Just in: Grand Duke Henri, Duke of Luxembourg, takes a step back

Earlier this year, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg announced that he was making “active plans” for his resignation. Today, on Luxembourg’s National Day, he announced that he will take a step back this fall.

In a speech, Grand Duke Henry announced that, as of October, he and his wife, Grand Duchess Maria Theresa, would step down in favor of their eldest son and his wife. This is not an abdication, but as of this fall, Duke Heir Guillem and his wife Stéphanie will represent the Grand Ducal couple. “I would like to announce that I have decided to appoint Prince Guillaume as lieutenant representative in October,” Henry said.

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The decision indicates the possibility of Henry’s resignation in the coming years. The appointment of a deputy representative is a traditional part of the succession to the throne, according to the Luxembourg Court. In his speech, Henry expressed his confidence in the younger generation. “I wish him happiness with all my love and trust.” According to RTL, Henry’s announcement came as a surprise. This announcement was not included in the letter sent to the press previously.

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Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume with his wife and eldest son in 2020.

“Plans to resign”

However, the news is not completely unexpected. Earlier this year, Grand Duke Henry announced that he was making “active plans” for his resignation. Henry said in an interview with Belgian media ahead of the state visit to Belgium: “I plan to retire at some point. That’s for sure.” Within the family of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, it is not new for a king to abdicate while alive. Henry’s father, Grand Duke Jan, who died in 2019, abdicated in 2000 in favor of his eldest son.

Title

Grand Duke Henry will retain his title, as it is not (yet) an abdication. On October 7, 2025, Henry will have been on the throne for exactly 25 years. The current Grand Duke himself was Lieutenant Representative from March 1998 until he took office in 2000.

Source: National Police Agency, @courgrandducale

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