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On 13 February, a gala dinner for 110 guests was held at the Government Palace, before the religious and civil ceremonies on 14 February. While some have proposed that the propitious wedding date was due to a love of the holiday, others have suggested that in Luxembourg, it is not widely celebrated, so they did not actually realise their wedding was taking place on Valentine’s Day. Whatever the truth behind the story, it was a glorious day, which saw fellow European royals descending on the tiny principality to watch its eldest son wed his beautiful bride.

And beautiful she was: wearing a stunning custom-made gown by the French fashion house, Balmain. Long-sleeved with a bell-shaped skirt, it featured fur detailing appropriate for the chilly weather in February in western Europe, as well as an impressive two-metre long train.  As befits a royal bride, she also borrowed a tiara from her mother-in-law (despite a frosty relationship), the Belgian Congo Diamond Necklace Tiara (the Grand Duchess had been a princess of Belgium before her marriage).  

The wedding of Prince Henri with Maria Teresa Mestre

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Royal guests included Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco (whose eldest daughter, Princess Caroline, had once been rumoured as a suitable bride for Prince Henri), the Duke of Edinburgh, King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola of Belgium and the former Queen Marie-Jose of Italy. 

After the ceremony, the couple left Notre-Dame Cathedral underneath an archway of swords, before returning to the palace, where they appeared on the balcony to hundreds of well-wishers, greeting the waving crowds with kisses.