Prince Hans Adam II or to give him his full title, Prince Johannes Adam Ferdinand Alois Josef Maria Marco d’Aviano Pius, is the fifteenth reigning Prince of Liechtenstein, and first to grow up and be raised there. He was born in Zurich, Switzerland, on 14th February 1945 to Franz Josef II and Countess Georgina von Wilczek.
His Serene Highness grew up in Vaduz Castle with his parents, three brothers (Princes Phillipp, Nikolaus, and Franz Joseph) and sister, Princess Nora. He attended primary school in Vaduz and was also a member of the local scout troop.
Like his father, Franz Josef II, he attended the Schottengymnasium in Vienna in 1956, and then a Grammar School in Zuoz, Switzerland in 1960. He left there in 1965 with a Swiss Advanced level diploma, spending the summer as a bank trainee in London before studying Business and Economics at St Gallen University which he left with a Licentiate degree in 1969. In addition to his native German, he also speaks French and English.
Whilst studying for his degree, he met and married Countess Marie Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau on 30th July 1967. They have three sons and a daughter, and the eldest Prince Alois is Hereditary Prince and celebrated his fiftieth birthday last year. His other children are Prince Maximilian, Prince Constantin, and Princess Tatjana.
Whilst his father Franz Josef II was not born Hereditary Prince, he inherited the throne from his childless grand-uncle Prince Franz I in 1938. So, Prince Hans Adam was born to be Hereditary Prince.
His father was a successful and popular ruler, who had taken Liechtenstein from a quiet agricultural backwater to one of the richest countries per capita in the world, but he also understood the importance of succession. In 1972, Hans Adam was tasked by his father to reorganise the assets of the Princely House. Later in 1984, when his father had been ruling forty-five years, he was appointed a permanent representative and carried out state business on behalf of his father. He became reigning Prince on the death of his father on 13 November 1989.
In similar fashion to his father, Prince Hans Adam II appointed his son, Hereditary Prince Alois permanent representative in 2004.
The Prince is considered to be one of the wealthiest monarchs in the world and the richest in Europe. A portion of his personal wealth comes from his ownership of the LGT banking group.
Like our Queen Elizabeth II, he has an extensive art collection, his being displayed in the Liechtenstein Museum in Vienna.