LIECHTENSTEIN PRINCELY FAMILY
The Prince Hans Adam II
His Serene Highness Prince Hans-Adam II was born on 14 February 1945, as the eldest son of His Serene Highness Prince Franz Josef II von und zu Liechtenstein and Her Serene Highness Princess Gina. The name Hans-Adam forms an apt link between history and the present day, for Ruling Prince Hans-Adam of Liechtenstein was the founder of the State through his purchases of the Lordship of Schellenberg (1699) and the County of Vaduz (1712).
Hans-Adam spent his youth with his parents and brothers and sister at Vaduz Castle. He attended the primary school in Vaduz along with the local children of his age and he also joined the Vaduz scouts.
In 1972 His Serene Highness the Ruling Prince Franz Josef issued a general power of attorney entrusting the Hereditary Prince Hans-Adam with the management and administration of the whole of the Princely House's property. Since then, with his profound experience, the Hereditary Prince has run the finances of the House with tremendous success.
According to the Constitution of the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Prince is the Head of State and exercises his sovereign authority in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution.
In 1984 Prince Franz Joseph II appointed Hereditary Prince Hans-Adam as his representative to carry out all the everyday affairs of state performed by the sovereign.
On 13 November 1989, Prince Franz Joseph II died at the age of 83 and was succeeded by his eldest son who took the title Prince Hans-Adam II.
His Serene Highness the Prince follows all political, economic and social developments in Liechtenstein with keen interest. His main interests lie in the economic and financial plans and problems of the State, the commuities, and the national economy as a whole, as well as issues of foreign policy. Through numerous contacts and intensive reading the Prince maintains a further, related sphere of interest, namely the economic and political development of Europe.
The Princess Marie
Her Serene Highness the Princess was born on 14 April 1940 in Prague, as Countess Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau; she was the fourth of seven children of Count Dipl.Ing. Ferdinand Carl Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau and Countess Henriette, whose maiden title was Countess of Ledebur-Wicheln.
On 30th July 1967, Hereditary Prince Hans-Adam and the Countess Marie Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau was married.
The couple has four children:
Hereditary Prince Alois, born 11 June 1968
Prince Maximilian, born 16 May 1969
Prince Constantin, born 15 March 1972
Princess Tatjana, born 10 April 1973
The Princess is interested primarily in Liechtenstein's social institutions. She is President of the Liechtenstein Red Cross and President of the Society for Orthopaedic Aid. She is also interested in art and culture and concerns herself with matters relating to education and upbringing.
By participating in public events of the most varied nature, the Prince and the Princess show their affection for Liechtenstein as well as their interest in political, economic, cultural and sports-related developments within the Principality.
The Hereditary Prince Alois
Prince Alois, the eldest son of the then Hereditary Princely Couple Hans-Adam and Hereditary Princess Marie of Liechtenstein was born on 11 June 1968 in Zurich and was given the names Alois Philipp Maria. The newly born Prince received his first name in memory of his great grandfather Prince Alois of Liechtenstein, the father of the Ruling Prince at that time, Franz Josef II.
Prince Alois spent his youth at Vaduz Castle, together with his parents, brothers and sister, and grandparents. He attended the primary school in Vaduz-Ebenholz and entered the Liechtenstein Grammar School in 1979. He passed the Matura examination (Type business unit, literature and history section) in the spring of 1987.
Subsequently, he entered the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, Great Britain, where he completed his officer's training. On receiving his commission as second lieutenant, he served for six months in the Coldstream Guards in Hong Kong and London.
In October 1988, Prince Alois enrolled as a student of jurisprudence at Salzburg University. He completed the four year course (1993 - 1996) with a master's degree.
As the eldest son of the Ruling Prince, Hereditary Prince Alois is destined to be the Successor to the Throne, in accordance with the laws of the House of Liechtenstein. For this reason he has been prepared since early childhood for his future office as Head of State. His father assumed control as Deputy of the Ruling Prince Franz Josef II on 26 August 1984. As his Deputy, he required his son at an early stage to attend political discussions and deliberations with representatives of the Government and entrusted him with representational duties. On 15 August 1990, on the occasion of the declaration of allegiance, Prince Hans-Adam II and Hereditary Prince Alois jointly swore to uphold the Constitution.
On 3rd July 1993, HSH Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein was married to HRH Duchess Sophie of Bavaria. Owing to the stay abroad of the Hereditary Princely Couple, their first child was born on 24 May 1995 in London; he was given the names Joseph Wenzel Maximilian Maria. Princess Marie Caroline Elizabeth Immaculata was born in Grabs (Switzerland) on 17 October 1996.
The private interests of the Hereditary Prince centre on sport, especially tennis and skiing. Politics, history, art and science are other fields in which he has a keen interest.
History of the Principality
The Liechtenstein Family is one oft he oldest noble families of Austria. With Hugo of Liechtenstein, a bearer of this name is first mentioned in 1136. He was of free noble descent and called himself after Liechtenstein Castle, situated to the south of Vienna. Various hypotheses exist concerning his ancestors: descent from the Lords of Donauwörth is assumed on the one hand and, on the other, in more recent times, a line of descent from the Lords of Machland, the so-called Haderichs.
Hugo of Liechtenstein and, somewhat later, Albrecht of Liechtenstein, owned property to the south of Vienna, they probably already owned estates on the northeast border of Lower Austria. Filation of the Liechtensteiners began with certainty in the next generation, although relationship of this generation to Hugo and Albrecht cannot be established.
The year 1249 was important for the family; in that year Heinrich of Liechtenstein obtained the Lordship of Nikolsburg in South Moravia as free property, an acquisition of great political significance. Resulting from this, the family acquired a substantial possession within the territory of the Wenzel crown. The importance of that acquisiton was demostrated in 1392, when Johann I of Liechtenstein, Chamberlain of the Royal Household of the Habsburg Duke Albrecht III, after nearly 30 years of government leadership on the Duke's behalf, lost, together with his family, virtually all the family's possessions south of the Danube, probably as the result of the Habsburg's power political aspirations. During the following decades the family strove, by means of new acquisitions, to consolidate the possessions in Lower Austria. In South Moravia in particular the domain was further extended.
In the thirteenth century the family divided into three lines, the Liechtenstein, the Rohrauer and the Petroneller. The two last named lines became extinct already in the next generation and in consequence a great deal of family property was lost. A similar course of events took place at the beginning of the sixteenth century when, with the Family Covenant of 1504, three lines were formed, a Steyregger, a Feldsberger and a Nikolsburger line. Only the Feldsberger line survived longer than a few generations, but this time, well considered family laws ensured that the property of the lines becoming extinct devolved upon the survivors.
In the sixteenth century the family turned to the new faith and entered as ardent supporters into the Anabaptism movement of the so-called "Moravian Brothers".
Around the turn of the sixteenth to the seventeenth century, the three sons of Hartmann of Liechtenstein, Karl, Maximilian and Gundaker initated a new period of family history. They converted to the Roman Catholic faith. In the year 1606 Karl received the appointment of the Grand Count Palatinate, in 1608 the rank of Herediatry Prince, in 1623 his brothers were elevated to the rank of Hereditary Imperial Prince. The brothers Karl, Maximilian and Gundaker succeeded in enlarging the Liechtenstein property many times over. In the critical hours of the history of the Habsburgs, in the second decade of the seventeenth century, the House of Liechtenstein stood by the Habsburgs and the decisive victory against the Bohemian rebels in 1620 was achieved with the intervention of the brothers Karl and Maximilian.
From the time of the attainment of the title of Imperial Prince, the House of Liechtenstein strove to acquire territory having imperial immediacy; however, it was nearly one hundred years before Karl's grandson, Prince Johann Adam (1657- 1712) purchased in 1699 and 1712 the territories Schellenberg and Vaduz in Swabia which, with a diploma dated the 23 January 1799, were raised to rank of Imperial Principality of Liechtenstein.
After the male line of Prince Karl l became extinct in 1712, Anton Florian, a descendant of Gundaker, became the Ruling Prince. Whereas in the eighteenth century the country tended to be rather of peripheral interest - at that time the family continued to reside in Austria - it occupied an increasingly central position following its attainment of sovereignty in 1806 and in the twentieth century it became the residence of the Ruling Princes.
All the members of the family living at the present time are descended from Prince Johannes I (1760 - 1836). Prince Franz Josef II (1906 - 1989), the father of the present Ruling Prince, moved his permanent domicile to Vaduz in 1938.
Prince Hans-Adam II remanaged the Family assets, already prior the death of his father. In 1984, he assumed control as Deputy of the ruling succession. The children of the marriage of Prince Hans-Adam II to Princess Marie (neé Countess Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau) are: the Herediatary Prince Alois, Prince Maximilian, Prince Constantin and Princess Tatjana.