Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dogs, Princes and More

I love the time around Luxembourg's National Day because it's always full of surprises like the photocalls at Berg or the Parc Merveilleux last year, or Prince Sebastien and Princess Alexandra being present for official events that are not the Octave or the National Day itself. This year is no exception; Prince Louis recently opened a museum and the future Hereditary Grand Duchess was attended the garden parties held after the National Day. But that's not all, the cour had another card up their sleeve.

Today, the Luxembourgish Red Cross, whose patron the Grand Duchess is, paid a visit to the Château de Berg to let their rescue dog squad show off their skills and the grand ducal family came out in (almost) full force to see how good the dogs are.

Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and his fiancée Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy, Prince Félix looking slightly lost between all those couples (next time, just give me a call), as well as Prince Louis, Princess Tessy and their adorable two sons Gabriel and Noah ventured out of the castle. Gabriel and Noah were even allowed to play 'victims' by hiding in the large gardens of Berg and the dogs had to search for them.

Pictures of the adventures in the gardens of the home of the grand ducal family, can be found over at Tageblatt, Wort and RTL, while videos are available at RTL (starting 22:41) and Wort.

Source: Wort

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Garden Parties Including a Surprise Guest

During the last days, the grand ducal couple has hosted two garden parties at the Château de Berg which including a pleasant surprise for (at least) one of them: the Hereditary Grand Duke's fiancée made one of her rare appearances. Together with Guillaume, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy happily chatted with their guests in- and outside of the palace in the gardens. Pictures are available on the Facebook page of Belgian TV show Place Royale.

They'll also have a report on the whole National Day including the garden parties in their show on RTL-TVI next Saturday. Sadly, it's usually geo-blocked and thus not viewable for people outside of Belgium.

Source: Place Royale (Facebook page)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fleeting Visit to Rio de Janeiro

Last week Grand Duke Henri fit a short visit to Brazil into his busy schedule to attend the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. During the course of the conference, during which leaders from all over the world talked the matters of poverty reduction, social equity and environmental protection, the Grand Duke held a speech.

One picture each are available on the website of the cour and of the UN.

Source: United Nations

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The National Day

Yesterday was Luxembourg's National Day celebrating the official birthday of the Grand Duke (his actual one is in April) and the whole Grand Duchy in general.

Present for the occassion were the birthday boy himself Grand Duke Henri, his lovely wife Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, their oldest son and heir-apparent Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, Prince Felix, Prince Louis and his wife Princess Tessy as well as Princess Alexandra. Prince Sebastien was probably busy at uni while it was said that Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy, the fiancée of Guillaume, did not attend because she is not an official member of the family yet.

The day's celebrations started of with a Te Deum at the Cathédrale Notre-Dame celebrated by archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich, followed by a (not only) military parade in the Avenue de la Liberté. The parade is traditionally only attended by the Grand Duke, the Grand Duchess and the Hereditary Grand Duke. In the evening a gala was held at the palais.

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa was dressed in an outfit by Natan and a hat by Jane Taylor. Princess Tessy also opted for a Jane Taylor hat while she wore a dress by Prada. Princess Alexandra wore a pink Carolina Herrera dress with a fascinator by Fabienne Delvigne.
Most notable in change in men's clothes: the Grand Duke and the Hereditary Grand Dukechanged their sashes between the religious service and the parade. While the two wore the (orange-coloured) Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau in church, they changed into the (green and yellow) insignia of the Order of the Oak Crown for the parade. Princes Félix and Louis were their usual dashing selves.

The last couple of years, RTL uploaded both the videos of the Te Deum and of the military parade afterwards to their website. They haven't done so yet but I wouldn't give up my hope not just yet. Nevertheless, you can relive yesterday's most important moments in this thirty-minute special by RTL.

Pictures of the Te Deum can be found over at Wort, Revue and Lëtzebuerger Journal. RTL offers an extensive gallery of 685 visuals of the military parade, while Wort has a small one as does Revue. Combined galleries are available at PPE, the cour, Tageblatt, GettyImages #1, GettyImages #2, Daylife, Tom Wagner and APA Picturedesk.

Naturally, RTL covered the National Day in their evening news, Wort also has a video covering today's events.

Source: RTL

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Speech and Two Visits

At 4pm this afternoon, the National Day celebrations started with the changing of the guard in front of the palais, while the whole day the last preperations for today's and tomorrow's event were made.

During his speech for the National Day, prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker mentioned Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy, wishing them all the best in the world and saying that he and the whole country are very much looking forward to their wedding later this year, and that it will be a celebration for the whole country. In case you'd like to watch it, here you go.

The first official event for the grand ducal family was the traditional visit of the Hereditary Grand Duke to Esch-sur-Alzette, the Grand Duchy's second largest town. Sadly, he was not accompanied by his fiancée. But instead he brought his sister Princess Alexandra along, which is just as beautiful.

The two were welcomed by the city's mayor at the Place de la Résistance where they laid down a wreath. Afterwards they made their way through Esch and finally ended up on the balcony of the town hall. Pictures can be found over at Wort #1, Wort #2 and Tageblatt. Short glimpses of them can be seen in RTL's evening news (starting at 14:07), they will have more footage tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa visited Differdange where they watched a parade and mingled with their subjects on the fair. Photos are available at Wort.

As of yet, I can't find pictures of tonight's torchlight procession but I'm sure that will change soon.

Sources: Wort, RTL

How to Watch the National Day Live

Tomorrow is Luxembourg's biggest day of the year and of course RTL will broadcast the main events live. A livestream of RTL's programme is available on their website. The broadcast will start at 10am CET (in case you are in a different time zone, you can convert the time over here) with the usual suspects as the commentators, namely Dan Spogen and Pierre Dillenburg.

The actual Te Deum starts at 10:30 and usually lasts for a little more than half an hour. At 11:15am, RTL will rebroadcast the documentary about the Hereditary Grand Duke that they made for his 30th birthday last year. Half an hour later the military parade will start and will also be shown live.

In case you don't have time to watch the actual events but nevertheless would like to catch up on the most important bits, RTL has a special on at 7pm covering the day's events in a nutshell. If you want it even shorter, you can tune in to their daily news at 7:30pm.

I'll be live tweeting the events.

Source: RTL

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Guillaume Visits Kräizbierg

After stepping to from the post of the president of the Fondation Kräizbierg, the Hereditary Grand Duke became the Honorary President of the foundation that helps disabled people. In this capacity he took part in the latest graduation ceremony and while he was there he thanked the staff for their great work. For a picture have a look on the website of the cour.

Source: CGD

A Visit to Baden-Baden

The day before yesterday, Princess Sibilla and Prince Guillaume attended the Golden Rose award at Baden-Baden, Southern Germany. Every year the awards go to the best roses in different categories. Interestingly, a rose named for the beautiful princess won one of the awards a couple of years ago.

Sadly, my technical incapacity strikes yet again and linking the pictures just won't work. So if you'd like to see them anyway, just venture over to Newscom and type in (or simply copy and paste) "Guillaume of Luxemburg Baden Baden", it will do the trick and three goodies should come up.
 Source: Newscom

Yet Another Anniversary Celebration

On June 14th, the Belgian Degroof Bank celebrated their 25th anniversary of being present in the Grand Duchy and the Grand Duke's brother Prince Jean was on hand to celebrate with them. Among many other positions in the financial world, Prince Jean is a member of the Luxembourgish part of the Degroof Banque. For pictures have a look at Paperjam who covered the event.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Two Days of Wedding Celebrations

The Cour Grand-Ducale has released some details concerning the upcoming wedding of The Hereditary Grand Duke.


The civil ceremony will take place at 3:30pm on Friday, October 19 at Hôtel de Ville (City Hall). It was previously confirmed that Xavier Bettle, the mayor of Luxembourg City, will officiate the civil union.

The public will have full access to Place Guillaume, in order to view the couple and royal guests.

At 7:30pm a gala will be held at the Grand Ducal Palace.

At some point during the afternoon, the couple will observe tradition and meet with representatives from local youth organisations.


As expected, The Hereditary Grand Duke and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy will celebrate their religious wedding at the fabulous Cathédral Notre-Dame. The service will begin at 11am. As previously confirmed, Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich will preform the religious ceremony.

The public is invited to line the streets near the cathedral in order to view the couple and their guests

The City of Luxembourg has organized some sort of public address that will take place at some point after the wedding.

A sumptuous reception will begin at the Grand Ducal Palace at 1pm.

The Luxembourg press has highlighted that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expected to attend the wedding celebrations. While this will draw additional international attention to Luxembourg and the wedding, these guests will completely outshine the bridal couple. I, for one, will not be offended if they are unable to attend.

No further details were provided. Additional details inserted by us here at Luxarazzi. 

Source: Wort

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Coming Up: National Day

The cour grand-ducale has published the programme for this year's National Day and it looks pretty much like every year. Nevertheless here it is (all times are CET):

Friday, June 22nd
  • 4 p.m.: Solemn changing of the guard at the palais grand-ducal 
  • 6.p.m.: Visit of the Hereditary Grand Duke to the city of Esch-sur-Alzette (*) 
  • 7:30 p.m.: Visit of the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess to the city of Differdange 
  • 10 p.m.: Torchlight procession through the city of Luxembourg and concert of military music at the Place Guillaume in the presence of members of the Grand Ducal family (**) 
  • 11:30 p.m.: Fireworks 

Saturday, June 23rd
  • 10:30 a.m.: Te Deum at the Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Luxembourg in the presence of members of the Grand Ducal family (**) 
  • 11:15 a.m.: 101 gun salutes 
  • 11:30 a.m.: Presentation of the arms and military parade in the presence of the Grand Duke and the Hereditary Grand Duke (***)  

(*) It is not mentioned whether his fiancée Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy or any of his siblings will accompany him. 
(**) There is no specific mention about which members of the family will be in attendance. 
(***) We can expect to see the Grand Duchess in attendance as well. She is usually not mentioned in the programme because she does not review the troops, unlike her husband and son. 

Source: Cour grand-ducale

If you are interested in the history of the National Day or simply want to know what the whole thing is about, have a look at our recent post.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Audience for the Grand Duke

Today, the Grand Duke welcomed Anwara Begum Shelly, who works for Caritas Bangladesh as head of their Fisheries Department and is a climate expert, at the palais. For a picture have a look on the website of the cour.

Source: CGD

New Military Rank for Guillaume

On May 25th, a Grand Ducal decree was issued appointing the Hereditary Grand Duke to the rank of a lieutenant colonel in the army. Until know (since around the time of National Day 2010, if I recall correctly), Guillaume held the rank of a major. After being the first one of Grand Duke Jean's grandsons to graduate from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in August 2002, the Hereditary Grand Duke was sworn in as an officer in the Luxembourgish army later that year.

Source: Wort

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Luxarazzi 101: Luxembourg's National Day

[Note: This post reflects Luxembourg's National Day prior to 2014. The Te Deum has since been pushed back to the afternoon hours. Instead an official ceremony takes place at the Grand Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg during the morning hours.]

With the Luxembourg’s national day lurking around later this month, the idea to explain what the whole hoo-ha is all about popped into my head.

“Birthday?!”, you might rightfully ask but indeed, the Nationalfeierdag (national day) actually celebrates the birthday of the Grand Duke or actually rather the birthday of the Grand Duchess. Often called Groussherzoginsgebuertsdag (the Grand Duchess’ birthday), the national day was invented in the way we know it today in 1961, when Grand Duchess Charlotte still reigned over the Grand Duchy but let’s start at the very beginning…

Once upon a time when Luxembourg wasn’t an entirely independent country and instead ruled by the Dutch king who was also Grand Duke of Luxembourg, the national day was called Kinneksdag (King’s day) and was celebrated on the actual birthday of the reigning monarchs.

The day of celebration being the anniversary of the birth of the ruler continued well into the years when Luxembourg was independent and reigned by members of the Nassau-Weilburg family. Grand Duke Adolphe, Grand Duke Guillaume IV and Grand Duchess Marie-Adelaide celebrated on their respective birthdays and so did Grand Duchess Charlotte; until 1961. 

Born on January 23rd, Grand Duchess Charlotte was a winter child. Whoever has experienced a middle European winter knows that it can be moderate to freezing cold or in other words not the best time of the year to have a birthday party including visits to different parts of the country, a military parade, garden parties and celebrations on the streets. Thus, it was decided that the birthday celebrations would be postponed until five months later to June 23rd and so the Groussherzoginsgebuertstag was born and some folks still call it that.

Grand Duchess Charlotte's son Grand Duke Jean agreed with his mother decision and kept the date for the celebrations of his birthday (his actual one is also in January). Since Grand Duke Jean came to the throne the purpose of the day also became a bit broader and thus it became the Grand Duchy's National Day.

While the actual National Day is on June 23rd (next Saturday), much like New Year, the celebrations start the day before with concerts all over the country starting at around noon. The official celebrations kick off with the solemn changing of the guard at the palais in the afternoon hours.

Traditionally, the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess visit a different town every year while the Hereditary Grand Duke visits the country's second largest town Esch-sur-Alzette. During the last years Prince Guillaume was either accompanied by Prince Felix or Princess Alexandra (they also made an appearance together when Guillaume wasn't on hand), so it will be interesting to see whether Countess Stéphanie will make her first big meeting-the-people-of-Luxembourg-appearance on next Friday.

In the evening as soon as it gets dark, a torchlight procession will be held at Luxembourg City. The procession, consisting of firefighters, scouts, clubs and community organisations, will be watched by the Grand Ducal Family. The day will climax with grand fireworks over the Pont Adolphe. The party will end some time in the early morning hours. Probably not for la famille grand-ducale and other public figures as they got another jam-packed day ahead of them.

The actual Nationalfeierdag starts with the Te Deum at the Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Luxembourg attended by the Grand Ducal Family, politicians, foreign dignitaries, military, the police and probably many more important people. The climax of the thanksgiving service is the "Domine salvum fac magnum ducem nostrum" - "Oh Lord, save our great leader" or something along those lines (oh, sometimes I wish I hadn't quite Latin in school after a single year) for four voices played in a new arrangement every year. For this part of the celebrations all members of the Grand Ducal Family who can make room in their busy agendas are usually present.

After the church service 101 gun salutes are fired from the Fort Thüngen, a part of the historic fortification of the city. Around noon a military parade to honour the Grand Duke and his family is held in the Avenue de la Liberté. Before the actual parade kicks off, the soldiers and policemen will hurrah the grand-duc and the groussherzogliche famille with three "vive"s.

Afterwards more concerts for the ordinary folks are held throughout the city and there're also celebrations especially for children. In the evening the National Day gala including uniforms, gowns and tiaras takes place at the palais. In the days after the National Day there are also garden parties at the Château de Berg.

So now that you know what the Nationalfeierdag is all about, you just have to keep your fingers crossed to see as many members of the family as possible, usually the whole family makes it a priority. Sadly, Prince Felix was notably absent for the last two years so hopefully he'll make an appearance this year and we can also hope for Countess Stéphanie though I'm not sure if she will attend official events in the Grand Duchy before her wedding; the only one apart from the engagement events was the Swedish christening.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Louis Opens Museum

Yesterday, Prince Louis inaugurated the Museum for Luxembourgish Aviation in Mondorf-les-Bains. Sadly for us, he didn't bring his lovely wife or his adorable sons with him, though looking at the pictures over at Wort, I can spy other familiar faces: Louis' uncles Prince Jean and Prince Guillaume were also present for the opening of the new museum.

You might wonder why we see Prince Louis out and about attending an event in Luxembourg on his own while we usually only get to see him at events the whole family (or at least most of them) attend. Having studied Aeronautics and Aeronautical Management while he lived in the United States, Louis is the patron of the Luxembourgish Aeronautic Federation. He also has a private pilot certificate, meaning that Louis can actually fly a plane.

Source: Wort, CGD

Friday, June 15, 2012

News and Speculation

We've got a bit of catching up to do... I, personally, am blaming it all on the ongoing European Football Championship and my addiction to football so I consider today's temporarily suspension in the Ukraine versus France match due to a storm a lucky coincidence to do just that, catching up with the recent events of la famille grand ducale.

In musical news... A week ago, the Grand Duke attended a military music concert at the Église St. Michel to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Comité Alstad.

In banking news... At the beginning of this week a.k.a. Monday, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa was present for a the act of foundation of the Banque Européenne d'Inventissement at the stunning Abbaye de Neumünster.

In educational news... The very next day, both the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess attended the inauguration ceremony of the Chaire luxembourgeoise UNESCO en droits de l’homme at the University of Luxembourg.

In sporting news... Yesterday, Grand Duke Henri and Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume welcomed a delegation of Olympic hopefuls at the palais. Though Luxembourg's hopes for London probably aren't too high, there's always hope for an odd surprise.

In foundation news... Today, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa accompanied by their eldest the Hereditary Grand Duke were present for the open day of the Maison de la Fondation of the Fondation du Grand-Duc Henri et de la Grande-Duchesse Maria Teresa in Colmar-Berg. To see pictures, venture over to Wort.

In foundation news, part two... The future Hereditary Grand Duchess got her first job! Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy was appointed a member of the board of directors of her parents-in-law's foundation recently. The board now has four members, the other three are the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess themselves plus the Hereditary Grand Duke.

In wedding speculation... Wort is reporting and the other media a.k.a. Tageblatt and RTL are reblabbing that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge a.k.a. Will and Kate will be among the guests for the big wedding in October. Somehow I have my doubts but who am I, I'm sure Wort does have good sources.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Drinking Water For Luxembourg

Last Friday, Grand Duke Henri attended the 50th anniversary of the Syndicat des Eaux du barrage d’Esch-sur-Sûre, something like the operating company of dam of Esch-sur-Sûre at the Conservatoire de la Ville de Luxembourg. The dam is key in the country's drinking water supply. The great Manuel Dias offers visuals of the celebrations.

Source: Manuel Dias, Tageblatt

Luxembourg's NOC Celebrates 100th Anniversary *

The Luxembourgish Olympic Committee is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year and Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and Grand Duke Jean were on hand to celebrate today. Grand Duke Jean was a member of the International Olympic Committee between 1946 and 1998 and is a honorary member since then, Grand Duke Henri is a current member of the IOC and has been since 1998. A video of today's celebration can be found over on the website of RTL, pictures are available at Wort, Roland Miny Pressphoto and Tageblatt.

Source: RTL, IOC

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Grand Duke Touring the Country

Everyone who knows Luxembourg, knows that the real estate prices over there are confoundedly high (and no, sadly not every Luxembourger is rich). Today, Grand Duke Henri visited three social housing projects in different developmental stages. He toured Gasperich, a quarter in the south of the city of Luxembourg, the development area Nonnewisen in the Grand Duchy's second largest town Esch-sur-Alzette, and to Dudelange in the south of the country where another project is planned.

A gallery of visuals as available over on the website of Wort.

Source: Wort

Rare Sighting in Vianden

Yesterday, Princess Marie-Astrid and her eldest son Archduke Imre (sans fiancée Katie) visited the beautiful Château de Vianden above the Our river in the north of Luxembourg near the German-Luxembourgish border. The château is one of the largest fortified castles west of the Rhine, which is notoriously famous for its castles on both sides of the river.
Having romanesque, gothic and renaissance parts and being about 900 years old, the castle has quite a rich history: Most recently, 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.

Four pictures of Princess Marie-Astrid and Archduke Imre can be found over at And don't let the article confuse you as it says that the gentleman accompanying the Princess was Archduke Alexander, I can gladly ensure you that I can tell my Luxembourgish princes apart ;)

Source: MyWort, Moi

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in Luxembourg

If you think that Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and Northern Ireland's diamond jubilee is only celebrated in Britain and all the other countries she is head of state of, you are miles wrong. Take the Grand Duchy for example, organised by the British embassy they had their own little celebrations going on yesterday and the Hereditary Grand Duke was on hand to celebrate with them. In the morning, a interconfessional service was held at the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Luxembourg and celebrated by Catholic archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich and reverend Chris Lyon from the Anglican church in Luxembourg.

Source: Wort

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Grand Duke Jean at Bicycle Race **

While his grandson Felix is celebrated his 28th birthday today (all guddes!), Grand Duke Jean watched the final stage of the Tour de Luxembourg in the pouring rain, a picture can be found on the website of Wort. Needless to say, it's always great to see Grand Duke Jean out and about, last time was the engagement of Guillaume and Stéphanie.

The fourth and last stage of the TdL led from Mersch, which is not too far from Fischbach where Grand Duke Jean lives, to the city of Luxembourg. While Jurgen Roelandts won today's stage, Denmark's Jakob Fuglsang, who races for the Luxembourgish RadioShack-Nissan-Trek team and calls the Grand Duchy his second home, won the overall ranking and Luxembourg's very own Fränk Schleck came in third.
Of course, the whole event was covered by RTL; starting at 3:38 you can see and hear Grand Duke Jean cheering on the cyclists.

Funny fact: the Grand Duchy is pretty much crazy about cycling - Luxembourgish cyclists have won the world's hardest race the Tour de France five times (François Faber, Nicolas Frantz (2), Charly Gaul and most recently Andy Schleck) - so it's no wonder the grand ducal family is into the sport as well. Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume is even the patron of the Luxembourgish cycling federation but interestingly I have seen every member of the family attending various races but him...

Source: Wort

Friday, June 1, 2012

Supporting Belgian-Luxembourgish Relations

Yesterday, the Hereditary Grand Duke alongside Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este attended a gala concert at the Conservatoire de la Ville de Luxembourg organised by the Union Royale Belge. The association has bought together Luxembourgish people and Belgians living in the Grand Duchy for the last 100 years. Too bad Luxembourg's latest Belgian score wasn't present for the occassion. Pictures, without the countess, are available over on the website of the cour.

Source: CGD