Church bells across Luxembourg will peel in honour of Grand Duke Jean who has died at the age of 98. All Catholic churches in the country will ring their bells at 12.15pm to remember the former Head of State who passed away surrounded by his family in the early hours of this morning.
The peels will last for fifteen minutes and come as the country starts to mourn the man who led it for 36 years. All Catholic churches in Luxembourg have been asked to keep Grand Duke Jean in their prayers.
On Saturday, the Archbishop of Luxembourg will celebrate a special Mass for the Grand Duke. Jean-Claude Hollereich will lead commemorations at the service which takes place at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Luxembourg at 5pm.
Grand Duke Jean died at on April 23rd 2019, over a week after he was admitted to hospital with a pulmonary infection. His condition worsened over the weekend and in the early hours of Tuesday his son, Grand Duke Henry of Luxembourg, announced his family’s loss.
”It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of my beloved father, His Royal Highness Grand Duke Jean, who has passed away in peace, surrounded by the affection of his family”
Flags across Luxembourg are flying at half mast while the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel, has paid tribute to Grand Duke Jean who he hailed as a ‘great statesman, a hero and a good man’. Xavier Bettel added it was a ‘hard moment’ for Luxembourg as the country prepares to say a final farewell.
Grand Duke Jean will be given a State funeral on Saturday May 4th 2019 at Notre-Dame Cathedral. Prime Minister Bettel will meet Grand Duke Henri later today to discuss details of the service.
Grand Duke Jean was born on January 5th 1921, the first child of Grand Duchess Charlotte and Prince Felix. He saw active service in World War Two and took part in the D-Day landings. Married to Princess Josephine-Charlotte of Belgium in 1953, the couple had five children and became Grand Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg in 1964 on the abdication of Charlotte. Jean ruled until 2000 when he stepped aside in favour of his eldest son, Henri. He lost his wife in 2005 and in retirement has been a busy and popular member of the Grand Ducal family.