Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Guest List So Far ****

Sadly, we did not get very many pictures of all those guests attending the wedding. As apparently about 800 people were in the basilica, this guest list is far from complete and probably one of the most incomplete guest lists, you have ever seen. Nevertheless, a list of those who attended the wedding, pictured and recognised by me or others.

Thanks to everyone who helped putting together this list. All women are listed with their husbands titles even though some of them might still use their own, under-aged children are listed together with their parents.

Family of the groom

Archduke Carl Christian of Austria
Archduchess Marie-Astrid of Austria, née Princess of Luxembourg

Count Rodolphe de Limburg-Stirum
Countess Marie-Christine de Limburg-Stirum, née Archduchess of Austria
Count Leopold de Limburg-Stirum

Archduke Imre of Austria
Archduchess Kathleen of Austria

Archduke Alexander of Austria

Archduchess Gabriella of Austria

Archduchess Yolande of Austria, née Princess de Ligne

Archduke Rudolf of Austria
Archduchess Helene of Austria, née de Villenfagne de Vogelsanck

Archduke Carl-Christian of Austria
Archduchess Estelle of Austria
Archduchess Zita of Austria

Archduchess Priscilla of Austria

Archduke Franz-Ludwig of Austria

Archduke Michael of Austria

Archduchess Alexandra of Austria, Mrs Riesle

Prince Franz-Josef of Auersperg-Trautson
Princess Constanza of Auersperg-Trautson, née Archduchess of Austria
Princess Anna-Maria of Auersperg-Trautson
Princess Ladislaya of Auersperg-Trautson
Princess Eleonora of Auersperg-Trautson

Grand Duke Jean

Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg
Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie of Luxembourg, née Countess de Lannoy

Prince Felix of Luxembourg
Claire Lademacher

Prince Louis of Luxembourg
Princess Tessy of Luxembourg
Prince Gabriel of Nassau
Prince Noah of Nassau

Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg

Prince Sebastien of Luxembourg

Princess Marie-Gabrielle de Nassau

Prince Constantin de Nassau

Prince Wenceslas de Nassau

Prince Carl de Nassau

Prince Nikolaus von und zu Liechtenstein
Princess Margaretha von und zu Liechtenstein

Princess Maria-Anunciata von und zu Liechtenstein

Princess Marie-Astrid von und zu Liechtenstein

Prince Josef von und zu Liechtenstein

Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg
Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg
Prince Paul-Louis de Nassau
Prince Léopold de Nassau
Princess Charlotte de Nassau
Prince Jean de Nassau

Family of the bride

Of course, Adelaide's family was also present. I saw her father Philippe and her mother Odile, as well as both her sisters and her two brothers. Judging from the official pictures, I assume that more Drapé-Frisch's were present.

Other guests

Archduke Istvan of Austria
Archduchess Paola of Austria, née de Temesvary
Archduchess Margaretha of Austria

Carl Dunning-Gribble
Viridis Dunning-Gribble, née Archduchess of Austria
Leopold Dunning-Gribble

Don Diego Fernandez de Cordova y Cervero
Eleonore de Potesta

Duke Rudolf of Croy
Duchess Alexandra of Croy, née Countess Miloradovich

Lensgrevinde Antonia Holstein til Ledreborg

Prince Philipp von und zu Liechtenstein
Princess Isabelle von und zu Liechtenstein, née de l'Arbre de Malander

Prince Michel de Ligne
Princess Eleonora de Ligne, née Princess de Orléans e Bragança

Princess Alix de Ligne

Prince Henri de Ligne

Prince Charles-Louis de Merode
Princess Clotilde de Merode, née Countess d'Oultremont

Baron Jean-Louis de Potesta
Baroness Sophie de Potesta, née Princess of Hohenberg

Charles-Louis de Potesta

Elisabeth de Potesta

Prince Nicholas of Romania

Note: All those people mentioned above are persons I have seen photographic prove of that they were present for the wedding. I am sure that there were many more Habsburg's as well as Nassau's were in Nancy. Before the wedding it was also mentioned by newspapers that members of the Merode and Arenberg families as well as Baron and Baroness Bernard Guerrier de Dumast would be attending the wedding.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Video Report

Just a short heads up: news programme "19/20 Lorraine" on France 3 had a short report about today's wedding of Archduke Christoph and Archduchess Adelaide. You can see the couple as well as some of the guests departing from church, an interview with one of their friends and with the bishop who married them. The report starts at about 0:55 of this video.

Thanks Iza!

Religious Wedding: Pictures and Guests

Photo: Semana
We already had a first impressions post that included information about Adelaide's attire, so here we go with a post detailing some of the guests but mainly sources of pictures.

Galleries of pictures can be found at L'essentiel, Tageblatt, L'Est Républicain, Belga, Sipa Press, AFP, Semana, Wort and L'Est Républicain.

Photo: Semana
Guests I was able to spot on pictures so far included Archduke Carl-Christian and Archduchess Marie-Astrid, Archduchess Marie-Christine and Count Rodolphe de Limburg-Stirum with their little son Leopold, Archduke Imre and Archduchess Kathleen, Archduke Alexander as well as Archduchess Gabriella.

From the paternal side of Christoph's family I have seen pictures of Archduke Rudolf and his wife Archduchess Helene; some of their children were present yesterday so I reckon they were also there today. Christoph's paternal grandmother Archduchess Yolande was also among the guests, as was his aunt Archduchess Constanza.

Photo: Semana
Christoph's godfather Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie, Prince Louis and Princess Tessy with Prince Gabriel and Prince Noah, Princess Alexandra as well as Prince Sebastien were spotted among the guests.

As was Princess Margaretha and her husband Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein as well as Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla with their youngest son Prince Jean.

The only non-direct family member I have see so far were Prince Philipp and Princess Isabelle of Liechtenstein, the brother of Prince Nikolaus and his wife.

First Impressions

Archduke Christoph and Archduchess Adelaide just got religiously married at the Basilique Saint Eprve in Nancy. The first pictures have started to roll in so we just gonna roll along...

Photo: L'essentiel / AFP Photo / Jean-Christophe Verhaegen
The bride arriving on the arm of her father, a French diplomat. She wore a custom Diane Lelys gown made of duchess satin with a long train. She toped of her look with an antique Habsburg veil, that has already been worn by her sisters-in-law Marie-Christine and Kathleen on their wedding days, she anchor the veil with the smaller one of the two diamond floral tiaras that are owned by the Grand Ducal family. It is the same tiara that her husband's sister Archduchess Marie-Christine wore at her wedding. One of her sister's acted as Adelaide's bridesmaid.

Photo: Belga / AFP Photo / Jean-Christophe Verhaegen

The groom entered the church on the arm of his mother Princess Marie-Astrid, the oldest child and daughter of Grand Duke Jean and the late Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte.

Photo: Belga / AFP Photo / Jean-Christophe Verhaegen
 More pictures - also of some guests - can be found at Belga and Sipa.

Civil Wedding and More

Excuse us for the delay, of course the civil wedding of Archduke Christoph and his now wife Adelaide took place yesterday, but we were busy otherwise. So let's not waste any more time and have a look at it.

Photo: Alexandre Marchi via L'Est Républicain

Before we come to the actual civil wedding, let's have a look at the "and More": Christoph and Adelaide, his parents Archduke Carl-Christian and Princess Marie-Astrid and a few other guests visited the Église des Cordeliers for prayers in the chapel and a time of conteplation at the tombs of the dukes of Lorraine. France 3 has handily filmed the arrival of the guests, the video (starting at around 2:45) can be found here. A gallery of visuals at L'Est Républicain.

Photo: Alexandre Marchi via L'Est Républicain

In the afternoon, the (first) big moment finally arrived. At 5pm local time, Adelaide and Archduke Christoph civilly tied the knot at the Hôtel de Ville in Nancy. The wedding was officiated by the mayor of the city and loads of family members shared the moment with the happy couple.

Photo: Alexandre Marchi via L'Est Républicain
 Of course there were Christoph's parents Archduke Christian and Archduchess Marie-Astrid, his siblings Archduke Imre and his wife Archduchess Kathleen, Archduke Alexander as well as Archduchess Gabriella; further guests included Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie, Prince Felix and Claire Lademacher, Prince Louis and Princess Tessy, Princess Alexandra as well as Prince Sebastien. Christoph's paternal grandmother Archduchess Yolande was among the guests, as were Archduke Carl-Christian's siblings Archduke Rudolf and his wife Archduchess Helene, Archduchess Alexandra as well as Archduchess Constanza and her husband Prince Franz Josef of Auersperg-Trautson. I could also spot a couple of paternal cousins of the groom as well as members of Adelaide's family.

Also seen among the guests was a rather large diamond ring on Claire's finger.

Photo: Alexandre Marchi via L'Est Républicain
Galleries of pictures can be found at Tageblatt, Wort, L'Est Républicain, SIPA, Royal Press Europe and Rex Features.

Again, France 3 captured the most important moments of the couple arriving and sharing a kiss on the balcony to greet the crowds, you can find it here (starting at 1:40).

Thanks to everyone who helped assemble the links!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Imre and Louis to Be Witnesses

With not too long to go until the wedding of Archduke Christoph in Nancy tomorrow and the day after, a few new details have surfaced. In case you weren't aware - which, I know, is highly unlikely in cased you have followed the blog over the last couple of hours and days - the second son of Archduke Carl-Christian of Austria and Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg will marry his longtime girlfriend Adelaide Drape-Frisch at Nancy over the next two days.

The civil wedding will be conducted at the Hôtel de Ville at Place Stanislas tomorrow at 5pm. The religious wedding will take place at day later at 11am at the Basilique St Epvre. After the religious ceremony, the Christoph and Adelaide will go to the Église des Cordeliers to lay down her bouquet of flowers. 

Meanwhile, it also has become known that Archduke Christoph's groomsmen will include his older brother Archduke Imre and his maternal cousin Prince Louis. None of them are too surprising. Christoph was also one of Imre's witnesses at his recent wedding and Louis and his wife Tessy are very close to Christoph and his soon-to-be wife Adelaide.

Source: DPA/LRS, L'Est Républicain

A Video and More Pictures

Wort has published a video of the engagement photocall of Prince Félix and Claire Lademacher. In difference to the engagement of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and then Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy, the journalists weren't allowed to ask any questions.

Photos: René Scho /
In the meantime, more pictures of the photo session have become available. You can find pictures by René Scho over at RTL and pictures by Tom Wagner on his website. Even more pictures are available at Le Quotidien, L'essentiel and Getty Images.

Luxarazzi 101: Habsburg and Lorraine

"Don't forget about Lorraine!", that is what - according to one of his grandnephews - the late Archduke Otto, the last crown prince of the Austro-Hungarian empire, often told his family. Said grandnephew, namely Archduke Christoph, certainly did not forget about the Lorraine when he chose his wedding location. On December 28th and 29th, he will marry his longtime girlfriend Adelaide Drape-Frisch in the capital of Lorraine, Nancy.

Orginating from present day Switzerland, the Habsburg's are one of the most important royal houses in Europe. Different branches of the House of ruled various parts of Europe until 1918. Members of the family were the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors for hundreds of years. The family can trace their roots back to the 8th century.
Empress Maria Theresia

In 1740, the Austrian branch of the Habsburg family went extinct in male line when Charles VI died without leaving a male heir. Instead, his daughter Maria Theresia succeeded him on the basis of the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 and became the sovereign of Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bohemia, Mantua, Milan, Lodomeria and Galicia, the Austrian Netherlands and Parma. Today's Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty began with the marriage of said Empress Maria Theresia and Duke Franz Stephan of Lorraine.

Originally it had been planned that Maria Theresia would marry Hereditary Prince Léopold Clément, Franz Stephan's older brother, but he died of smallpox in 1723. So, his younger brother Franz Stephan was sent to Vienna to meet with the very young archduchess. He remained at the Austrian court until he ascended to the throne of Lorraine upon his father's death in 1729. It was not until January 1736, that he was formally promised Maria Theresa's hand during the War of the Polish Succession; only a few days later, the couple married on February 12th.

At the time King Louis XV of France demanded that Duke Franz Stephan would trade Lorraine in exchange for the Grand Duchy of Tuscany to Stanisław Leszczyński, the deposed King of Poland and father-in-law of the French king. Upon Gian Gastone de Medici's death in 1737, Franz Stephan ceded Lorraine and became the Grand Duke of Tuscany.

Emperor Franz I
Technically, today's House of Habsburg-Lorraine - or Habsburg-Lothringen as it is known in German - is only descending from the old House of Habsburg in matrilineal descent, while patrilineal they belong to the House of Lorraine. To affirm the claim to the thrones of the Austrian, Bohemian and Hungarian countries, it was chosen that the family would bear the name of Habsburg-Lorraine at the time of the wedding of Maria Theresia and Franz Stephan. The couple had sixteen children. Today, the House of Habsburg-Lorraine is the main and now only remaining line of the House of Lorraine.

Three years later in 1740, Maria Theresia's father Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI died and his daughter succeeded him. After five years and a Wittelsbach as Holy Roman Emperor, Franz Stephan was formally elected Holy Roman Emperor in 1745 as Franz I. Three other members of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine would follow him on this post until the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation was abolished in 1806.

Apart from the Habsburg mainland, members of several junior branches of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine reigned in the Italian duchies of Parma (until 1847), Modena (until 1859) and Tuscany (until 1860). Another member of the House, Archduke Maximilian, became emperor of Mexico.

Blessed Emperor Karl
The main branch of the family ruled the Austro-Hungarian empire until 1918, when Austria was declared a republic. A year later the Habsburg law was passed stripping the family of its properties, banning members born before the end of the empire from entering the country and banning anyone bearing the name Habsburg-Lothringen from running for higher office. The latter to parts were since lifted because they violated human rights.

The great grandfather of Archduke Christoph, Blessed Emperor Karl, was the last ruler of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, he bore the title of Emperor of Austria, Apostolic King of Hungary, King of Bohemia, of Dalmatia, of Croatia, of Slavonia, of Galicia, of Lodomeria, and of Illyria, King of Jerusalem, and so forth, Archduke of Austria, Grand Duke of Tuscany and of Cracow, Duke of Lorraine, of Salzburg, of Styria, of Carinthia, of Carniola and of the Bukovina, Grand Prince of Transylvania, Margrave in Moravia, Duke of Upper and Lower Silesia, of Modena, Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla, of Auschwitz and Zator, of Teschen, Friuli, Ragusa and Zara, Princely Count of Habsburg and Tyrol, of Kyburg, Gorizia and Gradisca, Prince of Trent and Brixen, Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia and in Istria, Count of Hohenems, Feldkirch, Bregenz, Sonnenberg, and so forth, Lord of Trieste, of Cattaro and of the Wendish Mark, Grand Voivode of the Voivodship of Serbia, and so forth.
Wedding of Archduke Otto in Nancy

Archduke Otto, who felt so adamant to never forget Lorraine because some of Blessed Emperor Karl's very last words to his oldest son were "never forget the Lorraine", married in Nancy in 1951. He tied the knot with Princess Regina of Saxe-Meiningen at the Église des Cordeliers, it is there where Christoph and Adelaide will go to lay down a bouquet of flowers at the tombs of the Dukes of Lorraine.

Blessed Emperor Karl's wish to never forget Lorraine, one of the ancestral homes of the family,  is the reason why all of his descendants still use Habsbourg-Lorraine or Habsburg-Lothringen as their surname while other some other branches only go by Habsburg.

Back in July, Archduke Carl-Christian, who is married to Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg, sent his second son Christoph and his fiancée Adelaide to Nancy to attend a mass for Archduke Otto, who died last year. During this visit they met with the mayor of the town and the priests of the Basilique Saint-Epvre, they were so impressed with the town that they decided that they would like to get married in the capital of the historical Duchy of Lorraine.

More Wedding Guests

We already know that the Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, all their children, all their daughter-in-laws and their future daughter-in-law will be attending the wedding of Archduke Christoph of Austria and Adelaide Drape-Frisch. Now a few more guests have become known: the groom's grandfather Grand Duke Jean will be in Nancy for the big day, as will be Prince Philipp and Princess Isabelle of Liechtenstein. Presumably most of the aunts, uncles and cousins of Archduke Christoph will make their way to Nancy, which means that a lot of Habsburg's and Nassau's will be wandering around the town in the days to come. Members of the Mérode, Ligne, Arenberg and Croÿ families are also among the guests.

Source: L'Est Républicain

Official Engagement Photocall *

Photo: Gerry Huberty / Luxemburger Wort /
Today, a photo session on the occassion of the engagement of Prince Félix and Claire Lademacher took place at the Château de Berg. The castle is the home of the Grand Ducal family and situated close to the small town of Colmar-Berg.

Photo: Gerry Huberty / Luxemburger Wort /
Apart from the happy couple both families were present. Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie, Prince Louis and Princess Tessy with Prince Gabriel and Prince Noah, Princess Alexandra as well as Prince Sébastien appeared in the pictures, as did Claire's parents Hartmut and Gabriele Lademacher as well as her brother Felix. In case you would like to know more about Claire and her family, have a look at our recent post about them.

Photo: Gerry Huberty / Luxemburger Wort /
More pictures can be found over at Wort, RTL, Belga, Profimedia, Tageblatt and PPE.

Royal Wedding to Take Place in Germany?

During the photo call that took place at the Château de Berg today - the pictures will probably roll in any time soon - the cour made public that no official date has been set yet but that the wedding will take place some time next year. Asked about the place, they said that it is a tradition to marry at the home of the bride. In Claire's case this would mean that the wedding would take place in Germany, most likely close to Frankfurt am Main. It would also be a nice touch as the area near Frankfurt where Claire grew up has traditionally been part of the Duchy of Nassau, the origin of the Grand Ducal family. Apparently, the place has not been chosen yet but it seems very likely.

The tradition of marrying where the bride is from was broken for the most recent wedding of the Hereditary Grand Duke because, well, he is the heir to the throne. Same with the weddings of Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duke Jean. Prince Guillaume married his wife Sibilla in France, where she is from, like Prince Jean when he married his first wife Hélène. Prince Robert married his American born wife Julie in the United States. More recently, Archduke Imre tied the knot with his American wife in, exactly, the United States.

Source: Wort

The Grand Duke's Christmas Speech

First of all, here is hoping that you all had a very merry Christmas!

Two days ago on Christmas Eve, the Grand Duke's traditional Christmas speech was delivered right into his subjects living rooms - or wherever their TVs are situated - when it was broadcasted by RTL. In case you would like to watch it, have a look here. For the very first time, it was simultaneously translated into sign language.

In his speech, Grand Duke Henri looked back on fading 2012 and looked ahead at the challenges that Luxembourg and its citizens will face in the coming year. In relation to his family, the Grand Duke thanked Luxembourgers for so joyously celebrating the wedding of the Hereditary Grand Ducal couple with the family and wished Prince Félix and his fiancée Claire Lademacher all the best for their wedding and future together. In the name of himself, his wife, his father, the hereditary Grand Ducal couple and the whole family, he wished everyone happy Christmas as well as a happy new year.

The Luxembourgish version of the speech can be found on the website of the government, as can be the French version. Wort has an English summary of the speech.

Photo Session at Berg

Tomorrow afternoon, a photo session will take place at the Château de Berg on the occassion of the recent engagement of Prince Félix and Claire Lademacher. Apart from the couple, I'm sure that we will see members of both families also making an appearance.

Source: World of Royals

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Entire Family to Attend Wedding

The agenda of the cour tells us that the entire immediate grand ducal family will attend the wedding of Archduke Christoph of Austria and Adelaide Drape-Frisch on December 28th and 29th. Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie, Prince Felix and Claire Lademacher, Prince Louis and Princess Tessy, Princess Alexandra as well as Prince Sebastien will make their way to Nancy to witness the wedding of their nephew / cousin. None of the other family members are mentioned but they pretty much never are.

Source: Agenda of the cour grand-ducale

Friday, December 21, 2012

Wedding Stamps

After Guillaume and Stephanie's engagement went postal a few months ago, it's now time for their wedding to be memorised in stamps: For 9,60€, a set of eight stamps showing different scenes of the religious wedding and the balcony appearance can be all yours. As the stamps can now be bought, it seems that the earlier hassle - which pictures of which photographer which has to be approved by the cour to use - has now been solved.

Source: P&T Luxembourg

Monday, December 17, 2012

Luxarazzi 101: Archduchess Marie-Christine and Count Rodolphe de Limburg-Stirum

With the next wedding – Archduke Christoph and Adelaide Drape-Frisch, in case you weren’t aware – lurking just around the corner, it is a good time as any to have a look back at another arch- / grand ducal wedding: The wedding and the life of Archduchess Marie-Christine of Austria and Count Rodolphe de Limburg-Stirum.

Photo: Dutch Photo Press (left) & RTL (right)

Marie-Christine is the oldest child of Archduke Carl-Christian of Austria and his wife née Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg. She has four younger siblings, recently married Imre, soon-to-be married Christoph as well as Alexander and Gabriella.

Marie-Christine with her
parents as a baby
(Photo: Carte postale -
LUXNEXS - Editions
A. Rottigni)
She was born on July 31st, 1983 in Brussels, Belgium, which makes her the second oldest grandchild of Grand Duke Jean and the late Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte. Her paternal grandparents are the late Archduke Carl Ludwig of Austria and his wife née Princess Yolande de Ligne. Archduke Carl-Ludwig was the fifth of the eight children of Blessed Emperor Karl  and Empress Zita of Austria.

Wearing on ivory coloured lace heirloom christening robe, she was baptised with the name of  Marie-Christine Anne Astrid Zita Charlotte. The godparents were her mother's cousin Princess Astrid of Belgium and Archduke Rudolf of Austria, her father's uncle. The baptism took place at the Chapelle Sainte-Anne on the domain of the Château de Val-Duchesse in in the municipality of Auderghem in Brussels. She was named Marie for her mother and Christine as a female version of her father's name, Anne for the church where she was christianed, Astrid for godmother as well as her great-grandmother Queen Astrid of the Belgians, Zita for her great-grandmother Empress Zita and Charlotte for her great-grandmother Grand Duchess Charlotte.

Skiing with the family
(Photo: Corbis)
Shortly after her birth, Archduke Carl-Christian moved his family to Switzerland where he pursued his career in banking and management. Subsequently, Archduchess Marie-Christine grew up near Geneva, Switzerland, where she attended local schools. She later attended a boarding school in the United Kingdom. Marie-Christine is fluent in French, German, English and Spanish.

After finishing school, she lived in Chile for a couple of months. She worked for a humanitarian aid project trying to improve the living conditions of poor families in the South of the country.

After returning to Europe, Archduchess Marie-Christine attended the Institut Libre Marie Haps in Brussels where she studied Psychology. She focused her studies on Psychomotor education, a pedagogic and therapeutic approach with the aim to support and aid an individual’s personal development. During this time, she worked with children with severe motor handicaps for five months. In 2007, she worked in the Lebanese capital Beirut in an institution for handicapped children for a couple of weeks.

Photo: Hola
In the summer of 2008, Archduchess Marie-Christine announced her engagement to Belgian count Rodolphe de Limburg-Stirum. Born on March 20th, 1979, he is the son of Count Christoph de Limburg-Stirum and his wife née Countess Colienne d' Oultremont.

Rodolphe is the oldest of four children. He has two younger brothers, Philippe and François-Guillaume, as well as a younger sister, Marie. His paternal grandparents are Count Thierry de Limburg-Stirum and Princess Marie-Immaculée of Croÿ while his maternal grandparents are Count Eugene d'Oultremont and Madeleine de Liedekerke de Pailhe.

Originally from Germany, the Limburg-Stirum's are one of the oldest noble families in Europe and can trace their family tree back to (at least) the year 1079. They were semi-sovereign counts within the Holy Roman Empire and mediatised in 1806. Rodolphe descends from the Belgian - junior - branch of the family.

Count Rodolphe with his sister
Marie and his brother Philippe
(Photo: Oreste)
Count Rodolphe grew up in Huldenberg in the Belgian province of Flemish Brabant where the family's seat is located. He was educated in Dutch and attended local schools in Huldenberg as well as the Abdijschool Zevenkerken near Bruges. He studied International Affairs and Economics at the Vesalius College in Brussels and earned his Bachelor's degree in 2004. He speaks French, Flemish and English fluently and also knows German and Spanish.

In the late 90's, Count Rodolphe organised and participated in humanitarian aid missions in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Mexico. He is also a founding member of the charity "Super Day" that tries to help underprivileged and/or sick children. Since graduating from university, Rodolphe has worked for different companies and banks in the world of finance.

Photo: Getty Images
On December 6th, 2008, Count Rodolphe and Archduchess Marie-Christine married in a civil ceremony at the townhall of Mechelen near Brussels and later the same day religiously at the St. Rumbold's Cathedral closeby. Mechelen is located in the Flemish part of Belgium, a tie to Rodolphe and his family and also closely associated with the Habsburg's through Archduchess Margarete of Austria.

Photo: Zimbio
Archduchess Marie-Christine wore an ivory coloured dress by Belgian designer Yves Doom and an antic heirloom lace veil of the Habsburg family. (Archduchess Kathleen wore the same veil at her recent wedding to Marie-Christine's brother Archduke Imre.) Made of satin, the fur cuffed gown had a four meter long train. She honoured her Luxembourgish roots by wearing the smaller one of the two diamond floral tiaras owned by the Grand Ducal family. She also wore the same pearl earrings that her mother and her grandmother Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte had worn for their wedding days. She carried a bouquet of pale yellow roses interspersed with white and blue blossoms.

Marie-Christine's witnesses to the wedding were Princess Maria-Anunciata of Liechtenstein, Baroness Elisabeth Gillès de Pélichy and Princess Xenia Galitzine. Rodolphe chose his siblings counts Philippe and François and Countess Marie de Limburg-Stirum as his witnesses. The flowergirls and pages were Princess Laya and Princess Nora of Auersperg-Trautson, Princess Charlotte and Prince Léopold of Nassau, Archduchess Antonia and Archduchess Isabelle of Austria, Count Jean de Limburg-Stirum, Count Constantino Secco di Aragona and Edouard Misonne. Archduchess Gabriella acted as her sister's bridesmaid.

In late 2010, Marie-Christine and Rodolphe moved to Argentina where they manage a ranch. The ranch was previously owned by a late member of the Limburg-Stirum family. It is likely that Rodolphe took up management of the estate because he inherited it from this family member.

On April 19th, 2011, they welcomed their first child, a son named Léopold, who was born in Buenos Aires. His full name is  Léopold Menno Philippe Gabriel François-Xavier Marie Joseph Ghislain. His godparents are his paternal uncle Count Philippe de Limburg-Stirum and his maternal aunt Archduchess Gabriella.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Grand Duchess Bids Ombudwoman Farewell

Yesterday, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa welcomed Marie Anne Rodesch-Hengesch, the national ombudswoman for the rights of children, at the palais. The second and last tenure of Mrs Rodesch-Hengesch's office ends at the end of this year. A picture of the two ladies can be found on the website of the cour.

Source: CGD

An Interview with Prince Nikolaus

Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein, the husband of Luxembourg's very own Princess Margaretha, recently gave an interview to "Liechtenstein Live" which was aired a few days ago. The prince talks about the seperation of church and state, an issue that is currently renegotiated in Liechtenstein, and connected topics. As Prince Nikolaus is his country's non-resident ambassador to the Holy See, he is very involved in the process. A video of the about 20 minutes long interview can be found here.

Source: 1FLTV

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Engagement Announced

In not the most surprising move of the year, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa announced the engagement of their second son Prince Felix to German Claire Lademacher today.

Claire in Rome and together with Felix in Washington D.C. - Photo: Cour grand-ducale

It first became known publicly that Claire and Felix were an item when they were photographed together at the wedding of Princess Blanche de Merode, a good friend of the Hereditary Grand Duchess and one of her witnesses at the wedding, and Baron Philipp von und zu Bodman.

Claire as a child - Photo: Cour grand-ducale
Claire was born on March 21st, 1985, in Filderstadt, a town just south of Stuttgart in Germany. Her parents are Hartmut and Gabriele Lademacher. She has an older brother who is also named Felix.

She spent most of her childhood in Usingen near Frankfurt am Main before her family moved to Atlanta in the United States in the mid-90's. In 1999, her family returned to Germany, where they lived, again, near Frankfurt. During that time that Claire attended Frankfurt International School in Oberursel. She then went on to attend Collège Alpin International "Beau Soleil". It was at the Swiss boarding school that she crossed path with her future husband as he also attended the school. Other contemporaries included Prince Felix' cousin Princess Maria-Anunciata of Liechtenstein. In 2003, Claire earned the school's Prize of Excellency.

After she earned her IB with the majors History, English, German, Psychology and Art, she went on to attend the American University of Paris where she studied International Communications. She finished in 2007 and subsequently started working for publishing company Condé Nast in New York City and Munich. She then worked for IMG World in Berlin.

Claire and Felix in Florence, Italy - Photo: Cour grand-ducale

In 2011, she started a master's programme in Bioethics at the University Regina Apostolorum in Rome, where Prince Felix also studies. After receiving her degree summa cum laude, she is now working toward her Ph.D. She currently is a visiting researcher at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University in Washington D.C.

In her free time Claire enjoys dancing, playing tennis, volleyball and badminton as well as skiing. She is also interested in photography and music. Like her parents, she is concerned with and keen to support social causes. She has taken part in a few humanitarian missions, for example to India.

For more background information about both Claire and her family, have a look at our recent Luxarazzi 101 post about her.

Photo: Cour grand-ducale
The engagement of Claire and Felix doesn't come as a surprise to anyone closely interested in the Grand Ducal family. Even though they do not go as far back as Beau Soleil, the two have been dating for a couple of years by now. They were pictured together at different events since their first public outing at the wedding of Blanche and Philipp von und zu Bodman. Claire was present for both the weddings of Felix' cousin Archduke Imre and his wife Archduchess Kathleen, as well as the wedding of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie. We will most likely see them for the first time at an official event at the wedding of Felix' cousin Archduke Christoph in a little more than two weeks.

To celebrate the engagement, the cour has released a few private pictures of the happy couple that can be found at RTL and L'essentiel.

Source: Cour grand-ducale

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Very Big Greeting Card

You might remember that in the days and weeks before the wedding of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and the new Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie, there was a huge greeting card touring the country so that everyone could sign it. This morning, the happy couple finally received their very large gift.

Photos: Marc Wilwert / Luxemburger Wort /
Measuring a little more than twelve square metre, the card toured 36 towns and villages in the Grand Duchy. During the journey of more than 1.000 kilometres, 7.000 people put their signature on it and additionally filled a book with 300 pages with wishes for the their future grand ducal couple. (A gallery of pictures of the card's journey can be found at Good Idea.) The card was designed by Luxembourgish artist Pit Weyer.

Today, the president and the director of the Confédération Luxembourgeoise du Commerce handed over the card in the curtilage of the palais. Afterwards, Guillaume and Stephanie also received the book and an art print indoors.

More pictures are available on the website of Wort, as well as on the website of the cour.

Source: Wort, Cour grand-ducale

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Luxarazzi 101: the Congo Diamond Necklace Tiara

The tiara as a necklace
Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie chose her family's heirloom tiara to anchor her veil on her wedding day, if she hadn't done so, she would have most likely opted for this gem: the Congo Diamond Necklace Tiara. 

Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Princess Margaretha and Princess Marie-Astrid

As the name suggests, the tiara is a convertible necklace and was made by Van Cleef and Arpels. It was a wedding gift to Princess Joséphine-Charlotte upon her marriage to Hereditary Grand Duke Jean by the Belgian colony of Congo in 1953.

The tiara was worn by Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte herself as well as Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa, Princess Marie-Astrid and Princess Margaretha on their wedding days. The only granddaughter of Grand Duchess Joséphine Charlotte yet to be married, Archduchess Marie-Christine, decided to wear another of the family's tiaras, the smaller one of the two diamond floral tiaras.

Apart from the aforementioned weddings, the piece isn't worn as a tiara very often. Both Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte and Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa seem(ed) to prefer it as a necklace, which is all too understandable as it resembles a bandeau and his hard to wear with elaborate hairstyles.

On display together with a matching bracelet

As it was a wedding gift, the tiara was personal property of Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte. When she died in 2005, the family apparently had some troubles dividing her belongings and thus decided to auction of some of her jewellery. This tiara was among the pieces to be auctioned of.

When the news became public, there was an outcry in the Grand Duchy and so the Grand Duke decided to cancel the sale.  Thus, the Congo Diamond Necklace Tiaras was luckily saved from leaving the family, though sadly a lot of other jewellery was still sold of, it was simply done in quieter fashion and with less substantial - basically tiaras - pieces.

New Ambassador from the UAE

Two days ago, Sulaiman Hamed al Mazrouei from the United Arab Emirates presented his credentials as his country's new ambassador to the Grand Duke. Mr Al Mazrouei is also serving as UAE ambassador to Belgium and the European Union. This is quite common, if my memory serves me right, there are only about 20-something countries that have resident ambassadors to the Grand Duchy. Luxembourg is also represented by Belgian or Dutch embassies in many other countries.

Source: Zawya

Reception at Berg **

Photo: Armand Wagner /
Luxemburger Wort /
Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa as well as Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie welcomed members of the Luxembourgish army and the police at the Château de Berg today. All the soldiers and policemen participated humanitarian and peacekeeping missions, specifically KFOR and ISAF, this year.

Luxembourgish forces have been part of the NATO-led KFOR (Kosovo Force) since January 2000. A few years ago, Princess Tessy served time in the South-Eastern European country as part of one of the missions and it is actually where she met her prince when he was visiting the troops. Since July 2003, Luxembourg is also taking part in another NATO mission, the Afghanistan-based ISAF (International Security Assistance Force).
Photo: Armand Wagner /
Luxemburger Wort /

The reception traditionally take place every year just before Christmas at the residence of the Grand Ducal Family. Policemen and soldiers who have taken part in two two above mentioned missions as well as their wives, girlfriends, children, parents and basically everyone you want to bring are invited to attend. During the reception the guests mingled with the Grand Ducal as well as the Hereditary Grand Ducal couples at the grand dining room and the ceremonial hall.

A gallery of visuals is available at Wort.

Sources: Cour grand-ducale, Wort, Lëtzebuerger Arméi

Water Management and Sustainability

Currently the Grand Duke's brother Prince Jean is participating in the "Verbier Investment Forum 2012" in - surprise, surprise - Verbier, Switzerland. Yesterday, the prince gave a keynote speech about "The global water challenge" and today he took part in two Q&As, one of them about "The global water challenges – local perspectives and efforts".

Prince Jean owns a couple of companies and works as CEO for another few. A couple of years ago, he founded MEA AQUA, a company specialised in water services and management solutions for Africa and the Middle East. For more information about the prince's working life, have a look at the website of VerbierGPS.

A picture of Prince Jean giving his speech yesterday, can be found on Twitter. If you are further interested, it might be a good idea to generally have a look at the Twitter feed of VerbierGPS as they have a couple of quotes by the prince and more information about the event.

Source: VerbierGPS

Monday, December 10, 2012

Grand Duke Welcomes Head of WHO

Today, Grand Duke Henri welcomed Margaret Chan, the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), at the palais for an audience. The WHO is a part of the United Nations and deals with international public health. A picture can be found on the website of the cour.

Source: Cour grand-ducale

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Catching Up...

The grand ducal family was pretty busy during the last couple of days attending various events and so were we with our work, so let's try to catch up with the latest events that haven't been previously been covered on the blog.

On November 29th, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa toured "The Venice Biennale Projects 1988-2011" exhibition at the Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, also known as MUDAM. Picture galleries can be found at RTL and Wort.

On December 1st, the Grand Duchess and her sister-in-law Princess Margaretha visited the Cercle Artistique at the CarréRotondes in Hollerich. The art exhibitions take place twice a year. It is one of the patronages of Grand Duchess Maria Teresa who also gives out the annual Prix Grand-Duc Adolphe to artists exhibiting at the Cercle Artistique. A gallery of visuals is available on the website of the cour.

On December 3rd, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa visited the Ganzdagsschoul Jean Jaurés in Esch-sur-Alzette. During her visit, the school was handed the Zesummen fir Integratioun award that honour institutions who work for the integration of handicapped children. For pictures have a look on the website of the cour and at Wort.

On December 4th, the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess celebrated the 60th anniversary of the European Court of Justice. It is the highest court in the European Union in matters of European Union law. Established in 1952, the court is situated in Luxembourg and headed by Vassilios Skouris, who - interesting fact - also attend the wedding of the hereditary grand ducal couple in October. Wort offers more information and a picture of the occassion.

Meanwhile, Tageblatt has published a few previously unseen pictures of Archduke Christoph and his fiancée Adelaide. In a press release Christoph parents also confirmed the wedding dates once again: the civil wedding will take place on Friday, December 28th, at 5pm at the town hall of Nancy and the religious wedding a day later at 11am at the Basilique Saint-Epvre.

Source: Cour grand-ducale, Wort, RTL

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Maria Teresa and Stephanie Support Children's Charity

Yesterday, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and her new daughter-in-law Princess Stephanie, the Hereditary Grand Duchess attended a concert to benefit SOS Children's Villages. This was the first engagement that the royal ladies have undertaken together without their spouses. Princess Stephanie was, however, accompanied by an enormous scarf.

Photo: Marc Wilwert / Luxemburger
Wort /
The event featuring the music of Mendelssohn, Strauss and Schumann will benefit the organization's activities in Cape Verde. The funds raised will support 160 families that include 540 children. This will surely meet with the approval of Luxembourg's very large immigrant population, Cape Verdeans are one of the largest immigrant groups within the Grand Duchy.  The living conditions of people living outside of the tourist areas of Cape Verde are shocking. People lack access to clean water and basic sanitation.

The Grand Duchess is a patroness of the organization.

Click on photo to view larger version. 

Sources: Luxemburger Wort, OPL, Philharmonie Luxembourg. SOSVE

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Two Couples at "Atelier Luxembourg"

Today it was time for the first post-wedding engagement of Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie in Luxembourg itself. Together with her husband and her parents-in-law she visited the Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain to view an exhibition titled "Atelier Luxembourg – Making of".

Photo: Guy Jallay / Luxemburger Wort /

The exhibition is composed of works by Yann Annicchiarico, Leonora Bisagno, David Brognon (The Plug), Stina Fisch, Julie Goergen, Sophie Jung, Vera Kox, Philippe Nathan, Roland Quetsch, Letizia Romanini, Sté Ternes, SUMO, Steve Veloso and Jeff Weber. Together with those 14 young Luxembourgish artists, Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie toured the exhibition and later sat down together for a drink and a chat.

Galleries of visuals are available at Wort and on the website of the always rocking Manuel Dias.

Source: Wort

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Bazar Internationale

Photo: Anouk Antony /
Luxemburger Wort /
Today was the first of two days of the Bazar Internationale at LuxExpo and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and her sister-in-law Princess Margaretha toured the stands. The two discovered 65 stalls and information desks from 60 countries. The Grand Duchess is the patron of the event.

The benefits of the 52nd edition of the bazaar will go to some 98 charities around the world, so should you be in or around the Grand Duchy tomorrow, take your chance to discover culinary specialities, traditional goods and crafts from around the world and, by buying them, help out people in need.

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

Source: Wort

It's Official: Imperial Wedding in Nancy

Rumour had it for quite a while, but now it is official: Archduke Christoph, son of Archduke Carl-Christian of Austria and Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg, and his fiancée Adélaïde Drapé-Frisch are getting married in Nancy. The civil wedding ceremony will take place on December 28th, a day later on December 29th the couple will tie the knot at he basilica of St. Epvre, the local bishop Monseigneur Papin will celebrate the union.

Photo: Alexandre Marchi
Christoph and Adélaïde have known each other for five years and are living in Geneva, Switzerland, where he is working in finance and she attending university to obtain a master in psychology. The couple got engaged quite a while ago and made it official almost a year ago at the same time as Christoph's brother Archduke Imre and his now wife Katie.

In an interview with Le Républicain Lorraine, the couple revealed that when they decided to get married, they looked at different options about where it would be. They wanted to get married in a place that would make sense for both of their families. Neither Brussels, Paris nor other cities that they first thought about met the criteria; members of their families then suggested Nancy.

When Archduke Christoph and French diplomat's daughter Adélaïde visited the town, it became obvious to them that it would be the perfect choice. Christoph tells that Nancy and Lorraine will always have a special place in the heart of his family, the Habsbourg-Lorraine's. He adds that the late Archduke Otto, who got married in Nancy in 1951, always told the family that they should never forget the place.

Less than a month to go, the preparation are fully under way: the couple just visited Nancy to prepare for their civil wedding with the town's mayor André Rossinot.

For those contemplating to go to Nancy for the wedding, there is good news. In the interview, the archduke says, "We wish for Lorraine to accompany us, the doors will be open." The bride-to-be Adélaïde also wishes for a little bit of snow on the wedding day. Looking at pictures of stunning Nancy in winter that would pretty much make the fairytale setting complete...

Source: Le Républicain Lorraine