Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Our 12 Days of Christmas... (+ Saying Thank You)

It's Epiphany meaning the twelve days of Christmas - and thus our series of Luxarazzi 101s - are over. Before we take the opportunity to have a quick look back, I would like to say thank you to everyone who has contributed to our Christmas series: Bonnie, Emily and Kim-Lisa! The three of them have been doing awesome work behind the scenes to bring all these wonderful and interesting Luxarazzi 101s to you. I watch as the drafts grow from random notes on collected research to comprehensive articles full of often little known facts. Sometimes it's a matter of days, other times a matter of weeks. Thank you for your help this time around and all the other times throughout the year! I can already reveal that many more fascinating Luxarazzi 101s are in the works.

And now, to look back and catch up...

On the first day of Christmas, we brought to you
It is neither Santa Claus nor Father Christmas who brings the Christmas gifts in Luxembourg and Liechtenstein. Instead, the local children look forward to a visit by the Christkind (Liechtenstein) or Chrëschtkand (Luxembourg). Though be careful, when you try to see it - it won't arrive.

On the second day of Christmas, we brought to you
Princess Elisabeth of Luxembourg, Princess of Thurn und Taxis
Many of you will know about Grand Duchess Charlotte and Grand Duchess Marie-Adélaide or even their younger sister Princess Antonia, the last Crown Princess of Bavaria. But who is their sister Princess Elisabeth, known as Lissi and a Thurn und Taxis by marriage.

On the third day of Christmas, we brought to you
the House of Thurn und Taxis
Who are the family that Princess Elisabeth married into - and how did they become so fabulously rich that even reigning royal and imperial families didn't mind marrying into the family.

On the fourth day of Christmas, we brought to you 
Luxembourg's third highest order and the one sometimes worn by Grand Duke Henri and Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume for national day military parades. Did you know that the colours were inspired by the blooming broom against the green of Luxembourg's Ösling forests?

On the fifth day of Christmas, we brought to you
Worn by Hereditary Princess Sophie for her pre-wedding ball, this tiara dates back all the way to (at least) her great-great-grandmother Queen Marie Therese of Bavaria (1849-1919).

On the sixth day of Christmas, we brought to you
Located on a 482 metre high dormant volcano, this castle was once considered to be the "strongest fortress of Christianity". Firstly mentioned about 900 yeas ago, it has been owned by the Princely Family since 1822.

On the seventh day of Christmas, we brought to you
Had history gone different, another branch of the Nassau family might be ruling the Grand Duchy today, namely the descendants of the morganatic marriage of Prince Nikolaus Wilhelm of Nassau and Natalia Pushkina, daughter of the famous poet.

On the eighth day of Christmas, we brought to you
Who are the family of Hereditary Princess Sophie that has ruled Bavaria longer than the Nassaus Luxembourg, the Liechtensteins Liechtenstein, the Bernadottes Sweden and the Glücksborgs Norway combined.

On the ninth day of Christmas, we brought to you
Basically the house order of the Grand Ducal Family, this is the one that all members of the family are born with and the order that all females who marry into the family receive upon marriage. And no, it's not named for Grand Duke Adolph.

On the tenth day of Christmas, we brought to you
Another one of the younger sister of Grand Duchess Charlotte, Princess Hilda was the one with the closest bond to Luxembourg's Grand Duchess. Separated in age by just over a year, they both enjoyed relatively long lives, unlike their four less fortunate sisters -  a life that took Hilda both to Africa and the U.S.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, we brought to you
Officially the Decrees of the President of the Republic, the Beneš Decrees had an influence on the life of Princess Hilda, as well as many other noble families who owned property in Czechoslovakia, including the Princely Family of Liechtenstein.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, we brought to you 
A medieval Bohemian king and member of the House of Luxembourg, this man is considered a bit of a national hero in the Grand Duchy and also the man Grand Duke Jean was named for.

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