Nestled between Switzerland and Austria, the Principality of Liechtenstein is the only country to lie entirely within the Alps. The country is a remnant of earlier times when there was dozens of states in German-speaking Europe; it is the smallest yet the richest of the four remaining ones. Covering only about 160 square kilometres and with a population of rougly 35,000 people, the country is truly landlocked and has neither a sea- nor an airport.
Liechtenstein has the highest gross domestic product per person in the world when adjusted by purchasing power parity and has the world's lowest external debt as well as one of the lowest unemployment rates. Over the last 50 or so years, the country has made itself a name as a banking place though one should not judge to quickly as Liechtenstein actually is one of the most industrialised countries on earth and even if you took the financial sector away, it would still be one of the richest countries in Europe.
The Principality - surprise, surprise - is reigned by a prince, who, in fact, is the European monarch with the most powers. The family's main residence is Vaduz Castle located on a hill above the capital though they own many properties including two stunning palaces in Vienna.
(For more information about the history of the Princely Family, have a look at our Luxarazzi 101 editions "The House and Princely Family of Liechtenstein - Pre-World War II" and "The House and Princely Family of Liechtenstein - Post-World War II".)
The current prince is Hans-Adam II who was born on 14 February 1945 as the first child and son of Prince Franz Joseph II and his wife née Countess Georgina of Wilczek, commonly called Gina. Ruling Liechtenstein for 51 years, Prince Franz Joseph II was the first sovereign prince to live full-time in the Principality.
Prince Hans-Adam II was educated the local schools in Liechtenstein before attending the Schottengymnasium in Vienna and the Lyceum Alpinum in Zuoz, Switzerland. He graduated from the prestigious University of St. Gallen in 1969. In the following years, he was essential to the reorganisation and rebuilding of the family's assets.
Already in 1967, he had married German Countess Marie Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau (*1940). The couple has four children, Hereditary Prince Alois, Prince Maximilian, Prince Constantin and Princess Tatjana. After becoming his father's regent in 1984, in ascended to the throne upon Prince Franz Joseph II's death in 1989.
Educated at local schools in Liechtenstein, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the United Kingdom and the University of Salzburg, Austria, Hereditary Prince Alois acts as his father's regent since August 2004. He is married to Duchess Sophie in Bavaria with whom he has four children, Prince Joseph Wenzel, Princess Marie-Caroline, Prince Georg and Prince Nikolaus.
The Princely Couple's second son Prince Maximilian, usually simply called Max, received his education at local schools in Liechtenstein, the European Business School near Frankfurt, Germany, and Harvard Business School. After gaining experience at various banks, he now works as CEO and president of the family owned LGT Group. In 2000, he married Angela Brown who, of Afro-Panamian descent, was raised in New York City. The couple has a son, Prince Alfons.
Prince Constantin is the third son of the Princely Couple. Educated in Liechtenstein and at the University of Salzburg, he interned at and worked for different companies all over the world. Since 2012, he is the CEO of the Prince of Liechtenstein Foundation who manages the family's properties. He is married to Countess Marie Kálnoky de Kőröspatak. The couple has three children, Prince Moritz, Princess Gina and Prince Benedikt.
The Princely Couple's daughter Princess Tatjana, who studied business administration in Madrid, Paris and London, lives quietly with her family in Austria. Since 1999, she is married to Philipp von Lattorff with whom she has seven children, Lukas, Elisabeth, Marie, Camilla, Anna, Sophie and Maximilian.
Prince Philipp, the second son of Prince Franz Joseph II and Princess Gina, studied history and social sciences at the universities of Basel, Switzerland, and Bonn, Germany. He worked as a hedgefund manager before taking over the management of the family's bank and now works as the chairman of the board of trustees. Since 1971, he is married to Isabelle de l'Arbre de Malander, goddaughter of the late Queen Elisabeth of Belgium. The couple has three sons Prince Alexander, who is married to German Astrid Kohl with whom he has a daughter, Princess Theodora, Prince Wenzeslaus and Prince Rudolf who is married to Turk Tılsım Tanberk.
Prince Nikolaus is the third son of Prince Franz Joseph and Princess Gina and is married to Princess Margaretha of Luxembourg. The couple has three children, Princess Maria-Anunciata, Princess Astrid and Prince Josef. A fourth child, a son named Léopold, died a few hours after he was born. Prince Nikolaus studied law in Vienna and has worked in different diplomatic functions, as his country's ambassador to Switzerland and Belgium for example. He is Liechtenstein's current non-resident ambassador to the Holy See.
The only daughter of Prince Franz Joseph II and Princess Gina, Princess Nora, has worked for the World Bank and the International Institute for Environment and Development. She has been a member of the International Olympic Commitee since 1987. She is the widow of Vicente Sartorius y Cabeza de Vaca, 4th Marquess de Mariño who died in 2002. The couple had a daughter, Maria Teresa Sartorius y Liechtenstein.
For more information about topics related to the Princely Family, their members or Liechtenstein in general, have a look at our Luxarazzi 101 series.