Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Grand Duke Celebrates Solidarność

Remember what I said yesterday about U.S. Presidents and Luxembourgish Grand Dukes? Well, it still spells true today but that won't keep us away from covering Grand Duke Henri's latest Polish adventures. (And Barack Obama wasn't at all of them so there's hope.)

If you are a Luxarazzi regular, you know that the Grand Duke, as well as King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians and The Earl of Wessex royalty-wise, are currently in Poland to attend the celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of the end of communism in the country. Exactly 25 years ago today, Poland held its first partly free election in more than 40 years. About 35% of the Sejm, Poland's parliament, were freely contested, and all seats of the newly recreated Senate of Poland were to be elected democratically. The elections brought a landslide victory to the Solidarność movement that won 99% of the seats of the Senate.

This morning Grand Duke Henri and a few other guests of honour as well as the President of Poland, Bronisław Komorowski, attended a thanksgiving church service at the St. John's Archcathedral in the Old Town of Warsaw. Afterwards all of them plus some additional guests of honour including the U.S. President were present for the official anniversary celebrations taking place in front of the Royal Palace in the Polish capital. After a luncheon hosted by the President of Poland, the Grand Duke also attended a joint session by the Sejm and the Senate before making his way back to his very own Grand Duchy.

Visuals of the day are located here, here, here and here. A video of the Grand Duke being greeted by the Polish President can be found here.

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