Saturday, June 9, 2018

Royal Confusion: A Liechtenstein Prince at Trooping the Colour

Photo: Screenshot via Royal Central
Earlier today, the British and Commonwealth armies as well as the British Royal Family marked the Queen's official birthday with the traditional Trooping the Colour parade. While yours truly did not watch the event, we soon noticed some comments on Twitter about a "Prince Joseph of Liechtenstein" participating in the parade. Some stated it was Prince Joseph-Wenzel, oldest son of Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie. Other believed it had to be Prince Josef-Emanuel, son of Prince Nikolaus and Princess Margaretha. 

Prince Joseph-Wenzel though is currently a law student and has never been a member of the British military. And while Prince Josef-Emanuel has previously participated in Trooping the Colour back in 2010 as a soldier of the Irish Guards, he has since chosen a different career path. It turns out that the commentators must have been slightly confused as the Liechtenstein prince in the parade today wasn't actually called "Joseph" but "Johann-Wenzel". Prince Johann-Wenzel, who graduated Sandhurst last year alongside Luxembourg's Prince Sébastien, is the son of Prince Gundakar of Liechtenstein and his wife née Princess Marie d'Orléans. The confusion might stem from the fact that both Prince Joseph-Wenzel and Prince Johann-Wenzel, who share the same great-great-great grandparents, go by their second given name Wenzel in daily life.

Update: The official programme simply described Prince Johann-Wenzel as "HSH 2nd Lieutenant Prince J-W Liechtenstein" - so it looks like the use of only initials was the source of all confusion.

Interesting sidenote to round this off: As Liechtenstein doesn't hold an army, special agreements were signed between Queen Elizabeth II and the Fürst of Liechtenstein to make it possible for members of the Princely Family to join the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst in the first place. 

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