Thursday, June 20, 2013

Luxarazzi 101: Princess Marie of Liechtenstein

As promised, it did not took one and a half years for the second part of the biography of Princess Marie of Liechtenstein to appear on the blog. (For the first part, have a look here.)

                (Photo: Volksblatt)                
After the announcement engagement in January 1966 (it officially happened at Easter that year), Countess Marie of Wchinitz and Tettau and Hereditary Prince Hans-Adam of Liechtenstein finally tied the knot about one and a half years later. The couple had to wait the little while as their parents wanted them to test themselves and to prove that the Hereditary Prince would not neglect his studies.

On 30 July 1967, Hereditary Prince Hans-Adam and Countess Marie first married civilly in Liechtenstein's capital and later religiously at the Church of St. Florin. On the eve of their wedding, a bridal soirée took place at Schloss Vaduz.

The marriage was officiated by the bishop of Chur, Johannes Vonderach. Princess Marie wore the Habsburg Fringe Tiara which was brought into the family by her husband's grandmother, Archduchess Elisabeth Amalia of Austria, and orginally made for her mother Archduchess Maria Theresa, née Infanta of Portugal.

The wedding guests included Empress Zita of Austria, Queen Anne-Marie of Greece and Queen Sofia of Spain, at the time the Princess of Asturias. As it is tradition in Liechtenstein, they had a parade and public festival in the evening to celebrate their wedding together with the country's citizens.

A video of the evening celebrations by the Schweizer Fernsehen in case you are interested

After their wedding, Hereditary Prince Hans-Adam and Hereditary Princess Marie moved to St. Gallen in Switzerland, where the prince was attending university at the time. As the new princess sometimes felt lonely and missed having a lot of family and friends around her, they moved to Liechtenstein some time around the birth of their first son in June 1968. Until his graduation a year later, the Hereditary Prince commuted to St. Gallen from Vaduz. 

            The couple with their children            
Prince Alois was followed by Prince Maximilian a year later and Prince Constantin in 1972. Their only daughter, Princess Tatjana, was born in 1973.

The couple raised their children on their own without the help of tutors or governesses mainly due to the fact that Hereditary Prince Hans-Adam did not like being raised by them. Instead, they only had a housekeeper and someone who would also take care of the children when the parents had to go away. Their four children attended local schools and lived in Liechtenstein until they graduated from high school.

In 1976, the Hereditary Princess became member of the board of the Liechtensteinische Gesellschaft für Umweltschutz (LGU), the country's society for environmental protection.

Taking over from her mother-in-law, Princess Marie was the president of the Society for Orthopaedic Aid between 1983 and 2005, since that year she has been its patron. She is also the president of the Liechtenstein Red Cross since 1985, an office she has also taken over from Princess Gina, and in addition patron of the Verband Liechtensteinischer Familienhilfen, a family support organisation, since 1990.

The Princely Couple
in Israel in 1992
Photo: Vaterland
During the 1980's, then Hereditary Prince Hans-Adam started to act as a regent for his father. When the Prince Franz Joseph II died in 1989, he ascended to the throne as the Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein and Hereditary Princess Marie became the Princess. Since her wedding she is styled as a Serene Highness and since her husband became the ruler, she is also the Duchess Troppau and Jägerndorf and the Countess of Rietberg.

The Princely Family has never been big on state visits apart from occassional but less grand visits to their two neighbouring countries, Switzerland and Austria. Nevertheless, especially during the early 1990's, they did pay a few visits to countries a little further away. Since the Princely Couple's oldest son Hereditary Prince Alois has taken over regency for his father, Prince Hans-Adam II and Princess Marie have taken a backseat in many matters.

Consequently, the Princess' official duties are almost entirely limited to charitable causes in Liechtenstein these days. Generally, Princess Marie is interested in art and culture as well as matters of education and parenting. While she was in school she liked acting. She is a member of the historical society of the Principality.

Photo: EinTracht
Princess Marie is a grandmother to 15 children (14 of which are pictured above with their parents). Her oldest son Hereditary Prince Alois and his wife Hereditary Princess Sophie have four children, princes Joseph-Wenzel, Georg and Nikolaus as well as Princess Marie-Caroline. While second-born Prince Maximilian and his wife Princess Angela have a son, Prince Alfons, the Princely Couple's third son, Prince Constantin, and his wife Priness Marie have three children, princes Moritz and Benedikt as well as Princess Georgina. Princess Tatjana and her husband Philipp von Lattorff have seven children, Lukas, Elisabeth, Marie, Camilla, Anna, Sophie and Maximilian.

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