Saturday, October 20, 2012

Guillaume & Stephanie II

I hadn't sent an alarm, but nevertheless found myself up by 4:00 AM this morning to watch the two-hour religious ceremony at Luxembourg's Notre Dame Cathedral live via  I'm glad I did as it was a beautiful service with a glittering array of royal guests in attendance.  Being a musician, I noted with approval (while wishing I could have been one of the three cellists in the orchestra) the choices of Gigout's Grand Choeur Dialogue for the processional, Mozart's Missa Brevis in C as the mass setting, anthems by Mendelssohn and Handel (the famous Hallelujah Chorus), and the Finale from Guilmaunt's Symphony in D Minor for the recessional, though I do wish that TV commentators (whether American, British, or Luxembourgish) would not feel at liberty to talk so much during the music.

Bride Countess Stephanie (now HRH Hereditary Grand Duchess), who looked every inch the beautiful fairytale princess, was escorted down the aisle by her brother Count Jehan de Lannoy, as their father Count Philippe at 90 is a bit old for such a role.  (Stephanie is the youngest of eight children.)  Touchingly, they stopped to share a moment with him upon reaching the altar and the service began with a minute of silence in honour of their mother Countess Alix (1941-2012) who died in August.  The Catholic nuptial liturgy, celebrated with dignity by Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich, was conducted mostly in French with some Latin and a few greetings and prayers in English (presumably for the benefit of international guests and viewers).  Afterwards, the bride and groom appeared on the palace balcony where they delighted cheering crowds with kisses and were subsequently joined by the rest of the grand ducal family.  I congratulate Their Royal Highnesses and wish them and their families all the best. 

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