Maria Teresa, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
|Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg|
|Tenure||7 October 2000 – present|
|Spouse||Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg|
|Issue||Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg
|House||House of Nassau-Weilburg|
|Father||José Antonio Mestre y Álvarez|
|Mother||María Teresa Batista y Falla de Mestre|
22 March 1956 |
Marianao, Havana, Cuba
|Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg|
HRH The Grand Duke
HRH Princess Marie Gabriele
* Only a Prince/ss of Nassau
Early life and education
Maria Teresa, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, was born in Marianao, Havana, Cuba, to José Antonio Mestre y Álvarez (Vedado, Havana, 1926 -) and wife (m. Vedado, Havana, 1951) María Teresa Batista y Falla de Mestre (Vedado, Havana, 1928–1988), both from families of the bourgeoisie and also Spanish in descent like many Cubans are.
The family Mestre (via female descendants from Ferdinand I of León and Castile) have as patriarch Arnau Mestre, born Landorthe, who married in 1625 in San Pedro de Ribas. One of his descendants, Francisco Mestre y Roig Benaprés (born in 1787 in Sitges) travels to Cuba in 1830 where he married Josefa Dominguez y Morales (born in 1764, daughter of Andres Domínguez Bencomo and Manuela Morales Ponce de León), being the founder of the Mestre family in Cuba. The Grand Duchess also descends from his father of the Spanish Espinosa de los Monteros family.
Her maternal grandparents were Don Agustín Batista y González de Mendoza (Batista family member with possessions in the town of Puerto de Santa María del Príncipe and no family relationship with Fulgencio Batista), Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Trust Company of Cuba and Doña María Teresa Falla Bonet, daughter of the Spanish tycoon Laureano Falla Gutierrez, millionaire businessman whose fortune was made up of several sugar mills, two banks (one of which is "The Trust Company of Cuba") and other goods which would then be confiscated by the government of the Revolution.
In October 1959, at the time of the revolution, Maria Teresa Mestre left Cuba with her parents. The family settled in New York City, New Jersey, where, as a young girl, she was a pupil at Marymount School. From 1961 she carried on her studies at the Lycée Français de New York. In her childhood, Maria Teresa Mestre took ballet and singing courses. She practices skiing, ice-skating and water sports. She lived in New York City, Santander, Spain, and Geneva, where she met her future husband.
In 1980 she graduated from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva with a degree in political sciences. Miss Mestre met Prince Henri at this university. For four years they both carried on similar studies, working sometimes in the same study groups.
Social and human interests
During the same period she took an interest in social and human problems, following the family tradition which had allegedly brought her grandparents to devote themselves to philanthropy and cultural tasks in Cuba.
Besides her studies, Miss Mestre was a member of a group in Geneva taking interest in the well-being of residents of retirement homes. She also taught children in a Geneva classroom
As a Cuban, Spanish is her native language, and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa knows French thoroughly, having carried on her studies at the French School (Lycée Vauban) and in Switzerland. When she was young, she learned English. After her marriage she learned Luxembourgish, and she also speaks German and Italian.
In 2006, the Grand Duchess received the Path to Peace Award from a Holy See Foundation for her "relentless contribution to humanitarian causes."
She is the President of the Luxembourg Red Cross.
Maria Teresa Mestre married Prince Henri of Luxembourg on 4 February 1981 (civil ceremony) and 14 February 1981 (religious ceremony) with the previous consent of the Grand Duke given on 7 November 1980. For the religious ceremony, the bride wore a silk gown with fur trim by Balmain with the Congo Diamond Tiara from the Luxembourg royal family jewels.
The couple has five children:
- The Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg (Guillaume Jean Joseph Marie), born 11 November 1981, married Belgian Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy on 20 October 2012 in Luxembourg.
- Prince Félix Léopold Marie Guillaume of Luxembourg, born 3 June 1984, married German Claire Margareta Lademacher on 17 (the civil wedding which took place in Königstein im Taunus, Germany) and 23 (the religious wedding which took place in Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume, France) September 2013.
- Princess Amalia Gabriela Maria Teresa of Nassau, born 15 June 2014
- Prince Louis Xavier Marie Guillaume of Luxembourg, born 3 August 1986, who married Tessy Antony on 29 September 2006 in Gilsdorf, Luxembourg. The couple has two sons:
- Prince Gabriel Michael Louis Ronny of Nassau, born 12 March 2006
- Prince Noah Etienne Guillaume Gabriel Matthias Xavier of Nassau, born 21 September 2007
- Princess Alexandra Joséphine Teresa Charlotte Marie Wilhelmine of Luxembourg, born 16 February 1991
- Prince Sébastien Henri Marie Guillaume of Luxembourg, born 16 April 1992
Titles, styles and honours
Titles and styles
From her marriage until her husband's accession on 7 October 2000 she was styled Her Royal Highness The Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg. Since then, she has been known as Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.
Honours in Luxembourg
- Austria: Grand Star of the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria (15 April 2013)
- Belgium: Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold (1994)
- Brazil: Grand Cross of the Order of the Southern Cross (3 December 2007)
- Denmark: Knight of the Order of the Elephant (20 October 2003)
- Finland : Grand Cross of the Order of the White Rose of Finland (November 2008)
- Greece : Grand Cross of the Order of Beneficence (July 2001)
- Italy : Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (30 January 2009)
- Latvia: Commander Grand Cross of the Order of Three Stars (5 December 2006)
- Netherlands : Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion (24 April 2006)
- Norway : Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of St. Olav (1996)
- Portugal Grand Cross of the Order of Christ (5 May 2005)
- Portugal Grand Cross of the Order of Saint James of the Sword (7 September 2010)
- Romania : Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Romania (2004)
- Sweden : Member of the Order of the Seraphim (15 April 2008)
- Sweden: HM King Carl XVI Gustaf 50th Anniversary Medal (30 April 1996)
- Spain : Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III (11 May 2001)
|Ancestors of Maria Teresa, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg|
- http://www.wargs.com/royal/mestre.html Ancestry of Maria Teresa Mestre (b. 1956), Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
- "Honorary Board". IPC.
- Official photo of the Grand-Ducal couple
- "L'actualité des royautés, "Henri et Maria Teresa en Autriche"" (in French). Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- Royalement Blog, State visit of Belgium in Luxembourg (1994), Princes Photos, Group Photo
- Photo with Order of Leopold illustrating an article of "Noblesse et Royautes" website
- DECRETO DE 3 DE DEZEMBRO DE 2007 - website JusBrasil
- The royal forums, Grand-Dukes' state visit to Denmark, October 2003 : Photo
- Noblesse et Royautés, article about grand-ducal jewels, 8th photo
- "Noblesse et Royautés" website, article (in French) with photos of gala dinner
- www.gouvernement.lu, State visit of President Tarja Halonen in Luxembourg in november 2008 (article in French with photos showing the decorations)
- www.gouvernement.lu/, State visit of President Stephanopoulos in Luxembourg, July 2001
- "Noblesse et Royautes" website, State visit of Italin President Napolitano in Luxembourg, february 2009
- Latvian Presidency, Recipients list (.doc)
- The royal forums, State visit of Luxembourg to Netherlands, 2006, Photo
- "Noblesse et Royautes" website, State visit of Queen Beatrix in Luxembourg, 21-23 march 2012
- "Noblesse et Royautes" website, State visit of Grand-Dukes in Norway, 30 May - 1 June 2011
- Portugal Presidency, Decorations to foreigners, (type "Maria Teresa" then "Pesquisar")
- Romanian Presidency website, Recipients of the order (Excel sheet)
- "Noblesse et Royautes" website, Victoria of Sweden's wedding, June 2010
- Boletín Oficial del Estado
- Spanish Royal Family website, State visit of Juan Carlos & Sofia in Luxembourg, April 2007 , Photo of the Sovereign couples
- Noblesse et Royautes, Order of Saint Isabel awarded to several Gotha personalities
- Official website
- Ancestry of Maria Teresa Mestre (b. 1956), Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
- The Mentor Foundation charity website
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Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium
|Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg
2000 – present