Tuesday, November 8, 2011

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 ;)

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