Fairytale wedding in Luxembourg
On October 20th, the Cathedral "Our Lady of Luxembourg" will host the religious wedding ceremony of HRH, Crown Prince Guillaume, with Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy. As prescribed by civil law, the civil wedding precedes the church wedding. The civil marriage will take place at the town hall on Place Guillaume II.
On this occasion the international Gotha will gather in Luxembourg. The whole nation is proud of its grand-ducal family, generally considered as the warrant of Luxembourg’s independence. The personal of HRH Grand Duke Henri and his son HRH, Prince Guillaume, to boost economic development during their official economic trips, justify the national pride of the monarchy. Close links between the history of the dynasty and that of the country brought about national identity and the recognition of the monarch as a symbol of independence.
In 1815 the King of the Netherlands became Grand Duke of Luxembourg by personal union. When Adolphe, Duke of Nassau, succeeded King Guillaume III in 1890, He founded Luxembourg's very own dynasty. Adolphe was succeeded by Guillaume IV, Marie-Adélaïde, Charlotte, Jean and the current sovereign Henri.
Royal celebrations organized by the city of Luxembourg at the occasion of the wedding ceremonies held on October 19th & 20th.
Friday, October 19th
3.30 pm civil wedding ceremony at town hall
Public Viewing on large format screens at Place Guillaume II: transmission of the festive procession of the bridal couple from the grand-ducal Palace to the town hall (the civil wedding ceremony will not be transmitted).
Saturday, October 20th
11.00 am Church wedding at Cathedral « Our Lady of Luxembourg »
Public Viewing on large format screens at Place Guillaume of the church wedding.
8.20 pm Firework display (16,5 min) from site called « Three Acorns » with musical animation
The grand-ducal couple will follow the display from the terrace of the State Council. Best sites for public viewing of the firework display: Côte d’Eich, bd Ulveling, montée de Clausen, Pfaffenthal.
8.45-12.00 pm: Concerts at Place Guillaume II
8.45 - 10.15 pm: Selah Sue
10.45 pm - 00.15 am: Funky P.
HRH Prince Guillaume
Guillaume, the eldest son of HRH Grand Duke Henri and the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg was born in Luxembourg on November 11th 1981. After initial studies in His home country, He became an officer of the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst (Great Britain).
Sworn in in December 2002 as an officer of the Luxembourg Army, Prince Guillaume currently holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. After studying international politics in the United Kingdom, Prince Guillaume continued His training in France, and was present at major geopolitical events, such as the "Millenium Conference" at the UN headquarters in New York in 2005. In 2009 He was awarded a Bachelor’s degree in “Lettres et sciences politiques” in the special field of political sciences at the University of Angers.
Prince Guillaume was appointed honorary chairman of the “Board of Economic Development”, nowadays known as "Luxembourg for business".
He is member of the State Council and patron of the National Federation of Sport Cyclists, the National Administration of Luxembourg’s Youth Hostels, the "Jeunesses Musicales", the National Association of Road Casualties, and the "Youth Harmony Orchestra" of the European Union.
Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy
Born on February 18, 1984 Countess Stéphanie is the youngest daughter of Count and Countess de Lannoy, living in the Belgian Hainaut. With her skills in French, Dutch, English and German, she spent one year in Moscow to improve her knowledge of Russian language and literature.
Awarded a diploma in German philology at the "Université Catholique de Louvain", the Countess completed her studies in Berlin with a degree in the influence of German romanticism on Russian romanticism. Stéphanie de Lannoy worked for the "Agence Wallonne à l'Exportation" before making a career in an investment company.
A love story
Prince Guillaume and Countess Stéphanie first met, more than a year ago through mutual friends. They got engaged on April 26th, 2012. Both love the Arts, especially classical music. While Prince Guillaume loves to play the piano, and is an aficionado of the guitar, Countess Stéphany plays the violin.
Both appreciate Sports: they like skiing and swimming and the Prince likes tennis, and water sports.
United Belgium and Luxembourg
Between 1443 and 1839 the current territories of Belgium and Luxembourg shared a common history. The division into two countries following the Treaty of London in 1839 did not stop the friendly relations, nor their economic and political cooperation. After WWI, Luxembourg concluded a monetary and economic union with Belgium. In cooperation with the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg founded the Benelux. Belgium and Luxembourg are founding members of the European Union. 60 years after the wedding of Grand Duke Jean with Princess Joséphine-Charlotte, sister of King Baudouin and King Albert II, Belgium once again offers its neighbouring State a future Grand Duchess.
The civil and church weddings will be held a short distance away from the grand ducal palace. A gala dinner will be served at the palace in the evening of the civil wedding day. After the church wedding an official reception will take place in the salons of the palace. Whereas the cathedral and the palace date from the 16th and 17th Century, the town hall (1830) is more recent.
The Grand Ducal Palace
Following the explosion of the fortress' gun powder arsenal in 1572, the northern part of the palace -framed by the smart corbel towers- was built in 1572 to serve as town hall. The building then accommodated several meeting rooms, a prison cellar and the most important ballroom in town. It was enlarged in the 18th Century to house the official scales in order to weigh goods for taxing before being sold on the market. The same wing also served as meeting room for the Estates of the Realm. A keep was built on the northern part. If the national flag is displayed, the Grand Duke is in residence.
After its transformation from a town hall into a "prefecture" by the French occupying force (1795-1815), it then became a government building. The adjoining parliament building was added in 1859. The palace and house of parliament form an architectural harmony.
Grand Duke Adolphe of Nassau -the founder of the current dynasty- opted to live in Luxembourg initially in Walferdange, which is nowadays a campus of Luxembourg's University. Today the Grand Duke lives in His private castle in Colmar Berg. The Government building was transformed into a grand ducal palace by the renowned Belgian architect Gedeon Bordiau in cooperation with State Architect Charles Arendt. In 1995 the palace was renovated with a slight contemporary touch.
The Spanish-Moorish influence of the facade's decoration recalls the town hall's early period, when Luxembourg belonged to the Spanish Netherlands and the King of Spain was Duke of Luxembourg.
Cathedral "Notre-Dame" of Luxembourg
The same Spanish-Arabic influence can also be noticed in the nearby cathedral. This late gothic building with three naves is renowned for its alabaster and baroque choir loft, a work by Daniel Muller. The columns, decorated with ribbon motives, recall a Moore influence.
The cathedral was built in 1613 by Jean du Blocq as a Jesuit minster. The ancient abbey and parts of its college houses the national library nowadays. Luxembourg became a bishopric in 1870, and an archbishopric in 1988. The ancient minster was transformed into a cathedral. Pope Jean Paul II celebrated mass there.for the faithful Luxembourgers. The cathedral is also the centre of pilgrimages to “Our Lady of Luxembourg”, patron of Luxembourg City and the Grand Duchy since 1678. The faithful worship their “Consolatrix Afflictorum” for two weeks, a period called “Octave” beginning the third Sunday after Easter. The Octave is closed by a solemn procession in presence of members of the Monarchy and the Government. The Cathedral was enlarged in 1935 in neo-gothic style by Hubert Schumacher. While WWII did not damage it, the roof of the most ancient tower burned down in 1985, a few weeks before the visit of Pope Jean-Paul II.
The crypt, built under the choir is dedicated to St Peter. It serves as sepulchre for the grand ducal family and houses the tombs of the bishops of Luxembourg. John the Blind, king of Bohemia and Count of Luxembourg found his final rest here. This brave knight, son of Emperor Henri VII and father of Charles IV, was active in almost all of Europe: In his native county Luxembourg as well as in Bohemia and Lithuania, in Germany -where he was lieutenant for his father- in Northern Italy, at the Courts of monarchs and the Popes in Avignon, as well as on the battle fields of the French kings. John the Blind died at the battle of Crecy in 1346. It was one of the first battles of theHundred-Year War. After a real odyssey, his mortal remains found their final resting place at the entrance of the crypt, as if greeting the visitors.
The Town hall
The current town hall was built in the garden of an ancient Franciscan abbey. Napoleon I, during his official visit to Luxembourg, bestowed the ground to the city when it was transformed into a market squaredominated by a new town hall. Jules Rémont, an architect from Liège designed the neoclassic building. The town council first met there in 1838. Two magnificent lions created by the sculptor Auguste Trémont, decorate the monumental stairs leading up to the peristyle of the town hall.
In 1952, the main meeting room – where the civil wedding will take place – welcomed the first constitutional meeting of the European Community for Coal and Steel (CECA), the current European Union’s predecessor. Since then official receptions for monarchs, heads of state and other VIPs were held at the town hall.
Square Guillaume II is embellished by a monument erected in the memory and honour of King and Grand Duke Guillaume II. The equestrian statue, a work of Antonin Mercié, shows the Monarch saluting his people by taking of his hat. Normally it’s the subjects who do this in front of their Head of State. Guillaume had given Luxembourg its first Constitution with the words: “I want the Luxembourgish people to be happy and prosper, and I want that it will be by their own initiative”.
The grand-ducal silver room
Masterpieces in silver and gold tell the story of Luxembourg’s dynasty.
Silver rooms have always preserved masterpieces of silver and goldsmithery, precious silver plate as well as magnificent pieces made of precious metal. They provide the festive settings for weddings, coronations, state visits and signings of treaties, a role the silver room of Luxembourg’s dynasty fulfills until today. After having been on display at the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin in the context of Luxembourg’s state visit in Germany, it will be shown at the Musée national d’histoire et d’art (MNHA) in Luxembourg from 5th October to 13rd January.
More than 500 objects, among which there are numerous personal items, illustrate the most important styles of European arts and crafts from the Renaissance up to today and allow the visitor to get an understanding of the development of courtly fashion and culture.
Exceptional exhibits such as the centerpiece showing Saint George slaying the Dragon, or the Golden Rose, given by Pope Pius XII to Grand-Duchess Charlotte in 1956, bring to mind, together with busts and portraits of distinguished family members, the eventful history of the dynasty. They provide an unexpected insight into a major European collection.
The fact that the grand-ducal silver room still fulfils its representative purpose could not be demonstrated more aptly than with the wedding of Guillaume, Hereditary Grand-Duke of Luxembourg, and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy on the 20th October 2012. Some of the pieces needed for the occasion will be removed from the exhibition between the 17th and the 23rd October and will subsequently be again on display in their full splendour.