MONTE CARLO — Shocking residents, officials, and royal observers alike, Luxembourg’s reigning monarch briefly lost the Grand Duchy to Spain on Wednesday night in a game of high-stakes poker.
The game, played between His Royal Highness Grand Duke Henri, Spain’s King Felipe, Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, and several other monarchs, quickly went from being a friendly evening of Texas Hold ‘Em to an intense competition to gain territory and status.
At one point, HRH Grand Duke Henri was obliged to go “all in” after King Felipe threw Barcelona in the pot. Even though the Grand Duke tried to match the Spanish king’s bet with Esch-sur-Alzette, calling it “the crown jewel of Luxembourg,” the other players refused and insisted that the Grand Duke put his entire country in.
King Felipe won after showing that he was in possession of a straight, which handily beat HRH Grand Duke Henri’s three jacks.
In the end, however, HRH Grand Duke Henri was able to win back Luxembourg after Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II lent him mineral-rich Greenland to go in for another round, during which not only was HRH Grand Duke Henri able to win back his dominion but also picked up a 25-kilometer strip of beachfront property along Spain’s Costa del Sol as well as three castles, only one of which is inhabitable.