Belgian royal family in mourning
11 January 2005
BRUSSELS – Belgium’s royal family is in mourning after the death of Princess Josephine-Charlotte of Luxembourg, the sister King Albert II.
The princess was also the mother of Luxembourg’s reigning Grand Duke Henri.
She was 77 years old and had been suffering from cancer.
Princess Josephine-Charlotte was born on 11 October 1927 to Prince Leopold II and Princess Astrid, who were to become king and queen of Belgium.
She married the hereditary Grand Duke Prince Jean of Luxembourg in 1953 and the couple had five children, three boys and two girls.
The princess was known for her charity activities and took a stint at the helm of the Luxembourg Red Cross.
Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt led the government’s tribute to the princess, presenting his condoleances to the Grand Duke, both royal families and the population of Luxembourg.
Verhofstadt stressed her generosity and recalled her interest for art and social problems.
“She was destined to ensure excellent relations between Belgium and Luxembourg,” he said.
The princess will be buried on Saturday and flags will fly at half-mast in Belgium as a mark of respect.
The royal court in Luxembourg has begun an official six week mourning period.
At the princess’ request, all those wishing to pay final hommage are being asked to make a donation to the Red Cross.
Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said her death was like personally losing a family member.
“It is a great loss for our country and its people,” he said.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news