Sunday, October 11, 2015

Claire Supports European Day for Organ Donation

Photo: Luxemburger Tageblatt /
Today is the European Day for Organ Donation and Transplantation. As the need for organ transplants is increasing worldwide, the on-going lack of available organs has resulted in an increase in the number of patients on the waiting list. In the European Union alone, 70,000 people are waiting for organ donations. Each day, on average, 14 people die while waiting for a transplant. To raise awareness on the importance of being an organ donor, a Charity-Indoor Spinning-Marathon was held at the LuxExpo today. Among those cheering on the athletes was Princess Claire (wearing a Bless the Mess Blazer). You might recall that the wife of Prince Félix is preparing her doctoral thesis on the bioethical evaluation of consent for organ donation with particular reference to Germany, Austria and the United States.

A gallery of visuals of the event at Tageblatt and RTL.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Luxarazzi Tiara Race (Grand Final): Belgian Scroll Tiara vs. Diamond Vine Leaves Tiara

After three and a half months, 30 matches and a third place race off, we are finally here: The Grand Final of the Luxarazzi Tiara Race or the one that will decide which one is your favourite tiara of the Grand Ducal Collection. First of all a big thank you to everyone who has voted in the last 31 polls and to those who commented and shared their views - this was a lot of fun! Also, congratulations to the Empire Tiara which is leaving the Race on a high note winning the small final by almost two thirds of votes against Queen Victoria Eugenia's Aquamarine Tiara.
Looking back at the very first post introducing the Luxarazzi Tiara Race, the Empire Tiara definetely was a favourite to win it. The two most mentioned contenders for the win along with it are actually our two finalists. Quoting from June, Ella of The Court Jeweller said, "I'll go out on a limb and predict that this year's winner will be the Diamond Vine Leaves Tiara. Perfectly proportioned, and with a gorgeous floral design, it has looked beautiful on every member of the family who has worn it." And Order of Splendor said, "I think the Belgian Scroll could take the whole competition, because it's just one of the most classically pretty pieces in the collection." Pretty good guesses on their part! And now, it's up to you: The Belgian Scroll Tiara or the Diamond Vine Leaves Tiara - tell us...

This time around, you will have eight days to vote (until Sunday, October 18), so enough time for careful consideration. 
Have fun and don't forget to tell us below which tiara got your vote!

Grand Duke Honours Victims of Second World War

Photo: Domingos Oliveira / RTL /
Today is Luxembourg's national day of commemoration which takes place each year on October 10, if the day falls on a weekend like this year, or the Sunday closest to it. On that day in 1941, the German occupiers organised a survey of Luxembourgish civilians who were asked about their nationality, mother tongue and racial group to find out who was Jewish or Italian, for example, and to pave the way to integrate the Grand Duchy into the Third Reich.

Photo: Domingos Oliveira / RTL /
The Nazis considered the people of Luxembourg to be German as well and expected them to answer the questions accordingly. Resistance fighters within the Grand Duchy realised what the true aim of the census was and thus started a massive awareness raising campaign so that Luxembourgers would write into the forms just what they were - Luxembourgers. Some 97 percent of the inhabitants of the Grand Duchy declared in the census their Luxembourgish identity and expressed that mir wëlle bleiwen wat mir sin (we wish to remain what we are) - the Grand Duchy's national motto. The refusal to declare themselves as German citizens led to mass arrests among the population.

To mark the day, masses and wreath laying ceremonies take place all over the country. Grand Duke Henri particpated in a religious service held the at the Cathédrale Notre-Dame and afterwards laid a wreath at the Monument vun der nationaler Solidaritéit on the Kanounenhiwwel where he also relit the eternal flame before visiting the interior of the memorial commemorating the fallen of the Second World War as well as Luxembourgish resistance and solidarity.

For more pictures, have a look at RTL and Tageblatt. RTL also has a video (starting at 5:34.)

Guillaume and Stéphanie Visit Autumn Fair

Photo: Thomas Holzer / L'essentiel /
The Hereditary Grand Duke and the Hereditary Grand Duchess paid a visit to the new autumn fair, the "Home and Living Expo", at Luxexpo earlier today. The fair focuses on decorating, design as well as architecture, and features some 300 designers from the Greater Region, meaning Luxembourg plus the surrounding parts of Germany, France and Belgium. Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie were given an inaugural tour and also attended the official opening ceremony featuring a number of speeches (and I can't help thinking that the picture above looks a bit as if they are considering to buy the chairs).

For more pictures, have a look at L'essentiel, Wort and Tageblatt. A video can be found at RTL (starting at 9:35).

Friday, October 9, 2015

Guillaume and Stéphanie Open Creative Hub

Photo: Lex Kleren / Luxemburger Wort /
Earlier this (Friday) evening, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie were among the guests for the official opening of the 1535° creative hub in Differdange. The former factory building by steel producer ArcelorMittal has been turned into workspace for some 200 young creatives from the fields of art, technology and more. 

The Hereditary Grand Ducal Couple was welcomed at the site by local mayor Roberto Traversini, which you can easily recognise by the fancy sash in the picture above. For the inauguration, they were accompanied by the Minister for Economy, Internal Security and Defense, Etienne Schneider, and Claude Meisch, Minister for Children and Youth, Higher Education and Research, and National Education.

Galleries of visuals at Wort and RTL.

Grand Duke Views Magna Carta

Photo: Lëtzebuerger Journal
The Magna Carta is currently on exhibit at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg as part of worldwide festivities to celebrate its 800th anniversary. This morning, Grand Duke Henri went to see the charter drawn up in 1215 to protect the rights of free English subjects from the King John of England and thus essentially laying the foundations for the rule of common law. The Grand Duke was accompanied by the new President of the European Court of Justice, Koen Lenaerts, European Court judge François Biltgen and Marc Jaeger, judge at the General Court of the European Union.

No pictures as of yet, but we will add them as soon as any pop up. Two pictures at Lëtzebuerger Journal.

Grand Duke Meets Hobby Archaeologists

To celebrate their 25th anniversary, Grand Duke Henri received a delegation of members of the Georges Kayser Altertumsfuerscher at the palais today. The Georges Kayser Altertumsfuerscher are a group of archaeologists who have their main excavation sites at a Gallo-Roman farming complex near the village of Goeblange in southern Luxembourg as well as through the entire Grand Duchy whenever archaeological remains are found. At the Paschtoueschhaus in Nospelt, the association also runs a museum.

As every so often during the last few weeks, no pictures as of yet but will be added if any become available.

Guillaume and Stéphanie Visit Chamber of Deputies

Photo: SIP
Yesterday morning, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie visited the Grand Duchy's Chambre des Députés. At the parliament, the couple was received by its president, Mars di Bartolomeo, the members of the bureau of the chamber as well as its secretary general, Claude Frieseisen. During the meeting, Guillaume, Stéphanie and their hosts focused on the legislative process, current parliamentary issues as well as current challenges ahead of the beginning of a new parliamentary session next week.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Luxarazzi Tiara Race (Small Final): Ena's Aquamarine Tiara vs. Empire Tiara

It's time for the final, the small final that is - the match of those two tiaras who did put up a good fight but lost their semifinals in the end, Queen Victoria Eugenia's Aquamarine Tiara and the Empire Tiara. Because, you know, it never hurts to have an additional tiara poll. Plus, it gives one of the following sparklers the chance to end the Luxarazzi Tiara Race on a high note! We will see both our grand finalists, the Belgian Scroll Tiara and the Diamond Vine Leaves Tiara (which reached about 55 percent of votes in our second semifinal), again on Saturday.
In a way, it seems that the small as well as the grand final have quite equal tiara matches, at least size-wise. Heading off against each other in the third place race off are Queen Victoria Eugenia's Aquamarine Tiara, worn by her great-granddaughter Princess Sibilla above, and the Empire Tiara, the one which would have apparently won if we had asked for your favourite tiara that most looks like a crown or is in a league of its own.

Hurry up, voting already closes on Saturday night (Lux time) this time around.

Grand Duke Meets President of the Court of Justice

At noon today, Grand Duke Henri received Vassilios Skouris, outgoing President of the Court of Justice of the European Union, for a last audience on the occasion of the end of his presidency. Mr Skouris served as the President of the highest court of justice for European Union laws, which has its seat in Luxembourg, since 2003 after having been a member of the court since 1999.

No pictures yet but they will be added if any become available.