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Grand Duke Henri mixes grief and hope on Europe Unity Day

Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg took part in a series of events to mark Europe Unity Day on 9 May. 

In a year in which the continent and the European Union are trying to come to terms with the shock that was the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in blatant disregard for international law and national sovereignty, this day has been celebrated with a decidedly different feel. 

The Grand Duke took part in events that were held in the European village in Esch-sur-Alzette to mark the occasion. 

Accompanied by many of his government’s members, including the President of the House, the Prime Minister, the Ministers of National Education, Childhood and Youth, of Family and Integration, of Interior and Equal Opportunities, of Middle Class and Tourism, Grand Duke Henri took extra time in the Ukrainian pavilion to listen to the staff’s stories and taste some of their typical foods. 

The delegation also visited 60 more stands, a show of unity between nations in the EU and between the Union and international allies. 

This year also marks the Year of the Youth of Europe, so Grand Duke Henri also met with personnel from different European associations that represent and promote the interests of “Europe’s youth.”

The final event of the day was the plantation of a tree in the gardens of Brill Elementary School, a leading institution in Luxembourg, for a teaching method that promotes inclusion and diversity. 

Luxembourg’s Grand Ducal Family has been very involved in the ramifications of the Ukrainian conflict since the very beginning, with the head of state approving the use of one of the royal palaces to host refugees. 

The royals have also been always supportive of the European Union, often hosting EU events in their country and marking all dates with speeches or statements, as well as mentioning Europe in all important speeches.