Sunday, November 11, 2012

Luxarazzi 101: The Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg

Photo: CGD
31 years ago today, the then Hereditary Grand Duke Henri and his lovely new wife Hereditary Grand Duchess Maria Teresa welcomed an itty-bitty baby boy almost exactly nine months after their wedding. The sound of cannons announced little Guillaume’s birth while many Luxembourgers were having their lunch.  The young boy was christened Guillaume Jean Joseph Marie, his godparents being his aunt Princess Marie-Astrid and his uncle Prince Guillaume.

About 19 years later, after his father had taken to the throne a few weeks earlier, Prince Guillaume became the Hereditary Grand Duke on December 18th 2000. His official title is H.R.H. Prince Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Hereditary Prince of Nassau and Prince de Bourbon de Parme. (We simply call him Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume here to avoid confusion with his uncle and namesake.)

Photo: CGD
Most recently Luxembourg's heir to the throne caught the world's eye when he married Belgian born Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy in a beautiful two-day event. So it's a good time as any to look back on Guillaume's life; especially because we have a few new readers here on the blog - Welcome! - who are probably not as familiar with den Ierfgroussherzog as those who have been long interested.


Guillaume started his education at the local primary school in Lorentzweiler, before continuing to the Lycée Robert Schuman in Luxembourg City. He then attended the super-expensive and equally exclusive College Alpin Beau Soleil in Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland, where he received his French Baccalaureate in 2001.
Photo: Getty Images

After completing school, the Hereditary Grand Duke undertook a 44 week education at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst; something his father and his uncle Prince Jean had done before him and his brother Prince Félix as well as his cousins Prince Josef, Archduke Alexander and Prince Wenceslas would do after him. On August 9th 2002, he had his passing out parade that was attended by his parents, siblings, paternal grandparents and his cousin Archduke Imre. In December that same year, he took the oath as an officer in the Luxembourgish army. Now he holds the rank of a Lieutenant-Colonel.
Photo: Zack

He attended Durham University and Brunel University in Great Britain before graduating from Institut Albert le Grand in Angers, France. Actually he got his degree from the Université d' Angers as both institutions have a partnership agreement. The humanities and political science program is completed at Albert le Grand and the degree is issued by Université d' Angers. Guillaume completed the program with honors in 2009.
In between his university education, he did various internships in Belgium, England and Spain. Iin 2005 He took part in the United Nation’s “Millennium Conference” in New York. In 2006 he also attended the Institut Philanthropos in Fribourg, Switzerland, something his archducal cousins Imre and Christoph also did.
Photo. CGD

Of all the Grand Duke's children only Guillaume is fully fluent in Luxembourgish, French, English, German and Spanish.

Official Duties

Since graduating from university in 2009, the Hereditary Grand Duke has taken to his job full time, which means that he frequently attends various events relating to the Grand Duchy at home and abroad.

He has been honorary president of the "Board of Economic Development" (today commonly known as "Luxembourg for Business") since 2001. He is a frequent traveller between Luxembourg, the Middle East, Asia, North America and other parts of the world inbetween to accompany delegations on economic missions.

Since 2005, he is a member of the Conseil d'Etat (State Council) and regularly attends commissions and plenary sessions. He is also a member of the board of the Fondation du Grand-Duc et de la Grande-Duchesse.

Photo: Christian Aschman/CGD
In early 2012, he did an internship at the European Union in Brussels. 

He is a patron of the "Luxembourg Youth Hostel Association", the "Association nationale des victimes de la Route", the “Jeunesses Musicales du Luxembourg" and the "European Union Youth Wind Orchestra", as well as the "Luxembourg Cycling Federation". Funnily enough, I have seen basically every other family member (the Grand Duke, the Grand Duchess, Grand Duke, Jean, Prince Félix, Prince Louis, Princess Tessy, Prince Gabriel, Prince Noah, Princess Alexandra, Prince Sébastien and Princess Margaretha) but Guillaume attend cycling (related) events.

Guillaume is the honorary president of the Fondation Kräizbierg, a charity for the disabled, since autumn 2010, after being its chairman for more than ten years.

Other activities and interests

In summer 1997, Guillaume participated in a humanitarian aid camp in Nepal, as a member of the Luxembourg Scout movement. Two years later he went on a a charitable mission to Aguas Callentes to bring social and educational assistance to children in one of the poorest regions of Mexico.

Photo: Luxemburger Wort
He is very interested in Social Business and frequently accompanied her mother on trips concerning this subject.

Guillaume says that he is interested in politics, economics and philosophy; his favourite books
include biographies and historical novels. He  enjoys both classical and modern msuic. He piano and guitar. When he was a child, he sung Pueri Cantores Choir of Luxembourg. While in Switzerland, he was a singer in the school rock band. Guillaume also enjoys theatre, he took part in several school plays during his studies in Switzerland.
Photo: Christian Aschman/CGD

He is also a keen sportsman and enjoys football, tennis, skiing, swimming and water sports.

Private life

After having been linked to different woman, the Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume announced his engagement to Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy on April 27th, 2012. The couple married civilly on October 19th and religiously on October 20th. They are currently enjoying their honeymoon at an undisclosed location. Later this month, they will embark on an economic mission to China.

Guillaume is the godfather of his brother Sébastien, to his nephew Prince Noah and his cousin Prince Paul-Louis, as well as Prince Emmanuel of Belgium and Princess Ariane of the Netherlands.


  1. So he never graduated from Durham University and Brunel University? did he quit to join Angers?
    Thank godness about Stephanie - can you imagine PIa Haraldsen being the future hereditary grand duchess?!

  2. Nope, he got his first degree from Angers. Between attending Durham and Brunel, he attended Philanthropos in Switzerland (though they do not offer degrees in political science or international relations).

    I think we can all agree on being happy that Pia isn't the Hereditary Grand Duchess.