Thursday, March 23, 2017

Henri and Maria Teresa Celebrate Springbreak

On the 22nd, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa were in Kirchberg to attend the opening event of "Springbreak Luxembourg," which was previously the annual Spring Fair at Luxexpo. The fair has seen a consistent drop in popularity in recent years, and the rebranding effort is expected to drive a new interest.

The opening included a range of musical performances, with a selection of international delicacies on food trucks also available for attendees. Springbreak Luxembourg will run for five days, from the 22nd to the 26th (down from the nine days of previous years).

A little more from Wort, in English and in German. There are no photos of the Grand Ducal couple at the event just yet, but they'll be added if they're released.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Princess Marie-Gabrielle Has Civil Wedding in Luxembourg

Photo: Valentin Dupont
Princess Marie-Gabrielle, daughter of Prince Jean and thus niece of Grand Duke Henri, and her future husband Antonius Willms have chosen Luxembourg as the place for their civil wedding. The city of Luxembourg published the official publication du mariage today. The notice of intended marriage is commonly published ten days prior to the wedding day meaning that the couple will tie the knot on Saturday, April 1. The couple will have their religious wedding in Spain later this year.

Princess Marie-Gabrielle was born on September 8, 1986, in Paris, France, as the first child and only daughter of Prince Jean and his first wife Hélène Vestur. Marie-Gabrielle has three younger brothers. Antonius Willms is the son of Hayo Willms and Countess Maria Theresia of Goess-Saurau. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia, United States on December 22, 1988. The couple's engagement became public in early January of this year.

Princely Couple Meets Disabled People

Photo: Tatjana Schnalzger / Vaterland / Vaterland.li
Prince Hans-Adam II and Princess Marie welcomed around 20 people with disabilities at Schloss Vaduz today. The visit was part of the new initiative "Mitenand im Alltag" (or "Together Everyday") of the Heilpädagogisches Zentrum, a educational institution for mentally challenged children founded by Princess Gina. The initiative shall help reservations and inhibition threshold when it comes to disabilities. For more information and pictures, have a look at Volksblatt and Vaterland.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

For Prince and Country... Prince Hans-Adam Presented With New Book

Photo: Daniel Ospelt / Liechtensteiner Vaterland / Vaterland.li
Earlier today, Prince Hans-Adam II received Antti Ruokonen at Schloss Vaduz. Ruokonen presented the Fürst with the first edition of his new book "For Prince and Country - Awards and Medals of Liechtenstein". The Finnish expert has previously written a book on Luxembourg's orders - read our review here - and if the previous book is anything to go by this one - officially presented at Liechtenstein's national museum today - will be very worth reading as well. For more information, have a look at Vaterland.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Grand Duke's Message for the New German President

Grand Duke Henri has sent a congratulatory letter to the new President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Former Minister for Foreign Affairs Steinmeier assumed office yesterday. The Grand Duke congratulated him on his new position expressing that "the partnership between our countries is exemplary for good neighbourship" adding "we hope to see you and your wife soon in Luxembourg".

Grand Duke Henri Attends Czech Philharmonic Concert

On the 14th, Grand Duke Henri attended a concert of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. The concert featured violinist Nikolaj Znaider and was performed under the direction of Jiří Bělohlávek. The music included pieces by Dvořák, Martinů, and Mozart.

No photos at present, but they'll be added if they're made available.

Catching Up With the Liechtensteins

Let's play another round of 'Catching Up With the Liechtensteins' cause they aren't the easiest bunch to follow, are they...?!

On March 9, Hereditary Prince Alois attanded the Liechtenstein Finance Forum in Vaduz. An array of visuals at Vaterland.

On March 14 or 15, the Hereditary Prince received Edgars Rinkēvičs, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia at Schloss Vaduz for an audience. Mr. Rinkēvičs was in Liechtenstein for a working visit. More information but no pictures from Vaterland.

In mid-February, Prince Max was in Jerusalem for some reason. While there, he got a tour of the city but no other than mayor Nir Barkat, who shared a few snaps on Twitter.

Prince Max also gave an interview to Swiss TV station SRF talking finance, the Asian market and stuff earlier this week. The video is available here.

Princess Nora is indeed currently at the Special Olympics Winter Games in Austria, as are some familiar faces from Luxembourg as well as Prince Emanuel of Liechtenstein.

On March 3, Hereditary Prince Alois was in the United States and held a speech at Princeton. The Princely Family is a supporter of the school and co-founded the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination (LISD) think tank.

In mid-February, Prince Philipp gave a talk in Munich speaking about asset preservation over generations using the example of his family.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Guillaume and Stéphanie at the Special Olympics Winter Games

Photo: Pierrot Feltgen
Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie are in Austria at the moment where the duo is attending the Special Olympics in Schladming. Special Olympics Luxembourg has shared numerous glimpses of their activities on Facebook. In addition to numerous sporting events, Guillaume and Stéphanie also attended the opening ceremony last night. The Special Olympics are the world's largest sports organisation for children and adults with intellectual disabilities hosting training as well as competitions including the Special Olympics Winter Games. Princess Nora is also a regular supporter of the event and so I guess she was or will also be present at some point during the Games, we just haven't found visual evidence yet.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Fashion Friday (on a Saturday): February 17 - March 17, 2017

First of all, I know there wasn't a Fashion Friday post two weeks ago but I was really busy with school and the Luxembourg Ladies didn't have a lot of events. So, here are the fashion I could identify for them from February 17 to March 17, 2017. The post will be updated if I find anything else during the week.

On February 18, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa visited the European Institute of Cultural Routes. For this visit , she wore a new Giorgio Armani coat from the Fall 2016 and a Fendi 'Peekaboo' bag.

Photo : European Institute for Cultural Routes Facebook

voguerunway.com


fendi

On March 10 and 11 , the Grand Ducal couple was in Paris. For some of the events, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa wore an Armani top with a black jacket.

Photo: Cour Grand-Ducale

armani

On March 13, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa visited the EU's Court of Justice Exhibition. For this event , Maria Teresa wore a black dress with a coat. I think her black bag is by Louis Vuitton.
Photo: Cour Grand-Ducale
louisvuitton

On March 16, the Grand Ducal family went to see the Solar Impulse movie. I think Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie wore a Natan top. Grand Duchess Maria Teresa's bag is by Armani. I couldn't find the right model but the details are similar to this Armani bag from 2013.

Photo: Cour Grand-Ducale


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The post will probably be updated during the week but otherwise, the next Fashion Friday will be up in two weeks.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Grand Ducal Family at the Movies

Photo: Cour grand-ducale
Last night, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, accompanied by Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie, Archduchess Marie-Astrid and Princess Margaretha, attended the movie screening of "Solar Impulse, l’impossible tour du monde" at the Utopolis Cinema. Grand Duke Jean was also present for the screening according to information released by the cour, as were Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla as proven by this picture gallery offered by RTL. Solar Impulse is, of course, a long-range experimental solar-powered aircraft project, which last year set a record with the first circumnavigation of the Earth by a piloted fixed-wing aircraft using only solar power.

Guillaume Meets Employees of Sam Hwa Steel

Photo: Cour grand-ducale
Yesterday, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume received a delegation of employees of Sam Hwa Steel, a South Korean steel company with a seat in Luxembourg, at the palais grand-ducal. Sam Hwa Steel, established in 2003 in Bettembourg, specializes in the manufacture of pre-stressed steel and cold-formed spring steel wire.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Grand Duchess Opens Lecture Series

Photo: Cour grand-ducale
Madame la Grand-Duchesse made yesterday a two events kinda day and so Her Royal Highness also opened the MercreDYS lecture series, a series of ten conferences focusing on revisiting the history and challenges of schooling and education of children with learning disabilities. The first lecture, entitled "The inclusive school: history, stakes and prospects", was given by Jean-François Delsarte, diocesan director of basic Catholic education for the Diocese of Liège.

Henri and Maria Teresa Help Inaugurate 6zero1

Photo: © 2017 Commune de Differdange / Claude Pitscitelli
On March 15th, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa were in Differdange to visit 6zero1 and to participate in its official inauguration. The organization, which represents "the first incubator for social enterprises in Luxembourg," focuses on supporting social enterprises through training and the availability of workspaces for the development of socially beneficial projects. The Minister for Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy (and also native of Differdange) Nicolas Schmit was in attendance as well.

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa gave a speech that highlighted the organization's goals to create a positive social impact.

6zero1 was developed as a joint effort of the Foundation of the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess, alongside the Ministry of Labor, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy and the Luxembourg Union of the Social and Solidarity Economy (ULESS).

Henri and Maria Teresa Visit EU Court of Justice Exhibition

Photo: CJUE / Cour grand-ducale
Back in Luxembourg, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa paid a visit to the Court of Justice of the European Union on March 13th. The event was the opening of an exhibition entitled "Religions du monde – paix mondiale – éthique planétaire" (Religions of the world – world peace – planetary ethics), which focuses on encouraging a healthy dialogue about religious differences. 

A few more photos at the Cour.

A Busy Work Weekend in Paris for Henri and Maria Teresa

On March 10th and 11th, the Grand Ducal couple was in Paris to attend several events.

Photo: Godong / Philippe Lissac / Cour grand-ducale
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa attended meetings for the Board of Directors of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation (GCA), which focuses on microfinance opportunities; the Grand Duchess is an administrator of the Foundation. These meetings included ongoing discussions about exploring microfinance in Cuba, as well as such countries as China, Egypt, India, Morocco, and Tunisia.

While in Paris, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa also attended a dinner in support of the Foundation of the Latin American House, which supports members of the Latin American community living in London. 

Photo: Godong / Philippe Lissac / Cour grand-ducale
Also while in Paris, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa accompanied Nobel Prize-winner Professor Muhammad Yunus (founder of Grameen Bank and a member of the GCA Board of Directors) on a visit to Le Village by CA. This community of 90 start-ups was founded in 2014 and encourages young people with entrepreneurial vision.

More information from the Cour.

Henri Receives Advisory Board on Space Resources

Photo: Cour grand-ducale
Another one for "better late than never."

On March 8th, Grand Duke Henri received the Advisory Board on Space Resources, with Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Deputy Prime Minister (and Minister of the Economy) Étienne Schneider also in attendance. The purpose of the committee is to explore opportunities for space exploration, including the potential for such activities as asteroid mining.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Luxarazzi 101: Schloss Wilfersdorf

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Outside of Vienna and their ancestral home Burg Liechtenstein, Schloss Wilfersdorf is probably the most famous of the about 20 or so castles still owned by the Princely Family of Liechtenstein in Austria. Located in the Weinviertel (literally wine quarter) of Lower Austria, the castle is the seat of the Princely Wine Cellars, which has been producing wines for over 600 years (and which we must cover in an extra post one day)!

Schloss Wilfersdorf came into the possession of the Liechtenstein family in 1436 - and has remained so ever since. Firstly mentioned in 1328 when a castle in Wilfersdorf fell into the hands of King John of Bohemia, the estate was owned by various nobles prior to the Liechtensteins. In 1609, Gundakar of Liechtenstein converted the Gothic castle into a four-winged moated castle with bastions and outwork after the castle was seriously damaged during the wars against Hungary and the Counter-Reformation. He subsequently made the Schloss, at the time more a fortress, his main residence until around 1625. 

Between 1713 and 1721, Prince Anton Florian commissioned architect Anton Ospel to rebuild the castle in Baroque style according to the taste of the time. Ospel also erected various structures in the garden using stones from Moravský Krumlov, one of the Princely Family's Moravian properties. When Anton Florian died in 1721, the construction ended abruptly and only two years later some rooms were adapted to be used as storage place for corn. 

None of Anton Florian's successors took a major interest in Wilfersdorf and so Prince Alois had three of the castle's four wings demolished around 1802 because they had become dilapidated. The remaining building and surroundings were devastated by the French in 1809, became the seat of the local district court in 1848 and a Prussian military hospital in 1866 during the Austro-Prussian War. 40 German soldiers died of cholera at Schloss Wilfersdorf and were laid to rest at the local cemetery. 

There is not much known about the history of Schloss Wilfersdorf after that. During the Second World War, the castle was once again damaged but rebuilt soon after. In 2001 and 2002, the Schloss was extensively renovated. Although owned by the Foundation Prince Liechtenstein, parts of the building are rented by the local municipality and turned into a regional cultural centre. On the upper floors, an exhibition about the history of the House of Liechtenstein is shown and in the cellars there are - surprise, surprise - the Princely Wine Cellars.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

An Array of Audiences for Alois

Over the past few days, Hereditary Prince Alois has held several audiences at Vaduz Castle.

Hereditary Prince Alois with Mohamed Sultan Abdalla Alowais Alshamsi
of the United Arab Emirates / Photo: IKR
On the 8th, he received three new ambassadors for the presentation of credentials: Hisham Nehad Seifeldin (Arab Republic of Egypt), Manuel Francisco Aguilera de la Paz (Republic of Cuba), and Mohamed Sultan Abdalla Alowais Alshamsi (United Arab Emirates). As is traditional, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Aurelia Frick also paid the ambassadors a courtesy visit at the government building.

Photo: Hereditary Prince Alois and the EEAS-EU Ambassadors Delegation /
Photo: IKR
On the 10th, the Hereditary Prince also received a delegation from European External Action Service (EEAS) and European Union Ambassadors for Western Europe. The delegation was in Vaduz for meetings and to hold talks with Prime Minister Adrian Hasler, Deputy Prime Minister Thomas Zwiefelhofer, and Minister  of Foreign Affairs Aurelia Frick. Among the topics under discussion were the relationship between Liechtenstein and the EU and challenges that the EU is presently facing. The delegation concluded with a courtesy visit to Alois at Vaduz Castle.

A little more from Volksblatt.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Henri and Maria Teresa at the European Institute of Cultural Routes

Photo: European Institute of Cultural Routes Facebook
On February 28th, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa visited the European Institute of Cultural Routes (EICR), which is located at Neumünster Abbey. The organization reviews cultural routes with the ongoing purpose of demonstrating a shared cultural heritage across Europe. The EICR was established in conjunction between the Council of Europe and the Grand Duchy.

While visiting the Institute, the Grand Ducal couple were given a copy of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe. As of 2016, thirty-two cultural routes had been identified, including Viking routes, historical thermal towns, and the Hansa.

The information was also posted at the institute's Facebook page.

Prince Nikolaus Attends Scouting Conference

Photo: Daniel Schwendener / Vaterland / Vaterland.li
Prince Nikolaus was in Malbun for the conference that represents German-speaking Scouting clubs. Organized under the motto "Einfach Pfadi," this year's event welcomed at least 85 attendees from 10 different countries: Austria, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, South Tyrol (officially, an autonomous province) and Switzerland. Prince Nikolaus also spoke to open the conference and commented on his own Scouting experience, while a Scout from Schaan also offered encouraging words to participants.

A little more from Vaterland.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Grand Duke Henri Attends Ensemble Stravaganza

Photo: Commune de Colmar-Berg / Cour grand-ducale
On Sunday, March 5th, Grand Duke Henri was at the parish church in Colmar-Berg to attend a concert performance by Ensemble Stravaganza. This was put on in connection with Rencontres Musicales de la Vallée de l'Alzette (RMVA). Claude Adam, the Vice-President of RMVA, was also in attendance, as was the Mayor of Colmar-Berg, Gast Jacobs.

Ensemble Stravaganza, which focuses primarily on baroque music, is under the artistic direction of violinist Domitille Gilon and harpsichordist Thomas Soltani. The performance on Sunday featured music of the Hapsburg court, including works by Biber, Böddecker, Froberger, and Schmelzer.

A little more detail from the Cour.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Henri and Maria Teresa Attend 34th Festival of Migrations

Photo: Anouk Antony / Luxemburger Wort / Wort.lu
On March 4th, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa were in Kirchberg to attend the opening ceremony of the 34th Festival of Migrations: des cultures et de la citoyenneté (Cultures and Citizenship). Also in attendance were Mars di Bartolomeo, the President of the Chambre des Députés; Corine Cahen, the Minister of Family and Integration; and Lydie Polfer, the Mayor of Luxembourg City.

More photos from Wort and the Cour.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Guillaume and Stéphanie Attend Academic Session

On the evening of March 2nd, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie were at the Athénée de Luxembourg to attend an academic session. This event was held in honor of the 20th educational trip organized by Témoins de la 2e Génération (Witnesses of the 2nd Generation), or T2G. Founded in 2001, T2G arranges educational opportunities for teachers and students to visit Auschwitz, as part of its ongoing effort to fight anti-Semitism and xenophobia.

Charles Goerens, the President of T2G, accompanied the Hereditary Grand Ducal couple. Joseph Salentiny, the Director of the Athenée de Luxembourg, was also in attendance.

After the session, French scholar Georges Bensoussan spoke at a conference entitled "Shoah: A memory for difficult times." Following the conference, T2G presented a book entitled As I Walk in Your Shoes and showed films that students had made during their visits to Auschwitz.

A little more information from the Cour. No photos at present, but they'll be added if they're made available.

Maria Teresa Holds Audiences and Henri Receives Ambassadors

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa with representatives of LCTO /
Photo: © 2016 Cour grand-ducale / tous droits réservés
On March 2nd, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa held two audiences: for representatives of the Luxembourg City Tourist Office (LCTO) and the Kiwanis Club Mondorf. Both organizations support the Fondation du Grand-Duc et de la Grande-Duchesse, and the Grand Duchess received a check from each. The three LCTO representatives presented a check for 29,554.52 €, while the Kiwanis Club Mondorf presented a check for 25,000 €. The LCTO offers guided tours of the Palais grand-ducal during the summer, and in 2016 brought in 29.554,29 €. The Kiwanis Club Mondorf, which supports refugees from Burundi who are currently living in refugee camps in Rwanda, also donated its 2016 profits.

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa with representatives of Kiwanis Club Mondorf
Photo: © 2016 Cour grand-ducale / tous droits réservés
Meanwhile Grand Duke Henri was busy with receiving five ambassadors for the presentation of credentials: Alexander Mikhnevich  (Belarus), Abdellahi Bah Nagi Kebd (Republic of Mauritania), Monseigneur Augustine Kasujja (Apostolic Nuncio), Iurie Renita (Republic of Moldova), and Haymandoyal Dillum (Republic of Mauritius). The entire series of photos from the Cour. Grand Duke Henri pictured with Alexander Mikhnevich of Belarus, below.

Photo: Cour grand-ducale