Prince Robert of Luxembourg, cousin to Grand Duke Henri, recently gave an interview to French magazine Point de Vue, talking about his business.
“This is the latest development of a society and especially of a family adventure,” Prince Robert told the magazine, “which bears the name of my maternal great-grandfather.
“When I opened the restaurant two years ago, my aunt Phyllis Collins assured me that Clarence Dillon’s only regret was not having opened a restaurant, which I totally ignored, but I am very happy to have fulfilled his dream.”
The restaurant inside the Domaine Clarence Dillon is named Le Clarence, in honour of his late grandfather and former U.S. Treasury Secretary and Ambassador to France, Clarence Douglas Dillon.
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His mother was American-born Joan Dillon, who became the first commoner to marry into the Luxembourg Grand Ducal Family in 1967. She married Prince Charles of Luxembourg and had two children with him – Prince Robert and an older daughter, Princess Charlotte – before he died in 1977.
Princess Joan became the President of the Domaine Clarence Dillon, an estate that owns three wine estates, and passed along control to Prince Robert in 2008. He’d been involved in the family business for a while at that point.
“If my mother had not been there, we would no longer be in France. She gave back a soul to the castle,” Prince Robert continued. She acquired the Château La Mission Haut-Brion, the Château Laville Haut-Brion, and Château La Tour Haut-Brion in 1983.
Le Clarence opened in 2016.
“In 2011, I come across this magical Parisian mansion,” Prince Robert says, “very close to the big luxury companies… It would be an exceptional showcase for our house, just a stone’s throw from where my great-grandfather had his offices.”
Prince Robert also raved about the kitchen and chef. “I did not want an expected kitchen. He brings his passion, he is behind his stove every day to give us cooking. Perfect precision, absolute freshness, intelligent modernity.”
Last year, Prince Robert gave an interview to Bloomberg and said that he “wanted to recreate the atmosphere of Haut-Brion’s château, so you feel like you are dining in a home.”