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As he turns 40, how is Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg preparing to become sovereign?

On 18 December 2000, 19-year-old Prince Guillaume got his moment in the spotlight when he got sworn in as Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg. 

Since then, His Royal Highness has been preparing for his duties as sovereign of the small Grand Duchy in central Europe. 

Like most heads of state around the world, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg is also the Chief of the Armed Forces. In preparation for this task, Prince Guillaume trained at Sandhurst Royal Military Academy, in Surrey, England, from September 2001 to August 2002. He returned to the United Kingdom in 2018-2019, when he was in a class of post-university studies at Royal College of Defense Studies in London. 

His university education in political science and international relations, obtained both in the United Kingdom and in France, is also an essential element of his preparation for his duties as the future head of state, as he will be in charge of leading state and official visits to and from Luxembourg, aimed at strengthening the country’s position in the geopolitical balance, at least in Europe, and to create bilateral relationships to highlight the country’s excellences. 

Since his swearing as heir, Prince Guillaume has also undertaken numerous foreign trips to promote Luxembourg around the world and establish a presence for the country within the biggest international organisations. One of his first foreign trips was in New York City with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs to attend the Millennium Conference. Held in 2005 in the United Nation’s headquarters, the meeting was aimed at finding solutions to eradicate extreme poverty around the world, something that His Royal Highness has long held dear since. 

Within Luxembourg, Prince Guillaume is the patron of a number of councils and boards that promote excellence within the country; His Royal Highness is particularly interested in creating a collaborative work environment where different sectors can work together to achieve one common goal. A good example of this is his effort to end homelessness by providing affordable housing or accessible housing for people with disabilities; he has put together members from boards of building firms, organisations that work with the vulnerable and state actors to make it happen. 

But the most high profile piece of his preparation puzzle comes in the form of official state duties. Since his swearing-in as Hereditary Grand Duke, Prince Guillaume has attended an increasing number of official functions with Grand Duke Henri, including State Council meetings, New Year diplomatic audiences and a good number of state and official visits. 

His 40th birthday marks the beginning of a new chapter, during which he will not only have to keep learning how to best perform his duties as head of state, but he also has to pass that knowledge onto his son, who, one day, will also inherit the responsibilities his father and grandfathers have. He will have to step more and more into the spotlight as his role becomes more consolidated and prominent, always with the support of his wife, who has taken her own share of representation work ever since the two got married in 2012.