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Monday, October 22, 2012

Civil Ceremony and Gala Night

PART 1: October 19, 2012 Royal Wedding in Luxembourg
The tiny state of Luxembourg had its moment of glory and excitement last October 19 and 20, 2012 when the country held a lavish state wedding celebration of the heir to the throne, Prince Guillaume, the Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg, to a Belgian aristocrat, Countess Stephanie de Lannoy.
Countess Stephanie and Prince Guillaume attended the reception hosted by the government of Luxembourg, two hours before their civil wedding ceremony. Photo from Hello Magazine

Before the couple tied the knot in the civil rites, they were treated to a reception hosted by the government of Luxembourg held at the Grand Theatre. Countess Stephanie wore a stunning berry-hued dress with matching stiletto, she was given a lovely bouquet of spring flowers upon arrival.

The event was attended by their respective families, except Stephanie's mother, Countess Alix, who died unexpectedly last August 2012.

Prince Guillaume and Countess Stephanie during their civil wedding ceremony at the Luxembourg city hall. Photo from the Daily Mail UK
The couple after the ceremony, now officially the Hereditary Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, waved to the well-wishers. Photo from the Daily Mail UK

Luxembourg rarely featured in the international news despite being the second richest country in the world in terms of gross domestic product per capita, it's maybe because this country between Germany and France almost had no controversies, its royal family members are cautious and according to the daily mail, natives of the Grand Duchy, heavily influenced by Catholicism, are very proper and can be dour, very proud of their multilingualism and their royal family whom, according to one of the Luxembourger, "do not sunbathe topless" (an obvious reference to a commoner who married into the British royal family who made headlines lately when her topless photos were published).

Countess Stephanie de Lannoy was born into a privileged, titled family in Belgium and familiar with the royal routine and decorum, she is prim and proper, a manner to which she is born with and raised as an aristocrat.She studied languages in college and a keen swimmer.
The celebration of Europe's most anticipated royal wedding for 2012 kicked off on October 19, 2012 when the couple wed in a civil ceremony, a process that most Catholic royals undergone before marrying in the church just like Prince Albert of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock in 2011, held at the Luxembourg city hall. A display of fireworks followed after the ceremony.

To celebrate their civil wedding, the Grand Ducal Palace hold a gala night for foreign royals and dignitaries on the eve of October 19. The gala night was attended by royal family members around the world and government officials.

Grand Duke Henri, Prince Guillaume's father, gave a heartfelt speech for the couple at the glittery reception, telling them " you were made for each other".

Grand Duke Henri and his new daughter-in-law, Stephanie at the gala night. Photo from
At the gala night, the couple with Grand Duke Henri. Photo from the Daily Mail UK

Some of the Royals who attended the Gala Night. Photos from the Daily Mail UK
Grand Duke Henri's first cousin, King Albert II of Belgium and his wife Queen Paola
King Albert II's son and heir, Prince Philippe and wife, Prince Mathilde
Guillaume's younger brothers, Prince Sebastien, Prince Felix and Prince Louis
Prince Wilhelm Alexander of the Netherlands and wife, Maxima
From left: Prince Pavlos with wife Chantal and his parents, King Constantine II, the ex-monarch of Greece and wife Queen Anna Marie, younger sister of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
King Harald V of Norway and Queen Sonja
The Earl and Countess of Wessex, Prince Edward and Sophie 
who represented the British royal family
Prince Felipe of Spain and wife Letezia
The lavish Catholic church wedding ceremony followed a day after, on October 20, 2012 at the Notre Dame Cathedral.

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