Official royal court photo shows Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa and Grand Duke Henri in Geneva, Switzerland
Photo: Tanja Raveane
Luxembourg’s grand duke has defended his wife in a strongly-worded open letter to the press following an investigation into the running of the court.
Writing from the bedside of his brother-in-law, Luis Mestre, in intensive care in Geneva, Grand Duke Henri said that he accepted the government’s decision to investigate personnel management practices within the royal court.
However, his family and the mother of his five children were suffering as a result of articles published in the media, which he said unfairly challenged the grand duchess.
The letter comes after the Lëtzebuerger Land published a story alleging claims of a hostile working environment as a result of the grand duchess’ staff handling. The article also suggested the grand duke could soon abdicate.
In an August 2019 story, Reporter.lu reported that since 2015 some 30 employees had been fired or resigned from the grand ducal court after serving relatively short terms.
“Why attack a woman? A woman who defends other women? A woman to who is not given the right to defend herself?”, Grand Duke Henri wrote on Monday.
He referred to the work carried out by Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa in relation to the Stand, Speak Rise up! Initiative, empowering survivors of sexual violence, as well as her work to destigmatise dyslexia, promote microfinance and education of girls and women.
“Since my accession to the throne we have, together, wished to contribute to the modernisation of our constitutional monarchy and we wish to continue on this path,” he wrote. “I am proud of the engagement, intelligence and energy that my wife invests in these actions. Her dedication to serve our country by my side these past 39 years is exemplary, it is essential for me.”
On suggestions of an imminent abdication, the grand duke wrote simply that it was a crucial time for the heir to the throne, Crown Prince Guillaume, who is expecting his first child. He stated that it was critical for Guillaume and his wife, Princess Stéphanie, to enjoy this important time as heirs.