Prince Hans-Adam II.

Prince Hans-Adam II was born on 14th February 1945, the eldest son of Prince Franz Joseph II von und zu Liechtenstein and Princess Gina. The name Hans-Adam forms an apt link between past and present: Prince Johann (Hans) Adam I – he reigned from 1699 until 1712 – was the founder of the Principality of Liechtenstein through his purchases of the Lordship of Schellenberg (1699) and the County of Vaduz (1712).

Prince Hans-Adam II grew up with his three brothers and sister at Vaduz Castle, the parental home. He attended the primary school in Vaduz and was a member of the Vaduz scout troop. In 1956 Prince Hans-Adam II, like his father before him, entered the Schottengymnasium in Vienna.

In 1960 he transferred to the Grammar School at Zuoz, which he completed in 1965 with the Swiss advanced-level diploma and the German Abitur certificate. Prince Hans-Adam II then worked at a bank in London as a trainee. As well as his native German he speaks English and French.

In autumn 1965 Prince Hans-Adam II embarked on a degree course in Management and Economics at the University of St. Gallen, completing it in 1969 with the degree of Licentiate.

On 30th July 1967 Prince Hans-Adam II married Countess Marie Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau (born in Prague on 14th April 1940). The couple have four children: Hereditary Prince Alois , born 11th June 1968; Prince Maximilian, born 16th May 1969; Prince Constantin, born 15th March 1972; and Princess Tatjana, born 10th April 1973.

In 1970 Prince Franz Joseph II entrusted his son with reorganising the management and administration of all the assets belonging to the Princely House. As part of this reorganisation the Prince’s private assets were incorporated in foundations.

In 1984, the 45th year of his reign, Prince Franz Joseph II appointed Prince Hans-Adam II his permanent deputy under Article 13 of the Constitution, entrusting him with the discharge of State business. On 13th November 1989, following the death of his father Prince Franz Joseph II, Prince Hans-Adam II assumed the regency. Even during his deputyship Prince Hans-Adam II was a notable advocate of independence in Liechtenstein’s foreign policy. Under his leadership Liechtenstein successfully acceded to the UNO in 1990 and to the EEA in 1995.

 

After various failed attempts in the 19th and 20th centuries to replace the Family Covenant of 1606, at the proposal of Prince Hans-Adam II the new House Statute was adopted by the Princely House in 1993. This is intended to provide the Princely House with a basis for resolving all issues within the family in the 3rd millennium too and for securing the autonomy of the Princely House in these matters. The rule of male succession was retained.

In 2003 Prince Hans-Adam II was able to bring to a successful conclusion with a plebiscite a years-long discussion about the monarchy’s constitutional position, after the requisite majority for a constitutional amendment had not been reached in Parliament. 64% of voters declared themselves for the Princely House’s constitutional proposal, 20% for retaining the old constitutional provisions and 16% for amendments which would have severely weakened the monarchy’s position in the Constitution.

On 15.08.2004 under Art. 13 of the Constitution of the Principality of Liechtenstein Prince Hans-Adam II appointed Hereditary Prince Alois his permanent deputy for exercising the sovereign powers due to him, in preparation for his succession to the throne. Since 15th August 2004 the Hereditary Prince has thus been performing both nationally and internationally the duties of Head of State of the Principality of Liechtenstein. Prince Hans-Adam II will now again devote himself more to managing the assets of the Princely House.

Vaduz, August 2004

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Result of the popular vote on the power of veto of the Reigning Prince
 
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