January 5, 1921- birth of Grand Duke Jean. Today would have been his 100th birthday.
Prince Jean Benoît Guillaume Robert Antoine Louis Marie Adolphe Marc d'Aviano was born in Berg Castle. His mother was Grand Duchess Charlotte. His father Prince Felix was a Prince of Bourbon-Parma by birth. Son of Robert I, Duke of Parma, Felix was the brother of Xavier (grandfather of the current Duke of Parma), Empress Zita and Rene (father of Queen Anne of Romania) among others. He was the oldest of six children with three sisters and one brother Charles. His third sister Marie-Gabrielle is the only surviving sibling at this point, at the age of 95. His youngest sister Alix died a few months before him.
Pope Benedict XV served as one of his godparents.
He finished his secondary studies at Ampleforth college in the UK. Felix took his children to the US where they would continue their education in Quebec, during WWII. His wife would set up in London. Jean would study law at the University in Laval. In 1942 he enrolled at Sandhurst after joining the Irish guards as a volunteer.
tribute of the Irish guards at his funeral
He was promoted to a captain in 1944. He participated in the liberation of Brussels. In September 1944 he participated in the liberation of Luxembourg. He would relinquish his commision in 1947 but from 1984 until his abdication he served as colonel of the regiment. He would ride behind the queen during the trooping of the colors.
His mother abdicated November 12, 1964. He became grand duke as well as the commander of the Luxembourg armies on that day.
Under his reign the country enjoyed its most prosperous years. He helped transform the country into an industrial center. Both he and his wife were seen to have a positive influence over the duchy.
He reigned as Grand Duke from 1964 until 2000 when he abdicated.
He and his wife retired to Fischbach castle where they both lived till their death, his wife in 2005. Jean died April 23, 2019 at the age of 98 from a pulmonary infection. He was the oldest living monarch by the time of his death.
Jean was married April 9, 1953 to Princess Josephine Charlotte of Belgium (the sister of Albert II and Baudouin). Though it was speculated to be an arranged marriage, it was clear that love blossomed between the two of them.
As of this year the couple have 5 children, 22 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren and counting.
-Marie Astrid: married Archduke Carl Christian of Austria. They have five children and currently 9 grandchildren (though two sons are expecting another this year)
-Henri: succeeded his father as GD in 2000. He is married to María Teresa Mestre y Batista with whom he has five children. They currently have 5 grandchildren.
-Jean: he married twice morgantically. He has four children with his first wife Helene Vestur. They have 3 grandchildren. He has no children with his second wife Dianne de Guerre.
-Margaretha: a rare example in modern times of a marriage between two sovereign royal houses, she married Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein. Her husband is the younger brother of Hans Adam II. They have four children.
-Guillaume: married Sibilla Weiller y Torlonia. Sibilla is a granddaughter of Infanta Beatriz of Spain (aunt of Juan Carlos) through her daughter Olimpia. The couple have four children.