More translated from this week's interview in Paris Match in which Maria Teresa talks for the first time about the Waringo Report.
Will you explain to Charles, as you did to a young Lebanese woman who was surprised, during one of your trips, not to see you wearing a crown, that being a prince is not always as it appears?
MT: Absolutely. Our great concern having always been to avoid any jealousy, and at a young age, we have explained to our children that, of course, the oldest of them was born to a particular destiny, associated with privileges but also with duties and of sacrifices, since he could neither practice the profession of his choice, nor live exactly where he wished. [such as Paris, haha] If today you were to ask our four other children if they envy Guillaume's place, they will answer you in chorus that they are very happy with their lives. We also taught them to be mutually supportive, telling them that Guillaume would always be there for them, but that he would also need their help in the difficult task that was going to fall to him. And it is a success; I see Guillaume fulfilled and happy in the place he occupies, always concerned for the well-being of his brothers and his sister, and they also are protective of him and his wife. I hope that such a spirit will continue between Charles and his cousins.
While wondering about the reasons for the outburst against you, your husband evoked your legitimate fights, in particular against sexual violence, dyslexia, maltreatment of imprisoned children, which you necessarily expose ...
My commitments as Grand Duchess made me aware of the problems of women. I want to continue on this path. From the most serious situations of violence in all its forms to the most insidious and perhaps the most widespread: misogyny, to which I have been confronted recently.
The Grand Duke also mentioned your common desire to modernize the monarchy.
We have been trying since the beginning of the reign to get things done, but as in many old institutions, we have encountered great internal resistance. My husband has long wanted to implement some of the reforms advocated in this report. But, too often, people in a position of responsibility inside our own house have resisted his requests.
This [Waringo] report was a stinging reminder that, as Grand Duchess, you have no constitutional role. Do you fear the erasure that this implies?
I do not read it as a suffering because I have never claimed the slightest constitutional role. I have taken on a difficult task, which mobilizes me to give priority to my private life and family, and this deserves to be recognized. Everything is contradictory: on the one hand, they expect me to be there, alongside my husband, in representation and, on the other, I am insidiously reminded that I represent nothing. In psychology, this is called paradoxical injunctions. I am accused of having too much influence on my husband. We are a couple, we exchange ideas, talk, share our concerns, and nothing is more normal, it seems to me. Do we not expect any wife to support her husband, especially if they are royal or statesmen? I remember the very nice words of King Albert II of Belgium paying homage to his wife, Queen Paola. In essence, he said that he could not have lived his life as a sovereign without her constant support. Despite privileges, being two to face these "extraordinary" lives is important to me. It is not a pleasure to talk about these things and, believe me, if I do, it is only with the concern of preparing a better way for future generations. Who knows, one day maybe Prince Charles' wife will thank me for it.
Are you a rebel?
I do not feel rebellious, but rather innovative. The contemporary monarch is an institution that is important and complex. We have one foot in tradition, and another in the 21st century, and it is necessary to find an equilibrium between the two. You must know how to be innovative while respecting the Constitution through meaningful actions. This is what I strive to do through my humanitarian and social commitments, and this is what my husband does by participating in meetings with the minister of the environment. I believe that this is where the younger generations of Luxembourg await us.