Princess Stéphanie and Prince Guillame of Luxembourg are expecting their first child together4 min read

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Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg, the heir to the throne, and his wife, Princess Stéphanie, are expecting their first child.

The Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, 38, and the Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie of Luxembourg, 35, are set to become parents in May 2020, according to a statement by the Marshal of the Court.

It comes after a year filled of heartache for the royal couple, with Stéphanie’s father passing away in January, before the death of Guillaume’s grandfather war hero Grand Duke Jean in April. 

Prince Guillaume, the heir to the Luxembourg throne, and his wife, Princess Stéphanie (pictured together), are expecting their first child

Prince Guillaume, the heir to the Luxembourg throne, and his wife, Princess Stéphanie (pictured together), are expecting their first child

The Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, 38, and the Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie of Luxembourg (pictured together in 2013), 35, are set to become parents in May 2020, according to a statement by the Marshal of the Court

The Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, 38, and the Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie of Luxembourg (pictured together in 2013), 35, are set to become parents in May 2020, according to a statement by the Marshal of the Court

In a statement released on December 6th, the Luxembourg royals said they were ‘delighted with the news and share [the couple’s great joy].

It read: ‘Their Royal Highnesses the Grand Duke and Duchess are immensely pleased to announce that the Hereditary Grand Duke and Duchess are expecting their first child. The birth is scheduled for May.

‘The Grand Duke, the Grand Duchess and the members of both families are delighted with the news and share their great joy.’

The palace released a series of portraits of the prince and princess to mark their announcement.

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The history of Luxembourg’s royal family

Luxembourg is a constitutional monarchy in which the Grand Duke holds executive power and bills only become law with his signature.

Its monarchy is one of the youngest in Europe and began in 1815 following the Congress of Vienna at the end of the Napoleonic Wars.

Full independence under the Grand Dukes came just under 20 years later, when the Treaty of London enshrined Luxembourg’s existence in international law and ended years of rule by the Burgundians, French, Prussians and the Dutch.

Although part of Luxembourg was later incorporated into what would, in 1839, become Belgium, the country remained intact through the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and the First and Second World Wars. 

In 1890 the grand duchy passed to Adolf, Duke of Nassau who ruled until 1905 – he was famed for his efforts to strengthen the territory’s autonomy.

But, during the war, Luxembourg was occupied by German troops. The royal family fled and a government-in-exile was established in London.

In 1964 Grand Duchess Charlotte abdicated in favour of her son, who becomes Grand Duke Jean.

In 2000, Crown Prince Henri became Grand Duke of Luxembourg on the abdication of his father, Jean. Crown Prince Henri remains in his position today.

Much of the executive power lies with the prime minister – a grand duke appointee – and his cabinet. The duchy’s figurehead remains a powerful and influential figure.

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In a statement released on December 6, the Luxembourg royals said they were 'delighted with the news and share [the couple's great joy]. Pictured: Princess Stéphanie and Prince Guillame

In a statement released on December 6, the Luxembourg royals said they were ‘delighted with the news and share [the couple’s great joy]. Pictured: Princess Stéphanie and Prince Guillame

The palace released a series of portraits of the prince and princess (pictured) to mark their joyous announcement

The palace released a series of portraits of the prince and princess (pictured) to mark their joyous announcement

Standing outside in the sunshine, the couple look to be in great spirits as they affectionately pose with one another.

In one of the low-key shots, Stéphanie can be seen holding her arms around her husband as they both smile for the camera.

The princess appeared radiant in a bright blue blouse and jeans, while her locks were tied back to showcase her glowing facial features.

Guillaume donned a smart-casual outfit featuring a navy blazer, an open-collard shirt and camel coloured trousers.

The pair are seen during their civil wedding on October 19, 2012 at the city hall in Luxembourg

The pair are seen during their civil wedding on October 19, 2012 at the city hall in Luxembourg

There has long been speculation about when the royal couple would be starting a family, with the pairing tying the knot in a lavish affair in 2012 after two years of dating

There has long been speculation about when the royal couple would be starting a family, with the pairing tying the knot in a lavish affair in 2012 after two years of dating

Another, more formal portrait sees Stéphanie sport a vibrant purple jacket as her husband dons a dashing dark suit. 

There has long been speculation about when the royal couple would be starting a family, with the pairing tying the knot in a lavish affair in 2012 after two years of dating.   

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Princess Stéphanie told French magazine Point de Vue in 2016 that she didn’t ‘have any plans to become a mother. For the moment, I’m enjoying spending time with my husband.’ 

Prince Guillaume is the eldest child of Grand Duke Henri Luxembourg and his wife Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and the heir to the Luxembourg throne. 

Stéphanie arrives for her wedding ceremony to Prince Guillaume at the Cathedral of our Lady of Luxembourg on October 20, 2012, in Luxembourg

Stéphanie arrives for her wedding ceremony to Prince Guillaume at the Cathedral of our Lady of Luxembourg on October 20, 2012, in Luxembourg

Prince Guillaume (pictured with his wife) is the eldest child of Grand Duke Henri Luxembourg and his wife Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and the heir of Luxembourg throne

Prince Guillaume (pictured with his wife) is the eldest child of Grand Duke Henri Luxembourg and his wife Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and the heir of Luxembourg throne

His child will follow him in the line of succession for the throne, pushing Guillaume’s four siblings – Prince Félix, Prince Louis, Princess Alexandra and Prince Sébastien – further down the list. 

The couple’s special news comes after a difficult year, which saw the passing of Guillaume’s grandfather, Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg.

The Grand Duke, who died in April at the age of 98, surrounded by his family, abdicated in 2000 in favour of his son Henri.

He was a soldier in the British army during the Second World War, and participated at the D-Day landings.