On 14 February 1981, the religious wedding ceremony for then Henri, the Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg to Cuban-born María Teresa Mestre y Batista in Notre Dame Cathedral took place.
The pair, who had married in a civil ceremony earlier in the day in the Grand Ducal Palace, did not know they had chosen to marry on Valentine’s Day, as, at the time, it was not a holiday widely celebrated in Luxembourg.Embed from Getty Images
For the ceremony, Maria Teresa chose a bespoke gown by the French house Balmain. The white silk, intricately patterned dress featured a fitted bodice and bell skirt. Her sleeves had white fur around the wrists – matching the white fur around her neck and the bottom of the skirt.
As with many royal wedding dresses, the gown featured a train; Maria Teresa’s had a portion beginning from her shoulders in a cape-like fashion. Its length of two metres was equal with the lace veil.
The future Grand Duchess also wore the Congo Diamond Tiara – the same tiara that Henri’s mother wore when she married in 1953. The tiara had been a gift to the Belgian-born Princess Joséphine-Charlotte from the Belgian Congo, which was a colony of Belgium at the time.Embed from Getty Images
The train of her gown was later used to make a new dress for the Mother Mary and the Baby Jesus statue in the Notre Dame Cathedral in Luxembourg City ahead of the wedding of her eldest son, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume to Belgian Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy in 2012.
Over 700 people – including royals from across the globe – attended the ceremony and the following reception in the Grand Ducal Palace.Embed from Getty Images
The pair made a balcony appearance to wave to those who had gathered below, and the new Hereditary Grand Duchess blew kisses to the crowd.
Henri and Maria Teresa went on to have five children (Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, Prince Félix, Prince Louis, Princess Alexandra, and Prince Sébastien) and four grandchildren (Princes Gabriel and Noah from Prince Louis’ union with Princess Tessy née Antony and Princess Amalia and Prince Liam from Prince Félix’s marriage to Princess Claire née Lademacher).
They became the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg upon Henri’s father, Grand Duke Jean’s abdication in 2000.