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Henri of Luxembourg Abdicates: His Son Guillaume Prepares

Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg within a palace

On June 23, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg announced his gradual abdication in favor of his eldest son Guillaume. At 69, Henri decided to step down, allowing Guillaume to calmly prepare for his new responsibilities.

Henri of Luxembourg, sovereign since 2000, took advantage of the national holiday to make this announcement. Traditionally, in Luxembourg, the reigning grand duke steps down when his successor is ready. Guillaume, aged 42, has been designated as lieutenant-representative to begin this smooth transition starting in October.

This decision follows a trend observed among European monarchs in recent years, where abdication is becoming less and less taboo. Figures like Juan Carlos I in Spain, Margrethe II in Denmark, and Albert II in Belgium have handed over their positions to their heirs over the past decade.

Henri expressed all his confidence and love for his son, ensuring a harmonious transition. This abdication will allow the grand duke to enjoy his family, notably his wife Maria Teresa and their five children: Guillaume, Félix, Louis, Alexandra, and Sébastien.

Guillaume, married to Belgian Countess Stéphanie, is the father of two children, Charles and François. His new position will be supported by a close-knit family clan, ready to surround him in his future functions as sovereign.