60th Birthday of The Duke of Mecklenburg

His Highness The Duke of Mecklenburg celebrated his 60th birthday on 10 June in Neustrelitz with a series of events lasting until Sunday 13 June being held to mark the occasion.

On Friday 10 June The Duke and Duchess hosted a dinner for family at the Hotel Schlossgarten in Neustrelitz. The evening started with a Champagne reception in the garden where The Duke spoke to the guests and was serenaded with a rendition of Happy Birthday, after which guests made their way into the Green Salon and Red Cabinet dining rooms where after speeches by The Duke’s children Duchess Olga, Hereditary Prince Alexander and Duke Michael dinner was served. After dinner guests made their way down to the Yellow Vault for a short musical performance of Frank Sinatra songs before reassembling in the dining rooms for dessert.

On Saturday 11 June over 100 guests attended a reception for The Duke at the Orangerie in the Neustrelitz Palace Gardens, with The Duke, Duchess and their children personally greeting all the guests. In addition to the members of the Duke’s family, among those in attendance were local politicians, clergy, members of the Fürstenberg Shooters Guild and other dignitaries. During the reception The Duke gave a speech to the guests thanking them for their attendance and wishes, followed afterwards by a speech from Mr Vincent Kokert, Leader of the CDU Party in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Parliament.

Following the reception members of The Dukes family and other guests embarked on a sightseeing trip by bus around Neustrelitz and to the Palaces of Hohenziertz and Mirow. At Hohenziertz Mr Hans-Joachim Engel greeted guests at the Hohenziertz Palace Church where he spoke about the history of Hohenziertz and presented The Duke with a portrait of the Hohenziertz Palace. The guests then proceeded up to the palace itself for a guided tour from Mr Engel. After leaving Hohenziertz the bus tour headed to the Mirow Palace Island where after lunch in the Cavalier House the guests were taken on a tour of the Mirow Palace by Dr Friederike Drinkuth, followed by a guided tour from Dr Rajko Lippert of the Church of St John and the upper and lower crypts where prayers were said for late Duke Georg Alexander, father of The Duke.

The birthday weekend concluded on Sunday 12 June with The Duke and members of his family visiting the Cultural Quarter in Neustreliz where Dr Lippert took the guests on a guided tour.

Among those present during the weekend in addition to The Duke was his wife The Duchess of Mecklenburg, their children Duchess Olga, Hereditary Prince Alexander and Duke Michael, his sisters Duchess Marie Katharina, with her husband Wolfgang von Wasielewski and their children, son in law and grandchildren and Duchess Irene with her husband Constantin Harmsen and son Maximilian,and Baron Gabriel von dem Bussche-Ippenburg, son of Duchess Elisabeth Christina. From the House of Mecklenburg-Schwerin Duchess Donata and Duchess Edwina came with their husbands and children. From the House of Habsburg present was the Duke’s uncle and aunt Archduke Michael and Archduchess Christina of Austria and his cousins Archduke Jozsef and Archduke Andreas with their wives’ Archduchess Margarete and Archduchess Nicky.

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