Sunday, October 7, 2012

A proposal only three weeks before the announcement

Embed from Getty Images 

Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg told the Luxembourg press that he proposed to Stephanie only three weeks before the official announcement was made.

He said that he and Stephanie were able to keep their relationship private "because our families are actually very discreet and the Luxembourg press has always respected our privacy."

He would not discuss the personal aspects of the proposal except to say that Stephanie said yes.

Stephanie said she knew that Guillaume would propose but on the day it happened, she said "had not expected it."

The couple state that they want a "typical Luxembourgish wedding."

Prince Guillaume:  "We want to share our day with the public, both in the church and outside.  This is really our wish."

The couple is very involved in the planning of their wedding.  They are aware of the historic record, but they have also been given some space to add their own personalities to the wedding ceremony.

Prince Guillaume said that he and his fiancée have selected the readings for the wedding party, even a few of the songs, and were able to invite some of their friends.

Stephanie acknowledged that she and Prince Guillaume were shattered by her mother, Countess Alix's unexpected death.

Since her mother's death,  Stephanie has worn her mother's engagement ring, along with her own. She will also wear it on her wedding day.

The wedding will begin with a moment of silence for the late Countess Alix de Lannoy.

Prince Guillaume noted that the wedding will be "an international event." 

"It is a proud moment for us, and also a good opportunity to show a beautiful picture of Luxembourg.  It is clear that we are excited,,  But on the day itself, it will be our event, and we will try to keep as much distance as possible from the cameras and photographers."

Countess Stephanie added that "I will see no cameras, only Guillaume, my father, my family, my close friends."

Guillaume acknowledges that there will be a stag party, but it will be a "surprise."  The party will be arranged by Guillaume's brother and a very close friend.

Countess Stephanie chimed in, laughing: "I know the details but I am not giving anything away."

The couple was also asked about their honeymoon.  Stephanie said she has no idea where they are going.  "There is a tradition in my family that the groom organizes the honeymoon, and I look forward to the surprise."

Guillaume added: "The only thing I can tell you is that the journey takes place after the wedding."

The young couple is concerned about the cost of the wedding.

Prince Guillaume said he understands that the cost has "sparked a debate."  He added that his wedding is a state occasion, which includes the attendance of foreign guests.

"It is also about the reputation of Luxembourg," he said.

Guillaume and Stephanie were also asked about Stephanie's fast track toward Luxembourg citizenship.

Guillaume said: "I understand those who criticize it.  Many foreigners have to wait a long time and it is not easy to obtain nationality. Stephanie is also learning the Luxembourgish language, and she has begun speaking it.  One must not forget that Stephanie will become Grand Duchess through her marriage.  Therefore it is important that she become a Luxembourger by then."

Stephanie added: "I understand that there was a debate.  But it makes me sad that people do not understand that citizenship is a privilege, but this is a single case, and our wedding requires special measures. I see this as a gift, but it also makes sense in my future role as Grand Duchess."

She added that she will relinquish her Belgian nationality.  "I want to emphasize that I feel it is an honor to get Luxembourg nationality.  It is a beautiful gift from Luxembourg.  And as Grand Duchess, I am proud to accept the nationality of my husband.  I will find it a great honor if the Luxembourgers will accept me as one of their representatives.  Belgium will always be the land of my childhood.  There I have my roots.  But I think that maintaining my Belgian citizenship is incompatible with my new job."

After the couple returns from their honeymoon,  they will travel to China for an official trip. 

Stephanie said she wants to live a "normal family life."

"I want to go shopping. I want to cook for us.  Guillaume also likes to cook.  As for my job, I want to concentrate entirely on the representation of Luxembourg."

Prince Guillaume stated:  "As you know, I support the economic missions of the country.  This is a job close to my heart  Stephanie will accompany me on these trips in the future.  In addition, Stephanie would like to invest in the social sectors.  I think that can help the country."

The future Princess would also like to focus on the lonely, and not just the elderly.

Guillaume and Stephanie come from large families, which led to the inevitable question about family planning.

Stephanie said:  "Four or five children today are plenty.  Eight children, this is rare. [Stephanie is the youngest of eight children.]  Eight children were the wish of my parents, and as the youngest child, I can only be pleased about it, otherwise, I would not have been born.  But I do want to hold onto the tradition of a large family."

Guillaume added: "It is an asset when you grow up with many siblings.  We do not have an exact idea of how many children we want.  The future will show us."

When they were asked if they planned to start a family in the  "near future," Stephanie responded by saying "Good question.  The answer, however, depends on what you mean by "near future."  Over the next three years, yes.  It's not a priority, but it is important to us."

They will not be moving into Schloss Berg after the wedding.

"It is clear that we want our independence.  It will not be at Schloss Berg,  It will be in Luxembourg, but we will not say more than this time."

The Countess was asked if it has been difficult to learn Luxembourgish.

"I understand the language very well, but I have trouble speaking it. How do you say: "Schei Sprooch, Schweier Sprooch ..." I learned German at the age of 18 years. Now I'm 28, it has become more difficult."

She was also asked about living in the public eye. "When I met Guillaume, I did not give it much thought. But we have talked about it in the last few months. I am not afraid, but I a very impressed. I will try my best to prepare for my areas of responsibility. And I know that I always have Guillaume at my side. That reassures me."

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