Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg

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Henri (Henri Albert Gabriel Félix Marie Guillaume; born 16 April 1955) is Grand Duke of Luxembourg. He has reigned since 7 October 2000. Henri is the eldest son of Grand Duke Jean and Princess Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium. He is a first cousin of King Philippe of Belgium. In 2019, Henri’s net worth was estimated around US $4 billion.

Childhood

Prince Henri was born on 16 April 1955, at the Betzdorf Castle in Luxembourg as the second child and first son of Jean, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and his wife, Princess Josephine-Charlotte of Belgium. His father was the eldest son of Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, and Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma. His mother was the only daughter of King Leopold III of Belgium by his first wife, Princess Astrid of Sweden.

The prince's godparents were his maternal uncle the Prince of Liege (later Albert II of Belgium) and his paternal aunt Princess Marie Gabriele.

Henri has four siblings: Archduchess Marie Astrid of Austria (born 1954), Prince Jean of Luxembourg (born 1957), Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein (born 1957) and Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg (born 1963).

On 12 November 1964, when Henri was nine, his grandmother abdicated and his father became Grand Duke. By two sovereign decision of 14 April 1973 the Grand Duke decided that "Henri will be considered as having reached the age of majority as from 16 April 1973, the date on which he will have reached the age of eighteen years" and "that His Royal Highness Prince Henri will bear, in His capacity as Heir Apparent to the Crown of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and of the Grand-Ducal Trust, the title of Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Hereditary Prince of Nassau, Prince of Bourbon-Parma

Education

Henri was educated in Luxembourg and in France, where he obtained his baccalaureate in 1974, after which he undertook military officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, England on the Standard Military Course (SMC) 7. He then studied political science at University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute of International Studies, graduating in 1980.

Constitutional Position

Prince Henri became heir apparent to the Luxembourg throne on the abdication of his paternal grandmother, Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg, on 12 November 1964. From 1980 to 1998, he was a member of the Council of State.

On 4 March 1998, Prince Henri was appointed as lieutenant representative by his father, Grand Duke Jean, meaning that he assumed most of his father's constitutional powers. On 7 October 2000, immediately following the abdication of his father, Henri acceded as Grand Duke of Luxembourg and took the constitutional oath before the Chamber of Deputies later that day.

Euthanasia and Constitutional Reform Controversies

On 2 December 2008, it was announced that Grand Duke Henri had stated he would refuse to give his assent to a new law on euthanasia that had been passed earlier in the year by the Chamber of Deputies.

Under the constitution then, the grand duke "sanctions and promulgates the laws" meaning the need for the grand duke's sanction or approval was required in order for laws to take effect. In the absence of clarity on the long-term implications for the constitution position of the grand duke posed by such a refusal, it was announced by Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker that a constitutional amendment would be brought forward.

Titles and Styles

16 April 1955-12 November 1964: His Royal Highness Prince Henri of Luxembourg, Prince of Nassau, Prince of Bourbon-Parma

12 November 1964-16 April 1973: His Royal Highness Prince Henri of Luxembourg, The Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Prince of Nassau, Prince of Bourbon-Parma

7 October 2000-present His Royal Highness The Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Prince of Nassau, Prince of Bourbon-Parma

Honors

National

Foreign Honors

House: Luxembourg-Nassau (official), Bourbon-Parma (agnatic)

Religion: Roman Catholic