The 500,000 euro wedding: Belgian countess shimmers in breathtaking lace dress as she marries heir to the Luxembourg throne in lavish ceremony
20:42 GMT, 21 October 2012
One of the biggest days in Luxembourg's not hugely-illustrious history has finally arrived.
Earlier today the wedding of Prince Guillaume, the heir to the throne
– the grand duke-to-be – and Belgian Countess Stephanie de Lannoy took place at the Cathedral of our Lady of Luxembourg.
A huge guest list of foreign royal families and dignitaries filled the church to watch the ceremony in the tiny (but very wealthy) country.
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Princess Stephanie of Luxembourg and Crown Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg exchanging their vows
The ceremony took place at the Cathedral of our Lady of Luxembourg
Princess Stephanie of Luxembourg walks down the aisle with her brother Count Jehan de Lannoy
Accompanied by her father, Count Phillipe de Lannoy, the 28-year-old bride, wore an Elie Saab dress, with a four-metre (13 feet) train as walked down the aisle.
The dress featured three-quarter length sleeves and a silk tulle veil, and was also adorned with a silver floral motif.
The ceremony, which was conducted in a mixture of French and English, and featured a minute's silence for Stephanie's late mother Countess Alix de Lannoy, who died in August this year.
The two-day wedding celebrations cost an estimated 500,000 euros (paid by the
Luxembourg taxpayer), and included free concerts, street shows and a giant
The guest list for the religious
ceremony included kings, queens, princes and princesses from European
countries including, among others, Belgium, Norway, Sweden,
Lichtenstein, Denmark, the Netherlands, Romania and Britain, which sent Prince Edward, Queen Elizabeth's youngest child, and his wife,
Happy together: The couple started dating in 2009 after being reunited at a party and got engaged in 2011
Regal: The elaborate Elie Saab dress featured three-quarter length sleeves and a silk tulle veil
Gathering: A group picture in the interior of the Palais Grand-Ducal in Luxembourg
The look of love: The newly-married couple smile and wave to an adoring crowd
The princess, seen here with her brother, just before entering the cathedral for the service
Princess Stephanie was given away by her brother Count Jehan de Lannoy
The princess looked happy and relaxed as she made her way to the service
The wedding dress, designed by Lebanese fashion designer Elie Saab, featured an enormous amount of intricate lace fabric
Prince Guillaume, 30, and Stephanie de Lannoy, 28, are hugely popular in their country and were seen recently in London, enjoying the 2012 Olympics.
Guillaume is a lieutenant colonel in the
Luxembourg army (a force of 900 soldiers), and has been engaged in
humanitarian work in other countries, including Nepal.
bride plays piano and violin, swims, skis, and says she reads
three books at a time.
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 plans to
renounce her Belgian citizenship in order to become, eventually,
Luxembourg's grand duchess.
Stephanie and Prince Guillaume wave to the crowd from the balcony after the wedding ceremony
Luxembourg's Prince Guillaume and Countess Stephanie kiss on the balcony of the Royal Palace after their wedding
(L-R) Prince Felix, Prince Henri, Stephanie, Prince Guillaume, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and Princess Alexandra wave to the crowd
Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg is the last hereditary prince in Europe to get married
The wedding was Luxembourg's answer to the British Royal Wedding last year of Prince William and Kate Middleton
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
In the 20th century, Germany swept through Luxembourg twice
despite its protestations of neutrality.
Luxembourg, an important financial
centre and home to the world's largest steel manufacturer, continues to
prosper despite Europe's economic trouble.
country has the second-highest gross domestic product per capita in the
world, more than 50,000 ($80,000) – though its population of about
510,000 people lost the Number one spot to
Qatar. The capital city has 80,000 inhabitants and 120,000 jobs.
that reason, more than 43 per cent of the people in Luxembourg are
foreign nationals, compared to a European Union average of 6.4 per cent.
Stephanie de Lannoy and her brother Count Jehan de Lannoy greet Most Reverend Jean-Claude Hollerich, Archbishop of Luxembourg as they arrive
A close-up view of Stephanie's hair and veil
Stephanie's dress was designed by Elie Saab and featured a 4-metre (13 feet) train
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex were present to represent the British royal family. Sophie wore a bespoke hat by millinar Jane Taylor featuring black pheasant feathers
Crown Prince Felipe of Spain and Princess Letizia of Spain attending the wedding ceremony
VIP guestlist (from left to right): Princess Marie Chantal of Greece, Prince Pavlos of Greece, King Constantine of Greece and Queen Anne Marie of Greece attend the Gala dinner for the wedding of Prince Guillaume Of Luxembourg and Stephanie de Lannoy
L-R: Princess Caroline of Monaco and Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco arrive at the Cathedral
The celebrations for the wedding lasted two days and costs half a million Euro
Making an entrance: A crowd of photographers, military officers an well-wishers watch as the bride, accompanied by her bridesmaids and maids of honour, make their way into the cathedral
Crown Prince Guillaume is 30-years-old, with his bride, who is two years younger at 28
The new couple listen intently during the wedding ceremony
Princess Stephanie, Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg and Prince Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg, leave the Cathedral of Our Lady of Luxembourg after their religious wedding ceremony
Newly-wed: The couple leave the Cathedral of Our Lady of Luxembourg as man and wife
Countess Stephanie de Lannoy and Crown Prince
Guillaume of Luxembourg are seated prior to the civil ceremony for the
wedding, which took place before the religious blessing
All smiles: The couple look relaxed and happy as they take part in their civil ceremony wedding
VIDEO: Pleasing the crowds with a kiss on the balcony!**
…The happy couple said I DO in a civil ceremony first…