Luxembourg’s National Day celebrations began on the eve of the National Day with the traditional changing of the guard at the Grand Ducal Palace. The Hereditary Grand Duke and Grand Duchess visited Luxembourg’s second-largest city, Esch-sur-Alzette and were welcome by Mayor Vera Spautz at the Théâtre Municipal. After laying a wreath at the war memorial, the couple made their way to the city centre of Esch-sur-Alzette, where they watched a parade of associations and clubs from the town. After a short reception in their honour, they made an appearance on the balcony. They then made their way to the Escher Volleksfest, a public fair, where they mingled with the crowds.
At the same time, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa visited Bettembourg and were welcomed by the Deputy Mayor Laurenz Zeimet. They visited the exhibition “Beetebuerg erliewen” or “Experiencing Bettembourg” at the Château de Bettembourg. In the castle’s park, the Grand Ducal Couple viewed a presentation by the local gymnasts before making their way to the Place Nelson Mandela for the Festival of Friendship. The Grand Ducal Couple and Hereditary Grand Ducal Couple then came together again for the traditional torchlight procession.
The next morning’s festivities kicked off with the official ceremony at the Philharmonie Luxembourg and was attended by Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa as well as Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie. In front of 1,200 people, the Grand Duke gave a speech on the importance of the National Day (Read the full speech here). Afterwards, the group made their way to the Avenue de la Liberté for the military parade.
In the afternoon, the National Day celebrations continued with an interreligious Te Deum mass, co-celebrated by the Archbishop of Luxembourg, the Chief Rabbi of Luxembourg and the imam of the Muslim community. The National Day celebrations ended with a gala reception at the Grand Ducal Palace.