Monday, April 30, 2012

Princess Marie-Astrid in Belgium

Last Saturday, Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg, Archduchess of Austria accompanied her aunt Queen Fabiola of Belgium to the Palace of Academies in Brussels to honour the retiring Janos Frühling, main secretary of the Academy of Medicine. Pictures can be found here.

Source: De Standaard

Friday, April 27, 2012

Photocall at the Château de Berg

This afternoon a photocall at the residential home of the grand ducal family Château de Berg was held. Berg will also be the home to Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Countess Stephanie de Lannoy after their wedding.

The newly engaged couple, Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and Bopa Grand Duke Jean, always good to see him alive and kicking, as well as Prince Felix, Prince Louis and Princess Tessy were present. As were of course Stephanie's parents Count Philippe and Countess Alix de Lannoy.

First family pictures were taken inside the castle Stephanie wearing red and Guillaume stood behind a couch, while Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duke Jean as well as Count Philippe sat on the couch. The Grand Duchess wearing yellow and Countess Alix wearing a light shade of blue were seated armrests. I have to say that is not the world's most beautiful couch and a very beautiful room.

Another photo op was held outside on the terrace, this time the group was joined by Guillaume's brothers Felix and Louis as well as Tessy wearing a white-ish ensemble. Guillaume and Stephanie also took a stroll through the gardens, partly accompanied by umbrella carriers Felix and Louis and the lovely Princess Tessy.

In a spontaneous short interview the Hereditary Grand Duke said that he was proud and happy to introduce his countrymen to his fiancée. Countess Stephanie added that she it is with great joy for her to discover such a beautiful country as Luxembourg.

Guillaume also stated that they met at a party of mutual friends and that it was love at first sight.

I'm sure everyone wants to see the ring. This is the best picture I've found so far. It is a stunner. >>>THE RING<<<

First pictures can be found over at RTL. More pictures are available at Wort, Pressphoto, Tom Wagner, Royal Press Europe, Belga, Tageblatt and L'essentiel.

Both Wort and RTL have videos of the photocall.

Source: Wort, Tageblatt

Wedding Date Set (No, Not That One)

First of all, no we are not talking about wedding date of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and his Stephanie. Their wedding date will be announced in the weeks to come even though I think we can now take it for granted that they wont marry on September 8th as that is the day Guillaume's cousin Archduke Imre and his fiancée Kathleen Walker will tie the knot. The two will get married in the Washington D.C. area.

Source: Imre & Kathleen

Future Grand Duchess Meets High Dignitaries *

At 11:30 this morning a reception was held at the palais grand-ducal during the course of which Luxembourg's future grand duchess Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy met with high dignitaries of the country. Invited were president of the chamber Laurent Mosar, the members of the bureau of the chamber, prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker accompanied by the whole government, the state council, the German ambassador Hubertus von Morr as the dean of the diplomatic corps, the Belgian ambassador Luc Teirlinck as well as the apostolic nuncio Giacinto Berloco and archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich. Further invitees were the president of the surpreme court, the attorney general, the major of Luxembourg City Xavier Bettel, the head of the army Gaston Reinig and the head of the police forces Romain Nettgen.

Of course Stephanie herself, her future husband the Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and her future parents-in-law the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess were present at the palais.

Stephanie is wearing a white and beigge outfit and red accessories, which leads me to think that she is having a ruby engagement ring like Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte before her. She looks very lovely, as does the Grand Duchess!! First pictures can be found over at RTL and Wort.

More pictures can be found at Revue, Belga, Getty Images, PPE, Royal Press Europe, Tageblatt, L'essentiel and Eldoradio.

A video of the photocall and one of the reception are available at RTL, and another one from the daily news.

Before the official press meeting at 15:30 this afternoon, the grand ducal family and the Lannoy family will have a luncheon at the Château de Berg.

Source: Wort, RTL

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What the Media Says

Of course all kinds of media from Luxembourg and abroad reported about the engagement of the Hereditary Grand Duke and Countess Stephanie de Lannoy today.

RTL announced it in their regular evening news as well as in the French news, the French news also contain footage of Prince Guillaume in Belval and Hereditary Grand Duke in Hanover (more on that in the next couple of days).

Wort has an overview of all their articles concerning the big news, as does RTL. L'essentiel, Lëtzebuerger Journal, Le Quotidien and Tageblatt naturally also run the story. To know what your local media thinks, just use Google News, typing in "Stephanie de Lannoy" usually does the trick (in case it is news-worthy in your part of the world...). I do think it is kind of sweet that the German media is even explaining to their dear readers what a Grand Duke is.

Prince Guillaume "I am very happy"

Hereditary Grand Duke's namesake uncle Prince Guillaume visited the steel work sides in Belval this morning. The youngest son of Grand Duke Jean is a member of the board of directors of ArcelorMittal. While his work usually goes more or less unnoticed by the press, today it was even covered in RTL's evening news (French news), the engagement of his nephew and godson probably played a major role in this.
Asked what he thinks about Guillaume and Stephanie's engagement, the Prince answered that he is very, very happy. He didn't know that the engagement was to be announced on this very morning but that the family of course had known what was going on and that they are all indeed happy.

Source., RTL

Once Upon A Time... *

...there was a young girl who found her prince while studying in Switzerland and on November 7th, 1980 they got engaged. To celebrate the day, Wort has published pictures of the engagement of Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa - see here.

...there were two royal children who got married in a lavish wedding ceremony. While announcing the big news in their daily news, RTL showed coloured footage of the wedding of the last Luxembourg-Belgian couple to make their way down the aisle, Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte. Also, lots of Luxembourgers gave opinions about the husband and wife to be - have a look here.

Wedding Later This Year

Prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker has given details about the engagement of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Belgian Countess Stephanie de Lannoy:

The engagement will be celebrated by the family tomorrow morning at the Château de Berg by the two families. At 11:30 a.m. a grand reception will be held at the palais, all kinds of dignitaries from the political, social and religious worlds are invited. At 4 p.m. there will be a photocall at the Château de Berg. No official date has been set yet but it is sure that the two lovebirds will marry in the second half of the year. Looking at the engagement history of the grand ducal family, it's usually four to five months after the engagement annoucement.

A video of the announcement can be found over at Wort.

If you are living in the Grand Duchy or just have random money waiting to be spend on incredibly expensive flights lying around, you can hop over to the palais or the castles of Colmar-Berg or Fischbach to sign a congratulation and wish book during the upcoming week.

Quite a wedding year, don't you think? First Archduke Imre and Archduke Christoph, now the Hereditary Grand Duke and the year isn't even half way through...

Source: Wort

The Future Hereditary Grand Duchess

First of all, pictures of the young lady and her future husband can be found over at L'essentiel, RTL and Wort.

Countess Stéphanie Marie Claudine Christine de Lannoy was born on February 18th, 1984 in Ronse, East Flanders. Being the youngest of eight children of Count Philippe de Lannoy and Alix della Faille de Leverghem, she has four older brothers Jehan, Christian, Amaury and Olivier as well as three sisters, Nathalie, Gaëlle and Isabelle. She grew up on the family estate the Château d'Anvaing.

The Lannoys are old Belgian nobility and named after the city of Lannoy in Northern France where they reigned once upon a time; they are counts of the Holy Roman Empire. Her grandfather was lord stewart at the Belgian court.

Stephanie started schooling at the Dutch-speaking school Sancta Maria de Ronse, before moving to France for a while to attend the Collège Saint-Odile. She finished her educational training at the Institut de la Vierge Fidèle in Brussels where she graduated in 2002.

After finishing school, the moved to Moscow for a year to take language courses as well as a course about Russian literature. She also intensified studying the violin.

The fiancée of the Hereditary Grand Duke studied German philology at Louvain-la-Neuve and received her master's degree from a university in Berlin. She wrote her master's thesis about the influence of German romanticism on Russian romanticism. 

Apart from French (and probably English and Dutch), she speaks German and Russian.

She finished off her time in Berlin with an internship at the L'Agence Wallone à l'Exportation at the Belgian embassy. Since her return to Belgium, she has been working for an investment firm.

During her lifetime she has completed various journeys with the volunteers of different youth movements.

Stephanie is interested in classical music (as is Guillaume btw) and has had musical education since she has been a child. She plays the violin and piano. While she was a teenager she developed an interest in literature. She made use of her foreign language skills to read literature in their original language. She likes to swim and to ski.

Guillaume and Stephanie have known each other for a couple of years and have been dating for about two years. 

She is currently living in her family home in Brussels but that's likely to change soon.

As already mentioned the future Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie is the daughter of Count Philippe de Lannoy (*1922), son of Count Paul (1898-1980) and Princess Beatrice de Ligne (1898-1982), and Alix della Faille de Leverghem (*1941), daughter of Harold della Faille de Leverghem (1908-1994) and Madeleine de Brouchoven de Bergeyck (1912-1996). Her parents got married in July 17th, 1965 in Oelegem.

She is the youngest of eight children:
  •  Jehan (*1966) ⚭ Beatrice Spatses
    • Caroline
    • Louise
    • Antoine
    • Maxime
  • Christian (*1968) ⚭ Luisa Moreno de Porras-Isla-Fdez
    • Teresa
  • Nathalie (*1969) ⚭ John Hamilton
    • Alix
    • Antonia
    • Charlotte
    • Madeleine
  • Gaëlle (*1970)
  • Amaury (*1971)
  • Olivier (*1974) ⚭ Alice van Havre
    • Philippe
  • Isabelle (*1976) ⚭ Jean-Charles de le Court
    • Aline
    • Isaure
    • Lancelot
  • Stéphanie (*1984)

Engagement Officially Announced

The cour has announced the engagement of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy. It is not known yet, when the official engagement announcement by the couple themselves will take place.


Leurs Altesses Royales le Grand-Duc et la Grande-Duchesse, ont la très grande joie d’annoncer les fiançailles de Leur fils, Son Altesse Royale le Prince Guillaume, Grand-Duc Héritier, avec la Comtesse Stéphanie de Lannoy.
Palais, le 26 avril 2012

Translation: Their Royal Highnesses The Grand Duke and The Grand Duchess have the great joy of announcing the engagement of their son, His Royal Highness Prince Guillaume, The Hereditary Grand Duke, with Countess Stephanie de Lannoy.
The Palace, April 26, 2012

At the moment prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker is informing the government and the parliament about the news. At 10 a.m. he will hold a press conference.

More to come soon...

Source: RTL, Wort,

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Imminent Engagement?

Tageblatt is speculating that Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and his alleged girlfriend Stéphanie de Lannoy will announce their engagement this week. In fact they are stating that it will be Thursday which would indeed mean tomorrow.  So no 24 hours until we will find out the truth, thus we'll only have to wait and see if anything happens.

Back in November last year, Point de Vue reported that the Belgian comtesse is the woman of Guillaume's heart.

Source: Tageblatt

State Visit to Germany - Day Two

Today was the second day of the state visit Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and Hereditary Grand Duke are paying to Germany.

In the morning the Luxembourgish head of state met the German chancellor Angela Merkel for a bilateral dialogue at the Bundeskanzleramt. Topics of the private conversation were questions concerning Europe and the relationship between the Grand Duchy and its biggest neighbour.

Afterwards the Grand Duke joined forces with his son to make their way to Brandenburg. On the Glienicke Bridge, most famous as the the place of exchanging captured spies during the Cold War, the Grand Duke and his heir were welcomed by the minister president of the German state surrounding Berlin. Afterwards they went to to Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in order to inform themselves about strategies fighting the climate change.

While her men went all scientific, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa attended a microfinance seminar titled "Microfinance - The end of a success story?" organised by the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau. The Grand Duchess held a speech in English.

Back in Berlin, the father and son duo attended a business lunch before the Hereditary Grand Duke, together with the German minister for finance Wolfgang Schäuble and his Luxembourgish counterpart Luc Frieden, participated in a a round table discussion organised by the association of German banks after a tax treaty was signed yesterday.

In the evening a exhibition at the Deutsches Historisches Museum was openend to show the extensive treasure of silver owned by the grand ducal family. It is the first time the treasury can be seen as a whole. At this occasion the Grand Duchess held her second speech of the day, this time in German.

As always you can find pictures of the day's activities over at RTL, Daylife, Tageblatt, Wort, APA Picturedesk, RBB, Märkische Allgemeine, Getty Images, L'essentiel, Revue and Niederlausitz Aktuell. A video is available at RTL (starting 16:30), another one at ARD (starting at 05:14) and a third one by RBB (starting 0:35).

Source: RTL

Monday, April 23, 2012

State Visit to Germany - Day One

You know you are a royal from Luxembourg when you visit Germany and the media does not care, the very same media that usually goes mad about all things royal. Thus, we have to be happy about what the Luxembourgish media is offering us.

Today was the first day of the state visit the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess are paying to their neighbouring country. As always when they leave the country on official capacity, the grand ducal couple was send off with military honours at Findel Airport in Luxembourg. As soon as they crossed the border, my almost favourite part of every state visit started: The aircraft of the grand ducal couple was accompanied by fighter-interceptors through the German airspace all the way to Berlin. Always a very impressive sight.

After landing at Berlin's Tegel airport and 21 gunshots honouring the guests from Luxembourg, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa made their way to Schloss Bellevue, the official residence of the German president. At the castle they were welcomed by president Joachim Gauck and his partner, they signed the golden book and the two gentlemen inspected the troops.

Afterwards, the Grand Duke and his wife went on to meet with the mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit at the Brandenburg Gate to take some touristy pictures, before they had lunch at Schloss Charlottenburg.

Once finished lunching, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa made their way to the Neue Wache to lay down a wreath at the Central Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany for the Victims of War and Tyranny.

They went on to visit the Berlin State Library, the largest and most important academic research library in the German speaking world. At the library two cultural treaties were signed and the Grand Duke was gifted with a Mercator atlas and digitalised maps of the Luxembourg fortress.

Afterwards, Grand Duke Henri met with Norbert Lammert, president of the German parliament, at the Reichstag building for a bilateral dialogue.

In the evening a state banquet was hosted by the German president at Schloss Bellevue. This was the moment the Hereditary Grand Duke joined his parents for the state visit. The Grand Duchess wore (almost invisible) the Citrine Topaz Tiara Alexandra wore for the last National Day Gala we still haven't seen pictures of. Yeah, I'll never stop whining. Apart from that, I learned that there are even more Luxembourgers working for German TV than I already knew; is there one science show without a Luxembourgish host?!

Pictures can be found over at Tageblatt, Bildmaschine, APA Picturedesk 1, APA Picturedesk 2, Demotix 1, Demotix 2, L'essentiel, Wort, Belga, Daylife, RTL, Stadtmorgen, on the website of the government and on the website of the cour.

A video of the day's activities is available at RTL. A video meeting Berlin's mayor can be found here.

The speech of the German president held at the gala dinner can be found on his website.

Source: Wort

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Wedding And Other News

In business news... Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume took part in the opening of 2012 Global Russian Business Meeting, organised by Luxembourg for Business and Horasis, yesterday evening. During the course of the event, Guillaume held a speech.

In wedding news... Princess Sibilla attended the wedding festivities of Prince Rudolf of Liechtenstein and Tılsım Tanberk in Istanbul, which took place during the last couple of days. As Rudolf is the son of Princess Margaretha's husband Prince Nikolaus' older brother Prince Philipp and his wife Princess Isabelle, I do suspect that more Luxembourg related guests were present. A picture of Princess Sibilla at the pre-wedding dinner can be found over on the blog of Patricia della Giovampaola.

In army news... Looking at the pictures uploaded to the Flickr Stream of The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, I can spy even more guests at the Passing Out parade of Archduke Alexander and Prince Wenceslas: their aunt Princess Margaretha was there as was the head of the the Habsburg family Archduke Karl. Other guests included Alexandra Riesle, née Archduchess of Austria and sister of Archduke Carl-Christian, and Archduke Michael, son of Archduke Rudolf who is the older brother of Alexander's father.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

One Day, Two Events

Yesterday as part of the Conférence diplomatique 2012, Grand Duke Henri and Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume received the heads of the diplomatic missions and permant representatives of Luxembourg abroad at the palais. A picture is available on the website of the cour.

Later the same day, the Grand Duke also had an audience with Preneet Kaur, the Indian Minister of State for External Affairs. A picture of this event can be found on the official website as well.

Source: CGD

Upcoming State Visit Reloaded *

Best news first: the Hereditary Grand Duke will accompany his parents for their state visit to Germany next week. Additionally to the state visit, Guillaume will also be visiting another German state, namely Lower Saxony, to visit the Hannover Messe, the world's biggest industrial fair.

Apart from the already known Berlin, Potsdam and Weimar, the Luxembourgish gang will also be visiting the Thuringian cities of Jena and Erfurt.

On Monday while in Berlin, they will visit the Brandenburg Gate together with the mayor of the German capital. Afterwards, there will be a reception and lunch at Schloss Charlottenburg. In the evening, Grand Duke Henri will meet with Norbert Lammert, president of the Bundestag, the German parliament.

During the visit to Jena on Wednesday, they will visit the Fraunhofer Institute for
Applied Optics and Precision Engineering.

Source: Deutscher Bundestag, Senatskanzlei Berlin, CGD

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Upcoming State Visit to Germany

Next week, the Grand Duke and his lovely wife the Grand Duchess will pay a state visit to Germany. Not much information have been published (yet) but nevertheless I managed to dig up at least some.

On Monday (April 23rd), the new German president Joachim Gauck will welcome the grand ducal couple at Schloss Bellevue, his official residence. There will be an inspection of the troops and subsequently the guests from Luxembourg will sign the guestbook of Bellevue. In the evening of the same day, a state banquet will be held at the palace.

On the next day, Grand Duke Henri will visit Potsdam to meet with the prime minister of Brandenburg and visit the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. At 10:30 a.m. the Grand Duke will be welcomed by the prime minister on the Glienicker Brücke, a bridge between Berlin and Potsdam, for people interested in all things royal best known as being the former residence of the Prussian Kings and German Emperors or more recently the scene of the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Prussia last year. After the welcome, Grand Duke Henri will inform himself about current climate research and solution possibilities. To finish of his stay in Potsdam, he will sign yet another guestbook.
On Tuesday evening, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa will attend the opening of an exhibition titled "Silver Treasury of the Luxembourg dynasty", which was mentioned on the blog before, at the Deutsches Historisches Museum.

On Wednesday, the grand ducal couple will make their way to Weimar, a city in Thuringia. A festive lunch will be hosted by the prime minister of the state to honour the guest from Luxembourg.

Source: Bundespräsidialamt (1, 2, 3), Staatskanzlei Brandenburg, Thüringer Landtag

Rare News from Denmark

Yesterday, on the occasion of 72nd birtday Queen Margarethe of Denmark bestowed the courtesy title Kammerdame* on Silvia Munro, née Countess Holstein til Ledreborg, who was a Hofjægermester before.

What does that have to do with the grand ducal family you may rightfully ask: Silvia Munro is the fourth of seven daugthers of Princess Marie-Gabrielle of Luxembourg, one of the sisters of Grand Duke Jean, which makes the new Kammerdame a first cousin of the current Grand Duke. Born 1925 at the Château de Berg, Princess Marie-Gabrielle married Danish Roman Catholic noblemen Knud Johan Count Holstein til Ledreborg in 1951. Their daughter Silvia is now owning the Ledreborg estate.

* Kammerdame is the female version of a chamberlain.

Source: Konghuset

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Important Visitor in the Grand Duchy

Today, the current General-Secretary of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon visited Luxembourg for the first time. In the course of the day, Ban had an audience with Grand Duke Henri at the palais. Pictures can be found over at Wort, Tageblatt, Daylife and probably all over the internet.

Tonight, the grand ducal couple and their eldest while receive Ban Ki-moon and his wife for a private dinner at the Château de Berg. Edit: Pictures can now be found on the website of the cour. Only one note: Oh Gui, I wish you would just get rid of that tie.

Source: Wort

Sunday, April 15, 2012

About Holidays, Partners In Crime and More

RTL has a short report about the grand ducal couple's, Princess Alexandra's and Prince Sebastien's recent visit to Cuba.

The last blog entry about Archduke Alexander and Prince Wenceslas participating in the Sovereign's Parade has now been updated with a gallery of visuals.

Meanwhile, a few new pictures of Alex's brother Archduke Imre and his fiancée Kathleen Walker taken in the D.C. area have become available.

Tomorrow not only the Grand Duke celebrates his 57th birthday, his youngest son Sebastian will also turn 20. To mark his birthday, the cour released a statement containing something like an interview with the prince. In case you weren't aware yet, after finishing school last year, Sebastien is now studying marketing and communication at an US-American university. He describes his relationship with his parents and siblings as good though as the youngest of the family, he grew up very protected. Seb says that he sees his oldest brother Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume as an example and that, despite their a little more than ten years age difference, they are partners in crime. Gui does seem to have a lot of accomplices...

Passing Out *

Last Friday, Archduke Alexander, youngest son of Princess Marie-Astrid and husband Archduke Carl-Christian of Austria, and Prince Wenceslas, second son of Prince Jean and his former wife Helene Vestur, showed of their soldiering skills while passing out (no, that does not imply fainting) from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

In doing so they followed in the footsteps of many of their relatives. Their uncle Grand Duke Henri, Wenceslas' father Prince Jean and their cousins Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Prince Josef of Liechtenstein completed their training at Sandhurst, while Prince Felix started out but couldn't finish due to a knee injury. Also, their beloved grandfather Grand Duke Jean had military training in the United Kingdom and joint the Irish Guards to fight in World War II.

Theoretically, both Alexander and Wenceslas could now join the Luxembourgish army as they have been commissioned into Sandhurst on behalf of Luxembourg, though practically I'm not sure whether they qualify as one has to be fluent in French, German and Luxembourgish in speech and writing to join the military in the Grand Duchy.

Grand Duke Henri, Prince Louis and Princess Tessy were on hand to celebrate with Wenceslas and Alexander, as were Princess Marie-Astrid, Archduke Carl Christian, their son Archduke Christoph and his fiancée Adélaïde, and their daughter Archduchess Garbriella as well as Prince Jean and Helene Vestur with their children Princess Marie-Gabrielle and Prince Constantin. Pictures of all of them can now be found over at RTL, on the website of the cour and at Wort.

Source: RTL, CGD, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

Friday, April 13, 2012

Trade and Investment Seminar

Together with the minister for the economy and foreign trade Etienne Schneider, the Luxembourgish ambassador in Moscow and representatives of the Trade and Investment Offices, the Hereditary Grand Duke participated in a seminar yesterday. The seminar focuses on all the major interests of the Lux economy. A picture can be found over at

Source: Ministère de l'Economie et du Commerce extérieur

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Cuban Journey

Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Princess Alexandra and Prince Sebastian used the easter break to visit the Grand Duchess' native land Cuba. While the grand ducal couple stayed for two weeks, Alexandra and Sebastien went over to Carribean island for one week.

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa was born in Havanna, Cuba in 1956, but left the country only three years later at the time of the revolution. Her family settled firstly in New York City, before moving to Santander, Spain and finally to Geneva in Switzerland, the city where she met her future husband. It was only the second time that Maria Teresa visited the country since she left it as a child in 1959, the first time was about ten years ago when she visited Cuba together with her sister Catalina, one of her nieces and two of her sons, Felix and Louis.

Apart from sights like the Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón or the Iglesia de San Juan Bautista in Remedios, the family also visited the houses of the Grand Duchess' parents and grandparents.

Lovely pictures can be found over on the website of Tageblatt, more are are available on the website of Revue and on the website of Wort.

Source: Tageblatt

Monday, April 9, 2012

Good Friday at the Vatican

On Good Friday, the Grand Duke's sister Princess Margaretha and her husband Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein, his country's non-resident ambassador to the Holy See, attended the Celebration of the Lord's Passion liturgy at the St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. In this video you can see them a couple of times, for example at the very beginning. Princess Margaretha and Prince Nikolaus were also among the chosen ones to venerate the cross (starting at arond 1:57:50).

Sunday, April 8, 2012

New Pictures Take Five...

...or some such number.

Once again, the cour has updated the official website with new pictures, this time it was Prince Sebastien's turn: six pictures of him looking all grown up were added to his gallery. I know that I'm prone to complain about the ties of the boys but this time the only thing I can say is that Seb should teach his brothers a lesson or two, I love that magenta and blue coloured one.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sporty Grand Duke (and Son) *

Last weekend, Grand Duke Henri participated in the "Ischgl Heroes Challenge", a charity skiing race in Austria. The event was organised by the former Luxembourgish alpine ski racer - yes, that does exist though I admit that he was born in Austria - Marc Girardelli, a two time Olympic medalist and four time world champion.

Anyway, the sporty Grand Duke raced for the "Team Hotel Sonne" which came in third place; I do kinda like that they made Henri his last and Großherzog his given name on the staring list. When you look at the list of results, you will see that a certain "Guillaum Luxembourg" - I couldn't specify whether it was Gui or uncle Guillaume - also took part in the race for "Team Luxembourg" which came in last place, though it wasn't (whichever) Guillaume's fault as he posted the team's second best time.

In fact it is the Hereditary Grand Duke, our always attentive fellow Luxaholic Villum spotted Gui on the far right in the second picture you can find in the link below.

Alltogether the charity race and the accompanying events raised about 30.000 euros for various causes such as the S.O.S. Children's Villages, Wings for Life and the Mentor Foundation.

Photographic evidence of the sporty father and son duo skiing can be found over at Wort.

Source: Wort

Thursday, April 5, 2012

At Home and Abroad

On March 29th, the Grand Duke welcomed the permanent representatives to the United Nations who participated in a seminar titled ""Diplomacy, Development and Defense: the need for a holistic approach to the maintenance of international peace and security" in Luxembourg at the palais. For more information and a picture have a look at the Lëtzebuerger Journal, the website of the cour or

On the very same day, the Hereditary Grand Duke visited the company REKA S.A. Accompanied by Françoise Hetto-Gaasch, Luxembourg's minister for small and medium-sized businesses and tourism, he toured the graphic and production facilities. Pictures can be found on the website of the cour, Manuel Dias has an extensive gallery as well.

Also last week, Archduke Carl-Christian, the brother-in-law of the Grand Duke, visited Madeira, the place of death and burial place of the last Austrian emperor Karl, Archduke Carl-Christian's grandfather, who died 90 years ago. Many other Habsburgs like Carl-Christian's cousins Archdukes Karl and Georg gathered in Madeira to commemorate their ancestor; so I cannot exclude that his wife Princess Marie-Astrid was on the Portuguese island either and just hasn't been photographed. Pictures can be found on the blog of the Partido Popular Monárquico.

Today, Prince Jean attended a conference titled "Entrepreneuriat, savoir faire et savoir vivre : le Luxembourg à l'honneur" at the
Palais des Congrès in Paris. The conference was held on the occasion of the trade show FISCAP. For more information have a look at the program of the conference.

In other news, the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin will host an exhibition titled
"The Silver Treasury of the Luxembourg Dynasty" between April 25th and June 3rd. The exhibition will be opened on the occasion of the visit of the grand ducal couple to Germany by the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess themselves and will contain many unseen pieces; so should you be in or around the German capital at that time it's probably worth a visit.

Source: CGD, FISCAL, Deutsches Historisches Museum, PPM