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Jean, Grand Duke of Luxembourg (given names: Jean Beno√ģt Guillaume Robert Antoine Louis Marie Adolphe Marc d'Aviano; born 5 January 1921) ruled Luxembourgmarker from 1964 to 2000. He is the father of the current Grand Duke, Henri, and the son of Grand Duchess Charlotte and Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma. Among his godparents was Pope Benedict XV, who gave him his second name.

His full title is "by the Grace of God, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Duke of Nassau, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Count of Sayn, Königstein, Katzenelnbogen and Diez, Burgrave of Hammerstein, Lord of Mahlberg, Wiesbaden, Idstein, Merenberg, Limburg and Eppstein." Many of the titles are held without regard to the strict rules of salic inheritance.

Early life

Jean was born on 5 January 1921, at Berg Castlemarker, in central Luxembourg, the son of the reigning Grand Duchess, Charlotte. He attended primary school in Luxembourg, where he continued the initial stage of secondary education. He completed secondary school at Ampleforth Collegemarker, a Roman Catholic boarding school in the United Kingdommarker. Upon reaching maturity, on 5 January 1939, he was styled 'Hereditary Grand Duke', recognising his status as Heir Apparent.

Second World War

On 10 May 1940, Germanymarker invaded Luxembourg, beginning a four-year occupation. Having been warned of an imminent invasion, the Grand Ducal Family escaped the previous night. At first, they sought refuge in Parismarker, before fleeing Francemarker only weeks later. Jean went to Canadamarker, where he studied Law and Political Science at Université Lavalmarker, Quebec Citymarker.

He joined the British Army as a volunteer in the Irish Guards in November 1942. After receiving officer training at Aldershotmarker, Jean was commissioned as a Lieutenant in March 1943, before being promoted to captain in 1944. He landed in Normandy on 11 June 1944, and took part in the Battle for Caenmarker and the liberation of Brusselsmarker. On 10 September 1944, he took part in the liberation of Luxembourg before moving on to Arnhemmarker and the invasion of Germany. After the war, from 1984 until his abdication, he served as Colonel of the Regiment of the Irish Guards, often riding in uniform behind Queen Elizabeth II during the Sovereign's Birthday Parade.


He became Grand Duke when his mother, the Grand Duchess Charlotte, abdicated in 1964.

Grand Duke Jean abdicated on 7 October 2000, and was succeeded on the throne by his son Henri.


He was married in Luxembourgmarker on 9 April 1953 to Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium (1927-2005), daughter of Léopold III, King of the Belgians. They had three sons and two daughters:

Dynastic titles

Jean renounced the titles of the House of Bourbon-Parma for himself and his family in 1986 when his eldest son, then-Hereditary Grand Duke Henri married Maria-Theresa Mestre. The reason for this was that the Duke of Parma, Carlos Hugo, ruled the marriage unequal in 1981, as well as the marriage of Prince Jean to Hélène Suzanna Vestur in 1987, for which he had renounced his rights to Luxembourg in 1986. It is not known if the marriage of Prince Guillaume is seen by Carlos Hugo as equal.

The Arrêté Grand-Ducal of 21 Septembre 1995 established that the title of Prince/Princesse de Luxembourg is reserved for the children of the sovereign and the heir to the throne. It also stated that the descendants in male lineage of the sovereign should be styled as Prince/Princesse de Nassau with qualification of Altesse Royale and that the descendants of non-approved marriages should be styled as Comte/Comtesse de Nassau.

Awards and decorations


See also

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