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European Royals

Liechtenstein’s royals lead celebrations for National Day

On the 15th of August, Liechtenstein celebrates it National Holiday. For the occasion, HSH Hereditary Prince Alois presented 11 national flags to authorities in 11 different municipalities. 

Those flags were raised in the afternoon of National Day in those 11 municipalities. Flags were also raised across the rest of country, to mark the celebrations. 

The small Principality is nestled between Austria and Switzerland. It is considered a Constitutional Monarchy, and its current Head of State is Prince Hans-Adam II, although, because of his desire to gradually transition power to a younger generation, his eldest son, Hereditary Prince Alois, has served as Regent since 2004. 

As a Catholic-majority country, Liechenstein has long celebrated the 15th of August as a holiday, because the date marks the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On 1940, it also became a National Holiday to mark the birthday (on August 16th) of Prince Franz-Joseph II of Liechtenstein. 

The small principality is the fourth smallest state in Europe, and is one of the few nations in the world that adheres to a no defense policy, meaning that the country doesn’t have armed forces. Their safety is only guaranteed by a small Police force, which in 2011 counted 91 agents, 34 civilians and 38 paramilitary. 

Their lack of armed forces means that their celebrations of National holidays exclusively revolves around the role played by civilian authorities in the Principality’s life. 

The country is also one of the few in the world that doesn’t have an airport. For that they rely on neighboring countries of Switzerland and Austria. They only have a heliport, which is available for charter flights. 

Liechtenstein adopted a new constitution in 2003, which comprises modifications implemented by Prince Hans-Adam II to insert a veto power for the Head of State. In 2012, a referendum rejected a proposal to revoke the Prince’s veto powers with 76% of the votes.