Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Hereditary Prince Alois Welcomes U.S. Congressional Staff


On the 22nd, Hereditary Prince Alois received at Vaduz Castle a delegation of Congressional staff members who arrived in Liechtenstein at the invitation of Minister of Foreign Affairs Aurelia Frick. During the visit, they met with a number of officials and also engaged in discussion about the bilateral relations between Liechtenstein and the United States. Among the important topics were foreign policy and tax reforms that might affect Liechtenstein businesses in the United States.

Liechtenstein has maintained an embassy in Washington, D.C. since October of 2002.

Photos here as well.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Hans-Adam Talks About Princely Interests and Obligations

Photo: Joanna Birnbaum / Kleine Zeitung / kleinezeitung.at
Shortly before National Day in Liechtenstein, Prince Hans-Adam gave an interview from where he was visiting in Kalwang (within Styria, Austria). He discussed his own personal and family history of visiting Styria and the many good memories that it holds for the Princely family. The interviewer also talked about the Prince's business interests in Styria and abroad, and the Prince talked about how he has divided the different family responsibilities among his sons: state, banking, and land/business.

On a personal note, Prince Hans-Adam noted that in his youth he had expressed to his family a desire to study physics but that his rather pointed out "Hans-Adam, we cannot afford that. You have to study economics and law: economics to rebuild the fortune, and law because I want to give you the office of the head of state." The Prince has retained a love for physics, as well as archeology, as hobbies, just as his father studied mathematics as a personal interest.

The interview also touched on the Princely family's art collections and the Prince's own hard work to rebuild the family's financial standing (in part to continue the history of building the art collection). In response to the question about a "secret to success," Prince Hans-Adam highlighted the importance of the Princely family's closeness to the people of Liechtenstein, as well as their own commitment to paying privately for the monarchy. He offered the reminder that the state is a provider of services and that the people have the right to decide if the state is sufficiently accomplishing that requirement.

The full interview here.

Grand Duke Sends Letter of Condolence for Barcelona

Grand Duke Henri has sent a letter of condolence to the King of Spain, following the attacks in Barcelona:

Majesté, 

C’est avec stupeur que la Grande-Duchesse et moi-même avons appris la nouvelle des différentes attaques meurtrières en Espagne hier, notamment sur le boulevard des Ramblas à Barcelone.

Il nous tient à cœur de vous exprimer, au nom de tous nos compatriotes et en notre nom personnel notre profonde compassion et notre solidarité. Dans ce temps de deuil, je vous prie de vous faire l’interprète de notre profonde émotion auprès des victimes, leurs familles et du peuple espagnol tout entier.

Soyez assuré de notre solidarité inconditionnelle dans la défense de nos valeurs communes face à la violence aveugle.


Henri Grand-Duc de Luxembourg 


And the text of the letter, in translation:

It was with astonishment that the Grand Duchess and I learned the news of the various murderous attacks in Spain yesterday, notably on the Boulevard des Ramblas in Barcelona.

We are committed to expressing our deepest compassion and solidarity on behalf of all our compatriots and on our own behalf. In this time of mourning, I ask you to express our deep emotion with the victims, their families and the entire Spanish people.

Rest assured of our unconditional solidarity in defending our common values ​​in the face of indiscriminate violence.

A Little More National Day from Liechtenstein

Photo: Gian Ehrenzeller / Keystone / Vaterland / vaterland.li
After the official ceremony of Liechtenstein's National Day, the locals were able to mingle with the Princely family at the fun fair, which included a variety of performances and plenty of food. This is traditionally held in the afternoon and evening. Hereditary Prince Alois, in particular, gave another interview and also reached out to meet with the attendees and discuss some of the more pressing issues that face Liechtenstein society. Among these issues are the need for reforms in the care of the aging members of the population, as well as the current health care and nursing care of the country. Additionally, he commented on future economic opportunities, both domestic and international, for businesses in Liechtenstein.

Other family members were extremely likely there as well but just not spotted by the photographers (as far as we've seen). The evening was rounded off by the traditional fireworks and torchlight display. 

More photos at Vaterland, and more about the Hereditary Prince's comments here.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

National Day in Liechtenstein

Photo: Daniel Schwendener / Vaterland / vaterland.li
It's that time of the year again! While the rest of the (Catholic) world is celebrating the Feast of Assumption of the Virgin Mary today, the Principality of Liechtenstein is having its national day. First taking place in 1940, August 15 was actually chosen as national day for that exact reason: The day already was a public holiday in the Principality and it thus meant that no day of productivity was lost. (Plus, the late Prince Franz Josef's birthday was on August 16 but I just love the thriftiness of Liechtenstein's government, "No, you really don't need another day off, dear citizens.")

As always, pictures of the day are slightly hard to come by but we will do our best (with further updates to come). Thus far, we could spy Prince Hans-Adam II, Princess Marie, Hereditary Prince Alois, Hereditary Princess Sophie,  Princess Marie-Caroline, and Prince Nikolaus (Hans-Adam's brother) all in attendance. Other family members might also have been present, so we'll update as soon as we know more. Traditionally, the first part of the celebration, the state ceremony, was held on the castle meadow next to Schloss Vaduz. During the course of the act of state, both the president of the parliament as well as the Hereditary Prince, who is his father's regent, held speeches. This year, Hereditary Prince Alois focused his speech on the matters of an evolving population that reflects migration, as well as the realities of an increasingly digital world. For more about the speech, see here.

After the end of the state ceremony, the Princely Family made their way into the rose garden of Schloss Vaduz, where the traditional reception took place. This year, however, it was the first time that access to the garden was limited. Tickets were supplied in advance with the reason being that the reception had been so crowded during recent years that regular Liechtensteiners hardly had a chance to speak to their Fürst and his family due to many foreigners also trying to meet the royals.

Some photos from Vaterland here and here. UPDATE: Photos from Volksblatt here.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

More Photos of Prince Sébastien's Graduation

Photo: © Cour grand-ducale / Lola Velasco / Tous droits réservés
The Cour has released more photos of Prince Sébastien's graduation from Sandhurst, which occurred on August 11th.

Photo: © Cour grand-ducale / Lola Velasco / Tous droits réservés
King Abdullah II of Jordan was also there to review the troops, as his son Crown Prince Hussein was also among the graduates.

Photo: © Cour grand-ducale / Lola Velasco / Tous droits réservés
King Abdullah also spoke at the ceremony, commenting on his own time at Sandhurst, congratulating the graduates on their achievements, and reminding them of the importance of good leadership in their future military roles.

Photo: © Cour grand-ducale / Lola Velasco / Tous droits réservés
Several members of the Grand Ducal Family were present for his Passing Out Parade (or Sovereign's Parade): Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie, Prince Félix, Princess Claire, Prince Louis, and Princess Alexandra.

Photo: © Cour grand-ducale / Lola Velasco / Tous droits réservés
Prince Sébastien carries on a tradition of Sandhurst training: Grand Duke Jean graduated from Sandhurst in 1943, Grand Duke Henri graduated in 1975, and Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume graduated in 2002.

Photo: © Cour grand-ducale / Lola Velasco / Tous droits réservés

Photo: © Cour grand-ducale / Lola Velasco / Tous droits réservés
Following the Passing Out Parade, the graduates joined the attendees for a lunch at Old College Square.

Photo: © Cour grand-ducale / Lola Velasco / Tous droits réservés

UPDATE: A video is now available from RTL.





Prince Sébastien Graduates From Sandhurst, As Does Wenzel of Liechtenstein

Embed from Getty Images

Prince Sébastien has completed his training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Earlier today, he took part in the 184th Sovereign's Parade showing off his marching skills. No doubt he has learned a lot more during the 44 weeks long comissioning course at the prestigious academy, thus following in the footsteps of several family members. The tradition was started by Grand Duke Jean, who completed his education at Sandhurst in the midst of World War II. He was followed by two of his sons, Grand Duke Henri and Prince Jean, as well as four grandsons, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, Prince Josef, Prince Wenceslas and Archduke Alexander. Prince Félix also started the course but dropped out due to a knee injury. (More on the Luxembourgish and Liechtenstein adventures as Sandhurst, here.)

Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie, Prince Félix and Princess Claire, Prince Louis as well as Princess Alexandra were all there to support the youngest in the family on his big day. Unfortunately, we aren't very blessed with visuals of the event. We tried holding out until publishing this post until pictures of the new officer become available but they haven't yet. Here's hoping the cour will release some official pictures.

Embed from Getty Images

No word either on what Prince Sébastien will do next, though he could now join the Luxembourgish army full-time as he has been commissioned into Sandhurst on behalf of Luxembourg. No doubt we will see him for the first time in Luxembourgish uniform on next year's national day (provided he attends). In the meantime, check out some more photos at Getty Images.

By the way, Prince Sébastien wasn't the only royal to complete Britain's prestigious military academy today. Also in his course were Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan as well as Prince Wenzel of Liechtenstein, third child and oldest son of Prince Gundakar and his wife née Princess Marie of Orléans.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Book Review: "Jugenderinnerungen 1923-1950" by Princess Irmingard of Bavaria

gebrauchtes Buch – Prinzessin Irmingard von Bayern – Jugend-Erinnerungen 1923-1950
Princess Irmingard of Bavaria (1923-2010) was the second child and eldest daughter of Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria (1869-1955) and his second wife Crown Princess Antonia (1899-1954, born a Princess of Luxembourg). She was born in 1923 in Berchtesgarden Castle, the residence of the Crown Princely family.

Princess Irmingard's autobiography was published in 2000. She describes the first 27 years of her life, starting with her birth and ending with her marriage to Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, her first cousin.

Born into a former ruling family, Irmingard and her siblings enjoyed a free and happy family life, nevertheless with the knowledge of her family's past and of being "special" in her role as a princess. They didn't attend state schools but had private tutors and also weren't allowed to play with every child in the neighbouring villages. The tutors and the family's priest decided with whom the crown princely children should play. 

The crown princely family spent their time in Schloss Berchtesgarden until 1929. After that they divided the time between their winter residence in Munich, the so-called Leuchtenberg-Palais, and their summer residence Schloss Hohenschwangau in Schwangau (best known as one of the childhood homes of King Ludwig II). From 1933 onwards the family lived in Schloss Leutstetten.

Most of the time they spent their summer holidays in Luxembourg at Château de Berg and Bavaria at Schloss Hohenburg, the residences of Dowager Grand Duchess Maria-Ana, Irmingard's grandmother. Irmingard describes a get-together of the extended Grand-Ducal family which means the families of Aunt Lotti (Grand Duchess Charlotte) and her sisters Hilda, Antonia, Sophie and Elisabeth. She also tells her readers how the family regularly remembered Aunt Maus (mouse), the late Grand Duchess Marie-Adelaide and how the children played with each other. Her cousin Johany/Johnny is described especially well by Irmingard. Later he became Grand Duke Jean.

Times changed and became tougher when Adolf Hitler came to power. This was the reason why the family left Munich and moved to Leutstetten. Crown Prince Rupprecht was an opponent of the new regime and so the family had to deal with many difficulties.

Between 1936 and 1939 Irmingard, her sister Editha and two of her Luxembourgish  cousins Elisabeth and Marie Adelheid went to "Sacré Coeur" a boarding school in England. A year later her two younger sisters Hilda and Gabrielle followed. The families hoped to protect the girls, and Grand Duchess Charlotte and Crown Princess Antonia accompanied the girls in the first few days. At "Sacré Coeur" Irmingard had some famous classmates: Joan and Patricia Kennedy, as well as Benedikta and Maria Adelgunde of Hohenzollern ("Mädi and Mimi" in the book). During this time Irmingard, her sisters, and cousins were invited to meet Queen Mary.

With the start of World War II an odyssey started. The family spent the summer of 1939 in Luxembourg, and after that the girls moved to Brussels to enter another "Sacré Coeur" school. There they also met with Empress Zita of Austria and her children, who spent part of their exile in Steenokkerzeel near Brussels. The family returned to Munich but left the city shortly afterwards to live in Italy. King Vittorio Emanuele helped the family to flee by sending his private saloon car. In Italy the family spent some time in Rome where Prince Heinrich went into hiding, Florence where Crown Prince Rupprecht went into hiding as well as in Padua and Brixen.

After an assassination attempt on Hitler failed, the Gestapo (the Nazi's secret police) imprisoned Crown Princess Antonia and the rest of her children except of Irmingard who stayed with family friends during this time. Crown Princess Antonia was sent to a hospital in Innsbruck while her children were brought to the concentration camp Sachsenhausen. Later Princess Irmingard was also caught by the Gestapo and sent to Innsbruck as well because of typhus. There she met her mother. After their recovery they were sent into concentration camps as well, Irmingard to Sachsenhausen and Antonia was brought to Weimar. From Sachsenhausen Irmingard and her siblings were sent to Flossenbürg and later to Dachau. During this time the siblings didn't know about their parents' destiny. In April 1945 they were liberated by American soldiers and sent back to Schloss Leutstetten.

Princess Irmingard describes this horror very personally and emphatically. The despair of not knowing if and how to survive the next day is supported by various paintings by Irmingard, which she painted during and after her stay in the concentration camps. These paintings can also be seen at the "Museum der bayerischen Könige" in Schwangau.

After the war was over Irmingard was sent to the USA for recovery. Her sister Hilda married in Peru, and she was the only family member who took part in this wedding. The book ends with a detailed description of her father's 80th birthday celebrations, Irmingard's own wedding and the death of her mother. 

In her autobiography Irmingard of Bavaria gives a lively description of her family life in a time of unrest. She shows how close the extended Grand Ducal and Crown Princely family were and how they managed to stay in contact throughout the years. Her book includes many private family pictures, most of them never released before. It is a recommendation for everyone who is interested in the history of the houses of Wittelsbach and Nassau/Luxembourg from a more personal point of view.             

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Accidentally Opening Pandora's Box - or Royals Deserve Privacy Just Like Us

Have you ever felt like you have opened a can of worms? That you said something you shouldn't have? That you made a thoughtless comment in the spur of a moment that you later regretted? That's what happened to me the other day. Without thinking much, I said something about a significant other of one of the people we cover on this blog. This significant other wasn't generally known before the comment I made and with the information I provided, fellow royal watchers took it upon themselves to dig for further information and were successful. Since then the name of a private individual who just happens to be close to someone with a famous family name has been floating around the internet with some people even feeling the need to make more or less appropriate comments as well as publish further information.

Some will say: That's the price of dating royalty - but it shouldn't be. Of course there are occasionally cases, where the individual might want to get things out there, essentially negating the need for privacy. But that certainly wasn't the case here. The person in question and their significant other have never appeared together at a public event much less being photographed together or have officially spoken about each other. 

So why the need to basically throw them to the wolves in a day and age where something that is once written in a public space on the internet will never again fully disappear? For hits? To prove that you know something others don't? I am certainly not faultless in all of it and I regret making a - what I thought at the time - fairly innocent and - as it turns out - thoughtless comment about the nationality and family heritage of the person in question which led to their identity being revealed to the broad public. And even though they will very certainly never read this: My sincere apologies to everyone involved! I have certainly learned my lesson and will not make the same mistake again.

I know that we haven't always been as strict here at Luxarazzi, but it will definitely mean that we will become even more strict and careful than we are now about extra bits of information we mention here and there about members of both the Luxembourg and Liechtenstein families. Yes, royals are public figures, but in no way does that make it acceptable to intrude on their private life. They deserve the same respect and common courtesy that we all do. The very same goes for royal adjacent people, people that may not even have the same resources to protect themselves in a way that a royal would. Just because something is theoretically available online, doesn't mean it should be widely shared.

I very much understand that for a royal watcher, that kind of detail is tempting and may serve the purpose of establishing credibility to show that you know something others are not aware of. But your need to establish and promote yourself should not hurt another person who is just thrown under the bus in the process of doing so. Treat them as you would want to be treated. We are dealing with human beings and the human aspect of it, like how the people in question might feel, should always be our first concern - the number of hits your website gets or the number of likes your post on social media shouldn't.

Prince Jean Joins Ligne Cousins for Conference on the Future of Europe

Recently a conference entitled L'avenir d'Europe (The Future of Europe) took place at the Château de Belœil in Belgium, home of the Prince and Princess of Ligne. The Prince of Ligne, of course, is the son of Princess Alix of Luxembourg, younger sister of Grand Duke Jean. Among the guests for the conference, which included President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker as its speaker, was Prince Jean.

Interview with Princess Marie-Gabrielle and Antonius Willms

Photo: Point de Vue
This week's edition of Point de Vue features an article about newlyweds Princess Marie-Gabrielle of Nassau and Antonius Willms. The only daughter of Prince Jean and his first wife Hélène Vestur and her husband married civilly in Luxembourg in May of this year. Their religious wedding is to take place in Marbella, Spain, on September 2 at the Iglesia del Santo Cristo. In addition to information about the couple, how they met and how they live in Munich, Germany, the article also features a bunch of lovely photos of the couple. Definetely worth to check out!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

New Picture of Prince Louis and Sons

Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Lola Velasco
What a lovely surprise! The cour grand-ducale has released a new photo of Prince Louis and his sons, Princes Gabriel and Noah. Judging by their clothes and the green-ness (as in colour) of the trees in the background (or lack thereof), I'm guessing the picture was taken sometime this spring. The photo was released to mark Prince Louis' birthday. The Grand Duke's and Grand Duchess' third child turns 31 on Thursday this week.

Prince Nikolaus Attends "Signs of Connectedness" Service

On the 27th, Prince Nikolaus was in Schrun, Austria, to attend a service marking the "Signs of Connectedness" in honor of the founder of the Pan-European Union. On the 27th of July in 1972, Richard Nikolaus Coudenhove-Kalergi passed away in Schrun, and this 45th anniversary memorial event was particularly focused on the recognition of a merging of cultures and embracing of refugees.

The memorial service also included the blessing of a fountain by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. The service was held at the church of St. Jodok, and attendees included President of the National Council, Karlheinz Kopf, and President of the State Parliament, Harald Sonderegger, along with local Mayor Jürgen Kuster. Prince Nikolaus spoke at the event.

A little more information here. No photos at present, but they'll be added if any are made available.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Special Stamps of the Princely Couple

A special set of stamps was issued earlier this year to mark the golden wedding anniversary of the Prince Hans-Adam II and Princess Marie of Liechtenstein. In addition to the actual stamps, a special version featuring gold foil and a small ruby was also issued. Proceeds of the stamps go to the Liechtenstein Red Cross that was headed by the Princess for thirty years between 1985 and 2015. Hereditary Princess Sophie took over the Presidency of the organisation two years ago. It was she who received the first donation earlier this month.
Photo: ZVG

Princely Couple Gives Interview to Mark Golden Wedding Anniversary

Photo: Michael Zanghellini / Liechtensteiner Volksblatt / Volksblatt.li
Prince Hans-Adam II and Princess Marie are celebrating their golden wedding anniversary today. The couple is spending the day with their family at their holiday home in Styria with no big celebrations planned. To mark the occasion, the couple also gave interviews to Liechtenstein's major newspapers, Volksblatt and Vaterland. In the interviews, the couple talked about falling in love, their wedding and honeymoon as well as flying under the radar of the international media. Below are translated excerpts from the interview with Volksblatt.

You have been married for half a century now. But truth be told, you weren't immediately smitten by Hereditary Prince Hans-Adam, Your Serene Highness. He was very young when you first met, wasn't he?
Princess Marie: That's true. Our fathers went to the same school in Vienna and regarded each other very highly. My aunt was married to Prince Hans and lived in Vaduz. During the holidays, we visited our aunt. Princess Gina knew about it and invited us to the Schloss as her children were bored. Hans-Adam saw me and immediately fell in love.
Prince Hans-Adam: Yes, I was 16 years old at the time. I knew right away: I want to marry her. But I needed a while to convince her. There were several others who were interested in her. I was very young and still went to school in Switzerland, so I was much too young to marry.

How did you keep in contact?
Princess Marie: I lived in Munich at the time. We wrote a lot of letters to each others, speaking on the telephone was very expensive back then. I still have all the letters.

How did he finally sweep you off your feet, with expensive gifts?
Prince Hans-Adam: No, I couldn't have afforded that! (laughs)
Princess Marie: His intelligence, his natural happiness and his humour all played a role.

After you finished school, you were still too young. You first had to study economics...
Prince Hans-Adam: Yes, that was the way it was. My parents told me that I first had to finish an economics degree.
Princess Marie: Yes, not only your parents. Then Prime Minister Alexander Frick also wanted you to study economics to save the monarchy.

[...]

When you were married, you were only 22 - today many people marry much later. Your oldest grandson is now at the same age, would you recommend him to marry so young?
Prince Hans-Adam: Yes, if he has found the right one.

[...]

The search for the right wedding dress probably wasn't an easy one either.
Prince Hans-Adam: Yes, you thought that the dress could only be made in Paris and then travelled there with my mother.
Princess Marie: Yes, we went to famous couturier Jacques Heim. It was very time consuming to go back and forth a couple of times, but it turned out to be a beautiful dress.

Do you still have it?
Princess Marie: Yes, I do.

[...]

One question you didn't answer back then [during the press interviews] was where you would go on your honeymoon. You only told later that you went to Mexico.
Princess Marie: Yes, we first went to Paris and then to Mexico. It was simply wonderful.
Prince Hans-Adam: We were in Paris as Mister Ritz had invited us to come stay in his hotel. He knew my parents and it was his wedding gift. That was an opportunity that we couldn't pass up. He thought it was a great PR for him and so it became known pretty quickly. After a few days, we went to Mexico. We were able to have a quiet and relaxed time there. It was probably too far away for people to recognise us. 
Princess Marie: We liked Mexico very much. We rented a car and went from Mexico City to Manzanillo and took a lot of detours. We knew someone who had a hotel in Manzanillo on the Pacific Ocean. 

[...]

Is there a reason why you try to avoid the press?
Princess Marie: You know, it's pretty invaluable that we are able to move around freely. In other monarchies, that is different. It's very burdensome for people if they are constantly followed around.
Prince Hans-Adam: Yes, we had an experience with the British royal family. My parents were friends with the British royal couple. Prince Philip, the Queen's husband, often came here to Liechtenstein on his own and liked the peace and quiet. He took my mother's car, just drove around and painted in the nature. He speaks German very well and was always very amused when he was asked by the mountain farmers in Triesenberg "What are you painting there?" (in local dialect using the informal "Du" instead of the normal "Sie" for people you do not know in German) without knowing who he is. Prince Philip thought that his children would be able to ski here without much attention. Then he came with Princess Anne and Prince Charles. However, there was a leak at Buckingham Palace and the press knew they were coming. There soon was speculation that I was to marry Princess Anne and that my sister Nora and Prince Charles were to to wed. When they were here, we were basically flooded by journalists. We saw what a hype it was and what it would mean. The press people even rented helicopters to take good pictures and tried to bribe our staff. We had to leave the Schloss in the back of a delivery van of a local bakery. That was pretty adventurous and not in a good way. We learned from it and decided to keep our value to the market low. Since then we try to be photographed as less as possible. It helps our children and grandchildren who are, like my wife said, able to move around freely. In contributes to our quality of life. 

[...]

How do you experience it whenever you are out and about in Liechtenstein? You surely are being recognised here.
Princess Marie: Yes, it's very good for us here. The people have a very good intuition: I find them to be very respectful. The people smile and greet us, but they don't come up to us and take pictures when we are eating pizza somewhere.
Prince Hans-Adam: We have a very normal contact with the people. That was already the case for my parents. It's one of the advantages of a small country.

[...]

Were you equally adamant as a father [as you were in political matters]?
Prince Hans-Adam: From an early age on, I tried to raise my children to think independently. I also discussed political matters with the from early on and asked them what they would do in my place. Alois knew that he would take over the state affairs one day. Maximilian has always enjoyed working with numbers, even when he was a boy he had an interest in economics and finance. Therefore I always hoped that he would one day take over LGT. Constantin always loved nature, already as a young boy. He got his shooting license early on and was interested in forestry and agriculture. That's the reason he is now responsible for that part of our properties, the estates and forests in Austria as well as the rice business. With the rice and seed business we are active in North and South America as well as India now.
Princess Marie: I think our children always knew what he wanted from them. On the other hand, he was always a very humorous father, we laugh a lot together in our family. He couldn't have been a better father. But children should know that you have to learn and work to have it easier later in life. We also see it in our grandchildren that it has been passed on.

You have no less than 15 grandchildren!
Princess Marie: Yes, Tatjana has the most - she has seven children. (laughs)

Are you a normal Nana and Neni (grandmother and grandfather) who well and truly indulge their grandchildren?
Princess Marie: Well, we try not to indulge them too much. That would be wrong. But of course we are affectionate and love them very much and like to spend time with them. That's only natural.

Do you see them often?
Princess Marie: Well, the children of the Hereditary Prince, who live here, are already a bit older and study abroad. So we don't see each other that often anymore. The whole family really is together once a year for Easter. Everyone is coming to the Schloss for the weekend.
Prince Hans-Adam: In addition, we regularly spend our summer holidays together on our estate in Styria. That is also where we are going to celebrate our wedding anniversary.

Will there be a major celebration?
Princess Marie: No, no ball or something along those lines. Our house would be too small for that. It will be just wonderful to all be there and spend time together.
Prince Hans-Adam: We will also have a mass with a priest who is a friend of ours. Then we will have a luncheon together. So there won't be a spectacular celebrations like for our wedding. (laughs)

P.S. This is an unofficial translation of the interview done by us. To learn more about the wedding of Prince Hans-Adam and Princess Marie, have a look here. We also have a two part biography of Princess Marie which also includes bits and bops of their courtship, to be found here and here.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Grand Ducal Family Evacuated from Holiday Home

Earlier today, at around 1am, members of the Grand Ducal Family including Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, several of their children, Grand Duke Jean and members of the more extended family were evacuated from their homes holiday home in the south of France. Wildfires are currently raging in the area around Cabasson. At least 10,000 people were evacuated by French authorities.

In a statement released by the cour, the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess thanked the French authorities, including the local mayor, police and firefighters, for their exemplary work. All the members of the Grand Ducal Family are in fine health and in a secure location.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Prince Félix Celebrates "Lorgues, Terre de Vins"

On the vineyard front, Prince Félix participated in the founding celebration of the association Lorgues, Terre de Vins. The event was held at Château les Crostes, with eleven other participants in the Lorgues wine-making community. The goal was to highlight the importance of the region, its terroir, and what it has to offer the wider world of French wines. Prince Félix is the new association's president.

A video from Facebook:

Saturday, July 15, 2017

(No) Update on Louis and Tessy

On January 19 of this year, the cour grand-ducale announced the decision of Prince Louis and his wife of ten years Tessy to divorce. A month later, the decree nisi was issued by a London court though, as we were informed by the cour, this didn't mean that the couple were divorced yet. This then, we haven't heard any more news about the couple's relationship status. Prince Louis as since not had any official events and has only attended two kinda public family events, the baptism of his nephew and the civil wedding of his cousin Marie-Gabrielle. I say kinda, as pictures were only received afterwards.

Over the past week or so, the cour grand-ducale has removed the biography of the probably already former Princess Tessy from their official website. Gone as well as the family pictures of Prince Louis, his presumably former wife and two sons. Apart from wondering about the fact why the photos of Prince Gabriel and Prince Noah were deleted as well, it is probably a sign that behind the scenes the divorce has either been finalised or is in the last stages to being finalised.

The only mention of Tessy in Prince Louis' section now reads as, "Two sons were born from his marriage with Tessy Antony: Prince Gabriel Michael Louis Ronny, born in Geneva on March 12, 2006 and Prince Noah Etienne Guillaume Gabriel Matthias Xavier, born in Luxembourg on September 21, 2007." Louis' biography neither mentions his wedding date nor the divorce date.

Japanese Royal Visit to Luxembourg

Earlier this month, Princess Hisako of Takamado, member of the Japanese royal family, visited Ireland to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Japan and Ireland. On her way to Ireland, she apparently dropped by the Grand Duchy. A very crappy Google translation of a Japanese article tells us, "On the way, I was dropped by Luxembourg at the invitation of a famous friends Henri Henri." Let's assume that this 'famous friends Henri Henri" is indeed the Grand Duke.

The Palais Grand-Ducal Holds Student Tours

Photo: © Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli / tous droits réservés
From July 10th until July 13th, the Palais grand-ducal opened its doors to local students from Cycle 4 of the educational system. This is the seventh consecutive year the palace has welcomed students (see here for last year), in collaboration with the Luxembourg City Tourist Office (LCTO). Students learned about the history of the Palais grand-ducal, in addition to how the Grand Ducal family lives and works. The tour also included information about the art and decor within the palace.

The students tours totaled more than 800 young people from 28 different schools. The visitors were first welcomed by a palace staff member and then guided on the tour by a guide from LCTO. The students also got a sneak peek of the upcoming exhibit "1817-2017 : Bicentenaire de la naissance du Grand-Duc Adolphe¦ un «luxembourgeois» de cœur et d’âme" ("1817- 2017: Bicentenary of the birth of Grand Duke Adolphe, a 'Luxembourgeois' with heart and soul"), which will be opened to the public at the annual Palais grand-ducal opening that starts July 15th and runs through September 3rd.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla Interested in the White Paper

Back in May, Prince Guillaume and his wife, Princess Sibilla, attended an event on the White Paper on the Future of the European Union. Also in attendance was Ms. Yuriko Backes who is the Head Representative of the European Commission in Luxembourg. Ms. Backes tweeted a picture of herself with the royal couple. 

The White Paper outlines five options for the future of the European Union. You may read more about the White Paper at the European Commission



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume at Wimbledon

Photo: AFP / Reuters
Another day at Wimbledon, another grand ducal spectator. This time it was Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume's turn to support Gilles Müller. Unfortunately, the Hereditary Grand Duke didn't turn out to be the same lucky charm his brother Félix was a few days ago when Müller beat Rafael Nadal to advance to the quarter finals. Today, he faced Marin Cilic and lost in a five set match with 6:3, 6:7, 5:7, 7:5 and 1:6. Nonetheless Müller got big cheers from Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Prime Minister Xavier Bettel.

A bunch of more pictures at Wort.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Grand Duke Celebrates La Francophonie

Photo: Dominique Gaul / Cour grand-ducale
Yesterday, Grand Duke Henri attended the opening ceremony of the 43rd edition of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie and the 8th edition of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie. The parliamentary assembly celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The International Organisation of La Francophonie comprises of 57 member states and governments, three associate members and twenty observers. French is one of the three national languages of Luxembourg and the Grand Duchy is also a member of the organisation.

More information at Tageblatt, more pictures at the cour.

Alois Attends Opening of Technopark Liechtenstein

Photo: Volksblatt / Volksblatt.li
On the 7th, Hereditary Prince Alois attended the two-years-in-the-making opening of Technopark Liechtenstein, which aims to support start-ups in the Principality. The Hereditary Prince was joined by a number of individuals active in business, science, and politics. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economics Daniel Risch spoke at the event, along with Magnus Tuor, the Chairman and co-founder of Technopark.

Technopark Liechtenstein currently supports several start-ups, with at least six more in the application process.

A little more information at Volksblatt.

Henri Receives Secretary-General of La Francophonie

Photo: © Cour grand-ducale / tous droits réservés
On the 10th, Grand Duke Henri received in audience the Secretary-General of La Francophonie, Michaëlle Jean. She is currently in Luxembourg as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of La Francophonie's Assemblée parlementaire.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Prince Félix at Wimbledon

Photo: Corinne Dubreuil/ABACA
Probably a bit of Luxembourgish sporting history was written today as Gilles Müller beat Rafael Nadal with 6-3 6-4 3-6 4-6 15-13 in a thrilling round of sixteen match at Wimbledon. There to witness the occasion was Prince Félix. Müller, currently the world number 85, will next face Marin Cilic of Croatia. About the royal spectator Müller said after the match, "I heard he was going to come. We know each other. He's a big tennis fan. The whole family plays tennis and likes tennis. It was fun to have him here."

Astor/Mérode Wedding

It's the wedding season and back in June there was another noble wedding attended by a member of the Luxembourg and Liechtenstein families. This time around it was Princess Alexandra who was among the guests for the wedding of the Honourable Charles Astor, only son of Lord and Lady Astor of Hever, and Princess Eliane de Mérode, only daughter of Prince and Princess Leonel de Mérode at Château de Guignicourt in Guignicourt-sur-Vence in France. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Guillaume and Stéphanie Support Photographers in Arles

Photo: David Nivière / Luxemburger Wort / Wort.lu
On the 7th, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie were in Arles, France, to support photographers from Luxembourg. The event, "Les Rencontres de la Photographie," features almost 250 participants from a number of countries and with the support of numerous museums (including the Bibliotèque Nationale de FranceMusée de l'Élysée, the Tate Modern, and the Fundación Mapfre). From Luxembourg, there were 26 different photographic artists featured in the exhibition. The event runs from July 3rd through September 24th.

The Hereditary Grand Ducal couple attended the vernissage on Friday evening, along with Secretary for State of Culture Guy Arendt, and then later attended a viewing of the collection.

Some more photos from Wort.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

A Royal Wedding in Hanover

Photo: Luxarazzi
Today, Hereditary Prince Ernst-August of Hanover married his longtime girlfriend Ekaterina Malysheva in, you guessed it, Hanover. Among the guests for the religious ceremony at the Marktkirche was Princess Anunciata, niece of both the Grand Duke of Luxembourg and the Prince of Liechtenstein, and her boyfriend. A reception took place afterwards at the Herrenhausen Gardens with the evening party taking place at Schloss Marienburg near Hanover. 

Yours truly was also in Hanover today to snap a few pictures and so you can see more about this wedding and its guests over at Castleholic.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Grand Duke Henri Opens New Rail Terminal

Photo: RTL / rtl.lu
On Friday the 7th, Grand Duke Henri was also present for the opening of a new rail terminal that will hold up to 300,000 containers. The terminal, which spans 33 hectares and cost 221 million euros, expands the traffic options and increases the opportunities for trade. A large hall of more than 30,000 square meters opened on the site in January and has space to hold up to 46,000 pallets.

François Bausch, the Minister of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, and Deputy Prime Minister Etienne Schneider were also in attendance for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

A little more, including a video, from RTL.

Grand Duke Henri Attends Luxembourg Philharmonic Concert

Photo: © Willy de Jong / Cour grand-ducale / monarchie.lu
On the 7th, Grand Duke Henri attended a concert by the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg (OPL), as part of the Festival International Echternach. The current artist-in-residence, British violinist Daniel Hope, also performed the Philip Glass Violin Concerto, with the rest of the concert including music by Pärt and Tchaikovsky. Kahchun Wong conducted.

More photos from the Cour website

Maria Teresa Hands Out Technical College Diplomas

Photo: © Cour grand-ducale / Dominique Gaul / tous droits réservés
On the 7th, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa was in the Merl district to award graduating students of the Lycée Technique pour Professions de Santé (Technical College for Health Professions). The students included members of the nursing and health sciences program. The Grand Duchess also gave a speech for the event.

A few more photos from the Cour website.

Fashion Friday: June 24th - July 7th

After the special National Day edition in the last Fashion Friday post, we're back to the normal edition.

But first, a little update on Stéphanie's outfit during the National Day celebrations. Her hat was by Les Folie's Bibis. Since the embellishment on the hat are really similar to the embellishment on the neckline of her dress, we are wondering if these embellishments were added on Stéphanie's demand to the original dress (that still isn't identified). The hat is custom made and features sinamay, crin and small broderie. This is the second time, the Hereditary Grand Duchess has worn a hat by Sylvia Martinez, who we interviewed earlier this year. (Also many thanks to Sylvia for sending us a picture of the hat.)

Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli / tous droits réservés
Photo: Les Folies Bibi's
For the first Garden Party on July 27th, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie wore a new blue dress that I haven't been able to identify yet. Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa wore a black top with Etro printed cropped trousers.

Photo: Roland Miny


Photo: etro

While in Geneva on June 29th, Maria-Teresa wore two outfits. The first one was her white Armani jacket (also owned in red and in black) with a Sophie Habsburg clutch.

Photo: Mukwege Foundation / Jeppe Schilder

Photo: armani
Photo: sophiehabsburg
The second one was a grey blazer with a printed top. I believe both of these are by Armani as the top reminds me of the Armani top shown below.

Photo: UNICEF / PFP / 2017
Photo: armani

For the second Garden Party on June 30th, Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa wore an Armani top with gold Prada pumps. 
Photo: Laurent Blum / Luxemburger Wort / Wort.lu

Photo: armani

Photo: prada

Stéphanie wore a Valentino white printed dress. This primavera print was a trademark of their Pre-Fall 2015 collection, as shown by the dress below.

Photo: Laurent Blum / Luxemburger Wort / Wort.lu

Photo: Valentino
On July 4th, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa were in Mondorf-les-Bains to attend the start of the fourth stage of the Tour de France. Maria-Teresa wore old black printed Max Mara trousers with a white clutch that I believe is by Bottega Veneta.

Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli / tous droits réservés

Photo: maxmara
On July 5th, Maria-Teresa attended a conference about micro-finance. She wore a green printed jacket (possibly Armani) with a green Bottega Veneta clutch.
Photo: ADA/Olivier Minaire

Photo: bottegaveneta

What did you think of Maria-Teresa and Stephanie's latest outfits ?