Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Final Finish Line

Thanks for keeping your fingers crossed, it was pretty successful! Part one was partly accomplished while the second part was entirely successful. Today, The Grand Duke Henri was in Paris to congratulate Andy and Fränk Schleck for their second- and third-place finishes in this year's Tour de France. After 3430 kilometres the Schlecks from Mondorf-les-Bains made it safely to the French capital to become the first brothers to stand together on the podium of La Grande Boucle, in its 98th edition.

The always handy RTL has a few videos: in this one you can see, among other things, the victory ceremony; just forward to 24:53 to see the Grand Duke congratulating the cyclists, later in the video (starting at around 54:40) you can see Grand Duke Henri with the Schlecks and their family, especially lovely is the scene when Fränk's little daughter Leea is playing with the Grand Duke's tie. In this video, starting at about 05:40, you can see and hear an interview with him.

Wort has a gallery of pictures of the last day of the Tour de France including some of the Grand Duke, Roland Miny also has a large gallery of photos of the final stage.

Sources: Reuters, Wort

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Royal Wedding

Yesterday, Prince Rashid bin El Hassan, the cousin of King Abdullah II of Jordan, got married to Zeina Shaban, now Princess Zeina. The wedding took place at the Basman Palace in the Jordanian capital Amman. Here you can find a few pictures of the ceremony.

As you can see on the picture, a few Luxembourgish Royals were among the invitees. Princess Marie-Astrid and her husband Archduke Carl-Christian of Austria, Princess Margaretha and her husband Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein, Prince Guillaume and his wife Princess Sibilla, Prince Jean and his wife Diane de Guerre, as well as Prince Louis, his better half Princess Tessy and Prince Felix were in attendance. The Grand Ducal Family and the groom's family share a long lasting friendship.

Source: (English version), Petra

Friday, July 22, 2011

Keep Your Fingers Crossed

It's looking good for the cycling mad - just have a look at the RTL website that looks very yellow now or read the letter Jean-Claude Juncker has sent the Schlecks - Grand Duchy. Today was the third last stage of this year's Tour de France and Andy Schleck has taken the lead and the maillot jaune ahead of his older brother Fränk. This means a Luxembourgish double lead going into tomorrow's final time trial that will determine the final rankings of the race, since it is a tradition that no rider attacks the leader and the overall rankings during the final stage leading to the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris.

So keep your fingers crossed for Andy and Fränk that they will be able to be on the podium on Sunday and that Andy will become the first Luxembourgish winner of le Tour since Charly Gaul in 1958. And while you are at it, you can also keep your fingers crossed for an appearance of The Grand Duke himself, or maybe even more family members. Grand Duke Henri has been in Paris for the last stage of the Tour de France for the last two years and in 2008 Prince Felix was in the French capital to have a beer with Luxembourg's - and maybe the World's - best cyclists.

Allez Fränk an Andy!

Sources: Le Tour de France

Monday, July 18, 2011

Handsome Young European Prince Visits California. No, Not That One.

I admit it, I stole that headline from but somehow I don't understand it... When I think of "Handsome European Princes," our dear Guillaume is one of the first gentlemen that come into my mind and certainly not "That One," or at least what I think that they think the "one" would be ;)

Anyway, as mentioned earlier, the world's only Hereditary Grand Duke visited San Francisco as part of an Economic Mission from the world's only Grand Duchy led by Jeannot Krecké.

During their stay in California, they visited the Plug and Play Tech Center, eBay, and met with the mayor of San Francisco Edwin Lee to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Luxembourgish consulate in San Francisco. Besides their embassy in Washington D.C., the Grand Duchy has two consulates in the United States; one in San Francisco and the other one in New York.

During their meeting, Edwin Lee presented Guillaume a proclamation making July 13th the "Consulate General of Luxembourg Day in San Francisco." The Hereditary Grand Duke was also endowed with a portfolio of pre-1906 earthquake images of San Francisco. In turn he gave Edwin Lee a copper etching print by Philippe Emmanuel Lamesch, a Luxembourgish born artist now living in the Bay Area.

Sources: Cour Grand-Ducale,,,, Philippe Lamesch

The Last Goodbye

Last Saturday, Otto von Habsburg was laid to rest at the Imperial Crypt in Vienna after a grand requiem at the St. Stephen's Cathedral. The church service was attended by most of the Habsburg family and many foreign royalty and nobility.

As expected The Grand Duke was in Vienna to pay his respect to the decedent. Princess Marie-Astrid, her husband Archduke Carl-Christian and their three sons Archduke Imre, Archduke Alexander and Archduke Christoph with his fiancée Adélaïde at his side also attended the funeral.

Photos of the funeral are available at PPE Agency, Belga, Getty Images, Royal Press Europe, Daylife, Profimedia, and all over the internet. If you have a - sometimes close - look at them, you can spot Grand Duke Henri and his sister Marie-Astrid and her family a couple of times.

There are also some videos of the funeral available online in which you can spot Grand Duke Henri, Princess Marie-Astrid and Archduke Carl-Christian as well as their children a couple of times. Most of the videos can be found over at youtube, for example in these six (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).
You can re-watch the whole coverage by Austrian TV station ORF in two parts, here and here.

Thanks to all my fellow Luxaholics who helped to assemble the numerous links!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Grand Duke Jean Visits Driver's Training Center

Grand Duke Jean has visited the Driver's Safety Training Center in Colmar-Berg today. About 15 years ago the then reigning Grand Duke opened the Centre de Formation Pour Conducteurs in his then hometown. Together with minister Claude Wiseler, Grand Duke Jean visited the new and enlarged training rooms as well as an exhibit called "Hall of Consequences" that shows cars that have been involved in accidents.

In the last 15 years about 120.000 drivers have taken courses at the Training Center. It is mandatory for everyone who gets a driver's licence in the Grand Duchy to undergo a course of Driver's Safety Training within two years after their driving test. Last year 32 people died during or in the aftermath of a car accident in Luxembourg. This number is steadily decreasing; in 1970 more than 130 persons died. as well as Wort itself have a few more pictures of the visit.

Sources: Wort,

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Grand Duke to Attend Funeral

The Grand Duke Henri will attend the requiem for Archduke Otto of Austria and his wife Archduchess Regina, also known as Otto and Regina von Habsburg, in Vienna next Saturday. The couple will be laid to rest at the Imperial Crypt in Vienna en famille, prior a requiem will be held at the St. Stephen's Cathedral. Archduke Otto died on July 4th at the age of 98, while Archduchess Regina, a born Princess of Saxe-Meiningen, died about a year ago.

Archduke Otto's mother Empress Zita was a born Princess of Bourbon-Parma and the sister of Prince Félix, the husband of Grand Duchess Charlotte. Therefore, Archduke Otto is the cousin of Grand Duke Jean. I think, that we can also expect some other family members to be in Vienna on Saturday; among them Princess Marie-Astrid and Archduke Carl-Christian, who is the nephew of the deceased.

I extend my deepest condolences to the family of Archduke Otto. He was a truly remarkable man who lived through almost 100 years of European history and was a part of it, starting with being the Crown Prince of Austria, Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia to being one of the organisers of the Pan-European Picnic and a member of the European Parliament. He certainly had a long and fulfilled life. May he rest in peace.

Source: Kathnews

The Neverending Story...

... of the changes to the line of succession. As Trond Norén Isaksen is reporting on his very knowledgable blog, Princess Alexandra actually is in line to the throne ahead of her younger brother Prince Sébastien, which would be accordingly to the wording of the decree that says that the change of order starts with "our [the current Grand Duke's] descendants."

In difference the Cour Grand-Ducale insisted earlier, and still does, that the change of the succession line is not retroactive, also they confirmed that Princess Alexandra now is in line between Prince Félix and Prince Sébastien.

Maybe it would just the the easiest thing to publish the actual line of succession starting with the Hereditary Grand Duke followed by everyone else that is in line to the throne as of now ...

Sources: Trond Norén Isaksen, Legilux

Honouring the Best

Yesterday, The Grand Duke received Luxembourg's best students at the Palais Grand-Ducale. Like every year, the very best graduates of the high school and the technical high school visited the Palace together with the Minister of Education Mady Delvaux-Stehres.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mark your calendars: HGD in California

An Economic Mission, led by Luxembourg's Minister for Economy and Foreign Trade Jeannot Krecké, to Canada and the United States of America has started on Monday last week, and the Hereditary Grand Duke will join the mission on its last stop in San Francisco during the upcoming week. The mission will end on July, 13th.
During their stay in San Francisco, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Minister Krecké will, among other things, visit the business accelerator Plug and Play Tech Center, that helps Luxembourgish technology businesses and innovatives to break into the U.S. market

Sources:, RTL,

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Open Palace

As it has become a yearly tradition, the Palais Grand-Ducale will be open to the general public during the summer holidays of the Grand Ducal Family. Between July, 15th and August, 30th the Luxembourg City Tourist Office is offering guided tours through the palace. The tours are available in Luxembourgish, French, German, Dutch and English for the bargain price of 7 euro per adult and €3,50 for children. The Cour even offers small accompanying brochures for the kids to discover the Palais Grand-Ducale in French and German.

This year's special is a exhibit called La Dynastie à Travers les Timbres, roughly translated 'The Dynasty Through Stamps.' The exhibit mainly concentrates on stamps of the head of states starting from Grand Duke Adolphe until today, but don't worry, it also contains stamps of Grand Duke Jean's siblings and children as well as Henri's children.

The awesome Manuel Dias was among the pre-visitors to the exhibit; a gallery giving a glimpse of the exhibit is available on his website.

So should you be in or around the Grand Duchy this summer, I highly recommend to visit the palace. To see it from the inside is worth the trip alone, the stamp exhibit is only the icing on the cake.

For more information please refer to the Cour Grand-Ducale, Wort, Tageblatt and the LCTO.

Grand Duke at IOC Session in Durban

Grand Duke Henri has probably already made his way to South Africa to attend the 123rd IOC session in Durban. The session, that, among other things, will determine the host for the 2018 Winter Olympics, will start tomorrow and be finished by July, 9th. The Grand Duke has been a member of the International Olympic Commitee since February 1998.

Next Thursday, the Grand Duke is invited to attend a reception in Durban, hosted by the newly-wedded Prince and Princess of Monaco to celebrate their wedding in Charlène's home country.

Sources: ZDF, Times LIVE, IOC,

Prince Robert Welcomes Ministers

During the Vinexpo last month, Prince Robert welcomed the German Minister for Foreign Affairs Guido Westerwelle and his French counterpart Alain Juppé, who also serves as the mayor of Bordeaux, at Château Haut-Brion.

Juppé had invited the German minister to the opening of the Vinexpo and afterwards they visited the Château in Pessac to have lunch and a guided tour through the castle led by Prince Robert himself. Afterwards, they opened a few bottles of wine from significant years of German history and the life of the two fellow ministers.

Château Haut-Brion also hosted the opening dinner of the Vinexpo; in case you have your binoculars handy, have a look at the WineEnthusiast Magazine to see a picture of Prince Robert, Princess Julie and their guests.

Sources: Château Haut-Brion, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, EuropeOnline

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Monaco Wedding ***

So that was it, the monégasque wedding is over. Prince Albert of Monaco and Princess Charlène, formerly known as Charlene Wittstock, got married both in a civil as well as in a religious ceremony. I was pleasantly surprised by the setting of ceremony, Monaco itself is a beautiful place and the whole event much classier than I expected. The bride looked wonderful and that is all I'm going to say about the couple, but that is an entirely different story. Nevertheless I wish Prince Albert and Princess Charlène all the very best in the world.

As mentioned earlier, the Grand Duke, the Grand Duchess and the Hereditary Grand Duke were in attendance and they seemingly enjoyed their time in the principality, as did I watching them. All three of them looked very good and I very much enjoyed the coverage of the event. In difference to the British wedding a few months ago, we were able to actually see the Royals not only arriving to the "church" but also how they left their hotels and inside the courtyard. The seating arrangement was especially nice for all Lux lovers as one could spot Guillaume as well as the Grand Ducal couple a few times before and during the religious service. While Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and Grand Duke Henri were seated in the front row with Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, his wife Crown Princess Maxima and the Hereditary Prince and Princess of Liechtenstein behind them, Guillaume sat next to Princess Astrid of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-Este and her husband Archduke Lorenz.

And now to the most important part - pictures ;) All the major news agencies offer galleries of the event, just go to their websites and type in Monaco + wedding + Luxembourg and all the goodies should come up. Nevertheless here are some of the treasures of the religious wedding ceremony, according to Tageblatt, Maria-Teresa wore a Elie Saab dress to the religious ceremony.

I might add that it was a very good idea of our dear Guillaume to walk right next to Crown Princess Mette-Marit, as a woman on your side always means that more photos of you are taken. Same actually applies to Crown Prince Haakon of Norway himself, remember him at Maxima's birthday party?! If not, no wonder, cause Mette-Marit wasn't with him...

The day went on with a gala dinner in the evening. Grand Duke Henri attended and was accompanied by Princess Stéphanie of Monaco and Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume was also there alas - well, maybe not - on his own. It seems as if you only get a partner for the wedding dinner when you come with one. Next time, just call Guillaume, I know a string of women who wouldn't mind spending an evening with you or any other of the good-looking Euro princes for that matter...

Unfortunately, I couldn't yet locate any picture of Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa at the event. It almost seems as if she didn't attend. My only hope left is that I couldn't find a picture of King Albert of the Belgians either so maybe those two walked together and we will later find a picture of them. Let's keep our fingers crossed!

Update: Finally, I was able to track down the best hidden couple of the evening. Ladies and gentlemen, I proudly present the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg and the King of the Belgians.

Not exactly a beige dress as I mentioned earlier, but those who are able to read are at an advandage. As the article by Tageblatt clearly states, the ensemble the Grand Duchess wore at the religious ceremony was by Elie Saab while it doesn't have a mention who the designer of this black gown is, it could very well be the same one she wore during the state visit to Norway recently.

In case you still haven't got enough, have a look here for the gala dinner and here for the religious wedding, the galleries are constantly updated as soon as we find more pictures ;)

Pictures are taken from Corbis, Daylife (the ones without watermarks), Belga, APA Picture Desk, Getty Images, Newscom, Isopix and Abaca.

A Parachute Jumping Prince

While Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume are seemingly enjoying their time at the wedding of the Prince and the Princess of Monaco - more on that later - Prince Felix had quite an adventurous day.

That's right, the guy in red is indeed Prince Felix. But before, he started his visit to the Luxembourgish parachute club Cercle Para Luxembourg by christening a plane named after him - Prënz Félix. Afterwards Felix took the chance to make a parachute jump and was very excited about it, "I'm ready for the next jump. Who comes with me? It was awesome. Everyone should experience this once in their lifetime. It was a great feeling - much better than I ever expected it to be." Curiously enough, Prince Félix was accompanied by the grand ducal chaplain Georges Vuillermoz. Well, I guess some divine assistance doesn't hurt when you jump out of a plane.

Both Wort and Tageblatt have galleries of the visit. Wort also has a pretty cool video of Felix' jump and as you can see in the end he is quite pleased. In case the video on the Wort homepage isn't working for you, it is also available on youtube. Manuel Dias has a large gallery of wonderful photos of Felix' evening with Cercle Para Luxembourg.

Source: Wort

Friday, July 1, 2011

Grand Duke Jean welcomes volunteer fire brigade

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the local volunteer fire brigade of Fischbach, Grand Duke Jean welcomed the commander of the fire brigade and the lady mayor of the little town in his home, the Château de Fischbach, which - not very surprisingly - is situated near the town that bears the same name.


Louis, Tessy and the Boys at Parc Merveilleux **

As mentioned earlier, today, Prince Louis, Princess Tessy and their two young sons Gabriel and Noah visited the Parc Merveilleux in Bettembourg, the only theme parc within the Grand Duchy. Parc Merveilleux is a mixture of a fairytale themed parc and a zoo, including cheeky goats who tried to steal all the food from Tessy.

For now I leave you with a gallery of pictures by Tom Wagner, RTL also has a large gallery of the visit. Tageblatt also joins in with a small but nice gallery as do Wort and Manuel Dias.

Source: Tom Wagner