Luxembourg Royalty: John I (1964-2000)


Figure 1.-- Grand Duke John in 1953 married Princess Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium. Here they are with their five children, I think about 1969.

Grand Duke John or Jean in 1953 was the eldest son of Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg Charlotte after the plebiscite on November 6, 1919, married Prince Félix of Bourbon-Parma (1893-1970) who became Prince Consort. John was born in 1921. John married married Princess Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium (1953). Grand Duchess Charlotte abdicated in favor of Jean in 1964. John and Joséphine-Charlotte had five children, three boys and two girls. Their eldest son Henri married Maria Teresa Mestre y Batista, daughter of Jose Antonio Mestre and Maria Teresa Batista y Falla (1981). (Maria Teresa Mestre y Batista (1956-). Grand Duke John abdicated wanted to turn over reponsibility to his son.

Parents

Grand Duke John or Jean in 1953 was the eldest son of Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg. Charlotte after the plebiscite on November 6, 1919, married Prince Félix of Bourbon-Parma (1893-1970) who became Prince Consort.

Siblings


Childhood

John or Jean was born at Berg Castle, in central Luxembourg (1921). iHis formal name was Jean Benoît Guillaume Robert Antoine Louis Marie Adolphe Marc d'AvianoWe know nothing about his childhood at this time. Upon reaching his maturity, he was given the title 'Hereditary Grand Duke', confirming his dynastic status as Heir Apparent.

Education

John at first attended a state primary school in Luxembourg. He also began began secondary in Luxembourg. He might have pursued advanced studies in Germany, but by the time he was old enough, Hitler and the NAZIs had seized power. He thus completed secondary school at Ampleforth College, a Roman Catholic boarding school in Britain. He would also study law in Canada during the War.

World War II (1939-45)

The Germans as part of their western offensive invaded neutral Luxembourg again (May 1940). The Duchy is very small and did not have a significant military. The Germans thius within hours were in contol of the Duchy. The royal family, informed in the night of the eminent German invasion, managed to flee. At first they went to Paris, assuming that the French Army as in World War I would hold, fled to Paris. And then when it became obvious that the Germans could not be stopped, on to Portugal and from there to England. A Government in exile was formed in London. Jean went to Canada, as it was not at all clear that Britain could hold out. He studied Law and Political Science at Université Laval, Quebec City. The Duchy had to endure a second German invasion, this time even more brutal. Charlotte's husband Felix and her son Jean served in the allied armies fighting the Germans. The NAZIs regarded Luxemburg rather like Alsace as rightfully part of Germany. This time Luxembourg was incorporated into the Reich until liberation in 1945. Thousands of her people were conscripted by the NAZIs for slave labor in Germany. And as a part of the Reich, unlike other occupied countries, young men were conscriopted for military servicre in the Wehrmacht. John after getting his law degree in Canada, volunteered for military service in the British Army. He joined the Irish Guards (November 1942). He did his officer training at Aldershot and was commissioned as a Lieutenant (March 1943). He was promoted to captain (1944). He landed in Normandy a few days after the first assault (June 11, 1944). Along with the British and Canadian Armies, he was involved in the lengthy Battle for Caen and the liberation of Brussels. He reached Luxembourg (September 10) and then Opperation Market Garden. The Allies were stopped at Arnhem. And then Luxembourg was reoccupied as part of the Battle of the Bulge. John participated in the subsequent invasion of Germany.

Marriage (1953)

John married married Princess Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium (1953).

Accession (1964)

Grand Duchess Charlotte abdicated in favor of Jean in 1964.

Children

John and Joséphine-Charlotte had a successful marriage and five children, three boys and two girls. We have very little information on their childhoods. Their eldest son Henri Albert Gabriel (1955- ) married Maria Teresa Mestre y Batista (1956- ), daughter of Jose Antonio Mestre and Maria Teresa Batista y Falla (1981). There other children were: Marie-Astrid Liliane (1954- ), Jean Felix Marie Guillaume (1957- ), Margaretha Antonia Marie (1957- ), and Guillaume Marie Louis (1963- ). We know very little about the children at this time. The image here shows the family about 1969 (figure 1).

Military Service

John after World cWar II served as Colonel of the Regiment of the Irish Guards. He could often be seen in his Guard's uniform riding behind Queen Elizabeth II during her annual Birthday Parade in London..

Abdication (2000)

Grand Duke John abdicated wanted to turn over reponsibility to his son.






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Created: June 6, 1998
Last updated: 10:23 PM 10/1/2011