MARTELANGE — Citing a recently discovered proclamation from 1374 that confers all of Luxembourg to the Count of Flanders, Grand Duke Henri was obliged to engage in a sword battle on Tuesday to retain his dominion, according to royal observers.
While most residents of the Grand Duchy went to work or school, His Royal Highness met King Philippe of Belgium around nine in the morning in a field just over the Belgian border.
Present were dozens of pageboys, lawyers, observers from the EU, as well as a priest from a nearby village who could administer last rites should either combatant succumb to his wounds.
For 20 minutes the two men engaged in a fierce battle while wearing heavy chain mail, helmets, and gauntlets. At one point it appeared that Grand Duke Henri was about to lose when he slipped in a patch of mud and fell backwards. Distracted by a text message he had received, however, the Belgian king failed to take advantage of the moment.
Seconds later, Grand Duke Henri seemed to regain strength. “For the homeland,” he is reported to have said before landing a decisive blow on the helmet of King Philippe, who, now dazed, conceded the fight and ordered his driver to fetch the car.
A pageboy produced a quill pen for the monarchs to sign a new accord, which was first inspected by legal counsel from both sides. After wiping dirt and sweat from their brows, the monarchs changed back into business suits and were whisked away in separate Mercedes Benz S-class limousines.