Thursday, January 28, 2010

audiences of The Grand Duke and The Grand Duchess

Yesterday The Grand Duke and The Grand Duchess each hosted an audience.

Maria-Teresa, continuing her interest in Burundi, received Marguerite Barankitse and Aline Ndenzako. Ms. Barankitse is the founder of Masion Shalom which aids women and children. Ms. Ndenzako is the Vice-President of the organization.

The Grand Duke received Herman van Rampuy. Mr. van Rampuy is the President of the European Counsil. Mr. van Rampuy met with The Grand Duke as part of his working visit to Luxembourg.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"only" a Grand Duke

There is another article covering the costs of Europe's monarchs. I suspect this is the original source of the brief mention on Radio Netherlands.

While the dear Professor may be correct about the seemingly excessive cost of some monarchs (which is still less than a republic of equal caliber would cost) and their households he certainly appears to have some elitism where Luxembourg is concerned. His remark that, "Luxembourg pays 8.7 million euros, but this buys the small country only a grand duke, not a true king or queen" makes it appear that Luxembourg is somehow being shafted for their 8.7 million euro. I have to disagree (see previous post) and so would any self respecting Luxembourger. Why on earth would we ever want a "real king or queen?" I suppose it is possible that the professor maybe unaware that Luxembourg is the world's only Grand Duchy. The Grand Duchy is possibly the grandest of all nations in the eyes of this blogger.

But I digress....

We have the distinction and privilege of being the only Grand Duchy despite our small size. It is only appropriate that Luxembourg be led not by a "real" king or queen but by a real Grand Duke. There was, of course, a time when the Grand Duke of Luxembourg was also a King but so far as Luxembourg was concerned he was still only The Grand Duke. There are also former Grand Duchies a plenty but only Luxembourg remains.

Luxembourg is The Grand Duchy of the world. This is a unique position and we are proud of our small nation.   I think that the good professor is unaware that the motto of The Grand Duchy is "Mir welle bleiwe wat mir sinn." Allow me to translate this into terms that could be understood from his point of view....We don't have a king or queen and we don't want one no matter how "real" they are! We are happy being a small nation that is served by a Grand Duke.

The statistics are also misleading in the way they are displayed. Sure, Luxembourgers only pay 8.7 million but there are only 493,500 privileged individuals who call The Grand Duchy home. This is roughly 17.63 per resident per year. When compared to the average cost per resident of other nations it really doesn't seem so cheap as the professor wants the world to think. However, it is still a good deal for our nation. We enjoy a standard of living that is relatively unmatched throughout the world and we could realistically afford something more along the lines of some other overdone monarchies. We are fortunate to have a representative family that is just posh enough to display the affluence of Luxembourg and knows where to draw the line. I could list a long line of superlatives describing the Grand Ducal Court and each member of the family but I won't because it isn't necessary. They aren't perfect but they certainly are unmatched.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Luxembourg Monarchy best bargain

Radio Netherlands Worldwide mentioned that the Luxembourg monarchy is the cheapest.

In my opinion, Luxembourgers not only pay the least but get the best bargain for their Euro. The Grand Ducal Family is, by far, one of the most discreet and respectable royal families in the world. I acknowledge that they aren't perfect. Our princes do have a history of not always getting their brides to the alter before pregnancy occurs (Charles, Jean and Louis), there was that distasteful press conference blackening the good name of Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte, and that little snafu with the euthanasia bill.....

However, the way that our Family dealt with these issues and the fact that they are a real family who enjoy a close relationship with each other speaks volumes about who they really are. You'll never hear that a Luxembourg prince has a child he isn't caring for nor will you ever see one of our princes wearing a nazi emblems as if were humorous. You won't see Guillaume stopping traffic in Paris, London or New York as he makes his way to lunch with a deep security detail. You won't see Alexandra topless at the beach or leaving the keys in a needlessly expensive car while she attends class. There will never be a wee Luxembourg princess wearing an 800 Euro vest. You may see Guillaume and Felix wearing the same clothes repeatedly (worn jeans are common) and you will see the lovely Luxembourg ladies sharing their clothes and jewelry. Those smiles you see on the faces of Luxembourgers when they greet Guillaume, Jean or Henri are genuine. The entire family is positively posh but not overly so. Perhaps the family could give lessons on how to remain royal while also being modest.

Grand Duke Jean honored

It was announced earlier that Grand Duke Jean would be honored for his conservation efforts.

Yesterday, Grand Duke Jean received the Hëllef fir d'Natur 2009 prize at the Museum of Natural History. Bopa Jean is well known for His love of nature and his conservation efforts.

I would also like to wish Grand Duke Jean a belated happy birthday! I didn't forget his classes started back on the day after his birthday and it's hard work to laze about and maintain my 4.0 GPA. ;)

Reception for Police and Soldiers

The Grand Duke and The Grand Duchess hosted their annual reception for the national police and for soldiers who participate in humanitarian and peace keeping operations. The reception was held on 10 December 2009 at the Grand Ducal Palace.

The fact that it took more than a month to update the official website with this information leads me to believe that the annual New Year reception has also taken place. They simply haven't bothered to include anything about it - yet.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Guillaume in the Gulf - Dubai and Qatar

Wort finally has an article on the Middle East visit of Guillaume and Luc Frieden. Way to stay up-to-date on things Wort. As usual, I also offer you google's ghetto English version.

Guillaume and his delegation completed their seminar and accompanying business in the UAE and have moved on to Qatar. In Qatar they were greeted with typical honors of visiting dignitaries at the airport and subsequently met with The Emir.

Whilst in the UAE he met with the Crown Prince of Dubai (I covered this in my previous entry) and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. While in Abu Dhabi he toured popular cultural and tourist destinations and discussed the economic business at hand with the Crown Prince.

The UAE and Luxembourg have implemented a double taxation prevention scheme which was ratified in 2005. This agreement has increased the non-oil trade between the two nations to 128 million Dirhams ( 44, 630,344 Euro or 64,797,166 USD).

Guillaume and his entourage return to Luxembourg tomorrow. I was going to update with more info about the Qatar portion of the visit but it turns out that there wasn't much info released.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Is it true what they say about Luxembourg..

The government of Luxembourg has released a series of 10 promotional videos. I liked them and thought that I would share them with my fellow Lux lovers. They may be viewed here simply by clicking on one of the subjects across the top. Each of the videos carries a different topic such as finance, holidays, wines, ect....

Guillaume in the Gulf - Dubai - updated

Guillaume and his accompanying delegation have been received in Dubai. The seminar that I mentioned several days ago took place today. It is nearly identical to the seminar that was given in Bahrain.

Luxembourg and the UAE signed a Memorandum of Mutual Understanding (again nearly identical to the one signed yesterday in Bahrain) that is to promote cooperation and industry development which shall include market access, financial regulations and infrastructure, training, and industry development for firms located in The Grand Duchy and the Emirates. The MoU also agrees to promote mutual events, welcome delegations for the two nations and help facilitate relations between universities in Luxembourg and the UAE.
H.E. Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre, highlighted similarities between the two nations which he stated included competent and stable political, social and economic sectors.

I'll keep popping around looking for other details of the visit during the day. Thus far, all the articles I've found have been exactly the same word-for-word.

Here are additional articles on the Dubai leg of the visit.

WAM - Guillaume praised the UAE and was received by Sheihk Hamdan

Belga has a couple pics of Guillaume. I'm sure there are dozens of them floating around online but I haven't stumbled on to them. I have to say 28 looks good on Guillaume because he just keeps getting better and better!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Guillaume in the Gulf - updated

Guillaume, accompanied by his beautiful beard, the Minister of Finance and a large delegation representing the finance sector of Luxembourg have arrived in Bahrain.

RTL has some coverage, as does the government website, and there is a press release about the visit from today.

Here are some links to news articles about Guillaume's visit to the Middle East. They are all in English.

Gulf Daily News - this article mentions that the Premier of Bahrain vows to strengthen ties between his nation and Luxembourg. It mentions that he received Guillaume and his delegation. It points out that Guillaume and his delegation were received by the Premier and have already left Bahrain after being seen off at the airport by Shaikh Abulla bin Hamad and other dignitaries.

BNA -this is a press release that states that Luxembourg and Bahrain have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote mutual economic, trade and technical cooperation between Lux/Bahrain.

BNA - a press release indicating that Prince Khalifa bin Salman (Prime Minster of Bahrain) received Guillaume and his delegation. He called for active joint agreements and reiterates the vow to strengthen ties between the nations.

BNA - this is a press release that states that Guillaume and his delegation have left Bahrain.

Gulf Daily News - this article (with pic) covers the seminar that was given in Bahrain to promote Luxembourg and strengthen ties between the finance industry of the two nations.

Gulf Daily News - another article (with a different pic) covers the signing of the Memorandum of Mutual Understanding. The goal is to promote the nations, exchange technology and information, and to explore joint projects.

Le Gouvernement - the government of Luxembourg also issued a press release on the Memorandum.

AME - a general article mentioning key points of the visit. Pretty much a reiteration of other articles.

I will post the news about the other portions of the visit when it becomes available.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Paris Match

The Belgian issue of Paris Match currently has a cover and article about The Grand Duchess. It is a very favorable issue. The Wort article about the issue of Paris Match also mentions that Paris Match-Beligum will now have a weekly section on the Luxembourg.

I couldn't find the article online. If anyone is living in Belgium and would be kind enough to scan it for me I would really appreciate that.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Guillaume's approaching trip to the Middle East

There is an article in Emirates Business about the forthcoming visit of Guillaume and the Luxembourg delegation to the Middle East.

The article gives additional details of the events planned for the visit. It also gives more insight into joint interests between the Luxembourg, Bahrain and the UAE.