Monday, May 31, 2010

A Solemn Farewell...

Archduke Rodolph of Austria died on 15 May 2010. He was the son of the last Emperor and Empress of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. On 29 May 2010 a funeral mass was held at L' église Notre-Dame du Sablon in Brussels, Belgium.

Many members of the Grand-Ducal Family attended the service. I noted The Grand-Ducal Couple, Prince Guillaume, Prince Jean and his wife, Princess Margaretha and her husband Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein. Princess Marie-Astrid and her husband Archduke Carl-Christian were accompanied by their daughter Archduchess Marie-Christine and her husband Count Rodolphe.

I admire the Habsburg family. Archduke Rodolph enjoyed a long and full life. His passing is unfortunate and we express our sympathy to his family.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Presidential delegation in the Grand Duchy..

I was right, the Presidential Delegation has merited an appearance from one of our favorite royals. Our, hard working and perfectly respectable, Hereditary Grand Duke attended the Memorial Day events at the American Cemetery of Luxembourg with part of the Presidential Delegation.

Manuel Dias has shown us some love with his gallery of the event. The gallery has more than 200 new visuals of Guillaume. I've been pretty sick for the past week and more than 200 new pictures of Guillaume was a great pick-me-up. Obrigado, Manuel.

Thanks to Marley and Jo.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Presidential delegation to the Benelux...

President Barack Obama has announced that on 29-30 May 2010 a Presidential Delegation will be in The Kingdom of the Netherlands, The Kingdom of Belgium guessed it....The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The delegation will be attending Memorial Day Ceremonies marking the 65th Anniversary of the End of World War II.

This is not exactly what I would consider a high-level visit, but since this is a Presidential Delegation that will be attending ceremonies marking the end of WWII it is possible that we'll get a few pictures of our favorite Benelux royals. I'm sure you probably guessed that the possible royal attendance and/or photo opportunity is the reason I'm passing along this information.

Members of the Delegation:

The Honorable Eric K. Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, leading the delegation.
The Honorable Ivo H. Daalder, U.S. Permanent Representative on the Council of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
The Honorable Fay Hartog Levin, U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands
The Honorable Howard W. Gutman, U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium
The Honorable Cynthia Stroum, U.S. Ambassador to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Mr. Charles Payne, World War II Veteran and President Barack Obama’s Great Uncle

Never fear travelers, President Obama is not listed as part of the delegation so you won't have to worry about sealed-off streets and gridlocked traffic. I know it's annoying that The President of the United States doesn't visit cities he shuts them down completely. Don't be offended my European friends it happens even in the US.

Monday, May 24, 2010

It is a truth universally acknowledged...

...that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. ~~Jane Austen

That is unless you're royal. In that case, if you haven't publicly spread yourself around to a dozen ladies a year, led some girl along for 7 years under the watchful eyes of your entire nation, or popped out a couple kids before your 21 birthday (no offense Louis, I love your little family) then you must be gay. Yawn...yawn...yawn!

It is both annoying and tiresome that a man of Guillaume's caliber must constantly have his sexuality questioned. I think that perhaps Guillaume got a taste of being followed around and having his relationship paraded in the tabloids when he dated Pia. I sincerely doubt that it is an experience that he enjoyed or would want to repeat (the same can't be said for Pia). He doesn't have a string of illegitimate children or women lining up to tell stories of lustful adventures or heartbreak. I don't take this as a sign that Guillaume is gay. In my opinion this is a sign that Guillaume is a man of integrity who values his role, the people in his life and his personal space. Guillaume isn't leading the life of a monk...He is not spending all of his non-working hours sitting at home...He is definitely sweet but surely not innocent... :)

I wouldn't care if Guillaume was gay. I would still love Luxembourg. I would still respect him and view him as capable. I would still wish him well. I would still hope and pray that he is able to find happiness in all areas of  his life. There are undoubtedly people who would view it as a serious flaw in his character, but I am not one of them.

Guillaume is not gay. He simply has decided not to parade his private relationships around in public. Félix and Claire are out and about together all the time (I really do mean all-the-time)  in Rome, but you don't see him dragging her to events that have press coverage. The same can be said for Guillaume. The Grand-Ducal Family is able to keep their relationships private through a combination of lack of overall interest in every move they make, discretion, and commonsense.

Why am I mentioning all of this? It's made the tabloids in Luxembourg that people over at TRF apparently believe that Guillaume is gay. I actually like most of the posters over at TRF. I think the article really is incorrect in stating that it's the best royal forum and fails to note that only a small portion of their large membership base is actually active. I didn't really see any pros and cons of his sexuality being debated.

This assumption of gayness (which is incorrect) is based largely on Guillaume's apparent inability to find a woman who has graced the pages of Slitz (sorry Carl Philip but you had to expect the backlash). Okay, maybe that isn't the exact reason, but you get my point. Which is a point that I think the author of the article is also trying to make. At least, Privat took the time to, seemingly, defend Guillaume against the gay rumors that plague him because he doesn't date in the open.

I check the headlines on Privat and Promi but I generally don't give them much thought. This is largely because I know for certain that much of the gossip about their personal lives is inaccurate. Félix is still referred to as "der playboy" when he appears to have developed into a serial monogamist some time ago. I'm not doubting that he was at one point, um, let's just say enjoying being an attractive young man but it's not who he is right now. Guillaume is not a sugar coated monk but he's not a raging playboy.

Oh deary me, how those delicious Luxembourg princes love to drive us crazy by not keeping us dutifully informed about their private lives. ;)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Team Guillaume was front and center at the EuroMoney Conference in Riyadh. Guillaume gave a key note address during the first day of the conference. He highlighted many of the qualities that make Luxembourg an excellent place to invest and do business. He also touched on positive aspects of the Saudi economy.

The entourage met with the Saudi Minister of Finance and the Minister of Commerce and Industry. In addition to Guillaume the Belgian Minister of Economy and the ambassadors to and from Belgium were present.

The articles haven't really covered much of Minister Jeannot Krecké's role during this visit despite his importance for the mission. I'm rather disappointed by this.

Luxembourg International Military Tattoo...

The Grand Ducal Family was out in force at the annual Luxembourg International Military Tattoo. The Grand Ducal Couple was present. Prince Louis was all smiles as he and his wife made the rounds. Tessy looked very nice in a causal suit and darker hair (no more blonde highlights please).

It's not mentioned on the official website but Prince Guillaume and the always lovely Princess Sibilla also attended. They were accompanied by two of their children.

RTL has a gallery containing more than 700 photos.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Busy, Busy G...

It has been a busy day for our hard working Hereditary Grand Duke and Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade.

They met with The Governor of Riyadh Province, Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz. Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz who serves as Special Advisor to Prince Salman was also present. Prince Mohammed is also the son of Prince Salman (as his name indicates). The royal guests were joined by, Abdullah Yahya Al-Ma'alai, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg. Michael Lastschenko, Belgium's ambassador to Saudi Arabia, was also in attendance. Bilateral ties and areas of mutual interest were discussed.

If you're wondering why the Belgian diplomats are present...FYI, in nations where Luxembourg has no embassy the diplomatic interests of Luxembourg and services for Luxembourg citizens are met by either The Belgian Embassy or The Royal Netherlands Embassy.

Team Guillaume met with The Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources. A host of Saudi officials and princes were also present. They discussed investment potential in the petroleum industry of Saudi Arabia, the development of renewable energy, oil reserves, production, and stabilization of the petroleum market.

Guillaume gave a speech at the symposium "Luxembourg: The Business Hub in Europe." The symposium was attended by members of the Belgian and Saudi diplomatic court, businessmen, princes, and officials. Guillaume and his 40 person entourage (it was 100 in Russia...GuiGui rolls deep) were promoting Luxembourg as a business hub and place to establish a European corporate office.

Guillaume also met with Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. He presented Prince Alwaleed with The Order of Civil and Military Merit of Adolph of Nassau. The order is the second highest distinction of The Grand Duchy. One wonders what Prince Alwaleed or his Kingdom Holding Company could have done to merit such an honor?? In fairness, the order is frequently awarded to foreign royals but they are generally heads of state not minor princes.

The order is generally awarded for meritorious service or outstanding loyalty to The Grand Duke or The Grand-Ducal House. Additionally, all members of The Grand-Ducal House (not just the sovereign and his or her children) are born members of the order and receive their insignia upon majority. Hey, guess who is outstandingly loyal to both The Grand Duke and The Grand-Ducal House and is constantly engaged in bubbly and good humored promotion of Luxembourg and The Grand-Ducal House?????? >>>>ME<<<<

Monday, May 17, 2010

The King and Guillaume...

Shortly after GuiGui & Co. arrived in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia they were received by The King.

Guillaume gave The King greetings from The Grand Duke. The King, likewise, asked Guillaume to convey his good wishes to The Grand Duke. They also discussed bilateral ties between their nations.

Hello and Goodbye...

HRH The Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume Jean Joseph Marie of Luxembourg met his Qatar counterpart HH The Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The focus of the meeting between the two excessively named heirs was the continued development of ties between their nations. Maybe they also spent a few minutes discussing how difficult it was for them as children to learn to spell all their names and titles.

Team Guillaume has left Qatar. Presumably, they have since arrived in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Luxembourg delegation is scheduled to take part in a convention and various other activities aimed at promoting Luxembourg and sealing existing ties. They will remain in Saudi Arabia until Wednesday.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Qatar Continued...

The visit of our dear Guillaume Jean Joseph Marie and Minister Jeannot Krecké is continuing. The dynamic duo visited the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. They discussed the Qatar Foundation's projects and were given an idea of the projects that are in the works.

Guillaume, Jeannot, The Emir of Qatar, and The President of Brazil attended the Emir's Cup final at Khalifa Stadium (pictured). I'm sure our magnificent Guillaume Jean Joseph Marie (hey, they started it) is easily spotted in the picture...that's The President of Brazil in the khaki pants and The Emir is sandwiched between Guillaume and The President. Our poor Minister Krecké was relegated to the second row. I don't know what stadiums look like where you live but where I live deluxe armchairs are crystal glasses aren't standard...not even in luxurious Luxembourg.

On a totally unrelated note, while reading the Qatari news for blurbs about the visit of Team Guillaume. I noticed that it's a super busy week for The Emir. Just this week The King of Lesotho, The President of Brazil, GuiGui & Co. and at least a dozen other high ranking delegations from various nations were popping in and out of Qatar. I think that our hard working Hereditary Grand Duke and Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade both need a vacation but now I also think that The Emir could use one, as well.

Credentials and Human Rights....a bit of old news

On 29 April, The Grand Duke received the credentials of the new ambassador from The Philippines. After exchanging the customary greetings they discussed bilateral ties (if I had a Euro for every time I've read "bilateral ties" this week) and a planned micro-finance project.

On 3 May, The Grand Ducal Couple were in attendance when the European Commission swore their oath to respect the EU Charter and the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Next Stop.... Qatar!

According to the Qatar News Agency, The Hereditary Grand Duke & Co. made it safely and soundly to Qatar yesterday, May 14th, after making the pleasantry rounds within the court of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi on May 13th. His Royal Hotness is back in the Middle East after a previous mission promoting Luxembourg for Finance in January, this presumably being a follow-up visit, just in case anyone missed his point the last time (I love a man who reiterates). As with GuiGui's most recent globe-trotting adventures, Minister Jeannot Krecké has come along for the ride, and the two, along with their delegation, will spend three fun-filled days in the bustling business mecca before heading to Saudi Arabia on May 17th.

Friday, May 14, 2010

HGD in the UAE

The Hereditary Grand Duke and Minister Jeannot Krecké are making the rounds in the Middle East in the days leading up to their appearance in Saudi Arabia.

Yesterday, 13 May, they were received by the UAE-located Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi's court. They were apparently not personally greeted by The Crown Prince himself, but Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahya (Chief of the Crown Princely court). The Sheikh expressed hope that the visit would continue to enhance the ties between Luxembourg and his nation, while Guillaume indicated that Luxembourg views bilateral bonds as important and hopes for continued cooperation and progress with the UAE.

The Hereditary Grand Duke and Minister Krecké also met with the UAE's Minister of Foreign Trade, Sheikha Lubna Al-Qassimi. They discussed renewable energy, trade, healthcare and pharmaceuticals.

You may recall from recent international visits of Guillaume and Jeannot that Luxembourg is actively promoting their pharmaceutical industry.

Monday, May 10, 2010

I Love a Parade! **

As reported, the close of the annual Octave was celebrated today, May 9th, by numerous religiously-affiliated organizations, groups, and of course, our lovely Lux Family. No worries, those who were not able to watch the street procession live on RTL are not to be left out in the cold - readers can still take a gander at your favorite Grand Duke and Duchess and mine, the honorable Henri and marvelous Maria Teresa, along with their eldest and youngest sires The Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Prince Sébastien, in all their solemnly sweet glory thanks to a short video recap of the day's activities at RTL and the generous photo galleries courtesy of Wort, Tom Wagner, Manuel Dias, PPE-Agency (just type in "Octave" and the goodies should pop up easily), and Royal Press, along with Rex Features, the ever-trusty RTL, and of course, the Monarchy's official website. As always, the reigning couple can only best be described as radiant, Guillaume lives up to his oh-so-affectionate nickname (shocker, right?).

A super-sized, heartfelt, sugar-shock-inducing "merci beaucoup" to the lovely readers HGD, Liann, and Anniks for sending along these treasure troves of linkage kind, and to the epic photographers and websites kind enough to share their eye candy with us devoted oglers. Much obliged!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Octave Live Stream

RTL is currently broadcasting a live feed of the Octave on their website. 

The family has just arrived. The Grand Ducal Couple, The Hereditary Grand Duke and Prince Sebastien are present. 

The live stream has closed.....

In case you missed it only four members of the family were present. You'll be pleased to know that Guillaume and his beautiful beard are still together. :) Once pictures are placed online we'll be sure to guide you to them. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The End is Near...

....for the annual Octave, that is. The two-week-long religious celebration began April 24th, with proceedings set to take their glorious bow on Saturday, May 9th. For those not especially privy with the traditions surrounding the Octave, the closing ceremony is generally where the jackpot is for us humble Family fans, as quite a few of our beloved objects of obses - um, affection come together for a processional walk through the streets of the city before participating in a special Mass. While The Grand Duke and Duchess are pretty much a given, as per the (mildly strange and endlessly irritating) usual, not all members of The Grand Ducal Family will be able to make the event - Prince Louis is currently obligated to prior commitments. His wife, Princess Tessy, however, is a likely candidate for attendance, and my fingers are crossed just as tightly as anyone's that we'll also be blessed (I love convenient terminology) with a sight-or-two of The Hereditary Grand Duke, Prince Félix, Princess Alexandra......oh, and Prince Sébastien being.....uh..... Well, you get the point. Naturally, your favorite blog - ha, it's my favorite, too... we're twins! - will provide timely coverage of the event when that loverly time comes. Until then....


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Save the Date!

How to party like it's 1999? Invite the fun-lovin' Lux's, of course! Swedish paper Aftonbladet has confirmed that Their Royal Hotnesses The Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Prince Félix will accompany their parents (and one of the original royal/commoner love matches to make it down the aisle) The Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa at the wedding of Sweden's favorite new blushing bride, The Crown Princess Victoria. Mark your calendars, folks - the weekend of June 19th is uniform and tiara time!

Week of the Ex's: The Expo and the Exhibit

On Friday, 30 April, The Grand Ducal Couple attended the opening of the Spring Fair at the LuxExpo. The home, garden and food showcase was opened by Minister Jeannot Krecké in the presence of Henri and Maria-Teresa. His speech was broadcast live in the Luxembourg Pavilion at the World Expo in Shanghai. Manuel Dias has ever so graciously provided a gallery of visuals.

Madame, if you'll just leave that bag and those shoes outside the gate at The Berg I'll be around to collect them later.

Yesterday, 1 May, Queen Beatrix and The Grand Ducal Couple opened The Golden Age Reloaded exhibit at Villa Vauban. Since I wrote a long bit with the details of the exhibit in my previous post I'll spare you a repeat of them.

Manuel Dias and Tom Wagner were both on hand at the event so we have two galleries of visual goodness. There are also a couple photos over at Belga.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Queen, an Audience, and a Solemn Farewell

A Queen.......

To the dear readers who get that warm and fuzzy feeling of inclusion we all know and love not just from taking in the glowing, happy faces of our dear Family, but from simply viewing those oh-so-classic works of art not-necessarily-made-for-yet-nonetheless-destined-for-the-ogling-of-royal-eyes-which-is-fitting-considering-they-are-in-fact-works-of-art-within-a-genre-sterotypically-favored-by-the-elite--slash-aristocratic-masses, well then gosh darn it, you're in luck, my friends!

Later today, May 1st, Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands
will join her geographical neighbors and incandescent counterparts, TRH The Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, at the newly revamped Villa Vauban Musée d'Art de la Ville de Luxembourg to open an exhibit entitled "The Golden Age Reloaded," featuring the art of Dutch masters.

Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam has provided works by the artists Frans Hals, Paulus Poiter, Govaert Flinck, Jan van Goyen, and Jacob van Ruisdael. A collection of engravings from the German Von der Heydt-Museum Wuppertal will also be on display. Historical documents belonging to the Dutch Royal Archives will be displayed to illustrate the close relationship between the Netherlands and Luxembourg during the period.

Works of art by Jan Steen, Gérard Dau, and David Teniers the Younger were bequeathed to Luxembourg City by the noted philanthropist Jean-Pierre Pescatore in 1855. These magnificent creations are part of the exhibit. Jean-Pierre Pescatore was an interesting character who led a remarkable life. I highly recommend giving him a good Google.

An Audience..........
On 28 May
The Grand Duke received Dani Neumann and Jean Petit. Ms. Neumann is the recipient of the 2009 Prix Grand-Duc Adolphe. The bi-annual prize is awarded by the Cercle artistique de Luxembourg of which Mr. Petit is president.

A Solemn Farewell.......

Sadly, for every fun-filled phantasmagoria of dapper Dutch artwork, every once in a while comes a humble, jarring reminder of the importance of stepping out of the whirlwind and taking stock of the fragile beauty of the world around us. Such a lesson was brought to the forefront for our dear Family this week - on Friday, April 30th, The Grand Duke and his eldest son, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume were reportedly on hand
to pay their respects at the memorial service for Hereditary Prince Carl Friedrich of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg, who died from smoke inhalation after crashing his automobile during the German Endurance Championship.