Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Your Serene Highness

Hans-Adam II - the son of Franz Joseph II and Countess Georgina von Wilczek - is the fifteenth Prince of Liechtenstein, which role he has fulfilled since succeeding his late father in November 1989; in addition to being head of the Princely House of Liechtenstein he's Duke of Troppau and Jägerndorf.

PhotobucketBorn on this day in 1945, in July 1967 the Prince married Marie Aglaë, Countess Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau; together they would have four children - Prince Alois, Prince Maximilian, Prince Constantin, and Princess Tatjana. In 1969 His Serene Highness graduated from the University of St. Gallen with a degree in business and economics. It's not gone to waste; as the owner of the LGT Banking Group, he's considered one of the wealthiest heads of state in Europe, with an estimated personal fortune approaching $5 billion.

Since August 2004 Prince Alois - Hereditary Prince and Count of Rietberg - has begun undertaking many of the day-to-day duties in the very hands-on management of the principality; one of the last of the executive monarchies left in Europe, in March 2003 the Prince was granted even more powers as the result of a referendum. He had threatened to abdicate if not given the absolute power to dissolve the country's parliament, suspend any law or indeed any government minister... In the end the measure passed by a firm two-thirds majority.

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