International royals

Petition calls for referendum on scrapping Luxembourg monarchy

The role of the Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg has been called into question by a petition calling for a referendum on scrapping the whole institution. The Luxembourg state currently pays the Luxembourg royals around 10 million euro per year, in addition to paying for 80 persons on the Grand Ducal Family’s staff.

Déi Lénk’s (the left) spokesperson Carole Thomma asked, “Do we consider representation by a monarch as important as the legislature of this country?”, in the supporting documentation for the petition. The petition is not currently accessible online, but it should be soon. The petition calls for a referendum on the form of government to be adopted during the constitutional reform. The referendum would enable citizens to state whether Luxembourg should be a republic or whether or not to retain the monarchy.

Under Luxembourg law petitions which receive 4,500 signatures or more will be discussed in Parliament. Public hearings will be held once petitions reach this threshold. There is currently also a petition calling for Luxembourgish to be considered the first official and national language for the citizens of Luxembourg. Luxembourg currently has three official languages, French, German and Luxembourgish.

The current Grand Duke of Luxembourg is Henri, son of the Grand Duke Jean and Princess Joséphine Charlotte of Belgium. Grand Duke Jean abdicated in favour of his son in 2000. Henri married María Teresa Mestre y Batista in 1981 and the pair have five children and currently three grandchildren, with one more on the way. Their eldest son, Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg married Countess Stephanie de Lannoy in 2012. In 2011 the succession to the Grand Ducal throne was altered in favour of absolute primogeniture, to ensure the birthright of the eldest born child, no matter what their gender is. This means that the daughter of their second son, Prince Felix, cannot be superseded by the birth of a younger brother.