The Directorate of Protocol and the Chancellery is the link between the Luxembourg State and diplomatic missions accredited to Luxembourg. It takes care of the administrative management of the diplomatic community and of European and international civil servants and endeavours to ensure the application of the Vienna Conventions of which it is the guarantor nationally: issuing of diplomatic identity and legitimation cards, issuing of certifications, access to the airport VIP lounge, granting of CD number plates, privileges and immunities, etc.
Accreditation procedures for foreign ambassadors
The Embassy of the sending State presents the request for certification in the form of a verbal note to the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Directorate of Protocol and the Chancellery, accompanied by a biographical profile on the individual being approached. The request for certification can also be introduced in an approach by the chargé d’affaires a.i. to the chief of protocol.
After scrutiny, the Ministry of Foreign Offence submits the certification request to His Royal Highness the Grand Duke. The certification procedure may take several weeks.
The ministry of Foreign Affairs communicates the response by verbal note to the Embassy of the sending State.
Accreditation with multiple states
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs must be informed if a sending State wishes to accredit a head of mission with another State and/or with an international institution (art. 5.1 of the 1961 Convention).
A head of post with multiple accreditations first of all submits his Letters of Credence in the country in which he resides.
Arrival of the head of mission
The embassy informs the Directorate of Protocol by verbal note of the precise date and time of arrival of the certified ambassador. In the case of arrival by air, the Directorate of Protocol will inform the airport authorities and reserve the VIP lounge. On working days and during working hours, a member of the Directorate of Protocol will welcome the future chief of mission at the airport.
The certified ambassador will be received, at his request, by the chief of protocol within days of his arrival. He will hand him an authenticated copy of his Letters of Credence and his predecessor’s Letters of Recall. From that moment, the certified ambassador may undertake a series of visits. Nevertheless, he will not yet participate in official receptions. He will refrain from visiting Luxembourg ministers. He will however already be able to have working contacts with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at civil servant level.
Presentation of Letters of Credence
- Letters of Credence
The Letters of Credence are to be addressed to the attention of ‘Son Altesse Royale le Grand-Duc de Luxembourg’ or ‘His Royal Highness the Grand Duke of Luxembourg’ without specifying his name.
- Ceremonial governing the presentation of Letters of Credence at the Grand-Ducal Court
The chief of mission requests the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs to be admitted to present his Letters of Credence to His Royal Highness the Grand Duke.
The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs receives orders from the Grand Duke via the Marshall of the Court and informs the head of mission of the appointed day and time for the audience.
The head of mission visits the Marshal of the Court and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs’ chief of protocol the day before presentation of the Letters of Credence (lounge suit).
- Dress code
Full dress uniform (either uniform or black tails and white waistcoat and decorations or national dress) is prescribed for all. Grand Cross ribbons are worn over the white waistcoat.
Ladies will wear a full-length afternoon dress and hat, or national dress.
Absence of the head of mission
The head of mission shall appoint a chargé d’affaires a.i. prior to any absence from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (art. 19 of the Convention of Vienna). Should the head of mission be prevented from appointing a chargé d’affaires, nomination of the latter must come from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the sending State. Any absence from Luxembourg of the head of mission is to be notified by verbal note to the Directorate of Protocol.
Departure of the head of mission
- Nomination of a chargé d’affaires a.i.
Prior to his departure, the head of mission must appoint a chargé d’affaires a.i. and inform the Directorate of Protocol to that effect by verbal note.
- Letters of Recall
Letters of Recall are traditionally presented by the successor.
- Ceremonial governing the farewell audience at the Grand-Ducal Court
The head of mission requests a farewell audience by verbal note to the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs receives orders from the Grand Duke via the Marshall of the Court and informs the head of mission of the appointed day and time for the audience.
To mark the end of his mission in the Grand Duchy, the head of Mission is received with his spouse by His Royal Highness the Grand Duke.
Gentlemen are to wear a dark lounge suit whereas lounge attire with hat and gloves is the rule for ladies.