One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The wife or widow of a grand duke.
- ‘Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and his consort, grand duchess Maria Teresa, are arriving on a three-day state visit to Bulgaria on October 11.’
- ‘Instead I shall be the most sought after girl and then when Fabian is old enough I will become his grand duchess.’
- 1.1 A woman holding the rank of grand duke in her own right.
- ‘Of all the children, only she would achieve a notable career, and Orazio was clearly active in furthering it, as we learn also from his well-known letter of 1012 to the grand duchess of Tuscany in praise of Artemisia's skills as an artist.’
- ‘Count Durko plans to seize power in the small country of Lichtenberg and force the grand duchess Zona to be his bride.’
- ‘Your wife will be grand duchess of all Letzenstein.’
- ‘Another sister, Élisa, was made princess of Piombino in 1805 and of Lucca in 1806, then grand duchess of Tuscany in 1809 because of her success in governing these territories.’
- ‘Since Charlotte's abdication, the grand duchy has been ruled again only by men, and the sisters remain the only two reigning grand duchesses of Luxembourg in history.’
- ‘Shortly afterward the people of Luxembourg voted to retain Charlotte as grand duchess and not to turn Luxembourg into a republic.’
2historical A daughter (or granddaughter) of a Russian tsar.
- ‘Under the grand duchess's patronage Rubinstein founded the Russian Musical Society in 1859, and then in 1862 the St Petersburg Conservatory, of which he was director until 1867, and again from 1887 to 1891.’
- ‘I am the grand duchess Alexandra Romanov, though I'm sure you already knew that.’
- ‘One of Queen Victoria's many grandchildren, Queen Marie of Romania was born in Kent in 1875, and always thought of England as home; her father was the Duke of Edinburgh, and her mother a Russian grand duchess.’
- ‘Ninotchka is a Russian commissar who has come to Paris to sell jewellery belonging to a grand duchess.’
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