On the occasion of National Day, Grand Duke Henri and very chic Grand Duchess Maria Teresa visited Eschweiler in Northern Luxembourg today. With a population of little more of 800 people in the entire commune which also includes Erpeldange and Knaphoscheid, Eschweiler is one of the smallest communes in the entire Grand Duchy so you can imagine what a big event the visit was.
At 5pm, the couple was welcomed in Eschweiler by by ministers Marco Schank, Romain Schneider and Martine Hansen as well as the town's mayor, François Rossler, and a couple of other important people.
The Grand Ducal Couple psaid a visit the Haus Edith Stein, a house for women in distress established by the Fondation Maison de la porte ouverte and the ministry for equal opportunities. Afterwards they were received a short presentation about the Oesling region covering the Northern part of the Grand Duchy and visited the local church. They will also be laid a wreath of flowers at the war memorial.
After an official reception at the town hall including speeches as well as a short concert by the children's choir of the local primary school and another performance of children, they got the chance to mingle with the people of Eschweiler, before making their way home again.
Meanwhile, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie - who is on a roll fashion-wise - visited Esch-sur-Alzette in the south of the country. It is a tradition that members of the family visit the Grand Duchy's second largest town on theh eve of National Day. (To see just how far back the tradition goes, have a look at our gallery of visuals of the visits to Esch.) This year, their visit has also been incorporated into their tour of the country which will lead them to the country's 15 Centres de Développement et d’Attraction.
Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie will be arrived in Esch-Belval, a former brownfield turned scientific and cultural centre, at 4:45pm. At the Avenue de Rock'n'Roll, they were welcomed by an array of politicians including prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker, ministers Mars di Bartolomeo, Jean-Marie Halsdorf and Marc Spautz as well as Lydia Mutsch, mayor of Esch-sur-Alzette.
After a short walk through the Avenue de Rock'n'Roll, they were also be greeted by Olivier Toth, general director of the Rockhal, Luxembourg's biggest concert hall, and Josée Hansen, chair of the board of directors. To kick off their visit, they had a look at the "Main Hall", the major concert hall, and the "Club", a smaller concert hall. Afterwards, the Hereditary Grand Ducal Couple got a taste of music by listening to the rehearsals for this year's "Screaming Fields", a music competition for student bands. They also met with members of the hardcore band Blood to Prove.
In addition, the couple also visited the Massenoire building which houses the exhibitions "Belval&more" about the historical and contemporary context of Belval and "Public Art Experience" where they viewed a presentation about the future university district planned on site, the Cité des Sciences.
Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie subsequently proceeded to the Place de la Résistance where they laid a wreath at the war memorial. They then made their way to the town hall of Esch-sur-Alzette.
The couple also got the chance to witness the performances of young gymnasts of Espérance Esch, the country's largest sports club celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Afterwards they watched a parade of different clubs and associations of the town. After a short reception hosted in their honour, the Hereditary Grand Duke and Duchess made a short appearance on the balcony of the town hall, before they mingled with the population at the Escher Volleksfest and also lit a fire together with the scouts.
Visuals of the Esch adventures are available at RTL, Wort in German, Wort in English and Tageblatt. RTL has a video.
In his address on the occasion on the National Day, prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker thanked the Grand Duke and Duchess and the Hereditary Grand Duke and Duchess for their hard work for the good of the country.
Source: CGD, Gouvernement