Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Guillaume and Stéphanie Attend the Opening Ceremony of Hougoumont Farm

Photo: Reuters/ Luxemburger Wort /
Today, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie were in Belgium to attend the opening ceremony of Hougoumont Farm.

Also in attendance were Princess Astrid of Belgium, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Pieter-Christiaan of Orange-Nassau, Prince Nikolaus von Blücher of Prussia, Prince Charles Bonaparte, and the current Duke of Wellington.

Hougoumont is located in Braine-l'Alleud, near Waterloo, and played an important role in the Battle of Waterloo. On June 18th of 1815, Napoleon's troops opposed Wellington's there, leading to what the latter believed to be the turning point of the Battle of Waterloo in favor of the Allied armies.

Hougoumont continued to be an active farm until the latter part of the 20th century, when it faced significant decay. Through the activities of Project Hougoumont, the farm underwent extensive restoration to preserve the remaining buildings and, according to the project, make it "a place of remembrance and reconciliation." The Prince of Wales unveiled a statue to honor the Allied troops that kept Napoleon's army from entering Hougoumont.

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie also visited Laeken Palace where they met with the King and Queen of the Belgians, Prince Pieter-Christiaan of Orange-Nassau as well as a descendants (or relatives) of the most important generals of the Battle of Waterloo: Napoléon, Blücher and Wellington.

Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa are also expected to be in Belgium tomorrow to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.

A little more about the opening ceremony of Hougoumont Farm, as well as a few more photos, at Wort.

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