoming queen is something I can't get out of my head, even though it's in the future. I don't stop focusing on the job with which I've been entrusted." (Source: Hello)

By virtue of being born first, Crown Princess Victoria has made history and has paved the way for equality in one of the world's oldest institutions. Nearly all of the monarchies now favour the first born to succeed the throne, regardless of what the baby's chromosonal makeup is, XX or XY. In the future, we can look forward to Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, Queen Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands and Queen Ingrid Alexandra of Norway, and possibly Queen Leonor of Spain and Empress Aiko of Japan.

When Crown Princess Victoria succeeds to the Swedish throne, she will have powerful examples in Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands (who had her own mother, Queen Juliana) of how women can perform the role of monarch well and represent their respective countries in a manner that will make their fellow countrymen -- and countrywomen -- honoured to have such a leader.

This month, join us in celebrating and admiring not just how pretty women's shoes are, but how far they've walked in them.


//GrandDuchess & Alexandria

PS. If there is a royal person or residence, or a special piece of jewellery you would like to see covered in a future issue of our newsletter, please let us know here in the newsletter feedback thread. Our member comments and suggestions are always welcome.


FORUM NOTES
After more than a year, our Avatar Gallery has finally been updated, with more than 1,200 avatars in its collection. It is updated on a regular basis, ensuring that our avatar collection is fresh and up to date.

Please note some changes to our software after some updates that took place in mid-February. Of particular relevance is our
48 hour time frame for members to edit their posts. This also means that if sources for articles or images are not cited in posts and are not edited within 48 hours, then the posts will be deleted by The Moderating Team.

And if you are a new member, please introduce yourselves here. Our long-time members will surely give a warm welcome!

GrandDuchess 03-01-2006 04:30 PM

March 2006 Newsletter: Featuring Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
 
THE ROYAL CALENDAR

BIRTHDAYS
Timothy Laurence (1 March 1955)
Lady Rose Windsor (1 March 1980)
Infanta Maria Francisca (3 March 1997)
The Earl of Wessex (10 March 1964)
The Sovereign Prince of Monaco (14 March 1958)
Prince Andreas of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (21 March 1943)
Count Claus Casimir van Oranje-Nassau (21 March 2004)
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa (22 March 1956)
Princess Eugenie of York (23 March 1990)
Dom Alfonso, Prince de Beira and Infante of Portugal (25 March 1996)
Jeanne Françoise Valliccionni, wife of Prince Charles Napoléon (26 March 1958)
Crown Princess Margarita of Romania (26 March 1949)
Countess Luana van Oranje-Nassau (26 March 2005)

ANNIVERSARIES
Death of King Karl XIV Johan of Sweden (8 March 1844)
Wedding of Infanta Elena and Jaime de Marichalar, the Duke and Duchess of Lugo (18 March 1995)
Death of Princess Juliana of The Netherlands (20 March 2004)
Death of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (30 March 2002)

DAYS OF NOTE
The Crown Princess of Sweden’s Name Day (12 March)
State Visit from Brazil to the United Kingdom (7-9 March)
Visit by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh to Australia (12-16 March)
State Visit by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh to Singapore (16-18 March)
State Visit by King Albert and Queen Paola to Lithuania (20-22 March)
Visit by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall to Egypt (20-24 March)
Visit by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall to Saudia Arabia (24-26 March)
State Visit from Botswana to Sweden (21-24 March)
Monaco's Rose Ball (25 March 2006)
Visit by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall to India (26-31 March)
State Visit from Bulgaria to Denmark (29-31 March)
State Visit by Queen Beatrix, and the Prince and Princess of Orange to Argentina (30 March-1 April)

GrandDuchess 03-01-2006 04:42 PM

March 2006 Newsletter: Featuring Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
 
ROYAL QUICK HITS

Here are a few threads that the TRF Team feel are of note and worth to take a look at

Our Picture of the Month program continues this month with our February poll, after much success with our January poll. March 14 is the final date to vote, so make sure you vote today!

Monaco's glamorous Rose Ball takes place on March 25 this year. This is one of the premier charity events in Monaco, benefitting the Princess Grace Foundation. A Rose Ball Retrospective can be found in this thread.

Following several months of rest from knee surgery and a bout with pneumonia, Queen Beatrix is back in action with a state visit to her daughter-in-law Crown Princess Maxima's homeland, Argentina from 30 March to 1 April. Crown Princess Maxima and her husband, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander will accompany the Queen on this trip, where coverage can be found in this thread.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have a busy month ahead of them, with visits planned to Egypt, Saudia Arabia and India. The couple's trip abroad can be chronicled in their sub-forum.

No doubt, as various royal ladies represent their countries abroad and at home, they receive beautiful bouquets, which can be shared in this thread.

The month of March marks the anniversary of the death of two grand queens: Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother on 30 March 2002 and Queen Juliana of the Netherlands who died on 20 March 2004.

GrandDuchess 03-02-2006 12:22 PM

March 2006 Newsletter: Featuring Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
 
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Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg

On March 22 in 1956, a baby girl was born in the city of Havana, Cuba to her parents, José Antonio Mestre and Maria Teresa Batista-Falla de Mestre. The little girl was named after her mother, Maria Teresa, and little did they know that the life of their precious child would forever be written into the history books of the world.

At the age of only three, in the beginning of Fidel Castro’s rule, Maria Teresa’s parents decided that they together with their four children (two brothers, Antonio and Luis, and two sisters, Maria Teresa and Catalina) would leave Cuba and seek another life in a country nearby, and so they settled in New York in the USA in 1959.

In New York, Maria Teresa attending Marymount School during the first years, and from 1961 she attended the Lycée Français de New York.

The family remained in New York until 1965 when they briefly lived in Spain, before taking up permanent residence in Geneva, Switzerland. In her new home country, Maria Teresa was educated at the Insitut Marie-José in Gstaad, and then at the boarding school Marie-Thérèse in Geneva, which was also the school were she graduated – passing the French General Certificate of Education (baccalaureat) in June 1975.

After graduation, Maria Teresa went on to studies in the area of political sciences at the University of Geneva. On the side of her studies, this young woman was growingly becoming aware of the situation in her native country Cuba, and took an interest in the social and human problems, following in the tradition her grandparents had set as active philanthropists and cultural benefactors. Maria Teresa also worked with residents at and old people’s home in Geneva, as well as teaching in a local classroom.

During her studies at the University of Geneva, the young Maria Teresa met Prince Henri of Luxembourg, with whom she studied similar subjects and participated in the same study groups with for four years. In 1981, the year after her graduation, the couple got married in Luxembourg were they settled and started a family together. Today they have five children.

Maria Teresa loves music, literature and takes an interest in painting. In her youth she took ballet classes and singing courses, today she practices ice-skating and water sports.

She speaks six languages; her mother tongue Spanish, French (studied in French in school), English, German, Italian and Luxembourgish (Lëtzebuergesch).


The young girl Maria Teresa Mestre together with her family - parents, two brothers and one sister (thanks to drimal for posting these pictures).

GrandDuchess 03-02-2006 01:41 PM

March 2006 Newsletter: Featuring Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
 
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Marriage and Family

The year after Prince Henri and Maria Teresa Mestre graduated from the University of Geneva, the couple got married on 14 February 1981.

In the presence of gathered royals and other dignitaries, including the Belgian Royal Family, Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik of Denmark King Olav of Norway, The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco, Prince Hans-Adam and Princess Marie of Liechtenstein and Princess Margriet and Pieter van Vollenhoven of The Netherlands, a beautiful Maria Teresa Mestre walked down the aisle wearing a while silk dress designed by Pierre Balmain, matched with a tulle veil and the Congo Diamond Tiara (given to her by mother-in-law Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte). When she walked down the aisle and out of the church she was no longer a Miss, but instead titled with the prefix Her Royal Highness.

Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa have five children, four sons and one daughter:

* Prince Guillaume, born on November 11, 1981.
* Prince Félix, born June 3, 1984.
* Prince Louis, born August 3, 1986.
* Princess Alexandra, born February 16, 1991.
* Prince Sébastien, born April 16, 1992.

This year, on 14 February 2006, the 25th wedding anniversary of the Grand Ducal Couple was passed. This special occasion is said to be marked by official celebrations later this summer.

Later this month (March 2006) the first grandchild of the Grand Ducal Couple will be born as their third son, Prince Louis, and his girlfriend, Tessy Anthony, will become parents.

GrandDuchess 03-02-2006 01:55 PM

March 2006 Newsletter: Featuring Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
 
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The new Grand Duchess of Luxembourg

At the end of 1999, the Hereditary Grand Duke Henri’s father, the then reigning Grand Duke Jean, announced his intentions to abdicate from the throne in favour of his heir. On 7 October 2000, the official ceremonies validating and celebrating the past and present Grand Dukes took place, and 19 years after their marriage - Henri and Maria Teresa moved on to become the new Grand Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg, reigning consort and wife.

Pictures one to five are from the day of Grand Duke Henri's accession to the throne of Luxembourg, 7 October 2000, and pictures six to ten are from April 2001 when the Grand Ducal Couple invited royals and dignitaries to celebrate the historic event.

GrandDuchess 03-02-2006 02:02 PM

March 2006 Newsletter: Featuring Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
 
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Patronages & Commitments

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa works actively for causes involving children, the social integration of persons with physical, mental or social handicaps, and with gender issues.

She is an active Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO since the appointment in 1997. The Grand Duchess finds her special interests in the areas of micro credit grants, education for girls and women, prostitution and street children, with which she has worked actively over the years. The Grand Duchess has carried out many visits with UNESCO to places in Nepal, Mali, Bangladesh, Thailand and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Maria Teresa is also an active member of the Council of Trustees of The Mentor Foundation, working with issues around the prevention of substance abuse among children and youth.

The list – Grand Duchess Maria Teresa’s commitments:

President of The Prince Henri-Princess Maria Teresa Foundation
UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador
Member of the International Paralympic Committee’s Honorary Board
Honorary President of the AIDS Research Foundation
Member of the Council of Trustees of The Mentor Foundation

Patronages:

The Luxembourg League of Blind People
The National Nurses' Association of Luxembourg
The Alzheimer Association of Luxembourg
SOS Children’s Villages Luxembourg
The European Theatre and Music Festival

Academic honours:

Docteur Honoris Causa, the Seton Hall University

1-5: on a visit to Senegal in April 2000 (here seen at a school, hospital, shantytown, orphanage and in the last picture with her godchild, also named Maria Teresa, which she became a sponsor too many years ago), 6: at the awarding of the Fellini Silver Medal at UNESCO in Paris in June 2003, 7: in Bangladesh in 2003, 8: as Honorary President of an event commemorating the struggle of the African continent against HIV/AIDS at UNESCO in Paris in November 2004, 9: in October 2005, the Grand Duchess was chosen as the second member of the International Paralympic Committee’s Honorary Board

GrandDuchess 03-02-2006 02:29 PM

March 2006 Newsletter: Featuring Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
 
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Family Life

1: the Grand Ducal Family in an audience with His Holiness Pope John Paul II during their visit to Rome and Italy in March 2003, 2: leaving the church on the National Day in 2003, 3: on a family holiday at their summer retreat La Tour Sarazine in France in August 2003, 4-7 the family gathered on Grand Duke Henri’s birthday in April 2004, 8: the family at the Olympic Summer Games in Athens in August 2004, 9: the family in 2001, 10: the family in 2005

GrandDuchess 03-02-2006 02:41 PM

March 2006 Newsletter: Featuring Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
 
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The Grand Ducal Couple at their estate Colmar-Berg in June 2002

GrandDuchess 03-02-2006 02:46 PM

March 2006 Newsletter: Featuring Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
 
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The Grand Ducal Couple of Luxembourg

1: at the reception for the wedding between Prince Alois of Liechtenstein and Sophie, Duchess in Bavaria, in July 1993, 2: at Infanta Cristina of Spain’s wedding in 1997, 3: at a church service in Westminster Abbey marking Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh’s golden wedding anniversary in November 1997, 4: hosting a reception in 1998, welcoming the then being Secretary General of NATO, Dr Javier Solana, 5: at the wedding of the Duke of Brabant and Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz in December 1999, 6: with the President of France and Mrs Chirac at the Elysee Palace in Paris in October 2000, 7: Christmas 2000, 8: at the celebrations of the Silver Wedding of the King and Queen of Sweden in June 2001, 9: at the wedding of Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit Tjessem-Höiby in August 2001, 10: at the Jewish Museum in Prague 2002

GrandDuchess 03-02-2006 03:02 PM

March 2006 Newsletter: Featuring Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
 
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The Grand Ducal Couple of Luxembourg

1: at the wedding of Prince Laurent of Belgium and Claire Coombs on 12 April 2003, 2: on a State Visit to Denmark in October 2003, 3: at the installation of Pope Benedict XVI in the Vatican in April 2004, 4: at the wedding of Crown Prince Fredrik of Denmark and Mary Donaldson on 14 May 2004, 5: at the wedding of the Prince of Asturias and Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano on 22 May 2004, 6: at the christening of Princess Catharina Amalia of The Netherlands in June 2004, 7: showing their support for the country at the Olympic Summer Games in Athens in August 2004, at a Luxembourg-Portugal football game in October 2004

GrandDuchess 03-02-2006 03:26 PM

March 2006 Newsletter: Featuring Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
 
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The Grand Ducal Couple of Luxembourg

1: in Wiltz north of Luxembourg on the National Day in 2004, 2: at the funeral of the Grand Duke’s mother, Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte, in January 2005, 3: at the French Academy in Paris, France in February 2005, 4: at the funeral of Prince Rainier of Monaco in April 2005, 5: at Grand Duke Henri’s 50th birthday in April 2005, 6: at the National Day in June 2005, 7: at the Electoral Palace in Trier, Germany, during a visit in June 2005, 8: at a State Visit to Slovakia in September 2005, accompanied by the Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume

GrandDuchess 03-02-2006 03:40 PM

March 2006 Newsletter: Featuring Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
 
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The Grand Ducal Couple of Luxembourg

GrandDuchess 03-02-2006 03:43 PM

March 2006 Newsletter: Featuring Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
 
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Various Official Work as Grand Duchess of Luxembourg

1: office work is a big part of the job,
2: meeting royal colleagues is another part of the job, here at Royal Ascot with the Countess of Wessex for Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee in June 2002,
3: dinners and banquets of different sizes and meaning is also a big part of the package, here with Crown Prince Fredrik of Denmark and the then being Mary Donaldson at the State Dinner marking the Grand Ducal Couple’s State Visit to Denmark in October 2002,
4: a challenging balance act during a visit to Nicaragua in February 2003,
5: meeting the Pope is a very special occasion, especially for a catholic royal such as the Grand Duchess herself,
6: the royal wardrobe gets a lot of attention during big events, finding the right dresses and accessories for the big occasions is essential for the royal ladies,
7: being in touch with the people, a good communicator and open to curious people is an important quality for any royal,
8: despite what mood or general feeling, a royal always has to be ready to stand before the media,
9: finding happiness and laughter in the everyday life must be a key to appreciating the busy life as a royal

GrandDuchess 03-02-2006 04:04 PM

March 2006 Newsletter: Featuring Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
 
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Maria Teresa - The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg

GrandDuchess 03-05-2006 07:52 AM

March 2006 Newsletter: Featuring Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
 
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Happy 50th Birthday Your Royal Highness!

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Happy 25th Wedding Anniversary Your Royal Highnesses!


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