Thursday, June 22, 2017

Grand Ducal Family Visits Esch-sur-Alzette and Bettembourg

It's that time of the year again: Tomorrow is the Grand Duke's Official Birthday. The festivities all over the Grand Duchy always start on the eve of National Day - so, you know, you can let loose and use National Day for recovery (or something along those lines)... At 4pm sharp, it was the time for the traditional changing of the guard at the palais, which always kicks of the National Day celebrations. 
Photo: Laurent Blum / Luxemburger Wort /
The first grand ducal sighting of this year's National Day events we got in the form of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duke Stéphanie during their annual trip to Esch-sur-Alzette. It has been a tradition for decades that members of the Grand Ducal Family visit Luxembourg's second largest city to celebrate the nation on the eve of the Grand Duke's official birthday. At 5pm, the duo was welcomed in front of the Théâtre Municipal by mayor Vera Spautz, members of the Chamber of Deputies, the government and local politicians. After the laying of a wreath of flowers at the war memorial, they made their way to the city centre of Esch.
Photo: Laurent Blum / Luxemburger Wort /
On the place in front of the town hall, the Hereditary Grand Duke and Hereditary Grand Duchess then watched a parade of the associations and clubs of the town. This was followed by a short reception hosted in the honour of the royal guests at the town hall and an appearance on the balcony. Afterwards, the Hereditary Grand Ducal Couple made their way to the Escher Volleksfest, a public fair celebrating National Day, where they mingled with the people and lit a fire together with young scouts.
Photo: Lex Kleren / Luxemburger Wort /
Meanwhile at 6pm, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa arrived in Bettembourg. While Guillaume and Stéphanie always go to Esch for the eve of National Day, the grand ducal couple likes to change things up a bit and thus always goes to different places. The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess were welcomed in Bettembourg by deputy mayor Laurenz Zeimet. 
Photo: Lex Kleren / Luxemburger Wort /
After the official welcome, the grand ducal couple made their way to the Château de Bettembourg were they visited the exhibition "Beetebuerg erliewen" or "Experiencing Bettembourg". They also signed the golden book of the municipality at the castle. Next on the agenda was a visit to the castle's park where the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess saw a presentation of local gymnasts before making their way to the Place Nelson Mandela for the Fête de l'amitié. The "Festivel of Friendship" showcased traditional local dances and more recent additions to Luxembourgish life, in the form of Syrian food, for example, likewise. To round off their visit, the grand ducal couple also met with local volunteers.

More pictures of the visit to Bettembourg here and of the visit to Esch here. (As always, we will have a round-up post with more links in the days to come.)

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