Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Father and Son Out and About

An unusual pairing ventured out of the palais late this afternoon to view an exhibition titled "Literatur, Industrie, Politik" to remember the life of Emmanuel Servais by the Centre national de Littérature. Together with his eldest son Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, the Grand Duke visited the Maison Servais in Mersch today.
On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Emmanuel Servais' birth, the exhibition is remembering the contribution of members of the family of the former Luxembourgish prime minister, president of the council of state, mayor of the city of Luxembourg and president of the chamber of deputies made to politics, literature and the industry of the Grand Duchy.

Galleries of photographic evidence of the father and son duo out and about can be found over at Tageblatt and the cour.

Source: CGD, CNL, Wikipedia

Hereditary Grand Duke Touring Company

Accompanied by Luxembourg's new minister for the economy and foreign trade Etienne Schneider, the Hereditary Grand Duke visited the Köhl AG, a company active in the fields of Electrical Engineering, Systems Technology, Plant Engineering and Robot Systems. During his visit Guillaume toured the production facilities of the company, wonder what the Hereditary Grand Duke and his new partner in crime are trying to tell us with their hands...

Articles including pictures about the visit can be found at Tageblatt and Lëtzebuerger Journal, another gallery of pictures is available on the website of the cour.

Source: Köhl AG, Tageblatt

Monday, February 27, 2012

Thanking Red Cross Volunteers

This afternoon, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa welcomed more than 70 volunteers working for the Red Cross, who have been active for more than 30 years, to thank them for their commitment at the palais. The Grand Duchess, who is the president of the Croix-Rouge luxembourgeoise, thank everyone of the volunteers individually and handed over signed pictures.

Pictures of the event can be found on the website of the cour grand ducale, on the website of Manuel Dias and on the website of Tageblatt. The Lëtzebuerger Journal has an article about it.

Source: CGD

More About the Weilburg Visit

Here we go again because by Luxembourg standards, there is an immense coverage about the visit the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess paid to the small German town of Weilburg an der Lahn last Saturday.

An article including an extensive gallery of visuals can be found at the Weilburger Nachrichten, the Nassauische Neue Presse also has an article. has an article including pictures and three videos; one about the day in general plus two interviews with the mayor of Weilburg Hans-Peter Schick and a member of the Bürgergarde. The English version of Wort does have an article as well.
Of course, the cour grand ducale also joined in with a mention and a picture gallery of the visit.
RTL covered the visit more extensively in yesterday's news programm (starting at 03:26), the preview is available, too. The video includes interviews with both the Grand Duchess and the Grand Duke.
A transcript of the speech Hans-Peter Schick, the mayor of Weilburg, gave in front of the new statue of Grand Duke Adolphe can be found here.

And because I was in the mood I shared another two of my visuals from Saturday ;)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

(Not Only) The Grand Ducal Couple In Weilburg

Guess who was in Weilburg an der Lahn to see her future in-laws the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess today!? Indeed moi.

I arrived in the small Hessian town of Weilburg (Germany) at around quarter to ten and then made my way to the town square were the grand ducal couple was expected to arrive at 10:30 a.m. In the end they were about eight minutes late but the wait was worth it.

After the guests from Luxembourg arrived, they were greeted by the mayor of the town and the colonel of the vigilantes. Together with him, the Grand Duke inspected the Weilburger Bürgergarde that will celebrate its 200th anniversary next year. Today the society is solely traditional. It was founded in 1813 when William, Duke of Nassau (the father of Grand Duke Adolphe) married Princess Louise of Saxe-Hildburghausen.

After the inspection of the Bürgergarde the grand ducal couple, their hosts as well as all the onlookers proceded into the castle church for a short service held in honour of Großherzog Wilhelm IV / Grand Duc Guillaume IV / Groussherzog Wëllem IV / Grand Duke William IV who died today exactly one hundred years ago.

During the mass, which was held in German and in protestant rite, the grand ducal couple paid a visit to the crypt of the church were both Grand Duke Adolphe and Grand Duke Wilhelm IV are laid to rest. In fact it is an exterritorial territory of the Grand Duchy, so yes, I made an about two minute long visit to Luxembourg today, as the crypt was also open to the general public while the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess visited the "Fürstenloge", the traditional seating place of the (then) ducal family during religious services. I thought it was a very nice gesture of the Grand Duchess to lay down the small bouquet of flowers she received when she arrived in front of the coffin of Grand Duke Guillaume IV. I'm horrible at deciding which version of his name I prefer... Anyway, they also laid down wreaths in the crypt.

But the 100th anniversary of the death of Grand Duke Henri's great grandfather wasn't the only reason he and his lovely wife visited Weilburg today. From the church they went to the castle square by foot where they, well the Grand Duke, also unveiled a statue of his great great grandfather Grand Duke Adolphe.

Afterwards a reception was held at the Komödienhaus and they had lunch at a hotel.

My overall impression of the grand ducal couple was very nice. Grand Duchess Maria Teresa looked every inch a Grand Duchess and she has a special aura around her that makes you notice her instantly. The Grand Duke was very nice and seemed to have fun in Weilburg, he was all smiles. Both of them, but especially Grand Duke Henri, seemed very approachable and warm when meeting people.

For more details, have a look at the LAF.

As the vigilantes are celebrating their 200th anniversary next year and the Grand Duke is officially the head, I thought it might be a nice idea to send my future husband my future brother-in-law my future cousin-in-law the Hereditary Grand Duke along to represent his father for the celebrations. I wouldn't mind Felix either. Or the grand ducal couple again. While we are at it, the whole family should come ;)

Articles and picture galleries of the visit can be found at Wort, Wort, RTN and Tageblatt. Videos at RTL (starting 05:20) and HR (scroll down and click "Luxemburger Großherzog zu Besuch in Weilburg"); usually, the videos there are available for seven days. I recommend to watch the second video as it is longer and includes an interview (in German) with the Grand Duke.

Source: Me

Pictures may not be reproduced without my permission.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

New Ambassadors

On February 2nd, the new non-resident ambassador of the Maledives to the Grand Duchy Ali Hussain Didi presented his credentials to the Grand Duke during a private audience. Likewise, on February 12th, the new ambassador from Uzbekistan Bakhtiyar Gulyamov handed over his letter of credence to Grand Duke Henri.

Sources: Haama Daily, UzDaily, Trend

Friday, February 17, 2012

Long Time No See

It has been a couple of months since we last saw Grand Duke Jean out and about, so it was a pleasant surprise to see him meeting with René Steichen, president of Les amis du château de Vianden and the organisation's secretary, Paul Hoffmann yesterday. During their get-together, the three gentlemen talked about the pending application of the city and the stunning Château de Vianden to be listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A picture of the audience can be found over on the website of the cour.

The château has quite a rich history: the first parts were build in the 10th century with romanesque, gotic and renaissance parts added later on. It played a major role during the Battle of Vianden in 1944 when 30 members of the Luxembourgish resistance managed to defend the city against 250 men strong force of the Waffen-SS. Heavily destroyed during the Second World War, the château belonged to the grand ducal family until 1977 when Grand Duke Jean sold it to the state. Since then it has been restored and is now open to visitors.

Source: CGD, Moi

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Remembering The Deceased

Today, a eucharist celebration dedicated to the memory of the departed members of the Belgian royal family took place at the Onze Lieve Vrouw-church in Laeken, a suburb of Brussels in which the official home of the Belgian royal family is situated.

Almost the complete family of King Albert II of the Belgians was at hand for the mess, including his two Luxembourgish nieces, daughters of his sister Josephine-Charlotte: Belgian-based Princess Marie-Astrid and her husband Archduke Carl Christian of Austria as well as Princess Margaretha who made her way from Liechtenstein accompanying her aunt Queen Fabiola to the event. In fact Princess Margaretha, who lives in Liechtenstein after the resignation of her husband as Liechtenstein's ambassador in Belgium, still spends a lot of time in Brussels for meetings and such.

More pictures of the event are available at PPE, Daylife, GettyImages, Isopix and Belga.

Source: PPE, The University News

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Another Audience For The Grand Duke

Today it was time for the Grand Duke to welcome Miroslava Němcová at the palais grand ducale. Since 2010 Misses Němcová is the speaker of the chamber of deputies of the parliament of the Czech Republic and currently visiting Luxembourg. A picture of Grand Duke Henri and his guests can be found over on the website of the cour.

Source: CGD

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Back To The Roots

On February 25th, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa will visit the German town of Weilburg to honour the Grand Duke's ancestors. Their are two ceremonial occasions for their visit to the small town in Hesse: on the one hand the 100th anniversary of the death of Grand Duke Wilhelm IV or Guillaume IV, it depends whether you prefer the German or French version of his name, and on the other hand the unveiling of a statue of Grand Duke Adolphe, Wilhelm's father.

[Caution, history lesson ahead!] As you may know, Henri is not only the Grand Duke of Luxembourg but also the titular Duke of Nassau. Since a couple of years the grand ducal family bears the last name de Nassau, before it was only Nassau. The branch of the House of Nassau the grand ducal family descends from is the Nassau-Weilburg line, though only through a female ancestor, namely Grand Duchess Charlotte.

As the name says it, the House of Nassau-Weilburg is named after the little Hessian town and members of the family ruled the Duchy of Nassau until 1866 when it was annexed by Prussia. In 1890 the former Dukes of Nassau became Grand Dukes of Luxembourg after Wilhelm III, who was both King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg as well as head of the House of Orange-Nassau, failed to produce a male heir. His daughter Wilhelma became Queen of the Netherlands while the Grand Duchy was inherited by the distantly related Nassau-Weilburg family, due to different succession laws in the two countries: a case of salic law in Luxembourg versus semi-salic law in the Netherlands, meaning that in Luxembourg only females could ascend when the male line was totally extinct which it wasn't at the time.

In fact the male line of the House of Nassau became extinct exactly one hundred years ago when Grand Duke Wilhelm IV died. He had six daughters, among them two future Grand Duchesses, Marie-Adélaïde and Charlotte. So that his daughters could inherit the throne, Wilhelm declared the only male heir Count Georg Nikolaus of Merenberg, son of Prince Nikolaus of Nassau and his morganatic wife Natalia Pushkina, the daughter of Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, and his family to be non-dynastic.

Thus, Marie-Adélaïde inherited the throne aged 17 when her father died in 1912, for four months her mother acted as a regent. She was the first ruler of Luxembourg since about 700 years who was actually born in the Grand Duchy. After the first world war, Grand Duchess Marie-Adélaïde abdicated as she was highly unpopular because she was perceived as pro-German. In 1919, her sister Charlotte ascended to the throne and the same year more than 77% of Luxembourgers voted for a continuation of the monarchy under Charlotte. In the following years and especially during the second world war she became highly popular among her subjects and remained so until her death in 1985.

Grand Duke Henri is the sixth Grand Duke of Luxembourg coming from the House of Nassau-Weilburg, he predessors are Grand Duke Adolphe, Grand Duke Wilhelm IV, Grand Duchess Marie-Adélaïde, his grandmother Grand Duchess Charlotte and his father Grand Duke Jean. In fact he is only a cognatic descendant of the House of Nassau-Weilburg while agnatically he descends from the House of Bourbon-Parma through his grandfather Prince Félix of Bourbon-Parma.
This sometimes leads to a bit of confusion and the family is often called House of Nassau arisen from Bourbon-Parma or something similar, though they are not solely Bourbon-Parmas as the constitution of the Grand Duchy states that the head of states come from the House of Nassau so they have to be Nassaus. [Enough history for today.]

To kick off their one day stay in Weilburg, the grand ducal couple will be welcomed in the marketplace by the mayor before they inspect a guard of honour of the vigilante group of Nassau. Afterwards the guests from Luxembourg will make their way to Weilburg castle to take part in a mass in the church of the castle for Grand Duke Wilkelm IV, who died on February 25th, 1912. Interestingly, the crypt of the castle church is a Luxembourgish exclave. Shortly after the official program will continue in front of the mining and city museum to unveil a statue of Grand Duke Adolphe, before it ends with a visit to the auditorium of the Komödienhaus.

Source:, Me

Ukrainian Parliament Chairman Visiting

Today, Grand Duke Henri received the president of the Verkhovna Rada or simply the Ukrainian parliament Volodymyr Mikhailovich Lytvyn at the palais. Mr Lytvin is currently on a working visit the Grand Duchy. The cour has a picture of the two gentlemen.

Source: CGD

Friday, February 10, 2012

Grand Duchess Visits Prison

Together with Luxembourg's Minister for Justice François Biltgen, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa visited the Centre pénitentiaire in Givenich, an open prison in the east of the country. Some of the detainees only sleep in the prison while they spend the day at their regular work, while others work on the former estate. The prison aims to help people to rehabilitate into society.

Articles about the visit including pictures can be found at Tageblatt, Wort, Lëtzebuerger Journal, MyWort and Wort, while RTL has a video.

Source: Tageblatt

Incoming Dutch State Visit

Last October it became known that the Dutch Queen is planning a state visit to the Grand Duchy, today the cour has released the exact dates. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands will pay a visit to Luxembourg between March 20th and 22nd, the exact programme has not been revealed yet.

It will probably be a walk down the memory lane for the Queen as for the very first state visit in her new position she went to? You guessed it, Luxembourg! Together with her late husband Prince Claus she visited the Grand Duchy in 1981. Apart from King Albert of the Belgians, Queen Beatrix was the only foreign head of state present for the enthronement of Grand Duke Henri, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg form the famous Benelux states.

Source: RTL

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Second Day Of Economy Days

Looking good as ever, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume attended the second day of the "Economy Days 2012", a conference focusing on the business prospects of Luxembourg and its neighbouring regions. Today's event revolved around a speech by Luxembourg's new minister for the economy and foreign trade Etienne Schneider which was his first official speech in his new commission.

The always awesome Manuel Dias has many photographs of today as well as yesterday, Wort another one plus an article of today.Videos can be found over at RTL, the first one starting at 0:23 and the second one starting at 07:36 and a few seconds more at 09:29.

Source: RTL

Back In Luxembourg

The Hereditary Grand Duke is back from his Belgian adventures and on duty again in the Grand Duchy. Yesterday he attended the first day of a two day conference titled "Economy Days 2012". The conference focuses on promoting and developing business and economy in Luxembourg and the Greater Region, a term used to describe Luxembourg and the neighbouring Saarland, Lorraine, Rhineland-Palatinate, Wallonia, as well as the French Community and the German-speaking Community of Belgium. On the first day Claude Wiseler, Minister of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, gave a speech about land use planning and sector plans.

For pictures of the event, have a look at Tageblatt and the website of the cour.

Guillaume will also be present for the second day of the conference.

Sources: Tageblatt, SaarLorLux

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Prince Jean Attends Conference

Rare royal sighting alarm! Every once in a while we do find information about members of the grand ducal family who usually fly under the press radar. As you may know Prince Jean is the president of the CCBL, the Chamber of Commerce of Belgium and Luxembourg in France, and this capacity he attened the Soirée des Voeux 2012, an event marking the beginning of the new year, on January 24th.

In fact the CCBL brought out an even rarer royal sighting about six months ago. Venture over to the website of the chamber of commerce and have a look at the pictures of June 6th and in case you are an attentive observer, you have noticed by now that Prince Constantin accompanied his father for the summer soiree. What a delight! Who can we petition to make this happen more often? And while we are at it, can Connie please bring Wenceslas? And Carl? And I wouldn't mind Marie-Gabrielle either!

Source: CCBL

Grand Duchess Out And About *

Time to catch up on the latest events of Grand Duchess Maria Teresa...

On February 1st, the Grand Duchess held an audience at the palais to honour Fikirte Dereje, an orphaned student originating from Africa currently living in a children's home in Luxembourg. Still a young woman, Fikirte Dereje had to flee twice in her life due to political reasons. Together with her family she fled from Eritrea to Ethiopia, later at the age of twelve she had to leave her new country, during her second flight she lost her family. With the help of artist René Wiroth, she produced a scultpture picturing her missing mother, which was financed by the Fondation du Grand-Duc et de la Grand-Duchesse. During the audience it was presented to the public.
For more information have a look at the website of the cour grand ducale, they also have pictures as does the Fondation du Grand-Duc et de la Grand-Duchesse and Manuel Dias.

Yesterday evening Grand Duchess Maria Teresa attended a conference titled "Stop aux Mutilations Génitales Féminines" focusing on the issue of the horrible practice of female genital mutilation. Organised by the Foundation Follereau Luxembourg, the event was also attended by the author of the book "Desert Flower", human rights activist and former Somali supermodel Waris Dirie. Wort has an article including a picture of the conference, as do the Lëtzebuerger Journal and the cour.

Source: Cour grand ducale, FFL

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

News From Belgium

The Hereditary Grand Duke is still busy in Brussels. Today, he met the president of the European Council Herman van Rompuy prior to a working session at the EU headquarters. I don't know why they met (well, because of Guillaume's internship but no specific info) or what they talked about but they definitely had fun while doing so. And just because I can't find any information, I'll just assail you with visuals, so have a look at Getty Images, Daylife, Newscom (typing in "Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume 1 February 2012" will do the trick), Isopix, APA Picturedesk, Belga and if that's not enough, RTL has a video.

Source: Daylife