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Public invited to participate in Grand Duke Henri’s birthday celebrations

If you have ever wanted to participate in a National Day Parade which coincides with the birthday of a royal, now is your chance! Well, 23 June might be a national holiday and the date the birthday of Grand Duke Henri is celebrated, but no ruler of Luxembourg has their actual birthdate on this day.

The city of Luxembourg, according to the Luxemburger Wort, is in need of 300 people to carry torches on the evening of 21 June for the torch procession. This year is the first time people have been invited to take part in the procession. There will be many events held during this period to celebrate the birthday of Grand Duke Henri, which is officially marked on 23 June even though his birthday is 16 April.

Last year, all of the Grand Ducal Family participated in the National Day celebrations. Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie, Prince Félix, Princess Claire, Princess Alexandra, Prince Sébastien, Prince Louis, and Princess Tessy (who were still married at the time) were all in attendance.

Along with the torchlight procession, there were fireworks, changing of the guard at the Grand Ducal Palace, and the wreath laying by the Grand Duke and Duchess at the Monument to the Dead.

Similar to last year, a 21-gun salute will be given in the Grand Duke’s honour. It is expected that the Grand Duke and Hereditary Duke will inspect the troops before attending a Te Deum mass at Notre-Dame Cathedral. A reception will be held in the evening with politicians, dignitaries, and government officials in attendance at the Grand Ducal Palace to end the celebrations.

This year’s parade on the 22nd will begin at Puits Rouge, along Rue du Fossé, Rue Notre-Dame and Boulevard Roosevelt before it will pass in front of the Grand Ducal Family.

Applications for the 300 participants will be processed in chronological order. Anyone wishing to take part in the parade should email sfm@vdl.lu with the first and surnames of those interested. Be sure to register before 31 May 2017.

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