Luxembourg's Grand Duchess turns 57

Photo: Serge Waldbillig

Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, Maria-Teresa, celebrated her 57th birthday on Friday.

The spouse of Grand Duke Henri, the Grand Duchess originally hails from Havana, Cuba, where she was born during the Castro revolution.

Aged three, Maria-Teresa left Cuba with her parents for New York where she studied until moving to Santander in Spain and finally settling in Geneva.

The Grand Duchess later gained Swiss nationality and met Grand Duke Henri while studying a degree in Political Science at the University of Geneva. The pair became engaged just three weeks after graduating and tied the knot on Valentine's day of 1981.

Today a mother of five and grandmother to two children, HRH Maria-Teresa dedicates much of her time to philanthropic work, notably establishing a foundation to fund social integration and help people with special needs in Luxembourg and abroad.

In 1997, Maria-Teresa was made UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, supporting the fight against poverty through education and micro-credit projects. Among other things, she is patron of LuxFLAG, a fund labelling agency, and honorary president of the Luxembourg Red Cross and Cancer Foundation.