Yesterday, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa spent their second day in Paris on the occasion of their state visit to France.
The day started with an official meeting with Gérard Larcher, the President of the French Senate, at the Hôtel du Petit Luxembourg, the President’s official residence. The French senators sit in the Palais du Luxembourg which is nearby. Both of this buildings are in the Jardin du Luxembourg, and they were named after the man who owned the Hôtel du Petit Luxembourg, François de Piney, Duke of Luxembourg.
Afterwards, the Grand Ducal Couple met with Paris’ Mayor Anne Hidalgo at the City Hall. After a private meeting, Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, and Anne Hidalgo signed a memorial parchment and exchanged gifts. A reception then took place for invited guests and members of the Luxembourgish community living in Paris. The Grand Ducal Couple’s only daughter Princess Alexandra – who lives and works in Paris – attended the reception. She was not announced to attend, so it is not known if she attended in an official capacity with her parents or as a guest.
Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa were then received for an official lunch by the French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe at the Hôtel de Matignon, and they were able to talk with Luxembourgish and French ministers about the intergovernmental seminar they took part in before the Grand Ducal Couple arrival.
In the afternoon, the Grand Ducal Couple met with the French Presidential Couple Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron at the Académie Française in honour of International Francophonie Day. This event was planned for the French President before the state visit was announced, so it was included in the schedule of the Grand Ducal Couple as one of Luxembourg’s official language is French.
Following this event, Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, and Brigitte Macron visited Station F with the Luxembourgish delegation. Station F is a start-up incubator set up in a former railway building, and they had the opportunity to learn about the ShareIT.io acceleration programme, whose objective is to help social and environmental entrepreneurs to develop projects to build solutions that address societal challenges. They also met officials of the NGO, ‘We are not Weapons of War’ and the association Hackers Against Natural Disaster.
Finally, the Grand Ducal Couple and Brigitte Macron took part in a private guided tour of the Rodin Museum which is currently hosting the ‘Steichen/ Rodin: a dialogue’ exhibit which reflects on the friendship between two men, an American of Luxembourg origin – Edward Steichen- and a Frenchman – Auguste Rodin. The Grand Ducal Couple then hosted a reception in the gardens of the museum, and surprisingly, they were joined by other members of the Grand Ducal Family. Indeed, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie, Prince Félix, Princess Claire, Prince Louis and Princess Alexandra all attended the reception with their parents. Only Prince Sébastien did not participate, but the Court did not say why.
Tomorrow, the Grand Ducal Couple will conclude their state visit in Toulouse, in the South of France, where they will visit the Airbus factory among other events.