Saturday, February 16, 2013

Luxarazzi 101: Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg

On 16th February 1991, then Hereditary Grand Duke Henri and Hereditary Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa welcomed their fourth child and only daughter into the world. The little girl, who was born at the Maternité Grande-Duchesse Charlotte, was named Alexandra. By birth she is a royal highness, a Princess of Luxembourg, a Princess of Nassau and a Princess de Bourbon de Parme.

The newborn Princess Alexandra
with her mother
As Princess Alexandra is celebrating her 22nd birthday today, it is time for an instalment of Luxarazzi 101 about Luxembourg's beautiful princess.

On March 23rd, she was baptised with the names of Alexandra Joséphine Teresa Charlotte Marie Wilhelmine at the parish church in Fischbach. Later a reception at the Château de Fischbach was held.

Her godparents are Prince Michel de Ligne, son of Princess Alix of Luxembourg and thus a cousin of Grand Duke Henri, and Archduchess Maria-Anna of Austria, oldest daughter of Archduke Rudolf and wife of Prince Piotr Galitzine. The Galitzine's used to live in the Grand Duchy for a couple of years.

She was named Joséphine for her paternal grandmother Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte, Teresa for both her mother and her maternal grandmother Maria-Teresa Batista Falla, Charlotte for her paternal great-grandmother Grand Duchess Charlotte, Marie in honour of the Virgin Mary as it is a custom of several Roman Catholic dynasties in Europe and Wilhelmine as the female version of Guillaume / Wilhelm, a name shared by most other male and female members of the Nassau family.

Photo: Cour grand-ducale
Princess Alexandra is the godmother of her nephew Prince Gabriel, the oldest son of Prince Louis and Princess Tessy.

She attended the local primary school in Angelsberg, which is close to both Colmar-Berg and Fischbach. She finished off her education at the Lycée Vauban, a French school in Luxembourg City, from where she graduated with honours in 2009. The multi-lingual princess is fluent in Luxembourgish, French, English and Spanish; she knows German and Italian as well.

Also in 2009 upon her 18th birthday, she became a member of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau, which is a novelty for a Luxembourgish princess. While all male members of the family are born members of the order, it was not common for female members of the family to become members; exceptions being female head of states themselves and wives of the (future) head of states. Alexandra's aunts, Princess Marie-Astrid and Princess Margaretha, are only members of the lower Order of Merit of Adolphe of Nassau, which Alexandra also is like all born princesses of the family.

Photo: Roland Miny Pressphoto
Since the change of the law of succession in 2010, Princess Alexandra is third in line to the throne behind her older brothers Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Prince Félix. She remains the only female in line as the change only applies to the descendants of Grand Duke Henri.

After obtaining her baccalaureate in Luxembourg she went to Italy for a while to study in Rome.

Princess Alexandra is a keen tennis player but also enjoys alpine skiing and water-skiing among other sports. When she was younger she practised rhythmic gymnastics, dance and swimming. She likes literature as well.

We usually get to see the princess for the big events in Luxembourg such as the National Day or the Octave of Our Lady of Luxembourg, though she also accompanies other members of the family to smaller events every once in a while. Most recently she accompanied her parents to Paris for the blessing of the bells. Before Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume got married Princess Alexandra also often acted as his +1 at different events, both at home and abroad.

Photo: Christian Aschman /
Cour grand-ducale
Only rarely she ventures out of the palais for official events all on her own. Following the example led by her aunts and uncles, Princess Alexandra and her brother are expected to make their own living. Much like her father's siblings they will slowly fade into the background over the years.

Nevertheless, Princess Alexandra is the patron of the Lëtzebuerger Déiereschutzliga and the Fondation Lëtzebuerger Blannevereenegung.

In 2010 Princess Alexandra started attending a Catholic small town university in Western Ohio where she studied social sciences and psychology. Though she recently seems to have changed schools, she remains situated in the United States.

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