Friday, May 31, 2013

Games of the Small States of Europe - Day Four *

Day four of the Games of the Small States of Europe and we're still going strong. Sadly, tomorrow will be the last day of competition that will be rounded off by a closing ceremony at the Abbaye de Neumünster which will be attended by the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess as well as the Hereditary Grand Duke and the Hereditary Grand Duchess.

Photo: Julien Garroy
While Grand Duke Henri was on his own, family-wise that is, to watch the beach volleyball earlier today, the family joined forces to support the Luxembourgish swimmers on the last day of their competition at the Centre national sportif et culturel, better known as the Coque. In addition, they also watched volleyball and basketball in various compositions.

Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Grand Duke Jean, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie as well as Princess Margaretha, showing us that her visit to Brussels was of very short nature, were present at the swimming venue to cheer on the Luxembourgish swimmers, or maybe also the ones from Liechtenstein in the case of Princess Margaretha.

Photo: Jeff Lahr
The Grand Ducal Couple and Princess Margaretha were joined by Princess Marie-Astrid and her son Archduke Imre and wife Archduchess Kathleen, who have recently moved to Luxembourg from Brussels, to watch the women's volleyball final between Luxembourg and Cyprus, won by the latter ones.

At least the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess ventured over to another part of the Coque to watch tonight's basketball game between Luxembourg and San Marino which was won by the men from the Grand Duchy with 91:37.

Pictures of today are located at L'essentiel, Tageblatt, RTL, Vaterland, on the website of Julien Garroy #1 and once again on the website of Julien Garroy #2, a video at RTL.

Source: Wort, Tageblatt

Guests for Swedish Wedding Confirmed

On 8 June, Princess Madeleine of Sweden will marry her British-American fiancé Christopher O'Neill in Stockholm and Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie are confirmed to be the Luxembourgish representatives at the wedding.

As the wedding is scheduled to start at 4pm, it means that the Hereditary Grand Duchess once again has the chance to dig deep into the family's jewellery vault to uncover a goodie to plop onto her head as it is a tiara event. (Also another good excuse to shop at Elie Saab, methinks!) It will take place at the Royal Chapel in Stockholm while the celebrations are to be held at Drottningholm Palace, a little outside of the city.

On the eve of the wedding day, there is going to be a private dinner hosted by King Carl XVI Gustav and Queen Silvia at the Grand Hôtel in Stockholm for which the royal guests will also be present.

(As a side note: I would not hold my breath for any guests from Liechtenstein but I would love to be proved wrong.)

Changing Places

Photo: Olivier Vin / Belga
It seems that sisters Princess Margaretha and Princess Marie-Astrid have changed places. While the latter one in now cheering on the athletes in Luxembourg, the former accompanied their maternal aunt Queen Fabiola of Belgium to yet another one of the last concerts of the Concours musical international Reine-Élisabeth-de-Belgique. Princess Marie-Astrid was in Brussels on Monday to accompany her aunt to one of the concerts. Another attendant last night was Princess Mathilde, the Duchess of Brabant.

I can't seem to locate the exact Belga gallery but if you wish to see more pictures of the concert, simply venture over to and type in "Queen Elisabeth Music Finals" and the goodies should come up!

Source: Belga

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Games of the Small States of Europe - Day Three

People, I have a confession to make: I am a fan! A fan of the Games of the Small States of Europe, it's like a mini-Olympics with a maxi-Grand-Ducal-Family-turnout. Surely there might be people complaining about the absence of more prominent family members but humble me for one is very happy to see so many lesser known family members. Case in point: Day three of the competitions.

Photo: Georges Noesen / Sportrevue
We might be missing princely sport fans in our recap today but there were new additions to the grand ducal cheering club. (Just to make sure: Neither this list nor the ones in the past days claim to be correct. It's entirely possible that more members of the family were in attendance or that the sporting venues were misidentified by moi but it is sure that those mentioned were present for some kind of event of the day in question.)

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie, Prince Paul-Louis and Prince Jean-André, the oldest and the youngest sons of Prince Guillaume, were at the Judo competition today and saw both the Luxembourgish men's and women's teams take - or rather keep - home the gold medals in the team event.

Meanwhile, Grand Duke Henri, his brother Prince Guillaume and wife Princess Sibilla, and his sister Archduchess Marie-Astrid were at the gymnastics venue and also witnessed a number of Luxembourgish medals.

It seems that they all united for the swimming competition in the afternoon and evening hours as Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie, Archduchess Marie-Astrid, Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla could all be seen cheering in the stands or alternatively handing out the medals.

I also spotted the Grand Duke at the athletics competition at the Stade Josy Barthel.

Pictures of today are available at Sportrevue #1, Sportrevue #2, Sportrevue #3, Tageblatt and L'essentiel. A video is located at RTL.

Brewery Convention

On last Sunday, before all the sports buzz caught Luxembourg, Grand Duke Henri was present for the opening ceremony of the European Brewery Convention which took place in Luxembourg this year. During the congress the brewers not very surprisingly talked all things beer.

Source: Wort

Luxarazzi 101: The Cathedral of Our Lady of Luxembourg

With June knocking on our doors, we are gearing up for Luxembourg's biggest annual event, the National Day, which will occur on June 23rd. To warm ourselves up, to get in the mood and also to have a bit of background knowledge once the day comes around, we will have a few editions of our Luxarazzi 101 series dedicated to places and things that will be important for the day.

First up: the setting of the ecumenical religious celebrations.

The Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Luxembourg is located in the heart of the Grand Duchy's capital and offers the backdrop for the Te Deum on National Day as well as for the annual Octave celebrations. You might also remember it from the wedding of the Hereditary Grand Duke last year. The cathedral is located only a walking distance from the palais grand-ducal.

Photo: Caranorn / Wikimedia Commons
The foundation stone for the cathedral, a former Jesuit college, was laid in 1613. The plans had been drawn up by Brother Jean du Blocq from the monastery of Tournai and overseen by Brother Otto Herloy. The construction of the college was completed in 1621. The artistic decoration and sculpture was completed during the following decades. The church is an example of late gothic architecture though it also includes Renaissance elements.

Photo: Vic Fischbach /
Cour grand-ducale
Significant contributors during the building process included Ulrich Job from Lucerne and Daniel Müller, an immigrant from Freiberg in Saxony. On 17 October 1621, the church was consecrated and dedicated to the Immaculate Conception by Georg von Helffenstein, an auxiliary bishop from nearby Trier.

In 1773, the Jesuits were suppressed and left Luxembourg. Later that year, Empress Maria Theresa gave the structure to the city of Luxembourg and it was elevated to a parish church named for St Nicholas and St Theresa. During the French revolution the church welcomed the statue of the Counselor of the Afflicted, the patron saint of the city and country, to save it from the approaching French troops.

In 1801, large parts of the former Duchy were incorporated into the bishopric of Metz and the church was proclaimed "mother church of the city and the department". It became henceforth known as the St Peter's Church to eclipse any memory of the Austrian rule. Vicar apostolic Jean-Théodore Laurent renamed the church in honour the Virgin Mary 'Church of Our Lady' in 1844.

Photo: Cour grand-ducale
Already in 1815, the Congress of Vienna had created the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and 55 years later Pope Pius IX elevated the new country to the rank of an autonomous diocese. The church was thus elevated to the rank of a cathedral as well.

The cathedral's interior was given a neo-gothic redesign under Nicholas Adames, Laurent's successor and first diocesan bishop. The works started in 1854. His aim had been to purify the church's artistic appearance. The different stained glasses were created by Louis Barillet, Oberberger and Emile Probst.

Between 1935 and 1938 the cathedral was enlarged and enhanced according to the plans of Luxembourgish architect Hubert Schumacher who worked closely together with canon Léon Lommel. The most recent changes were undertaken during the 1970's to "accentuate the vertical dynamism of the architecture and to highlight the sculptural elements".

On Good Friday 1985 disaster struck and welding work started a fire in the old belfry. Various bells, including the carillon bells, the tenor bell of the Virgin Mary and the bells of St Willibrord, St Peter and St Cunegunda, were all destroyed. Falling debris from the collapsing belfry caused great damage to the roof over the central nave. The reconstruction of the cathedral's roof and the belfry was finished by October that same year.

Source: Buddhaah / Flickr
A burial crypt is located underneath the cathedral and serves as the last resting place of bishops and Luxembourgish rulers, including John the Blind (1296-1346), Count of Luxembourg and Count of Bohemia, Grand Duchess Marie-Adélaïde and Grand Duchess Charlotte.

All the Catholic members of the Grand Ducal Family - such as Grand Duchess Marie-Anne, Prince Felix, Prince Charles and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte - were laid to rest in the crypt. (The protestant member of the family, Grand Duke Adolph and Grand Duke Guillaume IV among them, are buried at the castle church in Weilburg an der Lahn in Germany.) The entrance to the crypt is adorned by two Bronze lions bearing the coat of arms of the dynasty.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Games of the Small State of Europe - Day Two

Day two of the Games of the Small States of Europe meant the second day of sports-watching, cheering and medal-handing-out royals. The usual suspects we already saw on day one plus some nice surprises ventured out of their homes once again to support their atheletes in various combinations.
Photo: Michael Zanghellini / Liechtensteiner Volksblatt /

While Princess Nora seemed to have been the sole member of the princely and grand ducal families to be at the Judo venue today, she was later (or earlier, I'm not too sure about the schedule) joined by her sister-in-law Princess Margaretha, her niece Princess Marie-Astrid and Grand Duke Henri to watch the air riffle shooting competition that brought Liechtenstein a silver and Luxembourg a bronze medal. What a perfect coincidence that Princess Margaretha of Luxembourg and Liechtenstein handed out the medal for said event.

At least Grand Duke Henri, Princess Margaretha and Princess Nora also had a look at the table tennis competition today, while the Grand Duke and Princess Margaretha as well as Grand Duchess Maria Teresa watched a basketball match tonight.

Photo: Sportpics / Luxemburger Tageblatt /
Meanwhile, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie and Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume spent part of their day at the tennis court to watch a few matches. They were joined by Guillaume's cousin and godson Prince Paul-Louis. One of the nice surprises today!

Photos of today are available at Sportrevue, RTL, Wort, Tageblatt, Volksblatt, Wort in English and Vaterland. RTL and Wort have a report about today's events.

Games of the Small States of Europe - Day One

Photo: Joe Turmes / Luxemburg Wort /
As hoped, the Grand Ducal and Princely families were out in a (little) force to cheer on their athletes using all physical strength on the first day of competition at the Games of the Small States of Europe. The biggest appearance was observable at the beach volleyball venue as Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie as well as Princess Margaretha and her daughter Princess Marie-Astrid gathered to view a few matches.

Photo: Sportpics / Luxemburger Tageblatt /
I also spotted the Grand Duke, the Grand Duchess, Princess Margaretha, Princess Astrid at the tennis venue, while those four as well as the Hereditary Grand Duke and the Hereditary Grand Duchess visited the Judo competition at one point or the other, as did Princess Nora. At least Grand Duke Henri was also present at the swimming competition were he handed out a few medals. The Grand Duke, his sister Princess Margaretha and his niece Princess Astrid were also at the table tennis. Yep, they really got around today!

(Not sure who I just talked about? Have a look at our Who's Who!)

After the first day of competition, Luxembourg leads the medal table with eight gold and silver medals each as well as ten bronze medals. Liechtenstein is currently in fifth place with three gold, five silver and two bronze medals.

Pictures of the various events of today are located at Tageblatt, L'essentiel, Sportrevue #1, Sportrevue #2, RTL #1 and RTL #2. RTL also has a news report about today's events and yesterday's opening ceremony.

Source: GSSE, Wort, Tageblatt

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Meanwhile in Belgium

While large parts of the rest of her family were busy in Luxembourg cheering on the athletes, Archduchess Marie-Astrid accompanied her maternal aunt Queen Fabiola of Belgium to the final session of the Concours Reine Elisabeth - Piano 2013.

Photo: Screenshot from RTBF
The Concours musical international Reine-Élisabeth-de-Belgique, as it is full name, is an annual music competition taking place at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. It is a founding member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions and is considered to be one of the most prestigious and most difficult.

Luxembourgish royals are no strangers to the event as Princess Margaretha attended in 2011 and I also seem to recall seeing Archduchess Marie-Astrid at the event before even though I can't find prove at the moment.

A video of last night's concert is available at RTBF, the royals can be seen arriving at about 13:30.

Source: Royalement Blog (Merci à Valentin!), CMIREB

Spot the Royal! *

So... After closer examination of the the pictures of the opening ceremony of the Games of the Small States of Europe, I have to admit that I jumped the gun a little by already publishing the post about it. Not only did I add a video, but I also discovered many more familiar faces that are worth a special mention. Can you too?

Photo: Gerry Schmit / Jeff Lahr / Tageblatt
Looking further than the first-row-royals, you will also find Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla and at least three of their children, Prince Paul-Louis, Prince Léopold and Princess Charlotte, as well as Princess Margaretha and her daughter Princess Marie-Astrid among the cheerful crowd.

Apologies for the, in some cases, blurry pictures but the photographers, at least thus far, did not have the royal back row crowd in their focus.

Update: Better pictures are now available at Le Quotidien.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Let the Games Begin... **

Before the Games of the Small States of Europe officially kicked off with its opening ceremony, the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess as well as the Hereditary Grand Duke and the Hereditary Grand Duchess welcomed another few guests, this time of the princely kind, at the palais.

Photo: Christian Aschman / Cour grand-ducale
The two couples were joined by (from left to right) Anne Rogge, IOC president Jacques Rogge, Prince Albert of Monaco and Princess Nora of Liechtenstein as well as a few others for a meet, greet and phototaking session. A few more of the snapshots, can be found on the Facebook page of Place Royale. RTL has a video of the reception (starting at 8:37), in which I'm also able to spot Prince Guillaume, Princess Sibilla and their two oldest sons Prince Paul-Louis and Prince Léopold and Princess Margaretha and at least one of her daughters, Princess Astrid.

Photo: Julien Garroy / Tageblatt

Together (or maybe also seperately) the royal crowd made their way to the Stade Jose Barthel, Luxembourg's national stadium named after the country's only Olympic gold medal winner, where the opening ceremony of the Games of the Small States of Europe took place. They were joined by Grand Duke Jean for the occassion.

The Games, which take place every two years, were introduced in 1985 and are organised by the National Olympic Committees of nine different European countries, namely Andorra, Cyprus, Island, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro and San Marino. These nine countries have in common that they all have less than one million inhabitants. The last edition of the Games took place in Liechtenstein in 2011.

Photo: Julien Garroy / Tageblatt
Both male and female athletes will compete in eleven different summer Olympic disciplines. During the 15th edition of the Games, the sportsmen and -women will fight for medals in eight individual sports, swimming, table tennis, tennis, judo, shooting, athletics, gymnastics and cycling, as well as two (and a half) team sports, basketball and volleyball (and beach volleyball).

The competitions will mainly take place at three different sites, around the Stade Josy Barthel, the Coque and Limpertsberg. The closing ceremony will take place at the Abbaye de Neumünster on next Saturday.

Let's hope that we will see many cheerful Grand Ducal and Princely appearances until then!

First pictures of the opening ceremony are located at Tageblatt, L'essentiel, RTL, Wort in French, Wort in English, Wort in German, Sportrevue, Volksblatt and Vaterland. Wort has a video.

Source: JPPE

Guests from San Marino and More

Photo: Cour grand-ducale

Earlier today, the Grand Duke Henri welcomed the two captain regents of San Marino, Antonella Mularoni and Denis Amici, at the palais for an audience. San Marino, an enclaved microstate on the Italian peninsula, is just over 61 squarekilometres big and has an estimated population of about 30,000 people. Its two heads of state and government are currently visiting the Grand Duchy for the opening of the Games of the Small States of Europe, which will take place tonight.

Other guests at the opening ceremony include Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie, Grand Duke Jean, Prince Albert of Monaco and Princess Nora of Liechtenstein. In case you find the time, you can watch the ceremony of the official website of the games tonight.

Source: Cour grand-ducale

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Serbian State Funeral

Prince Philipp of Liechtenstein and his wife Princess Isabelle were in Serbia this weekend to assist at the reburial of the remains of King Peter II of Yugoslavia, his wife Queen Alexandra, née Princess of Greece and Denmark, his mother Queen Maria, a born princess of Romania, and his brother, Prince Andrej in a state funeral.

Photo: Screenshot from RTS
King Peter II had come to the throne at the age of 17 in 1941 but only reigned for eleven days when Nazi-Germany invaded the country and the royal family had to flee. He died in the United States in 1970 and was buried at the Saint Sava Monastery Church in Libertyville, Illinois.

His mother Maria died in exile in London and was interred at the Royal Burial Ground at Frogmore adjoining Windsor Castle, his wife Alexandra also died in England but was buried in the former private Greek royal residence at Tatoi in Greece, and his brother Andrej was originally laid to rest at the cemetery of the New Gračanica Monastery near Chicago.

The remains of the four members of the Karađorđević royal family were transferred to the Church of St. George in Oplenac in central Serbia yesterday and reburied there this morning.

Videos of the event can be found at Blic and RTS, while I have yet to locate pictures that actually show the Liechtenstein's. Additional information are available on the website of the Royal Family of Serbia. For first hand reports about the events, have a look at Royal Musings.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Luxarazzi 101: Prince Félix of Luxembourg (* 1984)

The Grand Ducal Family's next groom will tie the knot with his lovely lady on 17 September civilly and 21 September religiously, also with his birthday just around the corner, it is a good time to have a look at the life and work of the second son of the Grand Ducal Couple, Prince Félix.

(We already covered the bride when she was still only the girlfriend a while ago.)

With his parents and older
brother Guillaume
His Royal Highness Félix Léopold Marie Guillaume de Nassau, Prince of Luxembourg, Prince of Nassau and Prince de Bourbon de Parme - as his full name, title and style is - was born on 3 June 1984 at the Maternité Grand Duchesse Charlotte of the Centre Hospitalier in Luxembourg.

The little prince was named for both his paternal great-grandfathers, Prince Felix of Luxembourg and King Léopold III of the Belgians. The name Marie was given to him - like most other Catholic royals and nobles - in honour of the Virgin Mary and Guillaume to honour his Nassau heritage. His godparents were his father's brother Prince Jean and his mother's sister Catalina Mestre.

Since 2009, Prince Félix has been studying Bioethics at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome. The urge to pursue a degree in this field, however, did not come naturally to him.

Félix started out his education at the local primary school in Lorentzweiler, located a 15 minutes drive from the Château de Fischbach where he lived with his family at the time. After finishing his primary education, he attended the École Privée Notre-Dame Sainte-Sophie in Kirchberg and the American School of Luxembourg, before following in his older brother's footsteps and changing to a boarding school in Switzerland in 1998.

With brothers Guillaume and Louis
and cousin Marie-Christine
It was at the prestigious and oh-so-expensive Collège Alpin Beau Soleil in Villars-sur-Ollon that he first crossed paths with Claire Lademacher, the woman who in September will become his wife. In 2003, Félix finished his secondary education at the boarding school with distinction. During his time in Switzerland, he was voted "best athlete" at his school for five years in a row.

After finishing school, Félix followed yet another tradition set by family members before him by enrolling at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst. He, however, had to drop out due to a serious ski related knee injury. Instead, he worked as an intern for various private companies in order to gain experiences.

In the following years, Félix attended various universities studying political sciences, communication and psychology in different countries. He surely attended Vesalius College in Brussels and Boston College in the United States. Some sources also claim that he spent time at Columbia University in New York City and the London School of Economics though we have never found anything to actually indicate that Félix went there, which is not to say he didn't. (Sadly, he does not send us updates about all his current locations. Shocking, I know!)

Photo: Cour grand-ducale
In 2005, Prince Félix also started to work in the marketing and public relations department of Grand Chelem Management, a swiss company located in Morges specialising in the organisation of sporting and cultural events. To this day, he continues to work for them as an independent contributor.

Then in October 2009, Prince Félix started a bachelor's programme in Bioethics at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome. Founded in 1993, the university is sponsored by the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi. Félix enrolled there as he was interested in bioethics in general and especially in ethical notions in the field of biotechnologies. He says that he was not happy with his life at that point and started to attend the university to find answers to his questions.

During the beginning of his course of study, Félix worked for the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights. He most probably received his bachelor's degree in 2012 as he is currently pursuing a master's degree, which is largely taught in Italian.

The multi-lingual prince is also fluent in Luxembourgish, French, German and English. In addition to the just mentioned Italian, he also studied Spanish.

Photo: Cour grand-ducale
In his free time, Félix is very active and plays various kinds of sports. Tennis, volleyball and football are among his favourites which he practices regularly. He also likes general athletics, parachuting, golf and basketball as well as acrobatic skiing, slalom and snowboarding in winter.

In more official functions, he is the patron of Cercle Para Luxembourg, Fédération Aéronautique Luxembourgeoise (since 2003) and the patron of Fédération luxembourgeoise de Basketball (since 2005). During the last couple of years, we have also seen him at various events related to cycling even though his older brother Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume is the patron of the cycling federation (though he is the only person of the family I have not seen at a cycling event).

For the most part, we get to see Prince Félix at the two major events of the Grand Ducal Family, the Octave celebrations as well as National Day. In difference to most of his younger siblings, he does venture out of the palais for official events all on his own every once in a while. He also acted as the +1 of his older brother when he was still unmarried or even stood in for Guillaume when he wasn't available.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Dutch King and Queen Visit Luxembourg ***

Their first official foreign visit led the new King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands to a fellow Benelux country, Luxembourg. Apart from being almost neighbours, the two reigning houses share a very familiar relation as they are both branches of the House of Nassau. The first official visit of the King's mother, the former Queen Beatrix, also led her to the Grand Duchy.

Photo: Charles Caratini / SIP
At Findel airport the King and Queen were welcomed by Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa. Together the two couples made their way to the palais where they presented themselves (albeit very shortly) to the crowds. After taking a few official snapshots for the royal family album, or rather the newspapers, they were joined by Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie for a private luncheon.

Photo: AFP / Nicolas Lambert
The King and Queen of the Netherlands will also meet with other Luxembourgish dignitaries over the course of the day before being escorted back to the airport by the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess.

Pictures are available at ANP, PPE, Wort in German, Wort in English, Wort in French, AFP, Tageblatt, RTL, DPP, Zimbio, Le Quotidien, the cour, L'essentiel and Belga. Videos are located at NOS, Wort and RTL.

As it is often the case during state visits or other royal occassions, the good people over at Wort have dug in their archives to surface some oldies but goldies. In this case two pictures of King Willem-Alexander and the Grand Ducal Couple from 1991 as well as pictures of the Dutch royal family in general.

Entrepreneurial Forum

Photo: Unternehmerforum Lilienberg
Yesterday, Hereditary Prince Alois was in Ermatingen near Lake Constance to talk about all kinds of stuff related to his position as heir to Liechtenstein's figurative throne. Those topics included politics, economics, business and society. He did so at the Stiftung Lilienberg Unternehmerforum, a Swiss entrepreneurial forum. The event also included a dinner together with the attendants.

Pictures are available on the Facebook page of the Unternehmerforum.

Source: Unternehmerforum Lilienberg

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Princess Nora in Liechtenstein

Last night, the meeting of the delegates of the Liechtensteinischer Olympischer Sportverband (LOSV), Liechtenstein's national olympic committee, took place in Vaduz. The main topic of the agenda was the incorporation of the Special Olympics Liechtenstein and the Liechtenstein Paralympic Commitee into the association.

Photo: LOSV

Naturally, as both president of the Special Olympics Liechtenstein and member of the International Olympics Committee, Princess Nora, sister of the Prince Hans-Adam, was among the guests of the event. A video (starting at 9:00) including an interview with the princess is located at 1 FL TV.

Source: LOSV

Visiting Redange

Today's stop of the Hereditary Grand Ducal Couple's visits to the fifteen Centres de Développement et d'Attraction (CDA) was Redange-sur-Attert in western Luxembourg. (They previously visited Mersch, Vianden and Echternach.)

Photo: Nico Muller / Luxemburg Wort /
At 10am this morning, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie were welcomed by mayor Henri Mausen, minister Marco Schank and many other guests of honour in front of Redange's community hall. While the Hereditary Grand Duchess was given a bouquet of flowers, the Hereditary Grand Duke was gifted a paiting. Together they were given a ceramic Kropemann, a water spirit of the Atert and symbol of Redange.

After a presentation about the commune by the mayor, the couple visited the Maison de l'Eau (house of water) and the Energieatelier (energy atelier). They also met with students of the local primary school who had their sport's day today. Together with students of the Atert-Lycée, they viewed their Photovoltaïque (photovoltaics) and Insektenhotel (insect hotel) projects. They also met with people from the local retirement home and learned about early education at the Bëschschoul.

Pictures of the visit can be found at Wort in German, Wort in French and Wort in English.

Source: Wort, CGD

Silver Anniversary

With an almost two-hour-long pontificial mass, Liechtenstein's archbishop celebrated the 25th anniversary of his episcopal consecration earlier today. The mass to celebrate the anniversary was attended by the Prince Hans-Adam II, the Princess Marie and the Hereditary Prince Alois.

Liechtenstein-born archbishop Wolfgang Haas was appointed coadjutor bishop of Roman Catholic Diocese of Chur in May 1988. (At the time, Liechtenstein was also part of the Swiss diocese.) Two years later, he became the bishop of Chur. After quarrels within the diocese and Swiss church in general due to Haas' conservatism, Pope John Paul II decided to erect the archdiocese of Vaduz consisting of twelve parishes, much to the dismay of Prince Hans Adam II. Haas ceased to be bishop of Chur and became the new archbishop of Vaduz on 2 December 1997.

Source: Vaterland, Me

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Visiting Echternach **

Today the Hereditary Grand Ducal Couple visited Echternach in the course of a series of visits scheduled until the end of the year that will lead them to the fifteen Centres de Développement et d'Attraction (CDA) all over the Grand Duchy. (They previously visited Mersch and Vianden.)

Photo: Francis Verquin / Nadine Schartz / Luxemburger Wort /
Most likely very dilaberately, the visit was schedule for today as it is the day of Echternach's famous dancing procession. Together with the students of the the local lycée classique, the Hereditary Grand Duke and the Hereditary Grand Duchess hopped to the tomb of Saint Willibrord after being greeted at the cour d'honneur of the Abbey of Echternach.

After the procession had ended, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie made their way to the town hall and the Denzelt, a historical building on the market square of Echternach to meet with local dignitaries and get a presentation about the region.

Pictures of the procession are located at Wort in German, Wort in French, Wort in Portuguese, Wort in English, RTL, L'essentiel and Tageblatt. More visuals of the whole day can be found on the website of the cour and at Tageblatt. Video are available at Wort and RTL.

Source: Cour grand-ducale, Wort, Ville d'Echternach

Monday, May 20, 2013

And the Winner Is...

Yesterday morning, the award ceremony and closing concert of the Podiumkonzerte 2013 took place at the town hall in Vaduz. The event is under the patronage of Hereditary Princess Sophie and so it's not a big surprise that she was on hand to hand out the awards.

Photo: Paul Trummer / Liechtensteiner Volksblatt /
The Podiumskonzerte is a music competition and series of concerts for young classical musicians to give them a chance to play in front of larger crowds and thus act as a kind of incentive for them. A gallery of 83 visuals of the event is located at Volksblatt.

Source: Volksblatt

Luxarazzi 101: Dancing Procession of Echternach

Every year on Whit Tuesday, thousands of pilgrims and spectators gather in Luxembourg's oldest town, Echternach, to participate in its Dancing Procession. Tomorrow, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess will be in Echternach to get their taste of the century-old religious celebration (the last of its kind!) which, since 2010, has been included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.


On 7 November 739, Willibrord, a Northumbrian missionary saint also known as the "Apostle of the Frisians", died in Echternach, a place where he had spent many years of his life. Appointing Willibrord as its abbot, Irmina of Oeren had granted him land in Echternach in 698 so that the missionary could expand the existing monastery. In 700 Willibrord opened the first church and in the following decades a town, which would soon become one of the largest and most prosperous in the area, grew around the Abbey of Echternach.

While the form of today's dancing procession dates back to the 19th century, its roots are much, much older. Already shortly after Willibrord's death, the first pilgrims arrived in Echternach to visit his tomb.

Painting by Anton Stevens
The first possible mention of a dancing procession dates back to around the year of 1000 when, in his work Laudes Christo, abbot Berno von Reichenau invited believers to celebrate Saint Willibrord with a magno tripudio (big triple jump). Abbot Thiofrid, who died in 1100, chronicles pilrimage processions to the tomb of the missionary saint but does not mention anything about dancing though. In 1479, Springenheiligen (dancing saints) was firstly mentioned in a document. The first known illustration of the dancing procession by Flemish painter Anton Stevens dates from the year 1604.

Even though there are various mentions of the dancing - sometimes also described as hopping - procession, its reasoning remains shadowy.

Saint Willibrord was one of the saints who were invocated in cases of nervous diseases, spasms, epilepsy or (what today is known as) Huntington's disease. So it is very possible that sick people participated in the procession or that pilgrims acted as if they were sick in order not to get these kinds of illnesses. Other sources claim that the dancing part is an expression of thanks to Saint Willibrord who is said to have healed people from said diseases. Others believe that the dancing procession has its roots as a mild and civilised form of flagellant processions, which were common in the 14th century to protect against the plague.

Tomb of Willibrord
(Photo: Gerry Huberty /
Luxemburger Wort /
Yet another theory claims that the dancing processions actually go back to the times of Saint Willibrord himself and is a Christianised pagan ritual. Other dancing processions are known to have taken place throughout neighbouring regions during the Middle Ages though the Dancing Procession of Echternach is the only one to withstand all attempts to abolish it and thus remains to this day.

During the enlightenment period in the 18th century, the dancing part of the procession was heavily criticised by both the secular and the religious leadership. The procession was often regarded as forms of obscurantism and superstition or simply disliked because the pilgrims went into some kind of ecstasy.

In 1778, Prince Clemens Wenzeslaus of Saxony, the archbishop-elector of Trier, prohibited the dancing processions taking place in his diocese. Eight years later, the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II followed his example and banned all dancing processions though he quickly revised his decision, most probably because the ban wasn't upheld anyway.

Photo: Gerry Huberty /
Luxemburger Wort /
During the time of the French Revolution, the dancing procession was prohibited yet again and only in 1801 Napoléon gave allowed the procession to take place. In more positive developments during that time, women were also allowed to take part in the dancing procession. With the exception of the time of the German occupation in the Second World War, the dancing procession has taken place ever since.

While it is not entirely clear why and how the dancing or hopping part of the procession came into place, there is no question as to why it is held during Pentecost: In the middle ages, more than 150 places which were depended from the Abbey were obliged to come to Echternach at Whitsuntide to give their tithe to the Abbey. In 1825, King-Grand Duke Willem I issued a decret which tried to move the procession from Whit Tuesday to Sunday but it wasn't very successful and taken back five years later.

Today about 12,000 to 14,000 pilgrims take part in the procession, 8,000 to 9,000 of them dancing.

Photo: Guy Jallay / Luxemburger
Wort /
The day starts early at 5:15am when groups of young pilgrims, who took part in the overnight Pax-Christi pilgrimage, gather in the church for an eucharistic celebration. At 7:30am, German pilgrims from Prüm and Waxweiler, places of other former dancing processions, are welcomed on the Al Sauerbréck, a bridge which connects Echternach in Luxembourg and Echternacherbrück in Germany. At 8am, a pontificial mass is celebrated and about an hour later, the dancing procession starts. Until 1pm, 45 groups of pilgrims, four or five people in a row holding the ends of white handkerchiefs, make the 1.5 kilometre way through Echternach. They are accompanied by music groups who play the same ancient tune the whole time.

A widespread cliché says that the dancers jump three steps forward and two back but this impression only arose when it came to standstills due to less than stellar organisation in times gone by. During the early 20th century, some of the groups of pilgrims actually hopped back and forth but this costum, which turned out to be chaotic, was banned in 1947. Since then, everyone moves forward via steps to the left and right. The procession ends at the tomb of Saint Willibrord at the basilica of the Abbey of Echternach.

It is the aim of the dancing procession to involve the whole body in the prayer while proceeding by dancing back and forth to the beat of an endlessly repeated melody to devote the mind to prayer. Sounds heavy but I have been assured that it is actually a lot of fun for everyone involved. So come back tomorrow and see how much the Hereditary Grand Ducal Couple enjoyed their visit to the Dancing Procession of Echternach!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Liechtenstein Additions

As you are probably all too aware, we have recently added the Princely Family of Liechtenstein to the coverage of our blog though most of their faces are most likely not too familiar to you. This is not very surprising considering the fact that the family largely flies under the radar of the world's and even Europe's press.

To help you out with putting faces to the names that we will be (and already have been) throwing around, I have updated the Who's Who section of the blog with the members of the immediate Princely House. If you want to read more about them, have a look at Introducing Liearazzi.

As you probably already noticed, there is a link section on the right column of the blog which helps you find your favourite member of the Liechtenstein family (or simply the one and their family you want to read about).

Also, a section titled "Luxarazzi Goes Liechtenstein" was introduced to our Luxarazzi 101 page which deals with 101 posts about the Princely Family. So far there are two covering the history of the House and Family of Liechtenstein but new posts are likely going to be added in the future.

Just a reminder for you: If there is anything you are particularly interested in to read about in one of our 101 features, just drop us a line via the numerous ways to contact us or simply comment on any of the blog's posts. All ideas, related to the Grand Ducal Family or Luxembourg in general as well as the Princely Family or Liechtenstein in general, are much appreciated and warmly welcomed!

Haberler Conference and Other News

Yesterday, the 9th International Gottfried von Haberler Conference under the topic "Are the Poor getting poorer and the Rich getting richer?" took place in Liechtenstein's capital Vaduz and numerous members of the family were involved. The conference was organised by the European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation in corporation with the University of Liechtenstein and other national and international sponsores.

Photo: sdb / Vaterland
Among the board members of the European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation are two Liechtenstein princes, Prince Philipp and his third cousin Prince Michael. The Prince Hans-Adam II is also a member of the liberal think tank. Prince Hans-Adam II, Prince Philipp, Prince Michael as well as Prince Stefan, Liechtenstein's ambassador to Germany, were definitely among the attendants of the conference. Hereditary Prince Alois hosted a reception for all the guests at Schloss Vaduz in the evening hours to round off the day.

Pictures and more information can be found at Vaterland and Volksblatt, a video (including interviews with Prince Michael and Prince Hans-Adam II) at 1 FL TV.

Photo: ZVG / Volksblatt
Two days ago, Prince Philipp honoured long term employees of his family's LGT Bank in Liechtenstein. Together they visited the Kaiser AG, a leading manufacturer of mobile walking excavators as well as sewer cleaning and disposal vehicles and afterwards whiled away the evening in a convivial round.

Source: Vaterland, ECAEF, Volksblatt

Friday, May 17, 2013

Coupe de Luxembourg

Tonight, Jeunesse Esch won the final game of the Coupe de Luxembourg, the national knockout cup competition in Luxembourgian football, against FC Differdange 03 and the Grand Duke was on hand to witness Jeunesse's first win in 13 years.

Photo: RTL
First pictures (which, not very surprisingly, focus more on the game) are located at RTL, Wort and Tageblatt. More are now available at RTL.

Source: Wort

Audience Friday

After a Tueday full of audiences, we have a Friday full of audiences as well. While the Grand Duke had two meetings this morning, the Grand Duchess had one.

Photo: Charles Caratini / Cour grand-ducale
To kick off the day, Grand Duke Henri received Hugh Bayley, president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, at the palais. The NATO PA is currently holding its spring session and a joint meeting with the North Atlantic Council in Luxembourg. For a picture, have a look on the website of the cour.

Afterwards, the Grand Duke welcomed the president of the Republic of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou for an audience. The leader of the Western African nation has recently been touring Europe to meet with different fellow heads of states and governments; he is currently in the Grand Duchy and also met with members of its government. Two pictures are located on the website of the cour.

Photo: Cour grand-ducale
Meanwhile, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, in her capacity as UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children and Goodwill Ambassador, received Leila Zerrougui, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, at the palais. The Grand Duchess also attended a conference entitled "The United Nations and children in armed conflicts" organished at the University of Luxembourg on the occassion of Mrs Zerrougui's visit.

Source: Université de Luxembourg, Cour grand-ducale, NATO Parliamentary assembly

Busy in Switzerland

Earlier this week, members of the Princely Family were busy business-wise in Switzerland. In his capacity as chairman of the board of trustees of the LGT Group, the family's own wealth and asset management group, Prince Philipp was in Fribourg to meet with customers as well as representatives of the economy and politics to talk banking-related stuff on Wednesday.

Photo: Annette Mahro / Badische Zeitung
A day earlier in Tuesday, his older brother the Prince Hans-Adam II was in Basel to give a speech at the Basel chamber of commerce's general meeting. Under the topic of "The State as a Service Company", he talked about decentralising states as much as possible. According to him, citizens should no longer be regarded as servants of the state but the state should service its citizens. The Prince believes that the state should only concentrate on matters of foreign policies, defense of the rule of law, education and state finances and that big central states won't have huge chances of surviving this century. (Prince Hans-Adam II actually published a book about the matter about two years ago.)

Source: Freiburger Nachrichten, Badische Zeitung, Handelskammer beider Basel

Celebrating an Anniversary

This afternoon, Grand Duke Jean visited Echternach in eastern Luxembourg to take part in an academic meeting organised to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Amicale des Sapeurs-Pompiers Vétérans, or association of firefighter veterans in English.

Photo: Tom Wagner
I may sound like a broken record but it's always nice to see Luxembourg's former Grand Duke out and about. About 15 seconds of him at the meeting can be seen during RTL's news report (starting at about 2:00). Pictures are located at Tom Wagner's and RTL.

Source: RTL

Young Entrepreneurs Luxembourg

The  Hereditary Grand Duke and the Hereditary Grand Duchess recently received representatives of the Jonk Entrepreneuren Luxembourg (Young Entrepreneurs Luxembourg) for an audience. Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume has been the patron of the organisation for about a year.

Photo: Place Royale
The aim of the working meeting was to introduce to the Hereditary Grand Duke to the work and current projects of the association whose aim it is to engage with young people to use initiative, create and innovate and promote responsible entrepreneurial skills. It was founded in 2005 as the Luxembourgish spin-off of Junior Achievement Worldwide.

Source: Place Royale, Genii Capital

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Red Cross Meeting

On Tuesday evening, Princess Marie, her brother-in-law Prince Nikolaus and her daughter-in-law Hereditary Princess Sophie attended the annual general meeting of the Liechtenstein Red Cross which took place at the council chamber in Vaduz.

While the Princess is the president of the Liechtenstein Red Cross, Prince Nikolaus is its international delegate. The Hereditary Princess has also been heavily involved with the organisation for many years.

A rather lengthy news report, including an interview with Princess Marie, can be found at 1 FL TV (starting at about 2:20). During the report you will also see an interview with Count Clemens of Waldburg-Zeil, who is the secretary general of the German Red Cross and, moreover, married to Princess Georgina of Liechtenstein, daughter of the late Prince Georg Hartmann and thus cousin of Prince Hans-Adam II. A few pictures are located at Volksblatt.

In case you still don't know why this news made it onto the blog, you missed some of our latest news as Luxarazzi went Liechtenstein.

Source: Liechtensteinisches Rotes Kreuz, 1 FL News

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Responsible Investing Conference

This morning, the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess attended the "ALFI Responsible Investing Conference" at the Chambre de Commerce in Kirchberg. During the course of the conference which dealth with the subject of microfinance, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa gave a speech about the matter of "Mobilising our efforts to make a difference".

Photo: Manuel Dias
The Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry (ALFI) is the representative body of the Luxembourg investment fund community and represents over one thousand Luxembourg domiciled investment funds, asset management companies and a wide range of service providers such as depositary banks, fund administrators, transfer agents, distributors, legal firms, consultants, tax experts, auditors and accountants, specialist IT providers and communication companies.

Picture and more information are available at Tageblatt, Wort, PaperJam, Manuel Dias and on the website of the cour.

Source: ALFI press release, Agenda of the CGD

A Crafting Princess

Last month, the always stunning Princess Sibilla made her way to Bursa in Turkey to take part in the award ceremony of the Luigi Micheletti Award, which honours innovation in museums.

Photo: European Museum Academy
The award, which was given to the Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr in Dresden, Germany this year, is given out in collaboration with the European Museum Academy, of which Princess Sibilla, an art historian herself, is a member of the pool of experts. While in Bursa, the princess also took part in an workshop on traditional crafts.

More pictures of the crafting princess can be found on the website of the European Museum Academy. A video is located on the website of the town of Bursa.

Source: European Museum Academy, Haber Monitör'de

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Audience Tuesday

Today, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa welcomed André Azoulay, in his capacity as the president of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue Between Cultures based in Alexandria, Egypt, at the palais.

Photo: Charles Caratini / Cour grand-ducale
Mr Azoulay also works as a senior advisor to King Mohammed VI of Morocco and works for many other foundations promoting dialogue between cultures and religios. Another picture of the two gentlemen is located on the website of the cour.

Before that, the Grand Duchess also met with Tina Kieffer, Nathalie Saluzzi and Marie-Jeanne Chèvremont-Lorenzini, heads of the Toutes à l'École foundation, whose aim it is to establish schools and educational programmes for girls in development countries, at the palais. Likewise, a picture can be found on the website of the cour.

Source: Agenda of the cour grand-ducale