John F. Kennedy photo

Remarks of Welcome at the White House to Grand Duchess Charlotte and Prince lean of Luxembourg

April 30, 1963

Your Royal Highness:

It is a great pleasure on behalf of the people of the United States to welcome you and His Royal Highness and the members of your government to our country once again.

The people of the United States know something of the distinction of your reign; the tireless effort that you have devoted to improving and securing the life of your people; the gallant role that you played in 1940 when your country was overrun; the fact that you had an opportunity then to visit the United States; the distinguished role which His Royal Highness played in the Irish Guards, holding as he does one of our most prized decorations for bravery; the untiring work that was done at the conclusion of the Second War in leading the rebuilding of your country which had been devastated by the campaigns of December 1944 and January 1945.

Your reign has been synonymous with the growth, prosperity, and well-being of the people of your country. And your country now plays a significant role as a member of the European Economic Community in the building of a stronger Europe and, we hope, a stronger Atlantic Community.

It is our strong conviction that in these difficult and dangerous days in the world that it is of vital importance to the maintenance of freedom that the United States and Canada, Great Britain, the members of the Commonwealth and Western Europe should, joining together, serve as a core of freedom, and spreading out from that core insure a free world.

So we are very proud to have you here and we want you to know that you and His Royal Highness and those who come with you will find an extremely warm welcome here among all of our countrymen, and I certainly want to welcome you on behalf of the Government of the United States.

Note: The President spoke at 11:40 a.m. on the South Lawn at the White House where Grand Duchess Charlotte and her son, Prince Jean, were given a formal welcome with full military honors.

In her response, the Grand Duchess stated that she brought from the people of Luxembourg "a warm message of gratitude, admiration, and confidence." She recalled that 23 years earlier she and her family came to the United States under distressing circumstances. "Driven from our country by ruthless invaders," she said, "we came to this hospitable shore to seek the help of the United States in our struggle against sudden oppression and domination."

"Recent events," she continued, "have shown more clearly than ever that our safety is intimately linked with the security of the United States and that the global challenge may be faced adequately only by a common response.

"The sharing of the same ideals based on the same traditions of liberty and democracy are the same devotion to peace with justice which have created strong bonds of friendship between our two countries.

"It is my hopeful conviction," she concluded, "that the strong and traditional friendship between our two countries will be further enhanced by this visit."

John F. Kennedy, Remarks of Welcome at the White House to Grand Duchess Charlotte and Prince lean of Luxembourg Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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