Luxembourg prince pays tribute to estranged wife after fairytale sours

A European prince has paid tribute to his estranged wife following the breakdown of their “fairytale” marriage.

Prince Louis of Luxembourg has told a London divorce court judge that Princess Tessy, a former soldier, had undertaken her role “with grace” and served Luxembourg’s royal family well.

His tribute has emerged in a ruling published by Mr Justice MacDonald after the pair argued over the division of money and property at a trial in the Family Division of the High Court.

The judge said at its heart the dispute was “simply a sad case” involving a couple who were determined to marry for love and had been happy before their “fairytale” soured.

Mr Justice MacDonald had analysed evidence at a private hearing in London in October.

He said Prince Louis and Princess Tessy, who are both in their early 30s, could be named in media coverage of the case, but placed limits on what can be reported.

The prince is the third son of Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg and now lives in Paris.

Princess Tessy, now a director at a non-governmental organisation she founded called Professors Without Borders, lives in London.

Prince Louis
Prince Louis

Mr Justice MacDonald heard that the couple began a relationship in 2004, married in 2006 and had two children.

Princess Tessy, who was born Tessy Antony, was not of “royal descent” but had been recognised as a member of the royal family and granted her title by royal decree, the judge was told.

When married, they had lived in the United States and London.

Their marriage broke down during the summer of 2016 and another judge granted a divorce decree – a decree nisi – in February 2017.

Mr Justice MacDonald said he had decided that Princess Tessy, and the children, could live in a property the couple had shared when married.

He said the prince would pay the princess “nominal” maintenance and pay child maintenance of £4,000 a year per child.

The judge said he had examined “the relatively complex financial arrangements” of the Luxembourg royal family during the trial.

He included in his ruling a statement the prince had made during the trial.

“We married young and much has been expected from the applicant in her role as princess,” the prince had told the judge.

“She undertook that role with grace and represented my family well, for which I am grateful to her.”

Mr Justice MacDonald added: “At its heart, this is simply a sad case about a young couple who determined to marry for love despite the considerable challenges posed by the way in which history, tradition and chance had conspired to define their respective social status and to shape attitudes towards their marriage.

“It is a case about a couple who thereafter, for a time, were happy together, before the fairytale soured.”