A grand duchy in western Europe, strategically located between Germany, France and Belgium. Until 1890, Luxembourg was ruled by a succession of foreign powers, although from 1815, it was technically independent, joined in personal union with the Netherlands. With the death of William III, king of the Netherlands and grand duke of Luxembourg, the country became completely independent. Luxembourg was occupied by Germany in both world wars. In 1949, it abandoned its traditional neutrality to become a charter member of NATO. It is a member of the Common Market and is an enthusiastic promoter of European cooperation. Luxembourg is a prosperous, highly industrialized nation.