On the occasion of the public celebration of the birthday of HRH the Grand Duke, members of the Grand Duke’s family and the government attend the festivities organised in Grevenmacher, Esch-sur-Alzette and Luxembourg City on 22nd and 23rd June 2023.
22 June 2023
Changing of the guard in front of the Grand Ducal Palace
The National Day festivities kick off on 22 June in front of the Grand Ducal Palace with the traditional Changing of the Guard, in which an army honour detachment under the command of Lieutenant Raphaël Neves takes part.
The musical arrangement is provided by the Military Band, conducted by Lieutenant-Colonel Jean-Claude Braun, Head of the Military Band.
The Grand-Ducal couple in Grevenmacher
In the late afternoon, TRH the Grand-Duke an the Grand-Duchess visit the city of Grevenmacher in the east of the country.
The Grand Ducal couple are welcomed at the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville by the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Fernand Etgen, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Consumer Protection, Minister of Health and Minister Delegate of Social Security, Paulette Lenert, the Minister for Small and Medium-sized Businesses, Minister for Tourism, Lex Delles, the Minister for Housing, Minister of Internal Security, Henri Kox, as well as the Deputy Mayor of Grevenmacher, Léon Gloden, the college of aldermen and the municipal council. The “Wilhelmus” is performed by the City Harmony of Grevenmacher.
After the presentation of the guests of honour, including the wine queen Zoé with her princesses, and the welcome speech by Léon Gloden, TRH the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess head to Saint-Laurent church to lay a wreath of flowers.
On the cultural front, the Grand Ducal couple has the opportunity to discover the exhibition of graffiti paintings created by the Maison de jeunes in collaboration with artist André Scholtes in the building’s cellar. Sport is also on the agenda, with a table football competition in which HRH the Grand Duke and Mayor Léon Gloden take on two youngsters from the C.R.I.A.J.
TRH the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess then cross the pedestrian zone to Prosteneck where they have the opportunity to speak with residents of the Foyer Pietert of the Kräizberg Foundation and the Home for the Elderly (HPPA). The group “Spirit of the Highlands Pipes and Drums” provides the musical interlude.
Afterwards, TRH the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess visit the House of Osburg, the former Civil Hospice which now houses the Regional School of Music. Here, the Grand-Ducal couple attends a musical and dance performance presented by students from the School and has the opportunity to discover the renovated historic building.
The visit ends with a “vin d’honneur”, giving TRH the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess the opportunity to meet the people of Grevenmacher.
The Hereditary Grand-Ducal couple in Esch-sur-Alzette
TRH the Hereditary Grand Duke and Hereditary Grand Duchess are in Esch-sur-Alzette, the country’s second-largest city.
The Hereditary Grand Duke is welcomed on the “Place de la Résistance” by Georges Mischo, Deputy Mayor of Esch-sur-Alzette City, the Vice-President of the Chamber of Deputies, Mars Di Bartolomeo, the Minister for Home Affairs, Minister of Equality between Women and Men, Taina Bofferding, the Minister of Sport, Minister of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, Georges Engel, the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, Joëlle Welfring, as well as by the college of Aldermen and the municipal council.
A wreath of flowers is laid at the foot of the memorial of the “monument aux Morts”. HRH the Hereditary Grand Duke then crosses the rue de l’Alzette, accompanied by the official procession, on his way to the Town Hall, where he is joined by HRH the Hereditary Grand Duchess and HRH Prince Charles. Around forty of the town’s associations parade past the official tribune.
At the end of a reception organised by the town of Esch-sur-Alzette, the Hereditary Grand Ducal couple appear on the balcony of the Town Hall. HRH the Hereditary Grand Duke then goes to the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville to attend the Escher Volleksfest, a popular festival, and proceeds to light the traditional bonfire of the Luxembourg scouts.
Message from the Prime Minister
In the early evening of 22 June, Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister and Minister of State, gives the traditional National Day speech.
Torchlight procession and fireworks in Luxembourg
In the evening, TRH the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess, in company of the Hereditary Grand Duke, HRH Prince Félix and HRH Prince Louis, attend the festivities organised by the City of Luxembourg.
They are welcomed by Lydie Polfer, Mayor of Luxembourg City, and Serge Wilmes, 1st alderman of Luxembourg in front of the Municipal House at the place Guillaume II. After the presentation of the college of aldermen and the local council, the military band gives the serenade and the torchlight procession takes place in front of the official tribune.
The parade that animates the flame torch procession is composed of firefighters, various local associations and companies based in Luxembourg City, guides and scouts as well as percussion-, music-, singing bands and folklore groups.
The fireworks launched from the Adolphe Bridge, lasting 17 minutes and accompanied by a musical composition of the Conservatory of Luxembourg City, will conclude the official programme of festivities on 22 June.
23 June 2023
Official ceremony at the Luxembourg Philharmonie
On 23 June, an official ceremony is held at the Luxembourg Philharmonie. It brings together the members of the Grand Ducal family, members of government, members of parliament as well as representatives of the college of aldermen and the municipal council of Luxembourg City, the Council of State, the judiciary and the diplomatic corps accredited to Luxembourg’s Head of State.
The Grand Ducal family is welcomed by the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Fernand Etgen, by the Prime Minister and Minister of State, Xavier Bettel, and by the Mayor of Luxembourg City, Lydie Polfer.
On the occasion of the official ceremony, H.R.H. the Grand Duke, Fernand Etgen and Xavier Bettel pronounced a speech and then proceeded to the awarding of the honorary distinctions. The following persons were decorated:
- Georges Christen, known as a strong man for his many years of voluntary work with Caritas, was awarded the Order of the Oak Crown (officer);
- Leandro Barreiro Martins, professional footballer, role model and sports ambassador was awarded the Order of the Oak Crown (knight);
- Christiane Kremer, journalist and author who has shaped the cultural scene over the last 4 decades, was awarded the Order of the Oak Crown (officer);
- René Elvinger, entrepreneur within the Cebi International group, in recognition of his merits for the automotive industry in Luxembourg and his commitment to voluntary work, was awarded the Order of the Oak Crown (commander);
- Monique Mille, volunteer who has been helping residents of retirement homes for many years, was awarded the Order of the Oak Crown (commander);
- Alvarado Olivia Kelvin Josue was awarded the medal of honour for acts of courage in vermeil and dedication after rushing to the aid of a person in a burning car in November 2022
Luxembourg’s Philharmonic Orchestra ensures the musical interludes along with the Chamber Choir and the Pueri Cantores of the Luxembourg City Conservatory. The musical programme includes a composition by composer and saxophonist, Georges Sadeler, which is a specific order by the Ministry of State and the Ministry of Culture.
After the official ceremony, the traditional cannon blast salute of 21 cannon blasts takes place at the Fetschenhaff.
The military parade on avenue de la Liberté is under the command of Colonel Alain Schoeben, Commander of the ceremony and of the Military Centre of Diekirch. It consists of army and police detachments as well as civilian detachments.
After the detachments are set up and the entry of the army and police flags, General Steve Thull, Army Chief of Staff and Philippe Schrantz, General Director of the Luxembourg Police successively review the troops. Afterwards, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence François Bausch and Minister of Internal Security Henri Kox review the troops.
The Prime Minister, Minister of State, Xavier Bettel, the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Fernand Etgen, HRH the Grand Duchess and HRH Prince Sébastien then take their places on the official grandstands.
At noon, the Head of State and HRH the Hereditary Grand Duke review the troops. After the execution of the triple “vive” (“long live” in French) by the troops the national anthem is sung by Chief-Sergeant Stéphanie Schlink.
Participating in the parade are the following corps and associations:
- the Luxembourgish Army – with honorary company and the flag of the Army with a large escort, a detachment of flags of former battalions and ex-servicemen, a motorized detachment as well as the “Musique militaire”:
- A flag group from Belgium and the Netherlands, guests of honour for the occasion of Luxembourg’s presidency of the Benelux Steering Group (governance body for the implementation and execution of trilateral military cooperation);
- the Grand Ducal Police – with a honorary company and the flag of the grand-ducal police with a large escort, a detachment of the canine group and a motorised detachment;
- Customs and Excise Agency – with a foot company, a detachment of the canine group, the “Douane’s Musek” and a motorised detachment;
- Prison Administration – with a foot company and a detachment of the canine group;
- Grand-Ducal Fire and Rescue Corps – CGDIS – with a foot company and the flag of the CGDIS, a section of the canine group and a motorised detachment;
- the Red Cross – with a section of the canine group and a motorised detachment;
- the Union Grand-Duc Adolphe composed by the Harmony Eischen, the Harmony Hobscheid and the “Simmer Duerfmusek”.
- The parade is marked by several low-flying aircraft, including an H145M police helicopter, an Airbus A330 transport and refuelling aircraft from the Multi Role Tanker Transport Unit, and an A400M transport aircraft from the 15th Wing of the Belgian Army Air Component, piloted by Luxembourg officers.
In the presence of members of the Grand Ducal family and national authorities, a solemn Te Deum is celebrated in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Luxembourg by Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, Archbishop of Luxembourg, Alain Nacache, Chief Rabbi of Luxembourg, Hafiz ef. Hilmija Redžić, worship leader of the Muslims of Luxembourg and by Volker Beba, pastor of the Protestant Church of Luxembourg.
The Te Deum is sung by the “Maîtrise Sainte-Cécile de la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Luxembourg” conducted by Marc Dostert. Paul Breisch plays the Westenfelder organ Trumpeters of the “Military Band ” will play the Sonnerie nationale.
Press release by the Information and Press Service (SIP)