Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Hereditary Grand Duke and Princess Alexandra attend LieGames **

The Hereditary Grand Duke and Princess Alexandra are in Liechtenstein for the 14th Games of the Small States of Europe (LieGames).

Yesterday, Guillaume and Alexandra attended the sold-out circus themed opening. They appeared enthusiastic when Luxembourg's flag-bearers entered the field. Cyclist Bob Jungles noted that it was an honor to represent Luxembourg as flag-bearer.

The Hereditary Prince and Princess of Liechtenstein and The Prince of Monaco were also in attendance.

The athletic competitions begin today. The 158 person  delegation from Luxembourg arrived yesterday after a long bus journey. Guillaume and Alexandra will support Luxembourg's athletes in their competitions today and tomorrow.

Luxembourg is scheduled to host the 15th Games of the Small States of Europe in 2013 (LuxGames).

Tageblatt and Wort have photo galleries and articles covering the opening ceremony that contain additional photographs of Guillaume and Alexandra.

The Luxembourg team has facebook and twitter, where you can find other photograph, video and information.

The Cour Grand-Ducale's website now has several very nice pictures of the Prince and Princess!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

State visit to Norway - Day 1 ****

Today was the first day of the state visit of the Grand Ducal couple to Norway. Early in the morning the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess were send-off with military honours at the airport in Findel and then flew to Norway, where they were welcomed royal style by Crown Prince Haakon.

Afterwards the Grand Ducal couple and the Crown Prince made their way to the Palace Square in central Oslo, where the Grand Duke Henri and his fellow head of state King Harald V took the salute by the Norwegian military, followed by a wreath laying ceremony at Akershus Fortress.

Thereafter the couples parted ways. While the King and the Grand Duke, accompanied by various Luxembourgish politicians including the foreign minister Jean Asselborn, met with the Norwegian Prime Minister; Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and Queen Sonja visited Seterhytten at the Open-Air Museum at Bygdøy and Oscarshall Summer Palace.

Finally, the day finished in style with a Gala banquet hosted by the King and the Queen and many members of the Norwegian royal family in attendance.

In difference to the closing procession of the Octave, there are loads of photos available of today's activities. Both Wort and Tageblatt are reporting about the visit and both offer lovely, constantly updated galleries including the farewell at the airport in Luxembourg. You can find additional photos at ANP Beeldbank (just type in "Oslo 30 May" and the goodies will show up), Getty Images, Belga, Belga, WireImages, and for pictures without watermarks have a look at Daylife. Other galleries can be found at siste.no and of course the Cour itself. And at the ever up-to-date RTL, you can see a few seconds of the visit in this video starting at about 0:18. RTL also offers video and sound of the Grand Duke's speech. Aftenposten has a video of the arrival to the gala banquet. Two other great videos can be found on youtube, just click here and here. A transcript of the speech of Grand Duke Henri is available on the official website.

Octave 2011 ***

The Octave of Our Lady of Luxembourg closed today. The month long event closed with a solemn procession through the streets and several Masses. Thousands of people participated in and watched the procession. The political elite and 6 members of The Grand Ducal Family were prominent attendees.

Wort has a small gallery of the Pontifical Mass that was attended by Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa. RTL has a very large gallery containing over 1,000 images of the procession and the closing Mass. The RTL gallery includes many photos of Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, The Hereditary Grand Duke, Princess Alexandra, Prince Louis and Princess Tessy. Manuel Dias has a large gallery containing many great pictures of the Grand Ducal Family. Manuel's photos really show how Princess Tessy totally rocked her look for the Octave. I.am.a.fan. RTL has a new gallery of pictures focusing on the balcony appearance.

RTL covered the cathedral with a live stream. Replay features some highlight footage of the procession and the Mass, beginning around 4:20.

The Grand Duchess looked beautiful, but seemed very solemn. Princesses Tessy and Alexandra looked very lovely. Princess Tessy seemed very poised. Prince Guillaume, as usual, looked perfectly princely (nice tie, Sir). I've never really been able to complain about Prince Louis or Grand Duke Henri. Both gentlemen are always perfectly groomed and attired for public engagements, today was no different.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Grand Duchess' Brother Hospitalized *

The Cour Grand-Ducale has issued a press release stating that The Grand Duchess' older brother, Antonio Mestre, is in a coma in a Florida hospital. He was admitted to the hospital yesterday with cardiovascular problems. His condition is given as "alarming."

The Grand Duchess is scheduled to travel to Florida as soon as she can. Unfortunately, she cannot leave the day before a long scheduled state visit. It is estimated that The Grand Duchess will not participate in the final day of the state visit program in Norway. It is certainly a testament to her dedication to Luxembourg that she will continue to meet the demands of her position during this time.

Our sincerest thoughts and prayers are with The Grand Duchess and her family during this time.

Wort's article on the press release is a little confusing. It would be lovely if they would link the actual press release from the Cour.

Sources: Wort, RTL

Octave 2011

The annual close of the Octave of Our Lady of Luxembourg began early this morning. The closing street procession began several hours later at 3pm. A full day of street fairs and religious activities are planned in cities and towns throughout Luxembourg.

RTL streamed the Mass live. The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess attended the Mass without any of their children. Unfortunately, this year RTL didn't stream the procession.

The Grand Ducal Couple, The Hereditary Grand Duke, Princess Alexandra, Prince Louis and a very lovely looking Princess Tessy participated in the closing procession and Mass.

I have yet to find any pictures. We'll make a new post with photos once they become available in a few hours.

14th Games of the Small States of Europe

The Principality of Liechtenstein is gearing up to host the 14th Games of the Small States of Europe. The games will open on Monday and close on Saturday. Around 750 athletes representing Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Andorra, San Marino, Iceland, Monaco, Malta, Cyprus, and Montenegro will compete at 10 venues spread across the principality.

More than 100 athletes from Luxembourg will compete in 7 disciplines. During the first 3 days of the 6 day event, Luxembourg's participants will enjoy the support of The Hereditary Grand Duke and Princess Alexandra.

Source: Tageblatt, Lie Games 2011

Thanks to Sydney for the information. 

Grand Duke visits sports laboratory

In advance of the state visit to Norway, the Grand Duke Henri has visited the Centre de Recherche Public de la Santé, a sports laboratory in the city of Luxembourg. The institute focuses on research in the fields of prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of sports injuries, 'healthy aging' and the influence of sports activities on chronical diseases. The CRP-Santé is modelled on the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center. Therefore, a delegation of members of the research institution will accompany the Grand Ducal couple on their visit to Oslo.

Sources: Tageblatt

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Hereditary Grand Duke attends Princess Maxima's Birthday Concert

Yesterday evening, The Hereditary Grand Duke was in Amsterdam at the Royal Concert Gebouw to attend a gala concert given in honor of Princess Maxima's 40th birthday.

The 1,900 attendees included several hundred invited guests and paying members of the public. The conductor Mariss Jansons led the renowned orchestra through Rossini, Liszt and Von Weber.

Unfortunately, there are not many photos of Guillaume. Even real life princes are no match for the public's fascination with royal women. Luckily, Guillaume arrived behind Crown Princess Mary. If you are interested in seeing our dashing Hereditary Grand Duke, you will find him behind Mary and Frederick in most of the photos and directly behind Princess Maxima in the group photo. Guillaume is also photographed with his cousin Princess Maria Carolina de Bourbon de Parme.

You will find the photos at Isopix, Belga, Belga, Parool, Royalty, AT5, AT5, Royal Press Europe, and Maxima Fan. RTL has two videos of the concert including some of Princess Maxima's moving speech. Video 1, Video 2.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Hereditary Grand Duke in Germany

A few days ago, on May 24th to be precise, the Hereditary Grand Duke visited the German town of Wiesbaden to educate himself even more about the business of Social Business. During the visit he also met with various town officials.

Coincidentally Wiesbaden isn't only a beautiful place (not only) to learn about Social Business activities, but also the capital of the former Dukedom of Nassau. To this day, the reigning Grand Duke of Luxembourg also bears the title of the Duke of Nassau. Guillaume bears the title Hereditary Prince of Nassau.

Wiesbaden is a leader in the developing field of social business. Guillaume was accompanied by a delegation from the Sustainable Development Unit of the University of Luxembourg. The visit was part of Luxembourg's ongoing commitment to studying and developing methods of social business that can be implemented in the Grand Duchy.

The Cour Grand Ducal has kindly published a few pictures of the event on their website. Three newspaper articles can be found in the local newspaper, here , here and here. You may also find an English language summary on myMosaik.

Guillaume and his father paid an official visit to Wiesbaden in 2006. Tom Wagner has a gallery of photos of the 2006 visit, featuring a very different looking Guillaume.

Sources: Cour Grand Ducale, Wiesbadener Kurier, Wiesbadener Tageblatt, myMosaik, Tom Wagner

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Busy Weekend Ahead for the Grand Ducal Family

It is going to be a busy weekend for the Grand Ducal Family.

On Friday, The Hereditary Grand Duke will attend the 40th birthday celebrations for Princess Maxima of The Netherlands. More than 1,200 people will attend the birthday concert.

It is also a busy weekend in Luxembourg. The close of The Octave of Our Lady of Luxembourg is this Sunday. The close of the Octave includes a Pontifical Mass and the miles long closing procession led by a statute of the Holy Virgin. This is always a major event on the Luxembourg calender. We are sure to see several members of The Grand Ducal Family in attendance. Naturally, I will be online during the Octave to provide links for photographs and RTL's live stream.

The 2 day state visit to Norway begins on Monday.

In June we will enjoy the biggest day on the annual Luxembourg calendar, National Day. The National Day celebrations will be closely followed by the major spectacle of the Princely Wedding in Monaco.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Children from Kanner Klinik visit Grand Ducal Palace

On 28 February, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa visited the newly refurbished pediatric hospital Kanner Klinik. During her tour of the facility she visited the in-house school that educates children during their time at the hospital.

Sixteen children from the Kanner Klinik accompanied by their doctors, nurses and teachers visited the palace today. The visit to the palace was part of a promise given to the children by The Grand Duchess when she toured the hospital.

The guests were warmly received by The Grand Duchess in the Hall of Honor upon their arrival. They were given the rare treat of having a discovery tour of the palace led by The Grand Duchess. Later, the group enjoyed snacks with The Grand Duchess in the Salle de la Balance. The children were very excited and seized every opportunity to ask questions about life at the palace. They also presented Maria Teresa with hand made gifts.

I am really disappointed that I couldn't find any information about this wonderful visit in any Luxembourg based media.

Several photographs are available at the Cour Grand-Ducale website.

Source: Cour Grand-Ducale

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Every man...

...should have a son, plant a tree and build a house as a German proverb says. I'm not sure about the house part but today the Grand Duke has planted a tree - pretty sure though, that it isn't the first one because it seemingly is part of the job description of a royal - and he hasn't just one but four beautiful sons.

The Grand Duke Henri planted the tree during a three hour long tour through the beautiful landscape around the Luxembourgish village of Schengen, that is most famous for being the place where the Schengen Agreement was signed.

During the tour, which was organised by an organisation named natur & ëmwelt, the Grand Duke and the other participants learned about biodiversity of the area, the rare plants growing there and the change of the area through the last centuries. Afterwards the group also visited Remerschen and Schwebsingen to learn about the biodiversity of fruit cultivation and horticulture.

Both the Cour Grand-Ducale and Wort offer large galleries of photos.

Sources: Wort

The Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg in Japan

The Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg and Minister Jeannot Krecké will wrap up their visit to Japan tomorrow. The delegation is scheduled to arrive in Seoul, South Korea shortly after their departure from Tokyo.

Earlier today The Emperor and Empress hosted a luncheon for The Hereditary Grand Duke. Crown Prince Naruhito held an audience with The Hereditary Grand Duke afterward.

While The Hereditary Grand Duke was visiting with the Imperial Family, Minister Krecké visited the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Discussions at the ministry focused on the the devastating earthquake and tsunami of March 11th and the Fukushima disaster.

The pair and their delegation visited the e-commerce company Rakuten and the world's largest producer of polyester films, Dupont Teijin Films. They also visited the consumer products division of Sony.

Yesterday, the Luxembourg delegation visited the offices of NYK. Minister Krecké focused on Luxembourg's viability as a logistics hub for operations throughout Europe and Russia. The Hereditary Grand Duke thanked NYK for their contributions to the economy of Luxembourg, paying careful attention to jobs created in The Grand Duchy.

Minister Krecké and The Hereditary Grand Duke also participated in networking and business development events, as well as taking part in the seminar organized by Luxembourg for Business.

Daylife, Getty, Reuters and Belga have photos of the visit.

Sources: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Chamber of Commerce, NYK Group, The Star, India Times, Luxembourg for Business, Government of Luxembourg.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lux Spring Fair **

The nine day long annual Spring Fair in Luxembourg has started today and the Grand Ducal couple were in on it. Wearing beautiful spring-like colours, the Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and her equally well-dressed husband the Grand Duke Henri wandered the exhibition grounds to see the best out of more than 400 hundred exhibitors from 70 different industries, who came to the Grand Duchy from ten different countries.

Traditionally, various goods are presented at the annual Spring Fair. Among the goods shown are whiteware and landscape gardening tools, as well as wine and table culture.

A lovely gallery of photos can be found over on the website of Wort. Another gallery is available on the website of the great Manuel Dias. In this video replay of the daily Luxembourgish news you can see the Grand Ducal couple a few times (starting at 3:20). Another video can be found here.

Sources: RTL.lu, Wort

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Month of May...

The month of May began in royal style with the Beautification of Pope John Paul II and will end with state visit to Norway. Sandwiched between these two illustrious events will be several other engagements sure to satisfy your Luxembourg sweet tooth.
  • May 14 - Formal opening of the Octave of Our Lady of Luxembourg.
  • May 14 to 18 - Trade Mission to Japan led by The Hereditary Grand Duke and Minister Krecké
  • May 18 to 19 - Trade Mission to South Korea led by The Hereditary Grand Duke and Minister Krecké
  • May 26 - 6th Annual Luxembourg Financial Forum
  • May 29 - Close of the Octave of Our Lady of Luxembourg
  • May 30 to June1 - State Visit to Norway
The Octave features 15 full days of religious activities. Traditionally various members of The Grand Ducal Family quietly attend some of these events. The procession that closes the Octave is always a large event attended by many members of The Grand Ducal Family. For a full schedule of Octave events you may visit the website of the Catholic Church in Luxembourg. If you're confused about the significance placed on the Octave, I encourage you to read the article written by Fausto Gardini for the Luxembourg American Gazette. You may also be interested in reading the historical information provided by the Catholic Church in Luxembourg.

The Hereditary Grand Duke's trade mission to Japan will include a seminar and networking events. A food and wine week has been organized to coincide with the mission. Clients will be invited to enjoy Luxembourgish food and wine at a luxury hotel. The South Korean leg of the mission will also include a seminar and networking opportunities. Additionally, private meetings will be held with local partners. A trade mission is always proceeded by a high level visit from ministers of the Luxembourg government. In keeping with this policy, Deputy Prime Minister Jean Asselborn (also Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration) visited the nations last month. His mission focused on bilateral ties, economic policies and trade agreements. An important aspect of his mission to Japan focused on the continued relief efforts in the wake of the recent disasters.

The Norwegian Royal Court has published a summary of events that will be included in the state visit. The state visit includes a trade mission.

On another note, this lovely new Christian Aschman photo of The Hereditary Grand Duke is available at the website of the Cour Grand-Ducale. You may notice that The Hereditary Grand Duke is wearing a white tie featuring the orange and blue of the Nassau dynasty.

We will provide updates as these events approach and after they occur. This is not an exhaustive list of future engagements.

Sources: Knol, Luxembourg for Finance, Luxembourg for Business, Katholische Kirche in Luxemburg, The Royal Court of Norway, Luxembourg Financial Forum, Cour Grand-Ducale, Wort, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan, MyMosaik, Yonhap News Agency, MyMosaik,

Monday, May 2, 2011

That Wedding...

The month of April closed in smashing style with the much hyped wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. You'll have to forgive me for being so sick of hearing about the wedding that I couldn't stomach the thought of writing about it until today. Unlike the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria, I couldn't find enough emotion in the actual wedding to keep me excited enough to get past all of the overexposure.

Until now, most of my friends and family had considered my love of all things royal to be absurd and weird. They never really bought my argument that it is a perfectly normal interest or hobby. I have always found this odd and even offensive. You see, I live in The United States of America. To be more thorough, I live in a society completely inundated with with royalty, even if it isn't real. Merchandise related to any of Disney's princesses are HUGE sellers. Magazines increase their circulation by putting royal women on their covers; Diana, Princess of Wales; Princess Grace of Monaco or Queen Rania of Jordan. The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall are regular features on the cover of tabloids all across America.

In the week leading up to The Wedding I passed people in the supermarket discussing which snacks to purchase for their late night royal wedding fest. I sat beside a whole table of women who were eagerly chatting about how excited they were about staying up all night to watch the wedding. Just yesterday, while sniffing the Diana, Princess of Wales rose in my local Lowe's, I pretended not to notice while two older ladies were discussing how they'd worn plastic tiaras and drank champagne while flipping between BBC America and CNN to avoid missing a single moment of live coverage. My facebook newsfeed was awash with hundreds of status messages and links about he wedding. Even people who probably couldn't even find The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg on a map were discussing Grand Duchess Maria Teresa's Elie Saab gown. I momentarily thought that America was on the verge of coming out-of-the-closet with her love of all things royal or princessly. Unfortunately...

...In an age when it is perfectly normal to interested in what Kim Kardashian wears every single day, my fellow royal watchers and I still get weird looks and raised eyebrows when we mention our passion. This may not be an issue for royal watchers actually living in a monarchy. Sadly, most of the royal watchers and Luxaholics I know all have family and friends who think we are just plain bonkers. The madness surrounding the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton probably created a whole new generation of royal watchers and wannabe princesses. I wonder if they, too, will be treated like a UFO abductee by their friends and family. Is being interested in royalty really worse than being into the Desperate Housewives of New Jersey? How can it possibly be cooler to know what GTL means than to know that Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg still has 9 very attractive single adult grandsons (all princes)????? Oh no my friends, we are not the ones who are bonkers.

Unfortunately because of the massive overexposure surrounding the royal wedding, those who formerly snickered and rolled their eyes at our royal interest are divided into two camps. We now have those who can, on some superficial level, appreciate our interest and those who will snicker louder and roll their eyes harder.

What is the point of all this, you ask? Until today I simply would not dare risk stating how I thought the dress of Kate, oops I mean Catherine, was far to similar to those of Princess Grace of Monaco and Princess Isabella de Ligne to really be original. Nor would I could dare say that after watching the emotional and joyous wedding of Crown Princess Victoria that I had a hard time sitting through the stiff upper lip show. Truth be told, I am such a royal watcher that I hate to be the traitorous voice of dissent. Please, forgive me, for you see, I have been suffering from a nauseating cause of Will and Kate overexposure. I am not my usual perky self. However, I do actually agree with Guy Somerset, despite being on the verge of becoming a Kill Joy. 

If you came here looking for a roundup of That Wedding I recommend you visit The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor. The ROSS features all of the highlights and covers the fashion highs and lows. It is where I, personally, recommend you sate your thirst for wedding tidbits.

If you came here for the usual Luxembourg factor I have provided links below, where you can find pictures of Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa. My favorite royal lady wore Elie Saab to the wedding and the pre-wedding event. She complimented her evening gown with the diamond and pearl Princess Ingeborg of Sweden brooch that the late Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte inherited from her mother. She complimented her Elie Saab suit with a pearl necklace while repeating the diamond and pearl earrings from the night before. All of the pieces are heirlooms. 

Getty, Getty, Getty, Getty, Getty, ANP, ANP, ANP, ANP, ANP, ANP, Belga, Belga, Belga, Belga, ISOPIX, ISOPIX, ISOPIX, ISOPIX, ISOPIX, and ISOPIX. Please, be sure to visit Zimbio and Daylife for galleries of images without watermarks. You can search a variety of Luxembourg or royal related keywords and generate dozens of images. I have done some of the work for you with the links into their galleries.

Source: Getty Images Europe via Zimbio and Daylife. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Vatican Times Two

As Hola is kindly letting us know, the Grand Ducal Couple accompanied by their three sons Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, Prince Félix and Prince Sébastien attended a mass in the Vatican on Maundy Thursday. In case you don’t have the printed edition, just venture over to youkioske and have a sneak peak at page 98 to see a lovely picture of the five.

Today was yet another occasion to pay a visit to the Vatican. Six years after his death, Pope John Paul II was beatified and many Catholic Royals were in attendance. Among them were Grand Duke Henri and his wife Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa again accompanied by their eldest HGD Guillaume and this time Prince Louis, wearing one of Guillaume's evil yellow ties.

Other guests included the Grand Duke’s sister Princess Margaretha with her husband Prince Nikolaus, who serves as the Liechtenstein non-resident ambassador to the Holy See, along with their two daughters Princess Maria-Anunciata and Princess Marie-Astrid.

For an article including a photo gallery have a look at Wort; for more pictures have a look at Getty Images, or at Zimbio for photos without watermarks.

Guillaume in Bourglinster

Once again it was time for the Hereditary Grand Duke to support Luxembourg for Business. On April 28th alongside minister Krecké, he attended a conference organised by Luxembourg for Business in the course of a meeting of the European Trade Promotion Organisations (ETPO). The conference, that took place in the beautiful Château de Bourglinster, focused on the topic of "Reshaping Europe, National Trade Strategies, and the Work of Trade Promotion Organisations".

A gallery of photos can be found on the homepage of Luc Deflorenne.

Sources: Cour Grand-Ducale