Luxembourg got a new princess yesterday (Tuesday 17 September) when Prince Félix, the second son of Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, wed his German girlfriend Claire Lademacher. The couple were married in a civil ceremony in Villa Rothschild Kempinski in the bride’s hometown Königstein im Taunus.
The groom had chosen the bride’s brother, Félix Lademacher, as his witness, while the bride’s witness was the groom’s sister, Princess Alexandra.
Only the nearest were present for today’s wedding, but several hundred guests have been invited to the religious blessing of the marriage, which will take place in the Basilica of Saint Mary Magdalene in the small French town of Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume in the department of Var (some forty kilometres east of Aix-de-Provence) on Saturday.
Interestingly, there are already several links between the bride’s hometown Königstein im Taunus and the royal house into which she married, most notably the Luxembourg Palace in the town centre. According to the newspaper Wort (external link), this building from the late seventeenth century was acquired by Duke Adolph of Nassau, who had lost his duchy to Prussia in the war of 1866, when Nassau had been among the losers. Upon the death of King Willem III of the Netherlands/Grand Duke Guillaume III of Luxembourg in 1890, the union between those two countries was dissolved through the deceased’s daughter Wilhelmina inheriting the Dutch crown while his distant kinsman Adolph succeeded to the throne of Luxembourg. He continued to spend summers in Königstein, and the Luxembourg Palace became the dower house of his widow, Grand Duchess Adéläide-Marie, who died there in 1916. The palace, which had been thoroughly rebuilt and extended by the Belgian architect Gégéon Bordiau in 1873-1876, remained in the possession of the Luxembourgian grand ducal family until 1952. Since 1981 it is the main office of the district court.
Princess Claire of Luxembourg was born in Filderstadt in Germany on 21 March 1985 and was educated in Germany, the USA, Switzerland, France and Italy. She holds as master degree in bioethics (the same degree as Prince Félix is currently studying for) and has earlier worked for Condé Nast in New York and Munich, for IMG World in Berlin and for the UNESCO Chair of Bioethics and Human Rights, and is currently working on a PhD on the topic of organ donation ethics.