Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Maria Teresa Mestre
In October 1959, at the time of the Cuban revolution, Maria Teresa Mestre left Cuba with her wealthy parents who had benefited from the corrupt Batista regime in Cuba. The family settled in New York where, as a young girl, she was a pupil at Marymount School. From 1961 she carried on her studies at the Lycée Français. In June 1965 her parents lived for a few months on their family estate of Santander in Spain, before taking up permanent residence in Geneva, Switzerland. Maria Teresa Mestre studied in Switzerland before passing the French General Certificate of Education (baccalauréat) in June 1975.
In 1980 she graduated at the University of Geneva in political sciences. Miss Mestre met future husband Prince Henri at University where they studied together. The Grand Duchess speaks Spanish, French, English, Luxembourgish, German and Italian. She has two brothers and one sister, who live in Switzerland and in the United States.
Miss Maria Teresa Mestre married Prince Henri of Luxembourg, now the Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg on February 14th, 1981. They have 5 children, 4 sons and one daughter:
- Prince Guillaume, born on November 11th, 1981
- Prince Félix, born on June 3rd, 1984
- Prince Louis, born on August 3rd, 1986
- Princess Alexandra, born on February 16th, 1991
- Prince Sébastien, born on April 16th, 1992
Since 1997, the Grand Duchess has served as a Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO supporting micro-lending and the protection of children. The Grand Duchess is an active philanthropist, she has granted her patronage and active support to the Luxembourg League of Blind People, the National Nurses' Association and the Alzheimer Association of Luxembourg. She is also chairs the Prince Henri-Princess Maria Teresa Foundation for the Handicapped and the Foundation for Research on AIDS. In October 1999, HRH Crown Princess Maria Teresa received an Honorary Doctorate to the Seton Hall University, School for Diplomacy and International Relations.
Her mother-in-law, the late Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte, was reputed to call her "the little Cuban" while French tabloids say Maria Teresa blamed her mother-in-law for spreading rumours that her husband was having an affair with Luxembourg's foreign minister and for furthering gossip of her alcoholism.
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