Thursday, December 8, 2016

Grand Ducal Family Celebrates 125th Anniversary of Own Dynasty

Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Grand Duke Jean, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie as well as members of the Grand Ducal Family were announced to mark the 125th anniversary of the Luxembourg-Nassau Dynasty with a family photo and a light show today - and well, a right grand ducal celebration with loads and loads of family members it was...
Photo: Pierre Matgé / Luxemburger Wort /
First row, from left
Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Grand Duke Jean, Grand Duke Henri, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie (in Valentino)
Second row
Prince Guillaume, Princess Margaretha, Archduchess Marie-Astrid, Prince Jean
Third row
Princess Sibilla, Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein, Archduke Carl-Christian, Countess Diane de Nassau
Fourth row
Princess Eleonora of Ligne, Prince Michel de Ligne, Prince Robert of Luxembourg, Baroness Sophie de Potesta, Countess Monica of Holstein-Ledreborg
Fifth row
Countess Silvia of Holstein-Ledreborg, Countess Lydia of Holstein-Ledreborg, Princess Anne of Ligne, Baron Jean-Louis de Potesta, Henrik de Jonquières.
Sixth row
John Munro of Foulis, Countess Tatiana of Holstein-Ledreborg, Prince Wauthier of Ligne, Chevalier Charles de Fabribeckers de Cortils de Grâce, Princess Sophie de Ligne.
Seventh row
Countess Antonia of Holstein-Ledreborg, Mark von Riedemann, Princess Régine of Ligne, Prince Lamoral of Ligne, Princess Jacqueline of Ligne

As you may notice by the diverse names, all the children of Grand Duke Jean as well as children of his brother and almost all of his sisters were present for the occasion - what a nice surprise! Can we make this happen more often? Maybe through in some more grandchildren into the mix?

The occasion for the large family gathering was the closing of the celebrations of the 125th anniversary of the Luxembourg-Nassau dynasty. The former Duke Adolph of Nassau became Grand Duke of Luxembourg in November of 1890 upon death of King-Grand Duke Willem III. He arrived in Luxembourg on December 8, 126 years ago today, together with his wife and heir to take his oath on the constitution. 

Grand Duke Adolph had inherited the Luxembourgish throne based on the Nassau family pact. Already in 1783, the two lines of the House of Nassau - the other one once ruled Luxembourg and still rules the Netherlands - had formed the Nassauischer Erbverein, which covered the areas of inheritance and succession. It stated that if one line of the House of Nassau became extinct in male line, the other one succeed. It was also agreed that the pact would be applied to those territories owned or acquired in the then Holy Roman Empire. Even though Luxembourg had been acquired after the pact was formed and even after the Holy Roman Empire came to its end, it was still part of the German Confederation which was considered as the Empire's successor.

On this basis, the Grand Duchy was inherited by the House of Nassau-Weilburg. While there were efforts to change the Luxembourgish law of succession so that a female could inherit the throne, it is generally said that King Willem III's wife, Queen Emma, a niece of Duke Adolph had campaigned against such a change so that her uncle would once again become a sovereign. Over the course of the last year, there have been various celebrations to mark the 125th anniversary of these events. Apart from the large family gathering, there was also a light show as part of the "Luxembourg Light Nights". The light projected the history of the Luxembourg-Nassau dynasty and Luxembourg's history onto the facade of the palais grand-ducal. This video by RTL gives a few insights into the preparations. Wort has more pictures of the event itself, as does Tageblatt. The family also attended the Christmas market after the show

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