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.

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.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Princely Family Meets the Pope: Name That Liechtenstein

It's a good day in Luxarazzi Land as some 34 members of the Princely family unexpectedly joined Fürst Hans-Adam II and Fürstin Marie as well as Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie for a visit to the Vatican to meet Pope Francis. Of course our Who's Who section is always there for you when it comes to identify lesser known members of both the Liechtenstein and Luxembourg families but we thought we would give you a proper rundown of all the surviving descendants of Prince Franz Josef II and Princess Gina who were in attendance. (Spoiler: It's everyone but the three younger children of Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie.)

Photo: L'Osservatore Romana
Quick tip before we start: Click on the picture to enlarge and get a proper look at everyone's faces. And with that, we are off starting from the left: Princess Maria-Anunciata, Princess Margaretha, Prince Nikolaus, Anna von Lattorff, Camilla von Lattorff, Marie von Lattorff, Elisabeth von Lattorff, Lukas von Lattorff, Philipp von Lattorff, Maximilian von Lattorff, Sophie von Lattorff, Princess Tatjana, Prince Alfonso, Princess Angela, Prince Max, Prince Wenzel, The Princess Marie, The Prince Hans-Adam, Pope Francis.

Let's take a quick breather and start with everyone on the right of Pope Francis in the picture: Hereditary Prince Alois, Hereditary Princess Sophie, Prince Constantin, Princess Marie, Prince Moritz, Princess Georgina, Prince Benedikt, Prince Philipp, Princess Isabelle, Prince Alexander, Princess Astrid, Princess Theodora, Prince Wenzeslaus, Prince Rudolf with Princess Laetitia, Princess Tılsım with Prince Karl Ludwig, Prince Josef, Princess Marie-Astrid, Princess Nora and Teresa Sartorius.

Princely Family Meets the Pope

Pope Francis received pretty much the entire Princely Family at the Vatican today. (Well, those descending from Prince Franz Josef II and Princess Gina anyway). I could spy in pictures: Prince Hans-Adam II and Princess Marie; Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie with Prince Wenzel; Prince Max and Princess Angela; Prince Alfonso; Prince Constantin and Princess Marie with Prince Moritz, Princess Georgina, Prince Benedikt; Princess Tatjana and Philipp von Lattorff with Lukas, Elisabeth, Marie, Camilla, Anna, Sophie; Prince Philipp and Princess Isabelle; Prince Alexander and Princess Astrid with Princess Theodora; Prince Wenzeslaus; Prince Rudolf and Princess Tılsım with Prince Karl Ludwig and Princess Laetitia; Prince Nikolaus and Princess Margaretha, Princess Anunciata; Princess Astrid; Prince Josef; Princess Nora and her daughter Maria Teresa Sartorius y de Liechtenstein.

After meeting the Pope, the princely guests also met with His Eminence Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, under-secretary for Relations with States. As per the Holy See's press release, "During the cordial discussions the good bilateral relations between the Holy See and Liechtenstein were evoked, and the historic role of the Catholic Church and the positive contribution she continues to offer to the life of the country were recognised. Appreciation was then expressed for the Principality’s efforts in the international sphere, particularly in the protection of human rights."

More pictures at Getty Images #1, Getty Images #2, APA.

To read about previous Vatican visits by the Princely Family, check out this Luxarazzi 101.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Baptism of Prince Liam

Prince Liam, second child of Prince Félix and Princess Claire, will be baptised at the Vatican tomorrow (Saturday that is). The baptism will be concelebrated by Rev. Dr. George Woodall, professor of moral theology at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, alma mater of Félix and Claire and Monsignor Camille Perl as per Contacto. Young Prince Liam was born on November 28, 2016, in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Members of the Grand Ducal Family will be present for the baptism. Not on the guest list are Prince Gabriel and Prince Noah, sons of Prince Louis and his possibly already former wife Tessy. Liam's cousins will not attend "because of their academic obligations".

Hereditary Prince Alois Attends Chemistry Teachers' Congress

Photo: Nils Vollmar / Volksblatt /
On the 19th, Hereditary Prince Alois was at the University of Liechtenstein to deliver the opening address for the 14th European Chemistry Teachers' Congress (Europäische Chemielehrerkongress). The event, which was being held for the first time in Liechtenstein, featured the organization's motto "Chemistry and Innovation" and highlighted a series of workshops and lectures that more than 500 attendees were able to participate in. 

Daniel Risch (the Minister of Infrastructure, Economic Affairs and Sport and current Deputy Prime Minister) was also there, along with Dominique Gantenbein (the Minister of Home Affairs, Education and Environment). The Hereditary Prince also attended as a patron of the Europäische Chemielehrerkongress.

More photos of the event from Volksblatt.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Birthday Reception for Princess Marie

Photo: Nils Vollmar / Volksblatt /
Earlier today, a slightly belated birthday reception was held for Princess Marie, whose actual birthday was late last week on the 14th. She turned 77 this year. A number of government officials, local politicians, and members of the clergy attended the event at Schloss Vaduz to offer their best birthday wishes to Princess Marie.

More photos at Vaterland and Volksblatt.