Tuesday, April 23, 2019

"Grand Duke Jean Was, Is and Will Remain a Symbol of Our Country": Speech by Prime Minister Xavier Bettel

Photo: Screenshot SIP
A visibly touched Prime Minister Xavier Bettel gave the following speech this morning remembering Grand Duke Jean who passed away during the hours of the night. The translation was done by us and is not official:

I have the sad duty to inform you that during the night at 12.25am at the age of 98, Grand Duke Jean has left us forever. It is a difficult moment for us all, for our country, for all Luxembourgers and all people of the Grand Duchy. It is an especially difficult and sad time for the Grand Ducal Family, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, for the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Grand Duke Jean and the many people who were close to him. In the name of the government and all the people of Luxembourg, I want to express my condolences and wish them courage during these difficult times. 

Grand Duke Jean was, is and will remain a symbol of our country, of our shared history. He stands for diligence and loyalty to our country, a close bond with the people. Grand Duke Jean was a role model for us all. With his commitment and dedication he left traces that will remain forever. He was born on January 5, 1921, at the castle in Colmar-Berg and was named Hereditary Grand Duke on the day of his 18th birthday. As a young prince, he fought for our values and convictions during World War II. He landed in the Normandy in June 1944. Three months later, he was able to help free the capital and rebuild the country after the war. Grand Duke Jean has fought for our freedom, our independence and the unity of our country. We will remain forever grateful and have the highest respect for his commitment. 

He stood from 1964 until 2000 at the head of Luxembourg. During his 36 years as head of state, Grand Duke Jean saw great milestones in the history of our country, he led us through good times and worse times. His affinity to the nature and his role as head scout are well-known, his respect towards others and his work for the weaker members of society will never be forgotten.

At 10am this morning, the government will meet to discuss the events of the coming days. At 12pm, I will also meet with the Grand Duke at Colmar-Berg. The state funeral will take place on Saturday, May 4, at 11am at the Cathedral.

It was a family man who left us today, a great statesman, a hero, a role model, a great life and a kind, great-hearted human.

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