Son of Grand Duke Jean and Princess Josephine Charlotte of Belgium, Henri is the incumbent Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Duke of Nassau. He has been in the throne sine 7 October 2000. Besides holding the royal position, Henri was a Lieutenant Representative, member of Council of State and numerous royal title holder.
Early Life and Education
Born on 16 April 1955 to the Luxembourgish royal family, Henri was raised in Betzdorf Castle with four other siblings: Archduchess Marie Astrid of Austria, Prince Jean of Luxembourg, Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein and Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg. By the age of nine, Henri had already been a legitimate heir to the Luxembourgish throne.
Having completed high school in Luxembourg, Henri went to the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute of International Studies to do political sciences. He also went through a military training in England.
Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg is married to Maria Teresa, who he met while at the University of Geneva. The couple has achieved a 35-year milestone of marriage. They also parented five children: Guillaume Jean Joseph Marie, Prince Félix Léopold Marie Guillaume of Luxembourg, Prince Louis Xavier Marie Guillaume of Luxembourg, Princess Alexandra Joséphine Teresa Charlotte Marie Wilhelmine of Luxembourg, and Prince Sébastien Henri Marie Guillaume of Luxembourg.
Already 61 years old, Grand Duke Henri goes through minor illnesses some time. In February 2011, he had to undergo an angioplasty and, as reported, the surgery was a success.
Henri became an heir to the Luxembourgish throne on 12 November 1964, when he was just 9 years old. When he turned 25, he became the member of the Council of State until 1998. Starting 4 March 1998, Henri held the royal position of Lieutenant Representative for the next two years and subsequently ascended the throne as Grand Duke of Luxembourg on 7 October 2000. Alongside ascension to the throne, Henri relinquished all stylings and officially titled himself ‘Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Duke of Nassau.
As Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Henri is merely a ceremonial head of state. Although he doesn’t possess major governance powers, he does hold the constitutional powers to appoint PM, dissolve parliament ‘Chamber of Deputies, promulgate laws and accredit ambassadors. On 2 December 2008, Duke Henri avoided approving a law passed by the Chamber of Deputies regarding euthanasia. This led the Luxembourgish royal family into a widespread controversy and a probable amendment of the constitution which would withdraw all such powers from the Duke. Now, as per the amendment, the Constitution automatically grants royal approval on any laws passed by the Chamber of Deputies.
The other major responsibility of the Grand Duke is to be a ceremonial face of Luxembourg in foreign nations. Being invited by King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, Grand Duke Henri visited Spain. Likewise, he also met Vladimir Putin in May 2007 and attended 2013 UN Session in New York with his son Felix.
The full title of Grand Duke Henri is “His Royal Highness Henri, by the Grace of God, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Duke of Nassau, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Count of Sayn, Königstein, Katzenelnbogen and Diez, Burgrave of Hammerstein, Lord of Mahlberg, Wiesbaden, Idstein, Merenberg, Limburg and Eppstein”.
- Co-Grand Master of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau
- Grand Master of the military and civil Order of Adolphe of Nassau
- Grand Master of the Order of the Oak Crown
- Grand Master of the Order of Merit of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
- Grand Collier of the Fondation du Mérite européen
- Austria: Grand Star of the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria
- Brazil: Grand Collar of the Order of the Southern Cross 2007
- Denmark: Knight of the Order of the Elephant
- Finland: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the White Rose of Finland, 2008
- Greece: Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer, 2001
- Latvia: Commander Grand Cross with Chain of the Order of the Three Stars, 2006
- Netherlands: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion, 2006
- Turkey: Member of the Order of the State of Republic of Turkey, 2013
- Poland: Knight of the Order of the White Eagle, 2014
- United Kingdom: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order
- Vatican: Knight with the Collar, Order of Pope Pius IX
Trump and Henri
Luxembourgish Grand Duke Henri congratulated President Trump for his victory on November 8. He sent a letter:
Dear Mr President,
Together with the Grand Duchess I would like to congratulate you on the occasion of your inauguration as the 45th President of the United States of America.
The historical ties of friendship that unite our countries mean much to all of us in Luxembourg.
We wish you all the possible success for your mission as Head of State and we hope for a continued excellent transatlantic relationship.
Grand Duke of Luxembourg