|Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg|
|Tenure||7 October 2000 – present|
|Born||María Teresa Mestre y Batista|
22 March 1956
Marianao, Havana, Cuba
|Father||José Antonio Mestre y Álvarez|
|Mother||María Teresa Batista y Falla de Mestre|
Maria Teresa (born María Teresa Mestre y Batista; 22 March 1956) is the spouse of Grand Duke Henri, who acceded to the throne in 2000. She was born in Cuba.
Early life and education
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Maria Teresa was born in 22 March 1956 in Marianao, Havana, Cuba, to José Antonio Mestre y Álvarez (Vedado, Havana, 1926–1993) and wife (m. Vedado, Havana, 1951) María Teresa Batista y Falla de Mestre (Vedado, Havana, 1928–1988), both from bourgeois families of Spanish descent.
In October 1959, at the time of the Cuban Revolution, Maria Teresa Mestre left Cuba with her parents, because the new government headed by Fidel Castro confiscated her family properties. The family settled in New York City, where, as a young girl, she was a pupil at Marymount School. From 1961 she carried on her studies at the Lycée Français de New York. In her childhood, Maria Teresa Mestre took ballet and singing courses. She practices skiing, ice-skating and water sports. She has lived in Santander, Spain, and Geneva, Switzerland.
In 1980 she graduated from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva with a degree in political sciences. While studying there, she met her future husband Henri of Luxembourg.
Social and humanitarian interests
Soon after her marriage, Maria Teresa and the then Hereditary Grand Duke Henri established The Prince Henri and Princess Maria Teresa Foundation to help those with special needs integrate fully into society. In 2001, she and her husband created The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess Foundation, launched upon the accession of the couple as the new Grand Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg. In 2004, the Grand Duke Henri and the Grand Duchess Maria Teresa Foundation was created after the merging of the two previous foundations.
Since 2005, Maria Teresa has been the chairwoman of the international jury of the European Microfinance Award, which annually awards holders of microfinance and inclusive finance initiatives in developing countries. Also, since 2006, Maria Teresa has been honorary president of the LuxFLAG (Luxembourg Fund Labeling Agency), the first agency to label responsible microfinance investment funds around the world.
She is a member of the Honorary Board of the International Paralympic Committee and a patron of the Ligue Luxembourgeoise de Prévention et d’Action medico-sociales and SOS Villages d’Enfants Monde. The Grand Duchess and her husband Grand Duke Henri are the members of the Mentor Foundation (London), created under the patronage of the World Health Organization. She is also the president of the Luxembourg Red Cross and the Cancer Foundation. In 2016, she organized the first international forum on learning disabilities in Luxembourg.
The Grand Duchess supports the UNESCO “Breaking the Poverty Cycle of Women” project in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. The purpose of this project is to improve the living conditions of girls, women and their families. As honorary president of her own foundation, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa set up a project called Projet de la Main Tendue after visiting the Bujumbura prison in 2009 in Burundi. The purpose of this project is to liberate minor people from prison and to give them new opportunities for their future.
In October 2016, Maria Teresa accepted an invitation to join the eminent international Council of Patrons of the Asian University for Women (AUW) in Chittagong, Bangladesh. The university, which is the product of east-west foundational partnerships (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Open Society Foundation, IKEA Foundation, etc.) and regional cooperation, serves extraordinarily talented women from 15 countries across Asia and the Middle East.
In 2019, Maria Teresa presented her initiative "Stand Speak Rise Up!" to end sexual violence in fragile environments, launched in cooperation with the Women’s Forum and with the support of the Luxembourg government. The conference is in partnership with the Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation and We Are Not Weapons of War.
In 2020 the Prime Minister of Luxembourg commissioned a report into the Cour le Grand Ducal following concerns over its working. The report found that up to 1/3 of employees had left since 2015 and that "The most important decisions in the field of personnel management, whether at the level of recruitment, assignment to the various departments or even at the dismissal level are taken by HRH the Grand Duchess.”  Several newspaper reports at the time highlighted a 'culture of fear' around the Grand Duchess and "that no-one bar the Prime Minister dared confront her".  The report also raised concerns about the use of public funds to pay for the Grand Duchess' personal website and that this had been prioritised over the Cour's own official website. There were also allegations that staff at the Court has been subject to physical abuse and these reports were investigated by the Luxembourg judicial police. 
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Maria Teresa married Prince Henri of Luxembourg in a civil ceremony on 4 February 1981 and a religious ceremony on 14 February 1981. The consent of the Grand Duke had been previously given on 7 November 1980. She received a bouquet of red roses as a wedding gift from Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. The couple has five children: Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Prince Félix of Luxembourg, Prince Louis of Luxembourg, Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg, and Prince Sébastien of Luxembourg.
- Austria: Grand Cross of the Order of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria, 1st Class
- Belgium: Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold I
- Brazil: Grand Cross of the Order of the Southern Cross
- Denmark: Knight of the Order of the Elephant
- Finland: Grand Cross of the Order of the White Rose of Finland
- France: Grand Cross of the Order of National Merit
- Greece: Grand Cross of the Order of Beneficence
- Italy: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
- Japan: Dame Grand Cordon (Paulownia) of the Order of the Precious Crown
- Latvia: Grand Cross of the Order of the Three Stars
- Norway: Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Olav
- Romania: Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Romania
- Spain: Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III
- "Charity Spotlight: Foundation of the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg". royalcentral.co.uk. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
- "La Grande-Duchesse" [The Grand Duchess]. Cour Grand-Ducale de Luxembourg (in French). Retrieved 11 December 2018.
- "HRH Grand Duchess of Luxembourg becomes Eminent Advocate for Children". UNICEF. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
- "UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children visits AIDS projects in São Paulo". UNICEF. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
- "Summer camp aims to help children in China affected by AIDS". UNICEF. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
- "Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg visits Burundi". UNICEF. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
- "Honorary Board". IPC.
- "Who is Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg?". royalcentral.co.uk. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
- "Her Royal Highness Joins the Asian University for Women Council of Patrons". finance.yahoo.com.
- "CURRICULUM VITAE OF HER ROYAL HIGHNESS GRAND DUCHESS MARIA TERESA OF LUXEMBOURG" (PDF). monarchie.lu.
- "About". Stand Speak Rise Up! Official Website. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
- "Waringo Report reveals a culture of fear dominates Luxembourg's Grand Ducal Court". January 31, 2020.
- "Waringo report: Allegations surrounding the Grand Duchess as internal report publication looms". today.rtl.lu.
- Luxembourg, Peter Conradi. "Luxembourg's 'serfs' revolt over demon duchess Maria Teresa" – via www.thetimes.co.uk.
- DECRETO DE 3 DE DEZEMBRO DE 2007 – website JusBrasil
- "Modtagere af danske dekorationer". kongehuset.dk (in Danish). Retrieved 5 May 2019.
- Borger.dk Archived 2013-12-07 at the Wayback Machine
- "President of Finland".
- www.gouvernement.lu/ Archived 2012-08-01 at archive.today, State visit of President Stephanopoulos in Luxembourg, July 2001
- "Foreign recipients list". Retrieved 17 December 2017.
- Latvian Presidency, Recipients list (.doc) Archived 2013-05-02 at the Wayback Machine
- "Principesa Moștenitoare Margareta a primit Marea Cruce a Ordinului Sfânta Isabel | Familia Regală a României / Royal Family of Romania".
- Portugal Presidency, Decorations to foreigners, (type "Maria Teresa" then "Pesquisar")
- Romanian Presidency website, Recipients of the order (Excel sheet) Archived 2014-03-28 at the Wayback Machine
- "Boletín Oficial del Estado" (PDF).
- Spanish Royal Family website, State visit of Juan Carlos & Sofia in Luxembourg, April 2007, Photo of the Sovereign couples
- Media related to Maria Teresa, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website of H.R.H Maria Teresa, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
- Official website
- The Mentor Foundation charity website
Grand Duchess Maria TeresaBorn: 22 March 1956
Princess Joséphine Charlotte of Belgium
| Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg
2000 – present