Saturday, May 31, 2014

Abbaye de Neumünster Celebrates Anniversary

Photo: Fabrizio Pizzolante / Luxemburger Tageblatt /
Already on Wednesday night, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Centre culturel de rencontre Abbaye de Neumünster (CCRN), a public meeting place and cultural centre located at Neumünster Abbey in the Grund district of Luxembourg City. The former Benedectine Abbey turned state prison now hosts concerts, exhibitions and seminars as well as the Lucien Wercollier Cloister featuring many works from the sculptor's private collection. Before joining the regular folks at the Fiesta Cubana, the Hereditary Grand Ducal Couple participated in an academic session. It's a bit hard to tell but I believe that  Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie is wearing a repeated dress by Issa.

More visuals can be found at Revue.

Source: Tageblatt

Celebrations, Celebrations and More Celebrations

It promises to be a busy month of June for the Grand Ducal Family. As previously reported, Grand Duke Henri will attend 70th anniversary celebrations of the allied Normandy landings on June 6th. The cour grand-ducale now confirmed his attendance as well of that of Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa and Grand Duke Jean. Luxembourg's former Grand Duke fought in World War II as an allied soldier and landed on Europe's continental shores a few days after D-Day, on June 11th, 1944.

Actually already prior to his visit to France, Grand Duke Henri will make a short visit to Poland to attend the 25th anniversary celebrations of the country's first post-communist elections. The celebrations marking the event will take place on June 3rd and 4th.

In addition, there are a number of engagement for the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess as well as the Hereditary Grand Duke and the Hereditary Grand Duchess back home in the Grand Duchy. Of course, there is also Luxembourg's National Day at the end of the month and in addition the family is also going to welcome a new baby prince or princess.

A little down the road, on August 17th, to be precise, the Grand Duke's sister Archduchess Marie-Astrid will be in Merville-Franceville to commemorate the liberation of the French town by Belgian and Luxembourgish soldiers of the Brigade Piron on August 17th and 18th, 1944.

Source: Cour grand-ducale, Brigade Piron

Thursday, May 29, 2014

What's Making Headlines

Not sure what's prompting it but Prince Wenzel, oldest son of Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie, just made a headline in the Daily Fail Mail. "Will a £3bn teen be the next King of Scotland? 19-year-old heir to Charles I could rule independent nation", titles the publication asking whether the number four in the alternative so-called Jacobite line of succession to the British throne may be made King of Scotland if the country became independent.

For those not too well versed in British royal history and resulting other succession claims than those of the House of Windsor, Jacobitism was a movement which supported the restoration of the main line of the Stuart dynasty to the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland. Early Jacobites sought to restore the Catholic King James II and his descendants as Kings after the thrones had passed to the Protestant House of Hanover under the terms of the Act of Settlement of 1701.

The modern day heir of the Jacobite claim is Duke Franz of Bavaria, uncle of Hereditary Princess Sophie. As Duke Franz has no children of his own, the claim then passes via his brother Duke Max in Bavaria to the Hereditary Princess. Next in line would then be her oldest son, Prince Wenzel. However, I have never heard about any member of the Wittelsbach family ever claiming anything when it came to the British throne and more than anything Duke Franz seems rather bemused when asked about it.

Source: Daily Mail, Me

MoMA in Munich

Last night, the director of New York City's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Glenn D. Lowry and Duke Franz of Bavaria, who has been a member of the museum's international council for many years, hosted a reception for about 100 members of the MoMA at Munich's Schloss Nymphenburg. Among those attending the event were Prince Max and Princess Angela, who call the Bavarian capital their home. Other guests included Prince Manuel of Bavaria, Countess Antoinette von Saurma-Hoym, Archduchess Marie of Austria and Prince Egon of Fürstenberg.

A few pretty small pictures are available at Brauer Photos.

First Communion of Princes Aymeric and Nicolas

Photo: Place Royale
Prince Aymeric and Prince Nicolas of Belgium, the twin sons of Prince Laurent and Princess Claire, received their first communion in the small village of Bonlez this morning. Spotted among the guests of the occasion was Archduchess Marie-Astrid, who of course is a first cousin of Prince Laurent. I also saw the Dowager Duchess of Arenberg, née Sophie of Bavaria, youngest daughter of Princess Antonia of Luxembourg and Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria as well as the godmother of Prince Laurent, attending the first communion.

Two videos of the event by Belgian RTL, called "Ambiance à Bonlez pour la communion des Princes Aymeric et Nicolas" and "Communion des Princes Aymeric et Nicolas", can be found here. Place Royale's Facebook page has a few more visuals.

Source: RTL-TV1

Grand Duke Visits Kosovo

Photo: SIP / Nicolas Bouvy
Today, Grand Duke Henri paid a short surprise visit to the Luxembourgish soldiers currently stationed in Kosovo as part of NATO's KFOR peacekeeping force. On his visit the Grand Duke was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Economy and Foreign Trade Etienne Schneider, who is also Minister of Defense and Internal Security as I just learned.

Luxembourg's army has been taking part in the mission since it's start in April 2000 and at the moment 22 soldiers from the Grand Duchy are deployed to the south-east European country. During his visit to Novo Selo, about 30 kilometres north of the country's capital Priština, Grand Duke Henri informed himself about the current situation and thanked the soldiers for their work. This was the Grand Duke's fourth visit to the troops in Kosovo.

Pictures of the visit are available at the cour, RTL, Tageblatt, L'essentiel and Wort.

Source: Tageblatt

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Children Visit Grand Ducal Palace

All photos: Paul Foguenne / CHL
(Click to enlarge)
Yesterday afternoon, Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa welcomed twelve currently hospitalised children as well as their parents, a psychologists, a nurse and teachers of the children's hospital's school at the palais grand-ducal to give them a tour of the city residence of the Grand Ducal Family.
The Grand Ducal Family has a long history of supporting and promoting pediatric medicine in Luxembourg. The country's first children's hospital was opened in 1966 and was funded by Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte as a wedding gift to the nation as already back in 1955 it was understood that Luxembourg needed a dedicated pediatric facility. This clinic served the pediatric needs of Luxembourg for 37 years. In 2003, a major expansion and renovation project was started. The newly revamped KannerKlinik at the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg was opened in May 2009.
The purpose of today's visit was to both offer the twelve children, who are currently hospitalised as the KannerKlinik, their families and caretakers a little recreational time outside of the hospital's walls as well as to give Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa to learn about their problems and give support. The Grand Duchess also pays regular private visits to the children's hospital.

Source: Cour grand-ducale

Grand Duke Discovers Luxembourg Up Close

Photo: natur&ëmwelt
Yesterday, Grand Duke Henri visited two projects of one of his patronages, the Fondation Hëllef fir d'Natur of natur&ëmwelt, the nature reserve Weimericht as well as the natural habitats in Dalheim. The organisations aim is to promote the preservation of nature in the Grand Duchy. The dry grasslands around Weimericht, for example, are home to many rare and protected species, such as grasshoppers, butterflies, beetles and more. Important for the maintenance of the area are grazing sheep as the grasslands and thus the biotope would otherwise be destroyed by scrub encroachment and forest growth. 

More information and galleries of pictures are available on the website of natur&ëmwelt and at

Source: natur&ëmwelt

Prince Max Talks Business, Love for Football

Today the Financial Times' Professional Wealth Management publication PWM profiled Prince Max, who is the CEO of the LGT Group. In the interview the prince talks about how bad things - a former employee selling your clients data - can turn into good things - "It enhanced our brand recognition significantly as we were constantly in the news. In the short term it hurts you. But in the longer tem, you replace it with a positive spin." - and how he likes "taking his 13-year-old son (Prince Alfons, that is) to watch their beloved Arsenal FC in north London". For the full profile, have a look at PWM.

Source: PWM

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What to Expect When You Are Expecting

All photos: Marc Schmit / Cour grand-ducale
Late yesterday afternoon, the lovely Princess Claire, Prince Félix and some interesting yellow trousers visited the Initiativ Liewensufank (literally 'initiative beginning of life') in Itzig. Upon their arrival they were greeted by the organisation's president Claudine Claire, the director Maryse Arendt and assistant manager Monique Fey as well as little Sophie who had the honour of presenting a bouquet of flowers to Princess Claire.
After a presentation about the activities of the association, which aims to improve the circumstances in which women give birth by providing prospective and new parents with information and support, by the director and assistant manager, Prince Félix and Princess Claire toured the facilities of the organisation. In particular they visited the consultation room, the secretary, the telephone hotline and the classroom called Kannerraum as well as the Second Hand Shop. 
Afterwards the expecting couple got down to business and joined a group of other parents-to-be for a lesson in how to carry one's baby. Already at the time of their wedding Prince Félix and Princess Claire had wished for donations to be made to the association and in a statement released by the cour grand-ducale the couple thanked everyone who did help to raise funds for the Initiativ Liewensufank, so that the organisation is able to provide their services for free to those parents who are not able to pay for them.

Source: Cour grand-ducale

New Patronage for the Hereditary Grand Duchess

Photo: Michel Brumat / Université de Luxembourg
As the University of Luxembourg's Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) just revealed, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie recently agreed to become the patron of their student laboratory. Together with her husband, the Hereditary Grand Duchess officially opened the "Scienteens Lab" in February this year. The laboratory gives Luxembourgish high school students the chance to participate in research workshops in the fields of molecular biology and bioinformatics for a day. 

The LCSB's director, Prof. Dr. Rudi Balling commented: “It is a wonderful signal to all school students that such a prominent figure and great role model has become involved in our project. And it is a special honour to every employee at LCSB to know we have Princess Stéphanie on our side.”

This patronage is Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie's second patronage after becoming patroness of the Amis des Musées d'Art et d'Histoire Luxembourg in March last year. Those familiar with the Grand Ducal Family will now the Luxembourgish royals do not take up as many patronages as some other international royals. However, they usually regularly and privately attend events of their patronages without it becoming public knowledge.

90 Years of Caritas

Founded on March 9th, 1924, Caritas Liechtenstein, the Principality's branch of the Roman Catholic relief, development and social service organisation, celebrates its 90th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion a celebratory church service took place in Triesen on Sunday morning. Among those attending the mass were Prince Hans-Adam II and Princess Marie.

Source: Vaterland

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Closing of the Octave of Our Lady of Luxembourg *

Photo: Isabella Finzi / Luxemburger Tageblatt /
It's the fifth Sunday after Easter, which means it was time for the closing procession of the Octave of Our Lady of Luxembourg, Maria Mater Jesu, Consolatrix Afflictorum, Patrona Civitatis et Patriae Luxemburgensis ("Mary, Mother Jesus, Consoler of the Afflicted, Patroness of the City and Country of Luxembourg"), Luxembourg's most important religious celebration.

Already this morning while the rest of their family went voting, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa attended a ponitifical mass at the Cathédrale Notre-Dame.
Photo: Isabella Finzi / Luxemburger Tageblatt /
After quite a number of no-shows last year, there's no complaining about this year's attendance. There were Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie, Prince Félix, Prince Louis and Princess Tessy who brought along Prince Gabriel for his very first Octave procession, Princess Alexandra as well as Prince Sébastien. Princess Claire, who is due to give birth next month, and Prince Noah, who is only six years old, did not take part in the procession. 

The members of the Grand Ducal Family were joined for the procession by numerous regular pilgrims both from Luxembourg and abroad as well as lots and lots of clergymen including five or so bishops. The closing procession let all of them from the Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Luxembourg via the rue Notre-Dame, the rue Philippe II, the avenue de la Porte-Neuve, the rue Beaumont, the rue des Capucins, the Grand-rue, the rue du Marché-aux-Herbes in front of the palais grand ducal, where they stopped for the Eucharistic blessings, and the rue de l’Eau back to the cathedral where the procession ended with ceremonial prayers.
Photo: Pierre Matgé / Luxemburger Tageblatt /
Afterwards, the Grand Ducal Family made their way back the palais, where they were welcomed a brass orchestra as well as curious onlookers, by foot. After a few minutes, the family made a balcony appearance for which they were also joined by Princess Claire and Prince Noah.

FYI, the Grand Duchess wore a Natan outfit which she previously sported on the eve of last year's National Day. Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie is wearing a dress and coat by French design house Weill, she also owns the dress in blue. Princess Tessy looked très chic in a very affordable £68 Warehouse dress as well as in a hat probably made by Jane Taylor.

Visuals of the day can be found at Tageblatt, RTL #1, RTL #2, RTL #3, Wort #1, Wort #2, Wort #3, Manuel Dias, the cour and Pressphoto. RTL also has a video (starting at 20:06).

European Elections

Photos: Gerry Huberty / Luxemburger Wort /

As every EU citizens should do today (or have done in the past few days), the Grand Ducal Family gave their votes in the European Election this morning. Grand Duke Jean, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie, Prince Félix, Prince Louis and Princess Tessy, Princess Alexandra as well as Prince Sébastien all cast their votes at the Ratskeller polling station at the Cercle Municipal just before noon. The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess do not exercise their right to vote and Princess Claire remained a German citizen after her wedding so she either had to vote in Germany or in the country of her residence, France. For more about the Grand Ducal Family and their (exercised) right to vote, have a look here.

Lots of pictures of the Grand Ducal Family at the polling station and on their way to it can be found at Wort in German and Tageblatt.

Memorial Day

Photo: Charlot Kuhn / Luxemburger Wort /
After his oldest grandson's First Communion was over, Grand Duke Henri was back to his head of state duties by making his way to the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial, which is located in Hamm, to attend a Memorial Day ceremony. Memorial Day is a US holiday which remembers the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The holiday is celebrated every year on the final Monday of May. However, as it is obviously not a public holiday in the Grand Duchy, it was already marked there yesterday.

The Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial is the final resting place of 5,076 American soldiers who died during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II as well as General George S. Patton who died as a result of a car accident in December 1945 and wished to be buried with his men. Other guests at the ceremony included the General's granddaughter.

Gallery of visuals are available at Tageblatt and Wort in English.

Source: Cour grand-ducale

Hi There, Cousins (and All Others Missed Thus Far)!

Photos: Roland Miny (obviously)

You know, curious me couldn't help but wade through some additional photogalleries of the First Communion of Prince Gabriel and look who I found, Prince Josef and Archduke Christoph. The sons of Princess Margaretha and Archduchess Marie-Astrid, respectively. As a bonus there is Hereditary Prince Carl-Philipp of Croÿ, who, being a descendant of Grand Duke Adolph through his grand-daughter Princess Antonia, is actually considered to be a member of the Grand Ducal Line of Luxembourg.

A completely unsorted guest list of those I saw in pictures:

Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg
Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa of Luxembourg

Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg
Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie of Luxembourg

Prince Félix of Luxembourg
Princess Claire of Luxembourg

Prince Louis of Luxembourg
Princess Tessy of Luxembourg
Prince Gabriel of Nassau
Prince Noah of Nassau

Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg

Prince Sébastien of Luxembourg

Prince Jean of Luxembourg

Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg
Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg
Princess Charlotte of Nassau
Prince Jean-André of Nassau

Archduke Carl-Christian of Austria
Archduchess Marie-Astrid of Austria

Archduke Christoph of Austria

Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein

Prince Josef-Emanuel of Liechtenstein

Hélène Vestur, former wife of Prince Jean of Luxembourg

Hereditary Prince Carl-Philipp of Croÿ

François Antony, Princess Tessy's father
Régine Antony, Princess Tessy's mother

Ronny Antony, Princess Tessy's brother

Madame Heidemann, Princess Tessy's grandmother

Luis Mestre, Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa's brother
Nicole Mestre, his wife

Maike Mestre, Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa's niece

Catalina Esteve, Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa's sister

To relive Prince Gabriel's First Communion check out our article and our picture gallery of it. For more visuals have a look at Tageblatt, L'essentiel, Wort #1, Wort #2, Wort #3 and Pressphoto 

Saturday, May 24, 2014