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22.09.2008

Première au Royaume-Uni du film "Charlotte: A Royal at War" (Léif Lëtzebuerger)

Le vendredi 19 septembre 2008 a eu lieu à Londres la première au Royaume-Uni du film «Charlotte: A Royal at War (Léif Lëtzebuerger)», en présence de LL.AA.RR. le Grand-Duc et la Grande-Duchesse, S.A.R. le Grand-Duc Héritier, S.A.R. le Prince Guillaume ainsi que de Mme Octavie Modert, secrétaire d'État à la Culture, à l'Enseignement supérieur et à la Rercherche. Le Duc et la Duchesse de Gloucester, représentant Sa Majesté la Reine Elisabeth II, ont également assisté à cet événement qui s'est déroulé dans la grande salle de la « British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) ».

Lors de cette soirée, S.A.R. le Grand-Duc a remis à la BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), représentée par M. Olexiy Solohubenko, éditeur exécutif de BBC World Service, une réplique de la statue de la Place Clairefontaine de S.A.R. la Grande-Duchesse Charlotte par Jean Cardot, en signe de reconnaissance de l'appui de la BBC pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Grâce à la coopération de la BBC, S.A.R. la Grande-Duchesse Charlotte avait pu adresser régulièrement, à travers la radio et en langue luxembourgeoise, des messages au peuple luxembourgeois.

Lors d'une cérémonie dans l'après-midi, à l'Ambassade du Luxembourg à Londres, S.A.R. le Grand-Duc a remis les insignes de Chevalier de l'Ordre de Mérite Civil et Militaire d'Adolphe de Nassau aux coproductrices du film « Léif Lëtzebuerger », Mme Candice Allen-Olson et Mme Lynn Rothwell ainsi qu'au réalisateur, M. Ray Tostevin en reconnaissance de leur contribution pour faire connaître à un large public une période difficile dans l'histoire du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg illustrant en particulier l'action de S.A.R. la Grande-Duchesse Charlotte et de son gouvernement en exil.


Speech by His Royal Highness The Grand Duke of Luxembourg

19 September 2008

Your Royal Highnesses,
Secretary of State for Culture,
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me first congratulate the Grace Productions in association with our "centre national de l'audiovisuel" for having reconstructed some essentials of our recent past.

The film we have just been watching showed us the story of Luxembourg during World War II seen from a particular angle, recalling the part played by my Grandmother and the government in exile.
Grand Duchess Charlotte left her country and her compatriots when Luxembourg was occupied by Nazi Germany. This was in spite of Germany being one of the guarantors of Luxembourg's internationally recognised neutrality. Occupation is always an abomination, but what followed in the years 1940 - 1944 in Luxembourg annexed by Germany was a reign of terror. My Grandmother was then a young mother of six children and she knew what this annexation meant for her people back home.
She wanted to communicate with her compatriots, console and encourage them, and above all instil hope.

Foto: Service photographique du Premier ministre

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It was Britain which gave her the means to do this through the communications technology of the day, namely the radio. The BBC agreed to let her speak, and thanks to its help and cooperation, many messages of solidarity, compassion and love were sent across the radio waves bridging the distance between London and Luxembourg.
The Luxemburgers will never forget the voice which reached them in those dark days, the voice of their Head of State, speaking softly in their language, yet animated by a fierce resolution. Her speeches united our people back home and strengthened their determination to resist against the Nazis. My countrymen will thus never forget the BBC; they will never forget the help extended to them by Great Britain across the Channel, and of course they will never forget their liberation by the Allied forces.
I wish to thank again the BBC for all it did for my country during World War II. And as a token of our recognition may I hand over to you, Mr Olexiy Solohubenko a bronze statue representing Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess Charlotte, my Grandmother, the figurehead of a nation giving hope to her people at home through the BBC.

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