Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Princess Nora at EYOF in Steg

Photo: Liechtensteiner Vaterland / Vaterland.li
Princess Nora, younger sister of Prince Hans-Adam II, was among the spectators for the European Youth Olympic Festival's (EYOF) boys 7.5 km and girls 5 km free cross country skiing events. She also handed out the medals for the female top three of the day. While the boys race was won by Janosch Brugger of Germany ahead of Egor Kazarinov (Russia) and Petter Stakston (Norway), the gold medal in the girls race went to Antonia Fräbel (Germany) followed by Olga Kucheruk and Polina Nekrasova (both Russia).

More pictures at Vaterland and Volksblattd. And while we're at it, more from Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie's visit to Malbun at 1 FL TV.

Henri and Maria-Teresa at Philharmonie Concert

Source: Anouk Antony / Luxemburger Wort / Wort.lu
On Tuesday, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by attending a concert at the Philharmonie. The concert, which featured works by Gideon Klein, Viktor Ullmann, Ilse Weber, and Laszlo Weiner, was organized by Israelitischen Konsistorium and MemoShoah, the latter of which was founded to "raise awareness of and inform people about the appalling fate suffered by the Jews of Luxembourg during the terrible years of Nazi rule."
 
Also in attendance at the concert were Deputy Prime Minister Etienne Schneider, as well as a number of other government officials. The Chief Rabbi of Luxembourg, Alain Nacache, opened the concert with a speech.
 
More photos of the event are available at Wort.
 
While Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa attended the local remembrance event, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie were in Poland to unveil a Luxembourgish plaque and commemorate the Soviet liberation of Auschwitz.

Guillaume and Stéphanie at Auschwitz

Source: AFP / Luxemburger Wort / Wort.lu
Earlier today, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie were in Poland with Prime Minister Xavier Bettel to pay their respects to the victims of the Holocaust, with a Luxembourgish plaque that was unveiled at Auschwitz.
 
The Hereditary Grand Ducal couple's attendance at this event dates from 2013, when the previous administration initiated talks to add a memorial to the former concentration camp. The plaque reads, in translation, as follows: "This place shall forever be a cry of despair and warning to mankind. Here the Nazis murdered one and a half million men, women and children, most of them Jews, from different countries in Europe."
 
This commemorative ceremony is also part of a larger event that recognizes the 70th anniversary of the Soviet liberation of Auschwitz. A number of other royals and dignitaries from across Europe were in attendance.
 
Almost 4000 people from Luxembourg were imprisoned by the Nazis during the Holocaust. Of these, 263 Jewish residents of Luxembourg were deported to Auschwitz, and 237 of these individuals died during imprisonment. A further 31 residents of Luxembourg, who were not Jewish, were also deported to the camp. At least one-third of them never made it back home. In total, the Holocaust claimed more than 700 lives from Luxembourg.

More photos at Wort, Tageblatt, L'essential, Bunte, and Getty.

Also, a video from the Auschwitz Museum:


Grand Duke Not to Travel to Saudi Arabia

This morning, the cour grand-ducale sent out an announcement that Grand Duke Henri would travel to Saudi Arabia tomorrow where he was to pay his last respects to the deceased King Abdullah bin Abdulasiz al Saud, who died on Friday at the age of 90. The Grand Duke had previously already sent a letter of condolence to the new King, Salman, which he would presumably also met while in Riyadh tomorrow. 

With a visit to Saudi Arabia, Grand Duke Henri would have followed in the footsteps of a number of other European monarchs and royals, who visited the country over the weekend. In addition, a lot of non-monarchical heads of states (or representatives thereof) have also travelled - or a currently travelling - to the Arab country to pay their respects to the late King.

However a few hours later in the mid-afternoon, the cour sent out another announcement that the Grand Duke had to cancel his plans to travel due to a "contretemps survenu en dernière minute" (whatever that exactly means...) All of his other plans for the week, like visiting Slonsk in Poland on the 30th, remain unchanged.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Alois and Sophie Watch Skiing Race

Photo: Screenshot / Volksblatt
Hereditary Prince Alois (wearing the volunteer's gear) and Hereditary Princess Sophie visited Malbun today where they viewed the girl's alpine slalom of the European Youth Olympic Games (EYOF) currently taking place in Liechtenstein and Vorarlberg, the neighbouring state in Austria. Malbun is a ski-resort village in the Principality's municipality of Triesenberg. While there, the Hereditary Princely Couple gave an interview to Volksblatt, see below. 

In it, Hereditary Prince Alois talks about being impressed by the performances of all the skiers including those from more exotic countries, being happy to be the ones to hand out the medals as he participated in a number of Malbun-based ski races when he was a child and teenager, and the difference in size of the EYOF and the Games of the Small States of Europe. Hereditary Princess Sophie, meanwhile, talks about being impressed by the girls' performances as well and not being in anyway a good enough skier to race with them.

As said in the interview, Hereditary Prince Alois also handed out the medals after the slalom race. The gold medal went to Leona Popovic of Croatia ahead of Katharina Gallhuber (Austria) and Aline Danioth (Switzerland).

Monday, January 26, 2015

Prince Max and Princess Angela in Kitzbühel

Photo: AOP
Prince Max and Princess Angela were in Kitzbühel, Austria, this past weekend where the second son of Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein took part in the Kitz Charity Trophy 2015. The charity skiing race took place as part of the weekend programme surrounding the Hahnenkamm race, which is probably the most prestigious of all World Cup alpine ski races. Representing Liechtenstein by wearing a jacket of their alpine skiing federation, Prince Max skied alongside former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, her fiancé Christian Horner, a bunch of other Formula 1 faces, actors and otherwise famous people. 

Prince Max and Princess Angela actually celebrated their 14th civil wedding anniversary on Wednesday last week with their religious anniversary coming up Thursday this week. All the best to them!

Hereditary Prince Alois at the EYOF Opening Ceremony

Photo: Michael Zanghellini / Volksblatt.li
 Hereditary Prince Alois was in Tschagguns on Sunday for the opening ceremony of the 12th European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF). More than 900 athletes, representing 45 nations, will be at the Festival. Hereditary Prince Alois spoke at the opening ceremony, along with the Austrian President Heinz Fischer, to an audience of 5000 people.
 
Also in attendance were the Prime Minister of Liechtenstein Adrian Hasler, Deputy Prime Minister Thomas Zwiefelhofer  and Marlies Amann-Marxer, Liechtenstein's Minister of Infrastructure, Environment and Sport. Additionally, the European Olympics Committee (EOC) President Patrick Hickey spoke to welcome the athletes and the dignitaries to the event.
 
The motto for the Festival is Sternschnuppen, or Shooting Stars. Liechtenstein is represented in this year's games by four athletes.
 
There are some photos of the opening ceremony at Vienna Online. Hereditary Prince Alois was interviewed at a party after the opening ceremony, where he commented: "It's (the festival) a great chance to attract attention for Vorarlberg and Liechtenstein. Fortunately we just had a lot of snow so that we have nice snowy skiing areas. So I hope that we will have great and successful event ahead of us."
 
Prior to the opening ceremony, Princess Nora also spoke in an interview about how the EYOF offers young people an opportunity to learn about Olympic ideals. There's a nice video of the interview here.
 
Also, nice photos of the Liechtenstein athletes at Vaterland here and here. Further photos at Volksblatt.
 
Source: Daniel Schwendener / Vaterland

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Prince Philipp and Princess Theodora Attend Showjumping Event

Photo: Screenshot
Prince Philipp and his granddaughter Princess Theodora were in Zurich, Switzerland, earlier today, where they handed out the prizes at the LGT Private Banking Challenge. The show jumping tournament is part of the Mercedes-Benz CSI Zurich. Prince Philipp and Princess Theodora already handed out the Challenge's award together last year. This year's challenge was won by Ludger Beerbaum and Zinedine. Other members of the Liechtenstein family such as Prince Philipp's wife, Princess Isabelle, or Princess Theodora's parents, Prince Alexander and Princess Astrid were likely also present for the event.

The whole LGT Private Banking Challenge show jumping event can be watched in the video below. The award ceremony starts at around 1 hour and 39 minutes.

Luxarazzi 101: Princess Sibilla's Diamond and Ruby Necklace

Generally, the Grand Ducal Collection lacks a little when it comes to rubies since the ruby pieces owned by Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte were sold at an auction a few years ago. However, there is still one family member who owns a lovely and major ruby piece: Princess Sibilla. The wife of Prince Guillaume may not have a large personal collection but it still includes some major pieces including her very own Diamond Art Deco Tiara.

Princess Sibilla's necklace features small central rubies surrounded by diamonds in what seems like a flowery motif with additional ruby drops attached to them set on a diamond necklace. In addition there are two large all diamond flowers on each side of the ruby and diamond motif. The piece is believed to have been a gift by Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte to their daughter-in-law upon her wedding to their youngest son, Prince Guillaume, in 1994. Princess Sibilla first wore the necklace to her pre-wedding ball. She continues to do so to almost every event she attends that requires some bling.

(Also notice the lovely diamond drop earrings Princess Sibilla is wearing in some of the pictures above. As said, her collection might be small but its mighty when it comes to carat-size and loveliness.)

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Grand Duke's Letter to the New King of Saudi Arabia

King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia died early this morning at the age of 90. Upon his death, he was succeeded by his brother the now former Crown Prince Salman. On the occasion, Grand Duke Henri sent a letter of condolences to the new King of Saudi Arabia also including best wishes for his future. (Below the full letter.)
Your Majesty,

On the occasion of the passing away of His Majesty Abdullah bin Abdulazi, the King of Saudi Arabia, the Grand Duchess and I would like to send You and through You to the Royal Family our most heartfelt condolences and warmest sympathy.

With regard to Your accession to the throne, We like to express to You our most heartfelt congratulations together with our best wishes for Your personal well-being and for the prosperity of the people of Saudi Arabia.

Henri
Grand Duke of Luxembourg