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Luxembourg

Grand Duke Henri focuses on Ukraine, repression in Iran and the fight for democracy in Christmas Eve address

Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg’s Christmas Eve address took a serious tone this year, focusing on the war in Ukraine, repression in Iran and the global fight for democracy.

The Grand Duke addressed the ongoing war in Ukraine, calling the Russian invasion “a brutal war of aggression” and said that it “calls into question everything on which we, since 1945, have built our peaceful coexistence: resolving conflicts through dialogue and not through violence.”

His Royal Highness did not forget the injustice currently taking place in Iran, where he said that “women and young girls are mistreated, mercilessly repressed, and sometimes even murdered.” He added that these offences also occur in Afghanistan (where the Taliban recently banned women from attending university), saying the women “remain the victims of a societal conception desperately rooted in the Middle Ages.”

The Grand Duke said that people across the globe are “fighting for more democracy and greater respect for human rights,” adding that “we make every effort to promote the development of less fortunate countries.”

The results of the UN Climate Change Conference in Egypt were touched on, and the struggle for the environment as well.

However, the Grand Duke’s speech took a positive turn when he spoke of Luxembourg, its openness and its strength. He said the commitment to peace in Europe is the main strength of Luxembourg, as being part of NATO and the European Union. The head of state praised his country’s relations with Germany, Belgium and France and said that Luxembourg’s society of coexistence is a peaceful one made up of people from over 170 countries.

Grand Duke Henri spoke of the equal distribution of wealth and the need to support those who are falling behind due to the current economy. He stressed the importance that “our social model is inclusive, offering everyone their rightful place to flourish and find their way.”

His Royal Highness spoke of not knowing what 2023 will hold but said he’s sure that all those in Luxembourg and neighbouring countries will continue “together to defend our model of society.”

The Grand Duke concluded by wishing everyone a happy Christmas from the Grand Ducal Family.

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About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. She's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.