Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Goodbye And Hello

Goodbye Jeannot Krecké! After eight years of being Luxembourg's minister for the economy and foreign trade, Krecké resigned from his job. You might remember the bit of a hassle during the state visit to Vietnam last year, when it became known that the minister who accompanied the Grand Duke wanted to retire and today was his last day in office. Krecké cited personal reason for his decisions. To finalise his leave, he was received by Grand Duke Henri at the palais today. Which brings us to...

Hello Etienne Schneider! Of course, a country cannot be without a minister for the economy so Etienne Schneider was officially nominated by the Grand Duke today, among the guests at the palais was also the prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker. Naturally, the minister for the economy and foreign trade accompanies the members of the grand ducal family on economic missions, well, rather the other way round... Anyway, Schneider will be a sure guest on this blog in the future so we should get used to him as being Guillaume's new partner-in-crime (and yes, Krecké and the Hereditary Grand Duke used to call themselves that way).

A short video of Schneider and the Grand Duke can be found over at RTL and pictures of them at Tageblatt and at the cour. Manuel Dias has pictures, too.

Source: Tageblatt

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Prince Robert at Naples Winter Wine Festival

The Grand Duke's cousin and regular supporting character on this blog, Prince Robert attended the Naples Winter Wine Festival in Naples, Florida. The festival is considered the world's most successful wine auction and benefits the Naples Children & Education Foundation, whose aim it is to make a difference in the quality of children’s lives. So far about $100 million have been donated, including $600.000 in an auction for a wine package coming from the prestigious Domaine Clarence Dillon, a vineyard owned by Prince Robert and his family. Naturally that is a record bid for a wine package.

Pictures of the festival can be found here, a video including an interview with the prince from Luxembourg here.

Sources: Naples News, News Press

Monday, January 23, 2012

At Work In Brussels

Today, the Hereditary Grand Duke accompanied Luxembourg's Foreign Affairs minister Jean Asselborn to a meeting of the Foreign Affairs council at the EU Headquarters in Brussels. During the meeting it was decided that the impose a formal oil embargo and to freeze the Iranian central bank's EU accounts in order to force negotiations over the Iranian nuclear program. Other matters on the agenda included the current situations in Syria and Egypt.

Photograpic evidence and further information can be found over at Tageblatt, Wort, Belga and Daylife.

For further information on Guillaume's stay in Brussels, have a look here.

Source: Wort

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Belgian Prime Minister Visiting

While the Hereditary Grand Duke is visiting Belgium, a Belgian visited Luxembourg, mind you it wasn't just any Belgian, it was the new prime minister Elio Di Rupo. Di Rupo's appointment about a month ago ended Belgium's 589 days long streak without a government. Now he is in the Grand Duchy to meet with various politicians including the Luxembourgish prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker and this morning he was welcomed at the palais by Grand Duke Henri. A picture of the two gentlemen can be found over at the cour, a few seconds of video of the Grand Duke and his guest is available at RTL.

Sources:, Cour grand ducale

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Guillaume's Job Description

So, we weren't the only ones wondering what Guillaume actually does in Brussels and what this "working visit" is all about, the people over at Wort had the same questions and did some research. Two articles about the matter can be found over at Wort and Voix (the French version of Wort).

The first two weeks of what, in my humble opinion, would better be called internship, the Hereditary Grand Duke will spend with Viviane Reding, the Luxembourgish Vice-President of the European Commission who is the Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, and her staff. Together with them, Guillaume will take part in all the meetings and sessions that will occur during this two weeks. He will also visit the different Directorate-Generals that he will encounter while working for Madame Reding.

During his time in Brussels, everyone's favourite Hereditary Grand Duke will also meet with two other members of the European Commission, the Commissioner from Denmark Connie Hedegaard, who is responsible for Climate Action, and from Latvia Andris Piebalgs, who is in charge of Development Aid matters.

The third week, Guillaume will pass time with the permanent representation of the Grand Duchy to the Europeen Union. During this time he will take part in meetings of the COREPER (Commitee of Permanent Representatives), the commitee prepares the work of the council of the European Union.

The German version of Wort isn't shy to point out that our dear Guillaume must feel like Brussels is a second home for him as he got family in the royal palace there (Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte was a born Princess of Belgium and sister of the current and former Kings of the Belgians), one should also not forget that he has other family members living in the Belgian capital like his aunt Archduchess Marie-Astrid and as Wort kindly mentions, there is always Stéphanie... Though it made me smile a little, how they mentioned her with a lot of maybes, perhapses, possiblys and a never-ending subjunctive, after all she is only the alleged girlfriend of the heir to the Luxembourgish throne.

Sources: Europeen Commission - Viviane Reding, Connie Hedegaard, Andris Piebalgs, COREPER; Wort

Guillaume Attending A Concert

Yesterday evening, the Hereditary Grand Duke attended a gala concert at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. He joined Queen Paola of the Belgians and her daughter-in-law Princess Mathilde to listen to a concert by the soloists of the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth (Queen Elisabeth being Guillaume's paternal great-great-grandmother) and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Luxembourg.

Pictures of the three arriving to the concert and greating Guillaume's "boss" (yeah, I do think of his stay in Belgium more along the lines of a short internship than a working visit) can be found at Zimbio, Getty Images and Isopix.

Source: Cour grand ducale

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Guillaume In Brussels

Since last Monday and the upcoming weeks until February 2nd, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume will spend his time working for and thereby getting to know the Europeen Commission in Brussels. During his working visit to the executive body of the Europeen Union, the Hereditary Grand Duke will get a better insight in how the institution works. In the weeks to come, he will also pay visits to Directorates-General for justice and communication.

Guillaume was welcomed in the Belgian capital by the vice president of the Europeen Commission Viviane Reding, a picture of the two can be found over at Wort.

Tonight, Guillaume will attend a concert at the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth alongside Queen Paola of the Belgians and the Duchess of Brabant a.k.a. Princess Mathilde.

LinkSources: Cour grand ducale, Wort

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Random Tidbits

Since it was a slow news week, well, a slow news year really, a few (not so) random things about the extended grand ducal family.

Engagement news... As the newest issue of Point de Vue - Images du Monde: Spécial Mariage is letting us know, Archduke Imre, the eldest son of Archduke Carl-Christian of Austria and Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg, and his fiancée Kathleen Walker will will make their way down the aisle before his younger brother Archduke Christoph and his soon-to-be-wife Adélaïde Drapé-Frisch will tie the knot. Both weddings are scheduled to take place in 2012 though no specific dates have been published yet.

In other news... Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein, the husband of the Grand Duke's younger sister Princess Margaretha, has attended a new year's reception at Vaduz Castle in Liechtenstein on January 13th, sadly for us, his wife did not accompany him. In case you are not aware, Prince Nikolaus is the brother of the current Prince of Liechtenstein, Hans-Adam II. As a former ambassador of his home country to Belgium and current ambassador to the Holy See, Nikolaus frequently attends Liechtenstein-related events all over the world, though I wish that his yummy son and his gorgeous daughters would accompany him more often. Anyway, pictures of the new year's reception can be found at Liechtensteiner Vaterland (just click "13.01.2012 Neujahrsempfang 2012" under "Veranstaltungen") and Volksblatt.

Sources: Point de Vue - Images du Monde, Liechtensteiner Vaterland

And as every so often thank you Iza, you rock!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Introducing the Mérite Jeunesse

On Wednesday morning, Prince Guillaume introduced the students of the Lycée de Garçons to the Mérite Jeunesse, an organisation and award similiar to The Duke of Edinburgh's Award. Uncle Guillaume is the president of the organisation while his father, the Grand Duke Jean, is the patron. An article including a picture can be found over at the Lëtzebuerger Journal.

Source: Mérite Jeunesse

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Year's Audiences

Yesterday and today, a new year's audience was held each, Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and their son Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume were present for the events. For pictures have a look at the website of the cour. Among the invitees for the audiences were the prime minister and the other members of the goverment, the bureau of the chamber of deputies, the president and the members of the bureau of the state council, national authorities, representatives of the Europeen institutions and members of the foreign diplomatic missions present in the Grand Duchy, as well as the employees of the grand ducal house. Wort has a small mention of the audiences.

Source: Cour grand ducale

Monday, January 9, 2012

Princess Margaretha and Husband at Papal Audience

Today, the Pope held is traditional new year's "State of the World" speech in front of members of the diplomatic delegations accredited to the Vatican. Among those were Princess Margaretha, the younger daughter of Grand Duke Jean, and her husband Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein who is his country's non-resident ambassador to the Holy See. The two can be seen in this video around 5:10, for further information on the event and the Pope's speech have a look at this article by Vatican Radio.

Source: Video (Audience to the Diplomatic Corps) - Merci, Iza!

Fleeting Visit to France *

First of all, I hope that all of you arrived safe and sound in the new year!

Today, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa kicked off their working year with a visit to the Centre Pompidou-Metz in Metz, France. They arrived inthe morning and were welcomed at the museum for modern and contemporary arts by the French Minister of Culture and Communication Frédéric Mitterand. After touring the museum, the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess went to Scy-Chazelles to visit the Maison Robert Schuman, the former home of the famous politician Robert Schuman.

Schuman was a Luxembourgish-born French statesman and is seen as a founding father of the Europeen Union as he was very active in shaping a post-war Europe. Schuman was born as the son of a French-born father who became German when Alsace-Lorraine was annexed by the German Empire and a Luxembourgish mother who became German by marriage. He grew up in the Grand Duchy and Luxembourgish was his first language and he never lost his distinctive accent when speaking French, albeit he later got French citizenship when Alzac-Lorraine became a part of France again after the first world war. He later became a member of the French Resistance and went on to become French Minister of Finance, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and President of the European Parliamentary Assembly.

Wort has an article including a gallery of visuals of the visit. More pictures can be found at Le Républicain Lorrain, Isopix and another article at Tout Metz. A video is available over at RTL and another picture on the website of the cour.

Sources: Le Républicain Lorrain, Wikipedia