Christmas Speech of Grand Duke Henri

  December 25, 2023 at 7:43 am by

In his Christmas 2023 speech, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg highlighted living together while respecting each others values. The monarch started his speech with a reference to the Olympic motto:
Faster, higher, stronger, which he considered a thread that ran through the last 12 months.

The Grand Duke continued:

The war in the middle of Europe and in the Near East, a deterioration in climate change, the explosion of the number of migrants, these are all changes that have gained enormously in speed and extent. Many of us feel unsettled by these changes. Prices rise and penalize the economically weak; the economy spins more slowly and burdens our companies and the labor market. Poverty is increasing. Therefore, we must show solidarity and make sure that no one falls through the cracks of our society. This is what artificial intelligence knows, which will make our lives easier, but also presents new challenges. If things get worse, the culprit is looked for. This situation is not new. Already in the past it was used to spread hatred and intolerance. We have seen what this leads to. This tendency is increasing and, if we are not careful, can become a danger for our society based on respect and tolerance. We all have to stand up and show courage to prevent those values from being trampled underfoot. Dear all, All these issues, and many others, we found again in the election campaign this year. Everyone could make up their own mind and vote. Today, more than ever, we must realize that it is an enormous privilege to live in an open democracy that allows us to think freely. Our rule of law and our democratic and humanistic values are not self-evident. Dear fellow citizens, Yes, our world is complex. There are many problems and unfortunately no simple and direct solutions. We can only find them if we all work together, without selfishness, without ulterior motives. I am happy that people from 180 countries all over the world live together in our country. Of course we have our own identity. We are scarred by our history. And we want to keep that. Part of our heritage is indeed our openness towards our world, our refusal to build walls around Luxembourg. This helped us a lot and will also apply in the future. We must remain aware of how important it is to strengthen our fellow citizens, in respect of basic values. In this sense, I also wanted to say from here how grateful we are for the contribution of all those people who come to work in Luxembourg every day from abroad. During the many visits I was able to make to the country with the Grand Duchess this year, we saw that most of us have the will to continue to make our diversity a strength. The Grand Duchess has particularly advocated for those who are the most vulnerable, both in Luxembourg and abroad. It is also important to stand together. The awareness that we can only move forward together, I was able to detect, a few days ago, also in Dubai at the COP 28, in many conversations with other heads of state and experts who deal with climate change all over the world. It is not easy to bring 180 countries to a consensus and concrete measures. Technology can move us forward, but each of us must also do our part so that the next generations can live in peace and dignity on this planet. Dear fellow citizens, 2024 will be an Olympic year. I hope that the Trève Olympics will become a reality again, and that diplomacy, solidarity, respect and tolerance will prevail.

At the end of his speech he wished everybody a merry christmas and a happy new year on behalf of himself, his wife, Hereditary Grand Dukes Guillaume and Stéphanie and his other children. He did so in Letzeburgish, French, German, Portuguese and English.

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