Princess of Luxembourg branded a 'gold digger' as she takes divorce to London court
She rose from humble origins to marry into one of Europe's wealthiest and most distinguished royal families.
For 11 years Princess Tessy of Luxembourg, lived happily with her husband, Prince Louis, raising two children and pursuing a charity career in London working on behalf of young women and teenage girls.
But following reports earlier this year that the couple were seeking a divorce the Princess is now being forced to fight off accusations in her native Luxembourg of being a gold digger.
Those accusations intensified yesterday, after it emerged she was launching proceedings in the London courts over the estranged couple’s divorce settlement.
A wounding article in a Belgian gossip magazine accused Princess Tessy of having only married into the Luxembourg royal family for her own aggrandisement and financial benefit.
In an article described as a “disgusting character assassination” by her legal team, the magazine, Privat, concluded that “she’ll always remain the daughter of a roofer”.
But her enemies in Luxembourg should have realised the 31-year-old Princess would be no pushover.
She did after all join her country’s armed forces at the age of 18, rising to the rank of Corporal and in 2004 serving in NATO’s peacekeeping force in Kosovo.
Proving her mettle Princess Tessie yesterday arrived for an initial hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice, determined to obtain a fair settlement in her divorce from Prince Louis, the third son of Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg.
The Daily Telegraph cannot reveal details of the disputed settlement, or the amount in maintenance payments Princess Tessy is seeking, after a High Court judge imposed interim reporting restrictions, preventing the media disclosing any of the financial details discussed in court.
But the Princess’ counsel, Deborah Bangay QC, told the court: “My client has no wish to litigate and she made a very reasonable and sensible proposal. Unfortunately that proposal was rejected and my client had no option but to pursue this in litigation.”
Following the hearing Ms Bangay said:“She is not a gold digger. Far from it. She is simply seeking a fair and proper settlement.”
Princess Tessy met her future husband , who was also serving in the army, during her time on peacekeeping duties in Kosovo.
Two years later the couple had a baby boy, the first grandchild for Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, and married six months later at a parish church in the small town of Gilsdorf, in north east Luxembourg.
The royal couple, who went on to have another son, later moved to London, sending the two children to boarding school in England.
But in January this year the Grand Ducal Court of Luxembourg announced their separation and divorce.
District Judge Richard Robinson granted a decree nisi at a family court in London in February after Princess Tessy had complained of the Prince's "unreasonable behaviour".
The Princess’ name was quickly scrubbed from the website of the Luxembourg royal family and she lost her diplomatic status. Furthermore she will lose the title of Royal Highness and will cease to be called Princess once the divorce becomes final.
Now, as part of the disputed settlement, she also stands to lose the home in Kensington, west London, where she lived with Prince Louis and raised their sons.
The rancour behind the couple’s separation emerged in court yesterday, when the Prince’s aides were accused of having threatened to drag the case out “for years” if Princess Tessy did not settle.
At this point Prince Louis, 31, leaned across the court towards his wife and angrily denied the charge, prompting Mr Justice MacDonald to intervene, saying: “You are adults and I expect you to act like adults in my court room.”
The Prince’s counsel, James Ewins QC, also denied royal aides has briefed against his wife in the Luxembourg media.
Referring to the article in Privat, Mr Ewins stated: “My client is appalled at this. He has no idea how it came about. We share their disgust and will do anything we can to stop this happening.