LUXEMBOURG-VILLE — Saying it’s a “royal shame” that Luxembourg’s reigning monarch still gets around his dominion by using crowded public transport full of commuters, on Friday transportation officials finally granted Grand Duke Henri his own personal bus.
The Ducal City Rider 3500 is the latest addition to the VDL fleet of more than 600 buses. Project chief Claude Winkler, who has also overseen the assembly of tiny private buses for bank heads, high-ranking European Commission officials, and Luxembourgish pop stars, says the vehicle offers a ride fit for a king.
“His Royal Highness will never again find himself at 8:30 in the morning packed like a sardine to get to his office to carry out a day’s worth of dukely duties,” Winkler said. “Nor will His Royal Highness ever again feel obliged to give up his seat to an old lady, and that’s because this bus has only one seat.”
Officials insist that Grand Duke Henri — or any member of his family who wishes to board — will still be required to purchase bus fare, and that municipal agents will conduct random checks at least once per week.
“He’ll pay two euros like every other Josy Schmosy,” said VDL spokesperson Laurent Da Silva. “If His Royal Highness cannot produce evidence of ticket purchase, he’ll be fined up to 150 euros, and if he is unable or unwilling to pay on the spot, he will be summoned to appear before a judge.”
The line will run from the Grand Ducal Palace in the city center to the royal residence Berg Castle, with service every 30 minutes, starting at 6:11 a.m. and finishing at 11:11 p.m.