As it has come up again, it was mentioned in YHR and it has even made it into the (Luxembourgian) tabloids, it’s probably time we talked about HRH The Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg a little. Currently, this is a bit of a wasp nest, because emotions are naturally high where these things are concerned.

But first a few preliminaries.

Luxembourg is the last Grand Duchy in existence not only nominally but actually (the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg exists only nominally anymore as it is a part of Germany, even though there still is a Grand Ducal Family of Oldenburg bearing the titles as parts of their name) and by historical evidence closely related to both Belgium and the Netherlands (the Benelux doesn’t stem from close proximity only, the Netherlands and Luxembourg for example are both ruled by the House of Nassau, although different branches of it, and Grand Duke Henri is the nephew of King Albert II of Belgium). As such, it is…special. Luxembourg is a tiny country but they do have a small military at their disposal (about 500 men and women) and even deployed soldiers for ISAF.

The Grand Ducal Family consist currently of The Grand Duke Henri, his wife María Teresa and their five children Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume (1981), Prince Félix (1984), Prince Louis (1986) (and his wife Princess Tessy and their two sons; Louis lost his claim to the throne when he morganatically married Tessy and yep, that’s another story entirely), Princess Alexandra (1991) and Prince Sébastien (1992).

But we want to talk about Guillaume, no?


(These images were taken in 2009 and 2010 respectively, yes he looks a lot younger without the beard. I wonder if he took his cue from Haakon?)

HGD Guillaume is probably one of the most scandal-free princes in Europe to the point where people hardly know he exists (at least outside of Luxembourg). At least I didn’t know he existed until I stumbled over him when doing YHR research. That website speculated already if Guillaume might not be gay, because despite his almost 30 years he’s only had one serious relationship with one Pia Haraldsen, a relative of the Queen of Norway he met during birthday celebrations. I didn’t pay it much mind until a while ago when I got curious and used my google fu.

They officially dated for 1.5 years during 2001 and 2002. I might add that Guillaume has not been seen smoking before and not since. And I’m saying this with all caution but… Miss Haraldsen kicked off her career after this relationship ended, she’s a very well known TV person these days; thus both of them have benefited from this relationship in certain ways and… It’s suspicious. To say the least. This also is the only picture that exists of them together and if I had a relationship with every guy I walk around with like that, let’s say I’d have to keep a harem.

It is interesting that the gay rumours seem to appear more or less periodically at least once a year or so and this time the Luxembourgian tabloids have picked up on it, too (railing about rumours flying in the internet and omg *g*). Maybe I’m not the best person to judge because I’m definitely biased but ah, dear Guillaume if anyone asked me I’d have picked you as gay in a heartbeat.

Part of the trouble is: It’s getting to be time for Guillaume. At almost 30, he’s in a similar position as Prince William and Prince Carl Philip with the added difficulty that he is definitely next in line to the throne (whereas William is definitely going to inherit but his father still acts as his buffer) and I imagine Henri will want to abdicate at some point in 20 years or so, but he can’t quite do that until Guillaume doesn’t have children who have reached the age of majority. His current heir is Félix, who probably is definitely hoping for his brother to get married and start producing his own children, because it will take him out of the running. And I supposed the Grand Ducal Couple is hoping for that as well, as one of their sons already took himself out of the running and as Luxembourg inherits not-quite-semi-Salic, Alexandra is way back even after the sons of Henri’s brother.

Which leads us, partly, to another problem, as Guillaume can’t marry morganatically, he has to stay within his own class (part of the Nassau House Law, which can theoretically be altered but probably won’t as this would change Louis’ status once more). And there’s not a lot of princesses left in Europe ;) Well, there’s enough girls born to minor nobility, although a lot of them are destitute or simply only bear the denomination anymore, and I’m not entirely sure those would be ruled suitable for a Hereditary Grand Duke. And there are two more brothers to marry off, too.

And as not only good things come in threes, Luxembourg is one of the few Catholic monarchies left in Europe. Although it is expected that the parliament will pass a law this fall granting same-sex marriages equal status, we’re still faced with a Catholic house here. Henri might have relinquished the “by the Grace of God” styling, but I’m not sure how far away from his religious denomination he has gone.

All things considered? Guillaume either needs to start his own family pronto or he should simply out himself. A gay HGD might not be ideal, but he would definitely show that even Catholic monarchies can go with the times.

On the bright side: Researching Guillaume and his brothers made me realise my French (understanding) is not as bad as I thought it was. And Letzenbuergesch is actually a readable dialect.

Advertisements