Monday, March 31, 2014

More Vinic Business

Photo: Stiftung Fürst Liechtenstein
You know, not only the Luxembourgs are into the wine business but so are the Liechtensteins. Among the many things the Princely Family owns is the Hofkellerei des Fürsten von Liechtenstein which basically translates to wine cellars of the Prince of Liechtenstein. To be more precise, the Hofkellerei is owned and run by the Foundtion Prince Liechtenstein which, in turn, is run by Prince Constantin, youngest son of Prince Hans-Adam II. 

For a few years now, the Hofkellerei has been modernised and in a further step, the company received a new corporate identity recently. It has also become known that Princess Marie, wife of Prince Constantin, will get more involved with the marketing, sales and distribution of the wines. As one does, Princess Marie and the Hofkellerei's general manager Josef Weinmeyer hopped over to one of the family's palaces to take a few pictures to present the new wine labels and such to the general public.

Source: Mein Bezirk

Grand Duke in Kuwait

Grand Duke Henri is currently on a visit to Kuwait where, in his capacity as a member of the International Olympic Committee, he is participating in the Olympic Solidarity Commission Meeting. Last night, the Grand Duke as well as a number of other members of the IOC including its president Thomas Bach were invited to the Bayan Palace to meet with the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, as well as Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and the Chairman of Kuwait National Olympic Committee and Chairman of the Board of Kuwait Football Association Sheikh Talal Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Relay for Life *

Photo: Alain Rischard / Editpress / Luxemburger Tageblatt /
Bad news is, the scarf addiction of the ladies of the Grand Ducal Family is alive and well; good news is, the Grand Duchess looked lovely nonetheless when she attended the opening of the nineth edition of the Relais pour la vie organised by the Fondation Cancer earlier tonight. Since 2006, the "relay for life" has been taking place at d'Coque each year in an effort to raise money for the foundation which helps cancer patients in the Grand Duchy. Until tomorrow evening, over 9,000 runners in 345 teams will run in 24-hour and 12-hour relays to help raise money. During a speech Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa stressed how important the help of their family, friends and general society is for patients suffering from cancer.

More information and pictures can be found at Manuel Dias', the cour grand-ducale, Wort in German, Wort in French, Wort in Portuguese, Wort in English, L'essentiel and Tageblatt. Meanwhile, RTL has a video.

Source: Wort

Introducing "The Royal Resource"

Some exciting news! During the last few days and weeks, yours trulies have worked together with a few of our awesome royal watching friends - you know, those who don't judge - to create The Royal Resource, a new forum for all things imperial, royal, grand ducal, ducal, princely and generally noble. Come and join us to dicuss news, current events, history and all other matters of the Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg, the Princely Family of Liechtenstein and all your other royal passions over there. We look forward to sharing our knowledge and broaden our own horizons by learning new things!

Friday Flashback: Mother and Daughter

A young Princess Nora together with her mother, the late Princess Georgina "Gina" of Liechtenstein. Princess Nora was named for her maternal grandmother, Countess Nora Wilczek better known under her maiden name Countess Nora Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau. Countess Nora worked as a Red Cross nurse in Russia during the First World War and the Russian Revolution. She died while giving birth to a stillborn second child in 1923. In 1976, Countess Nora's diary about her time n Russia was published and made into a documentary in 2007.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Hello and Goodbye!

Photo: Anouk Antony / Luxemburger Wort /
Or rather goodbye and hello: Today, Grand Duke Henri first bid farewell to the now former state secretary in the Ministry of Education André Bauler who resigned last week due to health reasons. The Grand Duke then swore in his replacement, Marc Hansen who is already a member of the Chamber of Deputies.

More pictures and information are available at Wort in German, Wort in French and the cour grand-ducale. RTL has a video.

Source: Wort

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Welcome to the Castle!

Photo: ZVG / Liechtensteiner Volksblatt /
While the Luxembourg went abroad to meet a few new people, Hereditary Prince Alois stayed home to welcome someone from abroad. The President of the Swiss Confederation Doris Leuthard was on a visit to Liechtenstein today and, among a bunch of other things on her agenda, also visited the Hereditary Prince at his - well, his family's - Schloss.

Source: Volksblatt

Grand Ducal Couple in Strasbourg

Photo: European Council / Cour grand-ducale
Today, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa were in Strasbourg where they visited the European Council as well as the European Court of Human Rights. After the arrival at the European Council, the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess had an exchange of views with the Deputy Secretary General, Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly, Anne Brasseur, and the Chairman of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Herwig Van Staa. Afterwards they made a short visit to a bronze monument called Interpénétration by the late Luxembourgish artist Lucien Wercollier standing in front of the Palace of Europe which houses the European Council.

The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess subsequently made their way to the European Court of Human Rights where Grand Duke Henri held a speech in the presence of the President of the Court, Dean Spielmann. To round off the day, Luxembourg's ambassador and permanent representative to the European Council hosted a reception in honour of Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa during the course of which the royal couple met with Luxembourgish students living in Strasbourg. (You might remember that there are quite a few of them.)

More pictures are available at Tageblatt and on the website of the cour.

Source: Cour grand-ducale

Princes and Gladiators

Photo: Nils Vollmar / Liechtensteiner Volksblatt
Last night, experimental archaeologist Marcus Junkelmann was at the Landesmuseum in Vaduz where he talked about the Romans in archaeological experiments and as you can see, he brought along a few gladiators by way of illustration. Among the guests for the lecture were Hereditary Prince Alois and his youngest son Prince Nikolaus, who is the only one of the hereditary couple's children still living in Liechtenstein while the other three attend school abroad. 

Source: Volksblatt

Chez Félix et Claire...

Photo: Anne Fourney / Luxemburger Wort /
Prince Félix and Princess Claire, who are expecting their first child in June, recently welcomed a number of top chefs at the Château les Crostes, which is owned the princess' father and now run by the couple. Daniel Rameau, president of Euro-Toques Luxembourg, and restaurant owner Renato Favaro and manager Peter Körner were visiting the Agecotel Gastro Fair in Nice when they decided to drop by the "small piece of Luxembourg on the Côte d' Azur" as Rameau described it.

More information and pictures are available at Wort in English, Wort in French and Wort in German.

Source: Wort

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Another Visitor

Photo: Cour grand-ducale
After the prime minister of Montenegro on Monday, Grand Duke Henri received the prime minister of Singapore at the palais today. His Excellency Lee Hsien Loong is currently on a working visit to the Grand Duchy. In a bit more exciting news, Grand Duke Henri and his lovely wife will be in Strasbourg tomorrow; let's hope we will get to see heaps of pictures of it.

State Visit to Poland

There's a state visit coming up: Between May 6th and 9th Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa will be on an official visit to Poland. Among the cities to be visited surely is the Polish capital of Warsaw. The couple as well as their accompanying delegation will arrive in Poland in the evening hours of May 6th while the official engagements will happen of the following three days.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Grand Duke and Duchess Celebrate...

Photo: Serge Waldbillig / Luxemburger Wort /
...a banking association's anniversary. That's right, Luxembourg's bankers' association ABBL celebrated their 75th anniversary this year and Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa were on hand to celebrate with them. Other invitees included the Grand Duchy's prime minister Xavier Bettel. The Association des Banques et Banquiers Luxembourg marked the occasion with an academic session at the Philharmonie de Luxembourg.

More pictures can be found at Wort in German and Tageblatt.

Source: Wort, Cour grand-ducale

Guillaume in Canada and the US

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume is on a visit to Canada and the United States this week where, alongside minister of the economy Etienne Schneider, he will meet with leaders of US and Canadian industry groups. As there are usually even fewer news pictures of visits to North America than there are of travels to the Far East - I know, hardly believable considering there are close to none of visits to China, for example - here a little information about the places the Hereditary Grand Duke and his partner-in-crime will visit this week.

While in Bolton, Ontario, they will meet with the heads of Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. During the subsequent visit to the United States of America they will travel to Michigan, Delaware, Ohio, New York City and New Jersey to meet with leaders of Delphi Automotive PLC, Guardian, Goodyear, DuPont de Nemours, Plastipak and PolyOne as well as a few other companies who all have in common that they also have branches or offices in the Grand Duchy. To aim of the visit is to foster relationships with these companies and to show them that Luxembourg is willing to create the necessary conditions for the companies' work in the country.

Source: Wort

Monday, March 24, 2014

Grand Duke Receives Visitor

Photo: Cour grand-ducale
Today, Grand Duke Henri welcomed Milo Ðukanović, prime minister of Montenegro and one seemingly majorly tall gentleman, at the palais for an audience. The Balkan country's on-again, off-again prime minister is currently on a working visit to the Grand Duchy.

Source: Cour grand-ducale

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Luxarazzi 101: Prince Johann I of Liechtenstein

Born on June 27, 1760, Prince Johann (I) Baptist Joseph Adam Johannes Nepomuk Alois Franz de Paula of Liechtenstein is the most common ancestor of all the dozens and dozens of Liechtenstein princes and princesses of today. He was born as the sixth child of Prince Franz Josef I and his wife, née Countess Leopoldine of Sternberg, in Vienna. He succeeded his older brother, Prince Alois I, as sovereign prince in 1805.

At the age of 22, Prince Johann entered the Austrian army as a lieutenant in a cuirassier regiment. Described as a keen soldier, he quickly rose through the ranks during the Austro-Turkish War of 1787-1791. In 1790, he became the colonel of the dragoon regiment No. 12 (later also known as the Kinsky regiment). The same year, he was awarded the knight's cross of the Military Order of Maria-Theresia.

Painting by J.B. Lampi the Elder
Participating in many different battles during the French Revolutionary Wars, Prince Johann, together with Count Heinrich of Bellegarde, led a cavalry of 2,000 men in the Battle of Avesnes-le-Sec during which the Austrians defeated 7,000 French troops. While the Austrian troops only lost 69 men, 2,000 Frenchmen were either killed or wounded with another 2,000 being captured by the Austrian army. Prince Johann was subsequently promoted to the rank of a general-major and also participated in the Battle of Fleurus in 1794 as well as the Battle of Würzburg in 1796. After the latter battle, he was awarded the commander's cross of the Military Order of Maria-Theresia. After fighting in the Battle of Trebbia in 1799, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general. During his time in the military, Prince Johann became famous for not simply commanding his troops from save grounds but by actually leading them into the battle.

Prince Johann also fought in the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815). During the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805, he led the 4,600 cavalry of the 5th Column. The battle, also known as the Battle of the Three Emperors, ended with a defeat for the Austro-Russian troops and the Peace of Pressburg. Prince Johann was directly involved in the conclusion of the armistice as well as the negotiation of the Pressburg peace treaty. Emperor Napoleon I even wished that he would become the new ambassador to France but Emperor Franz I, who saw the admiration of Napoleon for the Prince of Liechtenstein with distrust, preferred Prince Metternich for the job.

In 1806, Emperor Franz I of Austria, however, entrusted Johann with the command of the city and fortress of Vienna and the very same year, Prince Johann became the 869th Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece. In 1808, he was made general of the cavalry and another year later, he was promoted to the rank of a field marshal after he had commanded the first reserve corps in and later the whole army of Archduke Karl. Prince Johann and his troops won the Battle of Aspern-Essling in May 1809 but lost the Battle of Wagram two months later. The defeat entailed the Treaty of Schönbrunn which was negotiated and signed by the Liechtenstein prince and seen by many Austrians as favourable to Napoleon. When the Austrian state could not pay the ten million guilder for the vacation of Vienna from the French troops, Prince Johann stood surety. The accusation to have little diplomatic skill, cooling of the relationship with the Austrian emperor as well as declining health all contributed to the Prince's resignation from the army in 1810.

Already five years earlier, Prince Johann's older brother had died unexpectedly at the age of 45 without any direct heirs and so the soldier in service of the Austrian emperor became the new head of the House of Liechtenstein and thus the Fürst of Liechtenstein. At this time in history, this, however, did not mean that the new Prince would move to or even visit the Principality which had, for a long time, been of peripheral interest to the family apart from the fact that it brought Reichsunmittelbarkeit with it. (Read here about why they wanted to have Reichsunmittelbarkeit so badly.)

Prince Johann I together with
Emperor Franz I/II and Emperor
Napoleon I after the Battle of
Austerlitz (Paiting by Pierre
Paul Prud'hon)
Being reichsunmittelbar became null and void a year later in 1806 when the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved and Napoleon incorporated Liechtenstein in the Confederation of the Rhine and made it a sovereign state without, however, asking the country's ruler. While many other small states were forever scratched from the maps, Napoleon hoped to find a Vienna-based ally in Prince Johann I through his move to make the tiny alpine Principality a sovereign state. Even though Liechtenstein's prince did not oppose Napoleon's action, he never signed the Act of Confederation and also did not formally quit the Holy Roman Empire.

According to the Act of Confederation, sovereign rulers of the Confederation of the Rhine were not allowed to serve a foreign power. To still make it possible for Prince Johann I of Liechtenstein to be in the service of the Austrian emperor, Napoleon added a paragraph that made it possible for the sovereigns to appoint their children as regent. Already on April 12, 1792, Prince Johann had married Landgravine Josefa Sophie of Fürstenberg-Weitra (1776-1848) with whom he had 13 children. In 1806, he formally made his third son Karl Johann, who was three years old at the time, his regent but as legal guardian of his own minor son, the powers effectively remained in Prince Johann's hands.

Prince Johann I was the first Fürst of Liechtenstein, which got its name from the family and not the other way around, who was actively involved in the politics of the day. Despite being a profoundly absolutistic ruler, he did make some forward-thinking reforms though all powers remained in his hands at all times. Already in 1805, he mandated a legislated compulsory education. He also introduced the land register as well as the freedom of establishment, abolished the serfdom, organised the medical corps and created Liechtenstein's parliament, the Landtag, by absolutist constitution in 1818. However, the parliament was only convened to a meeting once a year by the sovereign prince and it did not possess any real rights as its sole function was to assent “with gratitude” to the annual demand for taxes. In order to carry through his ideas, Prince Johann I employed a landvogt who was apparently largely detested by the population.

The Congress of Vienna confirmed Liechtenstein's sovereignty and so, in 1815, the Principality became a member of the German Confederation. Subsequently, Prince Johann reversed his third son's appointment as regent and started to rule in his own name again. 1818, the year of the introduction of the limited constitution and the parliament, also saw the first visit of a member of the House of Liechtenstein to the Principality by Prince Alois, Johann I's oldest son. The first visit by a sovereign prince, however, did not occur until 1842.

Entombment of Prince Johann I
(Etching by J. Karger)
Away from military and politics, Prince Johann I was interested in architecture mostly for the love of building something. During his time as head of the House of Liechtenstein, a model plant was built in Loosdorf. He also did not fail to expand existing estates by adding agricultural buildings in order to stabilise and improve crop yields. Prince Johann I cherished a special interest in landscape architecture which can be seen in the area surrounding the Burg Liechenstein near Vienna, which he bought back in 1808. Starting in 1820, the Prince had Schloss Liechtenstein built as a summer residence near to the old Burg. Like so many other Liechtenstein princes, Prince Johann I had a special penchant for art and increased the number of paintings in the family's collection from 840 to 1613. It was also him who moved the art collection to the Gartenpalais where he exhibited it to the general public. The exhibition was closed more than 200 years later in 1940 after the Anschluss of Austria into Nazi-Germany.

Prince Johann I died on April 20, 1836 in Vienna. With military honour, his body was brought to the St. Michael's Church in Vienna three days later. Afterwards the Prince's mortal remains were brought to Vranov nearby Brno, which today lies in the Czech Republic, to be buried in the recently expanded Liechtenstein Crypt there. He was succeeded by his oldest son, Prince Alois II. Prince Johann I's second son, Prince Franz de Paula, is the great-great-grandfather of Prince Hans-Adam II. The Princely Family of today consists entirely of descendants of said Prince Franz de Paula and his younger brother Prince Eduard Franz.

Friday Flashback (on a Saturday): Ice Princess

After the snow princess yesterday, we present you an ice princess today, who also (not very) coincidentally celebrates her birthday on this very Saturday. The ice princess is, of course, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa who turns 58 years young today - Happy birthday, Madame!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Flashback: Little Snow Princess

Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Collection privée
Princess Claire playing in the snow at the age of one. The former Claire Lademacher celebrates her 29th birthday today - All Guddes, Altesse! - and might soon have a little snow princess of her own. In January the cour grand-ducale announced that Princess Claire and her husband Prince Félix are expecting their first child to be born in June.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Liechtenstein Goes Australia and Other Banking News

The Princely Family's bank, the LGT Group, has had a good year despite drops in profit. While the income from services rose 15% in the past year, the low interest rate environment and lower valuation gains led to a 7% decline in total operating income. Assets managed by the bank increased by 7% and are now totalling 110.7 billion Swiss francs. 

Prince Max said about the past year, "We achieved good results in 2013 in an environment that remained challenging, and we are pleased with the progress we made in our core businesses. We are held in high regard by clients and relationship managers, are strategically well placed and, thanks to our solid capital base, can take a flexible approach to investing in our services and our market presence. We remain very optimistic about LGT’s future." 

If you are a person super interested in all things banking, you will find more information here. In more general news, the LGT Group plans to open offices to Australia to expand their asset management branch.

Source: LGT Group, Finews

Global Issues Network

Photo: Serge Waldbillig / Luxemburger Wort /
This morning, Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa participated in the Global Issues Network organised by the International School of Luxembourg (ISL) - which was also attended by three of the Grand Duchess' five children, Prince Félix, Prince Louis and Prince Sébastien - at the Chamber of Commerce. The Global Issues Network is an annual event trying to inspire students to take an interest in global issues. During her speech and a question and answer session, Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa talked about a project she set up in Burundi to help children to be released from prison and to start a new life afterwards, the importance of micro-credit and education as well as her personal role model Mother Theresa of Calcutta. For more information and pictures, have a look at the English version of Wort.

Source: Wort

Friday Flashback (on a Thursday): Party in Vienna

Photo: Oreste
Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein and Princess Margaretha of Luxembourg, who are celebrating their 32nd wedding anniversary today, together with their children Prince Josef, Princess Maria-Anunciata and Princess Marie-Astrid in the gardens of the Gartenpalais Liechtenstein in Vienna. The picture was taken in the summer of 2007 at a joint wedding anniversary and birthdays bash attended by heaps of royals and nobles as well as other friends of the family. Prince Nikolaus, Princess Margaretha, Princess Anunciata, Princess Astrid and Prince Josef are actually the reason why we came up with the idea to also include the Princely Family in our blog as our interest in the family originally arose while researching for a post about Liechtenstein's national day which some of the five regularly attend.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

93 And Still Going Strong

Photo: Alain Rischard / Editpress / Luxemburger Tageblatt /
Early today, Grand Duke Jean attended the award ceremony of the Mérite Jeunesse. The former head of state was accompanied to the event at the Forum Geesseknaepchen by his youngest son, Prince Guillaume. While Grand Duke Jean is the patron of the Mérite Jeunesse, an organisation and award similiar to The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, Prince Guillaume works as the president of the board.

Source: L'essentiel

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Red Cross Anniversary

Photo: Alain Rischard / Editpress / Luxemburger Tageblatt /
As mentioned before, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa attended an academic session organised on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Luxembourgish branch of the Red Cross. The initiative to found a Red Cross organisation in the Grand Duchy at the beginning of World War I had come from no other than Grand Duchess Marie-Adélaïde. In her quality as president of the Croix Rouge, Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa held a speech at tonight's event. Other guests at the event taking place at the Grand-Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg included prime minister Xavier Bettel, the president of parliament Mars di Bartolomeo, a number of other politicians and the president of the International Red Cross Peter Maurer.

More pictures are available at Tageblatt and on the website of the cour.

Source: Tageblatt, Cour grand-ducale

An Audience, Another Audience, And Another Audience

Photo: Cour grand-ducale
It's audience day in the Grand Duchy! This morning, Grand Duke Henri received the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz - picture here - as well as Japan's outgoing ambassador Wataru Nishigahiro - no pictures available - at he palais. In the afternoon, the Grand Duke was joined by Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, one shiny jacket and a scarf possible stolen from the Hereditary Grand Duchess to welcome Peter Maurer, president of the International Red Cross, in the Grand Duchy. The Luxembourg branch of the Red Cross celebrates its 100th anniversary this year and another event attended by the Grand Ducal couple to mark the occasion started a few minutes ago, but more on that later on cause it would totally destroy my perfectly alliterated headline.

Sources: Cour grand-ducale

Princess Visits Costa Rica

Photo: Columbia 98,7FM
Princess Nora is currently on a visit to Costa Rica to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Instituto Costarricense de Enseñanza Radiofónica (ICER). The princess is a founding member and vice-president of the ICER, an educational radio station. The education programme has received financial aid from Liechtenstein since its beginning. For her work with ICER and other causes to benefit indigenous communities, Princess Nora received the Juan Mora Fernández National Order by president Laura Chinchilla. For pictures and information, have a look here, here, here and here.

Soure: Vaterland

Monday, March 17, 2014

Prince Hans-Adam Talks Crimean Crisis

Prince Hans-Adam II gave a statement to Radio Liechtenstein about the current situation of Ukraine and the Crimea. While the Prince reckons that it is indeed the right of the people of the Crimean peninsula to decide whether they want to remain part of Ukraine or become part of Russia, he does not agree with yesterday's referendum. A referendum should be conducted according to international standards with the media being accessible for both Russians and Ukraines as well as international oberservers on side.

While he does not think that the economic sanctions will hurt Russia, he does hope that Russian president Vladimir Putin will not try to also stir up trouble in eastern Ukraine. Prince Hans-Adam believes that a conflagration and war might also cause the break-up of Russia in a number of smaller states. Towards the end of the interview, the Prince also calls for international laws or standards about the right of a people to self-determination.

The whole interview can be found on the website of Radio Liechtenstein.

What Liechtenstein Princes Have to Say

Photo: 1 FL TV
As I just noticed, Prince Philipp and his cousin Prince Michael gave a joined interview to Liechtenstein's only TV station, 1 FL TV, earlier this month. In the talk show Liechtenstein Live, they talked about the current economic situation in Liechtenstein and world-wide as well as the European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation (ECAEF) with which both of them are heavily involved in. If you are interested, the entire show can be found on the website of 1 FL TV.

Source: 1 FL TV

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Early Birthday Celebrations

On March 17th, 1839, organist and composer Josef Gabriel Rheinberger was born in Vaduz. At the age of 12, Rheinberger, whose father was the treasurer of Prince Alois II of Liechtenstein, moved to the capital of the Kingdom of Bavaria where he attended the Munich Conservatorium. In 1877, he was appointed court conductor of King Ludwig II, the swan king, and thus played a major rule in the development of German Catholic church music. Until his death in 1901, Rheinberger composed twelve masses, a requiem and a stabat mater as well as several operas, symphonies, chamber music and choral works. (Yes, I totally looked that up on Wikipedia.) Earlier today, a mass was celebrated at Vaduz cathedral to remember one of Liechtenstein's greatest son and among those in attendance were Prince Hans-Adam II as well as Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie.

Source: Volksblatt, Wikipedia

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Friday Flashback (on a Saturday): A Baby Prince and His Family

Photo: Liechtensteiner Vaterland
Today in 1972 at 10:30pm, then Hereditary Princess Marie gave birth to her third child and son, who was named Constantin Ferdinand Maria, at the Kantonsspital in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Consequently, today his 42nd birthday - all the best, Durchlaucht! Weighing 4200 gramme at the time of his birth, the prince is pictured above together with his parents, Princess Marie and Prince Hans-Adam II, and his older brothers, Hereditary Prince Alois (left) and Prince Max, a day after his birth.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Red Cross Anniversary Concert

Photo: Anouk Antony / Luxemburger Wort /
Earlier tonight, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa were present at a concert by the Philharmonie Luxembourg in favour of the Luxembourgish Red Cross which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. As the president of the Red Cross, the Grand Duchess was also the patroness of this concert which will benefit social grocery store projects as well as projects helping young people in difficult situations. The gala concert was jointly organised by the Red Cross and Deloitte Luxembourg. The Philharmonie under the direction of Joshua Weilerstein played Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances as well as La Valse and Concerto pour la main gauche by Maurice Ravel.

Pictures of the night can be found at Wort in German.

Source: Cour grand-ducale, Philharmonie Luxembourg

Hereditary Grand Dukes Out and About

Photo: Gerry Huberty / Luxemburger Wort /
Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie were in Lentzweiler today in order to pay a visit to CTI Systems where they heard a presentation about the company and toured the facilities. (I hope they are free from giddiness.) CTI Systems is a global provider of integrated automated heavy load systems for intralogistics, surface treatment and the aviation industry. When they were in China late last year, the Hereditary Grand Duke and the Hereditary Grand Duchess inaugurated the company's Shanghai-based subsidiary CTI Systems China LLC. Gotta admit that while I do like to complain about her clothing choices - Hi there, wide-legged pants, glad you didn't bring one of your scarf-besties (hanging around the neck)! - I love, love, love the Hereditary Grand Duchess' hair as of late.

More visuals of today can be found at Wort in German.

Source: Wort, CTI Systems

Friday Flashback: About Grandparents and Grandchildren

Grand Duchess Charlotte (1896-1985) and Prince Felix (1893-1970) together with the four eldest children of their oldest son, Grand Duke Jean, (from left to right) Grand Duke Henri, Princess Margaretha, Prince Jean and Archduchess Marie-Astrid.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Prince Max in Shanghai

Photo: China Daily
Prince Max was in the Chinese city of Shanghai on Tuesday to attend the opening of the "Rubens, Van Dyck and the Flemish School of Painting - Masterpieces from the Collections of the Prince of Liechtenstein" exhibition which includes about 100 oil paintings, prints and tapestries. All art works in the exhibition at the local China Art Museum are owned by the Princely Collection of the House of Liechtenstein, who had already lend a number of paintings to museums in Singapore and Beijing last year.

The International Channel Shanghai covered the official opening in their news, the video including an interview with Prince Max, can be found here. In another interview with the Global Times the second son of Prince Hans-Adam II revealed that Peter Paul Rubens' painting of his daughter Clara Serena was his personal favourite in the exhibition. The Shanghai exhibition will around until June 2nd; for more information, have a look here.

Source: ICS

Grand Duchess Visits Hospice *

This morning, Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa visited the Haus Omega, a palliative care facility in the Luxembourg district Hamm. After having a presentation about and touring the facility, the Grand Duchess also met with patients, care attendants and volunteers. As press - understandably - wasn't allowed to accompany Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa on her visit, I doubt that we will ever get to see pictures of it. -- Update: What I doubt or do not doubt doesn't matter, here you go for visuals.

Source: Cour grand-ducale

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

About Women's Rights, Green GM Technology and Skiing Competitions

Photo: 1 FL TV
Longest blog title ever? Seems like we missed a whole bunch of stuff happening in Liechtenstein during the last couple of days so let's quickly catch up! Already between March 3rd and 5th, the Heidegger Talentecup, a competition for young skiing hopefuls, took place in Malbun and Hochegg, Liechtenstein's skiing areas. As a surprise for all the children, Hereditary Prince Alois came along on the last day to hand out the medals. For pictures, have a look on the event's Facebook page

A few days later, most likely on the 7th, the Private University of the Principality of Liechtenstein organised a lecture on "Green GM Technology as interface between society and science". The event was also attended by the Hereditary Prince.

Most recently on International Women's Day, March 8th that is, Hereditary Princess Sophie attended a talk on the subject "Women in Wars and Armed Conflicts" held in Schaan. The two speakers of the event included International Criminal Court (ICC) judge Sanji Mmasenono Monageng and Sarah Abu Assali, a Syrian journalist, peace activist and member of the Syrian Women's League. 1 FL TV reported about the talk in this video which includes a few glimpses of the Hereditary Princess.

Sources: Liechtensteiner Volksblatt

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Dinner With The Grand Dukes *

Photo: Anouk Antony / Luxemburger Wort /
Earlier tonight, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa as well as Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie welcomed the members of Luxembourg's government for a dinner at the Château de Berg. The political guests were welcomed in the Salle «Je Maintiendrai» before proceeding to the dining room for - exactly - the dinner. 

Source: Cour grand-ducale

Friday Flashback (on a Monday*): A Royal Childhood

Photo: Point de Vue
Hereditary Princess Sophie together with her father and four sisters Duchess Marie-Caroline, Duchess Helena, Duchess, Elizabeth and Duchess Maria-Anna. Born as the oldest of the five daughters of Duke Max in Bavaria and his wife née Countes Elizabeth Douglas - We already talked a little about the Douglas family last Saturday. - and thus being the great-great-granddaughter of the last King of Bavaria, Ludwig III, Hereditary Princess Sophie is the only wife of an heir to a European throne who was born a royal. In fact her style is higher than those of her in-laws; while the members of the Princely Family of Liechtenstein have traditionally been serene highnesses, the Hereditary Princess is styled as a royal highness.

[* As we generally seem to be having a pretty quiet time on our hands and I'm sure you don't mind. However, fear not, the quiet times are going to change in the next couple of days, at least Luxembourg-wise.]

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Luxarazzi 101: Douglas Floral Tiara

Photo: Information und Kommunikation der Regierung, Vaduz
Today's tiara isn't a Liechtenstein one in the strictest definition but it has been worn by one of the princely brides and as a little sparkle on a Sunday evening to ease into a new week never hurt nobody, let's talk about Hereditary Princess Sophie's wedding tiara which is often described as being a Bavarian piece even though it isn't. The confusion, however, is all too understandable: Why would a Duchess in Bavaria chose a non-Bavarian, non-new family tiara to wear at her own wedding? The answer is rather simple as well: Because her mother is a born Countess Douglas and it's a family tradition but let's start from the beginning.
Countess Ottora Douglas, Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria (Photos: Point de Vue, Zimbio)
While the tiara is usually described as either the Douglas or the Douglas Floral Tiara, it is not entirely certain who its first owner was. Generally, not much is known about the piece's history. Made towards the end of the 19th century by a French jeweller, the tiara consists of diamonds set in a floral motif. In addition to seven diamond daisies, the tiara features diamond leaves as well as single diamond berries; an all around very literal interpretation of the floral theme that was very popular during the second half of the 19th century. To go with the tiara, there are a pair of earrings as well as a large brooch in the same design. These days, the jewels are owned by Duchess Elizabeth in Bavaria, mother of Hereditary Princess Sophie, who was a born Countess Douglas.

Of originally Scottish ancestry, Duchess Elizabeth was born in Stockholm as the first daughter of Count Carl Ludvig Douglas and Ottora Haas-Heye and a member of the Stjernorp branch of the Swedish-German descendants of the Clan Douglas. Her father was the son of Swedish general Count Archibald Douglas, grandson of Countess Louise of Gondelsheim and Langenstein, herself a daughter of Grand Duke Ludwig I of Baden by morganatic marriage. Through her mother, Duchess Elizabeth is also the great-granddaughter of Prince Philipp of Eulenburg, friend of Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Duchess Elizabeth's family, however, isn't only very well connected but also quite rich and so it's no surprise that she was given a tiara by her family. When exactly she received the gift, I do not know. The only pictures I have seen of her and Duke Max in Bavaria's wedding, don't allow a good glimpse at the tiara and so it's hard to tell whether she already wore it at the time. Whether the tiara was a family heirloom or newly purchased for Duchess Elizabeth also isn't common knowledge but I can tell you that it was also worn by her mother, Countess Ottora, at the pre-wedding ball of Hereditary Princess Sophie in Munich in 1993.
Duchess Marie-Caroline, Duchess Elizabeth, Duchess Maria-Anna in Bavaria (Photos: Bunte, PPE)
Whether it already had a tradition as a bridal tiara or not, Duchess Elizabeth's daughters certainly made it one. When marrying Duke Philipp of Württemberg in 1991, Duchess Marie-Caroline became the first of the four married daughters to wear the tiara at her wedding, a suit followed by her sisters Duchess Elizabeth and Duchess Maria-Anna at their respective 2004 and 2007 weddings. The second daughter to do so, however, was Hereditary Princess Sophie in 1993 and who knows, as the only one of the daughters married to a future monarch as well as being the oldest one of the sisters, she might just be the one to inherit the Douglas Floral Tiara one day and thus it might actually be added to the Liechtenstein collection.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Another Day, Another Concert

Last Wednesday but still without any visual evidence thus far, Grand Duke Henri attended a concert by the Berlin Philharmonic under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle. The German orchestra, which also includes a Luxembourgish musician, played Johannes Brahms, Georg Friedrich Haas and Claude Debussy.

Source: Visit Luxembourg, Cour grand-ducale

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Flashback: A Luxembourgish Thurn und Taxis Princess

Princess Elisabeth (1901–1950), fifth daughter of Grand Duke Wilhelm IV and Grand Duchess Maria Ana, and her husband Prince Ludwig-Philipp of Thurn und Taxis pose for a picture together with their son Prince Anselm and their daughter Princess Iniga.

Princess Iniga's granddaughter Theresa von Einsiedel recently announced her engagement to Prince François d'Orléans, son of Prince Michel, Count of Évreux. The couple first met in Vienna at a ball organised by Princess Marie of Liechtenstein.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The One For Which I Don't Know A Catchy Title

Photo: Brigitt Risch / Liechtensteiner Vaterland /
As if I ever have catchy titles, but anyway... Today, Malaysia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anifah Aman, was on a working visit to Liechtenstein. As it happens whenever a member of a foreign government visits the Principality work-wise, Mr. Aman was was received for an audience at Schloss Vaduz by Hereditary Prince Alois. Pictures are available at Vaterland.

Source: Vaterland

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Liechtensteiner in Paris *

Photo: ZVG
In March 2010, Prince Hans-Adam published a book entitled "Der Staat im dritten Jahrtausend" in which the Prince analyses the modern nation-state in various ways. Since then, the book has also been published in English as "The State in the Third Millenium" and today Prince Hans-Adam presented the French translation entitled - yes, they are very literal - "L'Etat au Troisième Millénaire" of the book in Paris. A Chinese version will come out later this year while Japanese, Korean and Portuguese translations are also in the works. Among the guests of the book presentation in Paris was the Prince's sister-in-law Princess Isabelle. Pictures can be found at Volksblatt.

Source: Vaterland

Monday, March 3, 2014

Luxarazzi 101: Princess Ingeborg's Pearl and Diamond Brooch

Photo: Acaba
Tracing the history of royal jewellery almost always also means tracing royal history in general and the histories of royal marriages in particular. It is often the case that one piece of jewellery owned by a European royal family has its origins with an entirely different royal family and came into the current family via a third one. Too complicated? Let's trace one of these cases with a diamond and pearl brooch now owned by the Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg.
Photos: Zimbio / Daylife
I haven't done maths or anything but judging by my impressions, this brooch featuring a large pearl set in a diamond motif might just be the most frequently worn one by Grand Duchess Maria Teresa. The piece originates with Princess Ingeborg (1878-1958), one of the daughters of King Frederik VIII of Denmark. It is unknown whether the princess, who can be seen wearing the brooch in the centre picture in the collage above, was its first owner or whether she had already inherited the brooch from one of her relatives.

Together with Prince Carl of Sweden, Princess Ingeborg had four children, among them the future Queen Astrid of the Belgians, mother of Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte. Whether Luxembourg's late Grand Duchess inherited he brooch directly from her grandmother or whether it passed to her via the detour of Queen Astrid isn't certain (to me). She, however, did seem to enjoy the pearl and diamond piece as she regularly wore it for state occasions as does her very own daughter-in-law now. Like I said before, I have not counted the outings but judging from my impression, Princess Ingeborg's brooch has also been a favourite of Grand Duchess Maria Teresa for many years and who can blame her, it's a beautiful piece indeed.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Luxembourg City Film Festival

Photo: Claude Piscitelli / Luxemburger Wort /
Woot woot, the Grand Duchess surfaced again: Last night Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, who we last saw in mid-January, and Grand Duke Henri attended the opening of the Discovery Zone Luxembourg City Film Festival at the Utopolis cinema. Together with an array of film industry professionals - Great description! - as well as Luxembourg mayor Lydie Polfer and Culture Minister Maggy Nagel, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa watched a private screening of Spike Jonze's award-winning movie "Her".

Pictures of and more information about the night can be found at Tageblatt, Wort in German, Wort in French and Wort in English.

Source: Wort