Grand Duke Henri has praised people across Luxembourg for their efforts to combat coronavirus in his speech marking the country’s National Day. The Grand Duke, speaking at a small, socially distanced ceremony, thanked everyone in his country for playing their part in helping to fight the virus.
Grand Duke Henri’s words were delivered at the Luxembourg National Monument of Solidarity which was decked with red, white and blue flowers, representing the colours of the country’s flags. He had arrived at the monument wearing a mask.
A small gathering of politicians, including Luxembourg’s Prime Ministre, Xavier Bettel, were present at the ceremony, taking seats at a safe distance from one another as Henri made his speech.
They heard the Grand Duke talk about the huge challenges that the coronavirus pandemic had brought with it. There were special words of praise for medical teams across Luxembourg who Henri praised for their professionalism and devotion, calling them ”an example for us all”.
Grand Duke Henri also thanked his country’s politicians for making tough decisions to try and save lives. His main words of praise came for all of Luxembourg’s citizens who he said had made a real difference by following the strict quarantine rules brought in to stop the spread of the virus. ”The solidarity and cohesion between all Luxembourgers and all those who live and work in our country, these are our best assets in facing this crisis,” said Henri, adding ”I am confident that we will have the strength to overcome the economic and social consequences of this pandemic.”
Although the majority of his speech focused on the coronavirus crisis, Grand Duke Henri also spoke of the importance of commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two. He said that the country had never forgotten the war years and still remembered all those who had worked to help rebuild the country afterwards, before concluding ”no, we will never forget you.”
The speech ended with a hopeful look to the future as the Grand Duke spoke of the great joy the arrival of his latest grandchild, Prince Charles, had brought to him and his family. And he placed the birth of Luxembourg’s future ruler in the context of history, referring to the new second in line to the throne as ”one of the children born in the Grand Duchy during the time of Covid-19.” The Grand Duke finished by saying that the warm welcome given to baby Charles across Luxembourg had touched him and his family greatly.
Luxembourg’s National Day on June 23rd usually features far larger public celebrations but all the public events associated with it were cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the small ceremony at the Solidarity Monument was broadcast on television and online.