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 ?

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Prince Robert Attends Château Latour Wine Event

Photo: Prince Robert (8th from L) with other attendees /
Luc Castel / Point de Vue / pointdevue.fr
Prince Robert recently attended a prestigious wine event at the Pauillac estate of François Pinault and his wife Maryvonne, Château Latour. Attendees included some of the more influential wine producers in France. (See the link below for the full list in the photo.)

During the event, guests were afforded the opportunity to taste-test a selection of fine wines and enjoy a meal prepared by Chef Michel Guérard. The evening closed with fireworks over the vineyard.

A little more from Point de Vue.

Grand Duchess Supports Micro-finance and Inclusion


ADA/Oliver Minaire
The Grand Duchess, a long-time supporter of micro-finance, attended the 40th Midi de la Microfinance intitulé Microfinance. This conference had the special significance of not only being the 40th edition of the conference but also the 10th anniversary. The ADA event brings together Luxembourgish organizations, businesses and residents. This conference focused on bringing financial services, loans, credit, systems of payment and other services to female entrepreneurs in Africa.  These women often face social stigma in addition to lack of basic services. The financial service industry is not historically available to low-income populations. The initiative hopes to offer financial services, support and information to the target demographic while working to help them have the tools needed to carry on despite having to work five times harder than a similar male entrepreneur would. Micro-finance is an important tool for creating economic growth in areas where budding entrepreneurs would lack access to needed funding, payment systems, credit and knowledge. 

Hereditary Princess Sophie and Prince Nikolaus Award "The Roof"

Photo: Volksblatt / volksblatt.li
On the 5th, Hereditary Princess Sophie and Prince Nikolaus were present to give out the award to "The Roof," the overall winner of a project competition that will help expand the current facilities of the Liechtenstein Red Cross (LRK). The competition, announced by the Vaduz Town Council, began in October of 2016 and ended on June 13th. Candidates were required to hand in their plans for expanded buildings within the requirements of the available building permit.

For this competition, there were 27 initial candidates and 23 candidates approved for proceeding. Of these 23, five were given awards, including "The Roof," which won the main prize.

A little more information at Volksblatt.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Grand Duke Visits Germany

Photo: Claude Piscitelli / Cour grand-ducale
It was back to the roots for the Grand Duke as he visited Wiesbaden, capital of the German state of Hesse, earlier today. The visit marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Grand Duke Adolph. Before becoming Grand Duke of Luxembourg in 1890, Adolph ruled the Duchy of Nassau, part of what is now Germany, until it was annexed by Prussia in 1866. (For more on Adolph's eventful life, have a look here.)
Photo: Claude Piscitelli / Cour grand-ducale
Grand Duke Henri and his perfectly Nassau-coloured tie were welcomed in the state chancellory of Hesse by Minister-President Volker Bouffier before laying a wreath of flowers at the Nassauisches Landesdenkmal featuring a statue of Grand Duke Adolph. The statue was inaugurated in 1909 by then Princess Marie-Adelaide and Charlotte, who went on to become grand duchesses. The day was rounded off by a visit to Schloss Biebrich, where an academic session took place, the Grand Duke pronounced a speech and an exhibition was viewed.

For more pictures have a look at the cour and Wort.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Grand Ducal Couple at Tour de France

All photos: Claude Piscitelli / Cour grand-ducale
Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa were on hand this morning for the start of the fourth stage of the Tour de France. The third stage of the world's most legendary cycling race yesterday already led through the Grand Duchy from north to south.
The fourth stage of le Grande Boucle today started in Mondorf-les-Bains in the south of the country before cyclists left the Grand Duchy via Schengen, that tiny Luxembourgish village where the Schengen Agreement was signed that let's you travel through a borderless Europe.
The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess also met several politicians including PM Bettel, Tour director Christian Prudhomme, as well as current and former Luxembourgish cyclists including Andy and Fränk Schleck (on the picture below) alike.
Even though Luxembourg is only represented by one rider, namely Ben Gastauer (seen talking with the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess below), the Grand Duchy has long and strong ties to the Tour de France.
Considered the world's hardest cycling race, four Luxembourgers have one the Tour de France. François Faber won in 1909, Nicolas Frantz in 1927 and 1928, Charly Gaul in 1958 and most recently Andy Schleck in 2010.
All in all, 70 stages of the Tour have been won by Luxembourgish cyclists and ten riders from the Grand Duchy have collectively worn the prestigious yellow jersey for 91 days. For more random facts about Luxembourg and the Tour de France, have a look here.



Monday, July 3, 2017

Prince Wenzeslaus at amfAR Dinner


Last night, Prince Wenzeslaus, nephew of Prince Hans-Adam II, attended the amfAR dinner at Le Petit Palais in Paris. AmfAR, or AMerican Foundation for Aids Research, is an international nonprofit organisation dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and the advocacy of AIDS-related public policy.

Guillaume Celebrates Cube 521

Photo: Cube 521
On Saturday, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume was on hand to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Cube 521. The decennial anniversary of the regional cultural centre in Marnach, a part of Clerveaux, was celebrated with an academic session. The cour has more pictures of the event.

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa in Geneva

During her June 29th visit to Geneva, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa also attended three separate meetings, all focused on the ongoing need to support women and children facing wartime violence.

Photo: © C. Black / OMS
The Grand Duchess first met with Dr. Margaret Chan, who is the Director General of the World Health Organization. Dr. Chan noted her personal support for the upcoming international symposium on wartime sexual violence, which will be held in Luxembourg in March of 2019.

Photo: © UNICEF / PFP / 2017
Following this, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa met with Sikander Khan at the headquarters of the UNICEF Emergency Programs Office to discuss the forum and the 500 million children who face violence during wartime.

Photo: © UNO / HCHR
Finally, the Grand Duchess met with Prince Zeid Ra'd al-Hussein of Jordan, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, who agreed about the importance of addressing wartime violence, particularly against women and children, and also indicated his support for the symposium.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Henri Attends "Foire Agricole" in Ettelbrück

Photo: Charles Reiser / Luxemburger Wort / wort.lu
On the 1st of July, Grand Duke Henri was in Ettelbrück to attend the "Foire Agricole," where members of Luxembourg's agricultural community came together. A range of programs were available for attendees who braved the rainy weather to see the livestock, learn more about new equipment, and watch the shows. As it turns out, the rain was also a welcome attraction, as it ended a lengthy dry streak for Luxembourg's famers.

Some more photos at Wort.

Prince Philipp and Prince Michael at Academic Honors Ceremony

On June 10th, Prince Philipp and Prince Michael were present for a ceremony honoring Steve H. Hanke of Johns Hopkins University. Professor Hanke received an honorary doctorate (his sixth) from the University of Liechtenstein, given to him by University president Jürgen Brücker. Prince Philipp and Prince Michael also hosted a dinner in the professor's honor.

No photos right now, but a little more information here.

Lovrek/Königsegg-Aulendorff Wedding

Over the weekend, Philipp Lovrek, son of Dr. Michael Lovrek and the late Countess Johanna of Thun-Hohenstein-Salm-Reifferscheid, married Countess Marie-Alice of Königsegg-Aulendorff, daughter of Count Maximilian of Königsegg-Aulendorff and Countess Marie Valerie Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau. Among the guests for the wedding at Königseggwald near Ravensburg in southern Germany were Prince Hans-Adam II and Princess Marie as well as Prince Max and Princess Angela. Princess Marie-Gabrielle, recently-married daughter of Prince Jean, and her husband Antonius Willms were also present. (Many thanks to Stefan of Royal Travel and Events for the information!)