Monday, April 15, 2013

State Visit to Austria - Day 1 ***

After a proper send-off at Findel Airport in Luxembourg including saying goodbye to the government, lots of soldiers and bowing to the flag, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa as well as the delegation accompanying them flew to Vienna for their state visit. The plane ride entailed one of the most favourite parts of any state visit by your bloggers here at Luxarazzi, the air escort.

Photo: Pierre Matge /

At the airport in the Austrian capital, the Grand Ducal Couple was greeted with military honours by the Bundesheer, the Austrian Armed Forces. They then made their way to the enormous Hofburg Palace, who once the home of the Habsburg rulers is now the official residence of the President of Austria. It was Heinz Fischer, the current one, to greet the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess upon their arrival. Together the two head of states inspected the guard of honour before moving inside to take a few pictures together with their wives.

Photo: Luxemburger Wort /

Afterwards, Mr. Fischer and Grand Duke Henri participated in a meeting that was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean Asselborn, and the Minister of Economy and Trade, Etienne Schneider as well as members of the Austrian government. Meanwhile, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and Margit Fischer, the president's wife, took part in a discussion about the integration of immigrants and people living on the fringes of society in in a globalised world. The round table was attended by various NGO's working in this field.

To round off the morning, the Grand Duke viewed the Imperial Treasury, which is also located at the Hofburg. As the name suggests, the museum is home to both secular and ecclesiastical treasures compiled by the Habsburg family over the course of centuries, including the Imperial Crown, Orb, and Sceptre of Austria, as well as the Imperial Regalia of the Emperors and Kings of the Holy Roman Empire.

Photo: Luxemburger Wort /

After a private luncheon, the presenditial couple accompanied Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa to a concert of the Wiener Sängerknaben. They sang a selection of eight songs. When the concert was over, the Grand Ducal Couple was gifted with two little teddy bears wearing the uniforms of the boys' choir that I'm sure will be appreciated by the couple's grandsons Gabriel and Noah or whoever gets them.

Photo: Luxemburger Wort /

Afterwards, the couple made their way to the Vienna city hall to be received by Michael Häuptl, the mayor of Vienna who is also the Landeshauptmann - I don't think there is an English term for that, it's the term for the chief executive of an Austrian state. At the town hall, they apparently received a couple of more gifts.

Photo: Luxemburger Wort /

In the evening, a state banquet was held at the Hofburg. The Grand Duke wore white tie together with the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria and the badge of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau. Grand Duchess Maria Teresa wore what's probably Natan, the Belgian Scroll Tiara and the female version of the Austrian order.

Photo: Luc Deflorenne / SIP / Cour grand-ducale

I will keep my judgement about the Grand Duchess' attire largely to myself (well, I already aired it on other sources) because if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all... But, why in the world would you chose to wear just large, very obviously fake brooch-y ornamentation if you got the real deal at home?!

If you still haven't go enough, you can also check Wort for a few pictures of former state visits between Luxembourg and Austria to keep yourself occupied.

More pictures of today can be found at Wort, Tageblatt, L'essentiel, the cour grand-ducale, APA, Getty Images, SIPA and AFP, a news report is available at RTL.


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