On an official trade visit, the Crown Prince of Luxembourg in Toronto publicly talked about how his family fled to Canada during World War II.
Prince Guillaume Jean Joseph Marie, the heir to the throne of Luxembourg, knows that his great-grandparents, grandfathers and other royal families lived on farms in Quebec in the 1940s after the Nazi invasion in the 1940s. He said there weren’t many people. The Duchess of Luxembourg evacuated to Quebec with her six children.
“It’s well known that the Dutch royal family spent here in Canada, but so did the Luxembourg family,” he said in an interview.
His remarks are made weeks after Princess Margliet of the Netherlands pays homage to Canada’s role in providing shelter to the Dutch royal family during World War II.
The princess visited the capital last month and was born at the Ottawa Municipal Hospital after her family fled in 1940.
Prince Guillaume emphasized that his family also had a close relationship with Canada and remembered living here.
The Crown Prince participates in a large trade delegation with members of the Luxembourg government. He said the country is particularly focused on deepening cooperation on high tech, including cybersecurity.
“We already have a very close financial connection,” he said. “Trade relations are already very strong, but there are more possibilities. I think this is one of the first trade missions outside Luxembourg after the pandemic.”
Henri’s eldest son, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, was a board member of the World Scout Foundation and played in rock bands while in school. Like his father and grandfather, he attended the Sandhurst Army Military School in England.
The Nazi occupation of Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands began in May 1940.
Many Luxembourgers were drafted into German troops and about 3,500 Luxembourg Jews were killed during the Holocaust.
The Grand Duke and his children fled the occupation, first in exile in France, then in London, and then in Montreal. While in Montreal, the prince said he spoke to his country on the radio and toured the United States to raise awareness of the Nazi occupation of Europe.
Her son, Hereditary Archduke Jean, participated in the 1944 Normandy landing operation. This is a maritime invasion of mainland Europe under occupation by the Allies, including Canada. Luxembourg was completely freed from the Nazi occupation in 1945.
Luxembourg Prime Minister Pierre DuPont during World War II also went into exile in Canada during the Nazi occupation.
The prince said his grandfather went to Laval University in Quebec City and lived in the house of Montreal, where the Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic is now located.
Hereditary Grand Duke Jean studied law and politics in Laval, and his sister was a student at Yess Marie de Sirelli University, which is related to Laval. His brother Charles attended the Jesuit University, now known as St. Charles Garner College.
The road near Laval University was named Ruede Luxembourg.
The prince said his grandfather loves skiing. “And it has been passed down for generations. My dad also had the opportunity to enjoy your wonderful slopes.”
“I had a lot of opportunities to talk to my grandfather about it,” said the prince. “And all his brothers had a very good experience at various boarding schools. They stayed in Canada for quite some time. They stayed here for four years during the war.”
The prince says his family had Canadian memorabilia and collected Canadian art still hanging in their homes, including indigenous works.
The prince said he had made many official visits to Canada and he and his family also visited for fun.
“I had the opportunity to travel a few times and see where they live in Montreal,” he said.