Grand Duke of Luxembourg
The Grand Duke of Luxembourg is the sovereign
A sovereign is the supreme lawmaking authority within its jurisdiction.Sovereign may also refer to:*Monarch, the sovereign of a monarchy*Sovereign Bank, banking institution in the United States*Sovereign...

A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

 and head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 of Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

. Luxembourg has been a grand duchy
Grand duchy
A grand duchy, sometimes referred to as a grand dukedom, is a territory whose head of state is a monarch, either a grand duke or grand duchess.Today Luxembourg is the only remaining grand duchy...

 since 15 March 1815, when it was elevated from a duchy
A duchy is a territory, fief, or domain ruled by a duke or duchess.Some duchies were sovereign in areas that would become unified realms only during the Modern era . In contrast, others were subordinate districts of those kingdoms that unified either partially or completely during the Medieval era...

 when placed in personal union
Personal union
A personal union is the combination by which two or more different states have the same monarch while their boundaries, their laws and their interests remain distinct. It should not be confused with a federation which is internationally considered a single state...

 with the United Kingdom of the Netherlands
United Kingdom of the Netherlands
United Kingdom of the Netherlands is the unofficial name used to refer to Kingdom of the Netherlands during the period after it was first created from part of the First French Empire and before the new kingdom of Belgium split out in 1830...

. Since then, there have been nine monarchs of Luxembourg, including the current incumbent, Henri
Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg
Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg OIH is the head of state of Luxembourg. He is the eldest son of Jean, Grand Duke of Luxembourg and Princess Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium. His maternal grandparents were King Leopold III of Belgium and Astrid of Sweden...


Constitutional role

The Constitution of Luxembourg
Constitution of Luxembourg
The Constitution of Luxembourg is the supreme law of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The modern constitution was adopted on 17 October 1868.Whilst the constitution of 1868 marked a radical change in Luxembourg's constitutional settlement, it was technically an amendment of the original constitution...

 defines the Grand Duke
Grand Duke
The title grand duke is used in Western Europe and particularly in Germanic countries for provincial sovereigns. Grand duke is of a protocolary rank below a king but higher than a sovereign duke. Grand duke is also the usual and established translation of grand prince in languages which do not...

's position:

After a constitutional change in December 2008 resulting from his refusal to sign a law legalizing euthanasia
Euthanasia refers to the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering....

, Grand Duke Henri forfeited his role of signing laws to enact them.


Succession to the throne is governed by Salic law
Salic law
Salic law was a body of traditional law codified for governing the Salian Franks in the early Middle Ages during the reign of King Clovis I in the 6th century...

, as dictated by the Nassau Family Pact
Nassau Family Pact
The Nassau Family Pact was a mutual pact of inheritance and succession made in 1783 by princes of the old German noble and sovereign family of Nassau. It confirmed Salic Law to operate in favor of all agnatic lines of the family, divided into first surviving lines which existed in the Middle Ages...

, first adopted on 30 June 1783. A change in the succession laws introduced equal primogeniture beginning with the descendants of Grand Duke Henri. The right to reign over Luxembourg was until June 2011 passed by agnatic-cognatic primogeniture within the House of Nassau
House of Nassau
The House of Nassau is a diversified aristocratic dynasty in Europe. It is named after the lordship associated with Nassau Castle, located in present-day Nassau, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. The lords of Nassau were originally titled Count of Nassau, then elevated to the princely class as...

, as stipulated under the 1815 Final Act of the Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, and held in Vienna from September, 1814 to June, 1815. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars,...

 and as confirmed by the 1867 Treaty of London. The Nassau Family Pact itself can be amended by the usual legislative process, having been so on 10 July 1907 to exclude the Count of Merenberg
Count of Merenberg
Count of Merenberg is the title bestowed in 1868 by the reigning Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont, George Victor, upon the morganatic wife and male-line descendants of Prince Nikolaus Wilhelm of Nassau , who married Natalia Alexandrovna Pushkina , former wife of Russian General Mikhail Leontievich...

 branch of the House, which was descended from a morganatic marriage
Morganatic marriage
In the context of European royalty, a morganatic marriage is a marriage between people of unequal social rank, which prevents the passage of the husband's titles and privileges to the wife and any children born of the marriage...


If there is a male heir apparent
Heir apparent
An heir apparent or heiress apparent is a person who is first in line of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting, except by a change in the rules of succession....

, he may be granted the style 'Hereditary Grand Duke'. The current heir is Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume
Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg
Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg has been heir apparent to the crown of Luxembourg since his father's accession in 2000.-Early life and education:...

. In June 2011, the agnatic-cognatic primogeniture was dropped in favor of equal primogeniture, allowing any legitimate female descendants within the House of Nassau to be included in the line of succession.

Full titles

The current Grand Duke, Henri, bears the full style "His Royal Highness by the Grace of God
By the Grace of God
By the Grace of God is an introductory part of the full styles of a monarch taken to be ruling by divine right, not a title in its own right....

, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Duke of Nassau, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Count of Sayn
Sayn was a mediæval German County located in the Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia. There were two Counties of Sayn: the first County emerged in 1139. It became closely associated with the County of Sponheim early in its existence. Count Henry II was notable for being accused of...

, Königstein
Königstein im Taunus
Königstein im Taunus is a climatic spa and lies on the thickly wooded slopes of the Taunus in Hesse, Germany. Owing to its advantageous location for both scenery and transport on the edge of the Frankfurt Rhine Main Region, Königstein is a favourite residential town...

, Katzenelnbogen
Katzenelnbogen is the name of a castle and small city in the district of Rhein-Lahn-Kreis in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. Katzenelnbogen is the seat of the Verbandsgemeinde Katzenelnbogen.-History:...

 and Diez, Burgrave of Hammerstein
Hammerstein is a municipality on the Rhine River in the district of Neuwied in Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany....

, Lord of Mahlberg
Mahlberg is a town in the Ortenaukreis, in western Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated 8 km southwest of Lahr....

, Wiesbaden
Wiesbaden is a city in southwest Germany and the capital of the federal state of Hesse. It has about 275,400 inhabitants, plus approximately 10,000 United States citizens...

, Idstein
Idstein is a town of about 25,000 inhabitants in the Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis in the Regierungsbezirk of Darmstadt in Hesse, Germany. Because of its well preserved historical Altstadt it is part of the Deutsche Fachwerkstraße , connecting towns with fine timber-frame buildings and...

, Merenberg
-Location:Merenberg lies on the southern edge of the Westerwald between the district seat of Limburg and Weilburg.-Neighbouring communities:Merenberg borders in the north on the community of Mengerskirchen, in the east on the community of Löhnberg, in the south on the town of Weilburg, in the...

, Limburg
Hagen-Hohenlimburg , on the Lenne river, is a borough of the city of Hagen in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany....

 and Eppstein
Eppstein is a town in the Main-Taunus-Kreis, in Hesse, Germany.-Geographical situation:Eppstein lies west of Frankfurt am Main, around 12 km north east of the state capital Wiesbaden, and is at the edge of the Taunus mountains....

." It should, however, be noted that many of the titles are held without regard to the strict rules of Salic inheritance
Salic law
Salic law was a body of traditional law codified for governing the Salian Franks in the early Middle Ages during the reign of King Clovis I in the 6th century...


List of Grand Dukes

Since 1815, there have been seven Grand Dukes of Luxembourg and two Grand Duchesses regnant of Luxembourg:
  • William I
    William I of the Netherlands
    William I Frederick, born Willem Frederik Prins van Oranje-Nassau , was a Prince of Orange and the first King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg....

  • William II
    William II of the Netherlands
    William II was King of the Netherlands, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and Duke of Limburg from 7 October 1840 until his death in 1849.- Early life and education :...

  • William III
    William III of the Netherlands
    William III was from 1849 King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg until his death and the Duke of Limburg until the abolition of the Duchy in 1866.-Early life:William was born in Brussels as son of William II of the Netherlands and...

  • Adolphe
    Adolphe, Grand Duke of Luxembourg
    Adolphe I, Grand Duke of Luxembourg was the last Duke of Nassau, and the fourth Grand Duke of Luxembourg.-Biography:...

  • William IV (1905–1912)
  • Marie-Adélaïde (1912–1919)
  • Charlotte
    Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
    Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg was the reigning Grand Duchess of Luxembourg from 1919 to 1964.-Early life and life as Grand Duchess:...

  • Jean
    Jean, Grand Duke of Luxembourg
    Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg ruled Luxembourg from 1964 to 2000. He is the father of the current ruler, Grand Duke Henri, and the son of Grand Duchess Charlotte and Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma...

  • Henri
    Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg
    Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg OIH is the head of state of Luxembourg. He is the eldest son of Jean, Grand Duke of Luxembourg and Princess Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium. His maternal grandparents were King Leopold III of Belgium and Astrid of Sweden...

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