Saturday, May 4, 2019

The Last "Äddi": Grand Duke Jean Laid to Rest

Photo: Cour grand-ducale
It was shortly before half-past eleven this morning when Grand Duke Jean left the palais grand-ducal for the very last time. Representatives of eleven reigning monarchies, countless non-reigning and noble houses, former presidents of Germany, France and Portugal, national and international dignitaries had already taken their place at the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Luxembourg, when Luxembourg's former Grand Duke, who died almost two weeks ago aged 98, made his final journey through the streets of Luxembourg towards the Cathedral. 
Photo: Cour grand-ducale
The coffin of Grand Duke Jean was draped in a flag based on the Grand Duchy's coat-of-arms prominently displaying the Red Lion. The Grand Duke's mortal remains were carried on a howitzer gun mount, once gifted to Grand Duke Jean by the Irish Guards, towed by a military vehicle of the Luxembourg Army. As 21 canon salutes were fired, the funeral procession including the members of the Grand Ducal Family, military and police delegations, the highest ranking political and other dignitaries, slowly made their way to the Cathedral. It was interesting to note that the three oldest of Grand Duke Jean's great-grandchildren, namely Princes Gabriel and Noah and Count Léopold de Limburg-Stirum, also attended the service. 
Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Sophie Margue
Grand Duke Jean's coffin was carried into the Cathedral to the sounds of De Wilhelmus, Luxembourg's grand ducal anthem, the lyrics of which are actually about (the love of) Grand Duchess Charlotte and Prince Felix, the late Grand Duke's parents. The funeral mass was presided over by Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich and his concelebrants included former Archbishop Fernand Franck and Augustine Kasujja, the Apostolic Nuncio to the Grand Duchy. The Grand Ducal Family was heavily involved in the service with both Archduchess Marie-Astrid and Prince Guillaume giving the readings in French and Luxembourgish respectively. Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume (in Luxembourgish), Princess Marie-Gabrielle (in French), Princess Anunciata (in English), Prince Paul-Louis (in Luxembourgish) and Archduchess Marie-Christine (in French) read the intercessions, which they wrote themselves.
Photo: Cour grand-ducale / Samuel Kirszenbaum
The mass ended with the Sonnerie Nationale and the singing of the national anthem Ons Heemecht. Then came the perhaps most moving part: Grand Duke Jean's coffin was carried out of the Cathedral to the sounds of Highland Cathedral played by bagpipers of the Irish Guards together with the Military Music. It is a song that it very moving in itself and was probably the emotional highpoint of a generally very emotional day. Grand Duke Jean was then privately laid to rest at the Cathedral's crypt alongside his wife, parents, brother and further relatives.
Photo: Cour grand-ducale
If you wish, you can (re)watch the funeral service over at RTL. You can find more pictures in our posts here and here and all over the Luxembourgish media, just go on their websites and you will find easily find them. Our "field reporter" Arjan was in Luxembourg today and he will share experiences in the coming days, so make sure to come back. As we noticed that some attendees were missing on the guest list published in advance, we may also come up with a more comprehensive one sometime next week.

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