Monday, February 20, 2017

It's Official: No Title for Tessy

From the moment that it was announced that Prince Louis and Princess Tessy would divorce we began discussing how this would impact Tessy's titles. Normally, we wouldn't even need to discuss the matter, as the Nassau Family Pact and the Bylaws Concerning the House Law make it clear that any titles of and memberships to the Grand Ducal House and/or Grand Ducal Family are lost upon legal separation or divorce. 

However, we all know that Tessy's path to becoming a Royal Highness and a Princess wasn't exactly traditional and didn't happen upon her marriage as was the case for her former sisters-in-law. Because she received her title long after her marriage and in a press release - and we assume decree -, there was always the possibility that her title would be viewed as her own property without regard to her marital status. But as long as we do not know the official wording of the decree, it's hard to argue about any of this. As a result of this confusion, which we elaborated on in our earlier post about her title, we contacted the cour

Earlier today, we received the reply from the cour stating that Tessy does in fact fall under the ordinary rules "following the grand-ducal decree from June 18, 2012, [...] a spouse (by marriage) loses, in case of divorce, her titles and predicates [style]". As a result, HRH Princess Tessy of Luxembourg, Princess of Nassau, and Princess of Bourbon-Parma became either Ms Tessy Antony or Ms Tessy de Nassau once again when the decree nisi was granted. She also lost any memberships she may have had in The House and/or The Family. (Although, we have debated extensively if she actually gained either because the house regulations specifically state that a title conferred in the individual case cannot infer other status or rights. But that would be another matter for another post on another day.)

It is important to note based on some of the comments we have received that these changes to her title and status happened when the decree nisi was granted late last week as the Family Bylaws state, "In case of a legal separation, a divorce or remarriage after death, the wives lose the style and title conferred upon them." It would be hard to argue that a decree nisi, in fact, isn't a legal separation. Whether Tessy is now known by her maiden name, Tessy Antony, or the name she used during the first few years of her marriage, Tessy de Nassau, isn't entirely clear yet and we will make sure to get back to you about it once receive a reply by the cour. Bets are on the former as women in Luxembourg usually don't legally take their husband's last name but instead use it out of courtesy, but we will see... Of course, there is also the small chance of Grand Duke Henri creating a title for Tessy but there is no precedence for it in Luxembourg and considering that the Bylaws are only five years old, one hopes the rules aren't changed yet again.

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