Maria Teresa, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg

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Maria Teresa
Maria Teresa Mestre.jpg
Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg
Tenure 7 October 2000 – present
Born (1956-03-22) 22 March 1956 (age 66)
Marianao, Havana, Cuba
Spouse Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg
Issue Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg
Prince Félix
Prince Louis
Princess Alexandra
Prince Sébastien
Father José Antonio Mestre y Álvarez
Mother María Teresa Batista y Falla de Mestre
Religion Roman 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

Maria Teresa, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, was born in Marianao, Havana, Cuba, to José Antonio Mestre y Álvarez (Vedado, Havana, 1926 -) 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 (descended in the female line from Ferdinand I of León and Castile) 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 would then be 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, where she met her future husband.[citation needed]

In 1980 she graduated from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva with a degree in political sciences. Miss Mestre met Prince Henri at this university. For four years they both pursued similar studies, working sometimes in the same study groups.[citation needed]

Social and human interests

During the same period she took an interest in social and human problems, following the family tradition which had allegedly brought her grandparents to devote themselves to philanthropy and cultural tasks in Cuba.[citation needed]

Besides her studies, Miss Mestre was a member of a group in Geneva taking interest in the well-being of residents of retirement homes. She also taught children in a Geneva classroom.[citation needed]

As a Cuban, the Grand Duchess's first language is Spanish but she is fluent in French and English, having been raised in the United States and attended a Lycée Français and also studied in Switzerland. After her marriage she learned Luxembourgish,[citation needed] and she also speaks German and Italian.

In 2006, the Grand Duchess received the Path to Peace Award from a Holy See Foundation for her "relentless contribution to humanitarian causes."

She is the President of the Luxembourg Red Cross.

On 19 April 2007, the Grand Duchess was appointed UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children,[2] in which role she has visited Brazil (2007),[3] China (2008),[4] and Burundi (2009).[5]

She is a member of the Honorary Board of the International Paralympic Committee.[6]

The Grand Duchess is afraid of flying. [7]


Maria Teresa Mestre married Prince Henri of Luxembourg on 4 February 1981 (civil ceremony) and 14 February 1981 (religious ceremony) with the previous consent of the Grand Duke given on 7 November 1980. For the religious ceremony, the bride wore a silk gown with fur trim by Balmain with the Congo Diamond Tiara from the Luxembourg royal family jewels.

The couple have five children:

Titles, styles and honours

Styles of
Maria Teresa,
Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
Reference style Her Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Ma'am
File:GrandDuc epouse heritier.jpg
The Grand Duke Henri, his wife Maria Teresa and his son Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke

Titles and styles

From her marriage until her husband's accession on 7 October 2000 she was styled Her Royal Highness The Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg. Since then, she has been known as Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.


See also List of honours of the Luxembourgish Grand-Ducal Family by country

National honours

Foreign honours



  1. Ancestry of Maria Teresa Mestre (b. 1956), Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
  6. "Honorary Board". IPC.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Luxembourg's Grand Duchess is afraid of flying". Luxemberger Wort.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Official photo of the Grand-Ducal couple
  11. "L'actualité des royautés, "Henri et Maria Teresa en Autriche"" (in French). Retrieved 2 July 2013.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Group Photo
  13. Photo with Order of Leopold illustrating an article of "Noblesse et Royautes" website
  14. DECRETO DE 3 DE DEZEMBRO DE 2007 - website JusBrasil
  17. Noblesse et Royautés, [1] article about grand-ducal jewels
  18. "Noblesse et Royautés" website, article (in French) with photos of gala dinner
  19., State visit of President Stephanopoulos in Luxembourg, July 2001
  20. "Noblesse et Royautes" website, State visit of Italin President Napolitano in Luxembourg, february 2009
  21. Latvian Presidency, Recipients list (.doc)
  22. The royal forums, State visit of Luxembourg to Netherlands, 2006, Photo
  23. "Noblesse et Royautes" website, State visit of Queen Beatrix in Luxembourg, 21-23 march 2012
  25. "Noblesse et Royautes" website, State visit of Grand-Dukes in Norway, 30 May - 1 June 2011
  27. Order of Saint Isabel
  28. Noblesse et Royautes, Order of Saint Isabel awarded to several Gotha personalities
  29. 29.0 29.1 Portugal Presidency, Decorations to foreigners, (type "Maria Teresa" then "Pesquisar")
  30. Romanian Presidency website, Recipients of the order (Excel sheet)
  31. "Noblesse et Royautes" website, Victoria of Sweden's wedding, June 2010
  36. Gettyimages
  38. Boletín Oficial del Estado
  39. Spanish Royal Family website, State visit of Juan Carlos & Sofia in Luxembourg, April 2007 , Photo of the Sovereign couples

External links

Luxembourgish royalty
Preceded by
Joséphine Charlotte of Belgium
Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg
2000 – present