Friday, October 30, 2015

LGT Group Sponsors the ABT Team for Formula E

Photo: Gregor Kaiser / Vaterland /
LGT Group has become a sponsor for ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport Team for Formula E.  Formula E has the unique privilege of being the "world's first fully-electric racing series." The official cooperation between the organizations began on October 24th with Round 1 of the season's events in Beijing.

To recognize the new sponsorship, Prince Max met with ABT CEO Hans-Jurgen Abt during which Prince Max praised ABT's commitment to "progressive thinking and innovative technology." This represents the first time LGT Group has sponsored a motorsport organization.

A little more information at Vaterland.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Princess Julie Has A Great Night in Harlem

On Thursday last week, October 22 that was, Princess Julie of Nassau, the lovely wife of the Grand Duke's cousin Prince Robert of Luxembourg, was among the guests of the 14th annual "A Great Night In Harlem" gala concert at the Apollo Theatre in New York City. "A Great Night in Harlem" is a benefit concert organised by the Jazz Foundation of America to raise money for the Jazz Foundation's Musician Emergency Fund, which helps elder jazz and blues musicians in crisis across the United States.

Both Princess Julie and her husband Prince Robert were among the benefit committee co-chairs and also donated Clarendelle wines of one of their wine estates for the occasion.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Henri and Maria Teresa Attend the Francophonie Economic Forum

On Tuesday, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa were in Paris for the 2nd Economic Forum of the Francophonie. This year's event, themed "A Call to Action," aims to put the strategies discussed at last year's Dakar forum into action by uniting the efforts of leaders in both public and private sectors.

The forum will see participants from around 80 different countries, with a focus on encouraging ongoing debate and discussion from all attendees. The 2nd Economic Forum of the Francophonie is focused around a number of topics that include, among others, public and private partnerships, being an entrepreneur in an evolving economy, and the role of new technology.

Still awaiting photos; they'll be added when they're available.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Prince Nikolaus Celebrates Austria in Liechtenstein

Photo: Tatjana Schnalzger / Liechtensteiner Vaterland /
Yesterday, Austria celebrated its national day and Prince Nikolaus was on hand to celebrate with them. The younger brother of Prince Hans-Adam attended a reception at Vaduz town hall hosted by the Austrian ambassador in Liechtenstein and the Austrian honorary in the Principality. On October 26 each year, Austrians celebrate their country's declaration of permanent neutrality after World War II and its regained status as an independent and sovereign nation, which took place on October 26, 1955.

A gallery of visuals at Vaterland.

Hereditary Prince Awards Orders

Photo: Liechtensteiner Volksblatt /
Today, Hereditary Prince Alois awarded the Order of Merit of the Principality of Liechtenstein to not one but four deserving citizens of the Ländle. The Commander's Cross of thr Order was given to Ekkehard and Jürgen Hilti of the convenience food producer Hilcona; Eugen Längle, who used to own Mixpac, Werfo and Mold, a developer and producer of two-component mixers and systems primarily for the dental and industrial markets; as well as Fritz Kaiser, co-founder and executive chairman of Kaiser Partner, a wealth management firm that provides family office and wealth management services to private wealth owners and their advisors.

And while the last one was the longest explanation, it's worth noting that Liechtensteiners don't only make their money in the financial sector. Shocking, I know. Fun fact: Did you know that Liechtenstein is the largest producer of false teeth in the world?

New Ambassadors Present Their Credentials

Photo: IKR
Yesterday, Hereditary Prince Alois received five new ambassadors to the Principality at Schloss Vaduz for short audiences. The five new mostly non-resident ambassadors who presented their letters of credence to Liechtenstein's regent were: Friis Arne Petersen of Denmark, Gonzalo Ricardo Salvador Holguin of Ecuador, Anne Elisabeth Luwema of the Netherlands, Jaromir Sokolowski of Poland as well as Thomas E. Gullickson of the Holy See and quite obviously pictured above.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Luxarazzi 101: Schueberfouer

Each year in August and September, the Schueberfouer is held on the Glacis Square in the Limpertsberg quarter of the city of Luxembourg. Today a funfair, its history goes way, waaay back. The year is 1298 and Heinrich VII rules as count of Luxembourg when the future King of Germany (since 1308) and Holy Roman Emperor (since 1312) takes the initiative of establishing a fourty-day long summer market in Luxembourg. However, the market soon falls apart.

Guillaume and Stéphanie at
the Schueberfouer in 2015
(Photo: Cour grand-ducale)
So, let's fast forward to 1340: Heinrich VII’s son, Jean (known as John the Blind, Jean l’Aveugle or Jang de Blannen in different languages), is ruling as count of Luxembourg and king of Bohemia. Following his father’s example, he decides to create a grand market in Luxembourg that will draw merchants of all kinds from surrounding areas to sell their products. And so on October 20, he decreed that a market lasting eight days should be held. Jean decided that the market should coincide with the eve of Saint Bartholomew’s feast day, opening the 23 of August and closing on the 31st at noon.

The market established by the ruler of the House of Luxembourg soon became a huge hit both with the merchants and the population. Merchants from abroad paid a fixed fee to participate with no additional customs duties and no taxes on sales. In addition, Jean guaranteed their protection - and the protection of their goods - while they participated in the market plus a seven days before and after.

Archduchess Marie-Astrid in the 1960's
(Photo: Sibenaler / Luxemburger Wort)
Already since its beginning, the market was known as Schueberfouer. The name is believed to be derived from the name of the market place where it was first held: the Schuedbuerg, today's Plateau du St Esprit. Another theory links it to the German word Schober, or barn in English, in turn linking it to its original purpose. For hundreds of years, everything from agricultural products and livestock to cloth, pottery and other household items was sold at the Schueberfouer.

The fair was moved in 1610 to the Glacis, a huge open space beyond the westward fortifications of Luxembourg City, after the Limpertsberg wood had been removed to improve the defensive capabilities of the city. Already during the 18th century, shows and games became part of the fair but it was not until the early 20th century that it became the funfair the Schoeberfouer is known as today. With the year 2015 marking the 675th edition of the fair, it is not only one of the oldest but also one of the biggest of its kind. The Schueberfouer is visited by about two million visitors, four times the number of inhabitants the Grand Duchy has, each year.

Fun(ny) fact: A herd of sheep are the first to officially enter the Schueberfouer on its first day after the opening ceremony ribbon has been cut. They are accompanied by a band, dressed in the traditional blue coat and red scarf of shepherds, playing a tune called Hämmelsmarsch inviting the people to come out an joing the fair. While the origin of the tradition is somewhat of a mystery, historians believe it goes all the way back to the 14th century. The Hämmelsmarsch isn't only played for the Schueberfouer but all throughout Luxembourgish villages and towns whenever a funfair is held.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Leyen/Königsegg-Aulendorf Wedding

Wedding news: Back on September 6, Prince Georg von der Leyen und zu Hohengeroldseck and Countess Nathalie von Königsegg-Aulendorf religiously married in the Austrian town of Frauenkirchen after already civilly saying 'I do' on August 1 in Germany. This week's edition of Bunte* has a report about the wedding that counted Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Sophie as well as Princess Tatjana and husband Philipp von Lattorff among its guests. Other royal and noble attendants included Sophie's sister Duchess Marie and husband Duke Philipp of Württemberg as well as Princess Irina of Hesse, her husband Count Alexander of Schönburg-Glauchau and their daughter Maria-Letitia.

(* Well, not every edition. As you never stop learning, I learned today that there must be regional editions of the German magazine Bunte. This wedding wasn't covered in my edition but it was in the one of Stefan of Royal Travel, so a big Dankeschön for the heads up!)

All About Liechtenstein: Old News, New News, Missed News

In old news... Already on September 3, Prince Hans-Adam II welcomed Swiss artist Franz Bucher at Schloss Vaduz. Bucher presented the Prince with a painting of his and Hans-Adam liked it so much, that he asked Bucher to also paint Princess Marie. More here.

In newer news... Hereditary Prince Alois was among the guests for the launch event of the Stiftung liberal think tank earlier this week, on October 19. More here.

In missed news... Hereditary Princess Sophie supports the establishment of a communal grave for so-called Sternenkinder (literally star children). Sternenkinder are children born prematurely prior to the 24th week and who weighed less than 500 gram at the time of their birtha. Her foundation will help finance the graves and burials. More here.

In really old news... Back in late September, Hereditary Prince Alois welcomed students who received their professional maturity certificate earlier this year for an audience and celebration at Schloss Vaduz. More here.

Anunciata and Astrid at Frieze London

Photo: Bestimage
It feels a bit like we are having a bit of an Anunciata week here at Luxarazzi (see why here and here) and today we even have an Anunciata and Astrid day - and you know what, there's even another princess in the mix! On October 13, Princess Maria-Anunciata and Princess Marie-Astrid, were among the guests for the pre-opening of Frieze London. At the contemporary art fair the daughters of Prince Nikolaus and Princess Margaretha were seen talking to Princess Eugenie of York, granddaughter of the British Queen.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Prince Jean and Princess Anunciata at Paris Art Fair

Prince Jean of Luxembourg and Guest attend the 'FIAC 2015 - International Contemporary Art Fair', Getty Images tells us. And as any Luxarazzi regular will have noticed by now, that 'guest' is of course his niece, the lovely Princess Maria-Anunciata of Liechtenstein, daughter of Prince Jean's twin sister Princess Margaretha. The uncle-niece duo was out and about at Le Grand Palais in Paris yesterday.

More pictures of the event at Getty Images.

Guillaume Also Watches Tennis Match

Photo: J. Gerard / Luxemburger Tageblatt /
There's another Grand Ducal tennis fan in Luxarazzi land: A day after Grand Duke Henri, his oldest son enjoyed himself some tennis at the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open. Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume watched the doubles match between the team of Mandy Minella (Luxembourg) and Julie Coin (France) against the team of Kiki Bertens (Netherlands) and Johanna Larsson (Sweden). The Dutch-Swedish duo won the match 4:6, 6:4 and 15:13.

More info at Wort, pictures at Tageblatt.

Grand Duke Watches Tennis Match

Photo: G.Schmit / Luxemburger Tageblatt /
The Grand Ducal tennis fan numero uno, Grand Duke Henri, was on hand once again to cheer on the tennis players at the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open. Today, he watched the first round match between Mandy Minella of Luxembourg and former world number one Serbian Jelena Jankovic. Unfortunately for the Grand Duke and the whole Grand Duchy, Minella lost 1:6 and 4:6. Nevertheless the Luxembourgish player said after the match, "It was a great honour for me that the Grand Duke was present today."

A big gallery of visuals with very few of the Grand Duke inbetween at Tageblatt. More pictures at RTL, who also have a video.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

How Many Heads of States Can Fit on a Coin?

At least six: A new coin issued by Luxembourg's Central Bank features all Luxembourgish heads of state of the Nassau-Weilburg dynasty starting with Grand Duke Adolph via Grand Duke Wilhelm IV, Grand Duchess Marie-Adélaïde and Grand Duchess Charlotte all the way to Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duke Henri. Purchasing the special edition commemorative coin would cost you 10 euros. You can also spring for the "Belle épreuve" box set containing special editions of five 2015 coins produced with the image of Grand Duke Henri, for a cost of 95 euros. 

More info about these and all other coins newly minted this year at Wort in English.

Update: This one goes to the Dutch... 

Grand Duke Henri on Double Museum Visit

Photo: Anouk Antony / Luxemburger Wort /
Grand Duke Henri was in Peppange today where he paid visits to not one but two museums. First on his agenda was the carriage museum featuring six carriages formerly used by the Grand Ducal Family and all made between 1890 and 1905. While one of them, the Grand Coupé de Gala, is actually still owned by the family, the other five belong to a private collector. All in all, there are more than 20 carriages exhibited at the museum. The Grand Duke's visit to Peppange, during which he was accompanied by local dignitaries, was concluded by a short visit to the nearby farming and craft museum and a tour of the museum's farmhouse. 

Galleries of visuals at Wort and Tageblatt.

Guillaume Makes A Meaty Visit

Photo: Gerry Huberty / Luxemburger Wort /
After some (sparkling) wines for his three year civil wedding anniversary yesterday, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume went solo for the religious wedding anniversary. And let's just say, it was meaty as he visited the Niessen butchery in Ulflingen this morning. The Herereditary Grand Duke was given a tour of the production sites of the organic butcher by its owners, Jean-Marie and Patrick Niessen. His visit is part of a series of visits organised by FEDIL, which aims to allow Guillaume to see the activities of member companies.

For visuals, have a look at Wort (though be warned, if you are a vegetarian, they are probably not for you!)

Grand Duke Receives Italian President of Parliament

Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Julien Warnand
Yesterday, Grand Duke Henri received Laura Boldrini, President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Republic of Italy, for an audience at the palais grand-ducal. Mrs Boldrini, a former spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), is currently on a working visit to the Grand Duchy.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Guillaume and Stéphanie Visit Winery

Photo: Lucien Wolff / Luxemburger Wort /
Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie celebrated their third civil wedding anniversary with some sparkling wine, or at least with a visit to a sparkling wine producer, Caves Bernard Massard, today. The family managed company is the main producer of traditional method sparkling wines in Luxembourg. The Grevenmacher winery, that also produces still wine, was established in 1921 by Jean Bernard-Massard, a Luxembourgish winemaker who learnt his skills in the Champagne. It has been run by the Clasen family for almost 80 years.

The Hereditary Grand Duke and the Hereditary Grand Duchess were given a tour of the winery and cellars, and also tasted some of the wines. Before the royal visit, the owners Hubert Clasen and his son Antoine hosted a presentation introducing their 2014 vintage.

First pictures of the visit to the Grevenmacher winery at Wort and Tageblatt.

Prince Félix Attends a Gala for the Luxembourg Open

On Sunday, Prince Félix was in Limpertsberg, at the Centre Cultural Tramschapp, to attend a gala in support of the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open as this year marks the 25th anniversary of the WTA tennis tournament that takes place each year in the Grand Duchy. Last year we saw both the Grand Duke and Prince Félix at the tournament, and the year before it was the head of state and the Hereditary Grand Ducal Couple who enjoyed themselves some tennis. Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa are both patrons of the event.

Some photos available on Facebook and at Tageblatt.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

And the Winner of the Luxarazzi Tiara Race Is...

After beating Princess Margaretha's Sapphire and Diamond Tiara, the Diamond Art Deco Tiara, Grand Duchess Maria-Ana's Tiara as well as Queen Victoria Eugenia's Aquamarine Tiara in previous rounds, the Belgian Scroll Tiara also took home the victory against the Diamond Vine Leaves Tiara in our Grand Final of the Luxarazzi Tiara Race. Gathering 52.41 percent of your votes in the final, the tiara once gifted to Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte as a wedding present can now proudly call itself the winner and your favourite sparkler of the Grand Ducal Tiara Collection.

Congrats to Order of Splendor and our commentators Avery, Marina, NotRoyal, Mellie, Gretchen K., Orangemily, Mrs Diamond and AnnemarieGK who all predicted a win of the Belgian Scroll Tiara as the outcome of the Luxarazzi Tiara Race. A HUGE thank you and all the other commentators out there who shared their opinions during the last three and a half months that were the Luxarazzi Tiara Race, and of course thank you to everyone who voted in the 32 polls that led us here!

And now there is only one thing for me left to ask - cause this is just like any other competition out there - which tiara do you think should have *really* won? Share your opinion in the comment section below! #TeamEmpire - but that's just my humble opinion...

Wedding of Duchess Anna in Bavaria and Baron Andreas of Maltzan

Photo: Herzogliche Verwaltung Schloss Tegernsee
On Friday, Duchess Anna in Bavaria, younger sister of Hereditary Princess Sophie, civilly married Baron Andreas of Maltzan at Schloss Tegernsee. The couple was married by local mayor Johannes Hagn with a party for immediate family and close friends - there were 170 people after all - taking place afterwards. Duchess Anna split from her husband of seven years and father of her two sons, Klaus Runow, last year. Thus far only three pictures of Duchess Anna and her new husband have been released (and non of the guests) but I guess that Hereditary Princess Sophie and her family were present for the wedding. More information at Merkur.

Princess Tatjana and Family Cheer on Liechtenstein

Photo: Eddy Riesch / Liechtensteiner Vaterland /
Earlier this week, on Monday to be precise, Liechtenstein had its last qualifying match for the Euro 2016 finals (which they rather unsurprisingly didn't make). Gathering five points during the whole qualifying round, they also lost their last match to Austria, who finished with 28 points, at the Ernst Happel Stadion (0-3). In Vienna to cheer on the Liechtenstein team was Princess Tatjana, only daughter of the Prince Hans-Adam II, a Liechtenstein scarf as well as her husband Philipp von Lattorff (half hidden behind the small Liechtenstein flag on the left) and possibly their daughter Sophie, the young girl between them.

Princess Anunciata at London Art Event

Photo: Nick Harvey/Rex Shutterstock
Princess Maria-Anunciata, oldest daughter of Prince Nikolaus and Princess Margaretha, was among the guests for the PAD London launch at Berkeley Square on Monday this last week. PAD is a fair for 20th century art, design and decorative arts taking place for the 9th year in the heart of Mayfair.

At the event, the Liechtenstein princess was pictured together with Lybian Princess Alia Al-Senussi. Other (royal and royal-related) guests at the art event included Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece as well as Tatiana Santo Domingo. For more pictures, have a look at Rex.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa Attends A Conference

Yesterday afternoon, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa was in Mondorf-les-Bains where she attended a conference on equality between women and men in political and economic decision making. The conference was co-organised by the Ministry of Equal Opportunities, which is headed by Lydia Mutsch, and the Conseil National des Femmes du Luxembourg (CNFL).

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume Attends an Economic Forum

Yesterday, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume was in Kirchberg to attend the EUROCHAMBRES Economic Forum with Minister of Finance Pierre Gramegna, who was also a speaker at the event. The forum focuses on various socio-economic issues that face Chambers across Europe. Topics at this year's forum included discussions about social change, an increasingly virtual world, border challenges, and economic decentralization, among others.

Still awaiting photos, but fingers crossed there will be some to add soon!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Grand Duchess Hosts Royal Gathering

Photo: Charles Caratini / Cour grand-ducale
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa hosted International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) Biennial Honorary Board meeting at the palais grand-ducal. The 5th meeting of this kinds was attended by Prince Albert II of Monaco, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, among others. The royal group was also joined by Grand Duke Henri for a photograph. The Grand Duke also used the opportunity to award Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympics Committee, with the Civil and Military Order of Merit of Adolph of Nassau.

Pictures of the meeting at the cour, Wort, RTL, and Tageblatt.

Prince Philipp in Romania

On Wednesday, Prince Philipp was in Romania to attend a conference for the Family Business Network Romania. The conference theme was "Traditionalism and Modernism in Family Businesses." More than 60 participants in family businesses across Romania were at the conference. One of the biggest challenges facing these businesses in future years is the fact over 90% of those in Central and Eastern European countries are still being managed by the founding generation. Based on a poll done within Romania, fewer then 30% of family businesses in that country have been passed on to a succeeding generation. This means that questions of probate and transference to future generations have not been explored extensively yet. The conference highlighted these issues and offered solutions for family business participants.

A little more information about the conference here. (The story at the link is in Romanian.)

Unfortunately, no photos of Prince Philipp at the conference have surfaced. They'll be added if any show up. 

Henri, Guillaume and Stéphanie Host Government Dinner

All photos: Jean-Christophe Verhaegen / Cour grand-ducale
On Tuesday night, Grand Duke Henri, who was joined by Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie, hosted a dinner the members of Luxembourg's government at the Château de Berg. The political guests were welcomed in the Salle «Je Maintiendrai» before proceeding to the dining room for - exactly - the dinner. These kinds of dinners attended by members of the Grand Ducal Family and members of the government take place every few months.

Grand Ducal Family at Concert Remembering Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte

Photo: Charles Caratini / Cour grand-ducale
Last night, numerous members of the Grand Ducal Family attended a concert in the memory of the late Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte alongside Grand Duke Jean. The former Grand Duke, the current Grand Duke Henri, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie, Archduchess Marie-Christine, her husband Archduke Carl-Christian, their son Archduke Imre and his wife Archduchess Kathleen, Princess Margaretha, Prince Jean and Prince Guillaume heard the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Valery Gergiev and Yefim Bronfman at the piano.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Guillaume and Stéphanie Visit Menuiserie Chimello

Photo: Claude Piscitelli / Luxemburger Wort /
Today, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie were in Schifflange to visit Menuiserie Chimello (a carpentry/joinery business). They heard a presentation by company director Robert Jelsma, followed by a guided tour of the workshops. Francine Closener, the Secretary of State of the Economy, was also in attendance for the visit.

This event is in conjunction with the series of visits organized by the Chambre des Métiers, for the Hereditary Grand Ducal couple to learn more about companies that specialize in certain trades.

A few more photos at Wort.

Guillaume and Stéphanie Visit an Organic Farm

Yesterday, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie were in Hupperdange to visit the organic farm Schanck-Haff, which is run by Jos and Marlene Schanck and their son Alexander. The Hereditary Grand Ducal couple attended at the invitation of Bio-Lëtzebuerg and were accompanied by Fernand Etgen, the Minister of Agriculture, Viticulture and Consumer Protection.

Jos Schanck is the president of Bio-Lëtzebuerg, and he and his family have been active in supported organic farming activities in Luxembourg since 1980. The farm Schanck-Haff is a member of APFAPL (Association pour la promotion des fermes d’accueil et pédagogiques au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg) or the Association for the Promotion of Host Farms Teaching in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, which aims to educate people in Luxembourg, including school groups, about local agriculture.

Pictures of the visit over at Tageblatt.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Claire Supports European Day for Organ Donation

Photo: Luxemburger Tageblatt /
Today is the European Day for Organ Donation and Transplantation. As the need for organ transplants is increasing worldwide, the on-going lack of available organs has resulted in an increase in the number of patients on the waiting list. In the European Union alone, 70,000 people are waiting for organ donations. Each day, on average, 14 people die while waiting for a transplant. To raise awareness on the importance of being an organ donor, a Charity-Indoor Spinning-Marathon was held at the LuxExpo today. Among those cheering on the athletes was Princess Claire (wearing a Bless the Mess Blazer). You might recall that the wife of Prince Félix is preparing her doctoral thesis on the bioethical evaluation of consent for organ donation with particular reference to Germany, Austria and the United States.

A gallery of visuals of the event at Tageblatt and RTL.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Luxarazzi Tiara Race (Grand Final): Belgian Scroll Tiara vs. Diamond Vine Leaves Tiara

After three and a half months, 30 matches and a third place race off, we are finally here: The Grand Final of the Luxarazzi Tiara Race or the one that will decide which one is your favourite tiara of the Grand Ducal Collection. First of all a big thank you to everyone who has voted in the last 31 polls and to those who commented and shared their views - this was a lot of fun! Also, congratulations to the Empire Tiara which is leaving the Race on a high note winning the small final by almost two thirds of votes against Queen Victoria Eugenia's Aquamarine Tiara.
Looking back at the very first post introducing the Luxarazzi Tiara Race, the Empire Tiara definetely was a favourite to win it. The two most mentioned contenders for the win along with it are actually our two finalists. Quoting from June, Ella of The Court Jeweller said, "I'll go out on a limb and predict that this year's winner will be the Diamond Vine Leaves Tiara. Perfectly proportioned, and with a gorgeous floral design, it has looked beautiful on every member of the family who has worn it." And Order of Splendor said, "I think the Belgian Scroll could take the whole competition, because it's just one of the most classically pretty pieces in the collection." Pretty good guesses on their part! And now, it's up to you: The Belgian Scroll Tiara or the Diamond Vine Leaves Tiara - tell us...

This time around, you will have eight days to vote (until Sunday, October 18), so enough time for careful consideration. 
Have fun and don't forget to tell us below which tiara got your vote!

Grand Duke Honours Victims of Second World War

Photo: Domingos Oliveira / RTL /
Today is Luxembourg's national day of commemoration which takes place each year on October 10, if the day falls on a weekend like this year, or the Sunday closest to it. On that day in 1941, the German occupiers organised a survey of Luxembourgish civilians who were asked about their nationality, mother tongue and racial group to find out who was Jewish or Italian, for example, and to pave the way to integrate the Grand Duchy into the Third Reich.

Photo: Domingos Oliveira / RTL /
The Nazis considered the people of Luxembourg to be German as well and expected them to answer the questions accordingly. Resistance fighters within the Grand Duchy realised what the true aim of the census was and thus started a massive awareness raising campaign so that Luxembourgers would write into the forms just what they were - Luxembourgers. Some 97 percent of the inhabitants of the Grand Duchy declared in the census their Luxembourgish identity and expressed that mir wëlle bleiwen wat mir sin (we wish to remain what we are) - the Grand Duchy's national motto. The refusal to declare themselves as German citizens led to mass arrests among the population.

To mark the day, masses and wreath laying ceremonies take place all over the country. Grand Duke Henri particpated in a religious service held the at the Cathédrale Notre-Dame and afterwards laid a wreath at the Monument vun der nationaler Solidaritéit on the Kanounenhiwwel where he also relit the eternal flame before visiting the interior of the memorial commemorating the fallen of the Second World War as well as Luxembourgish resistance and solidarity.

For more pictures, have a look at RTL and Tageblatt. RTL also has a video (starting at 5:34.)

Guillaume and Stéphanie Visit Autumn Fair

Photo: Thomas Holzer / L'essentiel /
The Hereditary Grand Duke and the Hereditary Grand Duchess paid a visit to the new autumn fair, the "Home and Living Expo", at Luxexpo earlier today. The fair focuses on decorating, design as well as architecture, and features some 300 designers from the Greater Region, meaning Luxembourg plus the surrounding parts of Germany, France and Belgium. Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie were given an inaugural tour and also attended the official opening ceremony featuring a number of speeches (and I can't help thinking that the picture above looks a bit as if they are considering to buy the chairs).

For more pictures, have a look at L'essentiel, Wort and Tageblatt. A video can be found at RTL (starting at 9:35).

Friday, October 9, 2015

Guillaume and Stéphanie Open Creative Hub

Photo: Lex Kleren / Luxemburger Wort /
Earlier this (Friday) evening, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie were among the guests for the official opening of the 1535° creative hub in Differdange. The former factory building by steel producer ArcelorMittal has been turned into workspace for some 200 young creatives from the fields of art, technology and more. 

The Hereditary Grand Ducal Couple was welcomed at the site by local mayor Roberto Traversini, which you can easily recognise by the fancy sash in the picture above. For the inauguration, they were accompanied by the Minister for Economy, Internal Security and Defense, Etienne Schneider, and Claude Meisch, Minister for Children and Youth, Higher Education and Research, and National Education.

Galleries of visuals at Wort and RTL.

Grand Duke Views Magna Carta

Photo: Lëtzebuerger Journal
The Magna Carta is currently on exhibit at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg as part of worldwide festivities to celebrate its 800th anniversary. This morning, Grand Duke Henri went to see the charter drawn up in 1215 to protect the rights of free English subjects from the King John of England and thus essentially laying the foundations for the rule of common law. The Grand Duke was accompanied by the new President of the European Court of Justice, Koen Lenaerts, European Court judge François Biltgen and Marc Jaeger, judge at the General Court of the European Union.

No pictures as of yet, but we will add them as soon as any pop up. Two pictures at Lëtzebuerger Journal.

Grand Duke Meets Hobby Archaeologists

To celebrate their 25th anniversary, Grand Duke Henri received a delegation of members of the Georges Kayser Altertumsfuerscher at the palais today. The Georges Kayser Altertumsfuerscher are a group of archaeologists who have their main excavation sites at a Gallo-Roman farming complex near the village of Goeblange in southern Luxembourg as well as through the entire Grand Duchy whenever archaeological remains are found. At the Paschtoueschhaus in Nospelt, the association also runs a museum.

As every so often during the last few weeks, no pictures as of yet but will be added if any become available.

Guillaume and Stéphanie Visit Chamber of Deputies

Photo: SIP
Yesterday morning, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie visited the Grand Duchy's Chambre des Députés. At the parliament, the couple was received by its president, Mars di Bartolomeo, the members of the bureau of the chamber as well as its secretary general, Claude Frieseisen. During the meeting, Guillaume, Stéphanie and their hosts focused on the legislative process, current parliamentary issues as well as current challenges ahead of the beginning of a new parliamentary session next week.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Luxarazzi Tiara Race (Small Final): Ena's Aquamarine Tiara vs. Empire Tiara

It's time for the final, the small final that is - the match of those two tiaras who did put up a good fight but lost their semifinals in the end, Queen Victoria Eugenia's Aquamarine Tiara and the Empire Tiara. Because, you know, it never hurts to have an additional tiara poll. Plus, it gives one of the following sparklers the chance to end the Luxarazzi Tiara Race on a high note! We will see both our grand finalists, the Belgian Scroll Tiara and the Diamond Vine Leaves Tiara (which reached about 55 percent of votes in our second semifinal), again on Saturday.
In a way, it seems that the small as well as the grand final have quite equal tiara matches, at least size-wise. Heading off against each other in the third place race off are Queen Victoria Eugenia's Aquamarine Tiara, worn by her great-granddaughter Princess Sibilla above, and the Empire Tiara, the one which would have apparently won if we had asked for your favourite tiara that most looks like a crown or is in a league of its own.

Hurry up, voting already closes on Saturday night (Lux time) this time around.

Grand Duke Meets President of the Court of Justice

Photo: Cour grand-ducale
At noon today, Grand Duke Henri received Vassilios Skouris, outgoing President of the Court of Justice of the European Union, for a last audience on the occasion of the end of his presidency. Mr Skouris served as the President of the highest court of justice for European Union laws, which has its seat in Luxembourg, since 2003 after having been a member of the court since 1999.

No pictures yet but they will be added if any become available.
There you go.

Reorganisation of the Grand Ducal Court Plus the Grand Duchess Is Afraid of Flying

Photo: Guy Wolff / Luxemburger Wort /
The cour grand-ducale announced today that there will be a major reorganisation of communication and administrative roles. You might recall that there have been quite a number of people who have quit their jobs as of late and now the reorganisation shall bring the solution. Plus, the cour also stated that Grand Duchess Maria Teresa suffers from the same symptoms as Crown Princess Mette-Marit when it comes to flying.

During a press conference today, it was announced that during the past few months there have been internal audits at the cour led by psycho sociologist Chantal Selva to find a way to reorganise its dealings. In the future, there will be a a new private cabinet for the Grand Duke, which is to be headed by Michel Heintz. Together with his team, he will keep the Grand Duke updated about current political events, prepare audiences, write speeches and act as a court spokesman.

The Grand Duchess will have her own staff, led by Guy Schmit. Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie have their own secretary.

Henri Chrisnach, head of protocoll and aide de camp of the Grand Duke, will head the cour's organisation. Jean-David van Maele will become general secretary of finances. A new pilot communications committee will be responsible for press relations and headed by Nadège Lartigue. (Here's hoping they'll get better at updating their official website...) There is not yet a successor for Pierre Bley, who will remain court marshall until the end of the year.

During the press conference it was also mentioned that the Grand Duchess had not accompanied the Grand Duke on a number of trips abroad as she is suffering from an acute fear of flying, which she has not been able to overcome.

More info is available at Wort in German.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Luxarazzi Tiara Race (SF 2): Diamond Vine Leaves Tiara vs. Empire Tiara

Ladies and gentlemen, we have our first finalist - and the Belgian Scroll Tiara it is! The all-diamond sparkler beat Queen Victoria Eugenia's Aquamarine Tiara by almost two thirds of votes in the first one of our semifinals. Was it a choice you expected? And which tiara will it face in the grand final?!
Will it be the Diamond Vine Leaves Tiara, the pretty preferred wedding tiara of the Grand Ducal Family? Or will it be the Empire Tiara, the tiara that puts the grand in the Grand Duchess? Are you on Team Small(er) But Beautiful or are you one for Team Go Big or Go Home? Tell us...

Voting closes on Wednesday night.

Guillaume and Stéphanie at Fun Run

Photo: Fabrizio Munisson / Luxemburger Wort /
The Vollekslaf Walfer is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie were in Walferdange to celebrate with the particpants of the fun run and spectators and hand out the prizes.. Won by Yonas Kinde, the the 12 kilometre race counted no less than 1,392 participants, or even 3,109 when you count all the children and teenagers taking part in shorter distances. Prior to the race, the Hereditary Grand Ducal Couple also met with Hubert Fuhrmann and Serge Wantz, the gentlemen with the bib numbers 1 and 2 respectively, who both took part in the race for the 40th time.

Pictures at Wort and on Facebook.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Princess Marie Celebrates Name Day with Kindergarten and School Children

Photo: Daniel Ospelt / Liechtensteiner Vaterland /
Frankly, I have no idea why we missed so many Liechtenstein news! There was Alois at the technology plant and Alois and the WorldSkills Team; then there was Sophie at the season opening and Sophie becoming the patron of a new(-ish) organisation; as well as Philipp and the jubilarians. And now this, the missed cherry on top: Princess Marie celebrated her name day on September 14 together with 40 children from the municipality of Planken. Each year, the Princess invites kindergarten and primary school children from some part of Liechtenstein to Schloss Vaduz to celebrate her name day as her actual birthday usually falls into the school holidays.

A gallery of visuals of the celebrations at Vaterland.

Prince Philipp Honours Jubilarians

Photo: ZVG
Yes, it's that time of the year again: Like he does every once in a while, Prince Philipp took the LGT's jubilarians of the second half of 2015 to visit another company in the Principality on Wednesday, this time around it was the ceramic workshop Schädler. Together the 92 jubilarians have worked for the LGT Group for more than 1400 years. To round off the day, they also had dinner with the Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

Sophie Attends Season Opening

Photo: Stefan Kleinberger / Liechtensteiner Volksblatt
Catching up with the Liechensteins, part four: Hereditary Princess Sophie was among the guests for the season opening of the TAK theatre in Schaan back on September 12 on was pictured at the event with artistic director Thomas Spieckermann (left) and chairman of the board Werner Bachmann. After a panel discussion, the The Epic of Gilgamesh was shown.

Hereditary Prince Visits Technology Company

Photo: ZVG
Somehow we missed quite a bit of Liechtenstein news during the past week or two... High time to catch up: Hereditary Prince Alois visited the ThyssenKrupp Presta TecCenter in the Principality's municipality of Eschen about two weeks ago on September 19. Liechtenstein's regent toured the facilities, which produces camshafts and camshaft modules, valve train systems and bearing blocks. 

For more photos and information have a look at either Volksblatt or Vaterland, or both.