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.

1 comment:

  1. Great piece! Thanks so much for giving us a lovely first hand report! It is wonderful to hear about how warm and lively The Grand Duke is in person.