Friday, November 30, 2018

Weekly Roundup: Interviews, Lots of "De Mains de Maîtres" and More

November 24 to 30, 2018

Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Cyril Moreau
On Monday, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and Princess Alexandra were on hand for the screening of the movie "Moi Nojoom, 10 ans, divorcée" in Paris. The movie, which has already won several awards, deals with the topic of forced child marriage: "A little girl enters a courtroom, looks at the judge straight in the eye and says, “I want to divorce.” Her name is Nojoom, she is ten years old, she was forcibly married to a man who is 20 years older than her, and she escaped. But in Yemen, there is no legal age to marry." Watch the trailer here, more pictures of the screening here.
Photo: Council of Europe
Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie were in Strasbourg on Tuesday to pay a visit to the Council of Europe including the European Court of Human Rights. The visit marked the 40th anniversary of the Principality's addition to the Council of Europe. In case you are not up to all the details of all the European institutions, don't be fooled: Despite the similar flags, the Council of Europe has nothing to do with the European Union and its European Council. The Council of Europe has 47 member states and its aim is to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe.
Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Sophie Margue
On Wednesday, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa attended the froum "From words to action: repairing the wounds of wartime sexual violence" organised by the Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation alongside Dr. Mukwege himself and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands in The Hague. More pictures at the cour, the speech given by the Grand Duchess (in English) here.
Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Charles Caratini
This week was also very much influenced by this year's De Main De Maîtres exhibition - and it even brought out a surprising number of family members! Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie brought along Grand Duke Henri, Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla as well as their daughter Princess Charlotte for an informal visit to the exhibition on Wednesday prior to its opening. More visuals at the cour.
Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Charles Caratini
Later that same time Guillaume continued to make us feel like it's 2009 all over again (#TeamBeard) as he and Stéphanie also visited additional exhibition spaces of De Main De Maîtres, including the workshop of Ezri Kahn. Et mais oui, I totally want Stéphanie to wear that yellow dress! And by the way in case you haven't been a long-time follower of the Grand Ducal Family and are a bit lost right now: The exhibition De Mains de Maîtres (Of Master's Hands) was first initiated by the Hereditary Grand Duke and Hereditary Grand Duchess together with the Chamber of Trade and the Ministries of Economy and Culture back in 2016 with the first exhibition taking place in December of that year in Luxembourg to showcase the country's talent in the fields of art, craftsmanship and design. It was a resounding success, has become a regular thing in Luxembourg and has also since been moved abroad. (More visuals.)
Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Charles Caratini
Naturally, the Hereditary Grand Duke and Hereditary Grand Duchess were also on hand for the official opening of this year's exhibition called "Gestes et Merveilles" (Gestures and Wonders) on Wednesday night. Stéphanie gave the opening speech of the event at 19 Liberté.
Photo: Screenshot RTL
To mark the exhibition, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume also gave an interview to RTL, you can watch it here. Guillaume talks about how he surprised he and his wife were about the continued success of De Mains de Maîtres and how much they enjoyed bringing the exhibition to other countries hoping that there will be many more to come.
Photo: SOS Faim / S. Becker
Grand Duke Henri meanwhile attended an academic session to mark the 25th anniversary of SOS Faim. Founded in Luxembourg in 1993, SOS Faim supports sustainable agriculture, in particular by means of inclusive rural financing, to guarantee food sovereignty everywhere and for all. More...
Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli
To round off this week's activities, Grand Duke Henri attended the closing ceremony of Expogast, the International Trade Show for Gastronomy, taking place in Luxembourg every year earlier today (Friday, that is). More at the cour.

You caught something else this week we missed? Let us know in the comment section below.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Weekly Roundup: Rare Sightings, A Lot of Children and More

November 17 to 23, 2018

Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Sophie Margue
This week brought us a bit of a rarer grand ducal sighting as Prince Félix and Princess Claire paid a visit to the Red Cross Bazaar on Sunday. The event at the Halle Victor Hugo in the Limpertsberg district of Luxembourg City is always in for a surprise appearance of members of the family and also kicks off the bazaar season so stay tuned who else will show up in the weeks to come. More pictures at the cour.
Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Sophie Margue
On Tuesday, Grand Duke Henri welcomed some very special guests at the palais grand-ducal. 14 pupil of the class 4.1 of the Aerzendallschull Medernach got to ask the Grand Duke all kinds of question to mark the UNICEF World Children's Day. Grand Duke Henri told the kids that he drives an electric car, that he usually drives himself and that he plays both the piano and the violin but not very well. The children also got a tour of the palace by the main man himself. More visuals at the cour, RTL has a video.
Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli
Also on Tuesday, the Grand Duke was on hand to attend the event of the week yours truly would have liked to attend herself the most: "The Many Faces of 1918", the presentation of an international anthology on the year of remembrance. The anthology brings together 17 authors from 17 countries because "in some countries it (1918) stands for defeat, the beginning of a civil war, in other countries it represents a loss, for some it equals liberation, victory, albeit perhaps a Pyrrhic victory. In some cases even different points of view may co-exist within one country". Sounds really interesting! More pics at the cour.
Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Sophie Margue
Meanwhile the Grand Duchess celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Fondation Grameen Crédit Agricole in the presence of Abdul Hai Kahn, Managing Director of Grameen Trust and Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. 
Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli
It was the week of the children for the Grand Duke as he visited the school centre Parc Housen on Wednesday to celebrate its 20th anniversary and let's face it, is there anything cuter in royal life than adorable children with self-made flags? No, there isn't. (More pictures.)
Photo: Cour grand-ducale
In much less adorable news, the Grand Duke also met with the new ambassadors of Nigeria, Moldovia, Portugal and Finland at the palais on Wednesday, where they all presented their letters of credence. All the pictures here.

Meanwhile in Liechtenstein, there hasn't been going on much this week apart from Prince Hans-Adam II letting it be known that he doesn't have an opinion on whether the Tour de Ski, one of the most important cross country skiing events, will make a stop in Liechtenstein. Earlier in the week, FIS President Gian Franco Kasper said in an interview that the Fürst was in favour of the event. Why the fuss? There is currently a national referendum going on in the Principality on the matter and the Prince probably wants to stay impartial. More at Vaterland.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Weekly Roundup: Birthday Celebrations, War Commemorations and More

November 10 to 16, 2018

Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Sophie Margue
This week, much of Europe and the world was busy marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. At the invitation of French President Macron, the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess attended several events in France marking Armistice Day alongside fellow world leaders, including the official remembrance service at the Arc de Triomphe as well as a visit to the Musée d'Orsay, on November 11. More at the cour.
Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Sophie Margue
Later the same day, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa also attended a Luxembourg-based commemoration service at the Gëlle Fra, a war memorial dedicated to the thousands of Luxembourgers who volunteered for service in the armed forces of the Allied Powers during World War I, in the Place de la Constitution. The cour has more visuals.
Photo: Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Sophie Margue
On Tuesday, Grand Duke Henri was on hand to pay a visit to the Salon 2018 du Cercle Artistique de Luxembourg organised as part of Luxembourg Art Week. Founded in 1893, the Cercle Artistique de Luxembourg (CAL) is an association which brings together painters, sculptors, engravers and other creators in the visual arts, professional or amateur. More pictures at the cour.

Also on Tuesday, Prince Guillaume visited Alsace for the inauguration of the new Humanist Library of Sélestat. The building was closed for nearly four and a half years with about 14 million euros invested to renovate the famous library.
On Thursday, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa were among the guests for the 70th birthday celebrations of the Prince of Wales. Unfortunately no official pictures of the guests at the event hosted at Buckingham Palace are available.
Photo: IKR
Meanwhile in Liechtenstein on Thursday, Hereditary Prince Alois welcomed the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Karin Kneissl at Schloss Vaduz. The Minister of Foreign Affairs visited the Principality for a working visit and also met with various other dignitaries.

On Friday, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa took part in a conference organised by the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society under the topic "Bridging humanity for inclusive progress". During the course of the conference taking place Paris, the Grand Duchess spoke of her social and humanitarian work as well as the upcoming conference StandSpeakRiseUp.
Speaking of the Grand Duchess... Also this week, she launched her own website. And even though I did read the official explanation why, I couldn't help but wonder: Why though? A special section on the official website, sure. Maybe generally giving the cour's website a makeover, sure. But another website? I just don't get it. Yours truly will bookmark it anyway to see if there will be any interesting updates.

In unfortunately picture-less news, Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla also attended a gala dinner for BIG against breast cancer at the Cercle de Lorraine in Brussels sometime this week. (No) more information here.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Weekly Roundup: Conferences, Audiences, and More

November 3rd-November 9th, 2018

In this week's Weekly Roundup, we start by digging a little into the past to include an event that Grand Duke Henri conducted at the end of October. He visited the Oikopolis center in Munsbach for an agricultural fair, at the invitation of the coopérative Biobauere Lëtzebuerg (BIOG). Along with the Minister of Agriculture, Viticulture and Consumer Protection, Fernand Etgen, the Grand Duke learned more about the organic farming initiatives in Luxembourg. A number of photos at the link.

Meanwhile in Liechtenstein, on the 5th Hereditary Prince Alois welcomed Swiss Federal Council President Karin Keller-Sutter and President of the National Council Dominique de Buman. They were invited by the President of the Landtag Albert Frick and also met with him to discuss public transportation across the two countries' borders, as well as migration.

Photo: © Paul Trummer / TravelLightart / Vaterland /
We also catch up with Archduke Carl Christian (husband of Marie Astrid), who on November 7th headlined a conference at the Lycée de l'Immaculée Conception, in Laval, France. The conference was entitled "Le bienheureux Charles d’Autriche et Zita, témoins pour notre temps" ("Blessed Charles of Austria and Zita, witnesses for our time"). No photos from the event at this time.

On November 8th, Grand Duke Henri had two events. During the first, he received in audience the Executive Committee of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS). On the 8th and 9th, the Commissariat aux assurances (CAA) hosts the 25th annual conference of the IAIS in Kirchberg. The event drew around 500 attendees to explore the larger focus of "Re-imagining Insurance." 

Photo: © Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli / tous droits réservés
After that, the Grand Duke received Carlo Hansen, who is the President of the Fondation Jeunes Scientifiques Luxembourg (Young Scientists Foundation Luxembourg), and Max Arendt, the winner of the 47th annual contest "Jonk Fuerscher" for his project "R.A.M. - A robot that could change the world."

Photo: © Cour grand-ducale / Claude Piscitelli / tous droits réservés
On Friday the 9th, Grand Duke Henri received René Friederici, the new Luxembourg President of the Rotary BELUX District 1630. (The role of President rotates to someone from Luxembourg every five years.) The purpose of the Rotary club is to encourage community service opportunities and promote business and professional ethics.

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

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Weekly Roundup: Humanitarian Mission to Lebanon and More

October 28 to November 2, 2018

Welcome to a slightly belated Weekly Roundup, so let's get right into it.
Photo: Sophie Margue / Cour grand-ducale
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa travelled to Libanon this week for a humanitarian mission. During the three-day trip she met with the President, President of Parliament and Prime Minister of the country. On the first day, she also visited the Rafik Hariri University Hospital and met with employees of Unicef and the Red Cross. 
Photo: Paul Schirnhofer / Cour grand-ducale
On the second day, the Grand Duchess visited Arceniel, which "supports Lebanon’s most underprivileged and marginalised communities, regardless of religion, political affiliation or nationality" and a refugee camp in Bar Elias. She also paid a visit to a Caritas safehouse for victims of sexual abuse in preparation for the conference she will be hosting on the topic next year in Luxembourg.
Photo: Sophie Margue / Cour grand-ducale
More pictures at the cour here and here as well as Wort and Tageblatt. RTL also has a video.
Back home in Luxembourg, there wasn't too much going on this week. On Friday, Grand Duke Henri, Archduchess Marie-Astrid as well as Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla with their children Léopold and Charlotte attended the attended traditional All Souls' Day mass at the Cathédrale Notre-Dame to honour the deceased members of the Grand Ducal Family. More pictures at the cour.
Photo: IKR
Last but not least: A quick addition to last week's Roundup: On October 26, Hereditary Prince Alois  met Guy Parmelin, Head of the Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of the Swiss National Council. More info at Vaterland.