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Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg rejects abdication rumours as he marks 20th anniversary of his reign

Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa
Photo by Sophie Margue/ Cour Grand-Ducale

The Grand Duke of Luxembourg has said he has no intention of standing aside in favour of his heir. Grand Duke Henri’s comments came in an interview marking the twentieth anniversary of his accession.

Speaking to the newspaper Luxemburger Wort, the Grand Duke was asked about persistent rumours that he is on the point of abdicating in favour of his eldest son, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume. He pushed them aside, saying ”it isn’t possible” to do such a thing ”at a time of crisis”, adding that it would ”be like surrendering”.

His comments about abdication and crises came hot on the heels of questions about the Waringo report, the investigation which found a ‘culture of fear’ at the Grand Ducal Court and which led to reforms. The Grand Duke says he believes the changes will be ‘a very positive step’ but adds that he would favoured bringing them about with a different approach. He adds that he and his wife, Maria Teresa, were ”shocked by the rumours that have spread”, a reference to the questions raised over the way in which the Grand Duchess had acted within the court.

Henri addressed the issue in a wide ranging conversation with the paper in which he reflected on his two decades as Grand Duke. He said the two decades were ”impossible to sum up” in just one phrase and he went on to reflect on the many changes his country has seen since he took the throne.

He also acknowledges the questions raised about the current place of the Monarchy in Luxembourg society but adds that he believes it brings ”a certain continuity” while recognising that any desire for change must ”be decided democratically”.

Henri became Grand Duke of Luxembourg on October 7th 2000 on the abdication of his father, Grand Duke Jean.

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Lydia is a writer, blogger and journalist. She's worked in the media for over twenty years as a broadcast reporter, producer and editor as well as feature and online writer. As well as royals and royal history, she's a news junkie and podcaster.