Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Engagement Pictures

As rumoured before, there were many more pictures taken at the double engagement party of Archduke Imre and his future wife Katie Walker and Archduke Christophe and his future wife Adélaïde Drapé-Frisch. They were taken by Jean-Claude Ernst for Luxpress and the first of them can be found on the website of Revue.

As mentioned in an earlier post, there was an engagement party that was attended by four of the Luxembourgish cousins Alexandra, Felix, Louis and Sebastien, as well as Queen Fabiola of Belgium and various family members like Princess Margaretha and her daughter Marie-Astrid or Princes Carl and Constantin, two of the sons of Prince Jean, plus many other Habsburgs.

But pictures of all those family members weren't the only treasures we got... The first official pictures of little Léopold, the young son of Archduchess Marie-Christine, Imre's and Christoph's older sister, and Count Rodolphe of Limburg-Stirum, were released. In the first picture you can see Léopold Menno Philippe Gabriel François-Xavier Marie Joseph Ghislain with his parents and grandparents, in the second one with his aunt and godmother Archduchess Gabriella, the other being his paternal uncle Count Philippe of Limburg-Stirum.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas

Yes, that is the palais. Yes, that is a guard of the Lëtzebuerger Arméi. And yes, those are nine Santa Clauses. It happened sometime last week and thankfully they are quite relaxed over in the Grand Duchy as even the guards started to laugh when nine Santa Clauses started to march with them... And they made it onto the blog to wish you a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, whichever you prefer.

On Christmas Eve the Grand Duke held his annual Christmas speech to wish his subjects in his own, the name of his wife, his father and his children Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year. The video of the speech can be found over at RTL, pictures are available on the website of the cour, as are transcripts of the speech in Luxembourgish and French, for a google ghetto translation just click here. Articles about the speech can be found at Wort, Tageblatt and Lëtzebuerger Journal.

Source: Wort, Cour Grand Ducale

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Grand Duke Attends Funeral in Prague

Earlier today, the Grand Duke attended the state funeral of the former Czech president and poet Václav Havel in Prague. Havel died on last Sunday after a long illness.

Pictures and videos can be found at all the photo agencies, newspapers and probably on the website of the world's broadcasting companies.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Double Engagement Announced!! ***

Yesterday in Brussles, the two eldest sons of Archduke Carl-Christian of Austria and his wife Archduchess Marie-Astrid (nee Princess of Luxembourg) announced their engagements.

Archduke Imre is engaged to Kathleen Walker a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. In 2008, she graduated cum laude from Northern Kentucky University with a degree in journalism and political science. She is the communications director for the Catholic Charities of the Arlington Virginia Diocese and is a member of the board of the Catholic Business Network of Northern Virginia. If you google her you will find quite a bit of information, as she is a prominent Pro-Life activist. The Archduke and Miss Walker met in October 2010.

Archduke Christoph has finally made his long expected engagement to 22 year old Adélaïde Drapé-Frisch official. Adélaïde is a graduate of the International School of Belgrade, Serbia and Institut Philanthropos in Fribourg, Switzerland. She is the daughter of Philippe Drapé-Frisch, a French diplomat assigned to the embassy in Saudi Arabia, and his wife Odile. The Archduke and Mlle. Drapé-Frisch have known each other since at least 2007.

Among the notable guests present for the announcement were prominent relatives of the Archdukes'; their paternal grandmother Archduchess Yolande, born Princess of Ligne; their great aunt, Queen Fabiola of Belgium; their maternal aunt, Princess Margaretha and her daughter Princess Marie-Astrid of Liechtenstein. Their paternal uncle Archduke Rudolf was accompanied by his wife, Archduchess Helene. Several their children were also recognizable from the photographs; Archduchess Pricilla, Archduke Franz Ludwig, Archduke Michael and Archduke Carl-Christian along with his wife Archduchess Estelle. Their Luxembourgish cousins Princess Alexandra, Prince Felix, Prince Louis, Prince Sebastien, Prince Carl, and Prince Constantin were in attendance. The bridegrooms siblings Archduke Alexander, Archduchess Gabriella and Archduchess Marie-Christine, who was accompanied by her husband Count Rodolphe and their son Count Leopold de Limburg-Stirum, were on hand to celebrate the momentous occasion.

Revue has published a few additional photos. For additional information about the couples and their short term plans I recommend visiting Stéphan Bern's website (you may have to go a few pages back in the news section).

Both ladies appear to have been given sapphire and diamond
engagement rings very similar to the one their father presented to their mother.

My fellow Luxaholics and I hope that both couples are blessed with happy unions.

We'll keep you posted as information and photos continue to become available.

Please don't send me messages about the grammatical mess of a paragraph where I listed the names of the relatives present. :)

Source: Tageblatt, Revue

Friday, December 16, 2011

Requiem for Princess Elisabeth

Yesterday, a requiem for Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Hohenburg was held at the Église Saint-Michel in Luxembourg City.

Princess Elisabeth was the sister of Grand Duke Jean and died at Château de Fischbach on November 22nd. She was laid to rest on December 3rd at the Castle of Artstetten in Austria, the home of her family.

The requiem mass was attended by Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla. In case you are not familiar with the extended grand ducal family, the lady between the Grand Duchess and the Hereditary Grand Duke is Princess Alix of Luxembourg, Dowager Princess of Ligne, a sister of Princess Elisabeth and Grand Duke Jean who apparently wasn't there, which stands in difference to what was announced by the cour earlier on.

More pictures can be found on the website of Tom Wagner, of the cour and at Tageblatt. RTL had a short report during yesterday's news program (starting at 21:45).

Sources: Tom Wagner, Tageblatt

Thursday, December 15, 2011

An Audience And An Anniversary

Yesterday was a two engagement day for the Grand Duke. First off, he welcomed Victor F. Rashnikov at the palais for an audience. Prior to the meeting with Grand Duke Henri Mr. Rashnikov was sworn in as the Honorary Consul of Luxembourg in the Chelyabinsk of the Russian Federation. The cour has a mention and a photo of the audience, Tageblatt an article and the same photo. Later the same day, Grand Duke Henri attended the 50th anniversary celebration of the Union Luxembourgeoise des Consommateurs, the union for consumer protection. An article including photographs can be found on the website of the Lëtzebuerger Journal.

Sources: Cour Grand Ducale, Lëtzebuerger Journal, Tageblatt

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Grand Duke Expresses His Condolences

Grand Duke Henri sent a letter of sympathy to the King of the Belgians yesterday afternoon to express his condolences after the grenade and gun attack that took place in Liège and killed five people and injured many more.

The full wording of the letter can be found over at RTL and Wort also has a mention of it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Félix Attends Mass In The Vatican

Yesterday, Prince Félix attended a mass in the Vatican which celebrated the feast day for Our Lady of Guadalupe and also commemorated the bicentennial Latin American nations' independence. During the mass the Pope announced that he will visit Mexico and Cuba next year. As Félix lives and studies in Rome, it is safe to assume that he attends services in the Vatican regularly and that this is one of the rare times we see him doing it.

A short video of the mass can be found over at Rome Reports, Félix can be seen for a couple of seconds starting at 0:19.

Source: Rome Reports

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The King's Dinner

Today, the traditional day after King's dinner at the Royal Palace in Stockholm for this year's Nobel Laureates was held. As mentioned before, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa were among the guests.

The first pictures are available over at ANP, as I have no clue how to link the search I have done correctly just type "Nobel Dinner Sweden Royal Palace 2011" into the search box or simply copy and paste, in case you like the easier way, have a look at Belga. Bunte has pictures without watermarks on their frontpage.

The official website also has a mention of the Nobel festivities.

The Grand Duchess wore a golden evening gown, the Swedish Royal Order of the Seraphim and the Chaumet Diamond and Pearl Tiara that can also be worn as a choker, thus it is sometimes called Diamond and Pearl Choker Tiara. I give her a thumbs up for not wearing her hair down, which she has been so very prone to when wearing a tiara during the last couple of months or even years. Unfortunately, there are no close-ups available at the moment so no further judgement of the tiara and hair... The dress is nice though I can't help but think that I have seen that wrap/shawl/light jacket-like thing on her before.

No need really to say anything about the Grand Duke as he looked like he always does - very attractive.

I thought it was a nice touch that not only the Grand Duke wore the badge of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau in addition to the Royal Order of the Seraphim but also the King and Queen of Sweden opted to do so.

Nobel Prize Award Ceremony

Here we go, part one of our coverage of the Nobel Prize festivities. As you have probably overheard by now as it was mentioned a couple of times on the blog and a lot of other places, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa attended this year's Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm.

Interestingly, Luxembourg born scientist and one of this year's winners Jules Hoffmann said in an interview shown during today's coverage that he does not think that the Grand Ducal couple is there because of him. So should you ever read this Mister Hoffmann or should anyone of you ever happen to meet him by chance, tell him that they were in fact in Stockholm because of him, and not because they are related. Anyways, I suppose it does factor in that the Grand Ducal couple does seem to get along very well with the King and the Queen of Sweden.

As I did not watch the entire broadcasting, I can only rely on what I have heard: During the award ceremony itself the Grand Duke and Duchess were largely ignored by the TV cameras. They were seated next to Princess Christina, Mrs. Magnusson, the sister of King Carl XVI. Gustav. When I chipped in sometime during the dinner, both the Grand Duke and Duchess were shown a few times.

If you are, just like me, interested in fashion and all things sparkly, have a look at the lovely OoS as I only give you a rundown of what Grand Duchess Maria Teresa wore. First off, the Grand Duke looked dashing as always. Well, one does not really expect anything else as he kind of is the ageless wonder from Luxembourg, isn't he?!

The Grand Duchess wore the same red Elie Saab gown she wore for Will and Kate's pre-wedding dinner party back in April. She has the same dress in mint and also a few similar looking dresses from a couple of years ago and I like all of them. Though this red number is my favourite of all those dresses as the colour looks gorgeous on the Maria Teresa, alas non of the dresses was designed to go with a sash and it looks kind of awkward.

And I do have to agree with the OoS and a lot of people who said it, it looks (not just) a wee bit Christmasy together with the Chaumet Cabochon Emerald Tiara; yes, I do understand when you think of wonderwoman when you see it, though I like it better since today as I saw it in action, it really sparkles; and the Emerald Necklace/Bracelet Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte inherited from her mother Queen Astrid. I know christmas is just two weeks away but it is still too early for that (says someone who went to the christmas market today...).

And, I am not a fan of always wearing your hair straight with your tiara, sometimes it can look good but this time... I wished the Grand Duchess would have asked the lovely ladies from Sweden for the phone number of their hairdresser as Queen Silvia and Crown Princess Victoria (and Princess Madeleine who wasn't in Stockholm today) have about the best tiara hair out there. If anything, the Grand Duchess is the living proof that a successful tiara appearance is the result of a symbiosis between the tiara itself, its positioning and the hair, in this case, I am sorry to say, it resulted in a hopeless fail. Well, it's not too late; please, just call the Swedish hairdresser for tomorrow, Your Royal Highness, cause everyone gets another chance at the day after King's dinner ;)

More pictures are available at Zimbio, Daylife, GettyImages, Belga and basically all over the internet. Just go to whichever photo agency you prefer and tip in Nobel Prize 2011 + Luxembourg and the goodies should pop up. You can rewatch the ceremony and the dinner over at SVT. For example, in the video called "Nobel 2011: Banketten, del 1 av 5" at about 12:00 the guests of honour arrive including the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess. You can see them a couple of times afterwards as well.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

How To Watch The Nobel Festivities

Tonight is the big day for this year's Nobel laureates and it is also a big day for us Lux lovers as we get the chance to see some bling bling, (a) gorgeous gown(s) and a dashing Grand Duke. In case you have missed it: as one of the laureates comes from Luxembourg, the King and Queen of Sweden decided to invite their peers from the Grand Duchy for tonight's gala and dinner, as well as tomorrow's dinner.

During tonight's dinner Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa will be seated at the Table of Honour which is actually not too surprising. The Grand Duchess will be seated between the Speaker of the Swedish Parliament Per Westerberg and Dr. h.c. Marcus Storch, the Chairman of the Board of the Nobel Foundation, while the Grand Duke will find his seat between Mrs Gunilla Storch and Dr. Jenny Gordon. In case you feel in urge to see the whole Table of Honour, just have a look here.

And finally to the most important part how you can watch it. The ceremony and usually also the dinner will be streamed live on the website of the Nobel Prize. In case you are interested, you can also watch how the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo around midday. The Swedish TV station SVT also broadcasts tonight's events, be prepared to not be able to watch SVT when you are outside of Sweden but I am not entirely sure about that. You will be most definetely be able to watch it on the Nobel website anyway.

Have fun watching!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Reception At The Palace And A Concert

Yesterday afternoon, the Grand Duke, the Grand Duchess and the Hereditary Grand Duke held a reception at the palais for members of the Luxembourgish army and members of the Grand Ducal police who took part in humanitarian aid missions and/or peacekeeping missions and their families.

It is interesting to note that not only the military in Luxembourg is operating under the name of the reigning Grand Duke but that the same applies to the police as they are also under the ultimate control of the head of state. That is one of the reasons why the police also takes part in the military parade on National Day that celebrates the official birthday of the Grand Duke.

A gallery of pictures of the reception is available at the official website of the cour grand ducale.

In the evening, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa was scheduled to attend a christmas concert benefitting the SOS Children's Villages. So far no pictures have surfaced of this second event.

Sources: Cour Grand Ducale, Cour Grand Ducale

Thursday, December 8, 2011

New Jordanian Ambassador

Jordan's new ambassador to the Grand Duchy Montaser Al Zoubi has presented a copy of his credentials to Grand Duke Henri. During the audience, the new ambassador conveyed the regards of King Abdullah II to the Grand Duke, who then asked Mr Al Zoubi to convey his regards to the King and wished the Jordanian people and government further progress and prosperity.

In other news: the post about Guillaume's dinner with the International Chambers of Commerce is now updated with a few more links to picture galleries.

Source: Jordan News Agency

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Grand Ducal Family At Work *

On Monday, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume visited Ceratizit, one of the world's leading manufacturer's for hard material products, where he toured the productions sheds. Pictures and articles about the visit can be found at the cour, paperJam and MyWort.

On the very same day, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa attended the closing ceremony of the European Year of Voluntary Work. After a presentation of different project the Grand Ducal couple awarded this year's Prix du Mérite du Bénévolat. The cour and the Ministère de la Famille et de l'Intégration both have pictures of the event.

Yesterday, Grand Duke Henri welcomed Stéphane Abrial at the palais. Abrial is the Commander of Allied Command Transformation, one of the two NATO strategic commands. A picture of the two gentlemen is available over at the cour.

Today it was time for yet another audience, thus the Grand Duke welcomed members of the Order of Architects and Consulting Engineers at the palace. A picture can be found on the official website of the cour.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Grand Ducal Couple To Attend Nobel Festivities

When you look at the agenda of the Grand Duke, the Grand Duchess and the Hereditary Grand Duke, you will see that a busy week lies ahead of them. I count eight events today and on the three days to come. The events that I am most looking forward to await us on the upcoming weekend.

In case you are a regular follower of European royalty or you are simply following the news, you will know that the Nobel Prizes in five different categories will be awarded this week. While the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony will be held in Norway, the other four will be awarded in the Swedish capital Stockholm.

This year's Nobel Prize in Medicine went to a group of three scientists, among them Luxembourgish-born Jules Hoffmann, who is now a French citizen because he had to give up his original and take up the French nationality when he entered civil service in France in 1970. Apparently, he still considers himself to be Luxembourgish. Thus, the head of state of Hoffmann's home country and his lovely wife got an invitation from the King and the Queen of Sweden to join them to be present for Hoffmann's big day.
Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa will be in Stockholm on next Saturday for the award ceremony and the following banquet, on Sunday they will attend the King's dinner for the Nobel Laureates at the royal palace in Stockholm. For the Swedish royal ladies both events include tiaras so I assume that we will also see a bit of bling bling on the head of the Grand Duchess.

Source: Cour Grand Ducale

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Guillaume Thanked For His Help and Commitment

On Friday the Office du Ducroire Luxembourg, ODL or simply Luxembourg Export Credit Agency celebrated its 50th anniversary and the Hereditary Grand Duke was at hand to celebrate with them. The ODL is a public institution, insuring the exporter’s risks linked to international business transactions and investments abroad and is generally backed by the state. In the past they mainly helped various Luxembourgish companies to break into rather unknown markets by insuring that they would get money even if their clients are unexpectedly not able to pay them for their work.

During his speech Luxembourg's Minister for the Economy and Foreign Trade Jeannot Krecké thanked Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume publicly for his active and effective help as well as his dedicated commitment on business trips and economic missions.

An extensive article on the matter can be found in the Lëtzebuerger Journal.

Sources: ODL, Lëtzebuerger Journal