Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa shown here in an archive photo Photo: Cour grand-ducale/Emanuele Scorcelletti
Luxembourg’s Grand Duchess Maria Teresa on Tuesday was a guest on ABC’s “Good Morning America” programme as part of its series focused on monarchies in the 21st century.
Speaking with ABC News’ Maggie Rulli during a behind-the-scenes interview at Berg Castle in Colmar-Berg, the grand duchess spoke about the “particular responsibility” of belonging to a royal family, adding: “It’s a life of giving up your liberty, it’s a life of commitment to your country, and especially of service.”
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa stated that what motivated her was helping others. Such causes have included her Stand Speak Rise Up initiative, which has brought more international attention to survivors of sexual violence in wartime and other vulnerable situations.
But the royal role isn’t without its pressures. “We have a tendency to give the impression that belonging to a royal family is very red carpet, tiaras and beautiful things,” the grand duchess explained. “But I can tell you having a tiara on your head for five hours at a state dinner can give you a serious headache.”
Visiting the castle, Rulli commented she felt as though “I’m living in a real-life Disneyworld right now,” adding that the royal opened up with her on a personal level about raising five children inside the château, them playing hide-and-seek.
During the interview, the grand duchess also spoke about her Cuban family being her “backbone” and reminisced about her first meeting [now Grand Duke] Henri in Geneva.
“I said to myself, the worst thing you can do is fall in love with a crown prince. What a problem,” she said, laughing. “The minute I saw him, that was it.”
It was a challenge, she added, going from “a private person to becoming a public person. When you enter a royal family, you also marry the institution, and you marry the country.”