Prince Hans-Adam II was born on 14 February 1945, the eldest son
of Prince Franz
Joseph II of Liechtenstein and Princess Gina. The name Hans-Adam forms an
apt link between past and present: Prince Johann (Hans) Adam I – he reigned from 1699 until 1712 – was
the founder of the Principality of Liechtenstein through his purchases of the Lordship of Schellenberg
(1699) and the County of Vaduz (1712).
II grew up with his three brothers and sister at Vaduz Castle, the parental home. He attended primary
school in Vaduz and was a member of the Vaduz scout troop. In 1956 Prince Hans-Adam II, like his father
before him, entered the Schottengymnasium in Vienna.
1960 he transferred
to the Grammar School at Zuoz, which he completed in 1965 with the Swiss advanced-level diploma and
the German Abitur certificate. Prince Hans-Adam II then worked at a bank in London as a trainee. Besides
his native language German he also speaks English and French.
autumn 1965 Prince Hans-Adam II took up his studies in Business and Economics at the University of St.
Gallen, Switzerland, which he completed in 1969 with the degree of Licentiate.
30 July 1967 Prince Hans-Adam II married Countess Marie Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau. The couple have
four children: Hereditary Prince Alois , born 11 June 1968; Prince Maximilian, born 16 May 1969; Prince
Constantin, born 15 March 1972; and Princess Tatjana, born 10 April 1973.
1970 Prince Franz Joseph II entrusted his eldest son with reorganising the management and administration
of all the assets belonging to the Princely House. As part of this reorganisation the Prince’s private
assets were incorporated in foundations.
In 1984, the
45th year of his
reign, Prince Franz Joseph II appointed Prince Hans-Adam II his permanent representative under Article
13bis of the Constitution. On 13 November 1989, following the death of his father Prince Franz Joseph
II, Prince Hans-Adam II assumed the regency. Already before succeeding his father, Prince Hans-Adam
II promoted an independent foreign policy for Liechtenstein. Under his leadership Liechtenstein successfully
became a member of the UNO in 1990 and the EEA in 1995.
various attempts in the 19th and 20th centuries to replace the Family Covenant
of 1606 had failed, the new House Statute was adopted on the suggestion of Prince Hans-Adam II by the
Princely House in 1993 and was published in the Liechtensteinische Landesgesetzblatt Nr. 100/1993. The
House Statute is intended to provide the Princely House with a basis for resolving all issues within
the family in the 3rd millennium and for securing the autonomy of the Princely House in these matters.
The rule of male succession was retained.
In 2003 Prince
was able to bring to a successful conclusion with a national referendum a longlasting discussion about
the monarchy’s constitutional position, after the requisite majority for a constitutional amendment
had not been reached in Parliament. 64% of voters declared themselves for the Princely House’s constitutional
proposal, 20% for retaining the old constitutional provisions and 16% for amendments which would have
severely weakened the monarchy’s position in the Constitution.
August 2004 under Art. 13bis of the Constitution of the Principality of Liechtenstein Prince Hans-Adam
II appointed Hereditary Prince Alois his permanent representative for exercising the sovereign powers
due to him, in preparation for his succession to the throne. Since 15 August 2004 the Hereditary Prince
has thus been performing both nationally and internationally the duties of Head of State of the Principality
of Liechtenstein. Prince Hans-Adam II will now again devote himself more to managing the assets of the