Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein

Hans-Adam II

Hans-Adam II
Prince of Liechtenstein
Reign 13 November 1989 – present
Predecessor Franz Joseph II
Heir apparent Alois
Regent Alois (15 August 2004 – present)
Prime Ministers
Regent of Liechtenstein
Regency 26 August 1984 – 13 November 1989
Monarch Franz Joseph II
Prime Minister Hans Brunhart
Born (1945-02-14) 14 February 1945
Zürich, Switzerland
Spouse Countess Marie Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau (m. 1967)
Prince Alois
Prince Maximilian
Prince Constantin
Princess Tatjana
Full name
Johannes Adam Ferdinand Alois Josef Maria Marco d'Aviano Pius
House Liechtenstein
Father Franz Joseph II
Mother Countess Georgina von Wilczek
Religion Roman Catholic

Hans-Adam II (Johannes Adam Ferdinand Alois Josef Maria Marco d'Aviano Pius; born 14 February 1945) is the reigning Prince of Liechtenstein. He is the son of Franz Joseph II, Prince (Fürst) of Liechtenstein (1906–1989) and his wife Countess Georgina von Wilczek (1921–1989). He also bears the titles Duke of Troppau and Jägerndorf, and Count Rietberg.

Early life

Photo by Erling Mandelmann, 1974

Prince Hans-Adam was born on 14 February 1945 in Zürich, Switzerland as the eldest son of Prince Franz Joseph II and Princess Gina of Liechtenstein. His father had succeeded as Prince of Liechtenstein upon the death of his childless grand-uncle, Prince Franz I, in 1938, and Hans-Adam was thus hereditary prince from birth.

In 1969, Hans-Adam graduated from the University of St. Gallen with a Licentiate (equivalent to a master's degree) in Business and Economic Studies.

In 1984, Prince Franz Joseph II, while legally remaining head of state and retaining the title of sovereign prince, formally turned the power of making day-to-day governmental decisions over to his eldest son as a way of beginning a dynastic transition to a new generation. Hans-Adam formally succeeded as Prince of Liechtenstein upon the death of his father on 13 November 1989.


A referendum to adopt Hans-Adam's revision of the constitution to expand his powers passed in 2003.[1]

On 15 August 2004 Prince Hans-Adam II formally turned the power of making day-to-day governmental decisions over to his eldest son, the Hereditary Prince Alois, as a way of beginning a dynastic transition to a new generation. Legally, Hans-Adam remains Head of State.[2]

In July 2012 the people of Liechtenstein overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to curtail the political power of the princely family. Despite an almost year-long campaign by those who proposed the changes, 76% of those voting in a referendum supported the Prince's power to veto the outcome of future referendums.[3] Legislators, who serve on a part-time basis, rose in the prince's defence on 23 May, voting 18 to 7 against the citizens' initiative.[4] Prince Hans-Adam reacted to the result: "It is with joy and gratitude that the Princely House of Liechtenstein has taken note that a large majority of the population would like to continue the hitherto so successful 300-year partnership between the people and the Princely House."[5] The prince had threatened to quit the country if the 2003 referendum did not result in his favor.

Personal wealth

Prince Hans-Adam owns LGT banking group and has a family fortune of $7.6 billion and a personal fortune of about $4.0 billion,[6] making him one of the world's richest heads of state, and Europe's wealthiest monarch.[7] He owns an extensive art collection, much of which is displayed for the public at the Liechtenstein Museum in Vienna.

Personal life

Hans-Adam descends in the direct male line from three of the previous fourteen Princes of Liechtenstein, and from another three in the female line. His native language is German, but he is also fluent in English and French.

On 30 July 1967, at St. Florin's in Vaduz, he married his second cousin once-removed, Countess Marie Aglaë Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau (born 1940) who, upon her husband's accession to the throne, became Her Serene Highness The Princess of Liechtenstein. Their official residence is at Vaduz Castle, which overlooks the capital.

They have four children and 15 grandchildren:

Liechtensteiner Princely Family

HSH The Prince
HSH The Princess

The Prince is an honorary member of K.D.St.V. Nordgau Prag Stuttgart, a Catholic students' fraternity that is a member of the Cartellverband der katholischen deutschen Studentenverbindungen. The Prince donated $12 million in 2000 to found the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-determination (LISD) at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.[9][10] In his childhood he joined the Pfadfinder und Pfadfinderinnen Liechtensteins in Vaduz.[11] He is also a former member of the Viennese Scout Group "Wien 16-Schotten".[12] He is a member of the World Scout Foundation.[13]

Today he and his wife are patrons of Pfadfinder und Pfadfinderinnen Liechtensteins.

He is the 1,305th Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece in Austria.

Viewpoints and book

Prince Hans-Adam II has written the political treatise The State in the Third Millennium (ISBN 9783905881042), which was published in late 2009. In it, he argues for the continued importance of the nation-state as a political actor. He makes the case for democracy as the best form of government, which he sees China and Russia as transitioning towards although the path will be difficult for these nations. He also declared his role in a royal family as something that has legitimacy only from the assent of the people. He stated that government should be limited to a small set of tasks and abilities, writing that people "have to free the state from all the unnecessary tasks and burdens with which it has been loaded during the last hundred years, which have distracted it from its two main tasks: maintenance of the rule of law and foreign policy.”[14]

Prince Hans-Adam II and Princess Marie on a state visit to Vienna in 2013

In an interview, recorded in November 2010, Hans-Adam said that he saw certain problems with aspects of the US Constitution, such as the lack of direct democracy. He also said, "I am sitting here and that's because Americans saved us during World War II and during the Cold War. So I am very grateful to them."[15]

Prince Hans-Adam II offered a major contribution to the study of self-determination in the Foreword to a "Sourcebook, on Self-Determination and Self-Administration," edited by Wolfgang F. Danspeckgruber and Sir Arthur Watts, ISBN 1-55587-786-9, 1997; and in the Encyclopedia Princetoniensis.[16]

In September 2011, ahead of a referendum on decriminalising abortion, Alois announced that he would veto any relaxation of the ban on abortion, whatever the voters decided in the referendum. In Liechtenstein, women wanting to end a pregnancy have to travel to neighbouring Germany or Austria.[3]

Titles, styles and honours

Titles and styles

The official title of the Prince is Fürst von und zu Liechtenstein, Herzog von Troppau und Jägerndorf, Graf zu Rietberg, Regierer des Hauses von und zu Liechtenstein.[17] (Prince of and at Liechtenstein, Duke of Troppau and Jägerndorf, Count at Rietberg, Sovereign of the House of and at Liechtenstein) There is a distinction between the German titles of a reigning Fürst and non-reigning descendants of a Fürst who are titled Prinz.[18]

Honours and awards

National honours

Foreign honours



See also


  1. Liechtenstein prince wins powers BBC News Online, 16 March 2003. Retrieved 29 December 2006.
  2. Country profile: Liechtenstein – Leaders BBC News, 6 December 2006. Retrieved 29 December 2006.
  3. 1 2 Foulkes, Imogen. (1 July 2012) BBC News – Liechtenstein referendum rejects curbs on royal powers. Bbc.co.uk.
  4. The Prince vs. the 'Paupers' – By Michael Z. Wise. Foreign Policy (29 June 2012).
  5. Fuerstenhaus
  6. Fleck, Fiona (17 March 2003). "Voters give billionaire prince new powers". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 October 2009.
  7. Liechtenstein redraws Europe map BBC News Online, 28 December 2006. Retrieved 29 December 2006.
  8. Countly House of Kálnoky. Angelfire.com.
  9. Bloom, Molly. (12 December 2000) Opening of Liechtenstein institute draws international dignitaries. The Daily Princetonian
  10. Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination at Princeton University Mission & Outreach: The Liechtenstein Institute (retrieved 23 January 2015)
  11. Fürst Hans-Adam II. Retrieved 29 January 2008.
  12. Brósch-Fohraheim, Eugen (October 2008). "Schwedischer König als Pfadfinder in Wien-Zusammenkunft der "Weltpfadfinderstiftung" in Wien 2008". 29 live (in German): 21.
  13. Seine Majestät Carl XVI Gustaf König von Schweden zu Gast in Wien Retrieved 29 October 2008.
  14. "H.S.H. Prince Hans-Adam II – The State in the Third Millennium". Uncommon Knowledge. 22 November 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2010.
  15. Chiefa Coins, Nov. 2010, retrieved 13 Nov. 2014
  16. http://lisd.princeton.edu/projects/encyclopedia-princetoniensis-princeton-encyclopedia-self-determination-pesd
  17. "Hausgesetz". Fuerstenhaus.li. Sekretariat Seiner Durchlaucht des Fürsten von Liechtenstein. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  18. "S.D. Fürst Hans-Adam II.". Fuerstenhaus.li. Sekretariat Seiner Durchlaucht des Fürsten von Liechtenstein. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  19. 1 2 http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i152/Tais419/sophiebayern2.jpg
  20. http://polpix.sueddeutsche.com/bild/1.986928.1355815197/860x860/kieber-liechtenstein-steuercd.jpg
  21. http://www.kommunikation.steiermark.at/cms/beitrag/11693611/374565/
  22. Military Collection
  23. Geneall
  24. https://cbsminnesota.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/71425084_10.jpg
  25. Parliamentary question, page=903. (PDF)
  26. http://www.uibk.ac.at/public-relations/presse/archiv/2012/062201/index.html.de
  27. http://www.romaniaregala.ro/jurnal/principele-suveran-de-liechtenstein-omagiat-la-cluj/
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Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein
Born: 14 February 1945
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Franz Josef II
Prince of Liechtenstein
Heir apparent:
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