Luxembourg’s Princess Tessy has given an intimate insight into life as a UN peacekeeper in an exclusive story published in UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph.
Before the young princess married Grand Duke Henri’s third-youngest son, Prince Louis, Tessy was a member of the Luxembourg Army.
Having joined in 2002 at the age of 18, she described her first year as “an incredible school of life”.
She said the highlight of her five-year military career was her involvement in the UN peackeeping mission in Kosovo from March to August 2004 where she was the only female member of her draft with the Belukos 13/15 detachment.
“I worked in a two-person unit that took care of logistics to support my colleagues. I drove a Hummer and a truck – or anything else to hand – and provided support during night watches, searches and other operations,” she said in the story.
She explained that as a woman, she felt able to support women and girls better in the conflict zone and able to understand their need to escape the “harsh, male-dominated environment”.
She said: “I also experienced a degree of attempted abuse. Luckily, I had the tools and training to defend myself. However, hundreds of thousands of women all over the world are not as fortunate. I want to speak up for them.”
Tessy praised the work of female UN peacekeepers who can “defend, support and encourage all women to speak up and fight for each other in a world where violence is unfortunately a reality.”
She concluded by urging for people to support men and women peacekeepers.
Princess Tessy, Prince Louis and their two sons, Noah and Gabriel, live in the UK. Tessy now works for private British security firm DS-48 as Director of Communications.