How a Fendi saleswoman became Europe’s first Chinese princess

How a Fendi saleswoman became Europe’s first Chinese princessHow a Fendi saleswoman became Europe’s first Chinese princess
via @mumunotinparis
Did you know that Europe has a Chinese princess?
Li Ran, who hails from southeastern China’s Guangdong province, made headlines in 2010 when she married Belgium’s Prince Charles Joseph de Ligne-la Tremoille. The event not only united two distinct cultures, but it also marked a historic moment as Li became Europe’s first Chinese princess.
Here’s what we know about her:
  • Li Ran reportedly comes from a working-class family in Wuhua, a county in the city of Meizhou. She speaks Mandarin, English and French.
  • Per her LinkedIn profile, she obtained a bachelor’s degree in economics from Beijing Language and Culture University in 2006. She then pursued an MBA at the Sorbonne University in Paris, graduating in 2008.
  • Li worked at Givenchy, Balenciaga, Fendi and Dior. While she has been a princess for over a decade, she remains in the workforce and is currently a consultant for BDK Parfums, an independent fragrance house in Paris.
  • Li reportedly met Prince Charles while working as a salesperson at a Fendi boutique in Paris in May 2009. They connected over discussions about art.
  • Their relationship blossomed in Paris, where they spent considerable time together before getting married. They were first seen together at the 2009 wedding of Prince Charles’s elder brother, Prince Edouard, hinting at their relationship to the public.
  • The couple tied the knot in November 2010 at the 12th-century Antoing Castle in Wallonia, Belgium. The civil wedding featured officials and international guests, including Li’s family and some friends from China.
  • Despite her title, Li is not considered royalty — that recognition belongs to Belgium’s monarchy, which is currently composed of King Philippe, Queen Mathilde and their family. However, the House of Ligne, which dates back to the 11th century, is one of the country’s noble families with ducal and princely titles.
  • The couple welcomed their first child in 2012.
  • Since her marriage, Li has become an emblematic figure, engaging in cultural activities in both Belgium and China. Last year, she made headlines after visiting her hometown of Wuhua, where she inspired students, met with former teachers and planted trees with local workers.
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