The civil wedding of Guillaume & Stéphanie

Last modified: 22 December 2012

Luxembourg-City, Friday, 19 October 2012

The wedding programme

  • 11.00 am – Reception at the Grand Théâtre of Luxembourg-City, organised by the Luxembourg government
  • 3.30 pm – Civil wedding at the Town Hall of Luxembourg-City
  • 8.00 pm – Galadinner at the Grand-Ducal Palace & Cercle Cité in Luxembourg-City

Address of the Prime Minister, 18 October 2012

Address by Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxemburg on the occasion of the marriage of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy. The address was made in the evening of Thursday 18 October 2012.

Good evening,
People have lives. And so do nations. Occasionally – though not very often – the lives of people and the lives of nations cross paths. We are presently experiencing such a moment in Luxembourg.

When the Hereditary Grand Duke and Stéphanie de Lannoy exchange their wedding vows on Friday and Saturday, this is first and foremost an important, if not the most important, day in their very own personal lives. They are about to embark on a future together and our best wishes accompany them on this long journey. Prince Guillaume – whom we have known for quite some time seeing as he grew up in our midst and whom we have embraced in our hearts because of his nature and personality – has found a lady who suits him. She suits us too, because her uncomplicated character, her natural charm, her keen intelligence and her sound education will make of her a hereditary grand duchess more beautiful than any picture we could have painted.

The marriage of these two individuals, however, also marks an important day for the ebb and flow of our country. Our Constitution provided us with a constitutional monarchy, a form of government that we get along with well. Prince Guillaume will one day become our head of state. When our future head of state gets married, he carries the dynasty into the future, thereby securing it. Which is why the marriage of our Hereditary Grand Duke and future Grand Duke to our future Hereditary Grand Duchess and future Grand Duchess represents not only a civil and religious act between two people, but also an act of state. It is an act of state because it directly
involves all of us as citizens of this country. By celebrating the Hereditary Grand Duke and his future wife, we are also celebrating ourselves. I know: not everyone here at home sees it this way. But when the history of our country takes an important step forwards, this step must be accompanied with dignity, dignity both at home and to the outside world. Because others are watching us. While we do not inflate ourselves, we need not make ourselves smaller than what we are.

I am confident the future Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie will see the Luxembourg people endorse the choice of the Hereditary Grand Duke. She will henceforth become part of the national landscape with her gentle presence underlined by intelligence and candour. I would also like, on this occasion of the royal wedding, for us all to spare a special and heartfelt thought for the mother of the future Hereditary Grand Duchess. We do not shape ourselves on our own, we are also the children of our fathers and mothers. We would have loved to have welcomed the mother of the future Hereditary Grand Duchess in our midst.

On behalf of the government I would like to extend my very best wishes to the hereditary grand-ducal couple – and, with them, to us as a nation. I would also like to include the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess in my wishes, as well as Princess Stéphanie’s father and Grand Duke Jean, who is delighted to witness the history of his noble house being continued in harmony.

Long live our new hereditary grand-ducal couple!
Long live our grand-ducal family!
And long live our nation!

The wedding venues

Grand Théâtre

The Grand Théâtre in Luxembourg-City was built between 1960 and 1964 and designed by the Parisian architect Alain Bourbonnais. The theatre reopened in September 2003 after building-expansion and renovation works on the stage and technical installations. The theatre has a large auditorium with 943 seats and a studio for between 100 and 400 people. It is the major venue in the city for drama, opera and ballet.

Hôtel de Ville

For the first time a member of the Grand-Ducal family married in the Town Hall (Hôtel de Ville) instead of in the Grand-Ducal Palace itself. The Town Hall was built between 1830 and 1838 in the neo-classic style and is situated on the Place Guillaume II (Knuedler). The building was partly built with stones from the old Franciscan monastery that stood on the same site until 1829. The main entrance of the Town Hall since 1931 is flanked by two bronze lions, created by the Luxembourg sculptor Auguste Trémont.

Grand-Ducal Palace

The Grand-Ducal Palace in the old centre of Luxembourg-City is the official residence of the Grand Dukes of Luxembourg. Here the Grand Dukes perform their official functions. You’ll find the offices here as well as the state rooms and meeting rooms. Usually foreign heads of state who visit the country stay here in the guest rooms. The Ballroom is used for state banquets. The building was first from 1572 to 1795 the Town Hall of the city, from 1795 to 1817 the seat of the prefecture of the Département des Forêts and from 1817 the headquarters of the government of Luxembourg. It was the residence of the governor of the Kings of the Netherlands, who were also Grand Dukes of Luxembourg.

After 1890, when the country became independent, the palace became the official residence of the Grand-Ducal family. In the years afterwards the palace underwent an extensive renovation. During World War II the Germans used the palace as a concert hall and tavern. The building was damaged extensively and the furniture and art collections were ruined. After 1945 the palace again became the residence of the Grand Dukes. In the 1960s the palace was redecorated, and from 1992 to 1996 it was renovated again. The Grand-Ducal family however privately resides at Berg Castle in Colmar-Berg. Grand Duke Jean resides at Fischbach Castle, where Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and their family lived from 1987 to 2002.

Cercle Cité

The Cercle Municipal, or the City Palace, at the Place d’Armes is an administrative building with several festival halls. Between 1953 and 1969 it was a venue for meetings and conventions of the European Community for Coal and Steel. Together with the sociocultural centre “Le Cité” the Cercle Municipal forms the “Cercle Cité”.

Reception at the Grand Théâtre of Luxembourg-City

The civil wedding day of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy started with a reception for young people at the Grand Théâtre in Luxembourg-City. The bridal couple had requested to meet young representatives of Luxembourg groups and associations. Also invited were young people born on the same day as the bridal couple, as well as people who were getting married during the same weekend. Also a few old schoolfriends of Guillaume were presents.

When Guillaume and Stéphanie arrived – the future bride in bordeaux red with shoes with terribly high heels – they walked past the about 200 people who were invited for the reception. They climbed the stairs and there first met with a few people with a handicap, who were very excited to meet the couple. Then they took their place on top of the stairs. All people invited climbed up the stairs and shook hands with the couple. Then they took their places around small and high tables in the big hall up there. They received drinks and some nice looking snacks, including lots of vegetables.

After a short speech by family minister Marie-Josée Jacobs Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume himself took the word, mainly in Luxembourgish. Guillaume thanked all people of Luxembourg and said: “It is a very happy day for me and Stéphanie”.

After the speeches the bridal couple stopped at every table to talk to the people present. They took their time and seemed really interested. Of course the smallest guest, a baby, got some attention too. A school teacher presented a booklet with drawings of her class to the couple.

The civil wedding

Friday afternoon, 19 October 2012, another lovely sunny day in Luxembourg-City. Beautiful Summer weather – just imagine that it is already Autumn – and I am wearing a t-shirt! When I arrived at the Place Guillaume II (Knuedler) the first row behind the fences was already almost full. I met a few Dutch royaltywatchers and could just find myself a first row place between them. Unfortunately the sun shone in our eyes, but the later it became the more cloudy it was, until the sun disappeared behind the clouds for most of the time. Around 3pm we felt a few raindrops, but happily it stopped quite soon. Behind our backs there were standing lots of people by now.

Finally Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, the siblings of bride and groom arrived on foot. We didn’t see the father of the bride, Count Philippe de Lannoy, arriving, but he was present also. They had left the Grand-Ducal Palace right on schedule around 3.22pm. However it took them longer than expected to reach the Town Hall. Main reason was that already on the way to the Town Hall the bridal couple sometimes met with the public, and of course posed for the photographers.

In front of the Town Hall the bride was presented with a bouquet of flowers by 9-year-old Amy Rischard. Xavier Bettel, Mayor of Luxembourg-City, greeted the couple at the bottom of the steps of the Town Hall. After having entered the municipal council hall the couple was presented to the members of the college of aldermen, the secretary general, Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker and the Minister of Justice. Xavier Bettel and Jules Becker, the civil registrar, celebrated the civil wedding. A string quartet provided the musical accompaniment. It was the first time a member of the Grand-Ducal family didn’t marry civilly in the palace itself. After the wedding a short reception was being held, for which also the members of the municipal council and the two honorary mayors of the city were invited.

Finally after more than half an hour waiting the newlyweds and their family left the Town Hall. The wedding song “I’m in Love”, written by Joel Heyard and sung by Deborah Lehnen and Christophe Strotz, was being played. And in the meantime a big air-balloon flew over the Town Hall. The rest of the family walked slowly, but not too slowly, back to the palace. It however took the bridal couple about 45 minutes to reach the palace again, normally a few minutes walking. Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa looked back several times to see where the couple was, but gave up after a while. Guillaume and Stéphanie enjoyed the cheers by the public, shook lots of hands and received several gifts. In front row were young school children, who were pretty excited to see the bridal couple. Some of them presented the couple with big drawings.

Address by Xavier Bettel, Mayor of Luxemburg-City on the occasion of the civil marriage of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy at the town hall of Luxemburg-City in the afternoon of Friday 19 October 2012.

Unfortunately I have only received the text in French. The speech itself was held in French and Luxemburgish. If somebody is able to make a good translation into English, I’d be grateful.

Altesses Royales,
Après avoir eu l’honneur de Vous unir devant la loi, j’ai l‘immense plaisir de Vous transmettre au nom de mes concitoyens, au nom de notre Municipalité et en mon nom personnel nos plus chaleureux, nos plus vifs voeux de bonheur et de prospérité.

Votre mariage est l’événement phare qui clôture une semaine riche en émotions et en moments où le Grand-Duché s’est trouvé au centre de l’attention au niveau international. Comme vous l’aurez tous appris, le Luxembourg a obtenu hier, pour la première fois, un siège au sein du conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies en tant que membre non permanent. Il s’agit ici du fruit de nombreuses années d’engagement et de labeur qui nous permettra de positionner et de réaffirmer la position de notre pays
sur la carte mondiale. On ne peut que se réjouir de ces deux événements majeurs qui dessineront l’avenir du Grand-Duché et qui sont des symboles d’espoir et d’espérance pour nous tous, ainsi que pour les générations futures.

Alors que Votre union est certes un pas important pour l’avenir du pays, notamment parce que par Votre choix, Vous avez élu la future Grande-Duchesse qui représentera le Grand-Duché à travers le monde. Mais, il s’agit avant tout, d’un mariage; d’un mariage et ainsi du début d’une aventure merveilleuse entre deux personnes qui se sont trouvées et qui ont franchi le pas le plus important de leur vie en décidant de partager désormais leurs rêves et ambitions et de construire une vie commune basée sur l’amour et le respect mutuel.

Nous sommes tous attristés du fait qu’une personne principale manque à cet événement, Votre mère, la Comtesse de Lannoy. Mais, comme Vous l’avez déjà annoncé, elle sera parmi nous en ce jour heureux et elle a pu partager la joie qui a entouré les préparatifs de mariage et témoigner du grand amour entre Vous et Votre époux. Rien ne peut plus combler un parent que de voir son enfant trouver son âme soeur et entamer un chemin commun par le mariage.

En effet, Monseigneur, Madame, en Vous deux, beaucoup de qualités se retrouvent et se complètent. Ouverture d’esprit, engagement et force, sont celles qui me viennent notamment à l’esprit. Vous représentez également toutes les valeurs qui importent dans le fondement d’une famille, valeurs qui vous ont été transmises par votre entourage dès le plus jeune âge. Votre fort engagement et Votre intérêt dans des initiatives et causes en faveur des personnes moins favorisées et affaiblies par les aléas de la vie, sont exemplaires. Ensemble, je suis certain que vous formerez un couple uni, fort et ouvert et que Vous représenterez un symbole d’espoir pour les
prochaines générations, qui vont devoir traverser encore d’autres épreuves et où votre soutien sera d’une valeur incommensurable. Par ailleurs, Votre décision de venir vous marier ici, à l’Hôtel de Ville, est une preuve de modernité qui témoigne de votre ouverture à l’évolution et de Votre volonté d’affronter les défis actuels, avec les règles qui s’imposent aujourd’hui et qui diffèrent des situations d’antan.

il s’agit pour vous d’un jour important, non seulement parce que vous allez entamer votre chemin commun avec Votre époux. C’est Votre première journée où Vous portez la nationalité luxembourgeoise. Et dans le contexte des diverses discussions qui ont été menés, on a omis de mettre en avant que vous avez accepté d’abandonner votre nationalité belge pour être luxembourgeoise à part entière. Alors que cette décision n’a pas pu être facile pour vous, elle témoigne de votre forte volonté de représenter le Luxembourg et de votre conviction de porter les futures responsabilités qui vont vous incomber à 100%. Voilà qui est un immense honneur pour tous les citoyens du Grand-Duché.

Monseigneur, Madame,
permettez-moi de Vous présenter mes plus chaleureux voeux pour votre vie en commun, qu’elle soit remplie de bonheur et de joie et que Vos forces unies Vous portent à travers toutes les épreuves, celles que traverse chaque couple amoureux, ainsi que celles à travers lesquelles Vous soutiendrez le peuple Luxembourgeois dans les années à venir.

The gala dinner

In the evening of Friday 19 October 2012 a formal gala dinner took place on the occasion of the wedding. The guests included members of the Grand Ducal family, representatives of foreign monarchies, state constituent bodies and national authorities. During the dinner various pieces of unique silverware from the Grand Ducal Court were used to decorate the tables.

The most important royal guests and Luxemburg politicians were invited for dinner at the Grand Ducal Palace itself. A part of the other guests had dinner at the building of the “chambre des Députées” next door. A few friends and I headed straight for the palace after the civil wedding. In the Chocolate House opposite the street we had something to eat and drink. Just before the first guests arrived we went outside to have a look. Unfortunately it already started to become dark, so it wasn’t easy to make photos.

With a small group of people we decided to have dinner at the Place d’Armes, a big square in the old town with lots of restaurants. We had almost finished dinner when all of the sudden we saw minibusses standing in front of the nearby City Palace, the Cercle Cité. And in the middle of the building the doors were open and in the light inside we could see people running down the stairs. When we had a look, it turned out, that all lesser known royals and nobles had had their wedding gala dinner there. It was a magnificent view to see them coming down the stairs, in evening dress and the most beautiful sparkling jewelry. Happily it went all so slow that we could take the time to have a look. However we didn’t dare to go back to the terrace to get our cameras. But anyway we’ll never forget this wonderful sight anymore. If we had known, we certainly wouldn’t have taken such an extensive dinner and would have prepared to stay near the Cercle to see all the guests. Now it was just a coincidence that we were so nearby.

The menu

Wild sea bass cannelloni and langoustine tartare
Oyster and Osetra caviar vinaigrette
Squab breast stuffed with escalope of foie gras in green cabbage papillote
Confit of thigh with jus
Celeriac mousseline and marrons glacés
Sphere of grand cru black chocolate Poire Belle-Hélène style
drizzled with hot chocolate sauce

Grand Duke Henri’s Speech during the gala dinner

My dear Stéphanie,
My dear Guillaume,
On this, the evening of your wedding, we, your parents, would like to say how happy and proud we are that you are embarking on this journey together through life.

We have seen your love blossom for more than two years now. It has grown over time into this couple beaming with happiness, whom we have the pleasure of seeing before us today. You have travelled this path together. Therefore, you know that marriage is a union, a commitment which is renewed each day. It is a shared pledge; where each party must act in accordance with the other. A successful marriage means looking together in the same direction. Looking at you, there is absolutely no doubt: you are made for one another, ready to embrace the joys, but also the trials and tribulations of life in the service of eachother, the service of your family and the service of your country, over which, one day, you will reign. In your union, the people of Luxembourg see a harbinger of continuity which will lead our cherished country towards a future that we fervently hope will be prosperous and peaceful.

My dear Stéphanie,
We welcome you on this day with overwhelming joy. We know that, through your sensitivity, your intelligence and your devotion, you will bring great happiness to our son. The fact that you have already endured the most difficult of ordeals, notably the sudden passing of your beloved mother, has shown us that you are capable of strength and courage in the face of adversity.

Alix, for those of us fortunate enough to have known her, will always remain an exceptional person. From heaven above, she will watch over you, so that you, too, will be a united and exemplary couple, as were Alix and Philippe. May their example guide you throughout your lives.

At the time of your engagement and your presentation to the national authorities, the Luxembourg people immediately adopted you as their future Princess. Your radiance, your beliefs and your tenderness make you the perfect person to assist and support Guillaume throughout his life. We love you and are happy and grateful that you have chosen our son.

We would like to thank your dear parents for the unconditional support that they showed during the blossoming of your love. Alix, your dear mother, shall remain in our hearts, especially during these celebrations. Your father Philippe is giving the hand of his final daughter, his youngest child, in marriage. We can imagine how he must feel.

The union between our two families, with well-established traditions, based on Christian values, passed on to their children, is also a pledge of strength for our young couple.

My dear Guillaume,
For Stéphanie and for you, now begins the grand and wonderful adventure of marriage. We have watched you grow up to become a responsible individual, resolutely committed to the service of others and, in particular, to those who are suffering. Your great ability to interact with others allows you to perform your duties with intelligence and ease. The trade missions which you lead with such skill are indispensable to the promotion of our country worldwide, particularly in the challenging situation in which we currently find ourselves.

Your wife shall be, as your mother is for me, steadfast in her support of the difficult but oh so rewarding tasks which await you. Yes, my dear Guillaume, we are proud of you, you are a man of duty and your guiding principle is the common good. We have every confidence in your judgement, but remember too that we shall always be there
to support you and help you if you so desire.

Your Majesties,
Your Royal Highnesses,
Your Excellencies,
Dear family and friends,
We would like to thank you, our guests, some of whom have travelled a great distance to attend the marriage of Stéphanie and Guillaume. We are honoured by your presence. Tomorrow you shall bear witness to this new union which, we all hope, will be happy and prosperous. With this, I invite you to raise your glasses and drink to the health and happiness of our young couple.
Long live the happy couple, long live Luxembourg!

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