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Royal German-speaking heads of state meet for annual meeting

The German-speaking heads of state have begun their annual meeting located in Switzerland this year as the 2018 host is Swiss President Alain Berset. King Philippe of Belgium, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, and Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein attended as the heads of state of their respective countries. Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg, and Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein joined their husbands at the event which is being held Sils-Maria, Canton Graubünden, Switzerland.

After Swiss President Berset and his wife, Muriel Zeender greeted the foreign dignitaries and royals, a photo session took place before the assembled media on Wednesday. Each of the guests later signed a guestbook as the two-day event began before discussions took place on the theme “Participate in culture.”

Luxembourg’s Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa held a private meeting with the presidential couple during the Wednesday gathering. Luxembourg hosted the heads of state meeting last year with Belgium hosting it in 2016.

The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg meeting with the President of Switzerland and his wife on 5 September. © LUXPRESS/Cour grand-ducale

The Belgian Royal Palace said on Twitter about the annual meeting, “An opportunity to strengthen our ties with Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein!” This was the fifth time Belgium has taken part, according to the Royal Palace.

Countries represented at the gathering were Austria, Belgium, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and Switzerland. These countries all have German as an official language in their country. The President of the Republic of Austria, Alexander Van der Bellen and his wife, Doris Schmidauer and the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife, Elke Büdenbender were also in attendance.

R-L: Muriel Zeender, Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, and President Berset. © LUXPRESS/Cour grand-ducale

The 15th Informal Meeting of Heads of State of German-speaking Countries concludes today with a visit to the Julier Tower theatre.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. She's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.