Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Luxarazzi 101: Prince Karl Alfred of Liechtenstein

We asked, you answered, we listened. Let's have a look at the life of one of the lesser known historical members of the Princely Family: Prince Karl Alfred, younger brother of Prince Franz Josef II and thus uncle of Prince Hans-Adam II. Karl Alfred Maria Johannes Baptista Heinrich Aloys Georg Hartmann Ignatius Benediktus Franz Joseph Rochus, as was his full name, was born on August 16, 1910, as the third child of Prince Alois of Liechtenstein and his wife née Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria.

Photo: Österreichische Nationalbibliothek
He was born at Schloss Frauenthal in Styria when Austria was still a monarchy. Prince Karl Alfred spent much of his childhood and youth at his father's estate Gross Ullersdorf in Moravia, today known as Velké Losiny. Attending local schools, he received his Matura higher school certificate in 1928 at Mährisch Schönberg (Šumperk). Afterwards, he moved to Vienna where the prince attended the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences graduating with a Diplom-Ingenieur diploma, comparable to the Master of Engineering, in forestry.

While his elder brother Franz Josef turned his focus on Liechtenstein, Karl Alfred returned to their father's estate in Gross Ullersdorf, managing it between 1935 and 1946, when it was lost. Karl Alfred was also responsible for the princely forestries, sawmills and commercial operations in Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia and Austria.

On February 17, 1949, Prince Karl Alfred married Archduchess Agnes of Austria, daughter of Archduke Hubert Salvator of the Tuscan branch of the Habsburg family and his wife Princess Rosemary of Salm-Salm, at the bride's home, Schloss Persenbeug. 18 years his junior, she was the great-granddaughter of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth. The couple had seven children: Dominik, Andreas, Gregor, Alexandra, Maria-Pia, Katharina and Birgitta. Their daughter Princess Maria-Pia is occasionally featured on this blog as she serves as Liechtenstein's ambassador to Austria and the Czech Republic.

Photo: Österreichische Nationalbibliothek
Between 1946 and 1971, Prince Karl Alfred was responsible for the redevelopment of the princely forestries in Austria after the Second World War. During the 1970's, Prince Hans-Adam II took over the management. Karl Alfred played a major role in the development of the Sparbach nature park as well as a chipboard enterprise in Kalwang. Already in 1946, he had founded a wood and veneer trading company together with his brothers, which he became the sole owner of in 1969. That same year, his oldest son Dominik became the manager of the company.

As the younger brother of the Fürst, Prince Karl Alfred also played a political role. He represented Liechtenstein's interests against Czechoslovak and Soviet authorities as well as during negotiations about a double taxation agreement between the Principality and the Republic of Austria. He also was a member of different boards of director for various companies including the Bank in Liechtenstein, Presta and Finanzkontor Etablissement.

Prince Karl Alfred, who held the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Austria as well as the Grand Cross With Diamonds of the Order of Merit of the Principality of Liechtenstein, died on November 17, 1985 at Hainburg, Lower Austria. He was laid to rest at the cemetery of the Kahlenbergerdorf parish church on the outskirts of Vienna. He was outlived by his wife Agnes for 22 years.

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Prince Félix in Nice for Rally Start

Photo: Château les Crostes
On March 19, Prince Félix was in Nice (France) where he enjoyed the start of the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc. The participation to the rally mostly held in the deserted parts of southern Morocco is restricted to women only. Château les Crostes sponsored one of the teams participating in the rally.

Liechtenstein: From Farmer to Banker

Firstly, a happy and peaceful Easter to all of you celebrating it and your loved ones!

Secondly, not sure anyone recalls but about one and a half years ago, members of the Princely Family attended the movie premiere of 1818 - Die Liechtenstein Saga. The Youtube-loving champion procrastinator that I am sometimes, I stumbled over a shortened version of the documentary aired by Austrian TV station ORF the other day. Narrated by Friedrich von Thun (a.k.a. Count Friedrich of Thun and Hohenstein), it is titled "Liechtenstein: Vom Bauer zum Banker" (Liechtenstein: From Farmer to Banker). It includes interviews with Prince Hans-Adam II, Hereditary Prince Alois and Prince Philipp, and covers the country's history from a poor agricultural backwater to one of the richest country's in the world.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Luxarazzi 101: Princess Sophie of Luxembourg, Duchess of Saxony

Sophie (l.) with her sister Elisabeth
The third profile in our series of the daughters of Grand Duke Wilhelm IV and Grand Duchess Maria Ana is Sophie, the youngest of the six girls. Sophie Caroline Marie Wilhelmine (as she was christened) was born on February 14, 1902, the day before her sister Hilda's fifth birthday.  Like three of her older sisters, Sophie was born at Château de Berg.

The Grand Duchess was forty years old at the time of her youngest daughter's birth. As such, it became clear soon after Sophie's arrival that Wilhelm and Maria Ana would not have any sons.  This prompted Wilhelm to make changes to the Nassau house law (excluding the Counts of Merenberg from the succession in Luxembourg, as we've discussed previously) and allowing the eventual succession of his eldest daughter, Marie-Adelaide.

Sophie's early life was spent mostly at Schloss Hohenberg in Bavaria, revolving almost solely around her family. Sophie was close to all of her sisters, but particularly with Antonia and Elisabeth who were closest to her in age. Although her childhood was largely considered a happy one, Sophie's father's ill health was an issue even before her birth.  She was six years old when Wilhelm's final illness began in 1908.  Although Sophie was quite young, she assisted her mother and sisters in helping to care for her father until his death in 1912.

During World War I, Sophie lived with her mother and sisters at Château de Berg. Due to her young age, Sophie largely escaped the interests of German princes seeking brides in the occupied Grand Duchy. But as fate would have it, Sophie did indeed marry a German, but fortunately the match came about from mutual love.

Sophie initially met Prince Ernst Heinrich of Saxony, the youngest son of former Saxon King Friedrich August III, at Schloss Hohenburg, possibly in the summer of 1920. Five years Sophie's senior, Ernst Heinrich was a good friend of Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria, the husband of Princess Antonia and therefore Sophie's brother-in-law. The young couple fell in love, and Ernst Heinrich proposed to Sophie during the autumn of 1920.

Sophie and Ernst Heinrich married on April 12, 1921, at Hohenberg. Her elder sister Antonia had married Rupprecht just five days earlier. The ceremony was conducted by Ernst Heinrich's uncle Maximillian, a Roman Catholic priest. Sophie and her husband followed up the wedding with a honeymoon in Italy. Ernst Heinrich later recounted in his memoirs that while traveling on the island of Sicily, Sophie visited with a fortune teller who correctly predicted the couple would have three sons.
Sophie and her husband Ernst Heinrich, around the time of their engagement

Ernst Heinrich managed the Wettin family's finances as the couple settled into married life. Sophie supervised the education of the couple's children.

Sophie's three sons were all born in Munich. They were:

- Albrecht Friedrich August Johann Gregor Dedo, known as Dedo (1922-2009)
- Georg Timo Michael Nikolaus Maria, known as Timo (1923-1982)
- Rupprecht Hubertus Gero Maria, known as Gero (1925-2003)

The family made frequent trips to Egypt due to Ernst Heinrich's love of art and the management of the Wettin family's vast art collection.  Sophie and her family lived at Schloss Moritzburg during World War II. The home was a happy one, and Sophie and Ernst often entertained their large extended family.

The outbreak of World War II had numerous devastating effects on the Grand Ducal Family, not the least of which was lack of contact among members separated over enemy lines.  Charlotte and her family had fled to North America following the German invasion of Luxembourg taking Dowager Grand Duchess Maria Ana with them. Hilda and her husband Adolf of Schwarzenberg, both staunch in their opposition of the Nazi regime, spent some time in Switzerland before leaving for the United States. Antonia and her family lived in exile in Italy and Hungary before being confined at Dachau concentration camp. Sophie could only correspond with her sister Elisabeth, who also resided in Germany. 

Sophie with her three sons
Sadly, the separation from her family was to be permanent for Sophie. She suddenly contracted influenza in early May 1941 during a trip to Munich. The disease quickly turned serious, and Sophie was admitted to Rechts der Isar Hospital with a very high fever. The influenza then progressed into pneumonia. Nevertheless, doctors predicted a full recovery given Sophie's young age and overall good health.

Sophie developed further complications from the influenza and pneumonia which ultimately took her life. She died of a blood clot on the lungs, a complication of the influenza and pneumonia, on May 24, 1941, at the age of 39.  She is buried at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Dresden.  Ernst Heinrich married German actress Virginia Dulon six years later and died in 1971.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Guillaume and Stéphanie Mourn Victims of Brussels Attack

Photo: Christophe Olinger / Luxemburger Wort /
Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie were among the mourners at a minute of silence held in front of the Belgian embassy in Luxembourg today. About 200 people, also including Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich, had gathered to pay their respects to the 31 people who lost their lives during the Brussels bombings on Tuesday. The Hereditary Grand Duchess, of course, is a born Belgian herself as was Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte, Guillaume's grandmother.

More pictures and videos at Wort.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Prince Sébastien to Attend Sandhurst

One of the news bits from the new Point de Vue article is that Prince Sébastien will enter the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst in September of this year. The youngest child of Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa will be the sixth of the grandsons of apapa Grand Duke Jean to attend. Prince Sébastien will follow in the footsteps of older brothers Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Prince Félix (who did not finish for medical reasons) and cousins Prince Josef, Prince Wenceslas and Archduke Alexander. Grand Duke Henri and Prince Jean also graduated from Sandhurst.

Grand Ducal Family in Point de Vue

Photo: David Atlan / Point de Vue
The new openness of the cour doesn't only show in loads of new pictures but also in regular appearances by the Grand Ducal Family in French magazine Point de Vue, it seems. (Je l'aime!) In the edition published today, there's a lengthy article about the 60th birthday of Grand Duchess Maria Teresa as well as heaps of new family pictures including the lovely one above. The feature largely consists of quotes by Grand Duchess Maria Teresa about the members of her family, as well as the children, children-in-law and grandchildren about their maman and amaman.

Grand Duke Henri Sends Condolences to Belgium

Today, Grand Duke Henri sent a letter of condolences to Philippe, King of the Belgians. The full text below:
Profondément bouleversés par le malheur qui frappe votre pays, la Grande-Duchesse et moi-même vous exprimons au nom du peuple luxembourgeois notre entière compassion. 
En ces heures très sombres, nous pensons avec recueillement aux victimes des attentats perpétrés à Bruxelles et à leurs familles. 
Soyez assuré de notre solidarité inconditionnelle dans la défense de nos valeurs communes.  
Grand-Duc de Luxembourg           

The text in translation (via Google):

Deeply shocked by this tragedy your country, the Grand Duchess and I express to you on behalf of our entire people of Luxembourg compassion. 
In these very dark times , we think with reverence to the victims of the attacks in Brussels and their families. 
Be assured of our unconditional solidarity in defending our common values.

The text is also available from the Cour.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Prince Guillaume Awards "Jonk Fuerscher" Prizes

On Sunday, Prince Guillaume attended the awards ceremony for the "Jonk Fuerscher" competition, which recognizes young people's efforts in areas ranging from biology and engineering to medicine and history, and more. Thirty competitors, aged 11-21, joined into 17 different teams for the event, which saw both Prince Guillaume and Lydie Polfer, the Mayor of Luxembourg City, handing out prizes.

One winning project by Camilla Hurst (aged 15), was entitled "What do we bring home from school? Phase 2" and saw the second year in a row that Camilla has been recognized in this competition (with her "Phase 1" project also highlighted in the 2015 awards ceremony). Additionally, "Das Elektro-magnetische Auto" by Same and Tom Herz (aged 17) was honored by the judges. 

The winning competitors will go on to represent Luxembourg in other international competitions.

Some photos of the winners at Chronicle.

The Grand Ducal Family Received by Pope Francis

Photo: Charles Caratini
On Monday, members of the Grand Ducal family were in the Vatican for a private half-hour audience with Pope Francis. Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa were accompanied by their children and their children's spouses, as well as their grandchildren, for the visit. The ladies of the family wore what you wear when visiting the Pope.

The visit to the Vatican is occurring in conjunction with the Jubilee of Mercy, and following the audience they visited St. Peter's Basilica through the Porta Santa

Many more photos, as well as some history of the Grand Ducal Family's previous visits to the Vatican and papal meetings, at Wort here and here, as well as this old Luxarazzi 101.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Grand Duchess Sings and Talks

Photo: RTL /
The Liechtensteins are getting some tough competition in the love for interviews-department: Grand Duchess Maria Teresa was a guest at RTL Radio and was interview during yesterday's edition of Background. During the course of the interview the Grand Duchess not only talked but also sang: She gave renditions of Guantanamera, the famous patriotic Cuban song, (evoking flashbacks to that TV documentary from about 10 years ago) and of Luxembourgish song Feierwon.

The interview touched on a number of topics including the way mothers are treated in Luxembourg, the lawsuit in which a former employee of the cour lodged a complaint for harassment and unfair dismissal, and the Kepha Affair. Grand Duchess Maria Teresa defended Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie saying that she had no idea of what was going on and that she was exploited by the firm to promote their activities.

The Royal Jewel Questionnaire

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Quick Sunday shout-out: Head over to The Court Jeweller today and tomorrow to read an interview with our own Sydney about her ultimate tiara collection, what jewels she would add to the Luxembourg collections and more. In turn, The Court Jeweller's Ella Kay talked about dancing at Catherine Palace, living at Windsor Castle and more at Confessions of a Castleholic.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Guillaume Celebrates Continuiung Education

Photo: F. Pizzolante / Luxemburger Tageblatt /
Last night, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume assisted at an academic session to mark the 20th anniversary of Continuiung Education at the gorgeous Cercle Cité. The Chambres des Salariés, the Grand Duchy's Chamber of Employees, used the chance to hand out this year's university diplomas.

Pictures at Tageblatt.

(Not That) Charles Prize for Prince Hans-Adam

It was announced today that Prince Hans-Adam II is this year's awardee of the European Charles IV Prize of the Sudeten German Homeland Association, not to be confused with the more famous International Charles (or Charlemagne) Prize of the City of Aachen. The Fürst is following in the footsteps of his father: Prince Franz Josef II was awarded with the European Charles IV Prize in 1963. Prince Hans-Adam will receive the prize on Whit Saturday in Nuremberg.

Grand Duke Views "Climate Change in Bangladesh"

Not in Bangladesh but a film about it. Last night, Grand Duke Henri watched the documentary "Climate Change in Bangladesh" by Yann Arthus Bertrand at the Utopolis cinema in Kirchberg. The film is sponsored by Engie, and has been made in cooperation with the organisation "Friendship". While revealing the beauty of the country, the movie focuses on the numerous human impacts of climate change in the the most climate-vulnerable country. A country where "Friendship", through an integrated approach to development, continuously develops adaptation solutions for the most marginalised.

A gallery of visuals with pictures of both the film and the screening at Tageblatt.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

New Pictures of the Grand Duchess

The new openness of the cour certainly does manifest itself in at least one point: The number of pictures released for all kinds of occasions. But hey, I'm certainly no one to complain that we got new visuals yet again. This time around, it is to mark the 60th birthday of Grand Duchess Maria Teresa coming up on March 22 and so the birthday girl is also the star of the (picture) show.

The first six pictures are by Sylvie Lancrenon/Cour grand-ducale;
and the others by Carole Bellaïche/Cour grand-ducale
As always, click to enlarge!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa Edits Tageblatt

On Tuesday, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa sat in as editor-in-chief of Tageblatt, with the larger theme of microfinance but also with a focus on an active international role for women. The Grand Duchess's editorial, for example, highlights the role of women and girls in building a "culture of peace" that is "fondé sur l’éducation et le partage" ("based on education and sharing").

Tageblatt noted that she was an active participant from the beginning, and appears to have been closely involved with editorial decisions about content for the day. (Her editing work appears on Wednesday, March 16. See here for an article on microfinance.)

A video of the event is available from Tageblatt, as well as photos (and a second video) on the site.

Maria Teresa Visits the Lycée Technique du Centre

Photo: Jessica Bettendorff / Cour grand-ducale
On Wednesday, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa visited the Lycée Technique du Centre, where she also gave a speech. Afterwards, she met with students in smaller groups to discuss topics such as the monarchy, the refugee crisis, and learning difficulties.

More photos at the Cour website.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Alois Receives Young Diplomats from Austria

On Monday, a group of eleven young diplomats from Austria were received by Hereditary Prince Alois at Schloss Vaduz. This visit, the first of its kind from an Austrian group (although Swiss groups of young diplomats have already visited Liechtenstein), also included a tour of the University of Liechtenstein, the National Museum, the Liechtenstein Institute, and Hilti AG. The group met with members of the Office of Foreign Affairs and learned about Liechtenstein's economy at the Office of Economic Affairs. The visit is meant to spark ongoing interest among future leaders in the friendly diplomatic relationship between Austria and Liechtenstein.

A little more information at Vaterland. No photos with Alois just yet (although a photo of the young diplomats group is at the Vaterland link), but they'll be added if they're made available.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Félix and Claire Support "Le Sourire de Lucie"

Earlier this month, Prince Félix and Princess Claire assisted at the general assembly of the organisation Le Sourire de Lucie. The couple are the honorary presidents of the French organisation which supports families with children who suffer from the Larsen syndrome, "a rare genetic disorder that has been associated with a wide variety of different symptoms. Characteristic findings of the disorder include dislocations of the large joints, skeletal malformations, and distinctive facial and limb features."

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Alois Meets with Bulgaria's Deputy Prime Minister

Photo: Focus Information Agency /
On Friday, Hereditary Prince Alois met with Ivaylo Kalfin, the Deputy Prime Minister of Bulgaria who is also Minister of Labour and Social Policy. Deputy Prime Minister Kalfin was in Liechtenstein to discuss the bilateral relationship between the countries. Specifically, the audience focused on start-up business opportunities for high-tech innovation, as well as Liechtenstein's financial options for supporting these business. Liechtenstein's Deputy Prime Minister, Thomas Zwiefelhofer, was also there to meet with the Bulgarian official.

A little more information here.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Alois Attends a Tax Conference

On Wednesday, Hereditary Prince Alois attended the morning session of a tax conference held at the University of Liechtenstein. The event focused primarily on how tax laws in Liechtenstein align with international expectations, as well as ensure a positive environment for ongoing agreements with the Principality's trading partners. Prime Minister Adrian Hasler was also a speaker at the conference.

Hereditary Prince Alois took part in the discussions at the session, which apparently, or perhaps inevitably, sparked "animated" conversations and questions.

No photos just yet, but a little more information here.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Grand Duke's Message to the President of Portugal

Grand Duke Henri has sent a congratulatory message to the new President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, to wish him all the best and reaffirm the strong ties between the Grand Duchy and Portugal saying
Monsieur le Président,

En ce jour d’investiture à la présidence de la République portugaise, la Grande-Duchesse et moi-même vous adressons nos meilleurs vœux de réussite dans l’accomplissement de votre haute fonction.

Nous sommes particulièrement heureux de saluer en votre personne un ami et un connaisseur du Luxembourg. 

Les liens exceptionnels d’amitié entre nos deux États et nos populations seront encore renforcés par votre engagement personnel. 

Au nom du peuple luxembourgeois, nous nous réjouissons de l’exemplarité de notre relation au sein de l’Union européenne.

Sophie Receives 200,000 Swiss Francs for Syrian Children

Photo: Liechtensteiner Vaterland /
The government and municipalities of Liechtenstein have donated 100,000 Swiss Francs each to the International Red Cross to help finance winter clothes for about 6000 Syrian children. Today, Hereditary Princess Sophie, as president of the Principality's branch of the organisation, received Liechtenstein's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Education and Culture Aurelia Frick, Vaduz mayor Ewald Ospelt, the head of the municpality of Balzers Hansjörg Büchel, as well as Liechtenstein Red Cross delegate Christian Tohmé at Schloss Vaduz for the symbolic handing over of the cheque.

More information at both Vaterland and Volksblatt.

Maria Teresa and Tessy Mark International Women's Day

Photo: ©Cour grand-ducale/ Clément Fauquet / tous droits réservés
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa participated in International Women's Day on March 8th, in her role as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO. She was active in a roundtable event that focused on the role of women in responding to, and preventing, radicalization and terrorism. Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO, chaired the roundtable, which also included such recognized experts as Dr. Feride Acar, Hanaa Edwar, Yosra Frawes, Jayne Huckerby, and Mina Kaci. The Grand Duchess, in particular, spoke against the radicalization of young women.

Also, Princess Tessy's event in Geneva wasn't her only event for Monday. She and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa were at a lunch in Paris to mark the start of the symposium "Les femmes acteur de paix dans le monde" which will be held next year in Luxembourg. The luncheon also included the invited ambassadors for the symposium: Maggy Barankitsee, Albina du Boisrouvray, Chekeba Hachemi, Irène Frain, Frédérique Dedet, Ingrid Betancourt, Adélaïde de Clermont Tonnerre, Valérie Expert, and Sarah Doraghi.

Photo: ©Cour grand-ducale/ Clément Fauquet / tous droits réservés

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Princess Tessy Supports International Women's Day

On Monday, Princess Tessy was in Geneva as part of her ongoing support for International Women's Day. She is joined by Dr. Raymonde Goudou-Coffie, who is the Minister for Health and Public Hygiene in Côte d’Ivoire. Dr. Goudou-Coffie has also been active in the fight against HIV and AIDS, and the proceeds from the day's events will go to support women who are living with HIV.

Among the day's activities will be a performance by dancers from the Rudra Béjart School of Dance. The school is jointly organizing the event along with UNAIDS.

A video of the event available from Instagram.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Henri and Maria Teresa at Luxembourg Filmprais

Photo: Guy Jallay / Luxemburger Wort /
The 7th Luxembourg Filmprais event occurred on Saturday evening, with Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa in attendance, as well as Prime Minister Xavier Bettel. The event, which is jointly organized by d'Filmakademie and Film Fund Luxembourg, at the Grand Theatre de la Ville de Luxembourg. Eugénie Anselin and Claude Frisoni hosted the evening, while Eng Nei Zäit (Samsa Film) won for Best Luxembourg Film.

Other winners include The Light Eater for Best Animation Short Film, Black Harvest for Best Documentary, and Quenottes for Best Fiction Short Film.

A little more information from Chronicle, with more photos and even some video of the event at Wort.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Prince Hans-Adam in Washington, D.C.

Prince Hans-Adam is in Washington, D.C., where he paid a visit to the Liechtenstein Embassy (photo above) and also spoke at the 9th International Students for Liberty Conference (ISFLC16). The conference website also notes that a member of Pussy Riot will be headlining as well, so there's quite a variety of options for attendees to experience.

A video of the event, with Prince Hans-Adam speaking just before the Theater of Public Policy segment, is shown below.
And another video, which showed up a bit later on YouTube:

What's (Not) Making Headlines: Births, Receptions, Court Cases

In happy news... Princess Xenia Galitzine, friend and relative of just about everyone covered on this blog or their spouse, and her husband Alberto Matta Maya had their third child yesterday. Felix Matta Galitzine was born on March 3 in Houston, Texas. A brother for Lidia and Damian.

In belated news... Back in January, Hereditary Prince Alois received representatives of different foundations from 23 European countries at Schloss Vaduz. They were in the Principality for a meeting of DAFNE, a network of 23 donors and foundations networks from across Europe, with a collective membership of over 7,500 foundations. More.

In legal news... Hartmut Lademacher, father of Princess Claire, is being sued for 30,000 euros in front of a German court. He and son Felix made a private cruise through the Greek islands in 2014 with their personal yacht "Conte Alberti". The company who organised the trip billed them 30,000 euros for various expenses such as repairs, dayages and more. Mr Lademacher now says that they weren't authorised to give orders. More.

In picture-less news... Grand Duke Henri received a delegation of attendees of the 3rd International Conference of the Consultative Function for an audience at the palais yesterday. The function was also attended by Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, read here and here, though we haven't seen pictures of that yet either.

In more reception news... Grand Duke Henri had another audience today. He received Habib Essid, Prime Minister of Tunisia, who was on an official visit to the Grand Duchy today.

Grand Duchess Talks the Monarchy Today and More

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa gave an interview to French news agency AFP on February 23. In the interview, the Grand Duchess talked about a variety of topics including her dream to return to her native Cuba, the new openness of the cour as well as the upcoming trial after being sued by a former maid. She stated that the Luxembourg monarchy should become more authentic and transparent in the future, and that she supports her husband's initiative to reorganise the cour. Regarding the upcoming trial, the Grand Duchess said that she would find it "unethical to solve our problems with taxpayer money". And thus no agreement behind closed doors was sought.

For a lengthy translation of the interview into English, make sure to check out Wort.

Burial of Princess Alienor Faye of Liechtenstein

Princess Alienor Faye of Liechtenstein, daughter of Prince Rudolf and Princess Tılsım and thus granddaughter of Prince Philipp, will be laid to rest in Vaduz tomorrow, March 5, at 11.30am. The young princess, whose name was previously reported as Alya Nur, died on December 13 while chocking on a piece of food which got stuck in her trachea while in the United States. She was one year old having been born on September 29, 2014. The Liechtenstein court released a statement about the burial today. Princess Alienor Faye will presumably be laid to rest at the family crypt of the Kathedrale St. Florin.

Guillaume Attends Consultative Function Dinner

On Thursday evening, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume the other attendees of the 3rd International Conference of the Consultative Function for a dinner at Château de Vianden. The dinner was hosted jointly by Viviane Ecker, the President of the Conseil d'Etat, and Marc Schaefer, the Mayor of Vianden.

Still awaiting photos, but they'll be added if and when they're made available.

Guillaume Attends Consultative Function Conference

On Thursday, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume was present for the 3rd International Conference of the Consultative Function, which is being held at the European Convention Center on March 3rd and 4th.

The event, which also acknowledges the 160th anniversary of Luxembourg's Conseil d'Etat, is part of a series of conferences for institutions that participate in the Annuaire Internationale de la Fonction Consultative (AIFC), first created in 2010. The two previous conferences were held in Colombia in 2010, and Mexico in 2012.

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume has been a member of Luxembourg's Conseil d'Etat since June 24, 2005. At the conference, Hereditary Grand Duke will participate in the sessions that explore how freedom of expression is evolving in the 21st century, in the context of public order, social media, and religion. Prime Minister Xavier Bettel is expected to speak at a morning session tomorrow, March 4th.

A little more about the schedule here.

No photos just yet. They'll be added if any photos show up.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Private Concert for the Grand Ducal Family

A string quartett with Stradivarius instruments worth 51 million euros gave a private concert at the palais grand-ducal for the Grand Ducal Family and invited guests including the President of Parliament, Mars di Bartoleomeo. Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Grand Duke Jean, as well as Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie listened to the performance of musicians Xiaoming Wang, Sebastian Bohren, lech Antonio Uszynski and Maya Weber. The four of them already played at the Klenge Maarnicher Festival last year and thus got their invite to the palais.

A gallery of visuals at Tageblatt.

A TnT Party with Princess Anunciata

Photo: Chatelles
Princess Elisabeth of Thurn und Taxis, the Vogue editing daughter of Princess TnT, has done some designing work for every noble girl/socialite/heiress' favourite slipper brand, Chatelles. A launch party was celebrated last night at the brand's Seventh Arrondissement showroom as part of the Paris Fashion Week. 

One of the guests for the intimate cocktail and dinner showcasing the three styles in the collaboration was Princess Anunciata, who is one of the very few people in this world - possibly only she and her siblings - who can call two uncles head of state. The daughter of Prince Nikolaus and Princess Margaretha happily posed for a pictures with Mr Chatelles himself, François du Chastel.

Prince Max in Bahrain

Photo: Bahrain News Agency
Prince Max, the CEO of LGT Group, is currently on a visit to Bahrain, during which he met with that country's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa. The prince's visit, which highlights the ongoing bilateral relationship between the countries, also focused on Bahrain's financial sector and the increasing diversification that it offers.

A little more information here. (The article notes Prince Philipp, although the photo says otherwise.)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Grand Duke Receives a Pretzel (or 4)

Photo: Cour grand-ducale
Literally. In the tastiest news of the year thus far, Grand Duke Henri received four pretzels today. The pretzels were accompanied by members of the Fédération des Patrons Boulangers-Pâtissiers du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg. The reason for the guests? Sunday is Bretzelsonndeg.

To quote our post from last year, when Guillaume and Stéphanie had the same honour,the pretzel represents an Easter tradition unique to Luxembourg and part of Bretzelsonndeg, or Pretzel Sunday, which is the fourth Sunday of Lent. 

According to tradition, this Sunday is an opportunity for young men to demonstrate their interest in young ladies by giving them a decorated pastry in the shape of a pretzel. In the event that the young lady reciprocates the interest, she can give the young man a chocolate egg in return, on Easter Sunday. The size of the response gift also tends to correspond to the original: that is, the young lady gives a large egg if the young man has given her a large pretzel cake. However, the tradition states that everything is reversed during a Leap Year: the young lady presents the pretzel, while the young man presents the chocolate egg."

Another picture at the cour.