Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Last Week

On Thursday last week, Grand Duke Henri went hiking to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the natur & ëmwelt / Fondation Hëllef fir d'Natur that promotes the preservation of nature in the Grand Duchy. Together with a group of ministers and other officials the Grand Duke hiked through south eastern Luxembourg, namely around the Canecher Wéngertsbierg. Pictures of the Grand Duke's adventures can be found over at Wort, the cour and on the website of the foundation.

In the evening of the very same day, the Grand Duke and his daughter Princess Alexandra attended a concert by Les Arts Florissants, a baroque musical ensemble. The French musicians gave a performance on the occassion of the world famous dancing procession of Echternach which took place today. Held annually on Whit Tuesday, the dancing procession is part of the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and last of its kind in Europe.

On Friday, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa visited the Haff Ditgesbaach, therapeutical workshops for people with emotional disturbance or illness, in Ettelbruck. For more information and a pictures have a look at this article by Wort. The cour now offers a gallery of visuals as well.

Source: Wort, Cour grand ducal

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Grand Duke Meets China's Number Two

Today, Grand Duke Henri received Wu Bangguo at the palais. Mr. Wu is the current chairman and party secretary of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China and currently on a state visit to the Grand Duchy. The cour offers a visual of the two gentlemen.

Source: CGD

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

First Official Engagement Abroad

The christening of Princess Estelle of Sweden today brought out many interesting sights. I'll just skip talking about the attendance of a certain girlfriend of a certain Swedish prince to the important stuff: the future Hereditary Grand Duchess' first engagement meeting fellow royals at an official function.

Countess Stéphanie accompanied her future hubby Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume to what I suppose is this year's most important christening in the royal world. Little Estelle, daughter of Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, was christened at the Royal Chapel in Stockholm. Sweden's future queen was thoroughly unimpressed what was happening around her and a real cutie-pie.

While Stéphanie wore a grey and white outfit which is, I suppose, by Natan (I'll never get the Benelux princesses fascination with his clothes) and a hat borrowed from her future mother-in-law, Guillaume wore his gala uniform he will also sport at his wedding in October. Nothing less than expected, Stéphanie carried herself with poise and style.

Pictures of the christening are available over at Royal Press Europe, PPE, Daylife and Belga. Luxembourgish newspapers Wort, Tageblatt and L'essentiel are also covering the event, as is RTL. Various videos can be found over at SVT and Norwegian NRK has the whole christening available online.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Guillaume and Stéphanie to Attend Swedish Christening

Tomorrow, Sweden's little princess and future queen Estelle, daughter of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, will be christened at the Royal Chapel in Stockholm. Among the guests for the ceremony will be Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and his fiancée Stéphanie de Lannoy.
It will be the first outing for Luxembourg's future Grand Duchess since her engagement and a nice way to get to know some of her European counterparts.

For those who are interested, the christening will be covered by both Swedish TV (SVT livestream) and German TV.

Source: Kungahuset

Saturday, May 19, 2012

British Diamond Jubilee Military Parade

Today, the Armed Forces Parade and Muster was held at Windsor Castle to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's diamond jubilee. Some 2.500 soldiers showed off their mad marching skills to Her Majesty, the Duke of Edinburgh, most of the British royal family and various royals from abroad, including Grand Duke Henri and  Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, as well as Prince Louis and Princess Tessy. After the parade a private luncheon was hosted by the Queen's cousin Lady Elizabeth Shakerley.

Most asked Luxembourg-related question of the week: Why were Louis and Tessy there? Frankly, I don't have an answer with any claim to be true.

For those who didn't know already, the prince and the princess and their (not so small anymore) sons live in the British capital where they both attend university. So they surely had one of the shortest journeys to get there of any of the royals present.

Not enough?

Louis' bopa Grand Duke Jean served in the Irish Guards during the Second World War. Luxembourg's former Grand Duke later became a honorary colonel of the regiment of the Irish Guards and often rode behind today's jubilee girl at Trooping the Colour.

Not only Grand Duke Jean was regularly present for the Queen's official birthday celebrations, naturally he was often accompanied by Louis's boma Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte. Louis' great grandparents (there my Luxembourgish knowledge leaves me) Grand Duchess Charlotte and her husband Prince Felix were often in attendance, too. And another Felix as well. Queen Mum is said to have been impressed by the impeccable manners of the young gentleman from the Grand Duchy.

As Louis' older brother accompanied his grandparents for this occasion, it is probably not a far stretch to say that Louis has as well. Thus, the Queen already knows Louis and thought it might be a nice idea to meet him again after so many years.

There. That's my humble attempt at giving an answer.

Pictures of the military parade can be found over at Daylife, APA Picturedesk, WireImage, Belga, Other Images Press  and Getty Images.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Diamond Jubilee Luncheon and Gala Dinner

Today, Queen Elizabeth II hosted a luncheon at Windsor Castle to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee. Invited were all foreign reigning and non-reigning monarchs and most of them showed up to party with the jubilee girl, among them of course Luxembourg's very own Grand Duke and his lovely wife the Grand Duchess. Grand Duchess Maria Teresa wore the same outfit she wore for last year's national day (in case you hadn't guessed, it's Natan), a special mention goes to her hair which is styled in a beautiful way once again. She has come a long way since last year's minor Nobel Prize gala disaster. I approve, not that it matters anyway.

Pictures are available over at Daylife, Getty Images, Belga, BBC and at various places all over the internet. ITV has a video of the arrival of the guests to the luncheon, as does The Telegraph and BBC says that "there was even a Grand Duke from Luxembourg".

In the evening the Prince of Wales hosted a gala dinner at Buckingham Palace with the very same royals in attendance. This time the Grand Duchess opted for another stunning Elie Saab gown, she should just wear his designs every time she steps out of the palais or the château. Every time she wears Saab, she rocks it like this light blue number. Oh, and please pass your love on to your daughter, your daughter-in-law and your future daughter-in-law, Madame. Much obliged. Not much to say about the gentleman at her side, as always the Grand Duke was his dashing self.

Pictures of the event at Buckingham Palace can be found over at Getty Images, Daylife, AP Images, and APA Picturedesk.

The British Diamond Jubilee

In case you are a regular follower of royalty or you just simply haven't been living under a rock for the last couple of months, you know that this year is the Diamond Jubilee Year for Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. For this weekend, her counterparts from abroad have been invited to celebrate her 60 years on the throne with her.

In a few moments, the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess are attending a luncheon at Windsor Castle hosted by her majesty herself. The grand ducal couple is also among the guests for tonight's gala dinner at Buckingham Palace hosted by the Prince of Wales.

Tomorrow, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess will attend a military parade for Queen Elizabeth II. Afterwards a private luncheon will be hosted by Lady Elizabeth Shakerley. For the luncheon the grand ducal couple will be accompanied by London-based Prince Louis and Princess Tessy.

As most of the events are hosted privately, we'll have to see what kind of media coverage we will get. Keep your fingers crossed that there is lots of it and that the British photographers actually know the grand ducal family.

Source: Cour grand-ducale

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Closing of the Octave *

Today was the day for one of if not the biggest religious celebration in the Grand Duchy - the Closing of the Octave of Our Lady of Luxembourg, Comforter of the Afflicted. Starting on the third Sunday after Easter, the Octave closes two weeks later with a grand procession through the city. Almost 100.000 people took part in the various celebrations during the last fourteen days. Like every year the procession brought out quite a big turnout of Luxembourgish royals as well as the political elite (which we will sweep under the table).

In the morning, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa attended a pontifical mass at the beautiful Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Luxembourg, which almost certainly will also be the stage for the grand wedding later this year.

For the closing procession which led from the cathedral to the Rue de la Reine and back to the cathedral, the grand ducal couple was joined by Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, Prince Félix, Prince Louis and wife Princess Tessy, as well as Princess Alexandra all dressed up and with their rosaries firmly in hand.

Afterwards like every year after returning to the palais, the whole family stepped out on the balcony to great the people. Louis' and Tessy's boys also made an appearance, Prince Gabriel in daddy's arm and Prince Noah in uncle Guillaume's.

Pictures of the morning mass are available at Wort, while both Wort and Tageblatt has pictures of the afternoon's procession. Both the RTL's French as well as the Luxembourgish news covered today's event. Another massive gallery with more than 1000 pictures can be found over at RTL. The cour now offers a gallery of visuals as well as does Manuel Dias.

Source: Wort

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Seville Fair

During the Seville Fair, Prince Jean and his wife Diane de Guerre * and Prince Robert and his wife Princess Julie attended a party organised by the champagne brand Veuve Clicquot. Pictures of the party can be found in the current edition of Point de Vue, which sadly isn't available online.

* No, even if some people insist that she must have the title of a Countess of Nassau, she does not. At least that is what the cour says.

Source: PdV

Princess Sibilla Out and About

Looking stunning as always, Princess Sibilla awarded the Luigi Micheletti Award to the Riverside Museum in Glasgow. The Micheletti Award is a prize for innovation in museums and took place at the State Textile and Industry Museum in Augsburg, Germany, last year's winner. The winner is chosen in collaboration with the European Museum Academy, of which the Princess, an art historian herself, is a member of the pool of experts.

Pictures are available over on the website of the Micheletti Award and on the website of the Augsburgian museum.

Source: Micheletti Award

Another Day at the Office

Once again, Grand Duke Henri received a delegation of permanent representatives to the United Nations, who participated in a seminar titled "Diplomacy, development and defense: the importance of a holistic approach for peacekeeping and international security" in Luxembourg, at the palais. For a picture have a look on the website of the cour. Yeah, I wish my office was as beautiful as the Grand Duke's...

Source: CGD

A Microfinance Conference

Still trying to catch up on all the latest events of the grand ducal family cause even for this blogger life sometimes simply takes over. Next up: Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa at a responsible investing conference.

As you may know, the Grand Duchess has a keen interest in all things microfinance, thus she held the opening speech at the conference titled "Luxembourg’s role in responsible investing". Often accompanied by the Hereditary Grand Duke, this time it was Grand Duke Henri's turn to be his wife's partner in crime. For more information and pictures have a look on the website of ALFI or on the website of the cour.

Source: ALFI

An Annual Tradition

Like every year, the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess attended the opening of the Luxembourg International Fair at LuxExpo. This year's was the 100th edition of the fair with over 400 exhibitors. Visuals can be found over on the website of the fabulous Manuel Dias, the cour and Tageblatt also have pictures. A video with a few glimpses of the grand ducal couple is available over at RTL.

Source: Tageblatt

Welcoming the Kazakh Prime Minister

Nine days ago on May 3rd, Grand Duke Henri received Kazakhstan's prime minister Karim Massimov at the palais. Mr Massimov has been serving in this position since January 2007 and was on an official visit to the Grand Duchy.

Source: CGD

Another Wedding Date Set

As not only bad things come in three, the third wedding date has been made public: Archduke Christoph of Austria and his fiancée Adélaïde Drapé-Frisch will tie the knot on December 29th this year.

The middle son of Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg and Archduke Carl-Christian of Austria got officially engaged last December after having been engaged privately for quite some time. It will be the third Luxembourg-related wedding this year. Christoph's older brother Archduke Imre will marry his American fiancée in September and his cousin Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume his Belgian fiancée in October.

Source: MilleMercisMariage

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Stéphanie's Life In Pictures

The future Hereditary Grand Duchess has opened her photo album to let us have a peek into her life. Over at Wort and RTL, you can find pictures of Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy through the years starting with her christening up until a family photograph of her mother's 70th birthay last year.

Wedding Date Set!

The Cour Grand-Ducale has announced that The Hereditary Grand Duke and Countess Stephanie de Lannoy will marry on Saturday, October 20, 2012.

Additional details are expected to be provided later today.

La date du mariage de Son Altesse Royale le Grand-Duc Héritier avec la Comtesse Stéphanie de Lannoy a été fixée à samedi, le 20 octobre 2012.
Palais, le 3 mai 2012

The date of the marriage of HRH The Hereditary Grand Duke with the Countess Stephanie de Lannoy was set at Saturday, October 20, 2012.
Palace, May 3, 2012

Sources: Wort, RTL