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Old 04-02-2009, 04:13 AM
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Luxembourg Grand Ducal Orders and Symbols

Since I'm up late here in the US so I can be awake during the day in Luxembourg while awaiting the possible major announcement I thought I'd post a question I've been wondering about for awhile.

I notice that Henri, Guillaume, and Felix often wear a tiny orange pin in their lapel. I haven't saw this on Louis or Sebastian, however, I don't collect pics of them.

For example Henri is wearing the pin in the current board picture on the Benelux MB The Benelux Royals Message Board check out the pin in his lapel. Also if you search tomwag.com for pictures of Nationalfeiertag 2004 you can see Felix wearing this pin. Henri, Guillaume, and Felix are wearing this tiny orange pin very frequently during official functions.

I've also saw this pin on several members of Guillaume's security detail frequently. I don't recognize Felix's security if he even has any, but I'm used to seeing Guillaume's regular security in the background with their ear pieces and dark suits.

Does anyone have an idea what this pin is?
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Old 04-02-2009, 05:05 AM
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Well, first thing comes to my mind "Lapel pin is some kind of family relic father transfers to the son when he reaches certain age" :)

I know it sounds strange but maybe it's something connected with security? Like in those spy-movies, microchip (so they can see where he is and find him in case of abduction) or a lirrle microphone (so security can hear everything that someone said to family members)?
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Mrs Littrell View Post
I know it sounds strange but maybe it's something connected with security? Like in those spy-movies, microchip (so they can see where he is and find him in case of abduction) or a lirrle microphone (so security can hear everything that someone said to family members)?
I had this thought, as well. I do notice that they wear them at high profile events where a lot of people will be interacting with them. I wish I could get a closer picture of one of them. I can't seem to ever get one so I can make out the shape of the little design that is on it.
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:21 AM
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I can very well imagine that certain technical devices are used for security, like to track the royals by GPS or something. But would they be so exposed and obvious like bright coloured lapel pins?? So I guess these pins are rather some kind of decoration or destinction.
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:26 AM
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Do you have any pictures of Guillaume's security? They must be really good-i've not notice them
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:30 AM
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I can very well imagine that certain technical devices are used for security, like to track the royals by GPS or something. But would they be so exposed and obvious like bright coloured lapel pins?? So I guess these pins are rather some kind of decoration or destinction.
Guillaume has a rather large security detail more so than I would expect just for him. I'm so used to seeing them in the back ground of his pictures that I don't even notice them anymore, although, one of them is rather attractive himself. I assume they do use technical stuff for gps or other, but I dunno.

I think I've also saw Felix in a pin like this of a different color...blue I think. I wish we had more Luxembourger members I'm sure someone knows what they are. People who attend events with them seem to wear a lot of different tags and pins.

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Originally Posted by Mrs Littrell View Post
Do you have any pictures of Guillaume's security? They must be really good-i've not notice them
If you just look at pictures of him at events you can see them. Dark suits discreet distance always with ear pieces and always one formally dressed officer. Some of the security is for the government Minsters he usually attends functions with, I'm sure. Our Guillaume is safe no need to worry.
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:47 AM
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Our Guillaume is safe no need to worry.
I will sleep better knowing he is safe
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Old 04-05-2009, 05:01 PM
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I have now managed to find pictures of Prince Louis wearing my mysterious lapel pin. I also saw that The King of Sweden was wearing this pin at the 25th anniversary of Henri and Maria-Teresa theater gala.
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Old 05-29-2009, 08:07 PM
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I just discovered that these tiny lapel pins are actually the miniature of various Luxembourg orders. The one normally worn by Felix, Louis and Henri is the Golden Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau.
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Old 05-30-2009, 01:25 AM
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Woow lalla meriem thank you very much for the information. is very interesting!!!!!
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Old 05-31-2009, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Lalla Meriem View Post
I just discovered that these tiny lapel pins are actually the miniature of various Luxembourg orders. The one normally worn by Felix, Louis and Henri is the Golden Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau.
This is very interesting. I can't think of any other royals that I have seen wearing miniatures of royal orders. Have Alexandra or Tessy received any orders?
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Old 10-13-2009, 04:57 PM
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This is an interesting topic. The wearing of chivalric and royal orders is slightly out of favour these days, exceptions being state occasions and full gala dress. However, the wearing of miniatures, such as pins, badges or ribbons in lapels and button holes is quite proper (sometimes there are court rules to say which dates on on which type of occasions they should be worn) and happily can make an ordinary duty something special. At a royal event the ordinary people who have been admitted to that particular order or decoration can wear the same pin or ribbon as their sovereign price, making for connection and solidarity among the people. As an unimportant aside it is known that royal partisan ribbons or badges are sometimes worn by adherents, such as the white satin cockade worn inside the jacket by Jacobites even today. The Benilux nations have a rich history of chivalric and princely orders.
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Old 10-14-2009, 04:30 AM
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This is very interesting. I can't think of any other royals that I have seen wearing miniatures of royal orders. Have Alexandra or Tessy received any orders?
Alexandra has received the Order of the Golden Lion of the House of Nassau on National Day this year. This is new and in line with The Grand Duke's view on equality. All men who are brother or son of a Grand Duke/Duchess are born members of the order, but only receive their insignia upon their majority. Sebastien is already a member of the order like his brothers but will not receive his insignia until next year.

It is unlikely that Tessy will ever receive the Golden Lion of the House of Nassau. It's never been awarded to the wives of "mere" Princes. The wife of Guillaume will certainly have the order, eventually. I'm certain Tessy will eventually receive an order just not the Golden Lion. I've saw Archduke Carl-Christian and Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein each have the Order of Adolphe of Nassau and can be pictured wearing them here. I do believe I have saw Princess Sibilla in the burgundy sash of the Order of Merit of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
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Old 10-14-2009, 06:51 PM
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This is an interesting topic. The wearing of chivalric and royal orders is slightly out of favour these days, exceptions being state occasions and full gala dress. However, the wearing of miniatures, such as pins, badges or ribbons in lapels and button holes is quite proper (sometimes there are court rules to say which dates on on which type of occasions they should be worn) and happily can make an ordinary duty something special. At a royal event the ordinary people who have been admitted to that particular order or decoration can wear the same pin or ribbon as their sovereign price, making for connection and solidarity among the people. As an unimportant aside it is known that royal partisan ribbons or badges are sometimes worn by adherents, such as the white satin cockade worn inside the jacket by Jacobites even today. The Benilux nations have a rich history of chivalric and princely orders.
Speaking of miniatures, Henri and Guillaume (and certain members of their staff) were wearing their miniature orders today for the state visit.
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Old 10-15-2009, 09:06 PM
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I don not believe that anyone other than the sovereign of the order should be admitted to it purely on birth. For orders to be honourable and illustrious they have to be awarded for merit or valour.

The other thing I find unfathomanable is why accept an order or decoration when the recipient is not prepared to wear it. Surely this is an insult to the order and it's soverign.
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Old 10-15-2009, 10:35 PM
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It is a historic order. Since it's inception brothers and sons of the sovereign of Luxembourg and the Netherlands have been admitted from birth but only receive insignia at majority. People forget that this is a family order.

It is part of the bylaws of the order and no one has ever complained about it. It is assumed that these princes of the blood will undertake activities on behalf of the nation and the sovereign and they always have and I have no doubts that this will always be the case. I assume it is not awarded to other princes of the houses of Nassau because these princes rarely are expected to undertake activities on behalf of the nation or the sovereign. It is very rare that the order is awarded in the Netherlands or in Luxembourg.

It is a hereditary order within the House of Nassau. Where the Grand Master is born into the order it doesn't shock or offend me that other members of the house that are expected to represent the House (or nation) should also be born into it. Although, the children of Henri were not born into the order because he was not The Grand Duke at the time of any of their births.

I don't think it's an insult to the co Grand Masters of the Order that a young Prince is born into the order. It is after all an order of the House of Nassau not simply the Grand Duchy. In fact, in the Netherlands the order is not a national order at all it is a House Order awarded by the Queen at her discretion. These specific persons generally represent the House (if not always the nation) at numerous functions during their lifetime.

I'm glad that the Grand Duke's vision on gender equality has lead him to bestow the order on Alexandra who is a born princess of the house of Nassau. I do, however, wish that he would bestow the orders upon his sisters, as well.

Sebastien hasn't accepted the order and cannot until next March. He cannot alter that he was became a Knight of the order when his father became Grand Duke. It has been so since 1858 and he could not change it if wanted to. They are born into the lowest rank of the order not the highest which is certainly reserved for meritorious individuals.

It is the nature of orders. Should Marie or Mary of Denmark have received the Order of the Elephant just for marriage to a prince? It is the highest order of the nation I don't see it as any different. I think the process is based on representation of the house/nation not merely heroic acts. Should a footballer be created a Knight of the Realm in the UK? I much prefer seeing Felix in the order of his house than seeing scandalous footballers.

Although, if The Grand Duke wants to give Andy Schleck The Order of Adolphe of Nassau when he wins the Tour de France I won't complain.
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Old 10-15-2009, 11:40 PM
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I agree with you Lalla Meriem. The children are born into a life where they have a duty to Luxembourg so why shouldn't they be given the order at birth?

However I think Princess Alexandra also should have been knight of the order at birth just as Princes of the House of Nassu is. But credit to GD Henri for giving it to her. Good to see a head of an old house as Nassau taking a stand for gender equality (and who knows the law that prohibit Princesses to become Grand Duchess might be changed now when they've seen the Grand Duke taking "the first step")

If sportsmen should be given the order I see no harm in. They do a service to the Grand Duchy as they represent Luxembourg in international sporting events. However in that case I think it needs to be outstanding achievements over several years.

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Old 10-16-2009, 02:00 AM
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Only the princes of the house who are sons or brothers of the Grand Duke/Duchess or the King/Queen of the Netherlands are born members. I always found it interesting that even in 1858 it was assumed that it would only be these most senior princes who would be dedicating their lives (or part of their lives) to service of their nation or house. I do agree that if they become a prince of the house at birth and then are expected to dedicated a significant portion of their life to service or representation of the house they why now. They are after all born princes why not born members of the order of their house.

I think that The Grand Duke probably agrees with you that Alexandra should be a born member of the order and by granting the order to her was correcting this slight. I still wish that Marie-Astrid and Margaretha would be so honored. The regulations of the order do not currently admit women at birth. Perhaps, this is something that Henri and Beatrix will/have alerted given both of their stances on female equality. Although, none of Henri's children were actually born members of the order because he was only Hereditary Grand Duke at the time of their births.

The law doesn't prohibit a princess from becoming a Grand Duchess. There have been 2 sovereign Grand Duchesses already. The law merely grants succession to all available me first. However, the new constitution (at Henri's request) will alter the succession to include females by order of birth. This will likely take effect with Henri's children and place Alexandra ahead of Sebastien and make Guillaume's first child Grand Duke/Duchess irregardless. I would certainly like to see the lines of Marie-Astrid and Margaretha included after the line of Henri.

I see no harm in a sportsman receiving an order but I think some consideration should be taken into their personal lives not merely their sport skill. I don't like the idea of a footballer who has a reputation for abusing women or using drugs, just for example, holding any order of merit.
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Old 10-17-2009, 08:56 PM
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Once gain I am indebted to Lalla Meriem for elucidating the finer points of the subject. I am afraid in my enthusiasm I sometimes forget the different attitudes between continental and British practices in these matters. I was aware that continental orders are very often hereditary. This is of course fully acceptable in the case of members of a sovereign house, and I assume such is the honour that all members of that order contribute fully in its ideals. A very noble sentiment.

I understand some orders in former monarchies are being revived under church patronage and protection. Such pins, badges, ribbons are an outward cognizance of a singular honour, and it is good that such ancient and honourable orders are supported by reigning houses.
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