Grand Duke Henri cedes the lieutenancy of the Grand Duchy to his son Guillaume

To everyone’s surprise, Grand Duke Henri announced, this Sunday, June 23, great news for the continuation of Luxembourg’s monarchical history. Next October, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume will become lieutenant representative of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Read also: Guillaume and Stéphanie of Luxembourg beaming in Esch-sur-Alzette on the eve of the national holiday

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume will become lieutenant representative in the fall

This June 23, 2024 in the morning, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg spoke at the Philharmonie Luxembourg, during the ceremony which opened this national holiday. To everyone’s surprise, Grand Duke Henri announced that he had consulted with Grand Duchess Maria Teresa regarding the future of the Luxembourg monarchy. “I want to inform you that I have decided to appoint Prince William as lieutenant representative in the month of October.”

Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa this June 23, 2024 on the occasion of National Day (Photo: LUXPRESS/Jean-Claude Ernst)

“With all my love and trust, I wholeheartedly wish him a happy hand. Let us look to the future with optimism, knowing that only together can we achieve great things. Long live Luxembourg and long live Europe! »declared the sovereign, ending his speech with a lively burst of acclamation, and kissing his son.

The Grand Ducal family and the Prime Minister gathered in front of the Philharmonie Luxembourg on June 23 before Grand Duke Henri’s announcement (Photo: LUXPRESS/Jean-Claude Ernst)

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa wore a pink dress, matching her husband’s tie, and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie wore a blue dress, matching her husband’s tie. The grand ducal couple and the heir couple thus represented the colors of the Luxembourg flag.

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume with his wife, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie, before Grand Duke Henri’s announcement (Photo: LUXPRESS/Jean-Claude Ernst)

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a constitutional monarchy. The Grand Duke is its representative as head of state. In the event of death or abdication, monarchical continuity is ensured by his successor, as it appears in the order of succession preestablished by the Nassau family pact. Currently, Grand Duke Henri’s direct heir is his eldest son, 42-year-old Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume.

Prince Félix, Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume in front of the Philharmonie Luxembourg (Photo: LUXPRESS/Jean-Claude Ernst)

Read also: The Grand Ducal couple launches the National Day festivities in Kehlen

Grand Duke Henri will cede prerogatives to his eldest son

As in many monarchies, a system of regency can also be put in place in the event of the sovereign’s incapacity. In the Grand Duchy, there is also a system of lieutenancy provided by a lieutenant representative. This lieutenancy takes place if the sovereign decides to entrust certain prerogatives to his successor. At the age of 69, Grand Duke Henri made the decision to establish a lieutenancy this fall.

Hereditary Grand Duke William will then have to take an oath to observe the Constitution before exercising his powers. “I swear to observe the Constitution and the laws and to faithfully fulfill my constitutional duties », he will have to pronounce, as indicated in article 58 of the new Constitution which came into force in July 2023.

A mandate will also delimit the prerogatives of the lieutenant representative. Grand Duke Henri, himself his father’s crown prince, was appointed lieutenant in 1998. His lieutenantship ended in 2000, when he finally acceded to the throne, following his father’s abdication. There have already been five lieutenancies in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, a country where abdication has also become a custom. Grand Duke Henri’s father, grandmother and great-aunt all abdicated in their time.

Hereditary Grand Duke William is already well prepared for the role. He has ensured numerous commitments with his wife, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie, for many years. Hereditary Grand Duke William himself became the father of his own heir in March, with the birth of his first son, Prince Charles. Last year, the heir couple welcomed a second boy, Prince Francis.

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Nicolas Fontaine

Editor-in-chief

Nicolas Fontaine has been a designer-editor and author for numerous Belgian and French brands and media. A specialist in royal family news, Nicolas founded the site Histoires royales of which he is the editor-in-chief. [email protected]

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