Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg dies aged 98

Georgia Chambers

Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg has passed away aged 98, his son announced.

The former ruler had recently been hospitalised after suffering a pulmonary infection and died peacefully on Tuesday.

His son Duke Henri said in a statement: “It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of my beloved father, His Royal Highness Grand Duke Jean who passed away in peace, surrounded by the affection of his family.”

The Grand Duke Jean was born on Jan 5, 1921, to Grand Duchess Charlotte and Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma.

In the wake of World War Two, his family was forced to flee invading Nazi troops and sought refuge in the US and Canada.

The Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg signs an abdication act in November 1964 in favour of her son, the Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg. (AFP/Getty Images)

He returned to Europe in 1942 and received military training at Sandhurst in the UK before joining the Allied forces in Normandy in 1944, serving in the battle of Cen.

He married Belgian princess Josephine Charlotte after the war in 1953 and had five children.

In 1963, he became the sixth Grand Duke of Luxembourg, a position he would hold for nearly 36 years before abdicating in favour of his son Henri.

Grand Duke Jean was credited for turning the tiny country of Luxembourg - which has a population of about half a million - into a financial hub, overseeing the transformation of the Grand Duchy.

Today, Luxembourg is the wealthiest country in the European Union in terms of per capita gross product.