The Grand Ducal couple were the special guests at the Film Francophone d'Angoulême Festival and both sat down for an interview in which the Grand Duchess spoke of her fondness for the French language.

In an interview with TV5Monde, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa spoke about her relationship with languages, notably the French language. She said she loves the French language, which she now feels has become her native language now.

The Grand Duchess remembered her youth and her Cuban origins, explaining that as a young girl, she learnt French in New York by going to French school. Then, she explained, "one day I was surprised to realise that I had been French! At that point, I knew the language had adopted me. Since then, it has been my heart's language."

The Grand Ducal couple both explained that Luxembourg is a "unifier between the francophone and germanophone worlds. We speak both French and German, which are both official languages." Grand Duke Henri did not forget Luxembourgish, highlighting that of course Luxembourgers and their monarchs speak their own unique language, namely Luxembourgish.

The Grand Duchess continued to highlight her attachment to French:"Both of us are very fond of the French-speaking well. We speak Luxembourgish at home, obviously, but French remains very important."

French actors and Luxembourg

Given the Grand Ducal couple's presence, Luxembourg was in the spotlight at the 12th edition of the Film Francophone d’Angoulême festival, which has just concluded. The Grand Duchess expressed her pleasure at the close relationship between France and Luxembourg, even in the domain of cinematography. She pointed out that "a large amount of French actors, such as Nathalie Baye, come to Luxembourg to shoot films."

The film links between the countries are also well-established, as the Grand Duke reminded us in the interview. He pointed out how Luxembourg focused on the telecommunications and audiovisual sectors in the 1980s following the steel industry crisis, and named a few particularly successful institutions. Grand Duke Henri praised the success of RTL, "which has become an incredibly important multinational business throughout Europe," as well as the 1990-founded Film Fund, which promotes the Luxembourgish cinema scene. The Film Fund's success has been especially apparent over the past 30 years, the Grand Duke added and the festival itself proved this.

The animated film Les Hirondelles de Kaboul, which was partially produced in Luxembourg, came away from the festival with two awards, including the prestigious Valois de diamant award. Smiling, the Grand Duchess praised the film:"It is a magnificent film and I am incredibly proud that it was a French-Luxembourgish co-production." 

Ending the interview, the Grand Duke paid a tribute to the "exceptional producer Pol Cruchten, who passed away this summer." He added that the Grand Ducal couple is "incredibly saddened to have lost this great Luxembourgish filmmaker."