Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Grand Duke hosts audience with Duke of York.

HRH The Grand Duke hosted HRH The Prince Andrew, The Duke of York today in audience at the Grand Ducal Palace (henceforth GDP). Andrew is special representative on trade and investment for the UK. Andrew also visited the Banque Havilland in Kirchberg which is British owned and deals with exclusive customers.

It's just my humble opinion but I think Henri has aged much better than "Randy Andy." Despite being older The Grand Duke looks much younger, IMHO. Henri looked great in his more expensive and better cut suit. Is it just me or does The Grand Duke just ooze "posh?"

Grand Duke and Hereditary Grand Duke host dinner...

Henri and Guillaume hosted an informal dinner at Chateau de Berg for Luxembourgers living abroad. The "plus de photos" link appears broken to me (as of this moment). I'm sure they'll have that fixed later.

Hereditary Grand Duke at European Court of Human rights.

On September 23, 2009 Guillaume visted the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. This looks to be in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Court, but many details weren't released.

These are some additional photos of Guillaume at the European Court of Human rights. The briefcase makes him look very young, IMHO. He's with a new Aid-de-Camp. I was aware that there are 2 of them now I suppose their are 3 of them.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Grand Duke hikes Wolfsschlucht in "Little Switzerland"

Wort mentioned on Saturday that The Grand Duke went on a hike in the Wolfsschlucht (Wolfs Ravine) area of the Little Switzerland region of The Grand Duchy. He did this on the invitation of Minisers Claude Wiseler and Marco Shank (ministers of development and infrastructures respectively). The purpose of the hike was to honor the 20th anniversary of the creation for Commission to protection the Little Switzerland area.  The area is beautiful and is home to many species of native plants and animals in addition to archaeological sites. 

Henri looked as fit, healthy and young as ever. It was also nice to see his trusty Aide-de-Camp out of his usual uniform and in everyday clothes. They arrived in the #3 Audi A8 (it's license plate is simply a 3) which normally transports Guillaume to his events. I always wonder if that's because Guillaume is number 3 in The Grand Duchy or if it's just the 3rd vehicle in the particular Grand Ducal/diplomatic fleet. I do know there is a very posh Jaguar that carries the license plate as 1 with a crown which I have only saw transport Henri, Maria Teresa and Grand Duke Jean. Maybe I should blog about all the royal cars? I do have some other infos on other cars.

New pic old event...

I mentioned here  about a week or so ago that Guillaume and Henri were in Poland for the Interfaith Peace Conference and for the events of the 70th anniversary of WWI and the 20th of the fall of the Berlin Wall. I finally manged to find a single picture of the event (which means others are out there).

Grand Duke and Hereditary Grand Duke at Court of Justice

Guillaume took part in work shops covering "Access to Justice" and "Quality of Justice" at the Court of Justice of the European Communities (CJCE).

According to the actual press release from the CJCE The Grand Duke was also present with Guillaume at the close of the events which were to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Court of First Instance of the European Communities.

From my understanding of the press release the work shops and the presence of The Grand Duke and Guillaume at the 20th anniversary celebrations were on the same day. However, you will notice that Guillaume is sporting not only a different tie but a totally different suit at each of the events.

I really hope some other pictures of this event surface later today or later in the week. Guillaume looked great!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Grand Duke attends concert...

I know I'm a little late in getting this up, but I had a busy day. 

The Grand Duke attended the concert to mark the 20th anniversary of the SEL (Solistes Européens Luxembourg) in Luxembourg City.    

Monday, September 21, 2009

Grand Duke receives General...

Today the Grand Duke received Général Henri Bentégeat in audience at the Grand Ducal Palace. Général Henri Bentégeat is the President of the CMUE (Military Committee of the European Union). The CMUE is charged with conflict management, co-operation, prevention, et al...between the member states. 

Friday, September 18, 2009

More on the Papal Audience....plus vid

I typically get more updates the day after events due to my crafty use of news alerts. Tonight my inbox was overfilling with articles about the visit to the Pope. Most were the same articles that I have linked over the past few days but I add the video now.

I found this page to be particularly interesting because it included a video of Henri, Guillaume, their Aid-de-camp, and various religious dignitaries being greeted by The Pope. I am a native English speaker and even I found the women who narrates the video to be speaking very fast. If you can't understand what she's saying don't think that your English is poor. The video is also on the Vatican's youtube channel. Who knew the Vatican had a youtube channel? Not I. I shall search it momentarily for additional royal audience vidoes...have no fear.

Mad Monarchist linked the same video but I find his blog to be interesting and royal related so I'm linking it anyway. 

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Grand Duke and Hereditary Grand Duke meet with Pope...

Henri and Guillaume meet with the Pope at Castle Gandolfo. The meeting was in connection with the Van Thuan award. Wort actually mentioned that whatever they discussed wasn't released to the press which I find odd. I wouldn't have expected the such details from a private visit.

Official Website...
Belga picture
Belga picture
Belga picture

Prize Awarded....

The Grand Duke has received his Van Thuan Award. It was given yesterday evening at Palazzo Colonna. It was stated that the Grand Duke lives completely and firmly within Catholic principles especially those of the protection of life and freedom of religion.

I'm still waiting on the usual news/picture sources to update....when they update I'll bring you the links for photos and articles. Official website. 

It looks as if AFP has photos for the event. Palazzo Colonna is amazingly beautiful. Henri attended with Guillaume. The Grand Duchess is, as we know, still recovering from her recent surgery.

Visit the AFP gallery, select your language and enter Grand Duke Henri into the search bar for pictures.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Grand Duke to receive Van Thuan prize today...

The Grand Duke is to receive the Van Thuan prize this evening in Rome at the beautiful Palazzo Colonna.

He will also be received by His Holiness The Pope at his summer residence, Castle Gandolfo, on Thursday.

At the press conference yesterday Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino (president of the San Matteo Foundation which gives the prize) praised the work of the Grand Duke with the Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa Foundation, his commitment to catholic morals, his beautiful family and mentioned other steller qualities of The Grand Duke.

The Grand Ducal Family usually make a big deal out of their visits to The Pope so we should expect some good pictures of the whole family.

Some articles in English on the Grand Duke receiving the award Catholic CultureMetro Catholic, Vatican Press Service and Loggia. Plus, RTL also has a small mention.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Grand Duke and Hereditary Grand Duke receive students

The Grand Duke and The Hereditary Grand Duke received graduating students at the Grand Ducal Palace.

There is a pic at that official website. The Grand Duke looks preternaturally young, as usual. Guillaume looked show stoppingly gorgeous sans beautiful beard.

Luxembourg leads in development aid.....

I know this isn't specifically related to the Grand Ducal Family but.....I heart the Grand Duchy not just the family...

Luxembourg is topped only by Sweden in making contributions to development aid. Last year Luxembourg donated 287.7 million Euros which amounts to around 0.95% of the gross national income.

I know that Luxembourg is one of the wealthiest places in the world per capita, but it is still small. It says a lot that this little land of only 486,006 people continue to dedicate so much of their resources to development of those who don't  have the luxury of being Luxembougers.

Honoring The Grand Duke

As I mentioned yesterday, The Grand Duke is set to receive an honor from the Vatican next Wednesday. There is an article on this in English on news352.

More of the 65 year celebrations.

Wort carried addtional photos of the events of yesterday and Wednesday today. The official website also has more photos and information than it did yesterday. Additionally, the government website is also updated.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

65 years of freedom....plus busy week for The Grand Duke

Yesterday and today Luxembourg commemorated the 65th anniversary of their liberation by the American Army on September 10, 1944.

The Grand Duke together with Premierminister Jean-Claude Juncker and other minsters of the government were in Pétange. Pétange was the first city of Luxembourg to be liberated on September 9, 1944. There was a commemorative ceremony at the monument to the American soldiers.

Today The Grand Duke and members of his government attended non-denominational service at the Church of Saint Michel marking this event.

Later in the day The Grand Duke laid flowers at the national monument of Luxembourg Solidarity in the presence of Premierminster Jean-Claude Juncker, the Minister of Defense Jean-Marie Halsdorf, and the chief of staff of the Luxembourg Army General Gaston Reinig.

Grand Duke Jean together with the Minister of Defenese was at  musée national d’histoire militaire (Musuem of National Military History) to commemorate the event. The uniforms of Grand Duke Jean have been donated to the museum and are displayed with uniforms of various other Luxembourgers who severed with the allies during the war. Luxembourger volunteers were also honored.

There are photographs at the Official Website. Tageblatt has an article on the events. Wort also carries an article with a gallery of photos.

It has been a busy week for The Grand Duke although it hasn't received much attention. In addition to the celebration of Luxembourg's liberation The Grand Duke will be in Rome on Wednesday to recieve the Van-Thuan-Menschrechtspreis. Further information is expected on Tuesday.

He was also in Krakaw, Poland together with The Hereditary Grand Duke for the Interfaith Peace Conference which is part of the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of WWII. This lasted over the weekend until Tuesday.

A tiny mention of Prince Félix

City File  mentioned Félix in their list of single princes. I noticed that they used the cropped picture of Félix taken from the website of Netty which was in turn taken at the wedding of Princess Xenia and Alberto Matta. The info also came from wikipedia .....He maybe be headed to Rome but he certainly isn't squeaky clean...she missed all the articles about "Félix der playboy"..... He's clean just not "squeaky." And, he's not inheriting billions. He'll always be rich which is good considering he very much enjoys the life that having a little coin gives him.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Grand Duchess has surgery

The Grand Duchess had surgery September 1, 2009 at the University Hospital Saint-Luc in Brussels, Belgium. Her surgery was performed by Professor Jacques Donnez a renowned gynecologist. The surgery was planned for some time and the Grand Duchess is doing well.

1+1=2 ....surgery + gynecologist = gynecological surgery...

She left the hospital September 5 and is recovering at The Berg with her family.

Guillaume graduates

July 7, 2009

The Grand Duke and The Grand Duchess announced that Guillaume has completed his education. He recieved his "Licence," with honors, from The University of Angers in Angers, France.

That pic is Guillaume expressing emotion during the Te Deum a few years back. It's a favorite picture of him. I love a man who has a heart.

Hereditary Grand Duke gives diplomas

June 25, 2009

The Hereditary Grand Duke handed out diplomas at the Emilie Mayrisch Center to disabled persons as part of his function as President of the Board of Directors of the Kraizberg Foundation. You can view a gallery of photos here. 

I have a lot of respect for The Hereditary Grand Duke's work with the Kraizberg Foundation. I always enjoy seeing him at these events.

National Day 2009

I love the celebration of the Grand Duke's official birthday.

Guillaume and Félix were in Esch-sur-Alzette this year. You can find photos here, here, and here. Also, be sure to visit the archive of tomwag.com and search.

There is also a video of Guillaume and Félix in Esch-sur-Alzette here.

Fireworks.....here...here...here...here... the last guy actually has a lot of videos of just walking around in Luxembourg that I found interesting.

Photos: APA, Tom Wagner, Getty, Cour Grand-Ducale, Wort

Madame de Nassau becomes Princess Tessy of Luxembourg

Tessy de Nassau has been styled HRH Princess Tessy of Luxembourg and her children with Louis have been granted the title Prince of Nassau with the style of Royal Highness. This also applies to future children. This is the normal title/style for the wife and children of a Prince of Luxembourg.

I'm going to make a few points here for two reasons...
1. most people commenting on this don't know what they are talking about
2. I'm annoyed by people who don't know/understand proper title/style usage.

The Grand Duke of Luxembourg may create titles. This privilege is enshrined in the current Luxembourg constitution. He still requires the signature of two ministers, however, this is his right and I doubt he would ever have trouble finding two members of his government willing to sign for such a decree. You can view an English language copy of the constitution here. Check article 40 for this specific privilege. A new constitution is currently being worked on in Luxembourg as a result of that little snafu with the euthanasia bill and it is entirely possible that the Grand Duke may not be able to create titles under the new constitution.

On September 21, 1995 Grand Duke Jean issued a decree which regulated the titles, styles, and surname of the Grand Ducal Family. Per this decree, the children of a Sovereign (reigning Grand Duke or Grand Duchess) shall hold the title Prince/ss of Luxembourg and the style of Royal Highness. This also applies to the children of the heir apparent.

I want to point out that it is actually worded that it should be, specifically, written as (for example) His Royal Highness Félix de Nassau, Prince of Luxembourg.

The decree further states that Les Princes de Notre Maison who contract a marriage with the consent of the head of the house are qualified in the same manner and implies that the descendants of the approved union shall hold the title Prince or Princess of Nassau with the style of Royal Highness together with the surname de Nassau. There is no generational limit placed on the inheritance of this title. The only requirements are being a male line descendant of a sovereign and being the product of an approved marriage.

If a Prince/ss contracts a marriage without consent the Prince/ss should become Count/ess de Nassau. The spouse of the Prince and his children are qualified only as Count/ess of Nassau. It does not say that the Prince loses his place in succession (nor does the family law state this) simply by contracting a marriage without consent.

This has never actually been applied. All the princes who have married without consent have remained His Royal Highness Prince X of Luxembourg while their wives and children gained no immediate title. The 1995 decree did serve as the basis of the upgrading the wives and children of Princes Robert and Jean to Count/ss of Nassau.

Princes Jean and Louis renounced their rights of succession prior to their marriages. Prince Robert did not renounce his rights and, theoretically, still has them. No portion of the regulations on titles (or the family pact) indicate loss of succession rights based on marriage without consent. One can assume that this is the whole purpose of having Prince Jean and Prince Louis renounce.

Moving right along....

On November 27, 2004 Grand Duke Henri issued a decree that elevated the wife of Prince Robert of Luxembourg and their children to Prince/ss of Nassau with the style of Royal Highness. Robert is Prince of Luxembourg his wife is Princess of Nassau. This is because Robert is the grandson of Grand Duchess Charlotte and under the 1995 decree would only have been born as a Prince of Nassau. Robert and Charlotte continue to style themselves and be styled as Prince/ss of Luxembourg.

The children of the union of Prince Jean of Luxembourg and Helene Vesture (they were divorced already) are also elevated to Prince/ss of Nassau with the style of Royal Highness.

Article 4 of the decree of 1995 is specifically mentioned to apply. Which means in the event of divorce Princess Julie of Nassau returns to just plain Julie and Helene had already returned to commoner status following her divorce. I'm sorry wikipedia that means that Helene is not still a Countess of Nassau.

On National Day 2009.....

It was stated that Madame Tessy de Nassau is allowed to be styled as Her Royal Highness Princess Tessy of Luxembourg and that her children with Prince Louis are henceforth Prince of Nassau with the style of Royal Highness.

The decree that will have created these changes has not been published. I assure you there was a decree and eventually it will appear in Memorial. The Grand Duke does not create titles via press release. Actually, it is possible that it was already published in Memorial haven't looked since July. You're welcome to go ahead and look for it. There are two things I can pretty much guarantee...1. Gabriel and Noah are most definitely Princes of Nassau the same as if they were from birth and their titles are hereditary if they marry with consent. By virtue of their new status as Princes of the House they fall under the 1995 decree on this matter 2. Somewhere in the decree you will almost certainly see the following: Les dispositions de l'article 4 de l'arrêté grand-ducal du 21 septembre 1995 concernant le nom de famille et les titres des Membres de la Famille grand-ducale sont applicables. This will mean that Tessy, just like Julie and Helene, only has a title while she is married to her Prince. Even if the decree doesn't state this the article still applies.

Now lot's of people are running around saying that Tessy was created a Princess of Luxembourg "in her own right." This is not, at all, what the press release stated. The whole concept of Princess in your own right doesn't really exist in Luxembourg. There are no degrees of Princesshood. Tessy is just as much a Princess of Luxembourg as is Alexandra. Princess Tessy can lose her title by divorce and Princess Alexandra by marriage without consent. Neither title is free of stipulation.

The very fact that Article 4 of the 1995 decree states that spouses lose their titles if the marriage ends would logically suggest that Princess in your own right (the British concept) just isn't so...and never will be...not even for Tessy.

The picture released for this was actually taken much earlier during the Close of the Octave. It seems that this was in the works for a while.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Grand Duke Jean gives orders

Grand Duke Jean awarded the Ordre du Mérite Civil et Militaire d'Adolphe de Nassau to various individuals at his home Château de Fischbach on June 22, 2009. 

Grand Duchess in Africa

The Grand Duchess was in Africa for the first week of June promoting UNICEF and doing some micro finance related stuffs. This is covered on the official website here and here with a video of her speech (in English) here.

June 7, 2009 Voting in the European elections

Princess Alexandra  accompanied by Félix (but not his hair) voted in the European elections at the Hotel de Ville de Luxembourg in the company of a voting official. There are a couple pics over at tomwag.com (archive then enter names into search) and a video on youtube which can be found here. And, I don't care what anyone says Félix is still very attractive without his signature luscious locks.

Prince Louis and Tessy also voted in the elections in Colmar-Berg. They both looked nice. Tessy looked lovely

Prince Félix headed to Rome

It was announced at the beginning of June that Prince Félix (hereinafter Fél-icious der playboy) will be starting a masters degree in Bioethics in Rome. It was also announced that his studies will commence in October 2009. I am not aware that it has ever been announced that Fél-icious  has completed a bachelor degree. It's safe to assume that he has, however, we are left to ponder where this mysterious degree came from. Now using my superior stalking sleuthing skills I searched out programs in Bioethics in the Rome area that begin in October. The only contender for bioethics at the graduate level beginning in October in Rome is Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum.

Now lets back up a minute to evaluate what I we know.....Fél-icious has been working at Grand Chelem Management SA a Swiss company specializing in sports and event marketing in the Geneva area for the past few years . In order to be admitted to the graduate program at Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum one has to have completed a bachelor degree in either Psychology/Philosophy or Theology (from an ecclesiastical school) or one has to prove that they have taken an appropriate amount of theology courses from an ecclesiastical college. Plus, you have to have all your recommendations from your local Diocese in order. According to the Regina Apost. even someone who has a Medical Doctor degree would only be admitted to the bachelor program if they fail to meet this requirement.

Skipping right along...."major" announcement?

I'm jumping from January to March because I get bored easily...and I'm staring this blog in September just back tracking a little....

It has been reported on several royal message boards and blogs that a "major" announcement is supposed to be coming from the Grand Ducal Palace in the beginning of April. It is September 7, 2009 as I write this and nothing "major" has been announced.

It was assumed all around that the forthcoming announcement was the engagement of The Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume. I know that we have all heard rumors of Gui dating the Italian women named Michaela Forcini. Some of us also heard rumblings of a "super secret" girlfriend of aristocratic birth with whom he wanted to announce his engagement to but she wanted to wait because she still has a year of university left. I don't deem the "super secret" girlfriend rumors to have much truth to them, because the info that I heard sounded so much like the story of a deluded high school girl who thinks she's more special than The Guillaume....me thinks not! However, I did hear from several rather more, um, connected sources the Guillaume was dating Mlle. Forcini but had to 86 her around the end of last year and is currently without much female companionship. Line starts >>HERE<<  ....

Allow me to add a disclaimer at this point...Guillaume did not, in fact, wake up in my bed this morning. *sniffle, sniffle* :( I know, I know it breaks the heart. Therefore, my knowledge of his currently lonely status is not based on first hand experience. For those of you who can't grasp the meaning of this let me break it down for you....I heard this info from a few people some in the "know" some not.....so don't shoot the messenger if Guillaume ends up engaged to some stuck up 21 year old artiso before the year is out.

For those of you who heard those nasty rumors that Guillaume is gay - please - don't concern yourself with this. He's very Catholic and producing an heir is one of his main functions as Hereditary Grand Duke. Trust me, he takes himself his position very seriously. So, unless you actually see Guillaume and some guy kissing don't stress over it.

1-7-09 Audiences with the Grand Duke

For the New Year, The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess recieved diplomats, members of government, the council of state, representatives of European institutions, et al.....and members of the royal house.

Now I find it rather odd that they were receiving members of the royal house. In my head I always imagined that there was a list of people at gates of The Berg, The Grand Ducal Palace and Fischbach who could gain ready access. I assumed that les membres de la Maison would be on this list.....perhaps I'm mistaken.

Grand Duke's Christmas message...

On December 24, 2008 the annual holiday message of the Grand Duke was posted (in English, French and Luxembourgish) on the official website. You may read it here. There is also a video version in Luxembourgish only. I find the Grand Duke's voice to be lovely so you can view that on youtube.

He discusses the constitutional reform which has been initiated because of the resent snafu about him refusing to sign the euthanasia bill into law. 

Wedding of Archduchess Marie-Christine of Austria - December 6, 2008

I rarely venture out of Luxembourg for royal news. However, I dig the family of Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg and her husband Archduke Carl-Christian of Austria. They're good peoples.....and the whole lot of them are smokin' hot - win + win.

On December 6, 2008 in Mechelen, Belgium, Her Imperial & Royal Highness Archduchess Marie-Christine of Austria married Count Rodolphe of Limburg-Stirum.

The bride wore the antique Habsbourg wedding veil and a tiara belonging to the Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg. I don't care what Hello magazine says that tiara does not belong to the family of Count Rodolphe it belongs to the family of Mir's mother. 

Everyone who was anyone attended.....hundreds of pictures are available online...google it.