Friday, November 24, 2017

Hereditary Grand Duke Pays Visit to Speyer

Photo: Europäische Stiftung Kaiserdom
Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume visited the German city of Speyer earlier this week for a meeting of the board of trustees of the Europäische Stiftung Kaiserdom zu Speyer, a foundation committed to the preservation of the local cathedral. The Imperial Cathedral of Speyer is one of Germany's largest and most important Romanesque buildings. The Kaiserdom is also the burial place of no less than eight Roman-German Kings, some of them Holy Roman Emperors. Among them is Adolph of Nassau, ancestor of the Hereditary Grand Duke. The coat of arms of the House of Nassau can be found in the western facade of the cathedral.

The Hereditary Grand Duke became a member of the board of trustees of the foundation last year. (Read all about it.) Also in attendance for the event were Duke Max and Duchess Elizabeth in Bavaria, parents of Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein. Duke Max is the head of the foundation council.

Coming Up Next Week: State Visit Schedule

Next week the much anticipated Luxembourgish state visit to Japan is finally coming up. The Grand Duke will be joined by his only daughter Princess Alexandra. The Grand Duchess will not be travelling to Japan due to her fear of flying, the cour has announced. Some have asked why the Hereditary Grand Duke and Hereditary Grand Duchess aren't stepping in instead. Two ideas: a) Prescheduled events or b) only a +1 was needed. Either way, yours truly it excited to see more of Princess Alexandra during a week than during some years.

Grand Duke Henri and his daughter will presumably be leaving the Grand Duchy on Sunday to travel to the far east. The traditional farewell ceremony will take place at Findel Airport. They will be accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Etienne Schneider, Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean Asselborn and Minister of Finance Pierre Gramegna as well as an economic delegation of about 100 people.

First Day

On Monday, November 27, the Grand Duke and Princess Alexandra will be officially welcomed by their hosts, the Emperor and Empress of Japan, at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Afterwards, Grand Duke Henri will deliver the opening remarks at the Japan-Luxembourg Business Forum. This seminar will give Luxembourgish companies the chance to establish contacts or deepen their relations with local companies in areas such as logistics, tourism and information technology.

Subsequently, the Grand Duchy's head of state, accompanied by Princess Alexandra and Ministers Etienne Schneider and Pierre Gramegna, will be awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa at Sophia University. A meeting with students, professors and staff of Sophia University is also planned. You may recall the university from Prince Félix's and Princess Claire's visit to Japan a few years ago. There is also another connection to Luxembourg as the country's Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich is a former professor and vice-rector of the Jesuit university.

The first day of the state visit will conclude with the traditional gala dinner hosted by the Emperor and Empress in honour of their guests. Shallow me hopes for some major bling and a new - to her - tiara for Princess Alexandra. 

Second Day

On Tuesday, Grand Duke Henri and Princess Alexandra, accompanied by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, will travel to Tsukuba in the Ibaraki Prefecture with the imperial train, where they will be welcomed by the authorities and the local population. The delegation will then visit the Tsukuba Space Center of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, in the presence of the Ministers of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

After the return to Tokyo in the afternoon, the Grand Duke will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. To round off the day, the return dinner for their Japanese hosts will be given by Grand Duke Henri. Princess Alexandra - and hopefully another tiara (a girl can dream!) - will also be present for the event.

Third day

Two conferences will be the main items on the agenda for day three of the state visit: The Luxembourg-Japan Space Conference and the Luxembourg-Japan Finance Conference. The first conference will also give Grand Duke Henri the chance to visit Japan's second tallest building. Grand Duchess Maria Teresa will offer the opening remarks of the second conference by video broadcast. The state visit will end with a reception hosted by the Luxembourgish embassy in Japan and an official farewell by the Emperor and Empress.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Princess Marie Attends Wine Lunch in Singapore

On the 22nd, Princess Marie (wife of Prince Constantin) was in Singapore as the guest of honor for a wine lunch organized by Schmidt Vinothek Singapore. A little more information here, with the full invitation here.

No photos yet, but they'll be added if they're made available.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Prince Hans-Adam Hosted by Cambridge Union

Photo: Chris Williamson / Getty Images via Cambridge Union
Yesterday, Prince Hans-Adam II attended a gathering by the Cambridge Union, a debating and free speech society in, you guessed it, Cambridge, United Kingdom. However, even with my mad googling skills I don't seem to be able to find out what he exactly spoke about though I'm guessing it is the state in the third millenium. The Prince was also among the audience for an address by Professor Stephen Hawking two hours prior to his own speech.

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa Recognizes Orange Week

Photo: © Cour grand-ducale / tous droits réservés
On the 21st, in recognition of Orange Week and ending violence against women, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa hosted a round table event that welcomed a range of speakers from legal, medical, police, and social fields. The event focused on opportunities to stop domestic violence; last year, the Grand Duchess received the victims of domestic violence.

November 25th is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Information from the Cour website.

Grand Duke Henri Receives Jean Jouzel and Lewis Pugh

Photo: © Cour grand-ducale / tous droits réservés
On the 21st, Grand Duke Henri received in audience climate scientist Jean Jouzel and Lewis Pugh,  former endurance swimmer and current Ambassador of Oceans within the United Nations Environment Program. Both were invited to speak at the 10th anniversary of IMS Luxembourg (with "IMS" standing for "Inspiring More Sustainability"). IMS Luxembourg focuses on encouraging corporate social responsibility among Luxembourg businesses and also creating a network of strategies for responsible practices.

Information from the Cour website. Also pictured above with the Grand Duke, Jouzel, and Pugh is Christian Scharff, the President of IMS Luxembourg.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Guillaume and Stéphanie On Finance Mission in Italy

Photo: Paola Arpone
Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie were on a mission today, a finance mission in Milan that is. The main item on their agenda was a seminar hosted by Luxembourg for Finance in cooperation with the Italian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce (CCIL) entitled "Luxembourg, Connecting You With Financial Expertise". The Hereditary Grand Duke gave the opening remarks for the event also attended by the Minister of Finance Pierre Gramegna.
Photo: Pierre Gramegna / Twitter
Already last night, the Hereditary Grand Duke and Hereditary Grand Duchess as well as Minister Gramegna visited the "Inside Caravaggio" exhibition at the Palazzo Reale alongside the Mayor of Milan Giuseppe Sala.

The cour offers another picture of today with hopefully more to come.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Grand Duke Henri Attends Climate Change Conference

Photo: © Editpress / Fabrizio Pizzolante / Cour grand-ducale
On the 15th, Grand Duke Henri was in Bonn, Germany, to attend COP23, also known as the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. (The event also represented the 13th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol Kyoto and 2nd part of the 1st session of the Conference of the Parties to the Paris Agreement.)

The event is held through the 17th and includes 25 heads of state in attendance. The five action areas for this meeting include "emissions, adaptation to the inevitable impacts of climate change, finance, partnerships and leadership."

More photos of the Grand Duke, along with his speech, at the Cour website.

Hereditary Grand Duke Attends Space Conference

Photo: © Ministère de l'Economie / Cour grand-ducale
On the 16th, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume was in Luxembourg City attend the conference NewSpace Europe, the first of its kind to focus on space as an industry. Jointly organized by the Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy and the Space Frontier Foundation, and hosted by the Ministry of the Economy, the event highlighted the increasing economic and technological opportunities that space as an ecosystem has to offer. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy Etienne Schneider was also present.

Information from the Cour website.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Guillaume and Stéphanie Celebrate "The Luxembourg Society"

Photo: The Luxembourg Society
Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie are in London today where they attended the 75th anniversary celebrations of The Luxembourg Society. The Hereditary Grand Duke was on hand to deliver a speech during the occasion. The Luxembourg Society was formed in London in 1942 to promote closer relations and friendship between the United Kingdom and the Grand Duchy. Through its regular meetings in London, it assists Luxembourgers to find a circle of friends who are able and willing to help them during their stay in this country. It has particular relevance to students studying there.