Sunday, May 31, 2015

Prince Félix Hosts "French Legends", Launches 'Cuvée Amalia'

Prince Félix and presumably Princess Claire (she might even be the person half hidden in the picture above) hosted the "French Legends", a group of former French professional rugby players coming together for charitable causes, at their Château les Crostes to benefit the organisation Le sourire de Lucie last night. Lucie, who celebrated her 20th birthday this weekend, suffers from Larsen syndrome, which is "a rare genetic disorder that has been associated with a wide variety of different symptoms. Characteristic findings of the disorder include dislocations of the large joints, skeletal malformations, and distinctive facial and limb features."

The "French Legends", led by former French rugby union international Serge Betsen, were joined by rugby players from RC Toulon as well as local handball professionals for the evening. To raise money for Le sourire de Lucie, jerseys and other memorabilia were auction off. Also to benefit the charity, the Château les Crostes officially launched the new Cuvée Amalia, named for the baby daughter of Prince Félix and Princess Claire. One euro and fifty cents of every bottle sold of the rosé wine will go to support Le sourire de Lucie.

Luxarazzi 101: Small Amethyst Earrings

To be perfectly honest with you, I was very tempted to title this post "Luxarazzi 101: Those earrings especially Maria Teresa and Stéphanie seem to be swapping back and forth an awful lot (and I'm not even sure what they are made of)" but alas that post title was a bit long. So, I'll simply call these the Small Amethyst Earrings (though I'm still not entirely sure what they are made of as the colouring does change quite a bit depending on the lighting).
And while we may never learn what exactly the centre stone surrounded by small diamonds of this pair of earrings is, they still are making the rounds in the family. At least Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa, Princess Alexandra and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie have worn them in the past. I haven't done maths or anything, but they might just be the most sported earrings of the Grand Ducal Family, worn by both Maria Teresa and Stéphanie on a very regular basis. In fact they are so popular that the former Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy wore them on the day of her civil wedding for a reception (right) and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa a day later for the religious wedding (left).

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Tracing the Liechtenstein Roots

These days for most people Liechtenstein is a rather obscure tiny Principality somewhere between Austria and Switzerland (if they know it at all). However, the territory now known as Liechtenstein hasn't always had this name. In fact, the Principality takes its name from the family that rules it, the House of Liechtenstein. On 23 January 1719, Emperor Karl VI issued a decree stating that the lordships of Vaduz and Schellenberg were to be united and elevated to the dignity of principality with the name "Liechtenstein" in honour of "[his] true servant, Anton Florian of Liechtenstein".
The roots of Princely Family thus do not lie in the Principality now bearing their name but instead in Austria, south of Vienna to be exact. In the town of Maria Enzersdorf, you can still find Burg Liechtenstein, the family's ancestral home. Literally "bright stone castle", it is just one of many castles and palaces still owned by the Liechtenstein family in Austria. Some of them I visited during my recent stay in Vienna, which you might well be aware of when you also follow my other blog, Castles & Co.
For today's post here on Luxarazzi, I will chronicle all my visits to the Liechtenstein sights during my Viennese adventures starting with the Burg Liechtenstein. As I visited rather late in the day when coming back from a daytrip to the Wachau region, the castle was already closed for visitors. However, it was still nice to see the ancestral home of a family I have learned so much about (and continue to learn even more about) for the past few years.
The Burg Liechtenstein, just as about every other building covered in this post, has recently been extensively renovated by the Princely Family and got a new roof, for example. However, it remains a seriously old building dating back to the 12th century and as such you are not allowed to walk along one of the castle's sides due to the danger of falling rocks.
Opposite the Burg lies the Schloss Liechtenstein. Originally a manor and farmyard, it was rebuilt as a summer residence by Prince Johann I of Liechtenstein between 1820 and 1821. These days, it is a (probably rather posh) retirement home.
Onto one of the places I actually visited the inside of, the Gartenpalais Liechtenstein in Vienna's Alsergrund distict. And well, even after seeing it in person, I think it's still my favourite of all Liechtenstein palaces.
It's located in a rather small but lovely park combining both French and English aspects of landscape architecture. Too bad it was never intended to be a place to live but instead one to partey. Not that I don't mind a good party but I just think it would be a rather nice place to live.
Visiting the Gartenpalais was also quite an experience. Earlier in the day, I had been to Schloss Schönbrunn and I don't think I had ever seen so many tourists in my entire life trying to squeeze themselves into one room during a tour. This was the absolute opposite. Sure, it's a little more expansive but you are even welcomed with a glass of bubbly!
Plus, there are lots of nice things to see, like the Golden Carriage of Prince Joseph Wenzel I in the Sala Terrena. Many of the rooms also include pieces from the Princely Collection of the House of Liechtenstein though you are understandably not allowed to take pictures of those.
Considering that I liked the Gartenpalais so much, I wouldn't mind to live there, this might just be the place to live pour moi: The Sommerpalais Liechtenstein located on the opposite end of the park. These days it actually is an apartment building... you could - in theory - live there but I guess that the practical things, like the money to be able to afford it, would let those plans fail miserably.
Also located nearby and visitable for free is the parish church of Lichtental. It's the patron church of the Princely Family, which is also quite famous for being the place of baptism of composer Franz Schubert.
Less spectacular from the outside is the Stadtpalais Liechtenstein though do not allow yourself to be deceived. It might look like a rather normal building from the outside - well, for Viennese standards, that is - ...
 ...and still doesn't look too fancy when you are standing in the courtyard... of the first signs that something special awaits you might just be the princely coat of arms inset in the street lamp.
Et voilà: Gold, gold, and more gold in the palace's grand hall. Legend has it that even Prince Alois II of Liechtenstein (1796-1858) thought that there was just a little too much gold in this room. And so the putti in the room's corners aren't gilded in an attempt to have just a little less gold in the room.

In case you'd like to read a little more about my time in Vienna, Bratislava, Melk and a few other places around the Austrian capital, head over to Castles & Co...

Friday, May 29, 2015

Liechtenstein Royals at Haberler Conference

Photo: 1 FL TV
Today's 11th Gottfried von Haberler Conference in Vaduz brought out our usual suspects of Haberler conference attenders (is that even a word?), Prince Philipp and Prince Michael, father of the Liechtenstein princess at the Neipperg/Limburg-Stirum wedding. This year's conference, which was entitled "Be embraced, you Millions? The stranglehold of big states", took place at the University of Liechtenstein and counted former Czech president Václav Klaus and the current Liechtenstein Deputy Prime Minister Thomas Zwiefelhofer among its speakers. 

I wouldn't be too shocked to hear that Prince Hans-Adam, Prince Nikolaus and Prince Stefan were also in attendance considering that they have been in the past. In any case, Hereditary Prince Alois hosted all the participants for a cocktail reception at Schloss Vaduz this evening. Again, I wouldn't be shocked to hear that Hereditary Princess Sophie was also present. For a video of today's conference including an interview with Prince Michael, head over to 1 FL TV.

Prince Hans-Adam Opens Innovation Centre

Yesterday, the Hilti AG opened a new innovation centre for 116 million euro in Schaan, Liechtenstein's biggest municipality. Hilti is a Liechtenstein company that develops, manufactures and markets products for the construction, building maintenance and mining industries, primarily to the professional end-user, with more than 20,000 employees all over the world. It is also the biggest employer in the Principality and unsurprisingly the Fürst himself was present for the opening. Prince Hans-Adam was joined by Deputy Prime Minister Thomas Zwiefelhofer.

Coming Up: Iceland, Amalia and More

As we don't have that much news to cover, here's a bit of a look ahead what's waiting for us to happen in June Luxembourg-wise (and a little Liechtenstein-wise).

Between June 1 and June 4, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie will visit Iceland to attend the Games of the Small States of Europe. While you might recall them from the last two times they happened in Luxembourg and Liechtenstein, royal turnout won't be quite as numerous this year. Here's hoping though, that we will also get to see someone from Liechtenstein.

On June 1, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa will welcome the Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, Yoka Brandt, in Luxembourg.

Also on June 1, Grand Duke Henri will receive in audience the president of the European Parliament as well as a delegation of members of the parliament.

On June 3, Prince Félix will turn 31. To mark his birthday, the cour has released four lovely pictures of the birthday boy, his wife and their adorable little baby daughter, which we'll be able to publish on June 2 already.

On June 4, Grand Duke Henri will participate in the inaugural session of the "Luxembourg EU Presidency Conference". The Grand Duchy will take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the second half of this year.

On June 5, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie will be among the guests for the 25th anniversary celebration of the Amicale de l’Aarnescht.

On June 6, Princess Alexandra will attend the 7th edition of "NOSL meets ZAK", apparently a Luxembourgish version of the Highland Games for schools.

On June 7, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie, Prince Louis and Princess Tessy, Princess Alexandra as well as Prince Sébastien will all cast their votes in Luxembourg constitutional referendum at the Ratskeller polling station. (Why yes, the Grand Ducal Family does have a right to vote.) The referendum will ask three questions about lowering the age of being allowed to vote to 16, giving the right to vote to non-Luxembourgers who have lived in Luxembourg for at least 10 years and have previously participated in European or municipal elections in Luxembourg, and limiting the number of years a politician can stay part of the cabinet to ten years.

Looking a bit further ahead, we will also have Luxembourg's national day coming up on June 23.

While I can't tell you the exact date yet, Hereditary Prince Alois will visit the Headquarters of the United Nations in New York City sometime in June as well.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Liechtenstein at the Neipperg/Limburg-Stirum Wedding

Photo: Willi Schneider / REX
While we are still (im)patiently waiting for more pictures of last weekend's wedding of Countess Caroline von Neipperg and Count Philippe de Limburg-Stirum to come up - no article in this week's Point de Vue, three pages in Bunte but just one new picture (of Prince Philipp and Princess Elisabeth von der Leyen) - here's another Liechtenstein face who rarely makes it onto this blog: Princess Gisela of Liechtenstein, daughter of the occasionally featured Prince Michael, in blue in the picture on the right together with Princess Xenia of Croÿ, great-granddaughter of Princess Antonia of Luxembourg, and Countess Maximiliana of Arco-Zinneberg showing us that jumpsuits must be *the* go-to thing at this summer's noble weddings.

In some non-jumpsuity news and to clear up some occasional confusion: The people described by photo agencies as "Marike Stine von Habsburg and Rudolf von Limburg" are in fact Countess Fanny of Khevenhüller-Metsch and Count Damiano Minozzi. Also spotted among the about 450 wedding guests: Jean-Christophe de Lantsheere, Count Alexis de Warren and Count François du Chastel (thanks to you know who you are). The church service of the noble wedding was led by Paul von Habsburg.

Guillaume at International Insurance Conference

Photo: BLITZ Agency Sàrl / Michel Zavagno
Insurance Europe held their 7th International Insurance Conference in the Grand Duchy in the presence of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume yesterday. The main theme of this year's conference was the globalisation of the insurance industry. About 400 insurance industry leaders from all over Europe and the world gathered for the event at the Kirchberg conference centre, which was opened by the Minister of Finance, Pierre Gramegna.  

More pictures of the day on the cour's website.

Félix Promotes Wines in Norway

Photo: UbiFrance
Prince Félix recently visited Norway to promote his wines. On April 21, he was among the seven Provencal wine producers, as well as the Biscuiterie de Provence and soap producer Marius Fabre who presented their products at the French ambassador's residence in Oslo. The tasting was jointly organised by UbiFrance and Comité Mistral.

First off, the producers hosted a 'master class' at the Culinary Academy of Oslo where two French chefs, Mr. Charial and Mr. Chibois, prepared the food and the producers where able to showcase their variety of wines. Afterwards, the French ambassador to Norway, Jean-Marc Rives (pictured with Félix on the right), gave the producers the chance to present their wines at the French embassy.

A few more pictures at UbiFrance.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Hans-Adam and Marie Attend Concert

On Whit Sunday, Prince Hans-Adam II and Princess Marie were among the listeners of a concert by the church choir of Vaduz's St. Florin Cathedral in cooperation with the ensemble Raetiana, a few soloists as well as organist Maciej Zborowski. They performed the "St. Cassians Messe" by Joseph Gregor Zangl (1821–1897) interspersed with a bit of Vivaldi, Händel and more.

Hereditary Prince Says 'Hoi'

Ambassadors reloaded: While Grand Duke Henri recently bit farewell to one, Hereditary Prince Alois welcomed a new ambassadors from Serbia on Friday. In an audience, Snezana Jankovic presented her letter of credence to Liechtenstein's regent. As I wrote before today: When an ambassador commences their service in Luxembourg Liechtenstein, he or she is received by the Grand Duke Hereditary Prince at a formal audience to present their letters of credence. Similarly, when the ambassador is to return home, a similar meeting, albeit somewhat less formal, takes place.

Stéphanie at Concours Reine Elisabeth

Photo: Screenshot by The World of Royals
Last night, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie was back in her native Belgium where she attended the Concours Reine Elisabeth alongside Queen Mathilde of the Belgians in Brussels. The Concours musical international Reine-Élisabeth-de-Belgique, as it is its full name, is an annual music competition taking place at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. It is a founding member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions and is considered to be one of the most prestigious and most difficult.

Luxembourgish royals are no strangers to the event as the Grand Duke's sisters, Archduchess Marie-Astrid and Princess Margaretha, regularly accompanied their late aunt Queen Fabiola to the event over the years. Pictures of Stéphanie and Mathilde from this year on Place Royale's Facebook and at The World of Royals.

Grand Duke Says 'Au Revoir'

Grand Duke Henri received in audience on Thursday, May 21, Madame Eva Descarrega Garcia, outgoing ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of Andorra, to bit her farewell. When an ambassador commences their service in Luxembourg, he or she is received by the Grand Duke at a formal audience to present their letters of credence. Similarly, when the ambassador is to return home, a similar meeting, albeit somewhat less formal, takes place.

Habsburgs at the Neipperg/Limburg-Stirum Wedding

Photo: Willi Schneider / REX
Back to last weekend's noble wedding of Countess Caroline von Neipperg and Count Philippe de Limburg-Stirum: A few new pictures have come up showing us that our Luxembourgish Habsburgs were out in quite a force. From left to right: Archduke Alexander, Archduchess Gabriella, Archduke Carl-Christian and Archduchess Marie-Astrid (wearing what I believe is another one of her mother's outfits, I'll get back to you about it), Archduchess Kathleen and Archduke Imre with their daughter Maria-Stella, as well as Archduchess Adélaïde and Archduke Christoph with their daughter Katarina.

Other guests with Luxembourgish ancestors at the wedding included Princess Xenia of Croÿ and Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, great-grandchildren of Princess Antonia, as well as Princess Theresa d'Orléans (née von Einsiedel), great-granddaugther of Princess Elisabeth, just like Antonia a sister of Grand Duchess Charlotte.

The 50th Birthday of the Duke of Vendôme

Prince Jean, Duke of Vendôme celebrated his 50th birthday on May 19. This past weekend the son of the Orléanist claimant to the French throne had a party in Dreux in northern France. Among the guests for the party were Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla from Luxembourg, as well as Prince Gundakar and Princess Marie of Liechtenstein, a born Orléans princess and sister of the birthday boy, with their daughters Princess Leopoldine and Princess Maria-Immaculata.

Pictures of the party at Noblesse & Royautés.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Guillaume Attends Memorial Day Ceremony

Photo: US Embassy in Luxembourg /
On Saturday, May 23rd, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume attended the annual Memorial Day ceremony at the Luxembourg American Military Cemetery and Memorial. The event was organized jointly by the U.S. Embassy in Luxembourg and the American Battle Monuments Commission.

Also in attendance were Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, Deputy Prime Minister (and Minister of Defense) Etienne Schneider, Commander of the Luxembourg Army Romain Mancinelli, among other dignitaries from Luxembourg and the United States.

The ceremony was also open to the public and began with an F-16 flyover followed by speeches from both Luxembourgish and American dignitaries.

Some more photos of the event (although no more of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, unfortunately) at, courtesy of the US Embassy in Luxembourg. Update: Additionally, you can find a few more visuals at the cour.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Wedding of Caroline von Neipperg and Philippe de Limburg-Stirum

Photo: Bernard Moritz / Abaca / Atlantico Press
Yesterday, Countess Caroline of Neipperg and Count Philippe of Limburg-Stirum married in a religious ceremony in Saint-Émilion in south-western France where her family owns a wine estate. Philippe is the brother of Count Rodolphe de Limburg-Stirum, the son-in-law of Luxembourg's Princess Marie-Astrid.
Photo: Bernard Moritz / Abaca / Atlantico Press
 A few pictures of the nuptials can be found at Atlantico Press. Eagle-eyed me spied Archduke Imre and Archduchess Kathleen (first picture above, on the right) and Archduke Christoph and Archduchess Adelaide with their baby daughter Katarina (same picture above, on the left) in the pictures. One of the bridal children was Count Léopold of Limburg-Stirum, son of aforementioned Count Rodolphe and Archduchess Marie-Christine. I believe that it is also Marie-Christine from behind in the second picture considering she is holding Léopold's hand.

I expect there to have been more members of the Luxo-Liechtenstein family in attendance but sadly there aren't very many pictures of the guests. Stay tuned, we will let you know if anything else pops up.

Henri Attends an Academic Session for SNL

Photo: Jim Meisch / Cour grand-ducale
Not the American late-night comedy program, of course.

Rather, the Société des Naturalistes Luxembourgeois (abbreviated as SNL), which was founded in 1890 and is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. On Thursday, Grand Duke Henri attended an academic session at Abbaye de Neimënster to honor the society's focus on cultivating the study of natural sciences and encouraging the sustainability of natural heritage.

Grand Duke Henri was accompanied by Camille Gira, the Secretary of State for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure.

After the academic session, the Grand Duke visited the Musée national d'histoire naturelle Luxembourg for a reception and received the honorary book published on the occasion of the society's 125th anniversary.

A little more information, and another photo, at the Cour website.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Grand Duke Henri Supports the Protection of Water Resources

Photo: Charles Reisner / Cour grand-ducale
On Wednesday, Grand Duke Henri attended a selection of workshops focused on the protection of water resources in Luxembourg. Each presentation demonstrated the different methods that farmers and others in the agricultural industry are using to make the most of current water resources and reduce pollution. At the end of the visit, Grand Duke Henri toured a farm. 

Also in attendance was Fernand Etgen, the Minister of Agriculture, Viticulture and Consumer Protection in Luxembourg. The workshop presentations included members of the Chamber of Agriculture, the Parc Naturel de la Haute-Sûre (Naturpark Uewersauer), the Syndicat des Eaux du Barrage d'Esch-sur-Sûre (SEBES), and the Administration des services techniques de l'agriculture (ASTA). Additionally, students from the Lycée Technique Agricole in Ettelbruck explained how water resources protection is currently a part of their educational program.

Some more photos at the Cour website and at Tageblatt.

Grand Duke Welcomes Nepal Helpers

Photo: Cour grand-ducale
On Tuesday, Grand Duke Henri received in audience members of the humanitarian intervention group of the Protection civile who responsible for bringing much needed emergency equipment to Nepal and teaching how to use them on site (some of them). The group was accompanied by the Minister for the Interior, Dan Kersch.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Henri Visits an Exhibition About the Holocaust

Photo: Mark Schmit / Cour grand-ducale
Grand Duke Henri was at Villa Pauly today to visit the exhibition "Between Shade and Darkness," which focuses on the Nazi oppression of the Jewish community in Luxembourg.

Villa Pauly, built in 1923 by Dr. Norbert Pauly, was the Gestapo headquarters in Luxembourg between 1940 and 1944, and the cellar of the building is particularly notorious as the site of interrogation and torture. Today, the house is the seat of the Comité directeur pour le Souvenir de la Résistance.

A few more photos at the Cour website.

Alois and Sophie Greet the Minister-President of Saxony

Photo: KERO Risch / Liechtensteiner Vaterland /
At Vaduz Castle, Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie met with Stanislaw Tillich, the Minister-President of Saxony, who is visiting Liechtenstein from May 18th to May 20th. Minister-President Tillich also visited the University of Liechtenstein for joint talks on the relationship between education and business in both Liechtenstein and Saxony.

Alois and Sophie conducted an official visit to Saxony in May of last year: Day 1 and Day 2.

More information about the Minister-President's visit here and here.

Members of the Princely Family Attend Museum Opening

Photo: Daniel Ospelt / Liechtensteiner Vaterland /
At least three members of the Princely Family attended the opening of the Weisser Würfel in Vaduz last night. Built by the Hilti Art Foundation and the jewellery store Huber, the museum will house art exhibitions and also show watches and jewels. The 'white cube' is located opposite the 'black cuboid' which houses the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein art museum. Among the 130 guests for the opening were also Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie (wearing Diane von Furstenberg) as well as Prince Philipp. 

Galleries of visuals can be found at Volksblatt and Vaterland.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Guillaume and Stéphanie Visit Companies in Contern

Photo: Eric di Millo
This morning, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie were in Contern to visit Chaux de Contern, which manufactures precast concrete, among other products. This visit is part of the ongoing series of visits organized by FEDIL, which aims to introduce the Hereditary Grand Ducal couple to learn more about member companies and explore what each company contributes to Luxembourg.

The visit included a meeting with an archeologist from Luxembourg's Centre National de Recherche Archéologique, because the remains of a Roman-era cellar were discovered on the site of Chaux de Contern's plant.

Additionally, Guillaume and Stéphanie visited e-Kenz in Contern, which identifies itself as an "IT consulting agency and hosting provider." The company specializes in cloud hosting, among other areas.

Fingers crossed for some photos. They'll be added if they're made available. There you go. How handy of Stéphanie to coordinate her jacket with the hard hat.

Grand Duke Henri Visits Pont Adolphe

Source: Guy Jallay / Luxemburger Wort /
Today, Grand Duke Henri visited the ongoing rehabilitation site for Luxembourg's famed Pont Adolphe, or Adolphe Bridge (and also called the "New Bridge" to separate it from the Passerelle, which is the "Old Bridge"). The Pont Adolphe, originally constructed at the beginning of the 20th century, is currently undergoing improvements that are also part of the bigger LuxTram project. The bridge rehabilitation is expected to be completed in 2017.

Grand Duke Henri accompanied François Bausch, the Minister of Sustainable Development and Infrastructures, for this event, which included a presentation.

Some more photos, with a few more details about the bridge and the updates being made to it, available at Wort.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Guillaume and Stéphanie Visit Home for the Elderly

Photo: Alfonso Salgueiro
Today, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie visited the Sacré-Coeur home for the elderly in Luxembourg city to assist at a concert given by the Trio Vivace, which is composed of three musicians of the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg (OPL). The concert was organised by the Fondation Ecouter pour Mieux s’Entendre (EME), or Listen to Better Understand.

You might recall that Guillaume and Stéphanie previously visited a concert supported by the organisation in December of last year. They also donated 10,000 euros of the money they were gifted for their wedding to the Fondation Ecouter pour Mieux s’Entendre.

No pictures as of yet but will be added if made available. Pictures are now available on the cour's website.

A Week in Vienna

Those following me on Twitter @SydneyLux already know what this is about: I'll be heading to Vienna this week for a much longed and looked for vacation. (Don't worry, life at Luxarazzi will still go on thanks to my awesome fellow bloggers!) I have decided to chronicle my Viennese adventures over on my other blog, Castles & Co, in a little picture-heavy but likely text poor travel diary.* So if you care to join me on my tour of Vienna (and probably some nearby sights), head over to Castles & Co in the coming days!

* How often and how long my updates will be largely depend on the time I find and how good the WiFi in my hotel is.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Prince Félix in Cannes

Source: David Niviere / Cour grand-ducale /
Today, Prince Félix was at the 68th Cannes Film Festival to attend the 13th edition of Le Marché du Film. He visited the Luxembourg pavilion and met with professionals from Luxembourg who are working in the film and audiovisual industry. As it turns out, the film Le Tout Nouveau Testament, co-produced by audiovisual professionals from Luxembourg, is among the film selections at the festival and will be shown on Sunday evening. Also there were Minister of Culture Maggy Nagel and Film Fund director Guy Daleiden.

In the evening, Prince Félix attended an event organized by the Luxembourg National Support Fund for Audiovisual Production (otherwise known as the Film Fund). For a little more about the Luxembourg government's participation in supporting the audiovisual industry in the Grand Duchy, see here.

More photos at Wort, as well as a video interview with Prince Félix.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Prince Robert: "Luxembourg Is A Very Friendly Place to Visit"

Prince Robert, the Grand Duke's cousin, gave an interview to about travelling the world, philosophy, the wine business and his short career as a screenwriter. Asked about what he would recommend someone visiting Luxembourg to do there he says, "I have not lived in Luxembourg since I was 11 years old but I do visit. It has a fine art scene and new museums. There are beautiful old castles and landscapes. And we have decent wine along the Mosel River, some very nice Rieslings. I grew up with those wines and I like them a lot. And it is a very down to earth place. The people are humble and it is a very friendly place to visit." To read the full interview, have a look here.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Henri and Maria Teresa Go to the Movies

On Wednesday evening, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa attended a screening of Kapus Kondyati Goshta (translated An Unending Story), as part of the 6th Cinéma du Sud film festival. The  Oscar-nominated film tells the story of four orphaned sisters in rural India who face many challenges of being female, and alone, in their traditional village.

The event has been organized by Save the Children India, Terre des Hommes Luxembourg, and Kindernothilfe Luxembourg. Following the film screening, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa attended a presentation by the organization Femmes en détresse, as well as a public debate.

No photos just yet, but they'll be added if they're made available.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Tessy Enjoys London Life

Looking particularly lovely in mint (though I could have done without the bow and/or sequins) and joining a bunch of celebrities, Princess Tessy was out and about in London last night. The princess was among the guests of the Spring Gala In Aid Of The Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital hosted by QBF and Kerzner Calliva at Claridge's Hotel. The hospital located in Cape Town, South Africa, was opened in 1956 through public subscription as a memorial to soldiers lost in the Second World War.

A handful of more pictures of the event also featuring Princess Tessy at Getty Images.

Maria Teresa Speaks at UNESCO Morning

Photo© Cour grand-ducale / Marc Schmit
On Monday, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa spoke to students at the at the Athénée de Luxembourg. The school has been an UNESCO Associated School since 2004. Member schools work to promote peace, international dialogue, and sustainable development. 

The students gave a presentation about the work of the association and their own project Peace at Athénée de Luxembourg. The Grand Duchess, who has been a Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO since 1997, shared her personal experiences and participated in a forum that allowed students to ask questions.

Additional photos of the even can be found at the website of the Cour.

Grand Duke Receives Swiss Councillor

Cour Grand-Ducale
On Monday the Grand Duke received Didier Burkhalter at the palais grand ducal. Mr. Burkhalter is Federal Councillor and Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation. He was on a working visit to Luxembourg. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Marie, Sophie, Nikolaus, Margaretha and the Red Cross

Photo: Elma Korac / Liechtensteiner Vaterland /
Today, the Liechtenstein Red Cross had its annual general assembly and it wasn't just a special one because no less than for members of the Princely Family, in the persons of the Princess Marie, Hereditary Princess Sophie, Prince Nikolaus and Princess Margaretha, were in attendance. This year, the Principality's branch of the international organisation celebrates its 70th anniversary. It was founded by Princess Gina in 1945 to help refugees at the end of World War II.

Photo: Elma Korac / Liechtensteiner
Vaterland /
Thirty years ago, Princess Gina handed over her position as president of the organisation over to her daughter-in-law, then Hereditary Princess Marie. Today Princess Marie did the very same: She also resigned from her position handing over the duties to her daughter-in-law Hereditary Princess Sophie, who became the new president. Princess Marie was made honorary president.

Also among the guests of the general assembly were Prince Nikolaus, the international representative of the Liechtenstein Red Cross, his lovely wife, Princess Margaretha, as well as Prime Minister Adrian Hasler, the President of Parliament, Albert Frick, and Aurelia Frick, the Principality's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Education and Culture.

Vaterland has more pictures.

Princess Sibilla at Micheletti Award

This weekend, Princess Sibilla likely visited Brescia, Italy. I say likely because I haven't actually found photographic evidence that she attended the 2015 edition of the Luigi Micheletti Award. However as she attended in 2011, 2012, 2013 as well as 2014 and was also mentioned in advance, she likely did again this year. The Micheletti Award is a prize for innovation in museums and was awarded this year to the National Archives of The Netherlands.

Prince Max Attends Conference in Oslo

Prince Max was among the speakers of the Partnership for Change Conference which recently took place in Oslo on May 6 and 7. Dealing with the topic of social innovation in general, the conference was entitled "Turning the Tide – Together for a Sustainable Future". Prince Max gave the keynote address during the part of the conference dealing with the questions of how to aggregate support, build movements and gain results, and how organisations, companies and academic institutions can best encourage and support individual innovation and action.

Maria Teresa Attends the Congrès Infirmier National Opening Ceremony

Today in Kirchberg, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa attended the opening ceremony for the Congrès Infirmier National 2015. She was accompanied by the Minister of Health, Lydia Mutsch. The event, which is being held at the University of Luxembourg, also included a round table discussion entitled "The elderly person in the Luxembourg health system" and led by Professor Jean Paul Lehners who is a Professor of Global History and the UNESCO Chair in Human Rights at the University of Luxembourg.

The Congrès Infirmier National 2015 is organized in connection with the Association Nationale des Infirmiers et Infirmières Luxembourg (ANIL), of which Grand Duchess Maria Teresa has been a patron since 1991. Additionally, the Grand Duchess has been a Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO since 1997.

No photos at present. They'll be added if they're made available.

Grand Duke Henri Receives EU High Representative

Source: Cour grand-ducale
This afternoon at the Palais grand-ducal, Grand Duke Henri received in audience Federica Mogherini, who is the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Vice-President of the European Commission. Madame Mogherini is currently on a working visit to Luxembourg.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Hereditary Prince Celebrates 20 Years of EEA

Photo: Eddy Risch / Liechtensteiner Vaterland /
Twenty years ago, on May 1, 1995, Liechtenstein entered the European Economic Area, or EEA. Today, Hereditary Prince Alois (and, as it turns out, his uncle Prince Nikolaus) were on hand for the jubilee celebrations in Vaduz. In case you aren't up to the workings of all those European institutions: The EEA forms a single market for the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital through three of the four member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) - Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway - and all 28 member states of the European Union (EU). Only Switzerland, also an EFTA member, did not join the club as voters rejected ratification. More information about the celebration at Vaterland.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Closing Procession of the Octave 2015

Photo: Chris Karaba / Luxemburger Wort /
Today is the fifth Sunday after Easter and so it was time once again for the annual closing procession of the Octave of Our Lady of Luxembourg, Maria Mater Jesu, Consolatrix Afflictorum, Patrona Civitatis et Patriae Luxemburgensis or "Mary, Mother Jesus, Consoler of the Afflicted, Patroness of the City and Country of Luxembourg" in case your Latin has left you a little today. The Grand Ducal Family always makes it a priority to attend and so they did today.

Photo: Chris Karaba / Lux. Wort /
Already this morning, Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa, Prince Félix, Princess Claire, Prince Louis and Princess Tessy attended a pontificial mass. In the afternoon, they were joined by Grand Duke Henri (fresh off his quick trip to the United States), Prince Gabriel and Prince Noah for the closing procession leading 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.

As always, the Grand Ducal Family were joined, or rather joined, thousands of other pilgrims both from Luxembourg and abroad for the Grand Duchy's most important religious celebrations celebrated since the 17th century. (For more on the Octave of our Lady of Luxembourg, have a look at our Luxarazzi 101 about it.)

Photo: Lucien Koneczny / RTL /
After the end of the procession and a concluding mass at the Cathédrale, the Grand Ducal Family traditionally makes their only balcony appearance of the year, bringing out a very special family member this year: Princess Amalia. The ten-months-old baby daughter of Prince Félix and Princess Claire joined her parents, grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins to hear the Harmonie Municipale de Luxembourg-Limpertsberg play some march, the national anthem and wave to the crowd.

RTL has a news report about the day as well as pictures. Some more pictures at Wort.

Guillaume and Stéphanie Commemorate the Liberation of Mauthausen

Photo: Screenshot ORF
Today, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie were in Austria to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Mauthausen concentration camp, which consisted of a number of camps around the villages of Mauthausen and Gusen in Upper Austria near Linz. The camp was liberated on May 5, 1945 by American troops and thus the last concentration camp to be liberated.
Photo: Screenshot ORF
The couple laid a wreath at the Luxembourg memorial, which remembers the 176 Luxembourgish citizens who were deported to the camp between 1938 and 1945. Of these, 60 were killed almost immediately or soon after deportation. The two main camps of Mauthausen concentration camp complex, Mauthausen itself and Gusen I, were intended for those identified as "incorrigible political enemies of the Reich" and as such was designed largely for extermination by intense labour. The "incorrigible political enemies" were ofted selected from among the educated and from the upper social classes of Nazi-invaded countries. In the case of Luxembourg, many of the prisoners at Mauthausen had been members of the Resistance.
Photo: Screenshot ORF
After the wreath-laying, Guillaume and Stéphanie attended the official program to mark liberation of the camp leading the Luxembourgish delegation. The liberation celebration was attended by 22,000 survivors, their relatives, local school children, as well as national and international dignitaries. The Principality of Liechtenstein was represented in the person of Maria-Pia Kothbauer, Princess of Liechtenstein, the country's ambassador to Austria.

More information on the website of the Mauthausen committee. Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa also visited the concentration camp during their 2013 state visit to Austria. A video of the commemorations today can be found at ORF, Tageblatt has pictures.