Ex Bulgarian Royalty Joins Splendid Luxembourg Wedding
Bulgaria's former Tsar, Simeon Saxe-Coburg, wife Margarita, son Prince Kiril and Princess Miriam, were among the official guests of the Luxembourg Crown Prince's wedding.
Luxembourg celebrated Saturday the marriage of its Crown Prince Guillaume, 30, to 28-year-old Belgian Countess Stephanie de Lannoy - the biggest royal event in decades in the tiny Grand Duchy.
Europe's royalty as well as ordinary citizens attended a service at Notre Dame Cathedral, a day after the couple tied the knot in a civil ceremony in the capital's City Hall.
In addition to the Bulgarian royal family, the official guest list for the ceremony included the crown prince of Japan, Prince Hassan and Princess Sarvath of Jordan, the UK Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex, Norway's King Harald V and Queen Sonja, Prince Hans-Adam II and Princess Marie of Liechtenstein, Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and her consort Prince Henrik, Sweden's Queen Silvia and Princess Lalla Salma, wife of Moroccan King Mohammed VI.
The President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker, and EU Justice Affairs Commissioner, Viviane Reding, were also among the guests.
The Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, in full dress uniform, was accompanied by Stephanie's aunt, the sister of Countess Alix de Lannoy, who died in late August. Saturday's wedding mass began with a minute of silence in her honor.
The festivities culminated in a pop concert and a gala dinner.
Crown Prince Guillaume is first in line to Luxembourg's throne. He has a degree in political science and has studied in France and Great Britain.
Stephanie de Lannoy is a member of Belgian nobility and is fluent in French, German and Russian after studying languages at the Catholic University in Leuven, Belgium. In interviews with the Luxembourg press, she has spoken of their mutual love of cooking and her delight at marrying her "very own Prince Charming".
The couple have known each other for years, started dating in 2009 after being reunited at a party and got engaged in 2011.
Bulgaria's Tsar Simeon, who is also a former Prime Minister, is a close relative to Luxembourg's Great Duke Jean, father of Henri, since the Duke's father is a half-brother of Simeon's grandmother.
Simeon has visited Luxembourg frequently. In an interview with local media, he wished the young couple a lasting happiness and a long live together.