Saturday, March 23, 2019

Weekly Roundup: An Audience, and Flash Mob, and Birthdays

March 16th-22nd, 2019

Another fairly slow week, with just a few events to note:

Photo: © Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli
On March 19th, Grand Duke Henri received in audience a delegation from Fairtrade International and Fairtrade Lëtzebuerg. The Fairtrade Organizations focus on improving trade standards, particularly within developing countries.

Photo: © Cour grand-ducale / Sophie Margue
On the 20th, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa participated in a flash mob to raise awareness about sexual violence. This event comes in advance of the Stand Speak Rise Up forum, on March 26th and 27th, which the Grand Duchess will also attend. More photos of the flash mob here.

Photo: © Anne du Chastel, Genève 2018
On March 21st, Princess Claire had her 34th birthday, with photos released for the occasion.

Photo: © CGD Samuel Kirszenbaum
And finally, on March 22nd, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa celebrated her 63rd birthday, with the photo above being one of those released for the occasion.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Weekly Roundup: Couture, Springbreak, and the Special Olympics

This week proved to be slightly slower, so there are only a few items to mention:

Photo: Domenico Dolce / Town & Country / townandcountrymag.com
Princess Astrid appeared in couture for Domenico Dolce's new book Queens: Alta Moda di Dolce & Gabbana, which features some of the women whose style he admires most. For more about the book (and it's $350 price tag), see here.

Photo: © Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli
On the 14th, Grand Duke Henri attended the 3rd annual opening of Springbreak Luxembourg, which runs from the 14th through the 17th and features new products, foods, artists, and upcoming trends. No photos just yet. Photo added, and link to more photos here.

Photo: Special Olympics Liechtenstein Facebook page
And finally, Princess Nora is in Abu Dhabi to support the Liechtenstein athletes at the Special Olympics. Check out the Facebook page for more photos. Paul-Louis is there as well, as is Tessy who wrote about the opening ceremony for RTL.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Weekly Roundup: Exhibitions, Openings, Memorials, and More

March 2 to 8, 2019
Photo: Claude Piscitelli / Cour grand-ducale
First, let's keep a promise from last week: On last Friday, Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duke Henri attended an event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Scouts and Guides of Luxembourg - and here are the visuals to prove it.
Photo: eadersnet.at / D. Mikkelsen
Already earlier last week, on Wednesday to be specific, Prince Philipp was in Vienna to hand out this year's LGT Media Award. The awards went to journalists Christian Höller, Jeannine Hierländer, Nicole Stern and Jakob Zirm. More information.
The brother of Fürst Hans-Adam II and Chairman of the Board of the LGT Group then headed to Thailand later in the week to cut a ribbon and thus officially open LGT's new Bangkok office. He was joined by another family, Prince Hubertus, who is also a member of the Board. More information.
Photo: Claude Piscitelli / Cour grand-ducale
Meanwhile in Luxembourg, Grand Duke Henri attended a memorial mass for his aunt Princess Alix, the Dowager Princess of Ligne, who died last month. He was joined for the mass at the Église Saint-Michel on Tuesday by Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla as well as several of his cousins for the occasion. More pictures.
Photo: Claude Piscitelli / Cour grand-ducale
On Wednesdey, Monseigneur le Grand-Duc received the Prime Minister of Russia Dimitri Medvedev for an audience at the palais. The Russian Prime Minister, who was on an official visit to the Grand Duchy, also got a small tour of the Grand Duke's official residence. See more photos.
Photo: Claude Piscitelli / Cour grand-ducale
Thursday it was on Grand Duke Henri's agenda to visit an exhibition about the origins of Chinese civilisation at the Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art (MNHA). The cour offers a small selection of visuals of the event.
Photo: Claude Piscitelli / Cour grand-ducale
Also on Grand Duke's agenda later that same day: Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Publications Office of the European Union with an academic session. Based in Luxembourg, the Publications Office is an interinstitutional office whose task is to publish the publications of the institutions of the European Union. More pictures.
Photo: Paul Trummer / Liechtensteiner Volksblatt / Volksblatt.li
And last but certainly to least: Another event that actually already took part last week and was wholly missed by us mainly due to the fact that there is surprisingly little information available. The Landesmuseum in Liechtenstein is showing an exhibition about the Principality's 300th anniversary and Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie went to the opening. No more information at Volksblatt.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Weekly Roundup: Abu Dhabi and Beyond

February 22 to March 1, 2019

It has been a rather quiet week in Luxarazzi land but nonetheless it's time for our Weekly Roundup... 
Photo: Photo: Abu Dhabi Festival
On Monday, Prince Philipp and Princess Isabelle attended the opening of the Abu Dhabi Festival Exhibition showing paintings of the Princely Family in, you guessed it, Abu Dhabi. The exhibition is entitled "Distant Prospects – European Landscape Paintings from Liechtenstein" and will run through to March 25 at the Gallery S at Manarat Al Saadiyat. It features works by Lucas Cranach the Elder, Joos de Momper, Jan Brueghel the Younger and Peter Paul Rubens, among many others. While in  the United Arab Emirates, Prince Philipp and Princess Isabelle also paid a visit to the local Louvre.
Photo: Claude Piscitelli / Cour grand-ducale
On Thursday, Grand Duke Henri welcomed several new ambassadors to Luxembourg. The incoming ambassadors from the Seychelles, Myanmar, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), San Marino and Mozambique all presented their letters of credence to the Grand Duke at the palais. More photos.
Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Sophie Margue
To mark International Women's Day, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa received members of the National Counsel of Women at Château de Berg on Friday. The counsel represents twelve different organisations in the Grand Duchy. More photos.

Also on Friday, Grand Duke Henri received the the first responders to the horrific accident at the munition depot that happened in Luxembourg last month and killed several soldiers. Already last week, he and Prince Sébastien paid their final respects to the deceased soldiers during a military ceremony.
Photo: IKR
Also on Friday, Hereditary Prince Alois met with the General Secretary of EFTA Henri Gétaz, his deputy Pascal Schafhauser as well as Ambassador Peter Matt at Schloss Vaduz. EFTA is the European Free Trade Association the Principality is a member of.

This evening, Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duke Henri attended an event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Scouts and Guides of Luxembourg. No pictures as of yet so we will add that to next week's post.
Photo: Photo News via Getty Images
Last but not least, an addition to last week's post: On February 19, Princess Margaretha attended the traditional mass for the deceased members of the Belgian royal family at the Église Notre-Dame de Laeken.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Weekly Roundup: A Largely Somber Week (with Amalia and Liam to Cheer You Up)

February 16 to 22, 2019
Photo: Sébastien Grebille
Before we head into a new week full of events for the Grand Ducal and Princely families, let's make a quick addition to last week's post as we somehow omitted the cutest event of the week: Prince Amalia and Prince Liam joined their dad, Prince Félix, and grandparents, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa for the EME Family Day at the Philharmonie. The aim of the EME Foundation is to entertain elder, ill, disabled or marginalised people by music. Archduchess Marie-Christine, niece of the Grand Duke, and her sons Léopold, Constantin and Gabriel also joined the fun.
Photo: Screenshot 1 FL TV
On February 10, Prince Nikolaus attended the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the Liechtenstein Press Club. The prince is the patron of the organisation. His older brother, Fürst Hans-Adam, also hosted a reception for the members of the Press Club at Schloss Vaduz that day. A news report at 1 FL TV. Meanwhile his oldest daughter Princess Anunciata was among the guests of an event for Frieze in Los Angeles this week as Vogue notes.
Photos: Valentin Dupont
The funeral of Princess Alix, Dowager Princess of Ligne, took place on Saturday. The youngest daughter of Grand Duchess Charlotte and Prince Felix passed away earlier this month. Grand Duke Jean, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Archduchess Marie-Astrid and Archduke Carl-Christian as well as their children Archduke Alexander and Archduchess Gabriella, with Prince Henri of Bourbon-Parma, Princess Margaretha and Prince Jean's daughter Princess Marie-Gabrielle were all on hand to pay their last respects. Valentin has a great report over on the Royalement Blog. Naturally, many of Grand Duke Jean's nieces and nephews were also in attendance at the funeral, including Princess Charlotte of Luxembourg, daughter of Prince Charles, (right picture) with husband Mark Cunningham.
Photo: Daniel Schwendener / Liechtensteiner Vaterland / Vaterland.li
On Monday, a birthday reception took place for Fürst Hans-Adam II. Liechtenstein's head of state after Liechtenstein's head of state celebrated his 74th birthday on February 14. The Prince was joined by his wife Princess Marie and oldest son, Hereditary Prince Alois, to greet the country's high dignitaries at Schloss Vaduz. More pictures at Vaterland.
Photo: EMA
On Thursday of this week, Grand Duke Henri and Prince Sébastien paid homage to the Luxembourgish soldiers killed during the explosion of an ammunition depot earlier this month. The military ceremony took place at the Caserne Grand-Duc Jean. Already last week, the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess visited other soldiers wounded during the tragic accident at the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Weekly Roundup: Birthday Photos, Interviews, Diplomas, and More

February 2nd to February 15th

Or in this case, biweekly roundup, as we're combining this week with last week.

Archduke Carl Christian gave an interview discussing World War I and his grandparents Emperor Charles (Karl) I and Empress Zita. 

Photo: Stadt Feldkirch / feldkirch.at
Hereditary Prince Alois honored the 300-year anniversary of the Principality of Liechtenstein with an audience at Schloss Vaduz. In attendance were administrators from Feldkirch, Austria, including the Mayor Wilfried Berchtold and Feldkirch city councillors. The Hereditary Prince Mayor Berchtold highlighted the close historical ties between Feldkirch and the Principality.

Photo: llv.li
On February 7th, Hereditary Prince Alois received ambassadors for the presentation of credentials. These included: Luis María Kreckler of the Argentine Republic (pictured above), Erik Førner of the Kingdom of Norway, Klaus Schweinsberg of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Andrea Bekić of the Republic of Croatia, and Elena Rafti of the Republic of Cyprus.

Photo: © Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli
On February 10th, Prince Félix attended the presentation of diplomasDiplômes de Maîtrise and Diplômes de la Promotion du Travail for 2018. This event saw the awarding of 103 Diplômes de Maîtrise and 133 Diplômes de la Promotion du Travail.

Photo: Nills Volmar / Volksblatt / volksblatt.li
On February 11th, Hereditary Prince Alois received at Schloss Vaduz the former Minister of Justice of the Republic of Austria, Wolfgang Brandstetter, who was awarded the Grand Cross of the Princely Order of Liechtenstein.

On the 14th, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa released a statement offering their condolences for the deaths of two Luxembourg Army officers.

Photo: Andreas Tischler / Vaterland / vaterland.li
On the 15th, members of the Princely family were in Vienna to attend the opening of the exhibit "Rubens to Makart" at the Albertina. The exhibit also marks another event to honor the 300-year anniversary of the Principality with the artworks deriving from the Princely collection.

Photo: ©Cour grand-ducale / Lola Velasco

Photo: ©Cour grand-ducale / Carole Bellaïche
To honor the birthdays of Princess Alexandra (the 16th) and Hereditary Grand Duchess (the 18th), the Cour has released new photos.

Photo: Daniel Schwendener / Vaterland / vaterland.li
And to wrap things up the birthdays, Prince Hans-Adam has given an interview on the occasion of his 74th birthday. He talks aging, politics, and stepping back from controversial issues, among other things.


Monday, February 11, 2019

Princess Alix of Luxembourg Passed Away

Princess Alix of Luxembourg, Dowager Princess of Ligne, passed away earlier today, Monday, February 11, 2019. The younger sister of Grand Duke Jean and aunt of the current Grand Duke was born on August 24, 1929, at Château de Berg. She was the sixth and last child of Grand Duchess Charlotte and Prince Consort Felix. Princess Alix married Prince Antoine de Ligne on August 17, 1950. The couple had seven children. The learn more about Princess Alix's life and family, please have a look at our Luxarazzi 101 about her.

The funeral of Princess Alix will take place at Château de Beloeil in Belgium. A memorial mass will also be celebrated in Luxembourg at the Église Saint Michel at a later point in time. Details for both will be released at a later point in time.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Weekly Roundup: Concerts, Credentials and More

January 26 to February 1, 2019

Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Sophie Margue
On Tuesday of this week, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa were among the guests for the Rotary Partners Night organised by the Rotary Clubs of Luxembourg. The Grand Duchess used the occasion to speak about "Stand Speak Rise Up!", her initiative to end sexual violence in fragile environments. More pictures at the cour.
Photo: Cour grand-ducale
On Wednesday, the Grand Duke was back to dapper uniform business as he welcomed five new ambassadors to the Grand Duchy in audiences at the palais. The new ambassadors of Turkey, Slovakia, Gambia (pictured), Hungary and Uzbekistan all presented their letters of credence to Monseigneur. See all pictures at the cour.
Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli
Later in the day, Grand Duke Henri was on hand for a charity concert by the harmonic orchestra of the Musique Militaire Grand-Ducale together with young musicians from the Grand Duchy under the direction of Lieutenant-Colonel Jean-Claude Braun. The benefits of the concert went to the Fondation Follereau Luxembourg. More at the cour.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Weekly Roundup: Royals in Excavators, Anniversary Celebrations and More

January 19 to 25, 2019

Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli
It's time for our new Weekly Roundup and in keeping with our promises last week, here are pictures of the Grand Duke visiting the judicial authorities of the District Court in Diekirch where he was welcomed by the Minister of Justice Felix Braz...
Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Sophie Margue
...and of the concert celebrating the 100th anniversary of the accession of Grand Duchess Charlotte to the throne at the Église Saint-Michel attended by the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess alongside Grand Duke Jean. More pictures at the cour.
Photo: IKR
While the Luxembourgs mostly kept to themselves for this week, there were a handful of events for the Liechtensteins. On Monday, Hereditary Prince Alois attended the opening of the World Economic Forum in Davos alongside Prime Minister Adrian Hasler. Among others, the Hereditary Prince took part in a discussion about making globalisation work for all.
Photo: Eddy Risch / Liechtensteiner Vaterland / Vaterland.li
Wednesday was a big day for the Principality kicking off their 300th anniversary celebrations. We conveniently covered the event for you in a separate and longer post. The event was attended by Prince Hans-Adam, Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie, Prince Max, Princess Tatjana, Prince Philipp, Prince Nikolaus and Princess Margaretha, Princess Nora and daughter Teresa Sartorius, as well as Prince Michael, Princess Hildegard, Princess Barbara and Princess Maria-Pia - and because this is Liechtenstein we are talking about, there are no proper pictures of all the family members in attendance yet. After the official event was over, the Princely Family also hosted a dinner for the foreign guests at Schloss Vaduz.
Photo: Liechtensteiner Vaterland / Vaterland.li
A day later, on Thursday, Princess Tatjana made another of her rare public appearances in Liechtenstein when she was on hand for the ground-breaking ceremony for a new special education residential home. Princess Tatjana, who is the President of the Princess Gina of Liechtenstein Foundation which is building the facility, probably made her own children a teeny tiny bit jealous as she got to dig herself with the excavator. More information at Vaterland, 1 FL TV has a video including an interview with Princess Tatjana (starting at 4:53).
Photo: IKR
Speaking of rare appearances... The lesser seen members of the Princely Family made the most of their time in Liechtenstein as Prince Max attended a discussion round alongside Foreign Minister Aurelia Frick on modern slavery and human trafficking organised by the Liechtenstein Initiative.
Photo: Roland Korner / Close Up AG
Also this week, Vaterland published a lengthy interview with Hereditary Princess Sophie in which the talks about falling in love, moving to Liechtenstein, her children and a lot more. We have translated the interview for you here.
Photo: Sophie Margue / Cour grand-ducale
On Friday, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa presented her initiative Stand Speak Rise Up! to end sexual violence in fragile environments, launched together with the Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation and the NGO We are not Weapons of War. The conference will take place on March 26 and 27, 2019, and will include three Nobel Peace Prize winners as keynote speakers. More pictures and information at the cour.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

"The Children Are Very Well": Hereditary Princess Sophie Talks Family, Past and Future

Photo: Roland Korner / Close Up AG
Hereditary Princess Sophie has given a rather rare interview to mark the beginning of Liechtenstein's tricentennial anniversary year. You can read the interview in German at Vaterland. As its always interesting to get an insight into royal life, we took the liberty in translating the interview. Please keep in mind that we are no pros when it comes to translations and some things may have been a bit more smooth in the original interview. This is an unofficial translation of the interview done by us.

***

Can you say what went through your mind when your first heard of Liechtenstein?
I can’t actually recall when I first heard of Liechtenstein so I couldn’t say what went through my mind.

And what went through your mind when you first visited?
My first visit was during a summer weekend in the early 90’s. My husband invited me together with several friends. I really enjoyed the visit, I thought that the country is beautiful. To this day I am amazed everyday by the wonderful view over the Rhine valley you have from the castle.

You first met your husband during the birthday party of a cousin in Munich. Was it love at first sight?
No, it wasn’t. (Laughs.) It took a while but after the sparks finally flew, everything went very quickly.

You became a Liechtenstein citizen upon your marriage. After a few years together in London with your husband, you moved to Liechtenstein. Was it tough for you to ultimately leave your native behind?
No, that wasn’t hard for me. My mother is from Sweden, my paternal grandmother was from Hungary. So it was a pretty natural step for me to leave your native behind after a wedding. Of course I’m happy to go back to Bavaria every once in a while and visit my family. Sometimes it would be nice if I could go more spontaneously for a quick visit. But it was never hard for me to leave Bavaria.

What did your friends and family say when you decided to marry Hereditary Prince Alois and for Liechtenstein to become your new home?
My family was very happy. They already knew my husband as he came to visit us often. My husband studied in Salzburg so my parents' house wasn’t very far away and also practically on his way back home.

Putting your hand on your heart: What is the biggest difference to your former life in Bavaria, where you grew up very sheltered with your four sisters and went to the local village school?
There actually isn’t that big of a difference. The differences to my childhood and youth are mainly due to a new phase in life. Life as a wife and mother presents different challenges to you than life as a child or teenager.

What do you appreciate most about the country and people?
A lot! I like the innovative energy and inventive spirit of Liechtensteiners, their diligence and awareness for quality. Things have rhyme and reason. I also appreciate the Liechtenstein humour, the straightforwardness and especially the easy-going informality. And, of course, the love for nature.

Can you tell us about your favourite place in Liechtenstein?
That’s really tough, there are so many beautiful spots in the country – and I keep discovering new places, where I love to spend time. That’s something very special about Liechtenstein, there are so many beautiful spots and places.

There are not too many traditional Liechtenstein dishes. But are Riebel (a corn-based traditional dish of the region) served now and again at the Schloss?
Yes, but it has been a while. Actually, we really need to have Riebel again soon.

How good is your Liechtenstein dialect? Do you sometimes speak it?
Sometimes something just comes out in dialect – but I’m pretty certain it sounds awful when I try to speak it. My children, who of course speak the dialect, have always forbidden me to speak it – and rightly so.

In difference to other monarchies and royal houses, the Princely Family lives a very private life and isn’t present in the international media. Do people recognise you when you go abroad?
No, not at all. I find that to be very pleasant, as you can move around freely. Imagine you go filling up your car on the motorway and then people recognise and speak to you at the cash-out. I would be quite embarrassed.

In Liechtenstein you also move around freely and mix with the people. We can meet you shopping in Vaduz, for example. How do Liechtensteiners react when they meet you?
There is no big reaction by Liechtensteiners. It’s normal for them that we also have to do our shopping. That’s exactly what I appreciate about Liechtensteiners. You nod, say hello and if you know someone you talk a bit. That’s all very uncomplicated, just how neighbours are. Sometimes there are some foreigners who actually react when they see you as they didn’t expect to meet you. But luckily they mostly don’t recognise us so you can go about your daily life and run your errands like everybody else. One time – and it really was the only time it happened to me – there was a small group of American teenagers who bought a few postcards in Vaduz. One of the girls recognised me as I walked by. She ran after me with the postcard in her hands and asked, „Is that you?“ – we did have a good laugh about it together.

Your four children are all grown-ups now. How do they do and what experiences did they have with the last name „Liechtenstein“?
Yes, they are all adults now and they are doing very well, thank you. It’s best if you ask them yourself what experiences they had with the last name. One experience we all regularly have is that our passports are inspected very thoroughly as both the name of the country and the last name are the same. The further away you get from Europe, the more often we are asked what kind of country that is we come from…

You are very socially active and have your own foundation. You are also the President of the Red Cross and patron of the animal welfare association. Do you think that the state of Liechtenstein equally does enough in the social sector?
In countries like Liechtenstein, the state maybe does a bit less than in countries with higher taxes. That way the people are more independent what to do with their means. But this independence brings along responsibility. Our system makes it possible and easy for active and engaged citizens to be free with their own means but also be supportive the more vulnerable. There is a lot less bureaucracy and so you can help quickly and solution-oriented. The responsibility lies with the people, the citizens don’t immediately call for the state to help. Maybe it’s even more social in the long-term instead of taking away the responsibility from the people. It seems important to me that people coming from abroad to live here need to be thoroughly informed about our approach.

Some people say that our high standard of living and prosperity is starting to annihilate core values such as charity, benevolence and loyalty. Do you see the same danger?
Of course there is a danger. Maybe it's due to the declining importance of religion, though this may also be connected to the increasing prosperity. However, I also think that especially here in Liechtenstein there are always a lot of open ears and hearts when people are in need. I’m very thankful and touched by the many donations to the Red Cross. We also have a lot of privately founded aid organisation in Liechtenstein that always impress me.

The UN migration pact is hotly debated right now. Our politicians are very skeptical as debates in the parliament have shown. What do you think about the topic?
I believe that it is a very diverse issue and I have to admit that I haven’t read the UN migration pact myself, so I cannot say too much about it. Both my father as well as my mother-in-law had to flee before, during or after World War II. Without the possibility to go to and stay in another country, neither my husband nor me would possibly exist. There needs to be help for people fleeing from war and crisis zones. Ideally, refugees should be relocated close to home with the goal to make it easy to return home one day. And, of course, it is important for a country to make sure that the intake is not uncontrolled.

Which personal goals would you like to reach in the coming years? Are there projects that are especially close to your heart?
There aren’t any new projects at the moment. My current projects give me great pleasure and occupy a good deal of my time. Personally I wish to have a bit more time for the family. Apart from our children, who are all adults now and study abroad, I also mean my family with that.

What will Liechtenstein look like in 50 years time?
That’s what I would like to now! I’m very curious, how technical developments, climate change, the population pyramid and demographic structure will change. How the limited resources will be managed, how our changing society will deal with the questions and challenges of the aging society, decreasing fertility rates and the sad development of genetically engineered children. At the same time our society longs to go back to the roots, acceptance and authenticity. At the same time we are very open to technical developments yet also fear how they will influence our lives. A lot of interesting questions that I don’t have the answer to.

Looking to the future of the country – what do you wish for?
Peace and safety for our country. Wisdom, foresight and humility of all policymakers. Serenity, confidence and, of course, God’s blessing for the people of Liechtenstein.

***

P.S. We have also updated our post of yesterday's anniversary celebrations with picture and video links - simply have a look here.