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Video: Grand Duke Henri talks of grief, change, commemorations and joy in Christmas Eve address

Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg was the second monarch to give a Christmas address today.

He touched on the grief Luxembourg suffered due to the death of his beloved father, the late Grand Duke Jean as well as the loss of two soldiers who died at an ammunition depot in Waldhof from the explosion of a World War Two bomb.

On the loss of his father, the Grand Duke said, “Grief is also an emotion that the entire country shared with me and my family well beyond the borders when had to say goodbye to Grand Duke Jean on 23 April, a good and a worried father. The memory of an outstanding and devoted head of state remains.”

He also mentioned those who were impacted by the unusual and devastating tornado in Luxembourg this year.

His Royal Highness then added, “Today, the Grand Duchess and I feel particularly connected to all those people who were not on the sunny side of life last year.”

Grand Duke Henri took time to praise Grand Duchess Maria Teresa’s Stand, Speak Up, Rise initiative and forum saying, “Not only did the forum point the finger at a cruel reality but it also celebrated life and survival.”

Of course, one of the happiest moments for the Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg this year was the announcement that the Hereditary Grand Ducal Couple are expecting their first child.

“All of us were also very happy when we received the news that Prince Guillaume and Princess Stéphanie will have a child next year,” he said.

Commemorations surrounding World War Two were also a focus:

“This year also revolved around memory. Commemoration ceremonies across the country dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the liberation also reminded us how grateful we need to be to the people who took a stand for our freedom and for our values. All too often, their engagement came at the price of their life.

“What remains is freedom, memory, and hope that war will never be considered to be a solution again.”

The Grand Duke also mentioned our changing world and modernity, but he stressed that people should also hold onto their cultures and identities.

“For these reasons, it is important to have ideals and role-models or at least to believe in fixed values such as respect, compassion, and tolerance for our fellow citizens,” His Royal Highness remarked.

Grand Duke Henri concluded by saying, “The Grand Duchess, Prince Guillaume, Princess Stéphanie an all of our children join me in wholeheartedly wishing you a merry Christmas and all the best for a happy and successful new year.”

The full speech can be read in English on RTL.

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.