Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Games of the Small States of Europe: Opening and First Day

Photo: Yann Hellers / Luxemburger Wort / Wort.lu
Every two years, Europe's smallest states gather for the Games of the Small States of Europe. This year it was San Marino's turn to host the multi-sport event. Over the course of the coming week, sportspeople from Andorra, Cyprus, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro and San Marino will compete for medals in the following sports: Athletics, basketball, cycling, golf, gymnastics, judo, shooting, swimming, table tennis, tennis and volleyball.

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie as well as Princess Nora, Liechtenstein's IOC member, were on hand to witness the opening ceremony yesterday and the first day of competition that saw both the Grand Duchy and the Principality bag a few medals. Wort has Luxembourg-centric pictures of yesterday and today; Vaterland Liechtenstein-centric ones.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Grand Duke Henri Visits natur&ëmwelt Projects

Photo: © Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli / tous droits réservés
Also on the 26th, Grand Duke Henri visited a number of projects by the foundation natur&ëmwelt, of which he has been a patron since 2008. Also part of the visit were the activities of Fondation Hëllef fir d'Natur, a participant with natur&ëmwelt, that works toward increasing biodiversity in the Grand Duchy.

Among the projects that the Grand Duke visited were the protected pastures, where he also learned about efforts in shepherding, in addition to the return of beavers at the ponds around the commune of Weiler. Finally, Grand Duke Henri heard a little more about the LIFE Eislek project, which focuses on restoring the wetlands and related habitats of several endangered species (including the violet copper butterfly, in addition to the whinchat and red-backed shrike bird species).

Several other photos, as well as further information, available from the Cour.

Henri Receives President of Miami University

Photo: Cour grand-ducale
On the 26th, Grand Duke Henri received in audience the new President of Miami University in Luxembourg, Dr. Gregory P. Crawford. Also pictured at the audience are Dr. Thierry Leterre, the Dean of Miami University in Luxembourg, and Dr. Renate Crawford, Adjunct Professor of Physics and Ambassador for Miami University.

Information from the Cour.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Fashion Friday: May 21 - May 26

We are starting this week's Fashion Friday post with two updates! At the wedding of Princess Marie-Gabrielle's last week, Princess Margaretha wore a beautiful printed pink skirt. I found it to be from Tara Jarmon.

Foto: Anouk Antony/ Luxemburger Wort/Wort.lu

Princess Claire wore a beautiful white dress with her Aquazzura shoes at the baptism of her son Prince Liam's a few weeks ago. Her dress is from British brand Beulah London.
© Cour grand-ducale / Lola Velasco / Tous droits réservés

I also have an update for Maria-Teresa's outfit at the baptism! It is from the Belgian designer Yves Dooms!
On May 19th , Grand-Duke Henri and Grand-Duchess Maria-Teresa attended an academic session for the 50th anniversary of the Conseil National de Défense Sociale. Maria-Teresa wore a red Armani jacket. She also owns this jacket in white and in black.
© Cour grand-ducale / Didier Sylvestre / tous droits réservés


On May 21st, the Grand Ducal Family celebrated the closing of the Octave. The ladies wore beautiful outfits. Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa's first outfit was a custom made matching coat and dress by Yves Dooms. She paired it with Prada shoes and a nude clutch.

Photo: René Scho / RTL / RTL.lu

Her second outfit was also a custom made coat and dress by Yves Dooms, similar to the one she wore in the morning. I think her clutch is by Elie Saab, similar to the one pictured here.

Foto: Laurent Blum/Luxemburger Wort/Wort.lu

Hereditary Grand-Duchess Stephanie wore a new dress with her Sergio Rossi clutch. Her hat is by Les Folie's Bibis (you can read our interview with the designer from January here). I think that her nude shoes might be by Manolo Blahnik but I can't confirm this. I got in touch with Weill about her dress but they haven't answered me yet.


Claire wore a new Beulah London dress with her Aquazzura gold shoes. The Duchess of Cambridge also wore that dress in 2012.

On May 23th, the President of Portugal started a state visit in Luxembourg. He was welcomed by the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess. Maria-Teresa wore another custom made Yves Dooms coat and dress. Guillaume and Stéphanie joined the grand ducal couple and the President for lunch at the palais. Stephanie wore a new pink lace dress with her Sophie Habsburg clutch and Sergio Rossi shoes.
Photo:SIP / Charles Caratini



Maria-Teresa's purple coat and dress for the rest of the day are also custom made by Yves Dooms.

Photo:SIP / Charles Caratini
For the gala dinner, Maria-Teresa wore a custom made Yves Dooms gown, specifically made for her. Stephanie wore a new black gown that I haven't identified yet.

Photo: SIP / Charles Caratini

On May 24th, for the reception during the state visit, Maria-Teresa wore another custom made Yves Dooms gown with a yellow shawl. Stephanie wore a new Paule Ka gown and her Sergio Rossi red pumps.

© Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli / tous droits réservés



On May 25th, the President of Portugal spent his last day in Luxembourg. Maria-Teresa wore a new jacket. It is by Armani, with the same print as this top.

© Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli / tous droits réservés

We also had a surprise event for Prince Félix and Princess Claire on May 23th. They attended a charity dinner for Le Sourire de Lucie. Thanks to Sarah, I can tell you that Princess Claire wore a Denis Durand gown, that I think is custom made. Her clutch is by O'Nolan and her earrings are by Orus.

© Mathieu Buzzanca / tous droits réservés

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I'd like to publicly thanks Yves Dooms for his help and cooperation when I got in touch with him about Maria-Teresa's outfits. Not every designers are that nice and cooperative and I really appreciated it! Also a big thank you to the cour for providing information.

Prince Philipp Speaks at the Harvard Club

On the 25th, Prince Philipp was at the Harvard Club in New York City to deliver part two of the Hassib J. Sabbagh Lecture on Diplomacy. The focus of the talk was on "The Sovereign Citizen," and Prince Philipp was there at the invitation of the Foreign Policy Association.

No photos at present, but they'll be added it any are made available.

Félix and Claire at Charity Dinner in Cannes

Photo: Mathieu Buzzanca / tous droits réservés 
On Tuesday this week, Prince Félix and Princess Claire attended a gala dinner supporting the organisation Le Sourire de Lucie, which helps the families with children that are affected by Sjögren-Larsson Syndrome. The syndrome is "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."

Prince Félix and Princess Claire are long time supporters of Le Sourire de Lucie and actually honorary president of the organisation. The event took place as part of the ongoing 70th Cannes Film Festival. The couple is pictured above together with Sylvie Attias, one of the organisers of the evening.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Grand Duke and Grand Duchess Join Portuguese President for Pilgrimage

Photo: Lex Kleren / Luxemburger Wort / Wort.lu
Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa privately prolonged his stay in the Grand Duchy following the state visit to take part in the  pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Fátima above Wiltz, in the northern part of Luxembourg. He was accompanied by Grand Duke Henri (in the most Portugal-coloured tie you will ever find) and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa for the occasion. The Grand Duchess offered the flowers she received upon her arrival as a gift to the statue of Our Lady of Fátima.
Photo: Domingos Oliveira / RTL / RTL.lu
Each year on Ascension Thursday in Wiltz, tens of thousands of people pay homage to Our Lady of Fátima, the Virgin Mary who appeared six times in 1917 to three children in Fátima, a small village in central Portugal. Two of the children, of course, were recently canonised by the Catholic Church. The shrine of Our Lady of Fátima above Wiltz was set up in 1951 by a group of local parishioners, who, having taken refuge in a cave during the Battle of the Ardennes in the winter of 1944-45, promised to erect a sanctuary after the war if they survived unharmed. It was officially inaugurated on July 13, 1952.
Photo: Domingos Oliveira / RTL / RTL.lu
The first official pilgrimage to the sanctuary was made more than 15 years later by about a hundred people, almost exclusively from the Portuguese community who had migrated to Luxembourg in the 1960s. It has since grown to about 20,000 pilgrims each year. While this year marks the 100th anniversary of the apparition of the Virgin Mary to the children of Fátima, the pilgrimage in Wiltz took place for the 50th time. It remains especially popular with people of Portuguese ancestry living in Luxembourg, which make up an estimated 120,000 of the 550,000 people living in the Grand Duchy. 

Pictures and video at Wort, Contacto and RTL.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Second Day of Portuguese State Visit to Luxembourg

Today was the second day of the Portuguese state visit to the Grand Duchy. (For the daytime activities of Day 1, have a look here; for the glittering end of the day, here.) We will conveniently only cover the grand ducal related parts of the state visit by President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. For a full intinerary (in French), have a look here.
Photo: SIP / Charles Caratini
This morning, Grand Duke Henri and his guest from Portugal visited Château de Betzdorf. Once a home of the Grand Ducal Family and actually birthplace of Luxembourg's head of state, the castle now is the headquarters of SES, a satellite communication services company. After a brief presentation of the company's activities, the heads of state visited the Satellite Control Center. The visit of SES ended with a meeting of the President of the Portuguese Republic with employees of Portuguese nationality.
Photo: SIP / Jean-Christophe Verhaegen
President Rebelo de Sousa was then accompanied for several events by Prime Minister Xavier Bettel before being joined by the Grand Duke for a visit to Esch-Belval. Belval is a former brownfield turned scientific and cultural center, hosting the scientific academy of the Université de Luxembourg as well as Rockhal, the Grand Duchy's largest music venue. At the "City of Science", they got a presentation on urban planning and the urban design concept of a blast furnaces terrace.
Photo: SIP / Charles Caratini
At the House of Knowledge, the President and the Grand Duke were welcomed by Romain Martin, Vice-President of the University of Luxembourg, and the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Educational Sciences, Georg Mein. After a presentation by the University of Luxembourg, a cooperation agreement was signed between the universities of Luxembourg and Porto. In addition, President Rebelo de Sousa had the chance to meet with Portuguese people and Luxembourgers of Portuguese ancestry studying in Luxembourg.
Photo: SIP / Charles Caratini
Back in town, the Grand Duke and the Portuguese President were joined by Grand Duchess Maria Teresa for a visit to the National Museum of History and Art for a guided tour of the exhibition "Portugal - Drawing the World". They also visited the Cathédrale Notre-Dame, where they were welcomed by the Archbishop of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Hollerich, the Bishop of Faro, Manuel Neto Quintas, and the Bishop of Bragança-Miranda, José Manuel Cordeiro.
Photo: Mathieu Cugnot / EPA
The day ended with the traditional return dinner given by the President of Portugal for his hosts. Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie (in Paule Ka) were also present for the reception and Baroque concert of the Casa da Música at the Salle de musique de chambre. Grand Duchess Maria Teresa likely wore Yves Dooms once again plus, more importantly, parts of the citrine or topaz parure.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tiara Watch: State Banquet for Portuguese President

Photo: SIP / Charles Caratini
The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess are hosting Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa for a state visit this week. After a pub crawl last night and an action-packed first day, it was time for the traditional state banquet this evening. Naturally, a state banquet is always one of our favourite parts of any state visit as it brings out sparkling tiaras, gowns and dashing gentlemen! Speaking of, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie also joined the occasion.
Photo: SIP / Charles Caratini
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, said to be wearing Yves Dooms, opted for the Belgian Scroll Tiara, one of the several major diamond necklaces of the Grand Ducal Family and pearl earrings that have been in the family for decades. Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie chose her own Diamond Butterfly Tiara to go along with matching diamond earrings and a diamond brooch of the Nassau family. I know that the Butterfly Tiara is her personal property and likely thus has sentimental value attached to it, however, I wish she would have gone for something more substantial from the grand ducal tiara vaults. If your father-in-law has such a great collection it his disposal, why go for such a minor piece for the seemingly gazillionth time? Le sigh.
Photo: SIP / Charles Caratini
To give you a run-down of the variety of sashs on display: While the Portuguese President received Luxembourg's highest order, the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau, the members of the Grand Ducal Family received various Portuguese orders. The Order of Liberty for Grand Duke Henri, the Order of Prince Henry for Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, what looks like the Order of Aviz for Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and the Order of Merit for Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie. The Grand Duke and Hereditary Grand Duke also wore the medal of the Gold Lion.

The Annual Haberler Conference in Liechtenstein

Photo: Sebastian Albrich / Volksblatt / volksblatt.li
It's Haberler time again! The 13th annual Gottfried von Haberler Conference opened on Friday at the University of Liechtenstein, with Prince Michael confirmed in attendance. (It's also likely that Prince Philipp, Prince Hans-Adam, and/or Prince Nikolaus were there, as all have attended in previous years.) Focusing on the theme of "Gefahr staatlicher Eingriffe" (or "danger of state intervention"), the event was dedicated to the Nobel-winning economist Friedrich von Hayek and one-time Austrian Finance Minister Joseph Schumpeter, both students of the Austrian school of economics.

In this context, Prince Michael spoke about the risks of further investment bubbles and the potential for artificial movements in market and consumer activity: "Staatliche Interventionen bergen die Gefahr, den Wettbewerb zu verzerren und dieses wichtige Korrektiv auszuschalten" ("State interventions pose the risk of distorting competition and eliminating this important corrective").

We'll update if we find out any of the others were in attendance as well.

A little more from Volksblatt.

State Visit From Portugal, Day 1: Pub Crawls, a Beautiful Balcony and More

Photo: SIP / Charles Caratini
Today was the first day of the state visit of the President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa to Luxembourg. The President already arrived to the Grand Duchy last night and Grand Duke Henri took him out for a few beers. Tageblatt has a video of the pub crawl. It's probably no surprise that the Portuguese President felt right at home in Luxembourg: An estimated 120,000 of the 550,000 people living in the Grand Duchy were either born in Portugal or are of Portuguese ancestry - and I guess the Grand Duke himself doesn't actually count into the statistic but he, of course, has two Portuguese great-grandmothers as well.
Photo: SIP / Jean-Christophe Verhaegen
The official part of the state visit started with the official welcome of President Rebelo de Sousa by Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa in front of the palais in the morning. This was followed by military honours, national anthems, a review of troops and the presentation of the respective delegations. Inside the palais, the guest from Portugal and his hosts were joined by Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie for a photo opportunity and the traditional exchange of gifts. 
Photo: SIP / Jean-Christophe Verhaegen
Subsequently, President Rebelo de Sousa and his delegation went solo for a while to lay a wreath of flowers and hold several meetings. He was afterwards joined by the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess for a visit to the Corniche, a.k.a. "the most beautiful balcony of Europe". Next on the agenda was a private luncheon attended by the President and the four members of the Grand Ducal Family previously mentioned. Together with Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, the Portuguese guest also visited the Hôtel de Ville of Luxembourg City, where they were greeted by mayor Lydie Polfer, for an academic session.
Photo: RTL / RTL.lu
Also on the agenda for this evening is the gala dinner. Keep your fingers crossed for some major tiara sparkle. On the fashion front, I can already tell you that Grand Duchess Maria Teresa wore Belgian couturier Yves Dooms for the day (both outfits). To keep yourself entertained until gala dinner pictures are in, have a look at the government website, Wort and RTL.

Henri Sends Letter of Condolence for Manchester

Grand Duke Henri has sent a letter of condolence for the recent attack in Manchester. The text of the letter is below:

Your Majesty,

It is with great pain that the Grand Duchess and I have learned of the tragedy that occurred in Manchester last night. We are particularly horrified to learn that so many young people were present and are counted amongst the victims and the wounded.

The Luxembourg people join us in expressing to Your Majesty our most heartfelt sympathy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.

Grand Duke of Luxembourg

Monday, May 22, 2017

Henri Receives the President of the German Bundestag

Photo: © 2017 Cour grand-ducale / tous droits réservés
On the 22nd, Grand Duke Henri received in audience Dr. Norbert Lammert, the President of the Bundestag, which is one of the legislative bodies in Germany. Dr. Lammert is the 12th President of the Bundestag and has held the position since 2005, although he announced last fall that he would be resigning from politics at the end of the term.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Grand Ducal Family Celebrates Closing of the Octave

Photo: Laurent Blum / Luxemburger Wort / Wort.lu
Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie, as well as Prince Félix and Princess Claire were on hand for the closing procession of the Octave of Our Lady of Luxembourg, Maria Mater Jesu, Consolatrix Afflictorum, Patrona Civitatis et Patriae Luxemburgensis (or "Mary, Mother Jesus, Consoler of the Afflicted, Patroness of the City and Country of Luxembourg" in case you need to brush up on your Latin) today. (Not sure what that is? Have a look at our Luxarazzi 101.)

Photo: Laurent Blum / Luxemburger Wort / Wort.lu
Already this morning, the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess attended a pontifical mass at the Cathédrale Notre-Dame before being joined by their two oldest sons and their wives for the procession leading them from the Cathédrale via the rue Notre-Dame, the rue Philippe II, the avenue de la Porte-Neuve, the rue Beaumont, the rue des Capucins, the Grand-rue, the rue du Marché-aux-Herbes in front of the palais grand ducal, where they stopped for the Eucharistic blessings, and the rue de l’Eau back to the cathedral.

As always, the Grand Ducal Family were joined, or rather joined, thousands of other pilgrims both from Luxembourg and abroad for the Grand Duchy's most important religious celebrations celebrated since the 17th century. After the end of the procession and a concluding mass at the Cathédrale, the Grand Ducal Family made their traditional balcony of the year. The adult members of the family in attendance were joined by Princess Amalia and Prince Liam, children of Prince Félix and Princess Claire, to give a royal wave to the crowds.

While we will give you a proper fashion run-down in this week's edition of Fashion Friday, we can already tell you that Princess Claire wore a dress by Beulah London and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie sported a fascinator by Les Folie's Bibis. Read about the designer Sylvia Martinez' inspiration behind that hat in our interview with her. Also make sure to check out Wort and RTL for more pictures of the day.