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…