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Royal News

Major change in Luxembourg signals countdown to a new Grand Duke

The Grand Duke of Luxembourg has announced he is giving his eldest son and heir a new role that is traditionally the first step towards a change in ruler.

Grand Duke Henri will make his first born son, Guillaume, his Lieutenant-Représentant in October 2024. From that point, Guillaume will assume most of the constitutional powers of Luxembourg’s monarchy.

The appointment of a Lieutenant-Représentant has also become the first stage in the now traditional passing of power through abdication in Luxembourg.

In 1998, Grand Duke Henri’s father, Grand Duke Jean, made the same move. On March 4th 1998, Henri was sworn in as Lieutenant-Représentant and Grand Duke Jean abdicated in his favour on October 7th 2000.

Grand Duke Jean’s mother, Grand Duchess Charlotte, had followed a similar pattern. She appointed Jean as Lieutenant-Représentant in 1961 and abdicated in his favour on November 12th 1964.

Grand Duke Henri’s announcement, made on Luxembourg’s national day, is widely seen as a step towards his own abdication and the succession of Guillaume as Grand Duke.

Henri revealed earlier this year that his family had discussed his abdication in depth and even settled on a date for the passing of power. However, he said that date would remain a secret, for now.

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume was born in November 1981 and already undertakes a wide range of duties in Luxembourg. He married Stephanie de Lannoy in 2012 and the couple have two sons, Prince Charles, 4, and Prince Francois, who has just turned 1.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton who is a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. Her latest book, A History of British Royal Jubilees, is out now. Her new book, The Mysterious Death of Katherine Parr, will be published in March 2024. June is an award winning reporter, producer and editor. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.