Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Grand Duchess at Red Cross Gala

Today, the Luxembourgish Red Cross honoured its most frequent blood donors at the Centre Prince Henri in Walferdange. In her capacity as president of the Red Cross the Grand Duchess Maria Teresa presented different medals to about 800 people who donate blood on a regular basis, and have reached the milestones of 80 donations that qualifies for a medal in gold, a silver medal for 40 donation, or a bronze one for 20 donations.

More pictures can be found on the official homepage of the Court.

Sources: Croix Rouge, Lëtzebuerger Journal

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Grand Duke receives Commissionar General of UNRWA

The Commissionar General of the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East paid a visit to Luxembourg. He met various important people of the Grand Duchy, including the Grand Duke Henri.

During Grandi's meeting with the Luxembourgish minister for Cooperation and Humanitarian affairs, Marie-Josée Jacobs, it was agreed that Luxembourg will give an extra of one and a half million Euros to support UNRWA health care in the Palestinian territory. Thus, Luxembourg has contributed about 4,25 million Euros in the year of 2010 and is one of the major contribution forces and, therefore, qualifies for membership of the Advisory Board.

Sources: Cour Grand-Ducale, UNRWA

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Maria Teresa Honors Volunteers

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, in her capacity as president for the Luxembourg Foundation Against Cancer (Fondation Luxembourgeoish Contre le Cancer), hosted a reception for volunteers of the Foundation Against Cancer at the Grand Ducal Palace on December 5, 2010. Appropriately, the reception coincided with International Volunteer Day.

The Luxembourg Foundation Against Cancer works to prevent cancer, assists those living with the disease, and works to reduce the number of deaths from cancer. The foundation offers many free services to those coping with cancer, such as: support groups, psychological counseling, administrative advice, yoga, chemotherapy consultations for choosing wigs and personal care products, and a network of volunteers to provide companionship and support. The Grand Duchess honored these deserving volunteers for all of their hard work. 

Sources: Monarchie.luGalerie, luxembourg.angloinfo

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess Visit the International Bazaar

Their Royal Highnesses the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess visited the International Bazaar at the LuxExpo Hall in Kirchberg on December 4, 2010. They visited the stalls of 53 different countries and sampled some of their best national products, foods, and wines, all of which produced one-half million euros to benefit over 100 international charities. This year's Bazaar also benefited TRH's foundation's efforts in Burundi. 

Between December 4th and December 5th, more than 30,000 people visited the International Bazaar which was celebrating it's 50th year in Luxembourg. The International Bazaar of Luxembourg is an independent, secular, voluntary, charity organization that traces its origins back to a series of small church bazaars that began in the early 1960's. 

Post-war Luxembourg was growing in its engagement in European affairs and the country was teeming with foreign born residents, particularly young European officials and their families. These creative individuals produced a number of new organizations, including the International Bazaar. The first Bazaar was held in connection with the Anglican Church of Luxembourg to raise money for the church and for charity. After its first year, the Baazar moved further into the Luxembourg community being held on rue Notre Dame in 1961 under the joint patronage of American and British ambassadors and staffed by volunteers of many nationalities. 

The 1962 Bazaar raised 75,000 Luf for the "Clinique d'enfants, Fondation Jean-Josephine Charlotte," bringing the event to the attention of the Grand Ducal Family. In 1967 the Bazaar was placed under the high patronage of Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte and continues under the high patronage of Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa today. 

Sources: Monarchie.luGalerie,

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Maria Teresa attends film premiere

Today, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa visited the premiere of a film called "Lynn? Virwat net? Inclusioun gëtt et!" at the Utopolis Cinema. Unfortunately, my (almost non-existent) knowledge of the Luxembourgish language is insuffcient to translate the title. The film focuses on a young girl with trisomy 21 and accompanies her throughout her last year at Primary School in Lorentzweiler, the very same school Guillaume, Félix and Louis attended for their first six years of schooling.
The film is produced by Elteren a Pedagoge fir Integratioun, an organisation of parents and teachers that campaigns for the coexistence of all humans in all parts of society. The Fondation du Grand-Duc et la Grande-Duchesse helped to realise the film.

Elteren a Pedagoge fir Integratioun kindly offers a large gallery of pictures.

Sources: EPI, Cour Grand-Ducale

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

European Microfinance Award

The Grand Duchess and The Hereditary Grand Duke attended the third European Microfinance Award. The award was part of the European Microfinance Week hosted by the European Microfinance Platform.

It is difficult to tell if Maria Teresa and Guillaume have participated in any other parts of the conference. Maria Teresa gave an address at the award ceremony last night. She gave certificates of achievement to representatives of several mirco-credit organizations. Harbu received the 100,000 Euro award for enhancing value chain financing. The finance award was funded by the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The focus of the conference is ‘financial inclusion’ and ‘combining profit with social impact.' The conference seems intellectually stimulating. Combining profit with social contribution can be a delicate balancing act.

On the superficial side, I feel like the US Ambassador always looks like she wants to eat Guillaume. Maria Teresa looks fab. I love the Asian inspired jacket and orange is a great color for her. Now my dear Guillaume...I love your beard. I like your cute belly. I can deal with how thin your face and arms are. I can even deal with knowing that you aren't really all that nice and that you aren't always professional. You know what I can't deal with?? I abhore that worn out yellow tie that you insist on wearing to practically every other engagement. Mmmmm, haterade. ;) I think it is time for Secret Operation Dancing Hula Pig 2.0.

Manuel Dias has a gallery of photographs of the award ceremony.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A month full of audiences

During the whole of November the Grand Duke Henri has received different people in the Palais Grand-Ducale.

It all started with the visit of former Polish Prime Minister and now president of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek on November 9th. On the very same day, the Grand Duke also met Felix Unger, the founder and president of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.

A few days later, on November 12th, the newly elected German president Christian Wulff came to Luxembourg for his very first but rather short official visit. A few short videos of the visit, including short glimpses of the Grand Duke and his lovely wife Maria-Teresa, can be found here and here. Belga also offers a few more pictures.

Again a few days later, on November 17th to be precise, the presidents of the six different parts of the Institut Grand-Ducal visited the Palais for an audience with the Grand Duke.

Finally, on November 23th, the Grand Duke met with participants of the Global China Business Meeting that took place in Luxembourg.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

700 Years...Pt. 2

Henri was welcomed to Prague by President Klaus. After the welcome ceremony he and The President enjoyed a private meeting and Henri was given a tour of Prague Castle. He also visited St. Vitus Cathedral in the company of Archbishop Duka. Later, he took in the Royal Wedding exhibit. 

The Presidential Couple hosted a gala dinner in honor of their distinguished guest. During his speech, The President highlighted the historic connection between the nations. The President stated, "It is not possible to name all the personalities and events or to mention all the historical and personal ties through which our two countries have been connected since but at least the name of Charles IV must be mentioned. It was under his rule when Prague became the political centre of the Holy Roman Empire and the cultural capital of Central Europe. It is symbolic that you, Your Royal Highness, have visited the Karlštejn Castle today, a place which Charles IV built for safekeeping of the royal treasures. I should also add that it was Charles IV who elevated the County of Luxembourg to the rank of Duchy in 1354."

Luxembourg and the Czech Republic have issued a joint stamp marking the 700th anniversary of the accession of the Luxembourg dynasty. Commemorative coins were also minted by both nations. The coin minted by Luxembourg is viewable on page 20 of the Central Back of Luxembourg brochure.

It is important to note that the Luxembourg dynasty is not the same dynasty that now reigns in The Grand Duchy. Various articles cover the history of the Luxembourg dynasty. Even the page on the stamps offers a brief history lesson.

Thanks to Ducii for the links and information!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

700 years ago...

...Count Jean de Luxembourg (aka John the Blind and John of Bohemia) became king of Bohemia. This marked the beginning of the Luxembourg dynasty in Bohemia. He was an important figure and his life is interesting from a historical perspective. The journey of his mortal remains to their final resting place is intriguing enough to merit giving him a good google. A brief but informative history was compiled to mark the 700th anniversary of the wedding of John of Luxembourg to Elisabeth of Premyslides.

The Czech Republic has been celebrating the anniversary of accession of the Luxembourg dynasty all year. Many exhibits and seminars were arranged. I wish I had been able to see the exhibit on royal marriage. I think the seminar on life in the 14th century royal court would have been a nice way to spend an afternoon. I like history but I love royal history.

Henri is visiting Prague today. President Vaclav Klaus will receive The Grand Duke at Prague Castle. The visit coincides with the 700th anniversary celebrations.

I've only just started blogging again. Please, be patient with me. I will update with pictures, news and links for all the events that I have missed. I just have to get through finals and Thanksgiving before I return to my normally up-to-date blogging.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Birthday Celebrations

On 5 January 2011 Grand Duke Jean will celebrate his ninth decade. A gala concert will be held to mark the occasion. Most of The Grand Ducal Family is scheduled to attend the event.

The Philharmonic Orchestra of Luxembourg will play Mozart's Symphony No. 41 (Jupiter) in C major and Beethoven's Symphony No. 8 in F major. The youth orchestra of the UGDA (Union Grand-Duc Adolphe) will also preform.

Tickets to the concert were offered to the general public at no charge. Unfortunately the event is already sold out.

Luxemburger Wort indicates that all of the children and grand children of Grand Duke Jean will be in attendance. I assume that their respective spouses will also be in attendance. I have listed these individuals  for the benefit of those less familiar with the extended family. I really doubt that Louis' sons or the youngest child of Guillaume will attend. Would you try sit through Mozart and Beethoven with a seven year old at 10pm?

     1. The Grand Duke ∞ The Grand Duchess
         1.1.The Hereditary Grand Duke
          1.2. Prince Félix
           1.3. Prince Louis ∞ Princess Tessy
            1.4. Princess Alexandra
             1.5. Prince Sébastien

     2. Princess Marie-Astrid ∞ Archduke Carl-Christian of Austria
         2.1. Archduchess Marie-Christine ∞ Count Rodolphe de Limburg-Stirum
          2.2. Archduke Imre
           2.3. Archduke Christoph
            2.4. Archduke Alexander
             2.5. Archduchess Gabriella

     3. Prince Jean ∞ Diane
         3.1. Princess Marie-Gabrielle
          3.2. Prince Constantin
           3.3. Prince Wenceslas
            3.4. Prince Carl

    4. Princess Margaretha ∞ Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein
        4.1. Princess Maria-Anunciata
         4.2. Princess Marie-Astrid
          4.3. Prince Josef

     5. Prince Guillaume ∞ Princess Sibilla
         5.1. Prince Paul Louis
          5.2. Prince Léopold
           5.3. Princess Charlotte
            5.4. Prince Jean

For those of you interested in unmarried princes...In addition to your regularly scheduled Guillaume and Félix watching, I recommend keeping your eyes open for their cousins. The grandsons of Grand Duke Jean hit the genetic lotto. They are much better looking than all those other "hot" princes I've been seeing on lists this week.  Maybe I should put together a proper list? Team Imre!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Guillaume at Autumn Fair

Today, the Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume attended the opening of the Autumn Fair Luxembourg, an international consumer fair for house construction, furnishing and decoration.

The Luxembourgish minister for Economy and Foreign Trade, Guillaume's usual companion for such events, Jeannot Krecké, wearing an interesting kind of arm brace, delivered the opening speech. Together they went on to visit different stands, among them the one of Villeroy & Boch where children could paint their own china plate.

Wort offers a larger gallery of pictures.

Sources: Wort, Cour Grand-Ducale

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Members of the Chamber...

The Grand Duke received the new members of the Chamber of Deputies. Are you sure they're new? I recognize all their names and faces...

The occasion was the opening the the 2010/2011 parliamentary season.

The Grand Duke also sent a letter to the President of Chile. He and The Grand Duchess were moved by the plight of the miners and wished to express their happiness at the recent rescues.

50th Anniversary

On Tuesday, Maria Teresa attended the 50th anniversary of the International Bazaar. The bazaar is a wonderful event that raises money for various charities. This year the finest products of more than 53 countries are being sold to raise funds for more than 100 worthy causes. The bazaar is expected to raise an excess of 500,000 Euro.

The website of the International Bazaar features an extensive slideshow. The photos span five decades. I noted many photographs of Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and the beautiful Princess Marie-Astrid.

Maria Teresa looked fantastic! I thought she also looked very youthful. :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mark your calendars...

Guillaume will visit the Abu Dhabi, UAE after the New Year (17-20 January 2011). Minister Krecké and Guillaume will attend the World Future Energy Summit. The summit will focus on green technologies, renewable energy and environmental issues. This will be Luxmebourg's first time at the WFES.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

World Expo**

Today was Luxembourg Day at the World Expo in Shanghai. The Grand Duke and the indefatigable Minister Jeannot Krecké were on hand to mark the occasion. The expo is credited with being an excellent advertising tool for Luxembourg and businesses based there. More than 100 Luxembourg based businesses currently use the pavilion to make contacts with new customers and Chinese companies.

The expo is winding down soon. The Gëlle Fra will finally be on her way back to Place de la Constitution.

RTL has another lovely gallery of photos of the two events covered during the visit. The government website provides a more detailed description of the day and its importance.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ten Years...**

Ten years ago today Grand Duke Jean signed the act of abdication. With this simple act he ended his 36 year reign. At that moment, Son Altesse Royale le Grand-Duc héritier became le Grand-Duc de Luxembourg and young Prince Guillaume became le Prince Héritier de Luxembourg*.

Little more than two months later le Grand-Duc formally bestowed the title and position of le Grand-Duc Héritier on le Prince Héritier. With this action Guillaume was formally recognized as heir to the throne and the family trust. This not only cemented Guillaume's position as heir (not like that was ever in doubt) it allowed Guillaume to take up the necessary responsibilities.

Despite a few bumps along the road Henri is a stellar grand duke. The family remains popular. I certainly have respectful and warm feelings toward them.

Wort has a gallery of visuals covering Henri's enthronement and the first decade of his reign. RTL went all out with photos, sound bites and a wonderful interview with Henri (in Luxembourgish) marking the 10th anniversary of his reign. Ademar prepared several pages covering the events of 2000. Several magazines in Luxembourg have commemorative issues available in print to mark the anniversary (Revue, et al...). Promi, on the other hand, decided that this would be an excellent time to start pre-sales of their "scandalous" book on the Grand Ducal Family (yawn).

Wort provides a nice interview with Henri. I've had the link set on auto-translate for you. I found it interesting that he said he and Guillaume do not always agree on their vision for Luxembourg. The article provides some other interesting links.

*le Prince Héritier is the official styling of the heir to reigning Grand Duke (or Grand Duchess) prior to their creation as le Grand-Duc Héritier. The title le Prince Héritier is automatic while le Grand-Duc Héritier is not. 

The New and Improved Official Website...with Twitter and Facebook

The Cour Grand-Ducale has updated their website. It is now easier to navigate and more attractive. Sadly, as I write this, they haven't updated any of the biographical information or provided new information/pictures. I know that French is the written language of the Luxembourg government but I'd love to see the website come online in the other languages of The Grand Duchy.

You can also now follow the Cour Grand-Ducale on twitter and facebook. I'm following them on my blog twitter account (I don't personally tweet). The facebook "like" wasn't working when I checked it earlier. I think I'll pass on joining the facebook. I'm weary of having the Cour Grand-Ducale be able to associate my real identity with my Luxembourg aficionado status. Besides, I'm sure they could live without knowing that I like festive holiday socks.

Check out the new website! Pop on over to twitter and so that you can follow the latest tweets (when they start tweeting). You can like them on facebook if you're cool with them being able to view whatever name you have your account under.

If Google Chrome is your browser of choice (it is mine) the new website will appear a mess. It looks great on Firefox and Internet Explorer.

I'm working on the other updates from earlier in the week. I was so excited when I saw the new website that I had to spread the news first!

Celebrations and Prayers...

On 1 October, Guillaume was styling in some serious headgear at the centennial celebrations of ArcelorMittal in Bissen. Guillaume seems to be the go-to guy for anniversary celebrations.

Later in the week (3-5 October), Guillaume and Maria Teresa attended the International Meeting for Prayer and Peace. The meeting was hosted by Sant'Egidio in Barcelona, Spain. Thanks to the good folks at Hola and RTL we have several different photos. I'll post a link for this issue of Hola when it becomes available on youkioske.

Meet, greet and commemorate....

The Grand Duke held a private audience for veterans of the Korean War. Around the same time a memorial was also unveiled.

Sunday was the commemoration of victims of WWII. The Grand Duke, The Prime Minister, The Archbishop and other dignitaries were present.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Out and About...

The Grand Ducal Couple attended the opening of the new train station in Belval. The innovative new station is set to become the second largest in the nation. More than 32,000 daily passengers are expected to pass through the station.

I'm exactly sure what Maria Teresa was thinking when she put this outfit together. The hat and the large wool thanks. I love my grand duchess but this just isn't a good look. Madam, please fire your stylist...or hire one. You're beautiful and you rock but lately I find myself thinking that some changes in your wardrobe would just take your loveliness to the next level. Constructive criticism...don't be offended you're still the best. :) The Grand Duke is always polished and attractive (men's fashion is so easy).

Our favorite heir attended the 100th anniversary of Siemens Luxembourg. Guillaume was all smiles as he greeted the Siemens heiress and sliced the very large cake. Speaking of what large hands you have, Sir.

I feel like its been years since Guillaume last appeared.

Maria Teresa looked elegant as she attended the exhibit "Fatal Footprint" at Place Clairefontaine. The exhibit was organized by Handicap International. The photographs displayed the human tragedy of landlines in Columbia, Laos and Cambodia.

On Monday, The Grand Duke attended a concert in Luxembourg. I seem to have misplaced the link for the blogger that described this event.

The Grand Ducal Couple hosted the presidents of Caritas International and Caritas Luxembourg. Wort carried an article on social commitment in Luxembourg.

The Grand Duke will have a private meeting with a group of Korean War Veterans on 5 October.

Point de Vue has a nice article on Maria Teresa's emeralds. Technically they're Henri's emeralds but I don't think he wears them. ;) You can view the issue on youkioske. You'll find the emerald article on page 36. If you care to look at the rest of the issue you'll find many other royal related articles. Notably, on page 64 there is a bit about Henri. On page 74 there is a pictorial spread on a party at Chateau de Beloeil. My favorite princess was in attendance. She was accompanied by her husband, Archduke Carl-Christian. Archduchess Marie-Christine and Count Rodolphe looked fresh and in love. Naturally, at any Beloeil event we get to see the Ligne cousins.

I apologize for the recent delay in updating. It is the beginning of a new semester. I'm always, always overwhelmed in the first 2 weeks of classes.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Here and there...

Prince Guillaume and his newly blond spouse, Princess Sibilla, attended the silver wedding anniversary celebrations of Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia. You can find photographs and information on the event at the official website of the Serbian Royal Family.

Princess Tessy and Prince Gabriel attended an equestrian event in Luxembourg, back in June. Gabriel is HUGE and adorable! If you look through the gallery of the event you will find several additional photos of Princess Tessy. They both looked cute and comfortable. I can't say that I ever found Luxembourg in June cool enough to merit the wearing of a thick wool jacket.

Princess Alexandra is attending university in The United States. I will not publish details related to the specific location. If anyone else also knows or discovers which of the 4146 institutes of higher education she is attending, please, have the sense not to publish it. Safety, safety, safety...

The Hereditary Grand Duke will be in New York City next month for the bi-annual business award and gala of the Luxembourg American Chamber of Commerce.

State Visit Day 3...Books and Bats

On the final day of the state visit The Grand Ducal Couple visited Coimbra.

They were warmly greeted by a group of Portuguese people that had worked in The Grand Duchy for many years. Later, Henri participated in a discussion on integration. Maria Teresa participated in a round-table discussion on micro-finance.

I was distracted from the points of the state visit while I was reading about the Biblioteca Joanina. From the photographs of the events the library looks fantastic. It houses a priceless collection of books. I was impressed when I read that the library houses a colony of bats that control insects. Every part of the library is geared toward preservation. The wood of the shelves keeps pests away while the paneling on the walls helps to control humidity. The heavy doors to the library are opened only every 20 minutes. Each night the priceless furniture and books are manually covered to protect them from damage from the bats. In the morning the leather towels must be removed from the furniture and the library is cleaned.

Wort has a series on the state visit and RTL has several videos covering the visit. Wort 1, Wort 2, Wort 3, RTL 1, RTL 2, RTL 3 and RTL 4. Revue and Tageblatt mention the visit. Additionally, many of the photo/news agencies linked in the previous articles have updated their galleries and information.

I apologize for the delay in updating. Some of you already know that I have been very sick lately. I have also been overwhelmed with my university studies and work schedule. Now that I am feeling better I hope to avoid any further delays. Thanks so much for all your well-wishes and concern!

I actually have several articles from over the summer that haven't found their way on the blog yet. I'll get to those early this week.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

State Visit to Portugal - Day 2

The second day of the state visit began with Henri giving the welcome address at the Discover Luxembourg seminar hosted by Luxembourg for Finance and Luxembourg for Business. I wonder if he used the same speech Guillaume uses when he opens the Discover Luxembourg seminar or if it is customized for each location?

Later in the day everyone went to Cascais where the Grand Ducal Family spent the summer of 1940 in exile. Henri gave an emotional speech where he highlighted how difficult it was for his family to leave Luxembourg. He stated that the exile was the worst time of their lives. Prince Felix was praised for his wise advice. The family fled to London where a government in exile was set up. Charlotte gave frequent radio addresses from London.

Henri gave the mayor of Cascais a bust of Charlotte. He also expressed deep gratitude on behalf of himself and his family to the city and their hosts, the Espirito Santo family. The Grand Ducal Couple were made honorary citizens of Cascais and given a golden key to the city.

The Grand Duchess and the First Lady visited the Casa Sol. The establishment houses 22 children infected with HIV. The children greeted Maria Teresa with a song that they had prepared.

The First Lady is the patroness of the home. It is known that an expansion is greatly needed but cannot be furnished due to lack of funding. It is hoped that the visit of the ladies could draw much needed attention to the home and its wonderful mission. The foundation of The Grand Ducal Couple has offered support to the worthy cause!

The heads of state and their spouses also toured Castelo Sao Jorge in Lisbon, where they stopped to take in the magnificent view of the city below.

The events of the day were closed with a performance of the jazz quartet Demuth at the Jeronimos Monastery. The performance was offered by The Grand Ducal Couple to their hosts. Maria Teresa wore the same Elie Saab gown that she wore for the National Day Gala in June. She accentuated the gown with historic diamond and pearl jewelry from the grand ducal collection. She looked beautiful. The First Lady was well turned-out in an elegant black gown. The gentlemen looked stately and handsome.

Wort has an article covering the events of today with a photo gallery. The websites of The President and The First Lady each offer lovely and distinct visuals and information. The website of the Cour Grand-Ducale is also updated. Tageblatt offers coverage with many photographs. The galleries linked in the previous entry (Getty, Belga, ect...) have been updated. I encourage you to scroll down and revisit them. However, I feel that the pictures from the Portuguese websites were clearer, larger and nicer.

Thanks to everyone that provided links, photos and information...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

State Visit to Portugal - Day 1 **

You may find a semi-detailed itinerary at the Presidential website. Wort also carries a program of the visit. Additionally, Wort carries an article about the visit and an article about the large Portuguese population in Luxembourg. RTL mentions the visit and provides a link to the press release about the visit. And in case there was any doubt, Wort does indeed love us, ladies and gents. The proof? They have provided us with the first glimpse of The Grand Ducal Couple's visit, with an article and nice handful of accompanying photos. Danke schön!

Belga, DayLife, Getty and ANP have started galleries. Enter Luxembourg Portugal into any search boxes. The President and the Cour Grand-Ducale have updated their websites with photographs. The Luxembourg government has also provided information and photographs. Dr. Maria Cavaco Silva entertained the Grand Duchess during parts of the visit with appropriate activities. Royalty in the News blog has a nice article covering some of the points of the visit. I often get distracted while writing about the jewelry and ancestry and skip these points, which are generally the same for each state visit.

The Grand Duke thanked Portugal for for hosting members of the Grand Ducal Family's exile during WWII. He also thanked the large Portuguese community in Luxembourg for their contribution to The Grand Duchy. The Grand Duke made a point to highlight his own Portuguese ancestry.

The Grand Duchess wore emerald and diamond jewelry for the gala. This is the first time that Maria Teresa as worn Grand Duchess Josephine Charlotte's Emerald and Diamond Tiara/Collier. The convertible tiara/necklace was crafted by Van Cleef and Arples in 1956 at the request of Josephine Charlotte and using stones from pieces she inherited from her mother. I believe, the tiara was last worn by Princess Tessy. She also wore Queen Astrid's Diamond and Emerald Collier/Bracelet. The jewel was given to Queen Astrid to mark the birth of her first child, Josephine-Charlotte. Additionally, she wore a bracelet of emeralds and diamonds mounted on a gold band that was previously worn by Charlotte and Josephine-Charlotte. The large emerald and diamond brooch was previously owned by Josephine-Charlotte.

I must say that the gala was beautifully prepared! The President's website offers a wonderful array of high quality watermark free photographs. TRH The Duke and Duchess of Braganza (titular king and queen of Portugal) were seated at the table of honor with the Presidential Couple and The Grand Ducal Couple. Unfortunately, no jewels on Dona Isabel.

A little lesson in Luxembourg-Portuguese inter-relatedness....The Grand Duke is descended from King Miguel I of Portugal, through two of the king's daughters. Infanta Maria Ana of Portugal was the consort of Grand Duke Wilhelm of Luxembourg. She was also the regent for her husband and during the short minority of her daughter, Grand Duchess Marie-Adelaide. Maria Ana was the mother of Henri's grandmother, Grand Duchess Charlotte. Maria Ana's younger sister, Infanta Maria Antonia, was the second wife of Robert I, The Duke of Parma. Their son, Prince Felix de Bourbon de Parme married his first cousin Grand Duchess Charlotte. Infanta Maria Antonia's daughter Princess Zita later became Empress of Austria. Zita's grandson, Archduke Carl-Christian married Henri's sister, Princess Marie-Astrid. That is more than a bit of Portuguese ancestry. It seems only fitting that the Portuguese community is the largest immigrant group in Luxembourg and that The Grand Ducal Family is part Portuguese.

Please note: I left the names of Grand Duke Wilhelm and Grand Duchess Maria Ana spelled as they were at birth. In Luxembourgish documents Wilhelm was simultaneously listed as Guillaume in French and as Wilhelm in Luxembourgish. Maria Ana was simultaneously listed as Marie Anne in French and Maria Anna in Luxembourgish. I, personally, favor the Luxembourgish names because they are pronounced the same as the names that the couple bore at their christenings. The Grand Duke was born Wilhelm and his wife, Maria Ana. It is cumbersome to use two different names for him and three for her when writing.

Additionally, some of the jewelry information was taken from the book of Christophe Vachaudez, Ursula's website, and postings on various message boards (English and Spanish language) by several authors over many years. The most recent information was by Marianne, Tamara, Lorenzo, Josephine, Hans, Johan and Vincent on the RJMB during the course of many conversations about the jewels of Luxembourg, Norway/Sweden, Queen Astrid, and Princess Lilian. Many of the recent conversations center around the emeralds that were owned by Queen Astrid, most of which were inherited by Josephine-Charlotte.

Thanks to HGD, Lily, Charlotte and Irishthanhy for providing pictures and info.

Those of you that follow on twitter may have noted that I retweeted some Portuguese articles. I only just noted that the twitter account is double posting. I'll correct this tonight and I apologize for any annoyance.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Portugal Bound

Mark your nearest calendar, fellow Lux lovers! The good folks at Wort have confirmed that The Grand Ducal Couple will attend a state visit to Portugal on invitation from President Anibal Cavaco Silva from Tuesday, September 7th, until Thursday, September 9th. As usual, you may count on us for the handy dandy visuals and miscellaneous coverage sure to spring from the event.

A Grand Graduation Gift

On Thursday, September 2nd, the always dapper Grand Duke hosted an audience with some of the Grand Duchy’s (future) finest – students of both general and technical secondary schools who were ranked as most deserving of the honor due to the results of their recent end-of-study examinations. You can bet no Luxembourger ever complained that studying doesn’t pay off…