List of princes of Liechtenstein

List of princes of Liechtenstein

Infobox monarchy
royal_title = Prince
realm = Liechtenstein

type = other2
coatofarms_article = Coat of arms of Liechtenstein

incumbent = Hans-Adam II
his/her = His Serene
first_monarch = Karl I
date = 1608

The Liechtenstein dynasty, or Princely Family of Liechtenstein, after which the sovereign principality between Switzerland and Austria was named in 1719, hails from Castle Liechtenstein in Lower Austria, which the family possessed from at least 1140 to the thirteenth century, and from 1807 onward.


Through the centuries, the dynasty acquired vast swathes of land, predominantly in Moravia, Lower Austria, Silesia, and Styria, though in all cases, these territories were held in fief under other more senior feudal lords, particularly under various lines of the Habsburg family, to whom several Liechtenstein princes served as close advisors. Thus, and without any territory held directly under the Imperial throne, the Liechtenstein dynasty was unable to meet a primary requirement to qualify for a seat in the Imperial diet, the "Reichstag".

The family yearned greatly for the added power which a seat in the Imperial government would garner, and therefore, searched for lands to acquire which would be "unmittelbar" (non-intermediate), held without any feudal personage other than the Holy Roman Emperor himself having rights on the land. After some time, the family was able to arrange the purchase of the minuscule "Herrschaft" ("Lordship") of Schellenberg and countship of Vaduz (in 1699 and 1712 respectively) from the Hohenems. Tiny Schellenberg and Vaduz possessed exactly the political status required, no feudal lord other than their comital sovereign and the suzerain Emperor.

Thereby, on January 23, 1719, after purchase had been duly made, Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, decreed Vaduz and Schellenberg were united, and raised to the dignity of "Fürstentum" ("principality") with the name "Liechtenstein" in honour of " [his] true servant, Anton Florian of Liechtenstein". It is on this date that Liechtenstein became a sovereign member state of the Holy Roman Empire. Ironically, but as testament to the pure political expediency of the purchases, the Princes of Liechtenstein did not permanently live in their new principality for over 200 years, moving only in 1938 into the Alpine place.

Present day

The Prince of Liechtenstein has sweepingly broad powers; a referendum to adopt Hans-Adam's revision of the constitution to expand his powers passed in 2003. [ [ Liechtenstein prince wins powers] BBC News Online, 16 March 2003. Retrieved 29 December 2006.] The changes also included a republican option, whereby the Prince was henceforth formally barred from vetoing any bill to establish a republic. In addition, the right to secede of the parishes which make up the Principality was recognized. Prince Hans-Adam had threatened that he and his family would move to Austria if the referendum had failed. Despite opposition from Mario Frick, a former Prime Minister, the Prince's referendum motion was carried by the electorate.

On 15 August, 2004 Prince Hans-Adam II formally turned the power of making day-to-day governmental decisions over to his son Prince Alois, as a way of transitioning to a new generation. Formally, Hans-Adam remains Head of State. [ [ Country profile: Liechtenstein - Leaders] BBC News, 6 December 2006. Retrieved 29 December 2006.]

The US Senate's subcommittee on tax haven banks has charged that the documents and information provided by Heinrich Kieber show that the LGT bank which is owned by the princely family, and on whose board they serve "is a willing partner, and an aider and abettor to clients trying to evade taxes, dodge creditors or defy court orders." []


According to their House Laws [Liechtenstein House Laws [] ] , the Reigning Prince shall bear the title: :"Reigning Prince of Liechtenstein, Duke of Troppau and Jägerndorf, Count Rietberg, Sovereign of the House of Liechtenstein"

List of Princes of Liechtenstein

ee also

*Line of succession to the Throne of Liechtenstein
*Princely Family of Liechtenstein
*List of Liechtenstein Heads of Government
*Lists of incumbents
*2008 Liechtenstein tax affair

External links

* [ The Princely House of Liechtenstein] (official site)


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