H.R.H. Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg : The beloved
On September 10, 1944, Grand Duke Jean was greeted by a jubilant crowd. He came to liberate his country from Nazi control. Tribute.
A youth in exile
In 1930, the threat of Nazism already weighed on Europe. One year after the centenary of Luxembourg's independence in 1939, the country was invaded by German troops. Grand Duke Jean and his family took refuge first in France, Portugal, the US and then Canada. In Quebec, he took courses in law and political science and in 2007, the Université québécoise de Laval awarded him an honorary doctorate. Later on, the grand-ducal family will be forced to go into exile once again in Great Britain. In November 1942, at the age of 21, the Grand Duke decided to join the Irish Guards, the Catholic corps of the British army. The Crown Prince served at the front. This act of bravery made him the only head of state directly involved in the liberation of his country and Europe.
“During his reign, Grand Duke Jean played a leading role in Europe.“
A craftsman of Europe
Throughout his life, the Grand Duke was involved in philanthropic causes and particularly with the Luxembourg Boy Scouts Association, as Chief Scout. He received a large number of Luxembourg and foreign honors, including the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen, awarded to outstanding personalities who have committed themselves to European unification. During his reign, the Head of State played a leading role in Europe, always trying to receive his peers in Luxembourg and defend the city's position as European capital. According to French President Georges Pompidou, if Europe had to choose a president, Grand Duke Jean would have been a prime candidate.
An assured succession
In April 9, 1953, he married Her Royal Highness Princess Josephine-Charlotte of Belgium. From this union were born 5 children: Princess Marie-Astrid, Prince Henri, Prince Jean, Princess Margaretha and Prince Guillaume. On November 12, 1964, he succeeded his mother, Grand Duchess Charlotte, as Grand Duke. On October 7, 2000, he abdicated in favor of his son, Henri. Grand Duke Jean enjoys a discreet retreat at Fischbach Castle, but does not miss any important commemorations. He attended the 100th anniversary of Grand Duchess Charlotte's accession to the throne and the centenary of the Scout movement in the Grand Duchy.