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Royal Wedding Dresses: Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg



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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.



About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites.