GD Henri will appoint his son Guillaume as Lieutenant Representant in October - 2024


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Blog Real

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Grand Duke Henri has announced that he has decided to appoint Prince Guillaume as Lieutenant Representative from October.

"It is in this context that, together with the Grand Duchess, Prince Guillaume and Princess Stéphanie, I would like to inform you that I have decided to appoint Prince Guillaume as Lieutenant Representative from October".

The appointment of the Lieutenant Representative traditionally occurs in the process of change of reign. The procedure is governed by the provisions of the Constitution.




The moment Grand Duke Henri made the announcement:
 
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2 years after Henri himself being appointed same position by GD Jean he succeeded his father, so....2027?🤔
Or possibly already next year when Henri celebrates both his 70th birthday and his Silver Jubilee.
 
Could also be longer. Jean was appionted to it in 1961 3 years before his mother abdicated.
 
This announcement means that Guillaume will, following his inauguration in October, effectively become the regent of Luxembourg, although Henri will formally remain the monarch (Liechtenstein has had the same arrangement since 2004).

The title of representative lieutenant refers to a type of regency that takes effect when the monarch voluntarily cedes his powers (as opposed to the monarch being too young or too incapacitated to govern).

The position is regulated by Article 58 of the Constitution of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, which states:

Article 58.
The Grand Duke may be represented by a person who fulfills the conditions in Article 56, Paragraph 1 [i.e., a person who is in line to the throne], and who bears the title of Representative Lieutenant of the Grand Duke.

The Representative Lieutenant of the Grand Duke shall only take office after swearing the following oath before the Chamber of Deputies: I swear to observe the Constitution and laws and to faithfully fulfill my constitutional duties.



The position was originally invented to enable King Willem III of the Netherlands, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, to have his younger brother serve as his regent in Luxembourg, since the King-Grand Duke himself could not realistically live in Luxembourg.

Later, Grand Dukes Adolph and Wilhelm IV appointed their son and wife respectively as representative lieutenants when their health deteriorated towards the ends of their lives.

Most recently, Grand Duchess Charlotte and Grand Duke Jean appointed their heirs as their representative lieutenants in preparation for their abdications. Grand Duke Henri had previously stated he would do the same.

 
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For comparison, Grand Duchess Charlotte was 65 years old and her son Jean was 40 years old when she appointed him as representative lieutenant; Grand Duke Jean was 77 years old and his son Henri was 42 years old when he appointed him as representative lieutenant; Grand Duke Henri will be 69 and his son Guillaume will be 42 when he appoints him.

Would anyone happen to know how matters of precedence were dealt with during previous lieutenancies? I am wondering if the Grand Duke as the official head of state or the Hereditary Grand Duke as the acting head of state would take precedence at a state dinner, for example, after October.
 
For comparison, Grand Duchess Charlotte was 65 years old and her son Jean was 40 years old when she appointed him as representative lieutenant; Grand Duke Jean was 77 years old and his son Henri was 42 years old when he appointed him as representative lieutenant; Grand Duke Henri will be 69 and his son Guillaume will be 42 when he appoints him.

Would anyone happen to know how matters of precedence were dealt with during previous lieutenancies? I am wondering if the Grand Duke as the official head of state or the Hereditary Grand Duke as the acting head of state would take precedence at a state dinner, for example, after October.
I imagine the Grand Duke will not be attending thse state dinners, what is the point of having a regent otherwise? But if he does, I imagine the head of state always goes first, before the regent.

The regency seems a Lux tradition now. It gives the heir time to prepare perhaps. I suppose GD Charlotte may have looked at the example of her Nassau-cousin Wilhelmina at the time. Wilhelmina also had Juliana declared regent before the actual abdication. Juliana did not repeat this for her own daughter.
 
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I imagined this day would come a few years later, when Guillaume and Stéphanie's kids were a little older, but am not completely surprised either. Like posters above said, agewise it is in line with what happened in the past
 
It seems he is beginning the abdication process, as media is reporting...
 
Even though it is fully expected that GD Henri will follow the tradition and retire, especially as he has said so himself, i must admit that todays announcement still took me by surprise…

GD Henri is after all not ”that” old and the children of the HGD-couple are still small, so i thought more of a Lieutenant-appointment in 2028 and an abdication in 2030.

Now it sounds more like an abdication is in the cards for 2026 or 2027…
 
It seems he is beginning the abdication process, as media is reporting...

Even if the announcement from the court (linked to by Blog Real in the opening post) did not explictly state that he was abdicating (I did not hear the Grand Duke's National Day speech and do not know whether he mentioned abdication in it), I think the inclusion of the last sentence "The appointment of the Representative Lieutenant traditionally occurs in the process of the change of reign" in the announcement makes clear that this is intended as a prelude to Guillaume's accession to the throne.

Interesting to know that the new tradition of a pre-abdication regency was originally copied from Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands. The Luxembourg monarchy has been rather open about its influences from neighboring monarchies.
 
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I imagined this day would come a few years later, when Guillaume and Stéphanie's kids were a little older, but am not completely surprised either. Like posters above said, agewise it is in line with what happened in the past

Even though it is fully expected that GD Henri will follow the tradition and retire, especially as he has said so himself, i must admit that todays announcement still took me by surprise…

GD Henri is after all not ”that” old and the children of the HGD-couple are still small, so i thought more of a Lieutenant-appointment in 2028 and an abdication in 2030.

Now it sounds more like an abdication is in the cards for 2026 or 2027…

In fairness to Grand Duke Henri, he and his siblings were also young children (the eldest was seven years old and the youngest was not even born) when his father took over the duties of head of state as lieutenant representative, Henri himself was parenting young children (the youngest was six years old though the eldest was sixteen) when he took over as lieutenant representative, and his first cousin and friend Philippe, King of the Belgians had young children (aged five to eleven) when he came to the Belgian throne by his father's abdication, so it is probably normalized from his perspective for a regent to be raising children, even if some royals and royalty experts have pointed out the difficulties of combining a head of state's workload with parenting time.
 
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We see Guillaume almost as much as we see Henri now. I know Henri will do more 'behind the scenes' but given how much time he and the Grand Duchess apparently spend elsewhere I'm sure its manageable with the small boys. What age do children start school in Luxembourg, I think I read 4, so Charles will already have started that if so.
 
In fairness to Grand Duke Henri, he and his siblings were also young children (the eldest was seven years old and the youngest was not even born) when his father took over the duties of head of state as lieutenant representative, Henri himself was parenting young children (the youngest was six years old though the eldest was sixteen) when he took over as lieutenant representative, and his first cousin and friend Philippe, King of the Belgians had young children (aged five to eleven) when he came to the Belgian throne by his father's abdication, so it is probably normalized from his perspective for a regent to be raising children, even if some royals and royalty experts have pointed out the difficulties of combining a head of state's workload with parenting time.
Raising small kids with both parents working is quite normal nowadays for nonroyal people. There is day care and royals can afford nannies if necessary. Stephanie could still take the main work in raising the children, as there are not many official duties for the Grand Duchess in that small country. All I see most of the times are visits to art exhibitions, museums and senior homes. There is time enough for her to spend with the children. And yes, school starts at 4 in Lux, so Charles is in school by now. I think that Henri's decision to retire early might have to do with the scandals caused by his wife in recent years. She is not very well liked anymore in Lux and obviously they have been spending a lot of time in Biarritz to escape negative vibes.
It is probably the right decision for this family. Guillaume and Stephanie seem happy and confident with their little family and it looks like Guillaume is well prepared to take over.
 
Even though it is fully expected that GD Henri will follow the tradition and retire, especially as he has said so himself, i must admit that todays announcement still took me by surprise…

GD Henri is after all not ”that” old and the children of the HGD-couple are still small, so i thought more of a Lieutenant-appointment in 2028 and an abdication in 2030.

Now it sounds more like an abdication is in the cards for 2026 or 2027…
I had the same feeling, but also realised after: Luxrmbourg is a small monarchy and the press gives them privacy. So I think with young children it will be doable. It is different from monarchies like the UK.

And I can imagine Henri and Maria-Teresa would prefer to be rather more psychically active/able grandparents and get the most out of their time with the grandkids.
 
Good for everybody involved that there is a carefully planned succession. Yes the children are small but Gui has the right age to step up! I think Henri will do the anniversary and call it a day sometime after that.
 
I wasn't expecting this anytime soon but I guess the plans are in place for Guillaume to take over the reigns.
 
Prince Charles is currently a pre-schooler. When he becomes Hereditary Grand Duke he will be perhaps 6-7 years old.

Who will take over the micro finance missions overseas that are part of Guillaume's work portfolio? Luxembourg is certainly a tiny and relatively prosperous Grand Duchy, but Stephanie and Guillaume will have literally no one to assist them with their new duties. They are parents to a pre schooler and an infant.
All of Guillaume's adult siblings live outside the Grand Duchy.🤔
 
Not surprised to see that the change of reign is being set in motion. Maria Teresa was quite clear a few years ago that it wouldn’t be too long before Henri was ready to hand over the reigns. I guess he still wants to celebrate his silver jubilee and that’s about it.

I noticed that MT was unusually active the last few months. That might have been in relation to this announcement. She might have suddenly been motivated for a last few months of royal engagements before she is more or less completely free to enjoy her life with her husband in the south of France.
 
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Who will take over the micro finance missions overseas that are part of Guillaume's work portfolio? Luxembourg is certainly a tiny and relatively prosperous Grand Duchy, but Stephanie and Guillaume will have literally no one to assist them with their new duties. They are parents to a pre schooler and an infant.
All of Guillaume's adult siblings live outside the Grand Duchy.🤔

I am not well versed on the particulars of the grand-ducal house's functions, but if the regent couple need or want assistance, Guillaume's uncle and namesake Guillaume and his wife Sibilla would appear to a be a sensible choice. They are longtime residents of the Grand Duchy and served as working royals during the reign of Grand Duke Jean. I am not sure if there was a particular reason why they were sidelined during Grand Duke Henri's reign.
 
That's a great option indeed. The other one would be to ask Felix and Claire to take on some duties but they've build a pretty independent life for themselves and their family (although for the first few years the option that their eldest daughter might one day be called upon to become the grand duchess was surely on their minds), so your suggestion seems more feasible.
 
The Grand Duke apparently did confirm his eventual abdication in the National Day speech. An anonymous courtier alleges that it will occur in October 2025. He will reach the 25th anniversary of his accession to the throne in that month.

 
The Grand Duke apparently did confirm his eventual abdication in the National Day speech. An anonymous courtier alleges that it will occur in October 2025. He will reach the 25th anniversary of his accession to the throne in that month.

Interesting article. That is sooner than I thought.
 
The Grand Duke apparently did confirm his eventual abdication in the National Day speech. An anonymous courtier alleges that it will occur in October 2025. He will reach the 25th anniversary of his accession to the throne in that month.
As I suspected. That would be neat and proper.
 
I assumed Henri would see out all of next year (his 25th) then, maybe in his Christmas message announce his abdication to happen in January or February. So abdicating next October is sooner than I thought but not hugely.
 
The date for the designation has been released today - October 8!


Following the announcement made publicly by HRH the Grand Duke, it is brought to the public's attention that the designation of HRH the Hereditary Grand Duke as lieutenant representative of HRH the Grand Duke will take place in the afternoon of Tuesday October 8, 2024.


 
So, one day after his father has been in office for 24 years.
 
Grand Duke Jean abdicated 7 October 2000 and hopefully Grand Duc Henri will wait until after his Silver Jubilee.
 
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