Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg received Professor Dolores Angela Castelli-Dransart and Dr François d’Onghia, who both work to support suicide prevention. The 10th of October is the National Day of Suicide Prevention, which is organised by Prévention-Suicide. This year’s theme is the impact of suicide and how it can cause psychological vulnerabilities in family members and friends.
Professor Dolores Angela Castelli-Dransart works at the Haute école de travail social Fribourg and focusses on motives behind suicide and on how to recognise suicidal behaviour in time. Dr François d’Onghia is the head of the Suicide Prevention Department and the coordinator of the national suicide prevention plan since 2012.
Maria Teresa, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, was born on 22 March 1956 as María Teresa Mestre y Batista in Cuba. She left Cuba in 1959 and settled in New York City. She later lived in Spain and Switzerland, where she met her future husband. She graduated in 1980 from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva with a degree in political sciences. She married the then Prince Henri, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg in a civil ceremony on 4 February 1981 and a religious ceremony on 14 February 1981. The couple had five children, Guillaume (born 1981), Félix (born 1984), Louis (born 1986), Alexandra (born 1991) and Sébastien (born 1992). They also have four grandchildren, Gabriel (born 2006), Noah (born 2007), Amalia (born 2014) and Liam (born 2016).
From her marriage until her husband’s accession on 7 October 2000 she was styled Her Royal Highness The Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg. Since then, she has been known as Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.
Maria Teresa was appointed UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children in 2007, for which she has visited Brazil, China and Burundi. She is also a member of the Honorary Board of the International Paralympic Committee. In 2016, she accepted an invitation to join the international Council of Patrons of the Asian University for Women.