This is rather what Princes and the like are for

First, there was a war to be won and his country needed liberating. Before he saw action, however, his commanding officer was kind enough to call on his mother, the Grand Duchess Charlotte, who was in exile in London. She is said to have remarked: “Well if he gets killed that will be that, but please do not allow him to be taken prisoner.”

He landed in Normandy on June 23, 1944, and took part in Operation Goodwood, intended to clear the ground for the taking of the communications centre of Caen, which fell on July 20. He then advanced into Belgium, reaching Brussels on September 3.

General George Patton, commanding the US Third Army, was about to enter Luxembourg, but on hearing that the crown prince was near by, he arranged for him to take part. On September 10, 1944, “John Luxembourg” crossed into the country at Rodange, the spot where his family had fled the Nazi invasion more than four years earlier. He later joined Patton in the first Jeep to enter Luxembourg city.

Returning to his unit, he was involved in the Battle of the Bulge, the Reichswald attacks and, as German resistance crumbled, the move into Bremen and Hamburg. On April 14, 1945 he was back in Luxembourg with his father, Prince Félix, to greet the grand duchess as she returned from exile accompanied by Winston Churchill and to celebrate with a jubilant population.

And this is rather what Ampleforth is for:

His early education was in Luxembourg followed by studies at Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire, where he learnt to eat whatever was set before him, a skill that came in handy in the army and at state banquets.

24 comments on “This is rather what Princes and the like are for

  1. A charge levelled at ‘toffs’ is that they don’t do any fighting in wars, calling in favours to get cushy jobs at the rear but this is far from the truth. For example, 5,660 old Etonians served in the military in WWI and 1,157 of those died, or 20.4% (the average across the whole army killed in WWI was around 9%).

  2. “where he learnt to eat whatever was set before him”: there are cheaper ways to learn that than being sent to A.

    I learnt it at home though my mother spoiled me eventually by allowing me to avoid ox tongue. Mind you, it happened only when she realised that none of us liked ox tongue and that my father had held his peace on the subject for many years.

    True Love is smiling when your wife serves you ox tongue.

  3. Vot iz zee implication of his being educated in Luxembourg but only studying at Ampleforth?

    P.S. WhenIwasbutalad we spelt it Luxemburg in English – Luxembourg was the French spelling. Was the change some sort of anti-German gesture?

    P.P.S. Once, when we walked into a shop in Lux the customers were all chatting away in their dialect of German. Then some Germans came in and the locals swapped to their dialect of French.

    P.P.P.S. Have you noticed that people now call the city Seville but the football side Sevilla? And likewise many other examples. A handy new convention?

  4. “followed by studies at Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire, where he learnt to eat whatever was set before him”

    Any school will teach you that. Even a day school.

  5. “And this is rather what Ampleforth is for:”

    Strange recommendation for public school wankery, though. Nearest I ever got to a public school was winning a scholarship to one, then telling them they could stuff it. Best move I ever made. But most kids ate was set in front of them. Except at the school I did go to, where the school dinners were virtually inedible. And at home as well. So you depended on the roulette of what mother you’d been landed with. When did school/home kids’ menus first make their appearence? Late C20th?
    Only military food I’ve ever been exposed to was lunching at the HAC. Seemed quite good, if not a bit basic. Public school tossers seemed to revel in it. Must have been the jam roly-poly provoking memories of dormroom buggery.

  6. @ tim and dearieme
    Judging by the photographs in the “Telegraph” obituary, he learned to survive without eating everything set in front of him – a notably skinny boy and slim adult. [I don’t know about Ampleforth but my memory of school food was “this or nothing” with “nothing” being an option, often the preferable one]

  7. @ Hallowed Be
    Don’t you mean *Harry* Wales? (for whom the most recent precedent is Andrew York – Charles had commanded a minesweeper prior to retiring from active service so there wasn’t a plausible role for him in the Falklands)

  8. John77- true did’nt harry join first, and in terms of active service yeah, they try keep the heir out of it, i was thinking of the naming convention of taking your title as part of your surname. Can’t imagine it being around in the 19th C, but for all i know its been bog standard forever.

  9. True Love is smiling when your wife serves you ox tongue.

    No, that’s more like you’ve really fucked up and she’s letting you know you’ve fucked up.

  10. That was so very American of you.

    Not really. I’d have been very American if I’d said this thread couldn’t have been more woggy under any circumstances.

  11. “I’d have been very American if I’d said this thread couldn’t have been more woggy under any circumstances.”

    True. Completely misunderstanding the term wog is very American.

  12. Completely misunderstanding the term wog is very American.

    Andrew C, you pendant. (To coin a phrase.)

    And you’re wrong again… It’s not that we misunderstand the term, it’s that we don’t give a fuck whether you like the way we use it or not.

    Now that’s American.

  13. I rather wish Americans in London were more John Wayneish. I’m not saying you are that, Dennis, albeit you seem quite reasonably to admire the type.

    Instead we get these light-in-the-loafers, uptalking wannabe gays who think nothing of sounding like Gervaise the hairdresser. I almost literally cannot stand to hear them speak.

    Overheard in Sainsbury’s Finchley Road O2 a few weeks back, a thirtyish father to another Septic he hadn’t seen for a while:

    “Owwww, heyyyyy, howarrrrrrrrggh yeouuuuuuuuuuuuuuu?”

    At the top of his screechy, whiny voice. The only thing missing was air kisses and complimenting each other on their outfits.

  14. Were King Albert and Prince Leopold [III] of Belgium related to the Luxemburgs in any way? They sure led from the front in WWI. If I recall correctly Albert’s troops stopped his Kaiser cousin grabbing all of his neutral country for the entirety of WWI. They certainly held them up long enough to allow Britain and France to get their act together prior to the Battle of the Marne. Leopold was only 14 at the time.

  15. @ Hallowed Be
    Using the title instead of the surname is quite frequent (I almost said “common”) but far from universal among the higher ranks of the aristocracy as in “Alec Home” (later Sir Alec Douglas-Home after he renounced his earldom). I have even heard of Edward VII being called “Edward England”

  16. @dearieme April 24, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    “Ox tongue”

    imo nice taste, unpleasant texture (btw only eaten it cold in sandwiches)

  17. @Andrew M April 24, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    Not since Blair became PM, since then little brats are given choice and every whim catered for; all served on prison “plates”

    Me? School & home was “eat what given, or be hungry”

  18. @ Dr K. A. Rodgers
    Inevitably – all the royal houses of Europe are related through Queen Victoria or King Christian of Denmark or, more usually, both.
    Courage is pretty much essential (in the old meaning “the essence of”) for princes.

  19. “Have you noticed that people now call the city Seville but the football side Sevilla? And likewise many other examples. A handy new convention?”

    In the case of Milano and AC Milan, simply that the football (and originally cricket) club was founded by a couple of Brits, and the English spelling was retained in deference to its roots.

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