Saturday, August 15, 2015

Liechtenstein Celebrates 75th National Day

Photo: Daniel Schwendener / Liechtensteiner Vaterland /
It's August 15 today meaning that the Princely Family - and the whole of Liechtenstein - are ending their summer holidays in style: with the Principality's National Day. Today is the country's 75th Staatsfeiertag as is was firstly celebrated in 1940 amidst the turmoil of the Second World War to show "unity between the Prince and the people", as the President of Parliament Albert Frick put it in his speech this morning. He held his speech during the traditional state ceremony taking place on the castle meadow each year.

As always, the Princely Family was in attendance for the ceremony though it was a little less numerous than last year (when we also saw Princess Tatjana and her family): Prince Hans-Adam II and Princess Marie, Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie (wearing a repeated Diane von Furstenberg dress), their three sons Prince Wenzel, Prince Georg and Prince Nikolaus were all there forearmed with umbrellas as the weather forecast wasn't the best (though it apparently didn't start raining). Also present was the much more regularly featured Prince Nikolaus (Hans-Adam's brother and husband of Luxembourg's Princess Margaretha), Prince Stefan and Princess Maria-Pia, all three of them current or former diplomats of the Principality, as well as Prince Michael.

It was the Hereditary Prince, who has been his father's regent since 2004, who once again gave the speech traditionally given by the head of state during the state ceremony. Alois talked about the long way Liechtenstein had come in the past 75 years - transforming from an agricultural backwater into one of the world's richest countries, from a country of emigration into a country of immigration, and a country struggling to be internationally recognised to a respected member of international organisations such as the United Nations and the European Economic Area - but also about the country's future and the challenges faced. He added that not everything that contributed to this change was in the power of the people of Liechtenstein but that the Prince and people standing together in difficult times helped a lot.

Hereditary Prince Alois concluded saying that, "even if we are forced to tighten our belts, we don't need to be afraid of the future. Quite on the contrary, I am convinced that Liechtenstein will remain a place of the world's highest quality of living. But like in previous decades, let us - wherever we have the power to change something - work together on the factors of success. Then many will continue to envy us for our country." (The transcript of the Hereditary Prince's speech is available at Volksblatt.)
Photo: Daniel Schwendener / Liechtensteiner Vaterland /
The state ceremony ended with the signing of Liechtenstein's national anthem with the very famous melody, Oben am jungen Rhein, and was followed by the traditional reception hosted by the Princely Family in the rose gardens of Schloss Vaduz. Like every year, the regular Liechtensteiner and tourist got the chance to mingle, talk and enjoy a beer with the members of the Princely Family.

A few more pictures of the celebrations so far can be found at Vaterland. Stay tuned though: More picture and video links to come later!

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