by Ian Marshall, Editor
The following statement was issued by Grand Duke Henri:
“It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of my beloved father, His Royal Highness Grand Duke Jean, who has passed away in peace, surrounded by the affection of his family.”
Born on Wednesday 5th January 1921, Jean Benoît Guillaume Robert Antoine Louis Marie Adolphe Marc d’Aviano, when 19 years old and the heir to the throne, fled the Grand Duchy under the protection of the French army following the invasion of German forces on Thursday 9th May 1940.
He lived in exile in France, Portugal, the United States and Canada, alongside other members of the royal family, before arriving in Great Britain where, following the advice of King George VI, he volunteered for the Irish Guards in November 1942.
Notably he trained at the celebrated Royal Military College, Sandhurst in England. Later, he was a member of the Allied forces that took part in the now famous Normandy landings, one of the most daring amphibious operations in history; the enemy holding a strong defensive position. He landed near Bayeux on Sunday 11th June 1944, five days after D-day.
Additionally he was involved in the liberation of Luxembourg, the country having been annexed by Nazi forces.
He married Princess Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium in 1953, and together they had five children. Most notably, he completely changed the Luxembourg from a country with a weak economic structure to a major financial centre.
Meanwhile, in the sporting world he was a prominent member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). He was Chair of the IOC Rules Reviewing Commission from 1973 to 1976, he was also a member of the IOC Commission of Enquiry for the Winter Games in 1968 and 1969.
Saddened by the passing André Hartmann, the President of the Luxembourg Table Tennis Federation added his condolences with a degree of pride.
“Prince Louis, a son of the actual Grand Duke Henri is the patron of the Luxembourg Table Tennis Federation. The Luxembourg table tennis team showed a great sign of compassion and expression of condolence to the Grand Ducal family.” André Hartmann
In 2000, he abdicated from office after almost 36 years on the throne in favour of his son Henri.