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Luxembourg celebrates wedding of heir to throne

The China Post news staff--Members and friends of the Luxembourg community are today celebrating the wedding of Prince Guillaume, the heir to the throne, with Belgian Countess Stephanie de Lannoy.

The high-society event has been a two-day affair in Luxembourg, including fireworks, concerts, a gala dinner at the grand ducal palace and two marriages between the betrothed — a civil wedding Friday afternoon and a religious ceremony Saturday morning.

The guest list for the religious ceremony includes kings, queens, princes and princesses from European countries including Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Lichtenstein, Denmark, the Netherlands, Romania and Britain.

Great Britain is sending Prince Edward, Queen Elizabeth's youngest child, and his wife, Sophie. Non-European royalty from Morocco, Japan, Jordan and elsewhere will be attending as well.

To all appearances, the bride and groom are a lovely couple. He is 30 with dark hair and an immaculate beard. She is 28, blonde and always has a smile on her face. In public appearances, they have appeared besotted with each other.

Guillaume speaks four languages, has studied international politics, is a lieutenant colonel in the Luxembourg army and has been engaged in humanitarian work in other countries, including Nepal. The duchess-to-be has studied the influence of German romanticism on Russian romanticism, plays piano and violin, swims, skis and says she reads three books at a time.

In the language department, she already speaks French and German — two of Luxembourg's three official languages — and, perhaps more importantly, is studying the third, which is called Luxembourgish. She has already been granting Luxembourg nationality in the event she becomes Luxembourg's grand duchess.

Luxembourg is a linguistically complicated country, a reflection of its complicated past. It began as a Roman fortress. It has, at one time or another, fallen under the control of Spain, France and Austria. In 1839, it gained its independence from the Netherlands, but lost more than half its territory to Belgium, which now has a province of the same name.

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Belgian Countess Stephanie de Lannoy arrives at the Luxembourg theater for a reception organized by the country's governor prior to her civil wedding with Prince Guillaume, ...

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