Royalty from around the world flocked to one of Europe’s smallest countries on Saturday as Luxembourg’s heir-to-the-throne tied the knot. This was Luxembourg’s biggest royal event in years.
Luxembourg's archbishop celebrated the Catholic wedding mass at the city's Notre Dame cathedral, a day after Prince Guillaume and Stephanie de Lannoy, a countess from Belgium, had been legally married in a civil ceremony.
Among the royals who attended were Britain's Prince Edward, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, Belgian King Albert II, and Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito.
Thousands of ordinary well-wishers crammed into the center of the city of Luxembourg on Saturday, hoping to catch a glimpse of the newlyweds. The ceremony was broadcast on a large screen in Luxembourg's main square.
During the ceremony, the countess showed off her language skills, saying her vows in Luxembourgish.
Wedding source of discontent
Both the fact that the countess is to have her application to become a citizen of Luxembourg fast-tracked and the 500,000-euro ($651,000) cost of the wedding have been the source of discontent among some Luxembourg taxpayers. This point was not lost on Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who is perhaps better known internationally as the head of the Eurogroup of nations that use the euro currency.
"The world is watching us. We aren't going to overdo it, but we mustn't make ourselves smaller than we are," Juncker said in a speech broadcast prior to the event.
Luxembourgis one of Europe's smallest countries, with around half a million people inhabiting an area of just 2,586 square kilometers (998 square miles).
pfd/slk (AFP, AP)