Monday, November 30, 2015

Interview with Prince Philipp and Princess Isabelle

Photo: L'express
Prince Philipp and his wife Princess Isabelle have given a joined interview to French news magazine L'express. You might recall that the parts of the Princely Collections of the House of Liechtenstein are currently exhibited at the Caumont Centre d’Art in Aix-en-Provence, France, and on the occasion, the couple took the chance to talk about the art collection, their love for France and who is Liechtenstein's sovereign. Read the full interview at L'express.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Luxarazzi 101: Château de Walferdange

Château de Walferdange, located just north of Luxembourg City outside the town of the same name, is one of the few castles with distinct ties to the Grand Duchy's Dutch rulers. The property was built sometime between 1817 and 1824 by Grand Duke Willem I (who was also King of the Netherlands) as a stud farm. However, Willem never visited the farm or even the Grand Duchy itself, where he was generally not very well-liked. Willem I was forced to abandon Walferdange after the 1830 Belgian Revolution in which much of Luxembourg joined in rebelling against Dutch rule. From the outbreak of the revolution to Willem's abdication in 1840, Château de Walferdange lay vacant.
The Château de Walferdange in 1834
Walferdange came to life again in 1840 with the accession of Grand Duke Willem II, the previous Willem's son and again also the King of the Netherlands. In contrast to his father, the younger Willem was popular in Luxembourg. He took a liking to both the Grand Duchy and to Château de Walferdange, ordering renovations to the home and grounds in preparation for use as a royal residence. Willem stayed at the château during several of his visits to Luxembourg.

Henry of the Netherlands, third son of Grand Duke Willem II, was Walferdange's longest royal resident. As the the very popular Governor of Luxembourg, Henry and his first wife Amalia of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach lived at the château for many years after their marriage in 1853. The couple extended the grounds of the property, and took an active interest in village life. Henry and Amalia were especially loved by the local children, who received gifts from the couple at Christmas. Amalia died at the home in 1872 of a lung infection, leaving her husband and the Luxembourg public to mourn her.

Walferdange Castle, with the fountain in the foreground.
(Photo: Luxemburger Wort /
Following Amalia's death, Henry continued to live at Château de Walferdange. He brought his second bride, Marie of Prussia, to live in the home after they married in 1878. A few months later, measles began to spread among the children in the village. Henry caught the disease in January 1879. Although initially the illness did not seem serious, Henry quickly succumbed and died at the château on January 14.

Henry had assured his young bride that his will and other important documents were stored in a safe at Walferdange. Henry claimed to Marie that a new will was drawn up after their wedding, leaving the bulk of his massive estate to her. However, no will was found at the castle after Henry's death, allowing for a previous will to stay in effect. This left his siblings richer and Marie destitute. Marie pursued the matter in court but ultimately remained empty-handed; relations between the Netherlands and Prussia soured for years in the aftermath.

In the two decades following Henry's death, the château remained unoccupied. The commune of Walferdange used the home as a post office and even as a fire station for a time until Grand Duke Adolph rediscovered the property at the beginning of his reign. Adolph ordered renovations on the home, adding greenhouses and expanding the grounds to accommodate for better hunting.  Adolph and his family used the property as one of their many summer homes, serving wine to their guests from Walferdange's own vineyards.

Walferdange Castle today (Photo:
Following Adolph's death in 1905, Walferdange passed out of the Grand Ducal Family.  The château acted as a school, a training center for teachers, and was used as headquarters for the U.S. Army following the liberation of Luxembourg in World War II. After the war, the Luxembourg Army used Walferdange as barracks until the late 1960s.

Since that time, Château de Walferdange has been purposed strictly for use in education within the Grand Duchy.  In 2003, the property officially became part of the University of Luxembourg's campus in Walferdange, housing the Faculties of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education. Recently, however, the property has passed into the hands of the Ministry of Education. The château and its grounds will house a private school during the 2015-16 school year and later be the home of smaller programs servicing visually impaired students and the Luxembourgish Online Dictionary, among others.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Louis and Tessy Tour Bazar International

Photo: Anouk Antony / Luxemburger Wort /
Seems like we are having the Louis-and-Tessy week here at Luxarazzi (and where can we petition to make this happen more often?): After not one but two events in London, Prince Louis and Princess Tessy were back home in the Grand Duchy today were they toured the stands of the 55th edition of the Bazar International at LuxExpo. A total of 61 nations are represented at this year's bazar on 75 stalls selling typical products and food from their respective countries. 

The bazar is under the patronage of the Grand Duchess who last toured in 2013 together with Princess Tessy and Princess Claire; last year it were the Hereditary Grand Duke and Hereditary Grand Duchess who represented the Grand Ducal Family at the event.

More information and pictures at Wort and Tageblatt.

Grand Duke Henri Attends Inauguration of SES Building

Photo: SES
Yesterday (November 27th), Grand Duke Henri was in Betzdorf for the inauguration of the new ATF (or Antenna Field Technical Facility) building for SES S.A. The Betzdorf Satellite Operations Centre (SOC) now offers ongoing monitoring across 33 satellites, but is positioned to host as many as 100 satellites that cover services ranging from television programming to airline WIFI to government requirements.

Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Deputy Prime Minister Etienne Schneider were also present for the inauguration.

A little more info about the satellites and the facility in general here and (in English) here.

Imre and Kathleen Attend Ball in Luxembourg

Photo: Sylvain Jolibois
Archduke Imre, oldest son of Luxembourg's Princess Marie-Astrid and her husband Archduke Carl-Christian of Austria, and his wife Archduchess Kathleen recently attended a ball hosted by the Derby Club of Luxembourg. The club, which is chaired by Archduke István, a cousin of Archduke Carl-Christian, was launched late last year and aims to create events to discover and enhance the economic and cultural assets of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Archduke Imre and Archduchess Kathleen were pictured at the ball together with Eleonore de Potesta, a granddaughter of Princess Elisabeth of Luxembourg, Duchess of Hohenberg and thus second cousin of Archduke Imre.

Louis and Tessy Attend Ball for Prince Napoléon

Photo: Sir Anthony Bailey
On Wednesday night, Prince Louis and Princess Tessy, who are pictured with Princess Marie Therese of Hohenberg and husband Sir Anthony Bailey above, attended a ball in honour of Prince Jean-Christophe Napoléon at London's historic Stationers’ Hall. The event, during which Prince Jean-Christophe received the Freedom of the City of London, was hosted by Sir Anthony Bailey and Sir Gavyn Arthur, 675th Lord Mayor of London. The profits of the evening went to the Internatiional Red Cross.

Other royal and noble guests included Grand Duke Georgi of Russia, Princess Elena of Romania, Princess Katarina of Yugoslavia, Princess Maria-Annunziata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Prince Constantin of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and his wife, Princess Katharina of Hohenberg as well as Countess Maximiliana and Countess Olympia of Arco-Zinneberg.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Liechtenstein Meets United Nations

Photo: IKR
In addition to the former Swiss President, Hereditary Prince Alois received to other high ranking guests at Schloss Vaduz today. Both Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, (above) as well as Martin Sajdik, Austria's ambassador to the UN, OSCE Special Representative in Ukraine and the UN's President of the Economic and Social Council, (here) visited Liechtenstein today and were received by the Hereditary Prince.

Hereditary Prince Meets Former Swiss President

Photo: IKR
Today, Hereditary Prince Alois received Member of the Swiss Federal Council and former President of the Swiss Confederation Ueli Maurer at Schloss Vaduz. The aim of Maurer's one day visit to Liechtenstein was to talk the status and future of the Principality's and Switzerland's cooperation in civil defence and disaster management.

Félix Attends a Dinner for The Explorers Club

Back on November 6th, Prince Félix was present at the Visionaries VIP Dinner, part of the 2015 Lowell Thomas Awards for The Explorers Club, in Melbourne, Florida. Félix was there as the Honorary Dinner Chair. The event, themed "Visionaries of Conservation: Paradigm Shifts in Protecting the Planet," recognized those who have contributed to international conservation efforts. The official awards dinner, held the following day on November 7th, featured "an appetizing selection of prepared Florida Invasive Species," which suggests one fairly direct way of dealing with the ongoing invasive species issue currently facing the Everglades.

A little more about the event here. No photos have shown up yet, but they'll be added if they do.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Louis and Tessy at London Party and Auction

Last night, Prince Louis and his seriously hunty green coat as well as Princess Tessy and her seriously long coat were among the guests of a drinks party and auction of twelve photographs by Andrea Jarvis-Hamilton in favour of the Mayor's Fund for London. The Mayor's Fund "exists to give young Londoners the skills and opportunities to get a decent job, escape the threat of poverty and play a full part in London’s future as the greatest city on Earth" according to their website. The event, which was also attended by London mayor Boris Johnson, took place at Halcyon Gallery in New Bond Street.

A gallery of visuals at Also: Stay tuned for this weekend when we will see Prince Louis, Princess Tessy and hopefully their boys again in Luxembourg for the Bazar International.

Princess Angela's Panama Travel Tips

Princess Angela of Liechtenstein is one of the least written and known about but at the same time most searched for member of the Princely Family. Now the Panamian-born American-raised wife of Prince Max has given a few travel tips for her native Panama. Read all about which places to visit, what to wear and where to stay at World of Aerin.

Guillaume and Stéphanie Celebrate LuxTrust

Photo: LuxTrust
Last night, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie attended a academic soiree for the 10th anniversary of LuxTrust. The event was held at the Château de Septfontaines in Rollingergrund. LuxTrust employs the latest technology to offer digital security services for various types of companies, including financial institutions. The development of LuxTrust reflects a 1999 decision among major Luxembourg banks to utilize a unified security solution.

No pictures thus far it seems but, as always, we'll add them if any become available. Finally, here you go.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Félix Somewhere with Lelio Orsini d'Aragona

Oddest post title ever? Yes, and it's not going to get any better. Prince Félix was somewhere together with his friend Prince Lelio Orsini d'Aragona - who you might recall from either Guillaume's or Félix's wedding, or the time he and Félix discovered Georgia, the country - and the two of them were photographed with Archbishop Zenon, the Archbishop of Dmanisi and Agarak-Tashiri and the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate of Great Britain and Ireland. As he also posted pictures with the President of Ireland and Prince Michael of Kent on the same day, November 18, I guess it happened somewhere in Western Europe but who knows. And that's about all we know and can guess.

Luxarazzi 101: Paule Ka

We have looked at Elie Saab and Diane von Furstenberg - two of the favourite designers of the Grand Ducal and Princely Families - in the past and today it's time to have a closer look at someone who is quickly becoming a favourite with one particular family member (the Hereditary Grand Duchess): Paule Ka. Or rather the man behind the brand, Serge Cajfinger.
Born in the French town of Lille, Cajfinger spent his childhood in Brazil and returned to France as a young teenager. At the age of 15, he worked as a window decorator for Yves Saint Laurent and soon saw a career in fashion for himself. Only four years later, he opened his first fashion store together with his mother and aunt with the shop taking its name from his aunt, Paule. The multi-brand store was stocked with clothes by labels such as Mugler, Kenzo and Montana.
Cajfinger later left Lille for Paris and, in 1987, set up his first store with his own clothes: PAULE KA, which was located in the heart of the Marais district. While the 'Paule' is an hommage to his aforementioned aunt, Serge Cajfinger took the 'Ka' part of his brand's name from his own last name. The brand's style is considered geometric and sober as well as sophisticaed and urban at the same time. And Cajfinger's first design? A classic black dress. The man behind the brand takes his inspiration from 50’s and 60’s style icons including Jackie Onassis Kennedy, Princess Grace of Monaco and especially Audrey Hepburn. 
These days the designs by Paule Ka can be bought and spotted around the world. One particular fan as of late? The Hereditary Grand Duchess and I'm all for it, the classic designs suit her very well and they include some of my favourites she's ever worn! (Remark #1: Hello there, yellow national day dress! Remark #2: Not counting Elie Saab here obviously.) Another grand ducal lady who has worn the designs in the past: Princess Claire for her daughter's baptism.

Alois Receives Participants in Moneyval Training Seminar

Photo: ZVG /
Yesterday, Hereditary Prince Alois received attendees at a training seminar for the Moneyval Council (officially, the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism), which is part of the Council of Europe.

Currently, the Moneyval Council is holding a training seminar in Triesen. The event is focused on teaching participants about combating money laundering, especially as it relates to financing for terrorists. This particular training is considered an essential arm of larger counter-terrorism measures throughout Europe and beyond, and attendees at the seminar come from 23 different countries. Moneyval's Executive Secretary Matthias Kloth (standing four people to Alois's left in the photo above) was at the Vaduz Castle reception on Monday, along with other seminar members.

The Moneyval seminar runs from the 23rd to the 27th of November. A little more information about the seminar, as well as meeting with Hereditary Prince Alois, at Volksblatt.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Princely Couple Celebrates Liechtenstein Traditional Dress

Photo: Daniel Ospelt / Liechtensteiner Vaterland /
On Sunday, Prince Hans-Adam and Princess Marie were on hand to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Liechtenstein's association for traditional costumes. The tradition of wearing what today is known as the traditional dresses in Liechtenstein can be traced back to around the year 1700. The Trachtenverein association was founded by Adulf Peter Goop, who you might recall from the Principality's Fabergé egg, and fellow enthusiasts in 1965 as an umbrella organisation for 18 smaller association of traditional dress loving Liechtensteiners.

More pictures at Volksblatt and Vaterland.

Hereditary Grand Duke Opens Conference

Earlier today, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, or the Crown Prince of Luxembourg as he is mostly known officially in English, attended the first day of the "Manufacture 2015". Funded by the European Commission, the conference aims to address topics of strategic importance for future challenges of the manufacturing industry and develop recommendations for national and European policy makers. The Hereditary Grand Duke both gave the keynote address and also handed out an the "Genial Competition: Factories of the Future" awards.

Maria Teresa and Sibilla Attend Steichen Award

Photo: CNA
On Friday night, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa attended the award ceremony of this year's Edward Steichen Award, which went to Belgian photographer Max Pinckers. Jeff Weber was given the award as the best Luxembourgish artists. As a reward, both of them get to stay in New York City for a few months. The Grand Duchess was accompanied by Minister Maggy Nagel.

FYI, Steichen was a Luxembourgish-born American artist and the award named in his honour, which is supposed to create a cross-cultural, artistic and educational bridge between Luxembourg and New York, is under the high patronage of the Grand Duchess. The award competition is open to contemporary visual and fine artists between the ages of 25 and 35, winners get to stay in New York City up to six months to expand their work while being sponsored by art institutes not only in Luxembourg, but also the regions surrounding the Grand Duchy.

Edited to add, thanks to Avery: Princess Sibilla was also there - nice to see her out and about! Visual prove at Tageblatt, who have a new design and I'm not quite sure whether I'm into it. #creatureofhabit

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Grand Duke Meets Deputies

Photo: Cour grand-ducale
The Grand Duke received on Friday the members of the bureau of the Chambre des Députés, Luxembourg's parliament, on the occasion of the new term of parliament. And so Grand Duke Henri shook hands and took a picture with the President of the Chamber Mars Di Bartolomeo, its Vice-President Henri Kox, the members Alex Bodry, Eugène Berger, Michel Wolter, Lydie Polfer, Marc Angel, Gilles Roth, Claude Wiseler, as well as Secretary General Claude Frieseisen. Excused for the occasion were the additional Vice-Presidents Laurent Mosar and Simone Beissel.

Grand Duke Meets President of Tatarstan

Photo: Cour grand-ducale
Grand Duke Henri received in audience on Friday Rustam Minnikhanov, the President of Tatarstan, one of Russia's 85 federal subjects and one of its 22 republics. Mr. Minnikhanov, who was accompanied by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Tatarstan Roman Shaykhutdinov and the Minister of the Economy Artyom Zdunov, was on a two-day working visit to the Grand Duchy on Thursday and Friday. He also met with Deputy Prime Minister Etienne Schneider as well as Mars di Bartolomeo, the President of the Chamber of Deputies.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Grand Duchess Receives Syrian Refugee

Photo: Cour grand-ducale
Yesterday was the United Nation's Universal Children's Day. The date November 20 marks the day on which the UN assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989. To mark the event, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa met with the young Syrian Hanin Mahmud (16), her mother, and Omar El-Hattab, Chief of Water, Environment and Sanitation for UNICEF Pakistan, as well as Maryse Arendt, President of UNICEF Luxembourg.

Hanin Mahmud, her mother and sister fled Syria at the age of 13. After staying in Istanbul for two years under difficult circumstances and seperated from her family, she fled via Hungary to Austria, where she has been living since one year. The young refugee has since launched a Twitter campaign under the hashtag #youthtakeover together with friends.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Hereditary Sophie Becomes Godmother of Dog Kira

Photo: Tierschutzverein Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein's Tierschutzverein, the society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, celebrated its 70th anniversary yesterday and Hereditary Princess Sophie was on hand to celebrate with them. During the event, which took place in Schaan, the Hereditary Princess didn't only become the new patron of the organisation, she was also made godmother of Kira, a very cute dog. And it looks like it was love at first sight on both sides.

The Principality's society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, which also manages an animal shelter, was founded on October 7, 1945, by Olga Frommelt against all odds. At the time, many believed an animal rights organisation to be superfluous. Something that has thankfully changed during the seven decades since.

Hans-Adam and Alois Sign Initiatives to Help Tunisia, Mauritania and South Sudan

Photo: LFSG
During a small ceremony at Schloss Vaduz last week, the Liechtenstein Foundation for State Governance (LFSG) and the Global Sphere Holding signed three memoranda of understanding for a strategic alliance with regard to financial literacy, capacity building, public education and political/financial inclusion initiatives of LFSG in Tunisia, Mauritania and South Sudan. The memoranda were signed by the Prince Hans-Adam and Hereditary Prince Alois on the Principality's behalf. Additional initiatives, including in Bahrain and Senegal, are under discussion within the framework of this strategic alliance. 

More pictures and information on the LFSG website as well as Vaterland.

Grand Duke Henri Receives a Delegation from BUSINESSEUROPE

Photo: Cour grand-ducale
On Thursday, November 19th, Grand Duke Henri received in audience a group from BUSINESSEUROPE, an organization supports competitive business activity, among businesses of all sizes, throughout Europe. BUSINESSEUROPE is currently headquartered in Brussels and is composed of 39 members from 33 different countries.

Today's event included a delegation from the organization's Council of Presidents. The current President of BUSINESSEUROPE is Robert Dennewald, who is also the President of FEDIL (Fédération des industriels luxembourgeois).

A little more information at the Cour website.

Sophie Celebrates 'Christmas in a Shoe Box'

Photo: Stefan Trefzer / Liechtensteiner Vaterland /
Hereditary Princess Sophie celebrated the 10th anniversary of Weihnachten in Schuhkarton in Liechtenstein in Triesen earlier this week. Literally meaning 'Christmas in a shoe box', the initiative collects shoe boxes filled with toys, sweets, clothes, school supplies and more in the German-speaking countries and gifts them to children in Eastern Europe and Asia. Many schools and kindergartens participate in the campaign that is internationally better known as 'Operation Christmas Child'. The Hereditary Princess is a patron of the initiative.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Maria Teresa Participates in European Microfinance Week

It's European Microfinance Week in Luxembourg, organized by the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa was present at the European Investment Bank to hand out the €100,000 prize. This award, given out for the sixth year, goes to one of three finalists that were selected from among 47 applicants who hail from 28 different countries. The finalists themselves were chosen based on the criteria for this year's theme "Financial  Inclusion for Sustainable  Development."

And the winner is...Le Credit Rural de Guinée, which is being recognized for their actions during the tragic Ebola epidemic.

A little more information here. Also, more (and closer-up) photos will be posted as soon as they're made available.

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa Attends the 2015 SME Assembly

Photo: Paul Williams / Cour grand-ducale
Today Grand Duchess Maria Teresa was in attendance at the 2015 SME Assembly. This year's SME (small and medium enterprises) Assembly has the larger focus of "Europe Works for SMEs: Forward. Together," and Maria Teresa was there to participate in the conversation about female entrepreneurship. Also present were Secretary of State of the Economy Francince Closener (sitting to Maria Teresa's right in the photo above) and Elżbieta Bieńkowska, the European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (sitting to Maria Teresa's left).

A little more about the event, as well as the Grand Duchess's ongoing efforts in support of female entrepreneurship, is available at the Cour website.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Grand Duke Henri in Brussels

Photo: Julien Warnand / Cour grand-ducale
Grand Duke Henri was in Brussels today to attend the plenary meeting of the European Commission and the European Council. The Grand Duke's visit to both institutions focused, among other things, on the complexities facing European economics and the ongoing refugee situation.

First on the agenda was a bilateral meeting with Claude Juncker, followed by a working lunch with other members. Additionally, Grand Duke Henri met with President of the European Council Donald Tusk, who congratulated Luxembourg on its successes while holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The day also included a reception held by Luxembourg's Ambassador in Belgium.

Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa was originally scheduled to be in attendance as well but was unable to make it.

A little more information at the Cour website. More pictures at Tageblatt.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Grand Ducal Family Attends Mass for Terror Victims

Photo: Lex Kleren / Luxemburger Wort /
Earlier this evening, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa as well as Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie attended a mass at the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Luxembourg for the victims of the terror attacks in Paris and also of the attack in Beirut, which killed 44 people, as well as the victims of the atrocities in Iraq and Syria. The service was led by Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich.

Pictures at Wort.

Alois and Sophie in Geneva

Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie whiled in Geneva today for an array of meetings. Their prime reason to visit the Swiss city was to meet with Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The Hereditary Princess became the president of the Liechtenstein branch of the organisation in May of this year and today was her introductory visit. During their meeting they talked about the priorities and current activities of the International Red Cross.

While in Geneva, Hereditary Princess Sophie also used the chance to meet with Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Hereditary Prince Alois, meanwhile, had meetings with Michael Møller, Director General of the United Nations Office in Geneva; Kristinn F. Árnason, Secretary General of the European Free Trade Association; as well as Fernando de Mateo, President of the General Council of the World Trade Organisation.

More information available via IKR.

Guillaume and Stéphanie Visit Stock Exchange

Photo: Editpress / François Aussems / Tageblatt /
Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie paid a visit to the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, or Bourse de Luxembourg, today. The couple was accompanied for the visit by Pierre Gramegna, Minister of Finance, and were received by LuxSE officials. 

The Hereditary Grand Duke and the Hereditary Grand Duchess, who was wearing Diane von Furstenberg, attended a presentation on the history of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, its activities today and its subsidiary, Fundsquare. The couple also visited the markets and surveillance room as well as the exchange’s IT surveillance centre and Fundsquare, where they received further explanation on the functioning of a modern stock exchange. They also greeted a delegation from the Shanghai Stock Exchange, which included Hongyuan Huang, Shanghai Stock Exchange President, who were also visiting the Bourse de Luxembourg for the day.

More pictures at Tageblatt and Wort.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Grand Ducal Family Remembers Victims of Paris Attacks

Photo: Hervé Montaigu / Luxemburger Tageblatt /
Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, accompanied by Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, President of Parliament Mars di Bartolomeo and Luxembourg mayor Lydie Polfer as well as members of the government, placed a wreath of flowers in front of the French embassy in Luxembourg today. They also observed a minute of silence in honour of the victims of the Paris attacks, which claimed the lives of 129 people. 
Photo: Isabella Finzi / Luxemburger Tageblatt /
The very same was done by Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie. The couple alongside members of the staff of the cour grand-ducale and passersby held a minute of silence at noon in front of the palais grand-ducal. The staff of Grand Duke Jean at Château de Fischbach also observed a minute of silence to remember the victims of the terrorist attacks.

Pictures and videos at the cour, Tageblatt, Wort, L'essentiel and RTL.

Grand Duke Jean Receives Fellow Scouts

Photo: Vic Fischbach / Cour grand-ducale
On October 28, 1945, Grand Duke Jean took his solemn oath as scout in front of more than 5,000 scouts at the Stade de Luxembourg-Ville. To commemorate the event and its 70th anniversary, he received the commissioners general of the Lëtzebuerger Guiden a Scouten (LGS) and of the Fédération Nationale des Eclaireurs et Eclaireuses du Luxembourg (FNEL) at the Château de Fischbach.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Princely Family Loses Court Case Against Czech Republic

A bit of interesting news coming out of the Czech Republic this week: The Princely Family has lost a court case against the Czech state. According to the decision by a local court, the Princely Family has no right to 600-hectare plots of land near Říčany located about 20 kilometres from the centre of Prague. The Prince of Liechtenstein Foundation gained the lands through inheritance, after a mistake in the land register.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
After the end of the Second World War, the Princely Family had lost all their Czechoslovakian properties - including 17 castles and 1.600 square kilometres of agricultural and forest land, about two percent of the size of the Czech Republic - on the basis of the Beneš decrees. (The series of laws stripped Germans - everyone who spoke German was considered German - and Hungarians off their properties.) About three years ago the Princely Family learned that Prince Franz Josef II was still registered as the owner of almost 100 plots of land near Říčany, and so they applied for inheritance. A district court approved their claim and the plots were subsequently transferred to the Prince of Liechtenstein Foundation in the land register.

After the family had wanted to employ the Lesy ČR state forestry company to administer the land, the Czech state filed a lawsuit against the the Foundation as they believed the transferal of the land to the Princely Family to be unlawful. This week, a local court decided in favour of the Czech state. According to the Prague Post, "judge Klara Obrtlíková admitted that the state had wronged the Liechtenstein family, but she said if the property remained in the foundation’s hands, it would violate the restitution laws."

A spokesman for the Liechtenstein family said, “Prince Hans-Adam II never wanted to take the Czech Republic to court to demand the return of the real estate that was confiscated from his family in the 20th century. The foundation is now only reacting to the situation by its defense in compliance with Czech law". He also added that the Prince of Liechtenstein foundation will appeal the verdict. 

More information at Prague Post

Alois Attends Economic Forum

Photo: Daniel Schwendener / Liechtensteiner Vaterland /
Hereditary Prince Alois was among the guests of the 15th economic forum in Vaduz this week. The forum was headlined "Excellence at top level - are we still hungry enough?". Speakers at the event included FC Basel chairman Bernhard Heusler, Carla Del Ponte, former Chief Prosecutor of two United Nations international criminal law tribunals, and Swiss businessman Philippe Gaydoul.

A gallery of visuals at Vaterland.

Hereditary Princess Sophie Talks Foundation

Photo: 1 FL TV
Earlier this month, Hereditary Princess Sophie talked about her foundation, the Sophie von Liechtenstein Stiftung, at the Treffpunkt Gutenberg. The foundation aims to help woman and couples in Liechtenstein and parts of Switzerland, who are expecting and find themselves in need. Another one of the aims of the foundation is to give age-appropriate sex education to children and young adults. A news report about the event at 1 FL TV. In the report, the Hereditary Princess tells that she had the idea for the foundation a long time ago after friends of her's found themselves in a comflict situation after discovering that they were pregnant. This year the Sophie von Liechtenstein Stiftung celebrates celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Hereditary Princess Visits Gamander Children's Home

Photo: 1 FL TV
Sometime earlier this autumn Hereditary Princess Sophie visited the Gamander children's home in Schaan. Why we know it now? She talked about it in a little documentary. Founded for orphaned children in Liechtenstein with the help of Princess Gina, the Gamander children's home has been used since 1992 as a holiday home for children from Eastern Europe, especially Hungary and Romania, who live in poverty. The groups of children come to the Principality for three weeks and, as she tells in the video, Hereditary Princess Sophie always makes it a priority to visit the them.

Guillaume and Stéphanie Visit Red Cross Bazaar

Photo: René Scho / RTL /
It's November and the holiday season slowly approaching. And so it's time again for the annual Red Cross Bazaar taking place at the the Halle Victor Hugo in the Limpertsberg district of Luxembourg City. While this used to a be an event the Grand Duchess made a priority to attend, we got to see some surprising faces for the second year in a row. While it was Princess Alexandra who visited the bazaar to tour the stands last year, it were Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie who were up to the task this afternoon. 

Apart from touring all the stands, and taking home loads of things, the Hereditary Grand Duke and the Hereditary Grand Duchess also got the chance to meet Kleeschen and Houseker, who came to Luxembourg a little early this year and gifted the couple with a Boxemännchen each. (While Kleeschen and Houseker are the Luxembourgish versions of St. Nicholas and his companion in case you hadn't guessed already, a Boxemännchen is a sweet leavened dough pastry in the shape of a man.)

Galleries of heaps of visuals of the day at RTL, Wort and Tageblatt.

Members of the Grand Ducal Family to Observe Minutes of Silence

Tomorrow (Monday), Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa will visit the French embassy in Luxembourg to observe a minute of silence for the victims of the Paris attacks. They will be joined at 11:58am by Prime Minister Xavier Bettel as well as members of the government. In addition, they will also lay a wreath of flowers.

Meanwhile, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie will also observe a minute of silence at the square in front of the palais grand-ducal. The staff of the cour grand-ducal will join the couple.

Sparkling Sunday: November 15

Do you also miss the Luxarazzi Tiara Race? Do you also feel a little jewel-deprived? There's a new Luxarazzi series in town and it's going to be sparkly! On Sundays that fit us, we will publish a post featuring a grand ducal or princely lady all tiara-d (or at least jewel-ed) up. In addition to marvelling at the beauty of the garnd ducal and princely jewels, we will also give you a bit of history surrounding the sparklers.
And what better way to start then with the tiara that won the Tiara Race? In the above picture Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte, is wearing the Belgian Scroll Tiara made by Henry Coosemans in 1953 alongside Grand Duchess Charlotte's Pearl and Diamond Necklace by Luxembourgish jeweller Schroeder as well as Princess Ingeborg's Pearl and Diamond Brooch, which the late wife of Grand Duke Jean inherited from her grandmother.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Guillaume and Stéphanie Remember Road Traffic Victims

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie stepped out today in Junglinster to attend a ceremony marking the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, which takes place on November 14 each year. The event was organised by the Association nationale des Victimes de la Route (AVR), a patronage of the Hereditary Grand Duke. In line with its name, the association supports victims of road accidents and their families. They offer a wide range of help starting with psychological and social support all the way to administrative support. The AVR also tries to do prevention work by educating young drivers. 

No pictures as of yet but we'll add them if any become available.

Princess Astrid and Mother Feature in Book

Book news: Princess Astrid, wife of Prince Alexander and daughter-in-law of Prince Philipp, and her mother Ingrid Kohl feature in the new book of German author Stefanie von Wietersheim. "Mütter & Töchter. Wie wir wohnen und was uns verbindet." (Mothers & daughters. How we live and what connects us) tells the stories of several mother-daughter duos such as Luxembourgish actress Désirée Nosbusch and her mother Rosetta, the former President of Central Council of Jews in Germany Charlotte Knobloch and her daughter Sofia, Countess Melissa of Faber-Castell and her mother Maria Eliyesil, as well as Nike Wagner, great-granddaughter of composer Richard Wagner, and her daughter Louise, and many more. 

Princess Astrid and her mother are described as "the strong post-war businesswoman Ingrid Kohl whose daughter, Princess Astrid of Liechtenstein, administers the family business in Italy and who live together in a three-generation house." The book is available via Amazon and costs 29.95 euros.

Liechtenstein Royals Attend Mass for The Duke of Calabria

Photo: Juan Carlos Hidalgo / EPA
Hereditary Princess Sophie as well as Prince Nikolaus and Princess Margaretha were among the attendants of a mass for Infante Don Carlos of Spain, Duke of Calabria at El Escorial, a historical residence of the King of Spain, in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial near Madrid, on Thursday. The mass was also attended by King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain, the former Spanish King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia as well as a number of other royals and nobles. The Duke of Calabria died on October 5.

A video at Bunte.

Grand Duke Expresses His Sympathies

Photo: Jean Jullien
The Grand Duke has written a letter to French President François Hollande to offer his condolences after at least 129 people were killed by terrorists in Paris yesterday:
Monsieur le Président,

C'est avec horreur et consternation que nous avons vu les images des attentats meurtriers à Paris. La Grande-Duchesse et moi-même vous assurons ensemble avec le peuple luxembourgeois de notre grande compassion envers les victimes et leurs familles.

Nous manifestons notre solidarité totale face au malheur qui frappe la France.

Grand-Duc de Luxembourg
Mister President,

it was with horror and consternation that we saw the images of the murderous attack on Paris. The Grand Duchess and myself wish to extend our greatest compassion to the victims and their families.

We wish to express our full solidarity against the misfortune that hit France.

Grand Duke of Luxembourg

Friday, November 13, 2015

Grand Duke Henri Receives Ambassadors

Some new ambassador presentations for Grand Duke Henri. Mr. Khammeung Bounteum presented his credentials as the new Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Lao People's Democratic Republic to the Grand Duke. (No official date on this, however, so we'll have to wait to add it.) At the meeting, Mr. Bounteum expressed appreciation for the ongoing socio-economic support that Luxembourg has provided the Lao People's Democratic Republic. The new Lao ambassador to the Grand Duchy will be based out of Brussels.

Additionally, Grand Duke Henri received Deo Saran, Fiji's ambassador to the European Union, as well as the ambassador to Luxembourg (non-resident). This presentation of credentials appears have have occurred on Monday, November 9th. During their meeting, the ambassador spoke about continuing the long-standing bilateral relationship between the two countries and also discussed the economy of Fiji. A little more information here.

Grand Duke Henri with Ambassador Deo Saran from Fiji.
Photo source: Julien Warnand / The Fiji Times Online

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Prince Robert to Open Restaurant and Shop

Prince Robert, the Grand Duke's first cousin and famed wine estate owner, is to open a restaurant and shop in Paris. Both the restaurant, Le Clarence, and the shop for wine and spirits, La Cave Du Château, are located in the Hotel Dillon, a mansion located in the heart of the French capital and acquired by Prince Robert four years ago. The Hotel Dillon will open its doors on Saturday, November 14.

Prince Hans-Adam Celebrates the Music of Josef Triebensee

Last Wednesday, Prince Hans-Adam II was in Vienna to see the unveiling, so to speak, of a new double-CD that celebrates works by composer Josef Triebensee who flourished in the late 18th century and the early 19th century. Triebensee fulfilled the role of Kapellmeister for the princely family, and during that time he composed a number of pieces, including "Eine kleine Kantate in zwey Abtheilungen" ("Jägerfreude") in 1798, for Prince Alois I. The prince was a keen supporter of musical advances and encouraged the arrangement and adaptation of numerous works, ranging from instrumental pieces to opera, for the permanent music group he brought to Liechtenstein's court.

The music on the recording, which is entitled "Fürstlich-Liechtensteinische Harmoniemusik", is also performed on original instruments.

A little more information about the event at Vaterland.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Prince Philipp and Princess Isabelle Open Exhibition

Photo: ČTK / News Pictures / Arnold Jerocki
The Princely Collection of the House of Liechtenstein - or at least part of them - are on tour again. A selection of the collection's artwork can currently be seen at the Caumont Centre d’Art in Aix-en-Provence, France. The exhibition, which was opened on November 6, will run until March 20, 2016. On hand for the exhibition opening on Friday were Prince Philipp, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the LGT Group, and his wife Princess Isabelle.

Pictures of the event at ČTK and face to face.

Liechtenstein Crypt in Czech Republic Renovated and Re-Consecrated

Photo: Attila Racek / Deník
After three years of renovation, the burial site of the House of Liechtenstein in the south Moravian town of Vranov was re-opened and re-consecrated earlier this week. The event was attended by the Prince Hans-Adam II and the Princess Marie as well as Princess Maria-Pia, Liechtenstein's ambassador to Austria and the Czech Republic. (Read here and here why the Liechtenstein's have a crypt in what today is the Czech Republic. In short: They did once own large chunks of land there and it was their place of living.)

Photo: Attila Racek / Deník
The crypt in Vranov was seized from the Princely Family by the Czechoslovakian state after the end of the Second World War and came into the possession of the Roman Catholic Church six years ago, in 2009. The necessary renovation works which cost about 200,000 euros, however, were funded by the Liechtenstein family themselves. Prince Hans-Adam told Czech TV, "When I came here for the first time, which was I think in the 1960s, we thought that a reconstruction was necessary." Much like the family crypt in Liechtenstein, the renovated one in Vranov will be open to the public once a year, on November 1.

About the other seized Liechtenstein possessions in the Czech Republic, such as the Valtice-Lednice Cultural Landscape and its castles, Prince Hans-Adam said, "I haven’t given up the hope that really one day it will be possible to get it back."

More information at Radio Prague, more pictures at ČTK and Deník, and videos at Idnes and Česke noviny.