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Franz Joseph II, Prince of Liechtenstein: Wikis

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Francis Joseph II
Prince of Liechtenstein
Franz Joseph II official portrait
Reign 25 July 1938 – 13 November 1989 (&0000000000000051.00000051 years, &0000000000000111.000000111 days)
Predecessor Franz I
Successor Hans-Adam II
Spouse Countess Georgina von Wilczek
Issue
Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein
Prince Phillipp
Prince Nikolaus
Princess Nora
Prince Franz Joseph
House House of Liechtenstein
Father Prince Aloys of Liechtenstein
Mother Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria
Born 16 August 1906(1906-08-16)
Schloss Frauenthal, Styria, Austria
Died 13 November 1989 (aged 83)

Franz Joseph II, Prince of Liechtenstein, (Franz Joseph Maria Aloys Alfred Karl Johannes Heinrich Michael Georg Ignaz Benediktus Gerhardus Majella), (16 August 1906, Schloss Frauenthal, Styria, Austria – 13 November 1989, Grabs, Switzerland) was the Sovereign Prince of Liechtenstein from 1938 until his death. His full title was Fürst von und zu Liechtenstein, Herzog von Troppau und Jägerndorf, Graf zu Rietberg.

He was the son of Prince Aloys of Liechtenstein and his wife Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria (daughter of Archduke Karl Ludwig). He succeeded his childless cousin, Prince Franz I, after his father renounced his right of succession in his favour in 1921.

During his reign women received voting rights for the first time, following a referendum on the topic (among men only) in 1984.

Franz Joseph was an extremely popular sovereign in Liechtenstein. He was the first ruling prince to live full-time in the principality. He also oversaw the economic development of Liechtenstein from a poor agricultural backwater into one of the richest countries (per capita) in the world.

He was the 1,240th Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece in Austria.

Contents

World War II

Liechtenstein remained neutral throughout World War II, and its neutrality was never violated by any of the combatants. However, two factors have linked the Liechtensteinian state to the Axis cause:

Marriage and children

On 7 March 1943, at Vaduz, Franz Joseph II married Georgine ("Gina") Countess of Wilczeck (24 October 1921 – 18 October 1989). They had five children:

  • Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein (born 1945)
  • Prince Philipp Erasmus of Liechtenstein, full name: Prince Philipp Erasmus Alois Ferdinand Maria Sebaldus (b. Zürich, 19 August 1946), married in Brussels on 11 September 1971 Isabelle Fernande Ghislaine Guillemette Elisabeth de L'Arbre de Malander (b. Ronse, 24 November 1947), daughter of Jean Baptiste de L' Arbre de Malander and wife Guillemette Grassal, and had issue:
    • Prince Alexander (b. Basel, 19 May 1972), married civilly in Vaduz on 24 January 2003 and religiously in Salzburg on 8 February 2003 Astrid Barbara Kohl (b. Regensburg, 13 September 1968), daughter of Theodor Kohl and wife Ingrid Schlechta, and had an only daughter:
    • Prince Wenzeslaus (b. Uccle, 12 May 1974); he used to date model Adriana Lima
    • Prince Rudolf Ferdinand (b. Uccle, 7 September 1975)
  • Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein (born 1947), married Princess Margaretha of Luxembourg, and had four children
  • Princess Norberta "Nora" Elisabeth Maria Assunta Josefine Georgine et omnes sancti (b. Zürich, 31 October 1950), married in Vaduz civilly on 10 June 1988 and religiously on 11 June 1988 Don Vicente Sartorius y Cabeza de Vaca, Marqués de Mariño (Madrid, 30 November 1931 - Ibiza, 22 June 2002), and had an only daughter:
    • Maria Teresa Sartorius y de Liechtenstein (b. Madrid, 21 November 1992)
  • Prince Franz Joseph Wenzeslaus (Wenzel) Georg Maria (Zürich, 19 November 1962 - Vaduz, 28 February 1991)

Final years

Franz Joseph handed over most of his powers to his son, Hans-Adam, in 1984. Franz Joseph II died on 13 November 1989, a mere twenty-six days after his wife. Ruling Liechtenstein for 51 years, he was the longest-ruling sovereign in Europe at the time of his death.

Ancestry

Franz Joseph II, Prince of Liechtenstein
Born: 16 August 1906 Died: 13 November 1989
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Franz I
Prince of Liechtenstein
1938–1989
Succeeded by
Hans-Adam II

Footnotes

See also

External links

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