Prince Arthur

Duke of Royan from 1913 to 1946

Biography

Prince Arthur Germain Philippe Charles Marie was born on February 8, 1881 at the Château de Laeken in Brussels (Kingdom of Belgium). He is the first child of Their Highnesses Prince Louis and Princess Angéline.

After his first two years spent in Belgium, he spent the rest of his childhood with the Grand Ducal family of Luxembourg. In addition to French, from an early age, the Prince learned to express himself in English, German, Dutch and Luxembourgish.

The Prince married Princess Anne-Marie on June 14, 1912 in Luxembourg. The couple has five children: Prince André, Prince Philippe (1919-2002), Princess Marie-Angéline (1920-1993), Princess Marie-Sophie (1923) and Prince Wilhelm (1927).

He inherited the title of Duke of Royan on the death of his father in 1913.

His Highness Prince Arthur is militarily mobilized by France during the First World War. His family then in Luxembourg took refuge in the Netherlands, just one day before the German invasion of the Grand Duchy. On March 10, 1916, the Duke of Royan was seriously injured in the left leg during the Battle of Verdun, during an attack by the German army. Following multiple operations, Prince Arthur avoided having his leg amputated and after several months of rehabilitation in Parisian hospitals, the Prince was able to regain partial motor function in his left leg with the help of a cane. Due to his physical condition, the Duke will not find his brothers in arms at the front, but will be assigned to the rear at the general staff as an officer in charge of inter-allied relations. On November 11, 1918, when the armistice was signed, Prince Arthur was present in the Rethondes clearing.

The following year, demobilized from all military obligations and decorated with the Croix de Guerre, the Prince returned to his family in the Grand Duchy. From 1921, he became adviser to Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg. During the interwar period, His Highness diplomatically represented Luxembourg on numerous occasions in Switzerland and Italy.

In January 1940, Europe being at war, Prince Arthur asked his cousin Her Majesty Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands to transfer the archives of his family located in France and Luxembourg to The Hague. One part is kept in the National Archives of Luxembourg and another in the French National Archives. The Queen of the Netherlands in a letter of March 11, 1940 agrees to receive the archives of the Duke's family on Dutch territory. After hesitating, His Highness finally decided, with the agreement of the Swiss authorities, to have the ducal archives transferred to Switzerland. The transfer takes place the week of April 15 from Paris and a week later for the archives stationed in Luxembourg. Since 1940, the archives of the Ducale family have been kept in Switzerland.

During the occupation, Prince Arthur shared his life between France and Luxembourg. He worked unsuccessfully for the release of his sons who were prisoners of war in Germany. Prince André will be released in 1943 and Prince Philippe the following year.

Prince Arthur died on November 16, 1946 in Luxembourg (Grand Duchy of Luxembourg).