Grand Duke Henri has come to his wife’s defense following reports of Grand Duchess Maria Teresa’s treatment of staff. The reigning Luxembourg royal penned the personal message, shared on January 27, in English, Spanish, French and Luxembourgish, from his brother-in-law’s bedside in an intensive care unit in Geneva. In the open letter, he wrote, “Out of a desire for openness, transparency and modernity, I agreed that the internal analysis proposed by the Prime Minister should go ahead. As we await publication of the report, and indeed throughout this process, articles have appeared in the media making unfair accusations against my wife, the mother of our five children and a devoted grandmother. This is taking its toll on my whole family.”
“Why attack a woman? A woman who speaks up for other women? A woman who is not even being given the right to defend herself? Since I came to the throne, it has been our shared desire to help modernise our constitutional monarchy, and we wish to continue to contribute to this process,” the Grand Duke, 64, continued. “The causes my wife has fought for, which I have always supported and which we will continue to fight for, are vitally important. This work includes campaigning against dyslexia, fighting sexual violence, improving the status of imprisoned children in Africa, helping to develop microfinance and promoting education for young girls and women.”
Henri concluded his message praising the Cuban-born royals’s work. “I am proud of the commitment, intelligence and energy my wife brings to bear in all this work. The devotion she has shown over the past 39 years to serving our country by my side is exemplary and is of essential importance to me,” he said of the 63-year-old Grand Duchess. “We will continue to serve you; to be there for you and for Luxembourg. Especially at this crucial time when our children are setting out on a family life of their own, we feel bound as parents to ensure that they can make the most of these precious years as our heirs.”
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,” per the Delano. Last August, Reporter.lu reported that Prime Minister Xavier Bettel had appointed a special representative to examine the HR policy of the Grand Ducal Court. According to the outlet, more than 30 people had been let go, or quit since 2015 after a brief period of service.