Royal Wedding in Luxembourg

Part II: October 20, 2012 Church Ceremony
Here's one reality:  

In Monarchy, when the bride or groom is royalty or nobility by birth, no questions or controversies are raised and no discussions are debated in the royal circle but when one of them is a commoner with no aristocratic background, lingering doubts of suitability and questions of embracing roles and lifestyle of royalty are debated intensely among royal watchers.
The Hereditary Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg on their wedding day, October 20, 2012. Luxembourg remains the only Grand Duchy territory in the world and according to International Monetary Fund survey, the second richest country (after Qatar) in the world in terms of gross domestic product per capita.
This reality proved true in the previous weddings of European throne heirs as their choice of a spouse raised the bar of controversies and doubts on the future of the European monarchy.  

It is interesting to know that all future European crown heads, except Prince Alois of Liechtenstein, married commoners (Prince Alois married Duchess Sophie of Bavaria). Prince Haakon was badly criticized for marrying a single mother with unconventional  background while Prince Felipe of Spain disappointed some royalists when he chose to marry a divorced woman. 

Prince Wilhelm Alexander of the Netherlands' choice of a wife created a controversy in the parliament when it was noted Maxima's father was involved in the military junta in Argentina. The boyfriend and eventually husband of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Daniel Westling, received a cold shoulder from King Carl XVI Gustav at first due to his background as a personal trainer of the Princess.

In 2011, two women added to the list of commoners who married European heirs and one of them traversed a difficult road of speculations whether she is suitable or not, she had to endure the painful battle in the court of public opinion due to her commoner status.

Kate Middleton endured a painful process of public and royal family acceptance and had traveled a hard journey just to marry Prince William, she passed so many trials, tons of scrutiny and embarrassment fighting for her feelings for the Prince. All disgusting comments, observations and almost everything that goes with being a commoner were thrown on her. Royal watchers fretted on her laziness, party goer image, working class background and not-so-demure lifestyle -- cladding bikini during a university fashion show and nightclubbing--hardly an ideal image of a future Queen Consort of England. The media dismissively dubbed her as "waity Katy" for doing nothing other than wait for William to propose. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were reportedly uncomfortable with the choice of a wife of William.

Charlene Wittstock on the other hand, suffered so many tribulations too before experiencing a calm water in her marriage to the Sovereign Prince of Monaco, Prince Albert. Prior to the wedding, she was reportedly sulky and wanted to run away.

All these controversies are hounded by the public when the "accused" are commoners, but not quite when the party chosen is a member of royalty or nobility. No digging of "closet" will be conducted by the press, it's maybe because the background is well-known and respected.

During ancient time, royalty members are supposed to marry within their circle to preserve the dignity and charm of the crown and this unwritten rule of the monarchy is supposed to be handed and carried down to the next generations of royals. Unfortunately, none among the present heirs managed to keep this mystical symbol of the monarchy. Among the current European heads, only Queen Elizabeth of Britain, King Albert II of Belgium and King Juan Carlos of Spain married fellow royals.
The bride with her brother, Count Jehan de Lannoy
The blushing bride, Countess Stephanie de Lannoy

With this, Prince Guillaume, the Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg understood pretty well the value of preserving mystic and prestige of the crown and when the moment came for him to decide to settle down, he knew exactly what to do.

Nothing was heard about his lovelife in the past so when the news came out in 2009 that he was dating someone from the aristocracy all royal watchers became excited.

And he did not disappoint his future subjects and royalists when the woman he was besotted with came from a notable family of nobility in Belgium.
So here, the most awaited "real" Royal Wedding in Europe had finally come.

The bridal march started the moment Countess Stephanie embarked from a limousine. She walked her steps to the altar accompanied by her brother, Count Jehan de Lannoy
The bride and her brother at the steps of the church
The bride started her long walk at the church's aisle
All the way to the altar's steps where the groom waited 
The couple listening intently to the service

Countess Stephanie de Lannoy descended from a well-respected Belgian noble family, a granddaughter of a Princess, Stephanie's pedigree came from a long line of Counts, Dukes and Princes in Belgium and due to her family's attachment to ancient aristocratic family of Europe her reputation is well protected and guarded. No controversies and doubts questioned on her background.

Countess Stephanie de Lannoy is a 28-year-old Belgian aristocrat who earned her languages degree at a Catholic University in Belgium. She had been dating Prince Guillaume since 2009.

 The official photos of the couple at the Grand Ducal Palace

The newlyweds with their families and members of the foreign royal court
According to the Daily Mail UK, the wedding cost was estimated to be 50,000 euros and considering the financial position of Luxembourg as the second richest country in the world in terms of gross domestic product per capita, this amount hardly posed a problem.

The lavish church ceremony was held at the Notre Dame Cathedral attended by royal family members around the world and government officials

The bride was a picture of loveliness wearing a magnificent ivory dress designed by Lebanese fashion designer, Ellie Saab. The beautiful gown with a 13 feet train is covered with intricate lace fabric and silver thread featuring a conservative bodice and lovely three-quartered lacey sleeves. It was delicately made from Chantilly lace, Calais lace, satin organza, tulle and silk crepe for the lining and decorated with 200 pieces of transparent glitters, 80,000 crystals, 50,000 beads and 10,000 meters of silver embroidery threads, such a classic creation for a lovely princess.

Stephanie wore a 15 meter silk tulle veil and held in place by a family tiara which her sisters had worn on their wedding day too. The family tiara is made of diamonds in the shape of an inverted pear surrounded by a dozen smaller jewels with a thin platinum jewelled frieze.

The service had a minute paused of silence honoring the bride's mother, Countess Alix, who passed away last August.

The state wedding on October 20, 2012 witnessed the pomp and pageantry of royalty with famous royal family members around the world attended the event wearing their state regalia.

Royal Guests include: The Kings of Norway and Belgium, the Queens of Denmark and the Netherlands, the ex-Kings and Queens of the former European Kingdoms, Princes and Princesses, Counts and Countesses, Dukes and Duchesses and royal family members from non-reigning royal houses of Europe. Because the groom is an heir to the throne, government dignitaries are included in the long list of guests.
A royal kiss at the balcony of the grand ducal palace

The couple will embark on a long week honeymoon to an undisclosed destination. Following the wedding, the bride will bear the official title of Her Royal Highness, the Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg with a courtesy title of a Princess.

The Daily Mail UK
Hello Magazine 



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