Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Hereditary Princess Sees Play by Refugees

On Monday night, Hereditary Princess Sophie was among the audience for a stage play shown at Vaduz high school called "Refugees". The aim of the play was to give refugees living in the Principality a voice away from politics and the media and give them the chance to speak about being lost, lonely and vulnerable. The ten refugees who took part in the play were from Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tibet, Mongolia, Eritrea and Congo.

Henri Meets Prime Minister of Japan

Photo: AFP
The Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, was on an official visit to the Grand Duchy today. In addition to meetings with his Luxembourgish counterpart Xavier Bettel and the President of Parliament, Mars di Bartolomeo, Mr. Abe was also received by Grand Duke Henri for an audience at the palais grand-ducal.

Galleris of visuals at Wort, Getty Images and Tageblatt.

Birthday Concert for Grand Duke Jean

Mark you calendars, everybody, there are some exciting news in the house: Grand Duke Jean is having a birthday concert for his 95th birthday in January next year much like he did for his 90th birthday. And it gets better: The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess are inviting everyone (well, those living in Luxembourg) to join the fun at the Philharmonie on January 9, 2016. For how to reserve you seats, have a look at Wort. Here's hoping that all the grandkids (and possibly some great-grandkids) of "Apapa" Jean have also marked their calendars much like they did almost five years ago!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Interview with Prince Philipp and Princess Isabelle

Photo: L'express
Prince Philipp and his wife Princess Isabelle have given a joined interview to French news magazine L'express. You might recall that the parts of the Princely Collections of the House of Liechtenstein are currently exhibited at the Caumont Centre d’Art in Aix-en-Provence, France, and on the occasion, the couple took the chance to talk about the art collection, their love for France and who is Liechtenstein's sovereign. Read the full interview at L'express.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Luxarazzi 101: Château de Walferdange

Château de Walferdange, located just north of Luxembourg City outside the town of the same name, is one of the few castles with distinct ties to the Grand Duchy's Dutch rulers. The property was built sometime between 1817 and 1824 by Grand Duke Willem I (who was also King of the Netherlands) as a stud farm. However, Willem never visited the farm or even the Grand Duchy itself, where he was generally not very well-liked. Willem I was forced to abandon Walferdange after the 1830 Belgian Revolution in which much of Luxembourg joined in rebelling against Dutch rule. From the outbreak of the revolution to Willem's abdication in 1840, Château de Walferdange lay vacant.
The Château de Walferdange in 1834
Walferdange came to life again in 1840 with the accession of Grand Duke Willem II, the previous Willem's son and again also the King of the Netherlands. In contrast to his father, the younger Willem was popular in Luxembourg. He took a liking to both the Grand Duchy and to Château de Walferdange, ordering renovations to the home and grounds in preparation for use as a royal residence. Willem stayed at the château during several of his visits to Luxembourg.

Henry of the Netherlands, third son of Grand Duke Willem II, was Walferdange's longest royal resident. As the the very popular Governor of Luxembourg, Henry and his first wife Amalia of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach lived at the château for many years after their marriage in 1853. The couple extended the grounds of the property, and took an active interest in village life. Henry and Amalia were especially loved by the local children, who received gifts from the couple at Christmas. Amalia died at the home in 1872 of a lung infection, leaving her husband and the Luxembourg public to mourn her.

Walferdange Castle, with the fountain in the foreground.
(Photo: Luxemburger Wort / Wort.lu)
Following Amalia's death, Henry continued to live at Château de Walferdange. He brought his second bride, Marie of Prussia, to live in the home after they married in 1878. A few months later, measles began to spread among the children in the village. Henry caught the disease in January 1879. Although initially the illness did not seem serious, Henry quickly succumbed and died at the château on January 14.

Henry had assured his young bride that his will and other important documents were stored in a safe at Walferdange. Henry claimed to Marie that a new will was drawn up after their wedding, leaving the bulk of his massive estate to her. However, no will was found at the castle after Henry's death, allowing for a previous will to stay in effect. This left his siblings richer and Marie destitute. Marie pursued the matter in court but ultimately remained empty-handed; relations between the Netherlands and Prussia soured for years in the aftermath.

In the two decades following Henry's death, the château remained unoccupied. The commune of Walferdange used the home as a post office and even as a fire station for a time until Grand Duke Adolph rediscovered the property at the beginning of his reign. Adolph ordered renovations on the home, adding greenhouses and expanding the grounds to accommodate for better hunting.  Adolph and his family used the property as one of their many summer homes, serving wine to their guests from Walferdange's own vineyards.

Walferdange Castle today (Photo: Chronicle.lu)
Following Adolph's death in 1905, Walferdange passed out of the Grand Ducal Family.  The château acted as a school, a training center for teachers, and was used as headquarters for the U.S. Army following the liberation of Luxembourg in World War II. After the war, the Luxembourg Army used Walferdange as barracks until the late 1960s.

Since that time, Château de Walferdange has been purposed strictly for use in education within the Grand Duchy.  In 2003, the property officially became part of the University of Luxembourg's campus in Walferdange, housing the Faculties of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education. Recently, however, the property has passed into the hands of the Ministry of Education. The château and its grounds will house a private school during the 2015-16 school year and later be the home of smaller programs servicing visually impaired students and the Luxembourgish Online Dictionary, among others.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Louis and Tessy Tour Bazar International

Photo: Anouk Antony / Luxemburger Wort / Wort.lu
Seems like we are having the Louis-and-Tessy week here at Luxarazzi (and where can we petition to make this happen more often?): After not one but two events in London, Prince Louis and Princess Tessy were back home in the Grand Duchy today were they toured the stands of the 55th edition of the Bazar International at LuxExpo. A total of 61 nations are represented at this year's bazar on 75 stalls selling typical products and food from their respective countries. 

The bazar is under the patronage of the Grand Duchess who last toured in 2013 together with Princess Tessy and Princess Claire; last year it were the Hereditary Grand Duke and Hereditary Grand Duchess who represented the Grand Ducal Family at the event.

More information and pictures at Wort and Tageblatt.

Grand Duke Henri Attends Inauguration of SES Building

Photo: SES
Yesterday (November 27th), Grand Duke Henri was in Betzdorf for the inauguration of the new ATF (or Antenna Field Technical Facility) building for SES S.A. The Betzdorf Satellite Operations Centre (SOC) now offers ongoing monitoring across 33 satellites, but is positioned to host as many as 100 satellites that cover services ranging from television programming to airline WIFI to government requirements.

Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Deputy Prime Minister Etienne Schneider were also present for the inauguration.

A little more info about the satellites and the facility in general here and (in English) here.

Imre and Kathleen Attend Ball in Luxembourg

Photo: Sylvain Jolibois
Archduke Imre, oldest son of Luxembourg's Princess Marie-Astrid and her husband Archduke Carl-Christian of Austria, and his wife Archduchess Kathleen recently attended a ball hosted by the Derby Club of Luxembourg. The club, which is chaired by Archduke István, a cousin of Archduke Carl-Christian, was launched late last year and aims to create events to discover and enhance the economic and cultural assets of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Archduke Imre and Archduchess Kathleen were pictured at the ball together with Eleonore de Potesta, a granddaughter of Princess Elisabeth of Luxembourg, Duchess of Hohenberg and thus second cousin of Archduke Imre.

Louis and Tessy Attend Ball for Prince Napoléon

Photo: Sir Anthony Bailey
On Wednesday night, Prince Louis and Princess Tessy, who are pictured with Princess Marie Therese of Hohenberg and husband Sir Anthony Bailey above, attended a ball in honour of Prince Jean-Christophe Napoléon at London's historic Stationers’ Hall. The event, during which Prince Jean-Christophe received the Freedom of the City of London, was hosted by Sir Anthony Bailey and Sir Gavyn Arthur, 675th Lord Mayor of London. The profits of the evening went to the Internatiional Red Cross.

Other royal and noble guests included Grand Duke Georgi of Russia, Princess Elena of Romania, Princess Katarina of Yugoslavia, Princess Maria-Annunziata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Prince Constantin of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and his wife, Princess Katharina of Hohenberg as well as Countess Maximiliana and Countess Olympia of Arco-Zinneberg.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Liechtenstein Meets United Nations

Photo: IKR
In addition to the former Swiss President, Hereditary Prince Alois received to other high ranking guests at Schloss Vaduz today. Both Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, (above) as well as Martin Sajdik, Austria's ambassador to the UN, OSCE Special Representative in Ukraine and the UN's President of the Economic and Social Council, (here) visited Liechtenstein today and were received by the Hereditary Prince.