The Future of the Liechtenstein Royals
The Liechtenstein royals have secured the hereditary line for the next two generations, with Hereditary Prince Alois having just been handed the powers to run the country, whilst his father, Prince Hans Adam II remains the ruling Prince in title only.
Prince Alois and his wife, Princess Sophie have also ensured the continuation of the family line with a son - Prince Joseph Wenzel (prictured right with his father and grandfather).
Prince Hans Adam II, however, has not made many friends with the wide sweeping reforms he pushed through during his reign. During this time there were calls from the formation of a republic, to the enforced abdication of the Prince. After a campaign which was at times bitterly divisive the inhabitants voted in March 2003 in a constitutional referendum to give Prince Hans Adam sweeping new political powers. The outcome was decisive with just over 64% in favour of the changes. In effect, the referendum made Liechtenstein Europe's only absolute monarchy. It gave Prince Hans Adam the power to hire and fire the government, despite publicly expressed fears that the development could usher in dictatorship. The fact that Prince Alois is now in 'control' is obviously to appease the critics.
"Hans Adam has been a provocateur," said former Prime Minister Mario Frick, who opposed the prince's constitutional changes. "He liked to be in the middle of a quarrel. Many people hope Prince Alois will want to calm things down."
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 - Alois