Wedding of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy
Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy were married in a civil ceremony on 19 October 2012, and a religious ceremony on 20 October 2012.
On 19 October, the festivities started with a reception for the Luxembourg young people: representatives of several youth associations, people born or getting married on the same day as the couple, people who were in the same class as Guillaume,… were invited. The reception was held at the Grand Théâtre in Luxembourg, at 11 am.
The Hereditary Grand Duke made a speech in Luxembourgish at the event, in which he said he was very happy to be getting married in a few hours, and he thanked everyone who would be participating in the celebrations.
Around 4 pm that day, the couple walked from the Grand Ducal Palace to the City Hall, where the civil ceremony was performed by mayor Xavier Bettel of Luxembourg in Luxembourgish and French. The civil ceremony was intimate, only attended by members of the Luxembourg royal family and the de Lannoy family.
They walked in cortège back to the Grand Ducal Palace, and took ample time to talk to the many people who lined the streets to cheer them on.
Stéphanie, now Princess of Luxembourg, was dressed in a stylish Chanel suit. She waved, shook hands, kissed the children and accepted the small gifts and drawings like a professional. The Luxembourg royal ladies were all dressed in shades of gold.
The evening of 19 October was reserved for the gala dinner in honour of the bride and groom. The dinner was held at the palace in Luxembourg City, the Chamber of Deputies building next door and the Cerle Cité in Place d’Armes. It was attended by many royals from around the world. A glittering tiara event, in which Princess Stéphanie wore the larger floral tiara from the Luxembourg vaults.
Other remarkable tiaras were the Aquamarine Circlet tiara worn by Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg, aunt of the groom, which belonged once to Spanish Queen Victoria Eugenia, great-grandmother of Sibilla. And there was the tiara of Swedish Crown Princess Victoria, which hasn’t been identified yet. Surprise guest was Queen Fabiola of the Belgians, who had previously been thought to remain in Belgium, as her health hasn’t been very good lately. But she attended, in wheelchair, nonetheless.
The Grand Duke gave a moving speech at the gala dinner.
When we see you, there is absolutely no doubt that you are made for each other, ready to share joyful moments, but also the downside of life with each other, and to be there in the service of your family as well as in the service of the country, over which you will one day prevail.
20 October 2012 was the day of the lavish religious ceremony at the Luxembourg cathedral. All were, of course, waiting for the dress and the tiara that Stéphanie had chosen. And what a lovely surprise it was! The dress was designed by Elie Saab. It took 3,200 hours of embroidery, and 700 hours of sewing. The dress contained some 40 metres of Calais lace, 30 metres of satin organza and 70 metres of tulle. It has a 2.5 metre train. A second train covers the first and measures 4.5 metres. The dress is lined in silk-crèpe. 15 metres of silk tulle were used for the veil which measures 5 metres. The dress contained some 50,000 pearls and 10,000 metres of silver thread.
The tiara was the Lannoy family tiara, a dainty piece with a history going back to the late 1800s. The tiara was made by Altenloh in Brussels. Ernest Altenloh, son of a silversmith, created the company in 1878. The tiara is composed of 270 old-cut brilliants set in platinum, with a diamond in an inverted pear shape superimposed in the centre. A dozen larger brilliants stand out owing to their closed sets, appearing like buttons along the patterns of leafed scrolls. The contours of the tiara, traced by the arrangements of the stones, are underlined by a thin line of platinum gilded pearls. This is the tiara that was also worn by Stéphanie’s sisters and sisters-in-law at their weddings.
The wedding bouquet of trailing white flowers was created by Maison Lachaume, Parisian Master florists since 1845. The bouquet will be placed at the feet of the statue of the Virgin Mary, Consoler of the Afflicted. This statue was adorned with the wedding veil of Countess Alix de Lannoy, the mother of the bride, another touch to show that she is remembered on this happy day. Her make-up was taken care of by Bouzouk, and her hair had been styled into a chignon by famous Parisian hairdresser Tom Marcineau of the Maison Carita.
The bridesmaids, Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg and Miss Antonia Hamilton were dressed by Belgian designer Edouard Vermeulen of Natan. The pages and flower girls, all nephews and nieces of the couple, were outfitted in blue and orange, the colours of the House of Nassau.
Stéphanie was taken into the Cathedral by her eldest brother, Jehan de Lannoy, who took the place of her father, who is bound ot a wheelchair. However, when the bride had arrived at the altar, the Count was standing there, supported by one of his sons, to greet his daughter. He spoke a few words to her, Guillaume joined them, and after some smiles and a kiss, Guillaume took the arm of his bride and guided her back to the altar.
The wedding ceremony started at 11 am, the Archbishop greeted the guests in Luxembourgish, French and English, and then asked for a minute silence in memory of the deceased mother of the bride, Countess Alix de la Faille de Leverghem, who passed away only last August. After that, the Mass took its usual course, and by 11.45 the couple exchanged the rings and their vows, after which they read a prayer they had written themselves, asking God for a happy marriage. During the first half of the ceremony, Stéphanie seemed rather tense, but once the rings were exchanged, her face broke into the smile we know so well by now. The intercessions were read in several languages, among which English, Portuguese and Dutch.
The Nuncio read a papal message from Benedict XVI for the couple, and then blessed the couple in the name of the Pope. After the final blessings and the singing of the National Anthem, the registry was signed by the married couple and their witnesses. Guillaume’s witnesses were Prince Félix, his brother, and Lawrence Frankopan, a very good friend. Stéphanie’s witnesses were Baroness Blanche von und zu Bodman, née Princess de Mérode, and Princess Louise of Stolberg-Stolberg, two very close friends.
As the couple left the Cathedral and went to the Grand Ducal Palace, 101 cannon volleys were launched.
After the Church ceremony, the couple made a balcony appearance and treated the cheering crowds to not just one but three kisses.
The festivities in the city continue all day, with street entertainment, fireworks and a concert by the Belgian singer-songwriter Selah Sue and the group Funky P.
Morning reception: © Grand-Ducal Court/SIP/Charles Caratini/All rights reserved
Civil wedding photo: © Grand-Ducal Court/Christian Aschman/All rights reserved
Gala dinner photo: © Grand-Ducal Court/Guy Wolff/All rights reserved
Religious wedding photo: © Grand-Ducal Court/Guy Wolff/All rights reserved
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