May 1, 2013
JFK WELCOMED GRAND DUCHESS OF LUXEMBOURG TO USA 50 YEARS AGO TODAY
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy welcomed Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg* to the United States 50 years ago today, May 1, 1963.
The Grand Duchess**, who had ruled her country since 1919, was accompanied by her son, the future Grand Duke, Prince Jean.
A state luncheon in honor of the royal visitors was held at the White House the previous evening and during a luncheon at the Luxembourg Embassy on May 1st, President Kennedy said...
"Her Royal Highness and her son were in our country during the days of WWII and they are particularly welcome back now as old and faithful friends whom we look to with greatest hopes for long and continued association."
JFK also reminded the audience that...
"a good many Americans were buried in their country..."***
State Dinner at the White House
JFK, Grand Duchess Charlotte,
Mrs. Kennedy, and Prince Jean
April 30, 1963
JFK Library Photo
During the state visit, two discussion sessions were held between the President, several members of his administration and the Grand Duchess and Prince.
At the end of their discussions, a joint statement was released which stated...
"Both the President and Their Royal Highnesses express the belief that all nations, large and small, should work together in the cause of freedom and justice."
After leaving Washington, the Royals visited Chicago and Cape Canaveral.
*Luxembourg, located in Western Europe, is bordered by Belgium, France and Germany. It has the world's highest GDP per capita and is a member of the European Union, NATO and the United Nations.
It is the smallest of European nations and ranks 170th of 194 countries in size. Her official languages are French, German and Luxembourgish.
Banque Central du Luxembourg
**Charlotte Adelgonde Elise/Elisabeth Marie Wilhelmine vu Letzebuerg (1896-1985) was born in Schloss Berg, the daughter of William IV, Grand Duke of Luxembourg and Infanta Marie Anne of Portugal.
She reigned as Grand Duchess from January 14, 1919 to November 12, 1964. In November 1919 she married Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma and the couple would have 6 children.
Grand Duchess Charlotte
Library of Congress Photo (1942)
During the occupation of Luxembourg by Nazi Germany during WWII, the Grand Duchess went into exile in London where she made broadcasts to her homeland via the BBC.
She abdicated in 1964 with her son, Jean, becoming Grand Duke.
***The Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial contains graves of 5076 American servicemen, most who died during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944-45. One of the graves is that of General George S. Patton, Jr.
Luxembourg American Cemetery
American Battle Monuments