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Her Royal Highness Grand Duchess of Luxembourg Maria Teresa

Eminent Advocate

© UNICEF Burundi/2009/Ajia
“UNICEF's work is based on the worth and dignity of the child, and I am proud to be part of that mission," Her Royal Highness Grand Duchess of Luxembourg

Her Royal Highness Grand Duchess of Luxembourg Maria Teresa, a passionate advocate for the rights of children, was named UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children in April 2007.

The Grand Duchess has long been a champion for children.  Before joining UNICEF in her official role, she traveled to places such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nepal and Laos to raise awareness around the issue of child soldiers, children affected by HIV/AIDS and sexual exploitation.

As a UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children, the Grand Duchess is especially focused on the issue of children impacted by conflict and children affected by HIV/AIDS.

Since joining UNICEF in her official role, the Duchess has travelled to Brazil in December 2007 and China in 2008 to meet with children and youth affected by HIV/AIDS, and she visited Burundi in 2009 to advocate for the rights of children in the aftermath of the country’s civil conflict. 

The Grand Duchess continues to speak out on the rights of children and to champion their cause throughout her engagements and travels, including a visit to Turkey in November 2013 to raise awareness and support for children impacted by the conflict in Syria. 

The Grand Duchess is also the Patron of the Luxembourg Committee for UNICEF, and has been a Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO since 1997, promoting girls’ education and micro-credit to fight poverty.

Activity Highlights

The Grand Duchess was born on 22 March, 1956 in Havana, Cuba.  Her family moved to New York in 1959 before settling in Geneva in 1965. 

It was during the course of her university studies in political science that the Grand Duchess met her future husband, His Royal Highness Prince Henri of Luxembourg.  They were married on 14 February, 1981. They have five children. 



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