Sunday, April 30, 2017

Grand Ducal Family at Birthday Celebrations of Dutch King

On Thursday, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands turned 50 and there have been all kinds of celebrations going on in his Kingdom since. Yesterday, he celebrated his milestone birthday with friends and royals from around the world. Among others, a dinner took place in The Hague in the evening. While the event was a private one and we need to keep our fingers crossed that there will be some official photos released, some royal guests were seen arriving in the The Hague or getting around the city. Turns out, at least Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa as well as Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie were in the Netherlands for the big birthday bash. Though there is no visual evidence as of yet, I'm assuming the Hereditary Grand Duke was also on hand. Naturally we will keep you updated even any more information and/or pictures become available.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Why Liam is No Prince of Luxembourg

In the week since the baptism of Prince Liam, there have been several articles mentioning the young son of Prince Félix and Princess Claire as a Prince of Luxembourg. However, that is not correct. Being the child of a younger son of the Grand Duke, Liam is not a Prince of Luxembourg in accordance with the family bylaws concerning the house law published via the Arrêté grand-ducal of June 18, 2012 but instead a Prince of Nassau (as well as a Prince of Bourbon-Parma as a descendant of Prince Felix, the husband of Grand Duchess Charlotte).

Item 2 of paragraph 4b of the bylaws states that "the second and further grade male line marital descendants of the head of the house; with the exception of the offspring of the member of the house called upon to succeed to the throne according to the laws of primogeniture (item 1); and their wives by marriage according to the house rules, have the style of Royal Highness, their first name and the family name “zu Nassau” (“de Nassau”) and the title Prince or Princess of Nassau, etc. etc." The same naturally applies to Liam's sister Amalia, who is a Princess of Nassau (as well as a Prince of Bourbon-Parma).

This rule was already introduced in 1995 by way of the Arrêté grand-ducal of September 21 regulating the styles and titles of members of the Grand Ducal Family. It means that the children of Prince Guillaume, younger brother of the Grand Duke, also only carry the title of Prince/Princess of Nassau but not of Luxembourg. (As do the children of Prince Jean though they are in a bit of a special situation considering that there weren't born with the title.) Prince Robert and Princess Charlotte, children of Prince Charles and thus first cousins of the Grand Duke, are an exception to this rule as they were born before it was established. Hence, they hold the title Prince and Princess of Luxembourg, respectively, with the style Royal Highness. Prince Robert's wife and children are styled Royal Highnesses with the title Prince or Princess of Nassau.

Prince Liam is also a member of the Grand Ducal Family and Grand Ducal Line but not of the Grand Ducal House as the latter "consists of the head of state (as head of the house), the former heads of state and first grade descendants of a head of the house born within a marriage made according to the house rules."

Fashion Friday: April 7 - April 28

Now that my exams are over, I'm back with a new fashion friday post! As usual, I might update the post if I find anything else.
Photo: Jean-Christophe Verhaegen / SIP
Earlier this month, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie were in the US for an economic mission. Stéphanie wore several outfits. One of them was a navy and white dress. I don't have confirmation but I believe that the dress is by Natan as I have found this similar Natan dress. It's really hard to say because we don't have enough photos to see details, for example if it's a dress or a top and skirt. So Natan is just a guess at this point, not a confirmed identification.
On April 23, Prince Liam, son of Prince Félix and Princess Claire , was christened at the Vatican. The whole Grand Ducal family was there .

All photos: Lola Velasco / Cour grand-ducale
Princess Alexandra wore floral printed pants with a white top and a white jacket.

Princess Amalia was really cute wearing the dress she wore for the first official photos of Prince Liam.

The Grand Duchess Maria Teresa wore a nice white outfit that I believe is by Natan.

Princess Claire wore a white dress with Aquazurra pumps.

The Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie wore a new yellow Valentino dress with wedges that I think are by Sergio Rossi.

On April 26, Maria Teresa wore an Armani jacket that she already wore before. I think the jacket is custom made based on these two runway jackets.

Photo: Éric Chenal / MNHA Facebook
I'm sorry for this short post, there wasn't a lot of events for the Lux Ladies and I've been really busy! The next Fashion Friday post will be in two weeks!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa Attends Portuguese Art Exhibition

Photo: Éric Chenal / MNHA Facebook
On the evening of the 27th, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa attended the opening of the exhibition Portugal - Drawing the World, which opens to the public on the 28th and runs until October 17th. The exhibition is on display at Luxembourg's Musée national d'histoire et d'art (MNHA), with many pieces on loan from the Museu nacional de arte antiga in Lisbon. The Grand Duchess was accompanied by the Duchess of Braganza.

The Secretary of State for Culture Guy Arendt was also in attendance.

Other photos available at the MNHA Facebook page.

Guillaume Attends School Opening in Lorentzweiler

Photo: Levygraphie / Cour grand-ducale
On the 27th, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume was in central Luxembourg to help inaugurate the opening of a new school building and sports complex, located in the town of Lorentzweiler (in the canton of Mersch). Campus scolaire Jos Wohlfart was named for Lorentzweiler native and former Chambre des Députés member Joseph Wohlfart. Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume attended the primary school from 1988 until 1994.

Minister of Sports Romain Schneider was also in attendance.

Another photo from the Cour website.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Grand Duke at Meeting of Mentor International in Stockholm

Photo: Kungahuset
Grand Duke Henri is collecting quite the frequent flyer miles this week: After Rome on Saturday, Luxembourg on Monday, he popped up in Sweden today. Together with Queen Silvia he attended a meeting of the Mentor International Foundation at the Royal Palace. The Grand Duke has been a member of the administrative board of the foundation, a non-profit organisation working to prevent drug use and promote health as well as well-being amongst youth, since its creation in 1994.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tons of Pictures of the Liechtensteins at the Vatican

Photos: L'Osservatore Romano 

Ever cared to look at almost 1.400 pictures of the Princely Family of Liechtenstein attending one single event? Now is the chance of your lifetime! L'Osservatore Romano offers a gallery of visuals of Saturday's visit to the Pope by Prince Hans-Adam and some 36 of his closest relatives containing more than enough pictures to fullfill your wishes. In case you need to brush up on your knowledge of the less regular Liechtenstein faces here at Luxarazzi, we have them all conveniently identified for your here.

It's Not Fake News Because You Can't See it

This weekend, the baptism of Prince Liam and the media coverage surrounding it (or lack thereof) brought up an old topic when it comes to the Grand Ducal Family. It made me exclaim on Twitter: "Sometimes I want to scream at people: It's the Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg we are talking about - what did you expect?!" It went as far as us being accused of spreading "fake news" just because visual evidence was not readily available three minutes, or even a day, after the event took place. I know that in the day and age of social media, when we see many events unfold right in front of our eyes on our computer or phone screen, a more restraint interaction with the press often seems dubious. 

However, just because we don't see something, it doesn't mean it is not happening. Little information in advance to an event, few pictures of an event by press photographers, and photos officially released by the cour grand-ducale a day or three later certainly is nothing uncommon with the Grand Ducal Family. While I occasionally make snarky remarks about it, I'm not going to write a big post complaining about it because we are not going to change the workings of the cour. I work in the field of public relations myself, and I know how time-consuming and tiring the process of coordinating press releases can be. Could they be quicker? Yes. Are we going to change it? No. It is just the way it is.

One thing you can be sure of though is that here at Luxarazzi we are never going to spread "fake news". We only publish information coming from sources we trust - may it be cour, certain news outlets or private individuals. Yes, we have been mistaken in the past and we apologised for it. However, our mistakes have never been about events happening or not happening. To be honest, I have hard time imagining why should we make up a baptism of a member of the Grand Ducal Family, when you can so easy prove us wrong. I feel like I'm sounding like a broken record, but Luxarazzi is just hobby, and nobody makes any money off it. So why should we even attempt to create headlines full of clickbait? Yes, it is nice to see the number of people reading Luxarazzi, but it brings us nothing more than a smile on our faces. While after so many years of Luxarazzi, I still wouldn't call myself a true expert on the Grand Ducal Family (because I keep learning so much), so trust a person who has been a close follower of them for close to eight years now: Some news is real even if not all the details are released - and there is also not a big conspiracy theory or dark secret hidden behind an event if there is little information available.

There has been heaps of speculation surrounding the birth and baptism of Prince Liam. Why was his name announced so late? Why were pictures released later than after his sister's birth? Why was he born in Geneva? Why did his family suddenly move to Geneva? Why wasn't the baptism covered more broadly by the media? And why did it take place five months after his birth to begin with? Seriously, people, do you expect a murderer behind every corner?!

Was the baptism held relatively late? Yes. Do we know why? No. Usually baptisms in the Grand Ducal Family take place four to six weeks after the birth. Liam was born at the end of November. Maybe both the Nassau and Lademacher families had already made Christmas plans and they weren't able to come together in one place for the baptism? Maybe they had to wait to use a chapel at the Vatican? On January 18, the separation of Prince Louis and Princess Tessy was announced. Just pure speculation on my part, but maybe the family didn't care to hold a semi-public family event at a time when it became official that one part of their family was breaking apart? About four weeks later, Princess Tessy filed for divorce. Just a short while later, on March 1, Lent started. In many Catholic parishes it is common that children are not baptised during the time of Lent (unless the child is seriously ill and in danger of dying). During Lent the holy water is actually removed from churches. And Lent, of course, ended on Easter Sunday, which was just a week ago.

You know, there can be and very likely are extremely simple explanations behind many if not all the questions thrown into the mix over the past few days. The cour has never been the ones to keep us fully updated on all the whereabouts and occurrences in the Grand Ducal Family. Members of the family have moved halfway around the world without there ever being an official announcement, so many things may seem way more sudden or mysterious from the outside than they actually are. Would I sometimes like to get more official updates as well as more and quicker pictures of events? Yes. But somehow this mystery and the fact that we do not know what the Grand Duke just ate for lunch or when the Grand Duchess got her last haircut is what got me interested and kept my interest in the Nassaus - even though keeping up with all their events can be tough sometimes as information isn't always readily available. 

I wouldn't even claim Luxarazzi to be the ultimate source of news and events of the Grand Ducal Family. We do the best we can to find every bit of news; however, there are a number of events undertaken by members of the family that never get published by either the cour or the media: Audiences, low-key visits, and so on - but just because we do not see it, it doesn't that isn't happening.

Grand Duke Henri Inaugurates New Athénée de Luxembourg

Photo: Henri Schwirtz / RTL /
On the 24th, Grand Duke Henri attended the inauguration of the recently renovated high school Athénée de Luxembourg. The school underwent extensive improvements that spanned several years and finished toward the end of 2016; students and staff were able to begin using the new facility upon their return in January.

Also in attendance were Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, Minister of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure François Bausch, and Minister for National Education, Children and Youth Claude Meisch.

More photos and video from RTL and from the Cour website.

Prince Liam Baptised at the Vatican

All photos: Lola Velasco / Cour grand-ducale
Prince Liam, younger child of Prince Félix and Princess Claire, was baptised this Saturday in the Chapel of the Choir within St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. His godparents are Prince Sébastien and Anna-Maria Pamin, who was already one of the witnesses to the wedding of Liam's parents. The little prince was born on November 28, 2016. Liam Henri Hartmut, as is his full name, was baptised during a mass concelebrated by Rev. Dr. George Woodall, professor of moral theology at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, alma mater of Prince Félix and Prince Claire, and Monsignor Camille Perl.

Naturally, Liam's big and super adorable sister Amalia was on hand for the event at the Vatican. Also in attendance were Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume - who was responsible for the musical accompaniment - and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie, Prince Louis, Princess Alexandra, Claire's parents Hartmut and Gabriele Lademacher and her brother Felix, as well as Princess Margaretha and Prince Nikolaus with their children Anunciata, Astrid and Josef (who were all in Rome for the big Liechtenstein gathering anyway). I also spied Prince Lelio Orsini d'Aragona as well as Prince Hugo and Princess Sophie of Windisch-Graetz with their daughter Larissa among the guests.

As this post was quickly typed on a phone, please excuse and spelling errors. Once a member of Team Luxarazzi gets near to a computer, we will update this post with more information. In the meantime We did all that but still make sure to enjoy some more pictures over at Wort.