Saturday, November 30, 2013

Grand Ducal Ladies at the International Bazaar *

Photo: Gerry Huberty / Luxemburger Wort /
A few weeks after the Red Cross Bazaar there is always another bazaar being held in Luxembourg and attended by the Grand Duchess. Nice as she is, she usually brings along some rarely seen family members, this time it was turn for Princess Tessy and Princess Claire to accompany her. Together the three Grand Ducal ladies made their way to the LuxExpo this afternoon to discover the stalls of the Bazar International de Luxembourg. More visuals of them are located at Wort in German, Le Quotidien and Tageblatt, RTL has a video (starting at 12:50).

This year, some 95 charities will benefit from the funds raised at the bazaar by the 70 stands representing various countries from around the world. While 15 of the charities are based in Luxembourg, the others are from around the world and the money will support projects in the areas of health, education and food. Last year's edition of the bazaar raised 570,000 euros. Apart from drinks and foods, it also offers the chance to discover traditional arts and crafts from the various countries represented. The bazaar runs until tomorrow evening so should you be in or around the Grand Duchy, it might be a great idea to drop by, do some shopping and some good at the same time.

First Ladies...

Photo: Albert Mennel / Liechten-
steiner Vaterland /
On Thursday while her daughter was in Madrid, Princess Marie welcomed the president of the MGV Sängerbund, a choir from Vaduz, at the Schloss to receive quite a donation by them for the Liechtenstein Red Cross. Rather spontaneously the choir had decided to transform their annual fall concert into a charity concert to benefit the victims of Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines earlier this month. During the concert they raised 5,750 Swiss franc with another 400 franc being added by the choir later on; then the mayor of Vaduz decided to round up the sum to 10,000 franc which will now go to a charity in the Philippines.

Meanwhile in Luxembourg also on Thursday and sadly for us pictureless thus far, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa assisted at a conference entitled "Prosperity and Soustainability ‘after crisis’, the role of social enterprise" by 1,2,3 Go Social. During the course of the event, she also handed out prizes to social or solidary entreprises. 1,2,3 Go Social has been supported by different members of the family for a while now.

Sources: Vaterland, Cour grand-ducale

Princesses Out and About

Photo: Europa Press
Liechtenstein princesses Nora and her niece Tatjana were seen out and about in Madrid doing some shopping on Thursday, for a few more visuals have a look at Getty Images.

Why they were recognised by the paps, you might asked. Well, I guess that they have kind of a public profile in Spain where Princess Nora lives. She was married to the late Vicente Sartorius, 4th Marquess de Mariño, a Spanish nobleman and Olympic athlete whose eldest daughter Isabel used to be the girlfriend of the Prince of Asturias, Felipe, during the late 1980's and early 1990's. For kind of the same reason Princess Tatjana used to be featured in Spanish magazines during the last decade of the last century as they liked to pair their heir to the throne up with just about every single noble woman out there. (Sounds familiar?!)

Friday, November 29, 2013

Eight Events, One Post

Photo: Paul Trummer / Liechtensteiner Volksblatt
The Liechtensteinische Kraftwerke, the Principality's major power company, recently decided to donate 61,500 Swiss franc to some of the country's charity organisations. Among the 23 lucky chosen ones was the Liechtenstein Red Cross and as its president Princess Marie assisted at a little celebration marking the company's generosity on Tuesday. Already last week, Princess Marie was in Austria to take part in the graduation ceremony of the Philosophical-Theological University of Heiligenkreuz Abbey. Both Princess Marie and her husband Prince Hans-Adam II were recently made honorary senators of the Pontifical Athanaeum.

Also last week Princess Nora participated in the 42nd General Assembly of the European Olympic Committee (EOC) in Rome. The only sister of Prince Hans-Adam has been a member of the IOC since 1984 and also served as president of the National Olympic Committee of Liechtenstein between 1982 and 1992. During the course of the event her successor as president of the Liechtenstein Olympic Sports Federation (LOSV) was honoured with the Laurel Award and Princess Nora made it into the picture marking the event as well. More recently and in Madrid, she attended an event raising funds for children in need alongside the Duchess of Anjou as well as the 7th Spanish youth congress entitled "What really matters".

Today and already kind of mentioned during a recent post, Grand Duke Henri met yet another time with likely future prime minister and formateur Xavier Bettel. While nothing (that I could find) has become known about the meeting and the topics discussed, Luxembourg's new government is taking shape with a whole lot of swearing-in ceremonies to take place next week - we will keep you posted on everything where the Grand Duke pops up during those events; for everything else check the servicey people at Wort or Tageblatt.

Last Sunday, Archduke Carl-Christian of Austria, husband of Luxembourg's very own Princess Marie-Astrid, was supposed to give a lecture about his grandfather Blessed Emperor Karl at the Maison Notre Dame de Fatima in Bieuzy in Brittany. If you were any more successful in locating pictures of the actual event instead of the invitations, drop us a line.

A lecture of a very different kind was meanwhile given yesterday by Prince Philipp at the Stuppach Resort in Lower Austria where he talked about the history of the Princely Collections of the House of Liechtenstein.

Sources: Volksblatt, Profil Online, Hola, Stuppach Resort, Wort, Compromiso RSE

Entrepreneurial Students

Photo: RTL
Yesterday afternoon, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie visited the Foire des Entreprises d’Entraînement at the Forum Geesseknäppchen where they discovered 29 stands managed by students taking part in a business training excercise. The event was organised by the Jonk Entrepreneuren Luxembourg, an association that is placed under the patronage of the Hereditary Grand Duke and aims to promote creativity among young people and to introduce them to the professional world as well as to develop the entrepreneurial spirit of young people in the Grand Duchy. After touring the fair, the couple assisted at an award ceremony giving out prizes for the best business concept, the best presentation and the best foreign stand.

While visuals seem to be hard to come by, just skip ahead to 1:55 in this video to see Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie mingle with the students. -- Pictures are now available on the website of the cour.

Sources: RTL, Jonk Entrepreneuren

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Guillaume and Stéphanie Go Organic *

Photo: Charlot Kuhn / Luxemburger Wort
Last night, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie attended an academic session organised on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Bio-Lëtzebuerg - Vereenegung fir Bio-Landwirtschaft Lëtzbuerg, the Grand Duchy's organic farming association. The two weren't the only royal guests at the event held at the cultural centre An der Däll in Munsbach as Prince Felix of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg, organic farmer, head of the German Organic Food Production Alliance and author, was one of the main speakers of the academic session. Unfortunately for us this seems to be another one of those events that isn't covered by the online media but likely made it into the print newspapers so we will have to wait and see if the cour will grace us with a visual of the event sometime in the future. -- Update: That was quick!

Political and Diplomatic News

Photo: IKR, Vaduz
In not the most exciting news of any royal blog ever, there were another few accreditations of ambassadors going on in Liechtenstein today when Luis Juan Chuquihuara Chil of Peru, Aman Rashid of Pakistan, Cosimo Risi of Italy and Jennifer MacIntyre of Canada (on the right) presented their letters of credence to the Hereditary Prince.

Meanwhile in Luxembourg, the new government is hard at work to shake things up a little. Yesterday afternoon, formateur and future prime minister Xavier Bettel was welcomed at the palais by Grand Duke Henri to talk the progress of the coalition negotiations with another meeting scheduled for Friday afternoon. Mr Bettel described the talks as "constructive" without revealing much more information. He, however, did mention that he and the Grand Duke talked about the celebration of national day and the proposed changes to the traditional Te Deum mass. 

Earlier this week, the future coalition partners expressed that it was not up to them decide whether the Te Deum should be axed but that they would like to introduce a "civil character" for the celebrations. Apart from being pretty sure that they kind of muddled up 'civil' (as in non-military) and 'secular' (as in wordly) - because otherwise there wouldn't be a whole lot left if they also got rid of the (not just anymore) military parade - it remains to be seen what will come out of this.

Sources: IKR, Wort, Wort

Félix and the Wine Business

Photo: Marc Wilwert / Luxemburger
Wort /
It seems that Prince Félix is taking his new job as the manager of the French wine estate Château Les Crostes quite seriously as he is taking a course in oenology since October 3 or so Wort reports. Provided that a master's degree in bioethics likely won't help too much in the running of a vineyard, a very good idea on his part I must say. Prince Félix and Princess Claire also presented the estate's new wines today; to see a few more visuals of it, have a look at Wort.

The Château Les Crostes has been owned by Hartmut Lademacher, the father of Prince Félix's wife, for a couple of years and in the summer of this year Princess Claire was added to the list of owners. It was announced prior to their wedding that the couple would be running the estate while Princess Claire finishes her doctoral thesis in bioethics at the Legionaries of Christ sponsored Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome. If you should be any interested in their wines, check out the website of the Château.

Source: Wort

Monday, November 25, 2013

Back in Luxembourg

Photo: Cour grand-ducale
After the state visit to Turkey last week, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa is now back to her regularly scheduled appearances and thus welcomed Zainab Hawa Bangura, a Sierra Leonean politician and Social Activist as well as Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, at the palais this morning. In the evening, the two ladies participated in a round-table discussion about sexual violence in armed conflicts organised by UNICEF Luxembourg.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Bye-Bye Turkey!

After three days of all kinds of state visiting duties and busyness, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa took it slowly today and did what basically any person would do when visiting Istanbul, a little sightseeing; on their list of things to see before leaving the city on the Bosphorus were the Hagia Sophia, the former church turned mosque turned museum and often described as the the eighth wonder of the world, as well as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque which is more commonly known as the Blue Mosque and one of Istanbul's main sights.
Photos: SIP / Nicolas Bouvy / Charles Caratini
During the early afternoon, the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess literally waved goodbye to Turkey and returned to Luxembourg. If those pictures above aren't above for you - Nah, I don't blame you, Istanbul is indeed very beautiful. - check out RTL, Wort in German and Wort in French for more visuals of the Grand Ducal Couple's little sightseeing tour. Wort also has a video of the last day including an interview with Grand Duke Henri in which he talks about a possible EU membership of Turkey and his general impression of the country.

Source: Wort

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Supporting Mary's Meals

Photo: Marie da Silva
Already on November 11, Prince Hans-Adam II and Princess Marie hosted a reception in honour of Mary's Meals Day at their family's Stadtpalais in Vienna. Founded in 2002, Mary's Meals is an international charity that funds school feeding projects in some of the world's poorest communities where hunger and poverty prevent children from gaining an education. Starting out with about 200 children in Malawi, Mary’s Meals now provides a daily meal to more than 800,000 children in 16 countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and South America. Princess Marie has been a long-time supporter of the charity.

For the event in Vienna as well as one at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in Scotland, two girls from Jacaranda school for orphans in Blantyre, Malawi had travelled to Europe to give music performances. While at the Stadtpalais in the Austrian capital it was no other than Prince Hans-Adam, the owner himself, to explain the history and furnishings of the palace to the girls. Have a look on the Facebook page of Marie da Silva of the Jacaranda Foundation and School in Malawi to view more pictures of the event.

Source: Mary's Meals

Philosophically speaking...

Photo: Michael Zanghellini / Liechtensteiner Volksblatt
On the occasion of the World Philosophy day, the "International Academy of Philosophy in the Principality of Liechtenstein" -- Longest name for a university that does not have a name in it ever?! -- is currently hosting a three night series of lectures about (you guessed it) philosophy. As Prince Nikolaus is the President of the Board of Trustees of the private, state-recognised university, he was a natural guest for last night's first lecture and also held the opening speech for the event which is continuing through today until tomorrow. It wouldn't surprise me if he also attended tonight's and tomorrow's lectures though I guess that we will never come to know about it. During his speech, Prince Nikolaus said that the question of the meaning of life becomes more and more difficult to answer for young people considering the variety of options and while philosophy will not be able to give a definite answer to these and questions of morality, it will help to bring order to the fundamental questions of life, society, politics, culture and economy.

Source: Volksblatt

State Visit to Turkey - Day 3

After arriving to Turkey on Monday, their stay in Ankara on Tuesday and a visit to Gaziantep for the first half of the day yesterday, the last leg of the state visit in Istanbul already started last night when Luxembourg's Honorary Consul and businesswoman Suzan Sabancı Dinçer and her husband hosted a dinner in honour of Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa. Just as one would expect, the Grand Ducal Couple had once again a busy schedule in Turkey's most populous city today.
Photo: Nicolas Bouvy / SIP
The day started off with the opening of the 5th Atlantic Council, an energy and economic summit, which was attended by the Grand Duke, Turkish President Abdullah Gül and Luxembourg's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean Asselborn. Grand Duke Henri was one of the keynote speakers of the opening event; his speech can be found on the website of the cour grand-ducale.
Photo: Charles Caratina / SIP
Next up was the "Turkey-Luxembourg Business Forum" jointly organised by the Luxembourgish and Turkish Chambers of Commerce as well as Luxembourg for Finance and Luxembourg for Business. The event was attended by both Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and the head of the Grand Duchy gave yet another speech towards the end of the forum.
Photo: Nicolas Bouvy / SIP
After a luncheon hosted by Istanbul's governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu, the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess paid a visit to the Topkapı Palace. Situated on the European site of the Bosphorus, the palace was the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans for more than 400 years and also served as the administrative and educational center of the state during that time. The Topkapı Palace is among the monuments included in the "Historic Areas of Istanbul" which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. In 1924, the palace was transformed into a museum containing large collections of porcelain, robes, weapons, shields, armor, Ottoman miniatures, Islamic calligraphic manuscripts and murals, as well as a display of Ottoman treasures and jewelry. At some point of the day, the Grand Ducal Couple also seems to have hit the local shops and bazar.
Photo: Charles Caratini / SIP
To round off the day, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa hosted a dinner in honour of President Gül and his wife at the Çırağan Palace, another former Ottoman palace and now a hotel that has also hosted a few royal weddings as of late. The so-called return dinner is a tradition during state visit thanking the hosts for their hospitality.

Visuals of the day are available at the cour, Wort in German, Wort in French, Tageblatt and Haberler. The website of the Turkish President once again has both a video and pictures of the day's events here.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

And in Non-State Visital News...

Photo: Michael Zanghellini / Liechtensteiner Vaterland /
...there was a visit to the association Neues Lernen (New Learning) by Prince Hans-Adam II and Hereditary Prince Alois today. The association that is also financially supported by the Princely Family works as a competence centre for modern teaching methods for languages and provides teachers with teaching materials, training and advice. Apart from the Principality itself, the association also supports projects in Peru and Costa Rica. For more information, have a look at Vaterland.

Already last week, Prince Robert, cousin of Grand Duke Henri and owner of several wines estates, attended the award ceremony of the International Wine and Spirit Competition at London's Guildhall. To learn more about Prince Robert and his wine business, have a look here.

Meanwhile, the Princely Family's LGT Group was once again recognised as one of the leading private banks in German-speaking Europe by both the Handelsblatt Elite Report, that gave the Prince's bank and asset management group highest possible rating of "summa cum laude", and the German test authority Fuchsbriefe, which ranked the LGT among the ten best wealth managers in Europe placing them first in the category "advisory services". Prince Max, CEO of the LGT Group and second son of Prince Hans-Adam, was understandably excited about the accolades saying, "We are delighted by the fact that we can also impress independent experts with our quality on a regular basis. These recognitions as one of the leading private banks and a top asset manager show that we are doing an excellent job in satisfying investors’ high demands."

Source: IKR, TR Business, Fondstrends

State Visit to Turkey - Day 2 *

The second day of their state visit to Turkey first led Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa as well as the delegation accompanying them to Gaziantep, the sixth most populous city of the country and one of the financial centres of the Anatolia region. Upon their arrival to the city in south-eastern Turkey, the Grand Ducal Couple was welcomed by Gaziantep mayor Asım Güzelbey and the governor of province Gaziantep, Erdal Ata.
Photo: IHA
After meeting with local authorities, Grand Duke Henri attended the opening of an economic seminar alongside Luxembourg's Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, Etienne Schneider. The seminar focused on the question of logistics. The Grand Duke also paid a visit to the Zeugma Mosaic Museum, the world's second largest mosaic museum displaying mosaics from the Roman and the late antique times, as well as the local shops and bazars of Gaziantep.

Meanwhile, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children, and Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg's Minister for Foreign Affairs, visited the Nizip 2 refugee camp near Gaziantep. The site currently houses around 5,500 refugees who escaped the conflict in Syria by fleeing to neighbouring Turkey. During their visit, the Luxembourgish visitors announced that the Grand Duchy would donate half a million euros to fund two causes for Syrian refugees in Turkey in addition to the 7.6 million euros the country has previously five to humanitarian projects in Syria and neighbouring countries. The money will be split between UNICEF to fund schools and the World Food Programme and its food assistance programme.
Photo: Guy Wolff / Luxemburger Wort /
During their stay, the Luxembourgish delegation visited the camp's hospital where children are vaccinated against polio by the World Health Organization (WHO), the kindergarten, the school, the supermarket and a few other sites. They also watched a play by Syrian children and the Grand Duchess got the chance to talk to talk to the refugees.

In the late afternoon Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa reunited for the next stop of their state visit to Turkey, Istanbul. The day ended with a dinner hosted by Luxembourg's Honorary Consul and businesswoman Suzan Sabancı Dinçer and her husband in Turkey's biggest city that is also the economical, cultural and historical centre of the country as well as the world's most famous transcontinental city.
Photo: SIP
Pictures of the Grand Duchess' visit to the refugee camp can be found at Wort in German, Wort in French, Wort in English, Wort in Portuguese and AFP while the Grand Duke's activities seem to have gone rather unnoticed photo-wise thus far. Luckily though, there are videos of his adventures available at Haberler here and here; in addition, there is also a video of the visit to the refugee camp. -- Update: More pictures are available at RTL.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

State Visit to Turkey - Day 1 **

After arriving to Ankara yesterday evening, today marked the beginning of a four day state visit to Turkey by Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa. This visit is the first of its kind since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Luxembourg and Turkey in 1947.
Photo: Nicolas Bouvy / SIP
The Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess started their busy day with a visit to the Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, leader of the Turkish War of Independence and the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey. At the mausoleum, Grand Duke Henri laid down a wreath of flowers for "The Father of the Turks".
Photo: Nicolas Bouvy / SIP
Subsequently, the Grand Ducal Couple and their entourage including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean Asselborn, Minister of Finance Luc Frieden and Economy Minister Etienne Schneider made their way to the Çankaya Köşkü, the official residence of the Turkish head of state, where they were greeted by President Abdullah Gül and his wife Hayrünnisa. After the playing of the national anthems, the review of the guard of honour and the obligatory pictures, the Grand Duke and the President had a private meeting which also including their wives.
Photo: Charles Caratini / SIP
The talks of the two heads of state were expanded during further meetings that were also attended by the three Luxembourgish ministers and their Turkish counterparts. Grand Duke Henri also met with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the prime minister of the Republic of Turkey. All together the heads of state, the prime minister, the ministers and likely all kinds of other politicians and diplomats had an official luncheon. Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and the wife of President Gül, meanwhile, had lunch at the presidential palace that was also attended by Turkey's Minister for Family and Social Affairs, Fatma Şahin.
Photo: Nicolas Bouvy / SIP
During a press conference held after lunch, Grand Duke Henri stressed that despite their geographical distance and differences in terms of size and population, Luxembourg and Turkey managed to establish strong and good relations between their peoples and governments over the years. He also said that the Grand Duchy supports the European project and a possible accession to the EU by Turkey when all democratic and human rights standards are fulfilled. He also thanked the country for their support for Syrian refugees.
Photo: Guy Wolff / Luxemburger Wort /
Afterwards the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess reunited to pay a visit to the Tabiat Tahiri Müzesi. At the museum for mineral research and exploration, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa heard a presentation about Michel Lucius, a Luxembourgish geologist who worked in Turkey between 1924 and 1933 on behalf of the Turkish Ministry of Commerce and also taught at the University of Ankara, given by Laurent Mignon, Luxembourgish Turkey expert of Oxford University. During the visit, the Grand Duke was gifted with a book about Lucius' work and in return gave the museum of geological map of Luxembourg. 

The next stop of the Grand Ducal Couple's agenda was the Middle East Technical University (METU) where they met with researchers and visited the Technology Park.
Photo: Guy Wolff / Luxemburger Wort /
The day was rounded off with a gala dinner hosted by Turkish President Abdullah Gül at the Presidential Palace. Unfortunately for all tiara lovers out there, it wasn't a black tie (or event white tie) event and thus there wasn't any bling on the Grand Duchess.

More visuals of the day are located on the website of the cour, the website of the Turkish President here and here (both links also have videos) as well as here, Wort in French, Wort in German, Wort in English, Wort in Portuguese, L'essentiel, RTL, Tageblatt and AFP

Meanwhile, more videos of the arrival and meeting the President, the meeting with the Prime Minister and the visit to the museum are available at as well as a report about the day at Wort. RTL also has a report (starting at 13:38)


The Situation of Christians in the Middle East

Photo: Russian Orthodox Church / Serbian Orthodox Church
Over the course of the weekend, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church and chairman of the Department of External Church Relations, was in Liechtenstein where he encountered a few different members of the Princely Family.

On Saturday, he met with the Prince Hans-Adam II at Schloss Vaduz to talk about his recent visit to Lebanon, the situation of Christians in the Middle East in general and Lebanon, Iraq and Syria in particular as well as a supposed de-Christianisation of Europe. Metropolitan Hilarion also conveyed greetings and best wishes from His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to the Prince who in turn talked about his impression of the situation in the Middle East and Western Europe.

On Sunday, an international colloquium on the Syrian crisis was held in Vaduz under the high patronage of Prince Hans-Adam. While the Prince did not seem to have attended, the Princely Family was represented by other members, namely Prince Nikolaus, Liechtenstein's ambassador to the Holy See, and his fifth cousin once removed Prince Stefan, the country's ambassador to Germany. Another guest at the colloquium was Archduchess Gabriela of Austria, daughter of Archduke Otto and Georgia's ambassador to Germany. The participants talked all kinds of matters in relation to the ongoing war in Syria with one of the special focuses being the situation of Christians in the Middle Eastern country. They also seemed to have attended a mass.

Sources: Russian Orthodox Church, Serbian Orthodox Church

Welcome to Turkey

This afternoon, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa embarked on Luxembourg's first ever visit to Turkey at the head of state level between the two countries since they established diplomatic relations in 1947. But before you can arrive somewhere, you have to depart and Wort is giving us a rare video glimpse inside what is happening right before the Grand Duke leaves the country - there are soldiers, there is the government and a whole lot more.
Photo: Guy Wolff / Luxemburger Wort /
The actual travelling part entailed one of Team Luxarazzi's most favourite part of any state visit. As soon as the aircraft carrying Luxembourg's head of state crossed the border to Turkey, the escort of his plane by the country's airforce started. As Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and their entourage including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean Asselborn, Minister of Finance Luc Frieden and Economy Minister Etienne Schneider left Luxembourg in the afternoon, it was already dark when they arrived to Ankara, Turkey's capital.

In the early evening hours, the Luxembourgish delegation was welcomed at Ankara's airport by government officials. The official part of the state visit, however, won't start until tomorrow. During the course of the week, the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess will also visit Istanbul and Gaziantep before heading back home of Friday.

Visuals of the departure and arrival are located at Tageblatt, Wort in French and Wort in German.

Source: Wort

Monday, November 18, 2013

Martial Arts, Drugs and Other Stuff

Photo: M. Zanghellini / Volksblatt
Yesterday, Hereditary Prince Alois attended the 2nd edition of the Dentokan-Black-Belt-Show at the Saal am Lindaplatz in Schaan. The event was organised by the local martial arts school.

Already in October and wholly unnoticed by us thus far, Prince Hans-Adam II gave an interview to a Liechtenstein youth magazine. -- Honestly, who can keep track with those gazillions of interviews the Princely Family gives while we are still waiting whether that info about a possible interview by Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie wasn't a canard after all?! -- In difference to the usual topics of state and finance, Prince Hans-Adam talks about his parents trying to give him an as normal upbringing as possible, his love for sciences and mathematics, his dislike for learning languages, singing and drawing, as well as the rareness - Were they? - of drugs in the 1960's in this (admittedly rather short) interview.

Photo: Klaus Schädler / Volksblatt
On November 8, Prince Nikolaus and Princess Margaretha were in Vaduz to make one of their sadly rather rare media-covered public appearances of the year by attending the 28th presentation of the Binding-Preis, an award recognising commitment to the causes of nature conservation and environmental protection.

And because this is a bit of a catching up post anyway, another bit of old news; on September 12, Hereditary Princess Sophie attended the jubilee concert of the symphony orchestra of Liechtenstein.

Sources: Volksblatt

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Scout Since 1945 (and Still Going Strong)

Photo: Charlot Kuhn / Luxemburger Wort /
Last night, Grand Duke Jean, now a five-time Urgrousspapp, attended the Odyssee Projetsnuecht 2013 of the Lëtzebuerger Guiden a Scouten, the Grand Duchy's scout association. During the course of the evening five groups of rangers and rovers aged from 17 to 23 talked about their travels and experiences during the course of the year; Luxembourgish scouts participated in camps and projects in Brazil, India, Senegal, Bosnia and Herzegowina as well as Georgia. Grand Duke Jean has been the head of Luxembourg's scouts since October 28, 1945 and even at the age of 92 still makes it a priority to attend their events -- Kudos to you, Monseigneur. Wort has a gallery of visuals of the night.

Source: Wort

Friday Night Out

Photo: Elma Korac / Liechtensteiner Vaterland /
Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie attended the autumn concert of the Harmoniemusik Balzers last Friday night. While there do not seem to be any visuals of them specifically at the concert, you can simply enlarge the one above and examine the silhouettes of the guests of honour - shouldn't be too hard to guess where they are seated. During this year's edition of their annual autumn concert, the wind orchestra from Balzers played four different musical pieces; "Mantua" by Otto M. Schwarz, "Give Us This Day" by David Maslanka, "Puszta" by Jan Van der Roost and "At Kitty O'Shea's" by Johan de Meij.

Source: Vaterland

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Grand Ducal Ladies at the Edward Steichen Award

Photo: Guy Jallay / Luxemburger Wort /
Earlier tonight, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa as well as her sister-in-law Princess Sibila attended the award ceremony of the 5th Edward Steichen Award at the Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean. This year's award went to Luxembourgish artist Sophie Jung while the 'Edward Steichen Luxembourg Resident in New York' award goes to Jeff Desom.

Artist Edward Steichen was born as Éduard Jean Steichen in the Grand Duchy in 1879. Together with his parents he migrated to the United States as an infant. For more information about him, have a look here. The award named in his honour, which is supposed to be a cross-cultural, artistic and educational bridge between Luxembourg and New York, is under the high patronage of the Grand Duchess. The award competition is open to contemporary visual and fine artists between the ages of 25 and 35, winners get to stay in New York City up to six months to expand their work while being sponsored by art institutes not only in Luxembourg, but also the regions surrounding the Grand Duchy. Princess Sibilla (in private capacity) is one of the board members of the Edward Steichen Award.

More visuals of the night can be found at Wort in German.

Source: Wort, Edward Steichen Award

Félix and Claire at the Tennis

Photo: Claude Piscitelli / Luxemburger Wort /
Last night, Prince Félix and Princess Claire attended the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics Euro Tennis 2013 which is taking place in Luxembourg at the moment. Over the course of this weekend, 82 athletes from all of Europe will compete in singles, doubles and mixed doubles at the National Tennis Centre (CNT) in Esch-sur-Alzette. Euro Tennis 2013 is Europe’s largest tennis tournament for players with intellectual disabilities. Jointly hosted by Special Olympics Luxembourg, Luxembourg’s National Tennis Federation and tennis club TC Esch, the event is taking place under the patronage of Grand Duchess Maria Teresa who was represented by her second son and his wife during the opening ceremony.

Wort in German, Wort in English and Wort in French have more pictures of last night.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Guillaume and Stéphanie Out and About

Earlier today, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess participated in an academic session held on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Centre Intégré pour Personnes Agées (CIPA) "Gréngewald" in Niederanven. The couple was accompanied by the minister for families and integration, Marc Spautz. CIPAs offer a home to older people who need more support due to health or social reasons than they can get at home. It is also the goal of the homes to avert social isolation and depression among the elderly. In interviews prior to her wedding, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie expressed the wish to do work in this field. Thus far, there don't seem to be any pictures of the event but I will make sure to update this post whenever they become available.

Youth Unemployment and Franz Liszt

Photo: TSK
Seems like the minister-president of the German state of Thuringia is currently busy visiting European small states starting with an 'L'. After paying a visit to Liechtenstein just a few weeks ago, Christine Lieberknecht was in Luxembourg today where - among a bunch of other things - she was received in an audience by Grand Duke Henri. The two talked a variation of topics including unemployment among youth (and relative lack thereof in Germany) as well as Franz Liszt, the Austro-Hungarian composer who lived in Thuringia for a while and gave his last concert in Luxembourg. For more information and a picture, have a look on the website of the Thuringian State Chancellery. Another picture can be found on the website of the cour.

Source: Thüringische Staatskanzlei

What the Hereditary Prince Has to Say

No new month - sometimes it even feels like no new week - without a member of the Princely Family giving in interview; they must be about the most talkative reigning family out there. This time, it was Hereditary Prince Alois' time to talk about tax matters in an interview with Vaterland.

Your Serene Highness, the automatic information exchange has always been some kind of a taboo topic for the Liechtenstein financial marketplace. On the basis of the government declaration of November 14, the country now offers to play an active role in the development of international standards in the field of automatic information exchange. Does the Princely House support this new strategy that is a major historical turning point?
I do support the government declaration. Due to increasing collaboration between the G-20, the EU and the OECD, we have to assume that the automatic information exchange will soon become an international standard that Liechtenstein will need to comply to. Even if we wanted to, we would not be able to stop this process. For this reason, it is important to be proactive, to establish clarity for our clients and, above all, to bring in our own ideas in the best interests of our investors.

How optimistic are you about the OECD and the Global Forum taking a small state like Liechtenstein seriously enough to have them assist in the development of international standards for the automatic information exchange? To what extent will Liechtenstein be able bring forward own ideas?
For the automatic information exchange to also work in and be accepted by small states, larger states will need to take smaller states into account as well. Due to multiple and innovative tax treaties Liechtenstein has passed over the past few years with various states such as Great Britain and Austria, the country is very well respected by the OECD. Liechtenstein is also a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) and thus complies to the EU-standards for financial marketplaces including the directive on the taxation of savings income. We have decades-long experience in the structuring of assets and liabilities. As such, we are an ideal partner who should be included in the process.

How do you think will Liechtenstein's readiness to have bilateral agreements and work on international standards affect the country's relationship with Switzerland? Isn't there a danger that Liechtenstein's model student like demeanour or the almost preemptive obedience will put even more pressure on Switzerland by the International Community and thus strain the two country's relations?
No. First of all, Switzerland has announced that they will sign the administrative cooperation agreement even before we did. Secondly, Swiss representatives have already told in interviews that they are concerned with the automatic information exchange and will not cloister the country away when it becomes an international standard. Lastly we have close contacts with Switzerland in all questions regarding fiscal cooperation.

For more on the topic and an old comment by Prince Max on the matter, have a look at this article by Der Standard.