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European RoyalsLuxembourg

Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg reunites to celebrate important religious festival

Members of the Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg have participated in the celebrations that marked the closure of the Octave. 

On Sunday, 14 May, the royals attended the church service at the Our Lady of Luxembourg Cathedral, which was later followed by a procession and an appearance on the balcony of the Grand Ducal Palace. 

The Archbishop of Luxembourg led the service in the presence of Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Prince Félix, Princess Claire and Prince Louis. 

Later on, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie and their children, Prince Charles and Prince François, joined the rest of the family for the procession, which also saw the participation of 42 other groups of people, made up mainly of pilgrims, worshippers and members of several associations. 

For the procession, which concluded with an open-air service, Prince Félix and Princess Claire were joined by their children, Princess Amalia and Prince Liam. 

The celebrations were closed by an appearance at the balcony of the Grand Ducal Palace by all members of the family that took part in the procession. 

For many, it was a surprise to see 6-week-old Prince François join his family for the celebrations, and he was held in his mother’s arms, wrapped up in a white blanket. At one point, he had to be comforted by his father, who was photographed gently stroking his hair while his big brother Prince Charles walked down the procession route holding hands with his grandmother. 

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa showed to be every inch the doting grandmother, dividing her attention between Prince Charles, Princess Amalia and Prince Liam throughout the entire procession.

The Octave is a traditional celebration in Luxembourg, where it has assumed its own peculiarities. Instead of eight days (hence the name Octave, from Latin octava, meaning eighth), it is celebrated for roughly 15 days, between the third and fifth week after Easter. 

These celebrations are held in the Grand Duchy in honour of Our Lady of Luxembourg, patroness saint of the country and the capital city.

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