POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - INSTITUTIONS

State visit to Portugal

“We have the same views”



Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa were received at the National Palace of Belém, official residence of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of the Republic of Portugal. (Photo: ©House of the Grand Duke/Sophie Margue)

Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa were received at the National Palace of Belém, official residence of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of the Republic of Portugal. (Photo: ©House of the Grand Duke/Sophie Margue)

Luxembourg’s grand duke and grand duchess on 11 May were officially welcomed in Lisbon by the Portuguese Republic's president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. Military honours, official speeches and unmissable visits marked the first day of the state visit.

Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa are in Lisbon for a State visit, from 11 to 13 May, on invitation of the President of the Portuguese Republic. The grand ducal couple is accompanied by an official delegation including foreign affairs minister Jean Asselborn (LSAP), family and integration minister Corinne Cahen (DP), economy minister Franz Fayot (LSAP), as well as finance minister Yuriko Backes (DP).

The programme is dense, different for each actor, depending on their priorities and references, but the general idea is the same for all: to strengthen the cooperation links between the two countries. This year, for the first time, a cultural delegation is travelling, a joint initiative of Kultur lx, the city of Lisbon and the Luxembourg embassy in Lisbon.

Upon their arrival on the Portuguese tarmac on 10 May, the grand ducal couple was welcomed by Luxembourg's ambassador in Lisbon, Conrad Bruch, and by the head of protocol of the Portuguese presidency, Clara Nunes dos Santos. António Gamito, the Portuguese ambassador to Luxembourg, was also part of the Portuguese delegation.

The Grand Duchess and the Grand Duke on their arrival on Portuguese soil. (Photo: Maison du Grand-Duc/Sophie Margue)

The Grand Duchess and the Grand Duke on their arrival on Portuguese soil. (Photo: Maison du Grand-Duc/Sophie Margue)

On Wednesday, an official welcome ceremony presided over by Rebelo de Sousa with military honours was held at the Hieronymites monastery, an emblematic monument of Portuguese history which houses the tombs of Vasco de Gama and the poet Luís de Camões. All the army corps were represented: land, air and navy, the latter also singing the Portuguese national anthem.

The official procession then went to the National Palace in Belém, the official residence of the Portuguese president, where he has been living almost every day since the beginning of the pandemic. This was followed by a private exchange between the delegations of the two countries, and between the two heads of state.

This visit comes at a complex time in the life of the world. It is a sign of peace, friendship and hope.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa

Marcelo Rebelo de SousaPresident Republic of Portugal

The Portuguese President then spoke at length about the links between the two countries. "It is important that Luxembourgers and Portuguese understand that this is a friendship between two peoples, two countries, but also between two heads of state. We share the same views.” He also referred to current geopolitical events: “This visit is taking place at a complex moment in the life of the world. It is a sign of peace, friendship and hope. There is hope beyond war”, before concluding his speech with a few words in impeccable French. The grand duke then spoke too, evoking a certain admiration “for the empathy you showed towards the Portuguese population of Luxembourg during your previous state visit (...)”, but also his gratitude to the Portuguese “for their contribution to the economic construction of the country”, before underlining “the impressive change I have seen in all areas, in 12 years”.

The visits continued in the afternoon at the Lisbon City Hall, in the presence of Mayor Carlos Moedas. Then the official delegation visited part of the old town by tram. The grand-ducal couple was then invited to dinner by Rebelo de Sousa at the National Palace of Ajuda, the last official royal residence in Portugal until the establishment of the Republic in 1910.

This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.