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Happy Birthday, Grand-Duc Jean
Luxembourg

Happy Birthday, Grand-Duc Jean

14.03.2012 From our online archive
Luxembourg's Grand-Duc Jean, father of the reigning Grand Duke Henri, is celebrating his 91st birthday on Thursday.

(CS) Luxembourg's Grand-Duc Jean, father of the reigning Grand Duke Henri, is celebrating his 91st birthday on Thursday.

The monarch was born in 1921 on Schloss Berg in Luxembourg, to Grand Duchess Charlotte and her husband Prince Felix.

After beginning his schooling in Luxembourg he completed his high-school studies at Ampleforth College boarding school in Yorkshire and later studied law and political science at the Université Laval in Québec, while in exile with the Grand Ducal family during the Second World War.

In 1942 Grand-Duc Jean signed up as a volunteer with the Irish Guards. After completing military training at Sandhurst Military Academy he landed in Normandy in 1944, fighting in the Ardennes.

Following the war, Grand-Duc Jean was a celebrated military hero in Luxembourg. In 1953 he married the Belgian princess Joséphine-Charlotte. The couple had five children.

In 1964 it was his turn to take the throne, after Grand Duchess Charlotte abdicated. Grand Duke Jean was to do the same some 36 years later in favour of his oldest son Grand Duke Henri, who took over the Grand Ducal duties on October 7, 2000.

In January 2005, Grand-Duc Jean's wife Joséphine-Charlotte passed away.

Grand Duke Jean has been decorated with a series of military, academic and other honours. He remains the patron of several organisations, including the boy scouts and the Luxembourg Olympic committee.

He is said to be interested in the protection of the environment, as well as being a classical music enthusiast and enjoying reading, photography and sports.