28 September 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Louis and Tessy's Wedding

 HRH Prince Louis of Luxembourg and Tessy Antony
September 29, 2006
Gilsdorf, Luxembourg

It's been five years since Prince Louis and Princess Tessy of Luxembourg were married, which means it's as good a time as any to look back to their wedding. And in this case, also the special circumstances surrounding it. For those that don't follow Luxembourg's grand ducal family, Louis is the third of Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa's five children.
Louis and Tessy after their civil wedding
In September 2005, the Grand Ducal Palace issued a surprise announcement: Prince Louis was expecting a child with his girlfriend of about a year, Tessy Antony. Louis was 19 years old; Tessy was 20. Apparently they met while Tessy was a soldier in Luxembourg's army serving in Kosovo. When I say this was a surprise, I mean it: this is a very discreet family. Many didn't even know Louis had a girlfriend; if anything, sketchy rumors had pointed towards Prince Félix (Louis' older brother) as the one on the verge of young parenthood. On March 12, 2006, their son Gabriel was born. In June of that year, they announced they were getting married.
Tessy with her father entering the church, and during the ceremony
About a month before the ceremony, Louis renounced his own rights to the throne as well as those of all his descendants. (Gabriel was already excluded has he was born illegitimately.) He wasn't required to do so by law, but he was following a precedent set by his uncle, Prince Jean, who gave up his succession rights when he had a daughter out of wedlock. (Jean would later go on to marry the mother of his illegitimate child, Hélène Vestur, and have three additional children before divorcing. He is now remarried.)
The gown from Pronovias
Louis and Tessy married on September 29, 2006. As seems appropriate, theirs was less a royal wedding and more a simple family affair. They married first in a civil ceremony at the Grand Ducal Palace, and then in a religious ceremony at a church in Gilsdorf. Tessy wore an off-the-rack dress from Pronovias with gloves that she removed during the ceremony.
With Gabriel after the service
This has never struck me as a princess's dress, but she wasn't a princess. After her wedding, she was simply Tessy de Nassau (and their son was Gabriel de Nassau). And while I can't say I'd give it a second glance on the rack myself, I've always liked it for one main reason: it seems like what she would have worn whether or not the man waiting at the end of the aisle was a prince.
With the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess
A year after they married, the couple welcomed their second son, Noah. On National Day in 2009, the Palace announced that Grand Duke Henri had granted his daughter-in-law the styling of Princess of Luxembourg, and his grandsons the titles of Princes of Nassau; also, everybody was to be styled with an HRH. (This is the same styling as the wife and children of any other Prince of Luxembourg would use.) Once again, this wasn't new territory for the family: the aforementioned Prince Jean's children and wife were granted titles after the fact.
Louis' siblings at the wedding (left to right): Prince Félix, Prince Sébastien, Prince Guillaume (the Hereditary Grand Duke), Princess Alexandra
These days, the Prince and Princess (along with their sons, of course) live in London, where they are both students. They join the family for major events.
The family this summer

Did you like Tessy's wedding gown?

Photos: PPE/Nieboer/Wort/Pronovias/RTL