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Felix and Claire of Luxembourg: Europe’s other young royal couple

On June 15th, Princess Amalia Gabriela Maria Theresa of Nassau was born to Prince Felix and Princess Claire of Luxembourg. She is third in line to the throne of Luxembourg.

large_2852198133The little princess’s birth came nine months after her parents’s wedding at a historic French basilica in the south of France. While most people know of Prince William and Kate’s wedding as the 21st century royal love story, Felix and Claire have a love story all of their own.

Prince Felix is second in line to the throne of Luxembourg, the last surviving grand duchy in the world. Its monarch, Grand Duke Henri, is Felix’s father. Luxembourg is a tiny territory with a population of less than 500,000 people, yet its per capita GDP is the second highest in the world, coming only after Qatar.

Prince Felix met Claire Lademacher in 2001, when he was 17 and Claire was 16. They were both studying at the elite boarding school Beau Soleil in Villars-sur-Ollon in Switzerland. Fortunately for the couple, they were accepted to the same university, the Pontifical University Regina Apostolorum in Rome, where they studied bioethics together.

Claire Lademacher is privileged in her own right, a German heiress born to Hartmut Lademacher, who amassed a personal fortune of 600 million Euros by investing in the software industry and founding his own telecommunications company. Mr Lademacher owns castles in Croatia and St-Tropez.

As Claire grew into adulthood, she became notable not only for her beauty, but also her brains. After graduating with an undergraduate degree in bioethics and working in publishing in New York and Munich, Claire returned to school to pursue an academic career in bioethics. She obtained a Master’s degree and is now a PhD candidate at Regina Apostolorum, preparing a dissertation on the bioethical evaluation of consent for organ donation.

Prince Felix now works as an independent consultant for a public relations company based in Switzerland; he also has been studying oenology in the vineyards of southern France. He and Princess Claire now make their home at the Chateau Les Crostes in the South of France, which is owned by Claire’s family.

Though Prince Felix’s older brother Guillame is married, he and his wife as yet have no children.  Grand Duke Henri’s third son renounced his and his descendants’ place in the succession upon his morganatic marriage in 2006, so Princess Amalia is the first ‘third generation’ heir to the throne. If her family history is any indication, little Amalia will grow up with two parents who have supported each other in pursuing their ambitions and dreams, and who will support her as she grows old enough to do the same.

photo credit: James.Stringer via photopin cc

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