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Biographies of the Princes and Princesses

The Princes of Liechtenstein have suffered a number of serious setbacks in their history. With a great deal of skill, courage and dedication, they managed to overcome the challenges.

  • 17th century
  • 18th century
  • 19th century
  • 20th century
  • Prince Karl I 1608 – 1627

    Prince Karl I 1608 – 1627

    Prince Karl (born 1569, died 1627) was the first family member to be elevated to the hereditary rank of Prince. He enjoyed a Protestant upbringing and the best possible education in a school run by the “Bohemian Brethren.” He converted to the Catholic faith in 1599. Shortly after that, Emperor Rudolf II appointed him Chief Intendant (Obersthofmeister), the highest office of court, which included the chairmanship of the Privy Council – an office he held with some interruptions until 1607.

  • Prince Karl Eusebius I 1627 – 1684

    Prince Karl Eusebius I 1627 – 1684

    Prince Karl Eusebius I succeeded in restructuring the possessions of the Princely House following the devastation wrought by the Thirty Years’ War, paving the way for the spectacular rise of the Princely House in the Baroque era.

  • Prince Johann Adam Andreas I 1684 – 1712

    Prince Johann Adam Andreas I 1684 – 1712

    Prince Johann Adam Andreas I was one of the most important patrons of art and architecture of his era. Among other things, he commissioned the two magnificent palaces in Vienna, the City Palace on Bankgasse and the Garden Palace in the district of Rossau.

  • Prince Anton Florian I 1718 – 1721

    Prince Anton Florian I 1718 – 1721

    It was due to Prince Anton Florian I’s political influence at the Imperial Court in Vienna that, in 1719, Emperor Karl VI elevated the county of Vaduz and the lordship of Schellenberg to the Imperial Principality of Liechtenstein.

  • Prince Josef Johann Adam I 1721 – 1732

    Prince Josef Johann Adam I 1721 – 1732

    Prince Josef Johann Adam I was successful in administering his properties. He also succeeded in amicably settling disputes within the family concerning the inheritance of Prince Johann Adam Andreas I.

  • Prince Johann Nepomuk Karl I 1732 – 1748

    Prince Johann Nepomuk Karl I 1732 – 1748

    Johann Nepomuk Karl I (born 1724, died 1748) was just 8 years old when his father died, and grew up under the guardianship of his uncle, Prince Joseph Wenzel I.

    In accordance with the rank of his House, his uncle prepared him for the assumption of government duties by ensuring that he received a thorough education. Three years after reaching full age, Prince Johann Nepomuk Karl I died aged just 24, without leaving any successor to the throne.

  • Prince Joseph Wenzel I 1712 – 1718 and 1748 – 1772

    Prince Joseph Wenzel I 1712 – 1718 and 1748 – 1772

    Prince Joseph Wenzel I was one of the most capable diplomats and military tacticians of his era. He secured a place in military history through his efficient reorganization of the Austrian artillery’s equipment and personnel, transforming it into the powerful instrument of the Imperial army.

  • Prince Franz Josef I 1772 – 1781

    Prince Franz Josef I 1772 – 1781

    Prince Franz Josef I unexpectedly became the head and sovereign of the House of Liechtenstein in 1772, his uncle Prince Joseph Wenzel I having remained childless. During his brief sovereignty, the Prince was primarily concerned with the administration of his properties.

  • Prince Alois I 1781 – 1805

    Prince Alois I 1781 – 1805

    Prince Alois I busied himself from an early age with the administration and cultivation of his dominions. During his travels and his studies of the relevant literature, he gained skills that he used to modernize and reorganize the Princely properties.

  • Prince Johann I 1805 – 1836

    Prince Johann I 1805 – 1836

    Prince Johann I fought in the Coalition Wars against revolutionary France and, between 1805 and 1809, against Napoleon. In 1806, Napoleon included the Principality of Liechtenstein in the Confederation of the Rhine and so laid the foundations for the country’s sovereignty.

  • Prince Alois II 1836 – 1858

    Prince Alois II 1836 – 1858

    Prince Alois II was the first reigning Prince to visit the Principality of Liechtenstein. In 1849, he enacted a provisional constitution for Liechtenstein.

  • Prince Johann II 1858 – 1929

    Prince Johann II 1858 – 1929

    Prince Johann II was a major art collector and patron. Among other things, around 1900 he had Vaduz Castle extensively restored.

  • Prince Franz I 1929 – 1938

    Prince Franz I 1929 – 1938

    Between 1894 and 1898, Prince Franz I was Austrian ambassador in Russia. He sought to establish a new basis for the strained relations between the two empires.

  • Princess Elisabeth (Elsa)

    Princess Elisabeth (Elsa)

    Princess Elsa (born 1875, died 1947) was one of the daughters of the Jewish banker and industrialist Sir Wilhelm Isaak Wolf von Gutmann, who was knighted in 1878, and his second wife Ida Wodianer.

  • Prince Franz Josef II 1938 – 1989

    Prince Franz Josef II 1938 – 1989

    Prince Franz Josef II succeeded in keeping Liechtenstein out of World War Two. After the war, Prince Franz Josef II dedicated himself mainly to the economic, social and cultural progress of Liechtenstein. The modern and highly viable present-day nation of Liechtenstein is the result of his efforts.

  • Princess Georgina (Gina)

    Princess Georgina (Gina)

    Princess Gina (born 1921, died 1989) was the daughter of Count Ferdinand Wilczek and Nora, née Countess Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau. She attended the Sacre Coeur high school in Vienna and a boarding school run by the Congregation of Jesus in Rome.