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.

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