Prince Franz Josef II von Liechtenstein
Reigned: 1938 - 1989
Born 1906, Died 1989.
Prince Franz Josef was born on 16 August 1906 in Frauenthal Castle in Styria as the first son of Prince Alois von Liechtenstein and Archduchess Elisabeth Amalie of Austria. Emperor Franz Josef I was godfather of the little Prince.
Prince Franz Josef spent an untroubled youth in several castles in Austria. Particularly worth mentioning is his stay in Gross-Ullersdorf castle in Moravia (1911-1914), where the young Prince developed his passion for nature, which influenced his future studies. According to an education based on the traditions of the family of Liechtenstein, Prince Franz Josef attended the Schottengymnasium high school in Vienna, where he graduated in 1925. His favourite subjects were mathematics, natural history and Greek.
Due to his passion for nature, he continued his studies in forestry at the University of Agricultural Sciences in Vienna (1925-1929). In 1929, Prince Franz Josef graduated from the university as a forest engineer and dedicated himself to the administration of the vast properties in Czechoslovakia, which became his responsibility after the death of Prince Johannes II.
Skiing, mountain sports and swimming were among his favourite leisure time activities. The young Prince also often travelled to Europe and overseas. Prince Franz I turned over the Regency to Prince Franz Josef on 30 March 1938. Franz I died on 25 July of the same year, and the designated Prince Regent took over the leadership of the affairs of the country. The oath of allegiance by the people of Liechtenstein to the new Reigning Prince took place on 30 May 1939.
While the world was threatened by the turmoil of war caused by the Third Reich, this demonstration took on dual significance: the people impressively demonstrated their commitment to independence under the leadership of the new reigning Prince, Franz Josef II. Liechtenstein experienced a second highlight when the Prince wed Countess Georgine of Wilczek (daughter of Count Ferdinand of Wilczek and Countess Nora Kinsky, born in Graz on 24 October 1921, died in Vaduz on 24 October 1989).
The couple had five children:
- Hereditary Prince Hans Adam, born 14 February 1945
- Prince Phillip Erasmus, born 19 August 1946
- Prince Nikolaus Ferdinand, born 24 October 1947
- Princess Nora Elisabeth, born 31 October 1950
- Prince Franz Josef Wenzel, born 19 November 1962, died 28 February 1991.
Prince Franz Josef II turned his attention entirely to keeping Liechtenstein out of the Second World War. In speeches from the throne and public messages, the Reigning Prince fortified the inner unity and resistance of the People. He was the first reigning Prince to make the Principality of Liechtenstein his permanent home. After the war, Franz Josef II dedicated himself mainly to the economic, social and cultural progress of Liechtenstein. His efforts resulted in a modern and highly viable country of Liechtenstein.
Karl I - Karl Eusebius - Hans Adam I - Anton Florian - Josef I - Johann Nepomuk - Josef Wenzel - Franz Josef I - Alois I - Johann I - Alois II - Johann II - Franz - Franz Josef II - Hans Adam II - The Future - Alois