Sunday, February 27, 2011

New Stamps

On 15 March 2011, Luxembourg Post and Telecommunications will issue two new stamps. These stamps commemorate two milestone birthdays within The Grand Ducal Family.

Grand Duke Jean celebrated His 90th birthday surrounded by His family on 5 January. The Hereditary Grand Duke will celebrate his 30th birthday on 11 November.

No plans have been announced for Guillaume's 30th birthday. I hope that a milestone birthday falling on such a rare date (11/11/11) will merit an aptly "grand" celebration.

If you visit the P&T website you can view stamps issued each year beginning in 1999. Each year features a new stamp with the image or likeness of some member of The Family. Often stamps are issued in connection with a celebration...birthday, anniversary, ect...

Source: P&T Luxembourg, MyPhilatley

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Frequent Flyers...

The Hereditary Grand Duke and Minister Jeannot Krecké will be off to Turkey, Japan and Korea soon. They'll be accompanied by their typical entourage of 70-150 business persons.

From 20-25 March, Guillaume & Co. will be on a trade mission to Turkey. Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn is currently on a visit to Turkey. While in Turkey, the minister has discussed the aspirates of Turkey toward the EU, recent progress and the economic viability of the nation. He also announced that Luxembourg is opening an embassy in Turkey this year. If memory serves me correctly, this is the third embassy that Luxembourg is scheduled to open this year.

From 14-19 May, the duo will head to Japan and Korea. These regions represent stable predicted growth and dynamic economies.

These trade missions are organized by The Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade, the Chamber of Commerce and Luxembourg for Business.

I wonder if Guillaume or Minister Krecké would be willing to donate some of their frequent flyer miles so that I could spend some more time in Luxembourg? ;)

New Portrait

Yesterday, Grand Duke Jean unveiled a new portrait of Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte. Judging by the pictures, it is not merely a painting. It appears that the portrait was carved into wood then painted. An admirable display of talent from the artist, Stephan Balkenhol

The portrait is displayed beside an 
similar image of Grand Duke Jean. Both works of art will remain on permanent display at the MUDAM. The portrait was commissioned to mark the 90th birthday of Grand Duke Jean.&

Sources: Wort, Cour Grand-Ducale, MUDAM

Birthday Interview

The current issue of Hola carries an interview with Princess Alexandra. It is a superficial but interesting look at the Princess as she enters her second decade.

For those of you without access to the print version of the issue, venture over to youkioske. The interview begins on page 93.

The Cour Grand-Ducale tweeted their thanks for all of the well wishes for Alexandra's birthday and the anniversary of The Grand Ducal Couple. Just in case you don't get a thank you card in the mail... ;)

Source: Rocio, Hola, CGD

Friday, February 18, 2011

Anniversary Book...

We all know that it is rare for a new book to be published about the Grand Ducal Family. I mentioned several days ago that a book has been published to commemorate the 30 years that The Grand Duke and The Grand Duchess have spent together.

I'm not sure if this is a limited edition book, so I thought I would mention it again. The book contains private photos and recollections of The Couple. It is available for the bargain price of 32 Euro. That is roughly 44 USD, 43 AUD/CAD and 57 NZD. You can order your copy from Le Phare's website.

I have yet to find adequate answers to some questions I have about the book. Is it a limited printing? If I wanted to order it in November in preparation for Christmas would it be available? Where will the proceeds go? Inquiring minds want to know...

Happy Birthday - again

Yesterday was the 57th birthday of Princess Marie-Astrid! She looks fabulous!!

Over on the Glittering Royal Events Message Board you will find a banner featuring bejeweled images of my favorite princess. Marianne was also kind enough to post some images taken from books on the Grand Ducal Family and Princess Marie-Astrid. You can really see where her children get their good looks.

She took the time to attend a mass for deceased members of the Belgian Royal Family. She was accompanied by the always dashing Archduke Carl-Christian and two of their sons.

H-E-L-L-O Imre! The American air must have agreed with the good Archduke! I really don't think he's ever looked better. I momentarily forgot all about that bearded Hereditary Grand Duke...what's his name again? ;)

Sources:  Me, GREMB, ISOPIX, PPE

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Today is Princess Alexandra's 20th birthday. The Cour Grand-Ducale released new photos to celebrate.

Princess Alexandra completed Her secondary education at Lycee Vauban. The young princess is now attending university in the United States.

I have enjoyed the more private photos that the cour as released this week. I am not a huge fan of the heavily airbrushed official photos that seem standard. I love these slightly more realistic shots. I say slightly because I don't think Maria Teresa really gardens in a silk suit. ;) It is a real treat to see the behind the scenes pictures.

Wort chipped in with a little bio and some pics.

Happy Birthday Alexandra!

Source: Cour Grand-Ducale, Wort

Monday, February 14, 2011

30 Years Ago...

Prince Henri, The Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg married Mlle. Maria Teresa Mestre, 30 years ago today. The happy union was blessed with 5 healthy children. The couple remains in love. I must say, They also remain very young and attractive. I've said before that I think the often photographed pond at Château de Berg is the Fountain of Youth.

To mark the anniversary, the Cour Grand-Ducale has released a few private photographs from their archives. Additionally, you can find photographs on the website of RTL.

A book has been released featuring 180 pages of personal interviews and photographs covering their life together. The albums featured in the book were started by The Grand Duchess' mother.

If you live in Luxembourg you may take the opportunity to purchase some of the special edition magazines and newspapers that are available to mark the anniversary.

I noted that there is not a single photo featuring a clear image of Maria Teresa's engagement ring. I find this just a tad disappointing. :(

Happy Anniversary! Our sincere wishes for 30 more years of wedded bliss!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Business of Social Business*

Yesterday, The Grand Duchess was scheduled to attend a Social Business workshop at the University of Luxembourg. The university and the Grameen Creative Lab organized the workshop with the support of BGL BNP Paribas and the Assessment Development Training Center (ADT). The purpose the the event is to promote Social Business activities within The Grand Duchy, in connection with the European Year of Volunteering. This is the first of many Social Business events scheduled to be held in Luxembourg this year.

Additional objectives of the workshop included developing ways to implement Social Business in Luxembourg. Participants discussed methods and standards of international Social Business.  They also sought to define the relationship of organizations with shared goals. The workshop was a valuable networking event for NGOs, businesses, and public agencies.

The Grameen Creative Lab and Professor Mohammad Yunus, the founder of micro-credit and micro-finance, are harbingers of this new world of business. In 1998, as part of her work with UNESCO, The Grand Duchess traveled to Bangladesh. There she met Professor Yunus. Three years before he received the Nobel Peace Prize, The Grand Duchess stated that she felt he should be nominated and would surely win. Many meetings have followed since 1998. The Professor visited Luxembourg twice last year. Since 1998 The Grand Duchess' activities in the fields of microfinance and Social Business (before it had a name) have steadily increased. The Professor and The Grand Duchess are good influences. The Hereditary Grand Duke has developed a keen interest in Social Business. Maria Teresa and Guillaume have offered to host the 2012 Global Social Business Summit.

The Cour Grand-Ducale has included several pictures of the event on their website

Source: The Grameen Creative Lab

Monday, February 7, 2011


Like most bloggers, I have decided not to give a voice to anyone posting an anonymous comment. Anonymous comments will be deleted - without - being read. I just go down the line selecting any comment left by "anonymous" and then bulk delete. 

I have received a lot of harassing and negative comments, in the past two months. I cannot understand why people with such negative attitudes toward Luxembourg, The Grand Ducal Family, and my writing feel the need to read this blog or comment. I have deleted most of the anonymous comments left in the past few weeks. 

If you need to ask a question or make some comment directed toward the author of an entry, the e-mail option should be used. I typically respond to all inquiries for information about Luxembourg or the Grand Ducal Family. Due to the volume of mail I receive and personal commitments, it sometimes takes me a few days (or a week) to respond. I always welcome messages from those wonderful people that send me news updates and links. I appreciate your contributions to this blog. 

I apologize for having to waste space for this matter. Unfortunately, it has become necessary

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy Anniversary (times two)

Today is the 29th wedding anniversary of Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg and Archduke Carl-Christian of Austria. Marie-Astrid and Carl-Christian are among my favorite royal couples. The Princess is actually my royal lady of choice. ;)

An interview and new photos have been published to mark the upcoming 30th wedding anniversary of The Grand Ducal Couple. The interview was originally published in the Luxembourgish magazine Télécran. This interview does not appear to be online. Luxemburger Wort has published some of the interview and the new photos on their website. The couple was married 14 February 1981.

Both couples were married in the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Luxembourg. The brides wore the Congo Wedding Tiara of Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte.

We wish both couples a Happy Anniversary and many years of bliss!

I invite you to visit the Royal Weddings Message Board to view additional photos of these weddings.

Source: Point de Vue, Luxemburger Wort, Royal Weddings Message Board

Guillaume in Middle East - again

Today, The Hereditary Grand Duke and the Minister of Finance arrived in Doha, Qatar. They were received by The Emir. During their reception they discussed ways to increase bilateral ties.

Minister Luc Frieden met with the Prime Minister of Qatar and his finance counterpart. The ministers signed several Memorandums of Mutual Understanding. The specifics of these agreements has yet to be announced.

The Hereditary Grand Duke met with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The ministers reviewed current areas of cooperation with Guillaume.

The Hereditary Grand Duke and his delegation will visit wider region, during the coming week. The Grand Duke was originally scheduled to make this tour. The tour was arranged by Luxembourg for Finance. Each stage of the mission will include the seminar Luxembourg: A Global Financial Services Center. Guillaume will give the welcome address at these events.

Monday - Abu Dhabi, Dubai
Wednesday - Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Thursday - Beirut, Lebonon

Luxemburger Wort carries photos of today's visit. Please, see the links below.

Sources: Wort, Luxembourg for Finance, Ministry of Finance, Bahrain News Agency, LAF.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Grand Duke back home

The Grand Duke was released from the hospital this morning. The Cour Grand-Ducale stated in their press release that The Grand Duke will require several weeks of recovery at Chateau de Berg.

Several weeks of recovery indicates 3 things: a stent was placed into The Grand Duke's heart during the procedure, He will not be in Saudi Arabia next Wednesday, and the state visit to Vietnam that is planned for next month will likely be cancelled - again.

A stent is a piece of wire mesh that is installed into the artery during almost all angioplasty procedures. The metal stent is embedded into the wall of of the artery to prevent further impediment of blood-flow. Special medications and rest are required for 4-6 weeks after the procedure.

It will be important that The Grand Duke continue to make any lifestyle adjustments prescribed by His doctor after the procedure. One hopes, that this will encourage members of His family to stop smoking and improve their general health. I am keen to have the entire family in good health. I am very fond of them. ;)

Our best wishes and prayers for a continued recovery!!

Stenting: Heartsite, AmericanHeart, MedicinePlus, RadiologyInfo.

Images from Heartsite.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Grand Duke has angioplasty

At 9:29am emergency services were called to the palace. Three hours later the Cour Grand-Ducale issued a very brief statement indicating that The Grand Duke had been hospitalized but was stable.

This afternoon, it was announced that a balloon angioplasty was preformed on The Grand Duke. The procedure was preformed at l’Institut National de Chirurgie Cardiaque et de Cardiologie Interventionnelle, with the support of the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg.

The Cour Grand-Ducale emphasized that The Grand Duke is very healthy and will be leaving the hospital soon. He has not been released from the hospital, contrary to earlier reports.

Some of the initial reports imply that The Grand Duke was simply feeling a little unwell. The Luxembourgish tabloid Privat obtained a document that indicated that The Grand Duke had, in fact, suffered a cardiac arrest. I am not a medical expert but it seems more likely, given his procedure, that he suffered an angina. This is a serious condition, but much less worrying than a cardiac arrest.

Basic research on balloon angioplasty implies that The Grand Duke should remain hospitalized for 2-3 days. If he received a stent he will need to be on light physical duty with increased rest, for 30 days. If he did not receive a stent he could resume his regular physical activity after a week of rest. However, medication and lifestyle alteration are necessary to prevent the condition that necessitated the procedure from worsening. All of the diseases that would necessitate angioplasty are rather serious.

I sincerely hope that The Grand Duke and his family make all of the necessary changes and continue to seek appropriate health care. I love Guillaume but I am certainly not interested in seeing him become Grand Duke - any time soon. Best wishes for a continued medical success and a speedy recovery!!

If you are curious about angioplasty you may visit the links I have provided below. The Pre-Op link provides an animated video of the procedure, which may alternately be preformed via the wrist.

Sources: Wort, RTL, Privat, Privat, Tageblatt, Press Release.

Information on angioplasty: eHealth, Texas Heart Institute, HeartSite, Medicine Net, Pre-Op

Grand Duke Hospitalized

At 12:30, the Cour Grand-Ducale announced that The Grand Duke has been admitted to Centre Hospitalier. The reason for sudden the hospitalization has not been disclosed. He became ill on Thursday morning.

He is stable and physicians describe His condition as satisfactory. He continues to be monitored at the hospital.

The Grand Duke is scheduled to give the opening address at the Luxembourg: A Global Financial Services Center seminar in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia next Wednesday, February 9th. I sincerely hope that he stays home to rest.

The Grand Duke has our warm wishes and prayers for a speedy recovery!