Maria Teresa, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg

For other uses, see Maria Theresa (disambiguation).
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Mestre and the second or maternal family name is Batista.
Maria Teresa
Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg
Tenure 7 October 2000 – present
Born (1956-03-22) 22 March 1956
Marianao, Havana, Cuba
Spouse Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg
Issue Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg
Prince Félix
Prince Louis
Princess Alexandra
Prince Sébastien
Father José Antonio Mestre y Álvarez
Mother María Teresa Batista y Falla de Mestre
Religion Roman Catholicism

Maria Teresa, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg (born María Teresa Mestre y Batista; on 22 March 1956), is the spouse of Grand Duke Henri.

Early life and education

Maria Teresa, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, was born in Marianao, Havana, Cuba, to José Antonio Mestre y Álvarez (Vedado, Havana, 1926 -) and wife (m. Vedado, Havana, 1951) María Teresa Batista y Falla de Mestre (Vedado, Havana, 1928–1988), both from bourgeois families of Spanish descent.[1]

The Mestre family (descended in the female line from Ferdinand I of León and Castile) have as their patriarch Arnau Mestre, born Landorthe, who married in 1625 in San Pedro de Ribas. One of his descendants, Francisco Mestre y Roig Benaprés (born in 1787 in Sitges) travelled to Cuba in 1830 where he married Josefa Dominguez y Morales (born in 1764, daughter of Andres Domínguez Bencomo and Manuela Morales Ponce de León), being the founder of the Mestre family in Cuba. The Grand Duchess also descends through her father from the Spanish Espinosa de los Monteros noble family.

Her maternal grandparents were Don Agustín Batista y González de Mendoza (Batista family member with possessions in the town of Puerto de Santa María del Príncipe and no family relationship with Fulgencio Batista), Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Trust Company of Cuba and Doña María Teresa Falla Bonet, daughter of the Spanish tycoon Laureano Falla Gutierrez, millionaire businessman whose fortune was made up of several sugar mills, two banks (one of which is "The Trust Company of Cuba") and other goods which were confiscated by the government of the Revolution.

In October 1959, at the time of the revolution, Maria Teresa Mestre left Cuba with her parents. The family settled in New York City, where, as a young girl, she was a pupil at Marymount School. From 1961 she carried on her studies at the Lycée Français de New York. In her childhood, Maria Teresa Mestre took ballet and singing courses. She practices skiing, ice-skating and water sports. She lived in New York City, Santander, Spain, and Geneva, where she met her future husband.

In 1980 she graduated from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva with a degree in political sciences. Miss Mestre met Prince Henri at this university. For four years they both pursued similar studies, working sometimes in the same study groups.

Social and humanitarian interests

During the same period she took an interest in social and human problems, following the family tradition which had allegedly brought her grandparents to devote themselves to philanthropy and cultural tasks in Cuba.

Besides her studies, Miss Mestre was a member of a group in Geneva taking interest in the well-being of residents of retirement homes. She also taught children in a Geneva classroom.

As a Cuban, the Grand Duchess's first language is Spanish but she is fluent in French and English, having been raised in the United States and attended a Lycée Français and also studied in Switzerland. After her marriage she learned Luxembourgish, and she also speaks German and Italian.

In 2006, the Grand Duchess received the Path to Peace Award from a Holy See Foundation for her "relentless contribution to humanitarian causes."

She is the President of the Luxembourg Red Cross.

On 19 April 2007, the Grand Duchess was appointed UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children,[2] in which role she has visited Brazil (2007),[3] China (2008),[4] and Burundi (2009).[5]

She is a member of the Honorary Board of the International Paralympic Committee.[6]

The Grand Duchess is afraid of flying. [7]


Maria Teresa Mestre married Prince Henri of Luxembourg on 4 February 1981 (civil ceremony) and 14 February 1981 (religious ceremony) with the previous consent of the Grand Duke given on 7 November 1980. For the religious ceremony, the bride wore a silk gown with fur trim by Balmain with the Congo Diamond Tiara from the Luxembourg royal family jewels.

The couple have five children:

Titles, styles and honours

Styles of
Maria Teresa,
Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
Reference style Her Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Ma'am
The Grand Duke Henri, his wife Maria Teresa and his son Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke

Titles and styles

From her marriage until her husband's accession on 7 October 2000 she was styled Her Royal Highness The Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg. Since then, she has been known as Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.


See also List of honours of the Luxembourgish Grand-Ducal Family by country

This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

National honours

Foreign honours



  1. Ancestry of Maria Teresa Mestre (b. 1956), Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
  2. "HRH Grand Duchess of Luxembourg becomes Eminent Advocate for Children". UNICEF. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
  3. "UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children visits AIDS projects in São Paulo". UNICEF. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
  4. "Summer camp aims to help children in China affected by AIDS". UNICEF. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
  5. "Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg visits Burundi". UNICEF. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
  6. "Honorary Board". IPC.
  7. "Luxembourg's Grand Duchess is afraid of flying". Luxemburger Wort.
  8. Official photo of the Grand-Ducal couple
  10. "Luxarazzi: New Family Portraits of the Grand Ducal Family". Retrieved 2016-01-23.
  11. "L'actualité des royautés, "Henri et Maria Teresa en Autriche"" (in French). Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  12. Group Photo
  13. Photo with Order of Leopold illustrating an article of "Noblesse et Royautes" website
  14. DECRETO DE 3 DE DEZEMBRO DE 2007 - website JusBrasil
  16. "Diamonds and sapphires: Stephanie's tiara choices". Retrieved 2016-01-23.
  17. Noblesse et Royautés, article about grand-ducal jewels
  22., State visit of President Stephanopoulos in Luxembourg, July 2001
  23. "Noblesse et Royautes" website, State visit of Italian President Napolitano in Luxembourg, february 2009
  24. Latvian Presidency, Recipients list (.doc)
  25. The royal forums, State visit of Luxembourg to Netherlands, 2006, Photo
  26. "Noblesse et Royautes" website, State visit of Queen Beatrix in Luxembourg, 21-23 march 2012
  27. "Royal Bling". Pinterest. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
  28. "Noblesse et Royautes" website, State visit of Grand-Dukes in Norway, 30 May - 1 June 2011
  29. "Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and King Carl gustaf of Sweden arrive for...". Getty Images. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
  30. Order of Saint Isabel
  31. Noblesse et Royautes, Order of Saint Isabel awarded to several Gotha personalities
  32. 1 2 Portugal Presidency, Decorations to foreigners, (type "Maria Teresa" then "Pesquisar")
  33. Romanian Presidency website, Recipients of the order (Excel sheet)
  34. Boletín Oficial del Estado
  35. Spanish Royal Family website, State visit of Juan Carlos & Sofia in Luxembourg, April 2007 , Photo of the Sovereign couples
  36. "Noblesse et Royautes" website, Victoria of Sweden's wedding, June 2010
  38. " - Hochzeit des Jahres". Pinterest. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
  39. "Diamonds and sapphires: Stephanie's tiara choices". Retrieved 2016-01-23.
  41. Gettyimages

External links

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Luxembourgish royalty
Preceded by
Princess Joséphine Charlotte of Belgium
Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg
Duchess of Nassau

2000 – present
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