Thanks everyone for coming out tonight to celebrate my birthday. It means a lot that all 184,394 of you are here, and please, if you’d like a drink, help yourselves. We’ve got a few thousand bottles of crémant in the cellar, and Guillaume drove back from Diekirch this afternoon with a bunch of beer. Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess also made a great dip, melted cheese and salsa.
Oh, a present for me? You really shouldn’t have. Seriously, the most important thing is that I get to spend my birthday with tens of thousands of my fellow countrymen and our beloved residents, many of whom don’t even know why we’re celebrating, and others who don’t know my name, or think that I’m a king or a pop star or something.
Ah yes, the present. Would you mind if we did it later? I’d rather enjoy my time with all of you. Really, how often do I get a birthday party that’s as wide as the country and is attended by literally everyone? Every year, you say? You may be right, but the music, don’t you find it delightful? Traditional Luxembourgish neighborhood marching band, my favorite. Listen to that trombone and drum: wha whaaaaa, bom. Has anyone seen my glass?
No, I’m not trying to change the subject. Oh, look at those pretty Luxembourgish flags everywhere. How long do you suppose it took to hang them all up? I hope Félix and Louis didn’t do it all on their own, that would take ages. And where do you find ladders that tall?
What? No, I honestly forgot about the present because there are so many people here I’d love to catch up with. Moien, Mr. Prime Minister, glad you came. Bonjour, Stephane, great to see you again. How old am I? Sixty-three years young, is what I say. Can I get you a drink? I’ll run down to the cellar to see if we have red wine.
Okay, you win. Time for the present. You want me to close my eyes? If it’s okay, I’d rather not. I’m a bit tired and I’m worried about falling asleep. Oops, I forgot to check Facebook to see who wished me a happy birthday. I’d better do that and then I might go to bed, actually. I have to wake up really early tomorrow and put on my military regalia. Enjoy yourselves. Goodnight.
Fine, I’ll close my eyes. Are you happy now? I can’t see anything. Ouch, I just hit a coffee table. Yes, give me your arm and lead me to the big surprise. Oh, where in the world are we going? Just a wild guess, but by any chance are you taking me to that large window that offers a view of the Pétrusse?
What a lucky guess, and you know, I’ve never seen the bridge from this angle before. Except for last year. And the year before that. And the one before that. Okay, I looked out the window, wonderful. Plenty of drunk people, darkness. Good. Can I go now? I think I heard my phone ringing in the other room. I need to go to the toilet.
Let go of me. Yes, I know it’s time. Okay, fine, I’ll just stand here. Oh, what a grand surprise. Fireworks — for me? I would have never imagined that, not in a thousand years. A new car, maybe, or a nice silk tie, but fireworks? No, I am not being sarcastic. I’m very grateful. I love fireworks so much that I could never get bored of seeing their colorful luminesce, their sparkling bursts, not even if you had given me a fireworks show every year for the past 18 years. Thank you so much. I’m so excited that all I can do is stare at my feet.
What, is it over, already? A pity. I was having so much fun.
Grand Duke Henri is the reigning monarch of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.