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1 FRANC COIN - LUXEMBOURG - GRAND DUKE JEAN I
(KM 55)

Date: A.D. 1968

Obverse: Portrait head left - JEAN GRAND-DUC DE LEXEMBOURG J.N. LEVEVRE

Reverse: 6 flower buds and crown - 1F 1968
Engraver: Julien Nina Lefevre

Grand Duke Jean Benoît Guillaume Robert Antoine Louis Marie Adolphe Marc d'Aviano of Luxembourg was born on January 5, 1921 at Colmar-Berg Castle in central Luxembourg. He is the eldest son of the Grand Duchess Charlotte and Prince Félix of Bourbon Parma, Prince of Luxembourg.

Most of his early life was spent in Luxembourg where he received most of his education until moving to England to further his education at Ampleforth College, a Roman Catholic boarding school. By his 18th birthday he had returned to his homeland and was made 'Hereditary Grand Duke' and recognized as Heir Apparent to his mother, the Grand Duchess Charlotte.

On May 10, 1940, German troops invaded the Grand Duchy beginning a four year occupation. Having been warned of the impending invasion, the young Prince left Luxembourg with his family seeking refuge in France. After they were forced to flee France within weeks of their arrival, Jean traveled to Canada where he studied Law and Political Science at Laval University in Quebec.

By November 1942 he had moved to Great Britain where he joined the British Army as a volunteer in the Irish Guards at the rank of lieutenant being promoted to captain in 1944. He would eventually obtaining the rank of colonel by August 1984.

On June 11, 1944 he joined the war effort serving in Normandy as Liaison Officer to the 3rd Bn Irish Guards - 32nd Brigade, which was a part of the Guards Armored Division, and on September 3, 1944 he took part in the battle of Caen and the liberation of Brussels. On September 10, 1944, he and his father, Prince Félix, joined the the first allied troops that liberated Luxembourg and on September 13, 1944 he rejoined His unit and took part in the Arnem operations and the Rundstedt offensive. On April 14, 1945 he joined the military mission to Luxembourg where he stayed until the end of the war.

After the war he served as a Member of the "State Council" (Conseil d'Etat) and married Princess Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium on April 9, 1953. During the following ten years they had five children:

Princess Marie-Astrid, born on 17th February 1954
Prince Henri, born on 16th April 1955 (Grand Duke)
Prince Jean, born on 15th May 1957
Princess Margaretha, born on 15th May 1957
Prince Guillaume, born on 1st May 1963.

On November 12, 1964 He acceded to the throne on the abdication of his mother becoming Jean I Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Duke of Nassau, Prince of Parma, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Count of Sayn, Königstein, Katzenellenbogen and Diez, Burgrave of Hammerstein, Lord of Mahlberg, Wiesbaden, Idstein, Merenberg, Limburg and Eppstein and General of the Luxembourg Army.

As the world's only sovereign Grand Duchy Luxembourg follows a parliamentary form of government with a constitutional monarchy. Though sovereignty lies with the state, the Grand Duke is granted, under the constitution of 1868, executive power along with the cabinet which consists of a Prime Minister and several other ministers. The Grand Duke has the power to dissolve the legislature and reinstate a new one and appoints the prime minister and vice prime minister following popular election to the Chamber of Deputies. The Council of State (Conseil d'État), an advisory body composed of 21 citizens, is also appointed by the Grand Duke and advises the Chamber of Deputies in the drafting of legislation.

Along with his official duties the Grand Duke is very active and enjoys skiing, swimming, hunting and fishing. His hobbies are photography and music (classical and modern). He is the Chief-Scout of the Luxembourg Boy Scouts Association and is greatly interested in environmental problems and ecology, as well as the protection of animal life and flora. He is active in His support of the World Wild Life Fund and of the Rare Bird Club.

Grand Duke Jean abdicated on October 7, 2000, and was succeeded on the throne by his son Henri.