Wednesday, January 23, 2019

#Liechtenstein300: The Principality Kicks Off Birthday Celebrations

Photos: Screenshots Landeskanal
Today, the sixth smallest country in the world celebrated its 300th birthday. That country, of course, is Liechtenstein. (Brush up on your game show knowledge of all things Liechtenstein in our recent Luxarazzi 101.) In fact, today was just the first day of many celebrations to be held this year. The first day of the celebrations saw people from the Oberland, or upper county (the former county of Vaduz), and the Unterland, or lower county (once the lordship of Schellenberg), hike to the Scheidgraben, a ditch that used to mark the border between historical dominions, working together as teams and solving challenges along the way. The day-long journey also formed an integral part of the official celebrations this evening that officially kicked off the anniversary year. Naturally, an array of members of the Princely Family were also in attendance.
However, locating all the members of the Princely Family who were present for the evening celebrations was a bit like searching for a needle in a haystack. Thus far we could positively identify Prince Hans-Adam II and at least three of his children, Hereditary Prince Alois with wife Hereditary Princess Sophie, Prince Max and Princess Tatjana as having been there. All of the Fürst's surviving siblings Prince Philipp, Prince Nikolaus and wife Princess Margaretha as well as Princess Nora with daughter Teresa Sartorius were also in attendance. From the wider family I could also definitely spy Prince Michael and Princess Hildegard as well as Princess Maria-Pia.
Tonight's ceremony included a speech by the Hereditary Prince as well as talks with Liechtenstein's Prime Minister Adrian Hasler and the President of Parliament Albert Frick. The event was interspersed with lots of lovely clips from today's hiking tours including a light show reenactment of the unification of Vaduz and Schellenberg into Liechtenstein 300 years ago today. During his speech, Hereditary Prince Alois thanked the present presidents of Austria, Switzerland and Germany for the good cooperation with and respect towards Liechtenstein for three centuries and especially the last decades. He also urged Liechtensteiners to work together for a prosper future of their country saying, "The future is full of challenges: If we want to keep up the high quality of living for ourselves and our descendants we cannot rest. We have to stay active and ensure the basis of our standard of living every single day. [...] Let us use the chances that this special anniversary year brings. Let us work together in the established and trusted ways between the people and the Princely House to lay a good foundation for the years to come."
Photo: Eddy Risch / Liechtensteiner Vaterland /

If you like, you can watch the full official ceremony over on Youtube. If you don't have as much time, Vaterland has videos of the Princely Family arriving including an interview with the Fürst and a rather funny video of Hans-Adam and Alois cutting the birthday cake. They also have a gallery of visuals.

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