Sunday, June 23, 2024

Grand Duke Henri's major announcement

© Maison du Grand-Duc

The plans for Grand Duke Henri's eventual abdication have been in the works for some time, but his announcement on Luxembourg's National Day caught most of Luxembourg's citizens off guard.  In his address, Henri, 69, said: "I would like to inform you that I have decided to appoint Prince Guillaume as Lieutenant-Representative in October. It is with all my love and confidence that I wish him the best of luck."

The Hereditary Grand Duke's new position is the first step toward succeeding his father as Grand Duke.   The date of Henri's abdication has not been announced.

Luxembourg's Prime Minister Luc Frieden told the local press: "This is the beginning of the next chapter for our monarchy.  He said the news was a shock to the public, but Henri's decision had been "mulled behind closed doors for a while."

He added: "We have been talking about it for some time, and I think that on the national holiday, it was the right moment because the grand duke is the symbol of our nation."

Embed from Getty Images 

 On March 4, 1998, Hereditary Grand Duke Henri was appointed Lieutenant Representative.  He succeeded his father, Grand Duke Jean, on October 7, 2000, as Grand Duke following Jean's abdication.
@Photothèque de la Ville de Luxembourg

Jean (1921-2019) was appointed Lieutenant Representative on April 28, 1961.  His mother, Grand Duchess Charlotte (1896-1985) abdicated on November 12, 1964, with Jean succeeding as Grand Duke.

The Grand Ducal monarchy's official website includes this explanation for the Lieutenant Representative position.

"The Grand Duke may be represented by a blood-related Prince or Princess, who will have the title of Lieutenant-Représentant of the Grand Duke and must reside in the Grand Duchy. The Lieutenant-Représentant will take an oath to observe the Constitution before being able to exercise their powers.

The Grand Duke delegates his powers to his Lieutenant and this acting capacity may be either temporary or permanent. The Grand Duke can restrict the extent of the mandate as he deems necessary. The powers of the Lieutenant-Représentant are therefore limited by this mandate. However, the measures they take by virtue of their mandate have the same effect as if they were issued by the Grand Duke himself."

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume is married to Countess Stephanie de Lannoy.  They are the parents of two young sons, Prince Charles and Prince Francois.

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