Saturday, May 4, 2019

About My Father: A Heartfelt Letter From Grand Duke Henri

Photo: René Scho / RTL /
This letter was published by Grand Duke Henri to remember his late father, Grand Duke Jean, who will be laid to rest today. The letter was published in Luxembourgish and French, this translation was done by us.

About my father

Dear fellow citizens,

today on the day of the funeral of our beloved father, I would like to tell you how much he meant to us, his children, children-in-law, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was always there for his family, despite his many obligations he fulfilled with a great sense of responsibility and duty. In this, he could always rely on the support of his wife, my mother, Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte. 

His open and affectionate nature and his ability to approach people impressed everyone who met him. He was an incredibly positive person. He could always be enthusiastic about everything. Up until a few days before he was hospitalised, he insisted to take part in the Forum (about sexual violence) my wife organised or to visit exhibitions.

He was interested in everything that happened in the country. Even the difficult Brexit agreement proposals contained few secrets for him. I am convinced that our father's sincerity and enthusiasm are some of the reasons he reached such an old age. He passed his zest for life on to us, his family, and his humour brought more than one tear of joy and laughter to our eyes. He was our constant support, encouraging us, congratulating us for our actions while fully respecting our choices and decisions. 

Of course, the other ambition in his life was the deep love he felt for his country and the great affection for its people, their unity and diversity. The hardships he overcame with so much courage built an unparalleled connection with his mother, the Grand Duchess Charlotte. He believed in the good of humankind and its progress, just as he took great pride in the progress of our country in the past several decades. The affection and plentiful tributes for him by the people of Luxembourg of the past two weeks will remain for me one of the greatest and most memorable experiences of my life. 

A few weeks ago, when Grand Duke Jean was hospitalised, we all accompanied and surrounded him. He was the centre of three generations. Two days before his departure, he thanked those who cared for him, then he said goodbye to us. Those were his last words. Once more, he showed the greatness of his soul and his consideration for others. He died with the feeling of a fulfilled life. 

We, his children and his family, are particularly proud and happy to have had him as a father. 

Merci Papa,

we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everything you have done for us.


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