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The Grand-Ducal Family: Give Honour Where Honour is Due


Duke is exceptionally changing its structure, to present the Grand-Ducal couple and Prince Guillaume.




The Grand-Ducal Couple

Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg and Grand-Duchess Maria Teresa met at university in Switzerland, where they both studied Political Science. Born in Cuba to a family of Spanish origin, Maria Teresa de Mestre emigrated with her family to New York at three years of age. She later lived in Spain, and then Geneva. She is a philanthropist who devotes a great deal of energy to the actions of her Foundation, always with great discretion. Her charitable work takes her all over the world, hand in hand with UNICEF, UNESCO, the Red Cross and the Anti-Cancer Foundation, among others. She became engaged to the Grand Duke three weeks after they graduated from university, and they were married on 14 February 1981, St Valentine’s Day. Prince Guillaume was born on 11 November of the same year. He has three brothers – Félix, Louis and Sébastien ‑ and one sister, Alexandra.



The Hereditary Grand Duke

Prince Guillaume has had the “classical” education of the future sovereign, studying politics, undergoing military training at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, and gaining business experience, in particular in Finance and Industry. Officially appointed the Hereditary Grand Duke in December 2000, a few weeks after his father came to power, he has travelled the world as Honorary President of the Board of Economic Development, since rechristened “Luxembourg for Business”. A lover of sport and music, he embodies the discreet charm of a country that is open to the world and capable of continually reinventing itself to stay competitive.

The Image of Luxembourg: The Dilemma

Prince Guillaume at present embodies his country’s historical way of communicating, with the emphasis on discretion. He is not often seen in the media, and his Google listing is very sparse. Undoubtedly there is something of the “Monaco” syndrome in this attitude, the fear of seeing the private lives of the Grand-Ducal family become a subject for gossip in the less respectable media. At the same time, discussions continue over the best way to promote the Luxembourg “brand” worldwide, in order to attract business and investment. Many people ask whether the Grand-Ducal family’s image could help increase the country’s influence. The Hereditary Grand Duke is a major asset for the country, as he is capable of adding a touch of “glamour” to the Grand Duchy’s image, to help it reach its full potential at at time when communication and transparency are the key words.


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