Princess Tessy of Luxembourg has received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Paris College of Art in recognition of her hard work in the charitable sector and promotion of education worldwide.
She received the honour on Thursday, 16 May in Paris and shared her speech and images from the event exclusively with Royal Central. The full video can be seen in this article.
She began by congratulating the graduates and saying, “Dear graduates, You are future leaders who have travelled from all over the world to come and study here in Paris, one of the most beautiful capitals of Europe.
“We are here to celebrate you! Your work! Your achievements! Your ambitions! Your future! Congratulations to all!”
The Princess continued, “There is the fear of the unknown. Yet, be assured that there is always someone you can count on, yourself. In my personal history, when things went really wrong, I realised that being true to myself helped me overcome almost everything. In the end, you are your best friend.”
Her speech was broken into three parts: short examples of her life, the importance of being different, and a personal message to the graduates.
Her company Finding Butterflies, global partnership with the Montessori St Nicholas group in the UK, patronages, and of course, her NGO, Professors Without Borders were all highlighted and used as examples for why the school wanted to bestow this honour on her.
Tessy also spoke of Professors Without Borders in her remarks, explaining why she helped set it up and the aim behind it.
“It is my answer to the issue of brain drain from developing countries by providing quality education at home instead of abroad. Also, often, students cannot access that quality of education. So, we bring it to them customised to the geo-socio-political issues of the regions we work in.
“Inside my heart, I felt the wish to provide every student with quality education and that no student should be deprived of it. Doing this, I knew it would not always be easy. After work, after taking care of my kids and my household, I sat down and worked on Professors Without Borders.
“I felt the urge that the world needs it. I felt the injustice in the educational system and knew that these incredible students also deserve the best. So, I took my courage and did it. I was true to myself.”
After receiving this honorary degree, the Princess can be titled as ‘Dr h.c.’ with the ‘h.c.’ standing for honoris causa (Latin for ‘the sake of honour). Honorary doctoral degrees use the abbreviation ‘h.c.’
The royal is humbled by the honour and to be recognised for her hard work and merits after her tireless work over the years.