Maria Teresa, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
María Teresa Mestre y Batista
Maria Teresa Mestre.jpg
Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg
Tenure7 October 2000 – present
BornMaría Teresa Mestre y Batista
(1956-03-22) 22 March 1956 (age 63)
Marianao, Havana, Cuba
FatherJosé Antonio Mestre y Álvarez
MotherMaría Teresa Batista y Falla de Mestre
ReligionRoman Catholicism

Maria Teresa, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg (born María Teresa Mestre y Batista; on 22 March 1956), is the spouse of Grand Duke Henri.

Early life and education[edit]

Maria Teresa was born in 22 March 1956 in Marianao, Havana, Cuba, to José Antonio Mestre y Álvarez (Vedado, Havana, 1926–1993) and wife (m. Vedado, Havana, 1951) María Teresa Batista y Falla de Mestre (Vedado, Havana, 1928–1988), both from bourgeois families of Spanish descent.[1]

The Mestre family have as their 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) travelled 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 through her father from the Spanish Espinosa de los Monteros noble 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 were 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, 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.

In 1980 she graduated from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva with a degree in political sciences.

Social and humanitarian interests[edit]

Soon after her marriage, Maria Teresa and the then Hereditary Grand Duke Henri established The Prince Henri and Princess Maria Teresa Foundation to assist those with special needs integrate fully into society.[2] In 2001, she and her husband Henri created The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess Foundation, launched upon the accession of the couple as the new Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.[3] In 2004, the Foundation of the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg was created after the merging of the two previous foundation.[3]

In 1997, Maria Teresa was made a special ambassador for UNESCO, working to expand education for young girls and women, and help to fight poverty.[2]

Since 2005, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa is the chairwoman of the international jury of the European Microfinance Award, which annually award holders of microfinance and inclusive finance initiative in developing countries. Also since 2006, Maria Teresa has been honorary president of the LuxFLAG (Luxembourg Fund Labeling Agency), the first agency to award and put label the microfinance investment funds around the world.[4]

On 19 April 2007, the Grand Duchess was appointed UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children,[5] in which role she has visited Brazil (2007),[6] China (2008),[7] and Burundi (2009).[8]

She is a member of the Honorary Board of the International Paralympic Committee.[9] She is also the president of Luxembourg Red Cross and the Cancer Foundation.[2][4] In 2016, she organized the first international forum on learning disabilities in Luxembourg.[4]

In October 2016, the Grand Duchess accepted an invitation to join the eminent international Council of Patrons of the Asian University for Women (AUW) in Chittagong, Bangladesh. The University, which is the product of east-west foundational partnerships (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Open Society Foundation, IKEA Foundation, etc.) and regional cooperation, serves extraordinarily talented women from 15 countries across Asia and the Middle East.[10][11]

In 2019, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa presented her initiative "Stand Speak Rise Up!" to end sexual violence in fragile environments, launched in the cooperation with the Women’s Forum and with the support of Luxembourg Government. The conference is in partnership with the Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation and We Are Not Weapons of War.[12]


Maria Teresa Mestre married Prince Henri of Luxembourg in a civil ceremony on 4 February 1981 and the religious ceremony on 14 February 1981. The consent of the Grand Duke had been previously given on 7 November 1980.

The couple have five children and four grandchildren:

Titles, styles, and honours[edit]

Styles of
Maria Teresa,
Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
Reference styleHer Royal Highness
Spoken styleYour Royal Highness
The Grand Duke Henri, his wife Maria Teresa and his son Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke.

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 14 February 1981 - 7 October 2000: Her Royal Highness The Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
  • 7 October 2000 - present: Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.


National honours[edit]

Foreign honours[edit]

Dynastic Orders[edit]


  1. ^ Ancestry of Maria Teresa Mestre (b. 1956), Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
  2. ^ a b c "Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg". Unofficial Royalty. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Charity Spotlight: Foundation of the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "La Grande-Duchesse" [The Grand Duchess]. Cour Grand-Ducale de Luxembourg (in French). Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  5. ^ "HRH Grand Duchess of Luxembourg becomes Eminent Advocate for Children". UNICEF. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
  6. ^ "UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children visits AIDS projects in São Paulo". UNICEF. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
  7. ^ "Summer camp aims to help children in China affected by AIDS". UNICEF. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
  8. ^ "Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg visits Burundi". UNICEF. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
  9. ^ "Honorary Board". IPC.
  10. ^ "Her Royal Highness Grand-Duchess of Luxembourg Joins the Asian University for Women Council of Patrons".
  12. ^ "About". Stand Speak Rise Up! Official Website. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  13. ^ Official photo of the Grand-Ducal couple
  14. ^ The Royal Correspondent
  15. ^ "Luxarazzi: New Family Portraits of the Grand Ducal Family". Retrieved 2016-01-23.
  16. ^ "L'actualité des royautés, "Henri et Maria Teresa en Autriche"" (in French). Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  17. ^ Group Photo
  18. ^ Photo with Order of Leopold illustrating an article of "Noblesse et Royautes" website Archived 2012-12-20 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ DECRETO DE 3 DE DEZEMBRO DE 2007 - website JusBrasil
  20. ^ "Modtagere af danske dekorationer". (in Danish). Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  21. ^ Archived 2013-12-07 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ "Diamonds and sapphires: Stephanie's tiara choices". Retrieved 2016-01-23.
  23. ^ Noblesse et Royautés, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-03-17. Retrieved 2012-10-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) article about grand-ducal jewels
  24. ^ President of Finland
  25. ^ Alamy
  26. ^ Tumblr
  27. ^ Archived 2013-01-10 at the Wayback Machine, State visit of President Stephanopoulos in Luxembourg, July 2001
  28. ^ "Noblesse et Royautes" website Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine, State visit of Italian President Napolitano in Luxembourg, february 2009
  29. ^ "Foreign recipients list". Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  30. ^ Latvian Presidency, Recipients list (.doc) Archived 2013-05-02 at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^ "Royal Bling". Pinterest. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
  32. ^ The royal forums, State visit of Luxembourg to Netherlands, 2006, Photo
  33. ^ "Noblesse et Royautes" website Archived 2012-04-24 at the Wayback Machine, State visit of Queen Beatrix in Luxembourg, 21-23 march 2012
  34. ^ "Noblesse et Royautes" website Archived 2011-08-24 at the Wayback Machine, State visit of Grand-Dukes in Norway, 30 May - 1 June 2011
  35. ^ "Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and King Carl gustaf of Sweden arrive for..." Getty Images. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
  36. ^ a b Portugal Presidency, Decorations to foreigners, (type "Maria Teresa" then "Pesquisar")
  37. ^ State visit in Louxembourg
  38. ^ Romanian Presidency website, Recipients of the order (Excel sheet)
  39. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado
  40. ^ Spanish Royal Family website, State visit of Juan Carlos & Sofia in Luxembourg, April 2007, Photo of the Sovereign couples
  41. ^ "Noblesse et Royautes" website Archived 2011-01-23 at the Wayback Machine, Victoria of Sweden's wedding, June 2010
  42. ^ Blogspot
  43. ^ " - Hochzeit des Jahres". Pinterest. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
  44. ^ "Diamonds and sapphires: Stephanie's tiara choices". Retrieved 2016-01-23.
  45. ^ Tiaras and trianon
  46. ^ Gettyimages
  47. ^ Royaux Suedois
  48. ^ Order of Saint Isabel
  49. ^ Noblesse et Royautes Archived 2013-09-20 at the Wayback Machine, Order of Saint Isabel awarded to several Gotha personalities

External links[edit]

Luxembourgish royalty
Preceded by
Princess Joséphine Charlotte of Belgium
Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg
Duchess consort of Nassau

2000 – present