Royals 'besotted with each other'
Oct 18, 2012 / 12:06 am
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg doesn't get a lot of turns in the spotlight.
It's an independent country tinier than Rhode Island, the smallest U.S. state, and it would fit inside Germany, its neighbour to the east, 138 times with room to spare. It won no medals at the 2012 London Olympics; its best performance ever was one lone medal in the 1952 Helsinki Games, a gold in the men's 1,500 metres.
But this week is Luxembourg's turn to shine. Prince Guillaume, the heir to the throne, the grand duke-to-be, will marry Belgian Countess Stephanie de Lannoy. It will be a two-day affair, 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.
A glittering array of European royalty has been invited. The guest list for the religious ceremony includes kings, queens, princes and princesses from European countries including, among others, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Lichtenstein, Denmark, the Netherlands, Romania and Britain, which is sending Prince Edward, Queen Elizabeth's youngest child, and his wife, Sophie.
Non-European royalty plan to attend, as well, from Morocco, Japan and Jordan and elsewhere.
With all those royals coming to Luxembourg, can international attention be far behind?
"It's good for Luxembourg," said Nadine Chenet, a 46-year-old street cleaner who was picking up cigarette butts with pincers in front of the grand ducal palace. "Many people will come now."
Besides, she just plain likes the royal family, she said: They give a good impression of the country.
That's a sentiment common in Luxembourg. 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 smiling. In public appearances, including at the London Olympics, they have appeared besotted with each other.
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