Franz Joseph II, Prince of Liechtenstein

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Franz Joseph II
Fürst Franz Josef II..jpg
Prince of Liechtenstein
Reign25 July 1938 – 13 November 1989
PredecessorFranz I
SuccessorHans-Adam II
Prime Ministers
Born(1906-08-16)16 August 1906
Schloss Frauenthal,
Deutschlandsberg, Austria-Hungary
Died13 November 1989(1989-11-13) (aged 83)
Grabs, St. Gallen, Switzerland[1][2][3][4]
(m. 1943; died 1989)
Franz Josef Maria Aloys Alfred Karl Johannes Heinrich Michael Georg Ignaz Benediktus Gerhardus Majella
FatherPrince Aloys of Liechtenstein
MotherArchduchess Elisabeth Amalie of Austria
ReligionRoman Catholic

Franz Joseph II (Franz Josef Maria Aloys Alfred Karl Johannes Heinrich Michael Georg Ignaz Benediktus Gerhardus Majella; 16 August 1906 – 13 November 1989) was the reigning Prince of Liechtenstein from 25 July 1938 until his death.[citation needed]

Franz Joseph was the son of Prince Aloys of Liechtenstein and Archduchess Elisabeth Amalie of Austria. He succeeded his childless grand-uncle, Prince Franz I, after his father renounced his right of succession in his favour in 1923.

During his reign women received voting rights for the first time, following a referendum on the topic (among men only) in 1984.

Franz Joseph was an extremely popular sovereign in Liechtenstein. He was the first ruling prince to live full-time in the principality. He also oversaw the economic development of Liechtenstein from a poor agricultural backwater into one of the richest countries (per capita) in the world.

World War II[edit]

Liechtenstein remained neutral throughout World War II, and its neutrality was not violated by any of the combatants.

Just before the end of the war, the Prince granted political asylum to 494 First Russian National Army pro-Axis pro-emperor Vladimir White emigres led by General Boris Smyslovsky.[5]

Marriage and children[edit]

On 7 March 1943, at St. Florin's in Vaduz, Franz Joseph II married Countess Georgina of Wilczek (24 October 1921 – 18 October 1989). They had five children, twelve grandchildren and nineteen great-grandchildren:

Final years[edit]

Franz Joseph handed over most of his powers to his son, Hans-Adam, on 26 August 1984. Franz Joseph II died on 13 November 1989, a mere twenty-six days after his wife. Ruling Liechtenstein for 51 years, he was among the longest-ruling sovereigns in Europe and the longest-serving national leaders in the world at the time of his death.



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Prince Franz Josef Ii Of Liechtenstein Dies". The Washington Post. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  2. ^ "Liechtenstein's Prince Franz Josef II, 83". Los Angeles Times. 15 November 1989.
  3. ^ "Franz Josef of Liechtenstein, 83, A Head of State for 51 Years, Dies". The New York Times. 15 November 1989.
  4. ^ "Principality Grieves as Prince Franz Josef II Buried". Associated Press.
  5. ^ ARGENTINA: Last of the Wehrmacht – Monday, Apr. 13, 1953 Archived 23 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question" (PDF) (in German). p. 231. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  7. ^ Iran Collection
  8. ^ "Erste feierliche Investitur der Schweiz | Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem". Archived from the original on 18 February 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2015.

External links[edit]

Franz Joseph II, Prince of Liechtenstein
Born: 16 August 1906 Died: 13 November 1989
Regnal titles
Preceded by Prince of Liechtenstein
Succeeded by