Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Celebrating Luxembourg's Independence *

Photo: Luxemburger Wort / Wort.lu
Today, the Grand Duchy marked the 175th anniversary of its independence, which actually occurred ten days ago, with a special celebration attended by the government, representatives of parliament, Luxembourg's mayor as well as members of the Grand Ducal Family and more.

Photo: Luxemburger Wort / Wort.lu
Already the Congress of Vienna in 1815 had granted Luxembourg formal autonomy. Being considered one of the strongest fortifications in Europe, several states had an interest in the newly created Grand Duchy. In the end, King Willem I of the Netherlands was given the country in exchange for the Principality of Orange-Nassau which went to the Prussian kings. Luxembourg also became a member of the German Confederation and Prussian troops took over the fortress.

In 1830, however, much of the Luxembourgish population joined the Belgian revolution against Dutch rule and in 1839, through the Treaty of London signed on April 19th, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg was declared an independent state though its size was nearly cut into a half as the west of the country became the Province of Luxembourg of the newly-created Kingdom of Belgium. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Kingdom of the Netherlands were ruled in personal union by King-Grand Duke Willem I and two of his descendants until 1890 when the House of Orange-Nassau died out in male line and Luxembourg fell to the Walram branch of the House of Nassau.

Photo: Luxemburger Wort / Wort.lu
Grand Duke Henri, who gave a speech during the celebratory event, was accompanied by Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa sporting Princess Ingeborg's brooch, as well as Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie. (Someone call Satan and tell him to get on his long johns cause hell just might freeze over, I think for once I don't mind Stéphanie's wide-legged pants as they actually go together with the rest of her outfit. Plus, in not as surprising news, I love her up-do!)

Grand Duke Jean was also supposed to attend the event though he did not as has the cold. However, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel still mentioned him in his speech calling the former Grand Duke "a witness of the last century". Being born shortly after Luxembourg's very own abdication crisis surrounding his aunt, Grand Duke Jean witnessed the Grand Duchy changing from an agricultural backwater to what it is today.

More visuals of the event can be found at Wort in German, Wort in French and Tageblatt as well as RTL and the website of the cour. RTL also has a video (starting at 2:10).

Source: Wort

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