Photo courtesy of B. McDonald

Bernard writes:

“My Dad Jim McDonald served in the Irish Guards during WW11. When the then Prince John of Luxembourg joined the Irish Guards, think it was 1942, my Dad was chosen to be his Batman something he was very proud of.

When Prince John was married sometime in the 1950s my Dad sent him a Telegram with Congratulations. The photo is the reply my Dad received from Prince John. As you well know he later became the Grand Duke of Luxembourg and Colonel-In-Chief of the Irish Guards.

This is the only one photo I can find of my Dad in his uniform -  when Mum & Dad got married in 1940.”

Please click here if you recognise Jim McDonald


From Birmingham Post, The (England) - Friday, December 24, 1999:

“The Birmingham Post: Christmas Message Of Abdication Expected From Grand Duke

One of Europe's longest reigning monarchs, Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg, is expected to announce today his decision to abdicate next year in favour of his son Prince Henri.

Luxembourg newspapers reported that Grand Duke Jean, aged 78, would confirm plans to step down during his traditional Christmas Eve speech to the nation. The monarch has long been expected to stand aside to enable his 44-year-old son to take the throne.

Also today, Prime Minister Mr Jean-Claude Juncker is scheduled to announce the Grand Duke's decision to the Luxembourg parliament.

Grand Duke Jean has ruled the prosperous little nation - sandwiched between Belgium, France and Germany - since November 1964, when his mother Grand Duchess Charlotte abdicated.

During his rule, the country has developed as a leading European financial centre, enabling its citizens to keep their status as the richest in the European Union despite a decline in the steel industry that had long been the Grand Duchy's economic mainstay.

The Grand Duke is not expected to announce an exact date for the abdication, but is likely to step down some time after September, 2000.

Prince Henri assumed many of he monarch's ceremonial duties last year when his father appointed him Lieutenant-Representative in preparation for his succession.

Like his father, Prince Henri enjoys widespread affection among Luxembourg's 365,000 citizens. His popular Cuban-born wife Maria Teresa will become Grand Duchess.

Grand Duke Jean earned the enduring respect of his people during the Second World War when, as crown prince, he joined the British army after the royal family fled Nazi occupation of Luxembourg.

As a young lieutenant in the Irish Guards , he took part in the liberation of his country in 1944, receiving a tumultuous reception from local people.

Grand Duke Jean is Europe's third-longest serving monarch - only the Queen and Monaco's Prince Rainier have ruled longer.

According to a report this year in Eurobusiness magazine, Grand Duke Jean is also Europe's second-richest royal with a personal fortune of pounds 800 million, just behind Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands with £1.2 billion.

Prince Henri will become Luxembourg's sixth monarch since 1890, when the Grand Duchy's union with the Netherlands was ended.”

Read more about Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg by clicking here