Friday saw the fiancèe of Luxembourg Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume lay her mother to rest, just weeks before her own wedding.
Countess Stephanie de Lannoy joined her seven elder brothers and sisters for the private funeral at Frasnes-Les-Anvaign in Belgium. With Stephanie was her husband-to-be, Guillaume, who escorted the visibly devastated Countess. His parents, Their Royal Highnesses Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa were at the funeral, as well as Princes Felix and Louis and Princess Tessy.
Also in attendance were Belgian royals Crown Prince Philippe, Princess Mathilde and Queen Fabiola, who were familiar with the de Lannoys’ – an aristocratic family dating back generations.
70 year old Comtesse Alix de Lannoy died Sunday after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage. 28 year old Stephanie is scheduled to marry Guillaume in mid-October, and there are no plans to change the wedding date as of yet.
In honor of the bride-to-be’s mother, the flag of Luxembourg was lowered to half-mast at the Grand Ducal Palace and at Castle Hill.
Less than two months before she is to marry the future Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Countess Stephanie de Lannoy’s is mourning the loss of her mother.
Comtesse Alix de Lannoy passed away Sunday from a cerebral hemorrhage. She was 70 years old.
The Grand Ducal Court issued a statement saying, “Their Royal Highnesses Prince Guillaume, the Grand Duke, the Grand Duchess and the whole family join in the pain of the Count de Lannoy and his beloved family with our sincere and deepest regret.”
The Comtesse married Count Philippe in 1965 and had eight children with him. Stephanie is the youngest.
28 year old Stephanie is to marry Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume in a civil ceremony on October 19th, followed by a religious ceremony on October 20th. The couple announced their engagement in April.
At 11:30am local time, Luxembourg’s Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume introduced his fiancée, Countess Stephanie de Lannoy, to his country’s dignitaries. The couple announced their intention to marry later this year yesterday.
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In attendance at the palace’s reception was Prime Minister Claude Juncker, government officials, the ambassadors from Germany and Belgium, and leaders of Luxembourg’s Roman Catholic Church. Also there were the attorney general, the major of Luxembourg City, Xavier Bettel, the head of the army, Gaston Reinig and the head of the police forces, Romain Nettgen.
Of course, so were Their Royal Highnesses Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, visibly happy for their eldest child.
After the reception, the Grand Ducal family and the de Lannoys’ – who are one of Belgium’s oldest aristocratic families – had lunch at the Chateau de Berg.
At 3:30pm, it was time to meet the press. Flanked by his three eldest siblings – Prince Felix and Prince Louis – and his sister-in-law, Princess Tessy, Guillaume walked proudly arm in arm with Stephanie to the waiting media.
See even more photos here!
When asked how they met, the Hereditary Grand Duke said he met the Countess at a mutual friend’s party – and get this – it was love at first sight!
Stephanie told the press she was happy to have discover how beautiful a country Luxembourg is, and her husband-to-be added he was proud to introduce her to his country.
Guillaume even planted a kiss on the side of Stephanie’s head to top off the press call.
The exact wedding date will be announced in the coming weeks.
Luxembourg’s next reigning Grand Duke is engaged to marry his longtime girlfriend after two years of a hush-hush relationship.
Click here for the official photos
It was only in November that Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume revealed that he had a girlfriend, but even then he did not name her. It was the European press that found out that the mysterious girl was Countess Stephanie de Lannoy, from one of the oldest aristocratic families in Belgium. Still, there was no confirmation.
Now there is, plus a royal wedding in the works!
Tomorrow, the happy couple will meet with the press followed by a reception at the palace that will include the president of the Chamber, the State Council, the Archbishop, the Papal Nuncio of the Vatican, several ambassadors, and the city mayor.
There is no official date yet, but reportedly the nuptials will take place later this year.
Countess Stephanie, age 28, is the youngest of eight children from Count Philippe de Lannoy and Alix della Faille de Leverghem. Her great-grandfather was Lord Chamberlain at the Belgian royal court, while her grandmother was Princess Beatrix de Ligne.
Stephanie studied German philology at Louvain-la-Neuve and received her master’s degree from a university in Berlin. Her master’s thesis was about German influence on Russian romanticism. She also once spent a year in Moscow, right after college.
The Countess speaks English, French, Dutch, German and Russian, and plays the violin. She currently works at an investment firm.