Royal Court of Luxembourg Reveals Date When Grand Duke Henri Will Begin Transfer of Power to His Son

Before the end of the year, Luxembourg will have a new royal in charge of governing duties but not an official change in reign

<p>Cour grand-ducale Luxembourg/Instagram</p> Prince Guillaume and Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg in an undated photo shared by the Grand Ducal Court of Luxembourg.

Cour grand-ducale Luxembourg/Instagram

Prince Guillaume and Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg in an undated photo shared by the Grand Ducal Court of Luxembourg.

Change is on the calendar for the monarchy in Luxembourg.

On July 9, the Grand Ducal Court of Luxembourg announced that Grand Duke Henri will officially pass governing duties to his eldest son, Prince Guillaume, on Oct. 8, the day after the 24th anniversary of his own accession. The move starts the process for Grand Duke Henri, 69, to eventually abdicate.

"Following the announcement made publicly by HRH the Grand Duke on June 23, it is brought to the public's attention that the designation of HRH the Hereditary Grand Duke as lieutenant representative of HRH the Grand Duke will take place in the afternoon of Tuesday, October 8, 2024," the court said in a statement, per a translation.

"The signing of the grand ducal decree of appointment by HRH the Grand Duke will take place at the grand ducal palace. It will be followed by the swearing-in of HRH the Hereditary Grand Duke before the Chamber of Deputies, as provided for by the Constitution," it continued.

Related: Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg Paves Way for His Abdication with Surprise Announcement

The update came with a photo of the father and son smiling as they stand together.

Grand Duke Henri previously broke the news on Luxembourg's national day, June 23, that he planned to appoint his eldest son and expected successor Prince Guillaume, 42, as Lieutenant-Representative this fall.

"I would like to inform you that I have decided to appoint Prince Guillaume as Lieutenant-Representative in October," said Henri. "It is with all my love and confidence that I wish him the best of luck."

<p>Sylvain Lefevre/Getty</p> Prince Guillaume and Grand Duke Henri attend the military parade of National Day on June 23, 2022 in Luxembourg.

Sylvain Lefevre/Getty

Prince Guillaume and Grand Duke Henri attend the military parade of National Day on June 23, 2022 in Luxembourg.

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The move doesn't mean that Grand Duke Henri is abdicating just yet, as he will remain head of state for the small country for the foreseeable future. Prince Guillaume's upcoming royal role as Lieutenant-Representative is comparable to the position of prince regent, and the Grand Ducal Court explained that the designation is custom in the process of a change of reign.

While some monarchs reign until death, voluntary abdication has become a pattern in Luxembourg. Grand Duke Henri governed as "Lieutenant-Représentant du Grand-Duc" for two years before he acceded his father, Grand Duke Jean, on Oct. 7, 2000.

Before that, Grand Duke Jean inherited the throne when his mother, Grand Duchess Charlotte, abdicated in 1964, and she stepped up into the royal role when her elder sister, Grand Duchess Marie-Adelaide, abdicated in 1919.

Henri hinted at his plans to "retire" in an interview with La Libre timed to his 69th birthday in April.

"There are plans, it will happen," he told the outlet.

When La Libre asked the duke if he had chosen a date for his abdication, he reportedly replied, "Yes, but I won’t tell you that!"

"I am a happy man. But I could not choose my destiny," Grand Duke Henri said.

Sylvain Lefevre/Getty (From left) Prince Louis of Luxembourg, Princess Claire of Luxembourg and Prince Felix of Luxembourg, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg and Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, Princess Stephanie, Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg, Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg, Prince Sebastien of Luxembourg before the official dinner for National Day on June 23, 2018.

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As Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Prince Guillaume is followed in the line of succession by his young sons Prince Charles, 4, and Prince François, 1, whom he shares with his wife, Princess Stephanie.

Succession to the Luxembourgish throne has been governed by absolute primogeniture among the descendants of Grand Duke Henri since 2011. This means that Guillaume is followed in line by his children and siblings, regardless of sex.

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