Friday, October 31, 2014

Mass and Conference for Empress Zita

Back in April - yeah, I know, but better late than never, right? - the Belgian foundation for the beatification and canonisation of Empress Zita organised a mass and conference in honour of the last Austro-Hungarian Empress. The mass at the Église Saint-Rombaut in Steenokkerzeel north-west of Brussels was celebrated by the Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, André-Joseph Léonard, and the lecture at the Château de Ham held by Jean Sévillia, a journalist who has published one of the most famous biographies of Empress Zita. Both events counted an array of Habsburgs among its guests, among them Archduchess Marie-Astrid, sister of Grand Duke Henri, and her oldest daughter, Archduchess Marie-Christine.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Budget Plans

The Luxembourgish government announced the state budget plans for 2015 today. 9.8 million euros of the draft budget have been earmarked for the Grand Ducal Family. Despite calls by the Young Socialists (like they happen every year), the three party coalition of the Democratic Party (DP), the Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party (LSAP) and The Greens never intended any budget cuts.

The 9,809,803 million euros in 2015 mark a rise of 397,226 euros compared to this year. The upward trend is expected to continue in coming years. It means that the cour grand-ducale costs more than 17 euros per head of the Luxembourgish population each year. Of course that it is a lot compared to other European monarchies though one has to also keep in mind that Luxembourg is a relatively small country with a small population. The majority of the money received by the Grand Duke - about 5.3 million euros - goes into the salaries of his staff. The staff of Grand Duke Jean costs another 1.3 million euros.

For the civil list, a kind of untaxed allowance given to the Grand Duke, the state has earmarked 1.7 million euros for 2015. The civil list is enshrined in the Luxembourgish constitution. Its aim is to keep the head of state independent from all parliamentary budget discussions. The civil list can only be changed at the beginning of a new reign.

Grand Duke Henri will also receive 703,000 euros for representative expenses. Grand Duke Jean will receive 241,421 euros and Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume 157,269 euros.

Viennese Gala Event

Professor of Economic of the University of Chicago Deirdre McCloskey was awarded the Hayek Lifetime Achievement Award in Vienna on the day before yesterday. The gala event, which took place at the Gartenpalais Liechtenstein, was also attended by Prince Philipp who actually handed the award to economics expert. During the same event, an award for a school competition called "Next Generation's Mobility" was also given out.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hereditary Prince Alois Receiving Ambassadors

Today, Hereditary Prince Alois received four ambassadors in Vaduz, for the presentation of credentials. The received ambassadors were as follows: Elschekova Matisova from the Slovak Republic, Gholamali Khoshroo from the Republic of Iran, Per Poulsen-Hansen from Kingdom of Denmark, and Magnus Hartog-Holm from Kingdom of Sweden.

No official photos have been released yet. Check back for them, in case they’re made available.

Movie Premiere: Jean, Grand-Duc vu Lëtzebuerg

Photo: Gerry Huberty / Luxemburger Wort /
A few gentlemen of the Grand Ducal Family made the movie premiere of the documentary Jean, Grand-Duc vu Lëtzebuerg a boys' night out: Grand Duke Henri and his oldest son, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, as well as Prince Guillaume and his oldest son, Prince Paul-Louis, watched the documentary about their father and grandfather's life and work at the Ciné Starlight in Dudelange. For some reason this article by Wort claims that Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie were also in attendance but as they are not pictured at all, I have my doubts.

The documentary about Grand Duke Jean will also be shown on TV on November 2 by RTL; the first part starts at 6:30pm and the second at 8:15pm. Of course we will post links if and when they become available. RTL offers a look behind the scenes of the documentary in this video.

More pictures of the movie premiere as well as lots of lovely pictures from the documentary itself can be found at Wort.

Prince Nikolaus Opens the Islamic Finance Conference

On Tuesday, Prince Nikolaus delivered the welcome address at the Liechtenstein Islamic Finance Conference. The title of the all-day conference was “Islamic Finance and Sustainability: A new Business Model for Financial Centres?” The overall focus was to explore how traditional Islamic banking and finance can benefit Liechtenstein, and vice versa. The larger goal was to consider how to make current banking in Liechtenstein compliant with Islamic traditions, in order to create an environment conducive to new banking opportunities.

Besides Prince Nikolaus, other speakers included experts in Sharia-compliant financial intermediation from universities and financial organizations.

No photos of the event have been released, but they will be added if any are.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Princely Commerce Councillor

Photo: Elma Korac / Liechtensteiner Vaterland /
Liechtenstein has a new Princely Commerce Councillor: Yesterday the Prince Hans-Adam II and his oldest son, Hereditary Prince Alois, jointly awarded the title to Günther Wohlwend, founder of the LIHGA, a bi-yearly industry, trade and commerce exhibition fair held in the Principality. In Liechtenstein, title conferrals to persons, who in a special manner have distinguished themselves in furthering the well-being of the country or the Princely House, regularly take place. Other possible titles include Princely Councillor, Princely Court Councillor, Princely Justice Councillor, Princely Education Councillor and Princely Spiritual Councillor.

1 FL TV has a video of the event.

Grand Duke Henri in Belgium for World War I Commemoration

Photo: Luxemburger Wort / / REUTERS
Today, Grand Duke Henri was in Belgium to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First Battle of Ypres during World War I. The Grand Duke began the day in Brussels at the Musée Royal de l'Armée, which has hosted the exhibit 14-18, c’est notre Histoire since February of 2014.

Then at 3:00, Grand Duke Henri attended a ceremony at the King Albert I Monument in Nieuwpoort. Also present were King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, as well as Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands. The event began with a speech from King Philippe and continued with testimonials from the war, a short film, a wreath-laying ceremony, and a moment of silence.

At 5:30, the participants attended another event at Ypres, during which the Prime Minister of Belgium spoke. This ceremony also included wartime testimonies and a commemorative wreath-laying. More details about the 100th anniversary event can be found at

More photos can be found at Wort, Getty Images and Belga Image.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

"A Great Night in Harlem" Concert

On Friday night, Princess Julie of Nassau, the lovely wife of the Grand Duke's cousin Prince Robert of Luxembourg, was among the guests of the 13th annual "A Great Night In Harlem" gala concert at the Apollo Theatre in New York City. "A Great Night in Harlem" is a benefit concert organised by the Jazz Foundation of America to raise money for the Jazz Foundation's Musician Emergency Fund, which helps countless elder jazz and blues musicians in crisis across the country.

During the event, Princess Julie gave a speech about her experience of being a part of the Jazz Foundation.  She described the impact that this foundation has made on people’s lives and her being a major contributor to this foundation. The American-born wife of Prince Robert praised the efforts of all the workers and how dedicated they are to this great cause.

More pictures of the gala concert can be found at

Sources: Jazz Foundation, SOG

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Principalities Gotta Stick Together

Photo: IKR
Monaco's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Badia, was on an official visit to Liechtenstein yesterday and the day before yesterday. Apart from a meeting with his Liechtenstein counterpart, Aurelia Frick, to talk the European integration of both countries, he was also received by Hereditary Prince Alois for an audience. More at Volksblatt.