Liechtenstein is a microstate in Central Europe. Liechtenstein is governed as a constitutional monarchy that is headed by a royal family whose current head is Prince Hans-Adams II. As the head of the house, Price Hans is also the ruler of the principality of Liechtenstein today. Leadership is hereditary which means that there are lines of succession in the royal family that is strictly followed. Male members are eligible to inherit the leadership and must come from the lineage of Johan Joseph I.
Brief History of Liechtenstein
Just like the royal family, Liechtenstein has a rich history behind it. The country is landlocked and is surrounded by Austria and Switzerland, both landlocked countries, on both sides. The country was born after the princes of Liechtenstein bought land in 1719 and was given the name ‘Liechtenstein’. However, the new territory was not occupied and was subsequently neglected for almost a century by the princes. The territory was ruled by successive administration ranging from Napoleon to the Austrian Empire. The country survived the vagaries of the two World Wars by remaining neutral like Switzerland.
House Laws Governing the Royal Family
The House of Liechtenstein is governed by house laws. The document stipulates the preamble and has several articles bearing the house laws. As stated, the leadership of the principality has been designated for males from the house of Prince Johan I. The other requirement to the males in contention for leadership is that they should be members by birth. Princesses can become members of the family by birth or by marriage to a prince in the royal family. Most importantly, membership is by free will. The house laws also describe rules concerning citizenship, royal titles, governance, marriage, and disciplinary measures to be taken should a member of the royal family break the rules. Vaduz Castle is the official residence of the Prince of Liechtenstein.
Prince Hans-Adams II
Prince Hans-Adams II is the reigning ruler of the principality since the year 1989. He is the son of Prince Franz Joseph II and Princess Gina. Prince Franz was the head since 1939 and he had succeeded his uncle who had died without having a clear successor. By virtue of birth, Prince Hans-Adams is the rightful prince. He had a privileged childhood on account of his royal status meaning that he attended top schools and generally enjoyed the comforts of royalty. Prince Hans is married to Countess Marie Kinsky von Wchinitz and they have four children together. He is also a grandfather to 15 children. Prince Alois, his eldest son, is the next in line to succeed him as the next leader.
Important Events in Liechtenstein
The ruling house of Liechtenstein has seen the standards of living being ranked among the highest in the world today. With the world’s lowest tax rates, major companies have set foot here and brought business. Political stability has been maintained through democratic processes and diplomacy. For example, Prince Hans in 2009 had settled a dispute with the Czech Republic and Slovakia which had seized royal palaces after World War Two. The Eastern European countries were given recognition after they returned the seized properties. A referendum in 2003 was passed by the citizens introduced a new constitution that gave more powers to Prince Hans-Adams II, who had threatened to move out of the country if the referendum failed to pass.