|Prince of Liechtenstein|
|Reign||13 November 1989 - present|
Regent for Franz Joseph II 26 August 1984 - 13 November 1989
|Predecessor||Franz Joseph II|
|Regent||Alois (15 August 2004 - present)|
|Born||14 February 1945|
|Father||Franz Joseph II|
|Mother||Countess Georgina von Wilczek|
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 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. Hans-Adam is the richest monarch in Europe.
He 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 1984, Prince Franz Joseph II, while legally remaining head of state and retaining the title of sovereign prince, formally handed the power of making day-to-day governmental decisions 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.
On 15 August 2004 Hans-Adam formally handed the power of making day-to-day governmental decisions 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.
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. 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. Hans-Adam responded 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."
Hans-Adam owns LGT banking group and has a family fortune of $US7.6 billion and a personal fortune of about $US4 billion, making him one of the world's richest heads of state, and Europe's wealthiest monarch. He owns an extensive art collection, much of which is displayed for the public at the Liechtenstein Museum in Vienna.
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.
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.
They have four children and 15 grandchildren:
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. In his childhood he joined the Pfadfinder und Pfadfinderinnen Liechtensteins in Vaduz. He is also a former member of the Viennese Scout Group "Wien 16-Schotten". He is a member of the World Scout Foundation.
Hans-Adam 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 controversially tried to patent millennia old native foods like Basmati rice through USA patent and succeeded but withdrew after concerns by India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. He makes the case for democracy as the best form of government, which he sees China and Russia as in transition towards although the path will be difficult for these nations. He also declared his role in a princely 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".
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."
Hans-Adam 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.
The official title of the monarch is "Prince of Liechtenstein, Duke of Troppau and Jägerndorf, Count of Rietberg, Sovereign of the House of Liechtenstein" (German: Fürst von und zu Liechtenstein, Herzog von Troppau und Jägerndorf, Graf zu Rietberg, Regierer des Hauses von und zu Liechtenstein). Modern German uses different words for two types of aristocrat, both of whom are referred to as "prince" in English: The German word for a ruler, head of family or nobleman who ranks below a Herzog and above a Graf is Fürst, while a cadet descendant of an emperor, king, reigning Fürst and some other Fürsten, is Prinz.
|Ancestors of Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein|