Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Grand Duke meets with Secretary General

The Secretary General of NATO was received by The Grand Duke as part of his working visit to Luxembourg.

While in Luxembourg The Secretary General also met with Premier Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, Jean Asselborn the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Jean-Marie Halsdorf the Minister of Defense. Additionally, he also met members of the Parliament and Foreign Affairs Committee. The focus of the working visit was the continued reform of NATO.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

National Day pt 3 *******

RTL Live Stream of National Day will re-air at 7pm Luxembourg time. There is a brief but interesting program between the Te Deum and the Parade. It features old footage of The Family.

The National Day gala is tonight. I hope that we see 3 sets of glittering jewels in the pictures! There should also be a garden party at Chateau de Berg within the next few days.

A big double sided kiss on the cheeks to Premier Minster Juncker for being the only person to publicly Vive le Grand-Duc Jean! Happy Un-Birthday Henri.

Guillaume has not appeared to be a very happy camper today. I imagine the event is very stressful for him and his recent schedule of duties has been exhaustingly packed. I really enjoyed his attempts to clap on his leg then the arm of the chair at the closing of the parade. :) Guillaume, Sebastien and Tessy all looked tired (I noticed all that yawning :)). I hope they all get a nap before the gala. Guillaume you need an extra week at Cabasson! Take Minister Krecké with you...he also needs a rest.

I managed to get a few screen captures from the live feed during the Te Deum. I'll try capture more off of the video that OPM recorded. GuiGui looked fantastic in his beard with the green. His beard was definitely made for uniforms. As everyone who knows me knows, I am not really a huge Tessy fan. However, I have to say that conversion is underway. Tessy looked better than ever! I dare say that black dress and that nest of sticks she wore in her hair are to her what Guillaume's beard is for the uniform. Tessy, you looked great! As I said at the Military Tattoo, darker hair is definitely better for you.

Prince Sébastien wears the Ordre du Lion d'Or de la Maison de Nassau in public for the first time. He received the right to wear the order on 16 April 2010 (his 18th birthday). He is wearing the miniature version of the order on his lapel.

For wonderful photographs, view these National Day related galleries.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

National Day pt 2 ****

The celebrations for today (June 22) are nearly over and photographs are starting to appear. Getty has the first images. Tom Wagner has started his gallery for National Day. All of the children of Henri are present except Félix. Wort has an article with some nice pictures of the fireworks. PPE has a new gallery started. Wort has a new gallery with some really great pictures. Additionally, Wort has another gallery featuring part of the events from today. Zimbio has a repeat of the Getty pictures from Diekirch (without watermarks). Daylife has a similar gallery with some additional photos.

Alexandra looks great in vibrant colors. I don't normally like Guillaume in his other yellow ties (I have a passionate hate for one of them) but this color really complimented him well. Maria Teresa and Henri were particularly elegant.

For a more detailed schedule of events view the post below and check the government website.

There is a video recorded from RTL by one of our wonderful readers. The family will appear at 2.21.

*Note: Lux-lovers planning to tune in for the live broadcasts today might want to set their timers for 30 minutes ahead of the Te Deum and check into (or the actual channel, of course) for a National Day special being aired/streamed at 10am (Luxembourg time). The RTL show "De Magazin" will also be airing its own National Day special between the Te Deum and Military Parade, and for those who went off for a snack or cat-nap between events, an additional airing at 7:00pm. Happy viewing everyone - and Happy Nationalfeierdag!

Thanks, OPM and Liann

National Day!

National Day celebrations are beginning! RTL typically offers a live stream of the Te Deum. When that link becomes available I will provide it. A PDF schedule of the concerts and activities in Luxembourg City is available. I have listed the location and time of the arrival of members of The Family. The government has also provided a brief schedule of some events. Wort has a little article with some history of National Day and the continued importance of it. The army and police have had their final rehearsal for the parade and all the arrangements have been made.

My friends and I are making bets on whether Guillaume will wear his beard or shave. Will he or won't he? I say he will. HGDss says he won't. You?

Prince Sébastien turned 18 on April 16th. At this time he received his insignia in The Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau and The Order of Civil and Military Merit of Adolph of Nassau. There is likely to be some mention of this.

I have deleted the long schedule of events that I had previously posted.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Guillaume Congratulates 1, 2, 3

Well, it's official - our favorite Hereditary Grand Duke is either cloned, or truly never sleeps. Case in point: One day before leaving to witness the happiest day of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden's life, GuiGui and his usual partner-in-crime, Luxembourg's Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade Jeannot Krecké, were on hand for another celebration - the 10th anniversary of 1, 2, 3, GO, a business initiative aimed at supporting worthy projects within the Duchy with both financial means and know-how. Featured at the event was a presentation spotlighting 10 of the organization's success stories within the past decade. Wort has a full article on the event (picture included), while the monarchy's official website features a small mention.

Princess Marie-Astrid Opens Bazaar

On 12 June, Princess Marie-Astrid opened a charity bazaar in Brussels, Belgium. The bazaar is organized by the Asia-Pacific Women's Association in Belgium.

The funds raised will be used to aid less fortunate persons in Sri Lanka and Samao. Donations will also be made to the Damian Foundation

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Oh, what a wonderful day...

The wedding of Crown Princess Victoria was a beautiful event. The bride was a vision and the groom was beaming. I throughly enjoyed watching all of the coverage while chatting with fellow royal watchers. The bit about the 30 letters in Daniel's speech really got to me. I needed tissues after that. I think I have fallen a little in love with The Crown Princess Couple. I hope they continue to have a wonderful life together and that it is filled with joyous joyness. ;) The videos of the wedding events are still available at the link above.

I am disappointed that 3 of the biggest news/picture agencies in the world boycotted coverage of the actual wedding. I know that there weren't many pictures of our fabulous Family. You knew you could count on us didn't you ;) There is a wonderful gallery of Luxembourg related pictures culled from various sources here. Trust me, it is worth the click, and she has updated it several times since I first looked. The photograph of Henri and Maria Teresa below is a link to a gallery of Luxembourg related pictures. I have purposely made the photographs smaller. Just click them for the full size version. In case you hadn't noticed my layout tools have refused to co-operate with me today.

If you check "prince charming" in the dictionary I think you might find a picture of Guillaume with beard in his uniform. I was surprised to see him in full beard and formal uniform. However, I think that Guillaume and his beard make a great couple. ;) If you watched the live coverage you probably noticed that he looked a little uncomfortable. I'm not sure if this is because he was parted from his ceremonial sword, everyone was already harassing him about being the last single European heir, or if he was as annoyed as I was that his rank was discarded.

Madame la Grande-Duchesse, please take that magnificent diamond necklace to your favorite jeweler with this picture and ask them to create a similar mounting for it. Trust me it will look fantastic on you.

I offer a huge thanks to HGD for surfing everywhere for Lux pictures. You're the best!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Wedding of Victoria

For viewers outside of the Nordic region this is your link to watch the live stream. This is anyone not in Europe or outside of Scandinavia. The countdown is now listing 4 hours 12 minutes for me. I already have my browser open so that I can catch the live feed as soon as it is available instead of trying my luck after thousands of others are already online.

For viewers inside the Nordic region this is your link to watch the live stream (if you aren't watching it on TV and you should be).

If you are unable to view that link you may try this one, this one, this one, or this one.

I've already got my gummi bears, chocolate and Diet Dr. Pepper ready. Don't be late for the party :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Eve of Victoria's Wedding

Guillaume and his beautiful beard made a wonderful duo at the pre-wedding events. Sadly, there were very few pictures of him or even Félix. You can catch a glimpse of Félix and Guillaume behind Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz. There was a wonderful picture of them earlier but it has disappeared.

Crown Princess Victoria was radiant. She was ravishing, she was regal, and she was happy. :))

Pictures: (enter Princess Victoria into any search)
Getty Images
Belga Picture
Royal Court
Aftonbladt (with live video also)
Shoot it Live

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

And they're off... Stockholm. The Grand-Ducal Couple, The Hereditary Grand Duke and Prince Félix leave for Stockholm tomorrow (Thursday). They will remain in Sweden for the duration of the week.

It shouldn't come as a shock to anyone who reads this blog that Henri, Maria Teresa, Guillaume and Fékux are the Luxembourg attendees. I mentioned this several weeks ago. They will attend the public and private events surrounding the wedding of their distant cousin Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden.

Guillame will appear in his Full Dress Uniform (that's the black one) for the state wedding. He also has to appear in his Full Dress Uniform for the gala and his less formal Dress Uniform (that's the green one) for the military parade.

I've actually been looking for some detailed information about the formal Luxembourg military uniforms. If any of our readers happen to have served in the Luxembourg military or are military aficionados I'd be interested in hearing from you.

Lithuanian Visit...*

The President of Lithuania is in Luxembourg for a one day official visit. The President will meet with The Grand-Ducal Couple, Premier Minister Jean-Claude Juncker and Laurent Mosar (President of the Chamber of Deputies).

A special focus of the visit will be Luxembourg's investment in the renewable energy sector. EU member states are pledged to increase their use of renewable energy to 10 percent of their total energy consumption. Because it is not possible for Luxembourg to produce this much renewable energy The Grand Duchy is allowed to meet part of the commitment by investing in other EU states. Lithuania could (would like to) benefit from this foreign investment.

The President said, "Luxembourg, being one of the founders and oldest member states of the European Communities, makes a perfect example of European integration, unity and solidarity. Lithuania could greatly benefit from Luxembourg's European experience, also its experience in promoting business-friendly environment and developing its financial sector, fostering investment in renewable energies and shaping Europe's monetary policy." Luxembourg is certainly a good example in these respects. Hopefully Lithuania can create bilateral ties with The Grand Duchy that will be mutually beneficial.

Wort has a gallery of photographs. They also carry a small article that mentions the visit. The official website carries a few new photographs of the event.

Celebrating the Right - to Shop!

On Monday, June 14th, TRH The Grand Ducal Couple paid successive visits to the "social groceries" (which offer quality shopping opportunities for the less-fortunate) Croix-Rouge (Red Cross) Buttek at Differdange and Caritas Buttek at Esch-sur-Alzette. The Couple was accompanied on the visit by Madame Marie-Josée Jacobs, the Grand Duchy's Minister of Family and Intégration and Minister of Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Action. The Grand Ducal website has a small feature on the visit as well as a link to additonal photos.

A Rose by Any Other Name...*

... would indeed smell as sweet, but as with all things, sometimes it's all in the name! On Tuesday, June 15th, the regal Princess Sibilla was honored with what surely will be a new addition to her own flower garden, the "Princesse Sibilla de Luxembourg" rose at the 58th annual International Rose Competition in Baden-Baden, Germany. The lovely flower is displayed here being christened by its equally lovely namesake at the competition which featured 105 roses from 13 countries in contention to win the "Golden Rose of Baden-Baden" prize. The new "Princess Sibilla de Luxembourg" rose has won gold medals at competitions in Baden-Baden (the most prestigious), Monza and Rome.

Luxembourg's lovely Princess Sibilla and her husband Prince Guillaume were accompanied by The Hereditary Prince and Princess of Baden. Princess Stephanie of Baden was also on smell the roses.

The Solemn Return....

....of the Bar. Which means, run, the lawyers are coming. ;) I'm only kidding.

On June 4th, The Grand-Ducal Couple and the Minister of Justice attended the bi-annual Solemn Return of the Luxembourg Bar. The event is a key training and networking opportunity for the legal community of Luxembourg and other EU states.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Luxembourg and Moldova

I smell a future state visit in the works! On Monday, June 14th, Prime Minister Vlad Filat of Moldova was in your favorite Grand Duchy and mine to attend a working luncheon with the foreign ministers of EU member states involved in the Moldovan "friendship group," meetings for which are aimed at "exchanging opinions about relations between Moldova and the EU and at establishing new priorities in the bilateral dialogue." (Say that 3 times fast.)

The Prime Minister also had the honor of being received by that dashing duke - The Grand Duke to be exact - HRH Henri at the Grand Ducal Palace, at which the Prime Minister thanked HRH for the meeting and emphasized the value of the developing relations between Luxembourg and his country, such as Lux's humanitarian assistance involving the micro-state. In turn, The Grand Duke asserted that he closely follows the evolutions occurring in Moldova and is impressed with the country's progress and achievements while The Prime Minister extended an open invitation for The Grand Duke to visit.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Princess Sibilla in Australia

Princess Sibilla has wrapped up a ten day visit to Australia. She was touring private art collections and museums in Sydney and Melbourne. Sibilla is the Honorary Chairwoman of the Peggy Guggenheim Museum Advisory Board. It was in this capacity that she and 13 other members of the board embarked on their art tour. The group toured large public galleries and small public-private collections. They were attempting to gauge the private and public art gallery development in Australia.

Sibilla found the Lyon House Museum in Kew to be the most impressive of the locations. The Lyon House Museum is extraordinary in that it is both a private home and a museum. The house looked more museum than home to me, but it was impressive none-the-less.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

25 years of Schengen

The Grand-Ducal couple attended the 25th Anniversary Celebrations of the signing of the Schengen Agreement.

The agreement was signed 14 June 1985 aboard the MS Princess Marie-Astrid while it was anchored in the Mosel town of Schengen, Luxembourg. The MS Princess Marie-Astrid is named for The Grand Duke's sister, Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg. Many local and European dignitaries were present for the celebrations which concluded with dinner aboard the newest MS Princess Marie-Astrid.

Grand Ducal Palace

It is almost time for the annual opening of the Grand-Ducal Palace. On 16 July the palace will open for 6 weeks. This is the only time during the year that the palace is open to the public. Tours are available in several languages. Admission is a bargain at 7 Euro for adults and 3.50 for children. Despite the relative short period that the palace is open it remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in Luxembourg City.

If you happen to be in or around the Luxembourg area this summer I heartily recommend that you take advantage of these 6 short weeks to tour the palace. It is a beautiful palace and the tour is wonderful treat for anyone interested in The Family, Luxembourg or architecture. The palace was throughly restored in the mid-90s and is lovely.

All proceeds from admission benefit the Grand-Ducal Couple's foundation.

Indian Delegation in Luxembourg

Today is the last day of the Indian delegation's visit to Luxembourg. Meira Kumar has met with The Grand Duke, the Premier Minister and members of the Chamber of Deputies. The website for the office of Madame Kumar has multimedia visuals and snippet of information. The Indian Press Bureau has a couple photographs (but little actual information) about the visit.

In my previous blog entry about the visit I listed a few of the topics that were to be discussed. Once the news updates again I'll update the blog with additional information (if there is any). For those of you who haven't caught on by now, I put a * in the title when I update an entry.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Grand Duke in Croatia *

The Grand Duke made an official visit to The Republic of Croatia at the invitation of Croatian President Ivo Josipovic. The Grand Duke was accompanied by his Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean Asselborn. A business delegation from Luxembourg joined the pair.

The morning was taken up with the usual reviewing the honor guard, national anthems, exchanging gifts and private audience. Following the delegation's meeting with President Josipovic, The Grand Duke met with Prime Minster Jadranka Kosor and Parlimentary Speaker Luka Bebic. Prime Minister Kosor thanked The Grand Duke for Luxembourg's support of Croatia joining NATO and their bid to join the EU. The Grand Duke also commended Croatia's efforts in border arbitration with Slovenia. Prime Minister Kosor also invited tourist from Luxembourg to visit the Adriatic coast of Croatia. I agree with the PM. The Adriatic coast in Croatia is spectacular.

Minister Asselborn met with his Croatian counterpart. They discussed bilateral ties and current European and International policy.

The Grand Duke was given a tour of the beautiful historic area of Zagreb. The visit concluded with a gala dinner. Sadly, The Grand Duchess was not on hand to provide any glitter. The Grand Duke, for his part, was the picture of regal dignity. Madame Kosor was also very stately.

RTL has coverage of the visit that showcases new photographs and a short video which features part of The Grand Duke's speech.

Prince Robert and Princess Julie in London *****

Prince Robert of Luxembourg and his wife Princess Julie of Nassau were in London yesterday. They attended a dinner hosted by the Prince at Lancaster House. The dinner is in honor of Chateau Haut-Brion. This is the 2nd of 8 dinners that Prince Robert will host around the world in honor of the 75th anniversary of his (American) family's ownership and production of wine at the Chateau.

Prince Robert discusses the dinners and his family's history at the Chateau in the clip below.

Getty has a gallery of visuals from the dinner. I'm super excited to be able to share pictures of the lovely Princess Julie of Nassau with you!! She's an elegant and discreet member of the Grand-Ducal Family. I also noted Sir Andrew and The Lady Lloyd Webber and The Viscount and The Viscountess Linely in attendance.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sporting Grand Duchess

The Grand Duchess attended Sport Day on 5 June. The event was organized by the Luxembourg Olympic and Sporting Committee. There were workshops and demonstrations. .

The event was Sporting Day for Those With and Without Disabilities. That’s everyone, in my humble opinion. So.....I just renamed it Sport Day. :)

I’m not necessarily a fan of the shirt but I’m definitely a fan of the lady. :) Automobil Sport Online Magazine has a nice gallery. There are many photographs of our favorite Grand Duchess.

Audiences, audiences, audiences...

On 31 May, The Grand Duke received in audience Mr Jiang Jianqing, chairman of the board of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).

On 4 June, The Grand Duke received in audience the directors and representatives of the European Federation of Investment Funds (EFAMA, European Fund and Asset Management Association) and those of ALFI (Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry).

On 7 June, The Grand Duke received in audience the leaders of the associates and delegations (senior magistrates) of the Association of Councils of State and Supreme Administrative Courts of the European Union.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

French Open

Prince Jean attended the French Open on 6 June. He's pictured here at the Roland Garros Village.

It's refreshing for me to finally be able to write something about Jean. I know he's not purposely under the radar and that he's often out-and-about at public events. I just never have any luck finding updates about him. Like his kinsmen, he's always well groomed and properly attired. I swear, I don't believe His Royal Highness owns a pair of jeans or a polo-shirt.

Thanks HGD for the update.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Indian Delegation to Luxembourg

Meira Kumar will be leading a high level delegation from India to Luxembourg. The 3 day visit will begin on 10 June. During the visit Madame Kumar and her delegation will meet with The Grand Duke, Premier Minister Jean-Claude Juncker and various other ministers.

The visit will focus on bilateral ties and a issues of international importance.

Tour de Luxembourg

The Grand-Ducal Couple, Prince Sébastien and the super cute little princes watched the final stage of the Skoda Tour de Luxembourg.

The Grand-Ducal Couple looked very comfortable in their casual clothing. I have to say that the teddy bear and swim shorts is a good look for Seb. Maybe I'm a little nutty but I like a prince who can pull of swim shorts, a teddy bear, tousled hair and a mismatched shirt. Seriousy, are Gabriel and Noah not just the cutest little princes in Europe!

Zermatt Summit

Prince Guillaume attended the Zermatt Summit in Switzerland. The conference was held 3-5 June. It seemed to be a humanitarian leadership conference. Archduke Rodolf was also in attendance.

I know that The Hereditary Grand Duke is often listed as simply "Prince Guillaume" in many news sources. The article does not specify if it is The Hereditary Grand Duke or his uncle. However, The Hereditary Grand Duke was in Shanghai until 3 June and his flight back to Europe was around 24 hours long (he needs a vaca, right?). Therefore, I conclude that it could was Prince Guillaume not The Hereditary Grand Duke who was present...if you were wondering.


While The Hereditary Grand Duke and Minister Krecké were in Shanghai they spent a considerable amount of time at the World Expo facilities. While they were there they visited the Saudi Pavilion, Dutch Pavilion, UK Pavilion, The Private Enterprises Pavilion and probably a dozen others. I did not check the websites of every pavilion for news and pictures.

Mr. and Mrs. Mao were the one millionth visitors to the Luxembourg Pavilion. They were fortunate enough that by a stroke of luck The Hereditary Grand Duke and Minister Krecké were in Shanghai. They received a commemorative coin and wine from The Grand Duchy.

This was an important working visit for for Luxembourg. The Hereditary Grand Duke and Minister Krecké made important contacts and participated in several events (noted in earlier entries).

Thanks HGD and OfPirateMind for info and links.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

joyeux anniversaire

Today is the 26th birthday of Prince Félix. We wish Félix a fantastic birthday!

Wort has written a little bio and provided some pictures of his life. RTL also makes mention of this special day with a picture.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Guillaume in China...*

The Hereditary Grand Duke and Minister Jeannot Krecké are in China. Fresh off of their Middle East visit and recent engagements in Luxembourg the indefatigable pair arrived in China 30 May and will remain until 3 June. Honestly, I do not know how either of the two gentlemen is still able to function with such a packed schedule.

His Royal Highness and His Excellency participated in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade and INNOBIZ.

The duo hosted an event at the Luxembourg Pavilion where ArcelorMittal and China Europe International Business School signed a partnership agreement. Guillaume also opened a training seminar for the Luxembourg Trade and Investment Offices which is being held at the Luxembourg Pavilion this week.

They were given a VIP tour of the UK Pavilion (try to overlook the errors in the article). This is Minister Krecké's second visit to the World Expo in less than a month. He was present for the 1 May opening of the Luxembourg Pavilion. Hopefully, the website of the Luxembourg Pavilion will be updated to mention this visit.