Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dining with the Hereditary Grand Duke ***

Yesterday, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume was scheduled to attend a gala dinner held by the International Chambers of Commerce at the Nouveau Centre de Conférence in Kirchberg during which Guillaume gave a little speech in which he said asked Luxembourgers to "...keep our doors open to the foreign workforce which helps our community with its international experience." Neither the American, British, Italian, Nordic, Chinese, French, Spanish, Swiss, nor the Chilean Chambers of Commerce for Luxembourg have updated their websites with pictures yet but the English version of Wort has an article including a picture of the speech. Another picture is available at the website of the cour.

Many more pictures are now available here and here.

Source: British Chamber of Commerce for Luxembourg

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Another Award and Another Bazaar

Today was another two engagements day for Grand Duchess Maria Teresa. Right now seems to be the time for art awards in Luxembourg, just two days ago the Edward Steichen Award for modern art was awarded and today it was time for the Prix Grand-Duc Adolphe. Since 1902 it is awarded to an artist who exhibits at the Salon Artistique of the Cercle artistique de Luxembourg. Easily noticeable, the award was named for and created by the former Grand Duke Adolphe, the great-great grandfather of the current Grand Duke, on the initiative of his wife Adelheid-Marie. This year's hopefully happy winner is Marc Bertemes, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa was at hand to award him the prize at the palais. A picture of the little ceremony can be found at the website of the cour, a large gallery of photos at RTL and Manuel Dias was also there to snap many photos. For a bit of footage of a look at this video starting at 19:13

Likewise, it seems to be the time for bazaars in Luxembourg. In difference to the Red Cross Bazaar almost two weeks ago, the Grand Duchess showed up at her own this time at the International Bazaar. 57 nations took part to show off what is so special about their food, toys, jewellery and much more. The proceeds of the bazaar go to 98 charities throughout the world. A gallery of pictures can be found at Wort.

Sources: Cercle Artistique de Luxembourg, Wort

Funeral Arrangements For Princess Elisabeth

Elisabeth with her parents
and siblings
It has now been settled that the requiem mass for Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Hohenberg, who died on Tuesday last week, will be held on December 15th at the oldest religious site of Luxembourg City, the Église Saint Michel. She will be buried in the family vault of the Artstetten castle that belongs to the family of Princess Elisabeth's late husband Duke Franz of Hohenberg.

Princess Elisabeth died at the Château de Fischbach where she lived with her brother Grand Duke Jean for the last couple of months. Before she died, she was in frail health as she had suffered a stroke sometime last year.

Source: Nobiliana, Le Figaro

Friday, November 25, 2011

An Award And A Conference

Yesterday, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa had two engagements. First off she attended a conference with the topic Développement et Promotion de l’Economie Solidaire au Service du Développement Durable à Luxembourg at the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg. She gave a speech about Social Business and its service to the people. Pictures can be found on the website of the cour, an article at Le Quotidien.

In the evening the Grand Duchess was present at the "Edward Steichen Award" ceremony at the MUDAM (a.k.a. Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean). Every two years, the Steichen Award is given to aspiring modern artists between 25 and 35. This year's award goes to the Polish born artist Maria Loboda. Newly introduced this year is an award in the catagory "Edward Steichen Luxembourg Resident in NYC" for Luxembourgish artists under 35 and its first edition went to Claudia Passeri. Articles and pictures are available at Wort, Tageblatt, Journal, Le Quotidien and the cour. Short glimpses of the Grand Duchess can be found in this video, starting at about 21:13.

Sources: Cour grand ducale, Départements du CRP Henri Tudor, Wort

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Comtesse Stéphanie de Lannoy

For a biography of Stéphanie de Lannoy have a look at our more recent post "The Future Hereditary Grand Duchess".

If you frequent the websites of the various Luxembourgish newspapers, you probably already know what is going on today; if not you can look at Wort, Tageblatt, L'essentiel and RTL or just read on...

Point de Vue
has published an article about the (alleged) woman of the Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume's heart, Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy. Her name has been floating around in royal watching circles for a few weeks now and the rumour seemed more substantial than the other name tossed around.

The Lannoy-family is from old Belgian nobility and named after the city of Lannoy in Northern France where they reigned once upon a time; they are counts of the Holy Roman Empire. Stéphanie is the youngest of eight children of Count Philippe de Lannoy, son of Princess Beatrice of Ligne, and Alix della Faille de Leverghem. It is said that they met through their Ligne connection [genealogy check: the current Prince of Ligne is the cousin of Grand Duke Henri] at a ball at he Château de Beloeil; I suppose it was the the big birthday party for Princess Alix of Ligne and Princess Louise of Stolberg-Stolberg that took place in 2006. The party was surely attended by Princess Alexandra and Guillaume's cousins Archduke Imre and Archduchess Marie-Christine of Austria, as well as Princess Marie-Gabrielle of Nassau and Princess Maria-Anunciata of Liechtenstein.

Just to clear it up as it is usually one of the main criticism when royals date nobles or vice versa, I haven't had the time to dig too deep into her family tree but Guillaume and Stéphanie are not closely related; I could imagine though that there is some kind of relatedness when you go back far enough.

Stéphanie is three years younger than the Hereditary Grand Duke. Apart from French (and English I suppose) she is fluent in German and Russian. Now living in her family's home in Brussels, Stéphanie studied German Philology in Louvain-la-Neuve before getting her masters degree from a university in Berlin.

There is no official confirmation of the relationship between Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy; it is merely speculation of Point de Vue about the girlfriend Guillaume mentioned in his birthday interviews. Nevertheless, I do think there might be some substance to it. We will probably only know for sure if and when they get officially engaged. After an inquiry by Wort, the cour grand ducale stated, not unsurprisingly, that "We do not comment on rumours."

If Stéphanie is not the woman in Guillaume's life, the Cour should state that. Because, if she is not involved they are leaving the poor young woman to deal with all of this attention and gossip for no reason! That is absolutely cruel, unprofessional and simply unacceptable. If that is the case then Guillaume, his family and their staff should feel ashamed of themselves for allowing someone to experience undue burden through no fault of their own. Basically, if she is not the girl in question then the cour grand ducale, the grand ducal family and Guillaume need to reevaluate how they deal with other human beings. Is it acceptable to allow another person to experience such a stressful situation knowing that you have the power to simply end it? Nay, I say. It's okay to protect the woman in question but you can't simply sit by and allow every other woman to have their life tossed upside down.

Note: The last paragraph was added by TGD (aka Luxarazzi/Mlle. Sunshine Awesome) and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Sydney.

Guillaume In Dubai And Ras al-Khaimah

After opening an embassy and doing some other stuff in Abu Dhabi, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and his entourage made their way to Dubai yesterday, where they met with Sheikh Juma Bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, member of the ruling family of the second largest emirate. They also visited 'The Big 5', an International Building and Construction Show, where Luxembourg has an own pavillion. The always handy RTL has a video of the visit (starting at about 9:42), while Wort has an article with pictures. On Tuesday morning they also had further meetings with possible investors in Dubai.

They then went on to the lesser known emirate Ras al-Khaimah to visit the RAK Ceramics/RAK Porcelain, a manufacturer who has its European headquarters in Luxembourg. Afterwards they had an audience with the ruler of Ras al-Khaimah Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi and an agreement regarding bilateral and economic cooperation between the two states was signed. Further information are available at the Khaleej Times Online. Everyone's favourite Luxembourgish TV station (well, they basically only have one...) also has a video of this visit, Guillaume and his gang can be first seen at about 13:35, even though the report starts about two minutes earlier.

The cour regularly updates their photo gallery of the whole Economic Mission. Tageblatt has an article about Guillaume on Economic Mission; it does not deal with the single events but the Economic Mission as a whole, how the Hereditary Grand Duke does his work and how he acts.

Sources: Ministery of the Economy and Foreign Trade

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Grand Duke Has Arthroscopy Plus Another Thing

This morning, Grand Duke Henri had an arthroscopic surgery performed in his knee. The minor surgery had been planned for some time, it was performed to treat an injury of the meniscus in his right knee. As no complications arised he went back home in the afternoon hours.

In totally unrelated news I would like to refer you to Valentin Dupont's fabulous Royalement Blog who has posted more video footage of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume's interview with Place Royale.

Sources:, Tageblatt

Princess Elisabeth Dies Aged 88

Today, Grand Duke Jean's younger sister Princess Elisabeth died at the age of 88. Born at Château de Berg on December 22nd, 1922, she was the second child and first daughter of Grand Duchess Charlotte and Prince Félix.

Princess Elisabeth with her parents in London (1934)
Photo: TopFoto/Profimedia

In 1956 Princess Elisabeth married Franz, Duke of Hoheberg, a grandson of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria whose murder in 1914 sparked the start of World War I. Princess Elisabeth, who has been widowed since 1977, is survived by her two daughters Anita and Sophie and three of her siblings, Grand Duke Jean, Princess Marie-Gabrielle, Countess Holstein til Ledreborg, and Princess Alix, The Dowager Princess of Ligne; her other two siblings have already passed away, Prince Charles died in 1977 and Princess Marie-Adélaïde, married Countess Henckel von Donnersmarck, in 2007. The last couple of months of her life Princess Elisabeth apparently lived at the Château de Fischbach where Grand Duke Jean lives.

Princess Elisabeth will be buried in Artstetten, Austria; also, a requiem will be held at the Saint Michael's Church in Luxembourg, the exact date will be published by the cour later on.

Press release of the cour grand ducale via RTL

I would like to call attention to a minor mistake in the press release that made it into basically every newspaper article. The press release states that Princess Elisabeth died at the age of 89; but as she was born in December 1922, she had not celebrated her 89th birthday yet, which would be today in a month. That means that she died at the age of 88. I am sure nobody made this mistake on purpose but nevertheless, I would like to point it out.

A small gallery of pictures of the deceased can be found on the website of Tageblatt, Wort has another picture of Princess Elisabeth. Pictures of her engagement and her wedding can be found at Corbis.

Our sincerest condolences go to both the Grand Ducal Family and the Hohenberg family.

Sources: Wort, Tageblatt,,

Prince Robert Presents Award

On November 16th, Prince Robert attended the IWSC Awards Presentation and Banquet at the London Guildhall. The cousin of Grand Duke and owner of two of the most prestigious wine estates in Bordeaux actually is the president of the International Wine and Spirits Competition. In his capacity of being the IWSC's president he awarded the Northern Hemisphere Trophy to the Peregrine Wines' Central Otago.

For further information about the event have a look here and here. Many pictures of the event can be found at IWSC's very own website and at Smile Photography.

Sources: IWSC Presidents, Peregrines Wines

Monday, November 21, 2011

Grand Ducal Couple Visits School

Today, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa visited the L'Atert Lycée in Redange. The school in the birthplace of Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker opened in 2008 and has a new approach to learning that is a little different to other schools in the Grand Duchy, for example they work with teams of teaching coaches.

The Grand Ducal couple toured the whole campus to get an overview before visiting different courses and workshops. They then met with students and teachers. In the end, they had lunch in the school's canteen.
Well, I must have went to the wrong school then as I never had lunch in the canteen with any European royalty or any important person whatsoever...

A gallery of pictures of the visit can be found here and see a video of the Grand Ducal couple in action right here. You can also have a look at an article of Wort about the visit.

Source: Cour grand ducale

First Stop: Abu Dhabi

The Hereditary Grand Duke is on an Economic Mission in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar this week. The first leg of the visit led him to Abu Dhabi where he witnessed the opening of Luxembourg's 35th embassy and the very first in the Arab world. In countries where there is no Luxembourgish embassy, the Grand Duchy is usually either represented by the Belgian or the Dutch embassies.

Guillaume Jean Joseph Marie; we will call him by his full name today to honour his visit, read on to learn the reason; also met Sheikha Lubna Bint Mohamed Al Qasimi, the Minister of Foreign Trade, and Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy.

For articles and pictures of the opening of the embassy and the other activities of Crown Prince Guillaume Jean Joseph Marie; the Arab press is always eager to let us know his full name; and a certain "Jano Jeannot"; a name which could mistakingly lead one to think that Grand Duchy already has a new Minister for the Economic and Foreign Trade, or simply scratch the supposed first name, make the last the first name and add a Krecké; can be found at Tageblatt, Wort, paperJam, Le Quotidien, L'essentiel, news352, RTL and probably a lot of other places.
Further information can be found at the website of the Lux government (here and here) and on the website of the Ministery of Foreign Affairs. And if you are looking for pure eye candy; don't worry, nobody blames you; you should venture over to the website of the cour.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

All The Things They've Done

Thursday was a pretty busy day for the Grand Ducal couple. While Grand Duchess Maria Teresa attended the 30th anniversary celebrations of SIPO, an organisation that offers pedagogical and therapeutical aid for children and their families (for more, please have a look at this article), Grand Duke Henri was at hand for two events. In the morning he welcomed ombudsmen for an audience at the palais, and in the evening made his way to Mondorf-les-Bains to attend a reunion of former Luxembourgish olympians. Pictures and an article about the event taking place at the Grand Duchy's only casino can be found at, another extensive picture gallery can be found here.
Also sometime during the last week, Prince Guillaume attended an event of the Mérite Jeunesse; apart from a few photos, I wasn't able to locate any information about it.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Last One: The Place Royale Interview

This is about the last post I am going to do about Guillaume's numerous birthday interviews. In case there wasn't enough information about the Hereditary Grand Duke in them for your taste, you might want to check the LAF. Guillaume's last interview for Belgium's Place Royale can be found over on youtube; click on the following links for part one and part two. It doesn't contain that much new information that we haven't already heard of in the other four interviews, except for the news that his girlfriend is from Belgium.

You might wonder why I post a picture of three wonderful ladies wearing one tiara in a post that is supposed to be about an interview the Hereditary Grand Duke gave. [Caution: rant ahead.] Simply because this interview and the documentary around it served as a reminder that we never got to see any picture of this year's National Day Gala. This isn't only a shame because Princess Alexandra is wearing a seemingly stunning dress and a beautiful tiara, but also because it tells so much about the PR of the cour. The Gala for National Day is one of the most important events of the year and no one cares about publishing one simple photo of it?! [End rant.]

The citrine topaz tiara was worn frequently by Grand Duchess Maria Teresa during the early years of her marriage, since she became Grand Duchess she favours other tiaras; to my knowledge, it was last seen publicly on the head of Princess Margaretha during a state visit to Belgium in 1999 [left picture]. I am actually not one hundred percent sure whether it is a citrine topaz tiara or not, but it does look a lot like it is and it also is the broad consent of all the bloggers and royal bling lovers out there. Though it is a bit unusual (in a good way of course), it is one of my favourite tiaras of the Grand Ducal Family.

Maria Teresa, Tessy and the Boys at Red Cross Bazaar *

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Princess Tessy and her two sons Gabriel and Noah paid a visit to the annual Red Cross Bazaar today. The bazaar is a beneficial event to help families who are in dire straits. It is one of the few events Tessy regularly attends apart from the big ones like the National Day events or the closing of the Octave.

To see more pictures of the two incredibly cute princes, who are getting huge btw, have a look at L'Essentiel and Tageblatt. Tom Wagner also has photos from the bazaar. Over at RTL, you can find a video that includes an interview of the Grand Duchess (in Luxembourgish). Revue also has a few photos.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Radio Interviews

First of all, Place Royale has published another preview in which Guillaume reveals why it is so important for him to win against his father and his brothers when playing tennis. *

In case you that isn't enough and you want to get to know even more about Luxembourg's Hereditary Grand Duke, you should listen to the following three interviews for Eldoradio, DNR and RTL Radio. Small hint, the DNR interview isn't just audio but a video. Also have a look at the picture gallery of Eldoradio's Prënzeparty and the ones from the RTL Radio interview.

In the interviews Guillaume reveals which sibling he is closest to, that it can get pretty intense being four boys in a family, why Alexandra is the princess of the family, what he likes to cook and when he goes to the supermarket, that Bopa Jean knows his schedule better than he does, and why he thinks his parents are the best grandparents imaginable. You can also learn about the Hereditary Grand Duke favourite bands, why he is so incredibly lucky to live in Luxembourg, that his siblings certainly never were jealous of his future job, how we was brought up and what he wanted to be as a child, that he is going to keep any girlfriend's identity private until an official engagement, and he neither has Lady Gaga's nor the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's phone number.

* He simply is a bad loser.

Friday, November 11, 2011

All Guddes!

Once upon a time there was a young and beautiful woman named Maria Teresa, who gave birthday to a little boy just eight months and twenty-five days after her fairytale wedding to the handsome Hereditary Grand Duke of the world's only Grand Duchy. The little prince whose name was Guillaume Jean Joseph Marie was born by Caesarean section at the Maternité Grande-Duchesse Charlotte in the city of Luxembourg.

Thirty years forward, the cute baby grew up to be a handsome Hereditary Grand Duke himself who is celebrating his birthday today.

And it didn't go without notice in the last couple of days, as Guillaume was busy marking his milestone day by giving an insight into all facets of his life. In case you haven't done so yet, I can only recommend you to read all the posts leading up to Guillaume's big day. He gave an extensive interview to eight Luxembourgish journalists from the different newspapers; for a summary have a look here and here. Luxembourg's major TV station RTL celebrated the birthday by broadcasting a two-part documentary about his official and private life; just have a look here and here.

If you still haven't got enough, there are three radio interviews Guillaume has given leading up to his birthday. DNR will broadcast their interview at midday today, followed by the interview on Eldoradio in the afternoon. The third interview will be aired on Saturday at noon on RTL Radio. Should you live in Belgium, you can also watch Place Royale; and if you are not in Belgium and have found a way to watch it, please let us know.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

TV Inteview (Part 2): The Private Guillaume

The second part of RTL's birthday special is now available online. Sadly, it is only eight minutes long, I had hoped for at least the same length as the first part. Anyway, I shouldn't talk too much as I know you only want the interview, so here is the link ;)

The second part of the documentary focuses more on the private life of the Hereditary Grand Duke. He tells that he very much enjoyed growing up in such large family and that the older he gets, the smaller becomes the age difference between him and his youngest siblings. For his future, he wishes for an equally large family but that he does not think too much about children yet as it is "the second step". He also tells that he loves to spend time with Gabriel and Noah.

And now on to what would be the "first step" before having children, a wedding. Being asked that "Luxembourg would love to see a wedding and whether there is a candidate for the second leading role in the fairytale", he answers that there is a candidate as he has a girlfriend. In difference to what was published on the website of Eldoradio, Guillaume says that they have been a couple for about half a year but have known each other for five years. He also reveals that she is from abroad but has already visited Luxembourg and likes the Grand Duchy very much. Asked what he likes about her, he answers with a wonderful French saying and quote by polymath Blaise Pascal "Le cœur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît point." (The heart has its reasons, reason doesn't know.)
My dear Guillaume, you just scored another winning point as I love a man who says something romantic once in a while. Too bad, I am not your girlfriend; and on the edge of prefering a certain cousin of yours...

While you are at it, you can also watch three previews for Saturday's Place Royale. The first one is about the Hereditary Grand Duke's relationship with the other European Crown Princes and why they all grew a beard at the same time, while the second one reveals to you what Guillaume does on a free evening in Luxembourg. Number three is about the cooking and dancing Hereditary Grand Duke.

Last Day in Vietnam

Today, the state visit to Vietnam ended with a visit to Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon. In the morning the Grand Duke opened an economy and finance seminar held by the Ministry of Economy. He was also scheduled to visit the Ben Thanh Market. Around noon he definetely visited the Can Gio Mangrove Forest, a part of UNESCO's 'Man and the Biosphere Programme', as you can see on the pictures below.

In the morning, he met with the press to talk about his impressions of Vietnam. Grand Duke Henri had already visited Vietnam about twenty years ago when he was still Hereditary Grand Duke. Thus, he commented on the many changes most visible when looking at the street scene. While twenty years ago, the people largely used bicycles, cars are all around now. The Grand Duke said that he is very impressed by the attitude of the Vietnamese people who look forward to the future in a very positive way. He added that he very much appreciated the willingness of the Vietnamese government concerning an open dialogue about human rights.

Pictures of the day in the mangrove forest can be found at Tageblatt, Wort has another picture. The official website of the government has a small picture of the opening speech of the Grand Duke at the seminar, as does the updated picture gallery of the cour. RTL is also constantly updating their photo gallery of the state visit, they also have a video of the last day in Vietnam.

Sources: Wort,

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

More Difficulties In Vietnam

The heavy rain is not the only obstacle the Luxembourgish delegation has to overcome during their state visit to Vietnam. Luxembourg's Minister for the Economy and Foreign Trade, Guillaume's usual partner in crime (hey, they even call themselves that) on Economic Missions, apparently is about to retire. After the news leeked, he cut the visit short and flew back to the Grand Duchy.

Even though the Grand Duke and his delegation were not able to sleep in their planned hotel because it was not accessible due to the floods, they got to catch up on the Citadel of the Nguyen emperors, also known as the Forbidden City, they were already supposed to visit yesterday.

Afterwards they went on to visit the National School of Tourism; being a twinned school of the School of Hotel Management in Diekirch, ten selected students go to the Grand Duchy every year to improve their skills. Conveniently, they also had lunch at the school.

In the afternoon, the Grand Duke visited an orphanage for young girls led by the Congrégation des Soeurs de Saint-Paul de Chartres who take care of girls who have been abandoned by their parents. They are supported financially by the bureau of cooperation of the Luxembourgish ambassy.

Grand Duke Henri and the delegation have already made their way to Ho Chi Minh City for the last day of the state visit. Surpising changes of plans can't be ruled out due to the departure of Minister Krecké. For now, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean Asselborn will take over Krecké's responsibilities in Vietnam.

Pictures can be found at Wort and Tageblatt. A video (including an interview of the Grand Duke) is available at RTL (starting at 26:22).

Source: Wort

TV Interview (Part 1): The Official Guillaume & The Young Guillaume

The video of the report about the Hereditary Grand Duke has just become available online. The RTL documentary marking Guillaume's 30th birthday on Friday gives in insight both in his working life as well as in his private life.

The first part (about 15 minutes long) mainly focuses on his official role as the Hereditary Grand Duke; it shows footage of his recent trip to China, him taking part in a meeting of the Council of State, and many other activities. It also offers an insight into the work he does behind palaces doors. You can also see him playing tennis and walking through beautiful Luxembourg. One of the biggest treasures, in my humble opinion, is the footage of Guillaume throughout the years; starting with him as a baby, as toddler, attending school, playing in the gardens of the Château de Fischbach but also attending Sandhurst.

The second part that will be broadcasted tomorrow, will focus more on Guillaume's private life. There is a small preview available in which he, among other things, talks about his girlfriend.

Radio Interview on Friday a.k.a. The One In Which He Talks About His Girlfriend

Seems like our dear Guillaume has been quite busy giving interviews the last couple of weeks. On Friday a one hour long radio interview will be aired on Eldoradio. It will start at 3:50 p.m.

In the interview he talks about the obvious things like his opinion about monarchy; you can actually listen to him saying that in the link above.

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume also discloses the secret of having a girlfriend for over a year now. In case you had plans of becoming a Princess of Luxembourg yourself, don't be too worried as he also states Luxembourg will have to patient and wait a little longer for the fairytale wedding. And you wouldn't need to worry too much anyways as there are still Félix (well...) and Sébastien left. I can only recommend you to also have a look at all the hot cousins the three brothers have, becoming a Princess of Liechtenstein, Princess of Nassau or Archduchess of Austria certainly is nothing to sneeze at ;)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Birthday Interview (Part 2)

Here we go, the summary of the second part of the Hereditary Grand Duke's birthday inteview. In case you have missed it, I already summed up that part of the interview that Wort has published online; now it is time for the rest of the interview published in Le Quotidien.

Talking about his general life, Guillaume admits that of course he isn't as free as other people to live his life, it is a reality he accepted a long time ago. He says that he is lucky to live in Luxembourg where people recognise him but it still isn't a problem to go to the cinema for example. When is wants to be completely free in what he wants to do, he simply goes abroad where people usually do not recognise him and he can live a private life without any restrictions.

He adds that his position wasn't a problem when he attended primary school in Lorentzweiler where he was just a regular kid. When he went to high school things changed as some classmates treated him differently and that it was very hard for him. When he went abroad to attend boarding school in Switzerland he was able to take full advantage of his teenage years.

Today, it is both a boon and bane to be a prince when meeting people. It is easier to meet people, but you have to carefully consider whether that person likes the prince or the person. Guillaume adds that it was great to grow up with three brothers and a sister and that he wishes the same for his own children in the future.
The Ierfgroussherzog recounts that the first time he faced and was deeply touched by the miseries of this world was when he went to Nepal with the scouts [If my memory serves me right, he went there in 1997.] His stay in the Asian country served for him as a lesson for life.

He enjoys travelling, preferably in Europe. His favourite cities include Brussels and Geneva. Not that it would come as a surprise, but Guillaume also says that he is does believe in God and that he goes to church regularly.

Asked about his strenghts and weaknesses, Guillaume laughs and remarks that the question sounds like one from a job interview. He then goes on to tell that he believes that one of his strong points is the openness when meeting people he inherited from his mother. To answer the tricky part of the questions he admits that sometimes he needs to cultivate himself more and read more.

Being asked what he reponds when people accuse him of having an easy life, Guillaume says that they should come and see. He explains that the palais works like a small enterprise as it is a real job to represent Luxembourg in the best way possible. A lot of preperations are necessary, so the days are very busy and the pace demanding. He adds that they are far from an at least 40 hour week.

If it wouldn't be his destiny to become the next Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Guillaume would have liked to work in the economy or in the field of philosophy as he enjoyed those two and history lessons most during his university years. Nevertheless, he embraces his role as the future head of state but doubts that he would be ready if he would have to take over just yet. Guillaume thinks that his still needs to gain more experience and that time is the only solution for this. He also adds that he will to his future job differently than his father does now. [In his enthronement anniversary interview last year, Grand Duke Henri also stated that he and Guillaume don't always agree on decisions made.]

Asked why he thinks that the Portuguese community in Luxembourg is so fond of the Grand Ducal Family, he jokingly says that they also have a bit of Portuguese blood running through their veins. [Genealogy check: Both his paternal grandmothers were born infantas of Portugal. Infanta Maria Ana (the mother of Grand Duchess Charlotte) and Infanta Maria Antonia (the mother of Prince Félix) were daughters of King Miguel I of Portugal. Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte's great-grand mother, Infanta Maria Josepha, was also a daughter of King Miguel.] He also adds that they are very happy about the approval and love they get from Luxembourg's largest group of immigrants.

On a similar note, not only Belgian TV will show an interview with the Hereditary Grand Duke. Tomorrow evening RTL Télé Lëtzebuerg will air the first part of a birthday special about Guillaume, including an interview and footage of his everyday life. Which, I suppose, means that my suspicion was right that Lux TV had actually followed him around for the last couple of months. Usually, RTL uploads the videos of their shows sometime during the evening hours; so, make sure to check back tomorrow for more about Guillaume's 30th.

New Pictures

I hope that Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume has an equally good time preparing for his birthday than we have. Every time I log on the internet, new treasures show up. Already today, the cour grand ducale has released a few pictures to celebrate the upcoming big day.

Photos: Cour Grand Ducale (the official ones by Christian Aschman)

Like I had hoped for, they continue their approach from earlier this year and released new official pictures, pictures from Guillaume's baby days but also current private pictures. All of them can be found on the official website, enjoy!

Grand Duke Visits and Donates

The second day of Grand Duke Henri's state visit didn't go entirely as planned. More on that later as the morning activities in Hanoi went as they should.

The day started with a wreath-laying ceremony at the National Hero and Martyrs Monument in the Vietnamese capital. Later on the Grand Duke also visited the monument for and the tomb of the revolutionary leader and president Ho Chi Minh to lay down another wreath. Afterwards Grand Duke Henri paid a visit to the Confucian Temple of Literature. He then made his way to the airport to fly to Hue; and there the problems started...

...Hue is currently affected by torrential rain and thus it wasn't entirely clear in the morning whether the Grand Duke and the accompanying delegation would actually be able to fly to Hue. In the end they were, but the program had to be changed.

The Grand Duke had intended to visit the Citadel, the Forbidden City of the Nguyen emperors, but due to the heavy rain it was impossible. Instead, he visited the tomb of the fourth emperor of the Nguyen dynasty Tu Duc, who reigned from 1847 till 1883. If the weather allows it, Henri will catch up on the Forbidden City tomorrow morning.

Shocked by the flood in Hue, the Grand Duke spontaneously decided to donate €100.000 (around $140.000) for the flood victims. Hats off, Monseigneur!

Galleries of pictures can be found at Wort, Tageblatt, RTL and Le Quotidien.

Sources: Tageblatt, Wort

À Propos D'Interview...

I did a lengthy post about Guillaume's birthday interview earlier today. In the post I speculated whether Wort had published the whole interview online or just parts. Even though it seemed a bit short; I tended to believe that it was the whole thing but as it turns out, it wasn't. and Le Quotidien both have other parts of the interview, though I am still not sure how long the actual interview was as all three published articles partly contain the same questions while some others are different. It does seem to me that Le Quotidien might have the full interview. Additionally, Revue features a big special about Guillaume in this week's issue.

I might do an overview of the PaperJam and Le Quotidien articles later on; sadly, I also have other things to do in life than blogging. Now, that would be a life ;)

An often asked question is whether there will be any official celebration of Guillaume's birthday. The cour hasn't published anything in the agenda and the man of honour himself said in the interview that he will celebrate his birthday with some friends in Luxembourg. So no, there won't be a big birthday bash like the one for Maxima or the one for Märtha-Louise.

Birthday Interview

Just a few days left until everyone's favourite Hereditary Grand Duke turns 30. That is why he sat down with some journalists a few days ago to give an interview about his life, his work and much more.

As you can see on the left the cour has also released new pictures; one in uniform and one in suit. Let's hope that more pictures will be published on Friday. Preferably, also more private pictures like they did for Alexandra's birthday and the wedding anniversary of the Grand Ducal couple earlier this year.

Tageblatt is publishing the whole interview in today's print edition, the online article about it can be found here. On the homepage of Wort you can find the interview; I am not sure though whether that is the whole interview or just parts of it; it seems that the first one is more likely.

In case you don't want to read the google ghetto translation or it is not too comprehensible at times, I'll try to sum up the most important points of the interview with den Ierfgroussherzog.

The interview starts with a few statements about the monarchy and Luxembourg's role in general. Guillaume tells that the purpose of the monarchy is to represent the country and to hold up its traditions and identity. He thinks that it is very important that the sovereign does not have a political role.

He is learning for his role as the future head of state through his parents but also by being a member of the Council of State and taking part in economic missions. He adds that he believes that his interest in Social Business can be helpful in the future.

Furthermore he states that in a lot of foreign countries the Grand Duchy is only seen as a financial center and that most people do not know that Luxembourg also is very successful in other sectors. Eventhough the Grand Duchy is a small country, it has an important role especially in Europe by being a founding member of the European Union, and also one of the founder of the European Coal and Steel Community, the oldest precursor of today's European Union, in 1952. Thus, it also has a voice in the world.

Guillaume mentions that in the future he would like to focus more on working with the youth.

The second half of the interview deals with more personal matters. Guillaume recounts having a normal childhood and that he was free to enjoy his life, both when he attended school in Luxembourg and abroad as well as during his university years.

His typical week starts with a meeting with his parents on Monday to talk about their activities in the upcoming week. When not at official engagements, he spends most of his working hours at the palais grand-ducale. Usually he tries to play tennis twice a week, eventhough it doesn't always work due to his schedule. In the evening he enjoys going to the cinema or having dinner with friends. Same basically goes for the weekends when he meets with friends either in Luxembourg or abroad.

Not in this but in another interview * he says that he is a good mixture of both his parents. In the Wort interview he states that what he inherited from his mother is the openness and spontaneity when meeting people. Likewise he looks up to his father for his sense of duty and other good traits. He also looks up to the accordance and mutual understanding between his parents, he hopes that one day he will achieve the same thing with his own wife. Another person he names as a inspiring example is the former General-Secretary of the United Nations Kofi Annan.

As one of the last but major points he adds what he is looking for in a person. To Guillaume it is most important to give more than you take, to look at the world around you and not just your own personal matters.

* The other interview is an interview that will be featured in the Belgian TV show Place Royale next Saturday. Not only the interview will be aired but also scenes from Guillaume's everyday life; the cameras followed him around for a couple of weeks to capture both official but also private events.

As you can see in one of the above pictures, the Hereditary Grand Duke also gave an interview to DNR, a Luxembourgish radio station. I'm still trying to locate anything about the interview, preferably the actual radio interview. I wouldn't be too surprised if he also gave an interview to RTL, I actually think that it is possible that the Luxembourgish RTL followed Guillaume around for a time (gave the footage to Belgian RTL for Place Royale) and that they will air a special on his birthday. But I haven't found any information about that so it's just pure speculation on my part ;)

Monday, November 7, 2011

First Day of the State Visit to Vietnam *

The state visit to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam began today. Grand Duke Henri is the first Luxembourgish head of state to ever visit the country. The Grand Duke is accompanied by a delegation consisting of three ministers, members of the chamber of commerce, as well as about 30 businessmen whose companies are already active in Vietnam.

In the morning, Grand Duke Henri was welcomed with military honours at the presidential palace in Hanoi by Vietnam's president Truong Tan Sang. After being present at the signing of a "Memorandum of Understanding", the Grand Duke met the prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung, the president of the national assembly Nguyen Sinh Hung and the general secretary of the communist party Nguyen Phu Trong.

Afterwards the Grand Duke visited the rehabilitation center of the Bach Mai Hospital in the Vietnamese capital. Supported by 'Handicap International', the rehabilitation center helps people with spinal cord injuries whose number has increased dramatically in Vietnam in the past couple of years. The hospital was co-funded with about 1,75 million euros of Luxembourgish development aid.

The day ended with a state banquet given by the Vietnamese president.

Photo galleries of today's events can be found over at RTL, Wort and Tageblatt. Articles, which can also be regarded as the source of this post, are available at Tageblatt, Tageblatt, Wort, Wort, Le Quotidien,, RTL, and Viet Nam News. The cour grand ducale, including a photo gallery, and the government also mention the visit. The first footage is now available on RTL, more can be seen in Luxembourg's daily news, starting at 23:02.Link

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Upcoming State Visit to Vietnam

The state visit to Vietnam is just around the corner. On the invitation of the Vietnamese president Truong Tan Sang Grand Duke Henri will visit the two biggest Vietnamese cities Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City as well as Hue during the upcoming week. He will be accompanied by three Luxembourgish ministers, namely Jean Asselborn, Jeannot Krecké and Marie-Josée Jacobs.

On Monday morning, the Grand Duke will be welcomed by the aforementioned Vietnamese president in Hanoi. During the morning hours a "Memorandum of Understanding" regarding technical cooperation in the financial sector and education will be signed in the presence of the two head of states. Afterwards Grand Duke Henri will visit the rehabilitation center of the Bach Mai Hospital that is co-financed by Luxembourgish development aid.
In the afternoon, the Grand Duke will meet with the Vietnamese prime minister, the president of the national assembly and the general secretary of the communist party. The day will be rounded up by a banquet given by the president of the Asian country.

On Tuesday, Grand Duke Henri will visit the Temple of Literature in the Vietnamese capital before going to Hue, the capital of the Thua Thien-Hue province and former imperial capital. Among other things, the Grand Duke will visit the forbidden city.

On Wednesday, the delegation headed by the Grand Duke will visit the school of tourism in Hue, a partner school of the school of hotel management in Diekirch in Luxembourg's north-east. In the afternoon, he will visit the orphanage Son Ca for girls who were abandoned by their parents. The children's home is supported by Luxembourgish development aid. Afterwards, the Grand Duke will travel to Ho Chi Minh City.

On Thursday morning, he will visit the Ben Thanh Market, one of the most famous places in the city formerly known as Saigon. Later the same day, he will open an economy and finance seminar before visiting the Can Gio Mangrove Forest.
In the evening, he will catch a flight back home to be back in time for the big day of his oldest.

Sources: Lëtzebuerger Journal, Luxembourg for Business,

Friday, November 4, 2011

European Microfinance Week

Yesterday, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa attended the official opening of the European Microfinance Week at the stunning Abbaye de Neumünster. The theme for this year's session is "Inclusive Finance for Excluded People – Microfinance refocusing on the underserved, unserved and vulnerable" while the topic of the opening event was "The changing perception of microfinance and the need for global policy efforts related to financial inclusion".

Source: Cour Grand Ducale

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Prince Guillaume Becomes Ambassador

Sometimes it does take some time until we find out about an event a member of the Grand Ducal Family has attended, especially when it comes to lesser known and lesser written about parts of the family. This time the big thank you goes to Iza for providing the information about this event Prince Guillaume attended about two weeks ago. See, he is actually one of the better covered members of the family but still it takes some time...

On October 16th, Prince Guillaume attended an event at the French embassy in Luxembourg hosted by the L'Académie Gourmande. The gourmet academy was founded in 2007 to promote good dining and regional French products, since 2010 it works on national level in France and this year they have gone international.

Hence they hosted an event at the embassy to promote the French way of gourmandising in the Grand Duchy and appointed twenty Luxembourgers (or people living in Luxembourg) as their ambassadors, Prince Guillaume was among the lucky ones.

Pictures of the event, including Guillaume wearing a chef's jacket, can be found here and one in higher quality here.


Honouring the Dead

Yesterday was All Souls, the day on which Catholics honour the deceaseds. Thus Grand Duke Henri visited the Cathédrale Notre-Dame to attend a mass and the benediction of the tombs. Unfortunately for us, he went on his own as we've seen larger royal turnouts on this day before.

The crypt of the Cathédrale is the last resting-place of the remains of John the Blind, Count of Luxembourg and King of Bohemia who died in 1346, all Luxembourgish Grand Dukes since the independence from the Netherlands in 1890, as well as many other members of the Grand Ducal Family. The last person who was intered at the crypt of Luxembourg's biggest church was the Grand Duke's mother Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte.

Another picture is available on the homepage of the cour grand-ducale.

Source: Wort