Luxembourg royal wedding: Crown Prince Guillaume weds

 

BBC's Maddy Savage said the wedding dress was reported to have taken 3,200 hours to make

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Luxembourg is celebrating the marriage of its Crown Prince Guillaume, 30, to 28-year-old Belgian Countess Stephanie de Lannoy - the biggest royal event in decades in the tiny Grand Duchy.

Europe's royalty as well as ordinary citizens attended a service at Notre Dame cathedral, a day after the couple tied the knot in a civil ceremony.

The festivities will culminate in a pop concert later in the day.

Crown Prince Guillaume is first in line to Luxembourg's throne.

Limited-edition champagne, chocolates and china have filled the shop windows around the city of Luxembourg, with postcards and pins showing the smiling engagement photo of the couple, the BBC's Maddy Savage reports.

Luxembourgers have a reputation for being calm and reserved, but there is a strong undercurrent of excitement sweeping through the cobbled streets of the city, our correspondent says.

Glittering guest list

Analysis

Luxembourgers have given a warm and passionate welcome to the country's heir and his new wife.

Some waited outside the Grand Ducal Palace for hours to get a prime view of the married couple as they smiled and kissed for the crowds from the balcony.

Anna Pasquale, a spectator, said she had come to witness a "truly historic moment" and was hoping that her toddler son would also remember the occasion.

The Grand Ducal family is widely respected here, and its members make frequent public appearances across the country.

However, in the newspapers and on the streets there has been some criticism of the cost of the festivities as well as maintaining the royal residences.

More than 120 international media organisations have requested accreditation for the event, including TV channels and newspapers from China, Morocco, Russia and the US.

Luxembourg City Tourist Office is organising a three-day wedding-themed tour for royalty fans.

The official guest list for the ceremony includes the king and queen of Norway, the crown prince of Japan, and Prince Hassan and Princess Sarvath of Jordan. Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex are representing the UK.

Stephanie de Lannoy is an uncomplicated choice of bride for Prince Guillaume, our correspondent says. The couple have known each other for years, started dating in 2009 after being reunited at a party and got engaged in 2011.

She is a member of Belgian nobility and is fluent in French, German and Russian after studying languages at the Catholic University in Leuven, Belgium. In interviews with the Luxembourg press, she has spoken of their mutual love of cooking and her delight at marrying her "very own Prince Charming".

The only controversy in the run-up to the ceremony has been the decision to grant her Luxembourg citizenship, avoiding a usually long and complex legal process.

 

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