Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein has opened up to the Swiss newspaper, Aargauer Zeitung about growing up royal.
His Serene Highness spoke about being raised to one day rule and the relationship Liechtenstein has with its neighbour, Switzerland.
Prince Alois was asked about whether or not a monarchy was the best option. The Prince responded by saying, “One can also ask whether, in a republic, the best in the office is the best. I would say: In any system, you always have the best. But the advantages of a monarchy lie elsewhere.”
He went on to explain that the advantages of a monarchy were that it has been able to “ensure stability, identity, and long-term policy alignment” and went on to discuss the uniqueness of the governmental structure in Liechtenstein. Alois, who has been the regent of Liechtenstein since 2004, explained the small European country has both a strong monarchy and “direct-democratic elements”, where the prince has political responsibilities to the people.
His Serene Highness said, “The people can pronounce the prince in a popular vote by a simple majority, or even abolish the monarchy. At the same time, however, the monarch in Liechtenstein can play an independent role because he does not have to re-elect himself regularly. It can tackle more simple issues that are unpopular but important for the long-term development of their country.”
Alois went on to say that he first realised that he was different from his fellow peers when he was in primary school, but he felt that he and his siblings were able to grow up somewhat normally. Living in a castle was the main thing his classmates noticed when he was young. He was known to invite his friends to his home and vice versa.
Regarding his own four children, His Serene Highness admitted that he and his wife, Sophie have tried to give their children as normal a life as possible saying, “I think it is important that children grow up as normally as possible. A child does not like to be treated differently, whether by school colleagues or by teachers. It wants to grow up like everyone else.”
Prince Alois emphasised, “There is no course for future monarchs.”
When asked if he felt as if he had missed out on anything due to his role, the Prince remarked that he did not think so and added, “Of course, from a certain age onward one is more aware that one is in a special role and is more under observation. Perhaps as a youth, you do not participate in every nonsense, with which one would otherwise have participated. One could also be restricted if one had a special job. For me it was not a problem: I studied Jus and went to business, and that was my wish anyway.”
The Liechtensteiner Princely Family has been known to remain private and out of the gossiping European press. Alois explained that they have been able to accomplish this because, “It is a conscious decision, only so as to preserve privacy. You have to deliberately consider which occasions you visit and which media you are allowed into. If one is reserved in both, it goes. It is also the luxury of a small country like Liechtenstein, that one is much less exposed to it.”
The interviewed turned to more serious and economic matters with Aargauer Zeitung inquiring about the close connection between Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Switzerland is closely linked with the principality in regard to money and customs. Alois sees no reason to alter the closeness between the two nations in the future. He politely refused to suggest a solution to the immigration situation in Switzerland saying that he was “confident that Switzerland will find solutions.”
Hereditary Prince Alois Philipp Maria was born on 11 June 1968 as the eldest child of Prince Hans-Adam II and Princess Marie in Zürich, Switzerland. He married Princess Sophie of Bavaria on 3 July 1993. They have four children together: Prince Joseph Wenzel, Princess Marie-Caroline, Prince Georg, and Prince Nikolaus.