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The Liechtenstein dynasty, from which the principality takes its name (rather than vice-versa), is the family which reigns by constitutional, hereditary right over the nation of Liechtenstein. Only dynastic members of the House of Liechtenstein are eligible to inherit the throne, and the dynasty's membership, rights and responsibilities are defined by a law of the family, which is enforced by the reigning Prince and may be altered by vote among the family's dynasts, but which may not be altered by the government or parliament of Liechtenstein.[1] See also List of princes of Liechtenstein.

Contents

History

Valtice Castle used to be the principal seat of the Liechtenstein family in the Czech Republic (then in Czechoslovakia) until World War II, when the Communists seized power and confiscated it.

The family comes from Castle Liechtenstein in Lower Austria, which the family possessed from at least 1140 to the 13th century, and from 1807 onwards. 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 or 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 county of Vaduz (in 1699 and 1712 respectively) from the Hohenems family. 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 set foot in their new principality for several decades. This article shows the descendants of Franz Joseph II, Prince of Liechtenstein, the father of the present (2006) Head of State, Prince Hans-Adam II.

According to the Constitution of the Princely House of Liechtenstein of 26 October 1993 all members other than the reigning prince shall bear the titles: Prince/Princess of Liechtenstein, Count/Countess of Rietberg.

The US Senate's subcommittee on tax haven banks has charged that the LGT Bank which the family owns, 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."[2]

Current Princely Family (closest members only)

Styles of
Princes(ses) of Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein coa.png
Reference style His/Her Serene Highness
Spoken style Your Serene Highness
Alternative style Sir/Ma'am
  • Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein (born 14 February 1945), eldest son; married 30 July 1967, Marie Aglaë, Countess Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau. They have four children:
    • Alois Philipp Maria, Hereditary Prince of Liechtenstein (born 11 June 1968), married 3 July 1993, Duchess Sophie in Bavaria (born 28 October 1967). They have four children:
      • Prince Joseph Wenzel Maximilian Maria of Liechtenstein (born 24 May 1995 in London)
      • Princess Marie-Caroline Elisabeth Immaculata of Liechtenstein (born 17 October 1996 in Grabs, Canton of St. Gallen)
      • Prince Georg Antonius Constantin Maria of Liechtenstein (born 20 April 1999 in Grabs)
      • Prince Nikolaus Sebastian Alexander Maria of Liechtenstein (born 6 December 2000, in Grabs)
    • Prince Maximilian Nikolaus Maria of Liechtenstein (born 16 May 1969 in St. Gallen), married 29 January 2000 at the church of Saint Vincent Ferrer in New York, Angela Gisela Brown (born 3 February 1958, Bocas del Toro, Panamá) They have one child:
      • Prince Alfons Constantin Maria of Liechtenstein (born 18 May 2001, in London)
    • Prince Constantin Ferdinand Maria of Liechtenstein (born 15 March 1972 in St. Gallen), married 5 June 1999, in Csicse, Countess Marie Gabriele Franciska Kálnoky de Köröspatak (born 16 July 1975 in Graz) They have three children:
      • Prince Moritz Emanuel Maria of Liechtenstein (born 27 May 2003 in London)
      • Princess Georgina Maximiliane Tatjana Maria of Liechtenstein (born 23 July 2005 in Vienna)
      • Prince Benedikt Ferdinand Hubertus Maria of Liechtenstein, (born 18 May 2008 in Vienna)
    • Princess Tatjana of Liechtenstein full name Princess Tatjana Nora Maria of Liechtenstein (born 10 April 1973 in St. Gallen), married 5 June 1999, at St. Florin's in Vaduz, Baron Philipp von Lattorff, son of Baron Claus-Jürgen von Lattorff and Countess Julia Batthyány de Német-Ujvár (born 25 March 1968 in Graz). They have six children:
      • Lukas Maria von Lattorff (born 13 May 2000 in Wiesbaden)
      • Elisabeth Marie Angela Tatiana von Lattorff (born 25 January 2002 in Grabs)
      • Marie Theresa von Lattorff (born 18 January 2004 in Grabs)
      • Camilla Katharina Maria von Lattorff (born 14 November 2005 in Monza)
      • Anna Pia Theresia Maria von Lattorff (born 3 August 2007 in Hausleiten)
      • Sophia Katharina Maria von Lattorff (born 30 October 2009 in Hausleiten)
  • Prince Philipp Erasmus of Liechtenstein (born 19 August 1946 in Zurich), second son; married 11 September 1971, at Abbaye de Notre Dame de la Cambre in Brussels, Isabelle de l'Arbre de Malander (born 24 November 1947 in Ronse) They have three children:
    • Prince Alexander of Liechtenstein (born 19 May 1972 in Basel); married 8-9 February 2003 Astrid Kohl (born 13 September 1968).
      • Princess Theodora of Liechtenstein (born 20 November 2004).
    • Prince Wenzeslaus of Liechtenstein (born 12 May 1974 in Uccle, Belgium)
    • Prince Rudolf Ferdinand of Liechtenstein (born 7 September 1975 in Uccle, Belgium)
  • Prince Nikolaus Ferdinand Maria Josef Raphael of Liechtenstein (born 24 October 1947 in Zurich), third son; married 20 March 1982, at Notre Dame Cathedral in Luxembourg, Princess Margaretha of Luxembourg, (born 15 May 1957, Betzdorf Castle). They have four children:
    • Prince Leopold Emmanuel of Liechtenstein (born 20 May 1984, died 20 May 1984).
    • Princess Maria-Annunciata Astrid Joséphine Veronica of Liechtenstein (born 12 May 1985 in Brussels)
    • Princess Marie-Astrid Nora Margarita Veronica of Liechtenstein (born 26 June 1987 in Brussels)
    • Prince Josef-Emanuel Leopold Marie of Liechtenstein (born 7 May 1989 in Brussels)
  • Princess Norberta (Nora) Elisabeth Maria Assunta Josefine Georgine et omnes sancti of Liechtenstein (born 31 October 1950), only daughter; married 11 June 1988 Don Vicente Sartorius y Cabeza de Vaca (30 November 1931-2002), Marquess de Mariño, and she has a daughter,
    • Maria Teresa Sartorius y de Liechtenstein (born 21 November 1992 in Madrid).

References

See also

References

External links

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