Personalities

Count Sigefroy

Count Sigefroy was born around 922 and died in 998. He was the founder of the city of Luxembourg in 963 and the first Earl of a territory that would become the county, then the duchy and finally the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Countess Ermesinde

Countess Ermesinde ruled over Luxembourg from 1197 to 1247. During her administration, she tripled the area of the County of Luxembourg and turned it into a very prosperous region. She gave charters to the cities of Echternach and Luxembourg.

John the Blind

John the Blind, son of Henri VII, was born in 1296. He became King of Bohemia in 1310 and Earl of Luxembourg in 1313. He fought on all battlefields in Europe. He contributed to the victory of Louis of Bavaria in Mühldorf in 1322, and fought alongside the King of France against the Flemings in 1328. After becoming almost blind in 1340, he died during the Battle of Crécy in 1346.

Joseph Bech

Born in 1887 in Diekirch, Joseph Bech studied law and established himself in Luxembourg as a lawyer admitted to the bar. At the age of 27, he was elected to the House of Representatives as a right-wing representative. From 1926 to 1937, he served as President of the Government while managing the portfolio of Foreign Affairs. He went into exile with the other members of government as well as Grand Duchess Charlotte during the German occupation (1940-1944).

Having learned the lessons from two world wars, Joseph Bech became the principal artisan redefining Luxembourgish foreign policy through the abandonment of neutrality, NATO adhesion and European integration. He died the age of 88.

Pierre Dupong

Pierre Dupong was Prime Minister of Luxembourg during World War II.

On the eve of the German invasion of the Grand Duchy in 1940, he decided to leave with his government into exile to lead the resistance against the Nazi regime in Luxembourg from abroad.

Grand Duchess Charlotte followed the government, first to France, then Portugal and Canada, and eventually moved to London to the headquarters of the allies.

Pierre Dupong died in 1953, during his last term as Head of Government of the Grand Duchy.

Grand-Duchess Charlotte

After the abdication of her sister Marie-Adélaïde in 1919, following the political tensions between parliament and the sovereign particularly due to the relations with Germany, Charlotte became Grand Duchess of Luxembourg after a popular referendum which was very favourable to her.

Charlotte is best known for her role played in exile during World War II, where thanks to her, the resistance movement in Luxembourg developed strongly. After the war, she remained very popular and led her freed and sovereign country towards European integration and economic development.

She abdicated in 1964 in favour of her son Jean, after 45 years of rule.

Robert Schuman

The true founding father of a united Europe, Robert Schuman was born in 1886 in Luxembourg to a Luxembourgish mother and a French father.

He began his political career in the Lorraine region that would later take him to Paris as minister and even French Prime Minister.

In 1958, he was the first president of the newly created European Parliament. Robert Schuman is known for his passionate commitment to European integration and the Franco-German friendship. He died in 1963 near Metz.

Pierre Werner

Luxembourg statesman, Pierre Werner was Prime Minister for a number of times between 1959 and 1974 and between 1974 and 1984

He is the father of the Werner Plan, a precursor of the European Monetary Union that in the early 2000s led to the euro.

Pierre Werner died on 24 June 2007 in Luxembourg at the age of 89.

Gaston Thorn

Gaston Thorn was the Prime Minister of Luxembourg from 1974 to 1979 and the only liberal in this position since the end of World War II.

He was appointed Head of the European Commission in 1981 for four years. Gaston Thorn was also the only Luxembourger to be elected President of the United Nations General Assembly.

He died in 2007 at the age of 79.

Jacques Santer

Jacques Santer, born in 1937 in Wasserbillig, is a Luxembourgish politician and member of the Christian Social Party (CSV).

He was the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Luxembourg from 1984 to 1995. From 1991 to 1994, he also held the post of governor of the International Monetary Fund. In 1995, Santer became President of the European Commission. Due to alleged cases of corruption in which several EU commissioners were involved and following European Parliament request, the Santer Commission resigned in March 1999.

Jacques Santer became a member of the European Parliament again in 1999, same as he had already been from 1975 to 1979.

Jacques Santer is Honorary State Minister of Luxembourg and, since May 2013 he has also been an honorary member of SME Europe, the official economic wing of the European People's Party (EPP).

Jean-Claude Juncker

Jean-Claude Juncker, born on 9 December 1954 in Redange/Attert in Luxembourg, has served as Prime Minister, Minister of State and Treasury Minister until 2014. The trained lawyer is a member of the Christian Social People’s Party (CSV). The pro-European was among those who signed the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 of which he was also one of the main authors – in particular for the economic and monetary parts for which he compiled large sections.

Juncker acted as governor of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) starting in 1995 and President of the Euro Group starting in 2005.
He has received many international awards in recognition of his commitment to the European idea, including the prestigious Charlemagne Prize of Aachen in 2006.
Jean-Claude Juncker has been President of the European Commission in Brussels since 1 November 2014.

Xavier Bettel

Xavier Bettel was born in Luxembourg City on 3 March 1973 and since 4 December 2013 he has been Prime Minister, Minister of State, Minister for Communication and Media and also Minister for Religious Affairs in the coalition government formed from the Democratic Party (DP), the Luxembourg Socialist Workers’ Party (LSAP) and the Greens (“déi gréng”).

A law graduate, Bettel was elected to Parliament for the Democratic Party for the first time when he was only 26. He was mayor of Luxembourg City from 2011 until he was appointed Prime Minister. Since January 2013, he has also been the Democratic Party chairman.

Xavier Bettel has been living with Gauthier Destenay, a Belgian architect, in a registered civil partnership since 19 March 2010. On 15 May 2015, the couple were married in Luxembourg, which makes Bettel the first leader in Europe to marry a same-sex partner while in office.

H.R.H. Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg

His Royal Highness Henri of Luxembourg, born on 16 April 1955 at Betzdorf Castle in Luxembourg, is the eldest son of Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte (1927-2005) and, since his accession to the throne on 7 October 2000, he has been the Grand Duke of Luxembourg.

Henri studied politics at the University of Geneva and was commissioned as a military officer at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in England.

On 14 February 1981, he married Maria Teresa Mestre. The couple has five children – Prince Guillaume, Prince Félix, Prince Louis and Prince Sebastian and also Princess Alexandra – as well as three grandchildren: two grandsons from the marriage between Prince Louis and Princess Tessy of Luxembourg (Prince Gabriel and Prince Noah), and Princess Amalia, the daughter of Prince Felix and Princess Claire of Luxembourg.

H.R.H. Guillaume the hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg

His Royal Highness, the hereditary Grand Duke, Guillaume of Luxembourg, born on 11 November 1981 in Luxembourg, is the eldest son of Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa. Since 18 November 2000, he has been the official hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg.

After his military training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Guillaume studied history and politics at the University of Durham, at Brunel University in London and at the University of Angers in France.

In October 2012, Guillaume married the Belgian Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy, who therefore also holds the title of hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.

Robert Brandy

Robert Brandy was born in Luxembourg in 1946 under the name of Robert Brandenburger.

After finishing his studies at the École des Beaux Art in Aix-en-Provence (France), he returned to Luxembourg in 1976 and began exhibiting his paintings and collages.

His works of art have been shown in many exhibitions all over the world. They are found in numerous art collections and museums around the world.

Léa Linster

Born on 27 April 1955 in Differdange, Léa Linster is a Michelin-starred chef and the only woman so far to have won the Bocuse d’Or, and she leads the way for top-notch gastronomy in the Luxembourg food scene.

After her father’s untimely death, she gave up studying law and instead opened her own restaurant “Léa Linster” in what had been his service station, which also had a bistro and bowling alley. In 1987 Léa Linster had already cooked her way to her first Michelin star, and in 1989 she was awarded the “Bocuse d'Or”, the highest distinction possible for chefs. The Gault et Millau guide gave her 18 out of 20 points and in 2009 she was chosen to be “Chef of the Year”.

She is particularly well-known in the German media because of her many appearances on television; she has her own cookery show and writes regular newspaper columns.

Viviane Reding

Viviane Reding was born in 1951 in Esch-sur-Alzette, in Luxembourg. After obtaining a PhD degree at the Sorbonne (Paris), she acted as professional journalist for 20 years.

Viviane Reding is one of the most prominent personalities of Europe, completing 3 terms as member of the European Parliament (EP). In 1999, having served for 10 years in the Luxembourg Parliament and in the EP, she became European Commissioner (EC) for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport. In 2004, she became EC for Information Society and Media and in 2010 EP first Vice-President and EC for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship.

She is currently Member of the EP and Rapporteur for the TiSA agreement (Trade in Services Agreement).

Ranga Yogeshwar

Ranga Yogeshwar was born in 1959 in Luxembourg. He is the son of an indian engineer and a Luxembourgish artist.

Ranga Yogeshwar spent most of his early childhood in India and passed his high-school graduation in Luxembourg. He then studied physics, particularly particle physics and astrophysics.

He started off his professional career in research before joining WDR – a German public-broadcasting institution – in Cologne.

Today, Ranga Yogeshwar is one of the most well-known German speaking science journalists. His books are bestsellers that are translated into several languages.