Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg handing over power to his eldest son: Here's what we know

Towards the end of 2023, the Queen of Denmark surprised the world when she announced her abdication. Now it looks like another European royal is following her lead...

Monarch richer than King Charles is handing over power to his eldest son
© Mark Cuthbert / Contributeur
Monarch richer than King Charles is handing over power to his eldest son

The current leaders of royal families all over the world are undoubtedly getting older by the day. The time is coming for many of them to step aside, and make place for their children.

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The Queen of Denmark announced her shock abdication during her New Year's Eve address at the end of 2023. Now, six months later, another royal has also decided to step away from his position. Indeed, on 23 June, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg revealed that his time is coming to an end and that his eldest son will take over the governing duties in October.

He said, as quoted and translated in People:

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

What does this mean?

Earlier this year, the 69-year-old Luxembourg royal opened up about his desire to retire soon. He said that 'there are plans' and that 'it will happen' but did not disclose an official date.

Grand Duke Henri has now revealed that abdication is on the way, however it could take few years before the whole process is put in place. According to Daily Mail, this means that he will hold on to his title but will be represented by his son from October onwards.

This is not the first time that an abdication has taken place in the Duchy of Luxembourg. Grand Duke Henri's father also abdicated in favour of his son Grand Duke Jean. Similarly, Henri took on the role of Lieutenant-Representative for two years before getting his father's title.

So while Prince Guillaume will be his father's representative, it may be a while before he officially takes over his title as well, but the plan is certainly underway.

The Luxembourg family fortune

Grand Duke Henri has been on the throne for 24 years now and while the country is much smaller than the UK, the fortune his family has racked up is significantly larger than that of King Charles.

A report by Business Insider in 2019 put the Grand Duke Henri as the richest monarch in Europe with an estimated fortune of $4 billion. At the time, he was compared to Queen Elizabeth who had a fortune of between $400 and $600 million.

While there are no recent figures for his current fortune, even if it remains unchanged or has decreased slightly, it overshadows King Charles' fortune, which was recently publicised.

The British Royal Family's finances are a subject of heavy discussion and speculation, however the Grand Ducal family of Luxembourg does not receive the same kind of media attention. Therefore it is unknown exactly how much of Grand Duke Henri's fortune is personal and how much belongs to the monarchy itself.

Hence the current fortune of the Crown Prince and the amount he will inherit as monarch remains obscure.

Who is Prince Guillaume?

The eldest son that is going to take over the throne is Prince Guillaume Jean Joseph Marie. Born in 1981, the now 42-year-old has four siblings. As per the family's official website, the prince was 'sworn in on 18 December 2000' as Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg.

The royal is married to Stéphanie de Lannoy, countess-turned princess, in 2012. The couple now have two boys, Princes Charles, who is second in line to the throne, and Prince Francois.

As Prince, he and his wife organise many engagements together to promote both the cultural aspects of the country and the national economic sector. He has many patronages, including being the Chairman of the World Scout Foundation, and High Patron of the Special Olympics Luxembourg since 2017.

Read more:

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Queen Mary of Denmark gave tell-all interview before marrying King Frederik X: 'I won't accept unfaithfulness'

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Sources used:

Website of Cour Grand-Ducale

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

Europe1: The Grand Duke of Luxembourg announces an upcoming passing of the torch to his son

Business Insider: The 10 richest royal families in Europe, ranked

Daily Mail: Luxembourg in shock after Grand Duke Henri announces abdication plans, saying his son Prince Guillaume will start takeover of the throne later this year

Le Monde: Luxembourg's grand duke to start handover of power to son

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