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The line of succession in Luxembourg, the Grand Duchy where royal change is coming

The Grand Duke of Luxembourg had just announced a major change that begins the countdown to his own abdication.

On the country’s national day, Grand Duke Henri revealed that his eldest son and heir, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, will take on a new role this autumn that is traditionally the start of a passing of power.

Guillaume will become Lieutenant-Représentant. in October. From that point, he will assume the Grand Duke’s constitutional powers. The Grand Duke can revoke the decision at any time.

However, the move is seen as an indication that an abdication is now looming in Luxembourg. In 1998, Grand Duke Henri’s father, Grand Duke Jean, named him as Lieutenant-Représentant. Jean abdicated in Henri’s favour in 2000. Jean had taken the Grand Ducal throne in similar circumstances. His mother, Grand Duchess Charlotte, made him Lieutenant-Représentant in 1961 and stepped aside for him in 1964.

Grand Duke Henri said earlier this year that his family had discussed his abdication and even settled on a date for it but the timetable would remain secret.

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume is currently first in line to the throne with the succession secured by the expansion of the families of his siblings. Two new members have joined the family in 2024, meaning there are currently ten descendants of Grand Duke Henri and his wife, Maria Teresa, in line for the Grand Ducal throne. Three of their descendants can’t succeed – Prince Louis and his two children lost their rights to the succession following his 2006 wedding to Tessy Antony which was not recognised by the Grand Duke. His sons became HRH and princes but remain outside the line of succession.  

By decree of Grand Duke Henri in 2011, which instituted absolute primogeniture, succession rights are determined only by birth order.

The line of succession to the throne now likely to change hands in the near future is as follows.

1. Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume

© Maison du Grand-Duc / Sophie Margue

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume was born in November 1981 and became heir to the throne in 2000 on the accession of his father as Grand Duke Henri. He is married to Stephanie, Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, and they have two sons, Charles and Francois.

2. Prince Charles

Troisième anniversaire de S.A.R. le Prince Charles

Prince Charles was born in 2020, the first child of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie. The decision of his grandfather, Grand Duke Henri, to make appoint Guillaume as Lieutenant-Représentant means Charles could soon become heir to the throne.

3. Prince Francois

Maison du Grand-Duc/ Sophie Margue

Prince Francois was born in 2023, the second son of the Hereditary Grand Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg. He has been third in line to the Grand Ducal throne since birth.

4. Prince Felix

Prince Felix and Princess Claire
Photo by Sophie Margue/ Cour Grand-Ducale

Prince Felix is the second child of Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg. He is married to Princess Claire and the couple has three children.

5. Princess Amalia

Princess Amalia of Nassau
Photo by Sophie Margue/ Cour Grand-Ducale

Princess Amalia is the eldest child of Prince Felix and Princess Claire of Luxembourg and the eldest granddaughter of Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa. She has just celebrated her tenth birthday.

6. Prince Liam

Prince Liam looks at his new baby brother (Collection privée de S.A.R. la Grande-Duchesse de Luxembourg)

Prince Liam is the elder son of Prince Felix and Princess Claire.

7. Prince Balthazar

Prince Baltazar in the arms of his big sister, Princess Amalia
(Chateau les Crostes Instagram)

Prince Baltazar is the youngest grandson of Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa. He was born in January 2024.

8. Princess Alexandra

RTL screen grab/ fair use

Princess Alexandra is the only daughter of Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa. She married Nicolas Bagory in 2023 and lives in Paris.

9. Victoire Bagory

The only child of Princess Alexandra and Nicolas Bagory, Victoire was born in May 2024 in Paris. No photos of the little girl have yet been released. Victoire, as far as is known, is the only grandchild of Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa not to hold a royal title.

10. Prince Sebastien

Prince Sébastien

Prince Sebastien is the youngest son of Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg.

While no date for an abdication has yet been announced, it is now expected that Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume will assume the throne within a few years and the succession will change once more.