Hans-Adam II von Liechtenstein, the Prince of Liechtenstein since 1989
The history of Liechtenstein princely family dates back to 1130. The castle which was not far from Vienna was called so. In 1866, the principality became independent, although his official governor residence was in Vienna until in 1938 Prince Franz Josef II, who doesn’t want to have anything in common with Nazi, moved it to Vaduz Castle.
Hans-Adam II von Liechtenstein said: "Half of my time I spend in the office, earning money. During the other half I'm the head of state, and then I spend money - my own money ... ".
Son of Franz Joseph II, Prince Hans-Adam II von Liechtenstein, Duke of Troppau and Jägerndorf, Count of Rietberg, the current governor, was born February 14, 1945 in Zurich. At first he went to school in Vaduz and was a member of a local Boy Scout troop, and in 1956 he entered a high school in Vienna, after completing it he continued education (1965-1969) at the Swiss St. Gallen College, where he studied economics. This determined his future profession: training stint at a London bank, agricultural practice in Texas and in 1970 was appointed chief of staff princely economy. Actually controlling the entire principality since 1984, the future monarch did not leave working in the banking system.
Prince von Liechtenstein - a staunch monarchist. He acceded to the throne after his father's death (November 13, 1989), he used extraordinary measures and demanded the right to dissolve not only the parliament, but also the government, warning that otherwise he will leave Vaduz forever. The citizens gave that right to him: on March 17, 2003 in a referendum 87 percent of the population voted for the monarchy that used to be three hundred years ago - enlightened, but absolute.
The Council of Europe met such expansion of the monarch powers with disapproval.
Morning hours, Hans-Adam II usually devotes to banking business. But his area of interests isn’t limited by this. Farming, viticulture, wine making - it is not a complete list of his activities. His literary passions are - books on archeology and science fiction, sports - running, scuba diving and skiing.
Nowadays the position of Hans-Adam II remains unchanged. He considers strengthening of monarchical order the foundation of statehood of the country, and the main condition for further development and thriving economy (the standard of living in Liechtenstein is among the best not only in Europe but also in the world.) In the small-sized country industries as tourism, financial and business services are successfully developing.
Liechtensteiners proudly say that their country is the only monarchy in Europe, where taxes are not levied to maintain the princely family. In 1994, von Liechtenstein even refused from the executive salary. His personal fortune is estimated at more than 4 billion Swiss francs. He owns three palaces in Vienna that were built in the XVII century, four houses and 20 thousand acres of land in Austria. He has a unique collection of paintings, in which there are paintings by Italian masters of the Renaissance, such as Rembrandt and Rubens.
The Prince is married to Countess Marie Kinsky Aglaya. They have four children: a son and his heir Alois (1968), Maximilian (1969), Constantine (1972) and Tatiana (1973).