Thursday, March 26, 2015

Guillaume and Stéphanie at the European Investment Bank

Source: European Investment Bank (EIB)
Today, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie were in Kirchberg for a working visit to the European Investment Bank. The President of the Bank, Werner Hoyer, was there to welcome them for their visit.

This banking-focused event comes on the heels of the hereditary grand ducal couple's recent visit to the Middle East to establish stronger financial ties between Luxembourg and countries in that region. The focus of the visit to the EIB was primarily about the bank's role in furthering the Investment Plan for Europe.

No photos have shown up yet, but they'll be added here if they do.

Photos now available on the EIB website.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Grand Duke Henri Sends Letters of Condolence

On Tuesday, Grand Duke Henri sent two letters of condolence, one to the President of Germany and the other to the King of Spain. Both letters expressed sadness for the tragic airplane accident that occurred in the French Alps.

The text of both letters reads as follows:

C’est avec une très grande émotion que la Grande-Duchesse et moi-même avons appris la nouvelle du terrible accident d’avion survenu aujourd’hui à Barcelonnette dans les Alpes françaises.

Au nom du peuple luxembourgeois, nous Vous exprimons nos plus sincères condoléances. Nos pensées et nos sentiments de compassion les plus émus vont aux familles et aux proches touchés parce drame.

Grand-Duc de Luxembourg

In translation:

It is with great emotion that the Grand Duchess and I have learned about the terrible airplane accident that occurred today in Barcelonnette in the French Alps.

On behalf of the people of Luxembourg, we express our deepest condolences. Our thoughts and our greatest feelings of compassion are with the families and friends of those affected by this dramatic event.

Henri Receives the Korean Ambassador for a Farewell Audience

On Tuesday, Grand Duke Henri received Chang-beom Kim, the Ambassador for the Republic of Korea, at the Palais Grand Ducal for a farewell audience. Chang-beom Kim has held the position of Head of Mission of the Republic of Korea to the European Union since 2012. His greetings and comments on his role can be read here.

No photos at this time. Should any be made available, they'll be added.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Painting of Archduke Alexander and Prince Wenceslas Unveiled by Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Photos: Corporal Steve Blake RLC
On March 17, St Patrick's Day that is, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were on hand for the annual Irish Guards’ St Patrick’s Day Parade in Aldershot during which the Duchess the traditional sprigs of shamrock to the Officers and Guardsmen on parade. Together with her husband also known as Prince William she also unveiled a painting of some thirty Irish Guards officers by Lindy Allfrey.

Among those on the painting reportedly also are two fellow royals, Archduke Alexander of Austria and Prince Wenceslas of Nassau. You might recall that the sons of Princess Marie-Astrid and Prince Jean of Luxembourg respectively both attended and had their passing out from the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst three years ago. While I'm fairly certain that Archduke Alexander is the sixth from the right standing, I have a bit of a Where's Waldo moment when it comes to Prince Wenceslas... (Is he the fourth from the left standing? Or the fifth, in the matching, possibly Luxembourgish uniform to Alexander?) What I can tell you for certain is that as per the artist Prince Wenceslas actually travelled from Africa for his sitting. (Thanks heavens it wasn't the other way around...)
Where's Wenceslas?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Prince Max Presents Annual Balance

Photo: Keystone
During a media briefing today, the LGT Group, the Princely Family's bank, announced that net profits rose more than 18 percent last year as the bank attracted fresh funds and acquired a large portfolio of accounts from HSBC's private bank. During the meeting, Prince Max stated that he believes that "some, and I count Liechtenstein among them, will have gone from A to B in a relatively smooth sensible way, understanding pretty early on in the process what the trends are and positioning themselves accordingly, and others will struggle much harder" when asked about Liechtenstein positioning itself as a financial centre for clean money during the past few years.

Pictures of the press meeting in Zurich at Volksblatt and Vaterland.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Prince Hans-Adam: "All My Sons Are Sensible. Much More Than I Am."

Photo: Nicola Pitaro / Schweiz am Sonntag
Prince Hans-Adam has given an interview to Swiss Sunday newspaper Schweiz am Sonntag, which was published this weekend. In it, he talks about why the monarchy has such a great support in Liechtenstein's population, that he believes that monarchy will have a renaissance in these uncertain and changing times, and that his sons are much more sensible than he ever was attesting them diplomatic skills he does not have himself. The full interview is available here. It also mentions that Prince Hans-Adam recently attended an alumni event by his alma mater University of St. Gallen.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Two Audiences for Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa

Source: Marc Schmit / Cour grand-ducale
On Friday, Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa received in audience historian Charles Barthel, who is also the author of Au service de l’humanité – Histoire de la Croix-Rouge luxembourgeoise. This history of the Luxembourg Red Cross honors the organization's Centenary celebrations.

Additionally, the Grand Duchess received the steering committee that is planning the different festivals and activities to mark the 100th anniversary. Maria-Teresa has been the president of the Luxembourg Red Cross since 2005 and will mark her 10th anniversary in that position on April 8th of this year. Additionally, she chairs the organization's Board of Directors, as well as the Executive Committee.

Then later in the afternoon, Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa received in audience Oswald Schroeder and Tom Bellion. Mr. Schroeder is the vice-president, and Mr. Bellion the director, of the Luxembourg City Tourist Office (LCTO), and they received a check for the revenues received from guided tours of the Palais Grand Ducal. The funds will be donated to the Fondation du Grand-Duc et de la Grande-Duchesse.

No photos so far. But they'll be added if any are made available.

Photos from the Cour website here and here.

A Luxembourg and Liechtensteins in Morocco

The 25th Crans Montana Forum took place between March 12 and March 14 in Dakhla, a city in Western Sahara under Moroccan control. Founded in 1986 in Crans Montana, the Swiss organisation's aim is to give a platform for direct contacts between business, government and political leaders of from around the world. 

This year's forum was themed “South-South cooperation and the development of Africa” and counted King Mohammed VI of Morocco among its speakers. Now finally getting to the point why this point made it onto the blog: Prince Jean, who has long been involved with the Crans Montana Forum, also was in Morocco for the occasion. Other regular and not-so-regular Luxarazzi faces involved with the organisation include Hereditary Prince Alois as well as his second cousin once removed Prince Anton of Liechtenstein. According to reports, a Prince Georg of Liechtenstein was also present for this year's event. I'm inclined to believe it was Prince Anton's son as Hereditary Prince Alois' son Georg is probably a bit too young to appreciate such an event.

Luxembourg Royals Attend Memorial for Prince and Duke Ernest-Charles d'Arenberg

Yesterday, Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla attended a memorial mass for Prince and Duke Ernest-Charles d'Arenberg who was killed in battle on March 21, 1915, fighting for France during the First World War. The memorial mass took place at the Cathédrale Saint-Louis des Invalides in Paris. The scion of the French branch of the family was married to Thérèse de La Rochefoucauld d'Estissac, who died in 1958. According to this 1915 New York Times article he was the 10th member of the French aristocracy to die in World War I.

Getty Images has a gallery of visuals of the mass also attended by a number of other royals and nobles.

Luxarazzi 101: House of Kálnoky

There are currently not one but two Liechtenstein princes married to members of the Kálnoky de Kőröspatak family: Prince Constantin, third son of Prince Hans-Adam II, married in 1999 Countess Marie Kálnoky de Kőröspatak. Already in 1995, Prince Emanuel, Constantin's fifth cousin and brother of Liechtenstein's ambassador to Germany, Prince Stefan, had married Marie's older sister Countess Alexandra Kálnoky de Kőröspatak. Reason enough to trace a bit of their family's history.

The Kálnokys are one of the oldest magnate families of Transylvania. Their ancestor Akadás was the first chieftain of a Szekler tribe to appear in history. The Székelys are a subgroup of the Hungarian people living mostly in the Székely Land, a historic and ethnographic area in eastern Transylvania in today's Romania. In the Middle Ages, the Székelys, along with the Saxons, played a key role in the defense of the Kingdom of Hungary against the Ottomans. The Kálnoky family was firstly mentioned in 1252 as "comes" (chief) of the Szekler 'Sepsi' tribe in the person of Vincent Kálnoky, Akadás' son.

The family reached comital status within the Holy Roman Empire through Sámuel Kálnoky (1640-1706). He became the first chancellor of Transylvania in Vienna and was created Count Kálnoky Baron of Kőröspatak in 1697. The family is usually known by an abbreviation of their title, Count Kálnoky of (de or von) Kőröspatak. 

In the following decades, the Kálnokys made a number of advantageous marriages to daughters of noble families on the verge of extinction, thus considerably increasing the family's assets and influence in central and western Europe. Apart from their rather smallish ancestral homes in the Székely Land, the Kálnokys also owned three large estates in Moravia and today's Slovakia by the end of the monarchy in 1918.

At the beginning of the 18th century, through multiple marriages, the Kálnokys became close to Prince Constantin Brâncoveanu, ruler of Wallachia. An entire generation grew up in Bucharest at the prince's court and held public functions there. Through Countess Claudine Rhédey de Kis-Rhéde, grandmother of Mary of Teck, consort of King George V of the United Kingdom, the Kálnokys are actually even ancestors of the British royal family.

In 1741, Count Antal Kálnoky, Sámuel's son, established the first Transylvanian regiment of hussars to help Empress Maria Theresia in the Austrian war of succession. The regiment, which was also named after the Kálnoky family, remained in service until the end of World War I and thus end of the Austro-Hungarian empire. He was the last to successfully apply war tactics inherited by the ancient Szekler riding tribes of the steppes, during the 7-year-war.

For the next two hundred years, the family served in military and political posts under the Habsburg rulers. The Kálnokys were one of the 64 comital families who had a hereditary seat in the House of Lords in Vienna. The probably most famous member of the family was Count Gustav Kálnoky, who presided over the joint (Austrian and Hungarian) council of ministers, was minister of the Imperial House and of Foreign Affairs under Emperor Franz Joseph I. Gustav's brother Hugo Leopold was considered the best and most famous horseman in the whole empire.

Towards the end of the 1930's, one branch of the family was banished from their ancestral homes in Romania by the government for allegedly spying for the Hungarians. They moved to Budapest but later fled due to the Nazi invasion, then based on the Commununist take-over. One of their descendants, Count Tibor Kálnoky, has returned to Transylvania and even runs the Prince of Wales' guesthouses there. Another branch of the family also lost there possession in what today is Slovakia after World War II but has returned for their daughters' weddings to Csicsó (Číčov) since the fall of communism. And thus, also two weddings of Liechtenstein princes took place there.