Jean, Grand Duke of Luxembourg

Jean, Grand Duke of Luxembourg

Jean, Grand Duke of Luxembourg (given names: "Jean Benoit Guillaume Robert Antoine Louis Marie Adolphe Marc d'Aviano"; born 5 January, 1921) ruled Luxembourg from 1964 to 2000. He is the father of the current Grand Duke, Henri, and the son of Grand Duchess Charlotte and Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma. Among his godparents was Pope Benedict XV.

His full title is "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"." Many of the titles are held without regard to the strict rules of salic inheritance. []

Early life

Jean was born on 5 January 1921, at Berg Castle, in central Luxembourg, the son of the reigning Grand Duchess, Charlotte. He attended primary school in Luxembourg, where he continued the initial stage of secondary education. He completed secondary school at Ampleforth College, a Roman Catholic boarding school in the United Kingdom. Upon reaching maturity, on 5 January 1939, he was styled 'Hereditary Grand Duke', recognising his status as Heir Apparent.

econd World War

On 10 May 1940, Germany invaded Luxembourg, beginning a four-year occupation. Having been warned of an imminent invasion, the Grand Ducal Family escaped the previous night. At first, they sought refuge in Paris, before fleeing France only weeks later. Jean went to Canada, where he studied Law and Political Science at Université Laval, Quebec City.

He joined the British Army as a volunteer in the Irish Guards in November 1942. After receiving officer training at Aldershot, Jean was commissioned as a Lieutenant in March 1943, before being promoted to captain in 1944. He landed in Normandy on 11 June 1944, and took part in the Battle for Caen and the liberation of Brussels. On 10 September 1944, he took part in the liberation of Luxembourg before moving on to Arnhem and the invasion of Germany. After the war, from 1984 until his abdication, he served as Colonel of the Regiment of the Irish Guards, often riding in uniform behind Queen Elizabeth II during the Sovereign's Birthday Parade.


He became Grand Duke when his mother, the Grand Duchess Charlotte, abdicated in 1964.

Grand Duke Jean abdicated on 7 October 2000, and was succeeded on the throne by his son Henri.


He was married in Luxembourg on 9 April 1953 to Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium (1927-2005), daughter of Léopold III, King of the Belgians. They had three sons and two daughters:

*Princess Marie-Astrid (born 17 February 1954). Married HI&RH Carl Christian Marcus d'Aviano, Prince Imperial and Archduke of Austria (born 1954).
*Grand Duke Henri (born 16 April 1955)
*Prince Jean (born 15 May 1957). Married Hélène Vestur (born 1958) in 1987 and has issue. Renounced the right of succession for himself and his descendants on 26 September 1986. His children, as well as his wife, bore the title "Count(ess) of Nassau" until given the title "HRH Prince(ss) of Nassau" on 24 November 2004 [] .
*Princess Margaretha (born 15 May 1957). Married HSH Nikolaus of Liechtenstein (1947), son of Franz Joseph II, and has issue.
*Prince Guillaume (born 1 May 1963). Married Sibilla Weiller (born 1968), a great-granddaughter of Alfonso XIII of Spain, and has issue. His children bear the title "Prince(ss) of Nassau".

Dynastic titles

Jean renounced the titles of the House of Bourbon-Parma for himself and his family in 1986 [Grand Ducal Decree, 28 July 1986] when his eldest son, then-Hereditary Grand Duke Henri married Maria-Theresa Mestre. The reason for this being that the Duke of Parma, Carlos Hugo, ruled the marriage unequal in 1981.

Awards and decorations

* Belgium: Croix de guerre (with bar)
* France: Croix de guerre 1939-1945
* Habsburg in exile: Order of the Golden Fleece
* Luxembourg: Luxembourg War Cross (with bar)
* Netherlands: Commemorative War Cross
* Papal: Order of the Golden Spur
* Poland: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland
* Spain: Order of the Golden Fleece
* United Kingdom: Order of The Garter
* United Kingdom: 1939-1945 Star
* United Kingdom: France and Germany Star
* United Kingdom: Defence Medal
* United Kingdom: War Medal 1939–1945
* United States: Silver Star


ee also

*Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg

External links

* [ HRH Grand Duke Jean biography]


s-ttl|title=Grand Duke of Luxembourg
s-ttl|title=Colonel of the Irish Guards


External links

* [ Grand-Ducal House of Luxemburg]
* [ Royal House of Belgium]

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