Lichtenstein Royals Hosted the Annual Meeting of Heads of States of German-Speaking Nations

Liechtenstein royals hosted annual meeting of heads of state

It's so rare to hear news from the Liechtenstein royals. Apart from the lack of official social media accounts, the Princely House of Liechtenstein seems so isolated among the reigning royal houses in Europe. They rarely graced headlines. And press news about them rarely made its way to the international media. 

So this latest news about them sounds like a grand treat to royal watchers.

This year, the Hereditary Prince and Princess of Liechtenstein, Prince Alois and Princess Sophie, hosted the annual meeting of the heads of states of German-speaking nations - Belgium, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and Switzerland. The president of Austria declined to attend for personal reason.

Liechtenstein royals hosted annual meeting of heads of state
The delegates of this year's meeting were welcomed by the Hereditary Prince couple to the family's vineyard

This meeting is held annually in one of the six participating countries since 2004. On September 12 and 13, Liechtenstein played host. The participants - presidents of Germany and Switzerland, the Crown Heads of Belgium and Luxembourg - King Philippe and Grand Duke Henri, and their respective spouses, were welcomed by Prince Alois and Princess Sophie to the breathtaking wine-producing vineyard owned by the Sovereign Prince of Liechtenstein - the Herawingert.

The Herawingert vineyard where the family's wine cellar, Hofkellerei

The Herawingert is probably the most traditional and most important vineyard in the Principality of Liechtenstein. With its four hectares of contiguous vineyards, it is considered the heart of viticulture in the state and is one of the best vineyards in the Rhine Valley. 

Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Ma Teresa of Luxembourg and Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie

Due to its mild climate, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay find ideal conditions for the cultivation and ripening of the grapes, according to its official website. The Princely vineyard produced wines under the label, Hofkellerei, which has been family-owned since 1436.

Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein

The Sovereign Prince and Head of State of Liechtenstein is His Serene Highness, Prince Hans-Adam II, reigning since 1989, however, he has ceded the affairs of the state to his first-born son and designated heir to the throne, His Serene Highness Hereditary Prince Alois, since 2012. 

The Princely House of Liechtenstein maintained the Salic law, where females and their descendants are barred from succeeding the throne. Prince Hans-Adam II said there's no reason for changing the succession law.

Annual Meeting

Only the president of Austria was not in attendance. Austrian Federal President Prof. Alexander Van der Bellen, did not attend due to a conflict with his schedule, the presidential election campaign in Austria. 

The theme for this year's meeting was: "Philanthropy and the community - framework conditions for efficient interaction between politics, business and philanthropists". 

The participants then visited Schaan, the innovation center of Hilti AG, the Liechtenstein company that specializes construction and building tools. They have also discussed the impact of war in Ukraine to their respective countries.

Vaduz Castle in Liechtenstein, the residence of the Sovereign Prince of Liechtenstein

Their first day of the meeting ended with the traditional dinner at Vaduz Castle hosted by the Hereditary Prince couple. 

At Vaduz Castle from left: Grand Duchess Ma. Teresa and Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, Hereditary Prince Alois, King Philippe of Belgium, Hereditary Princess Sophie, and Queen Mathilde
The heads of state and their spouses at Vaduz Castle

On the second day, the participants visited the University of Liechtenstein in Vaduz, for a working session on philanthropy and how politics, enterprises and philanthropic works can collaborate effectively together.

The heads of state of German-speaking countries, their respective spouses and other personalities
Cousins: King Philippe of Belgium and Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg are first cousins through King Leopold III of Belgium

Photo credit: Government Information and Communication Vaduz, Belgian Royal Palace, and Courgrandducale instagram


Hereditary Princess Sophie was born Her Royal Highness Duchess Sophie of Bavaria, eldest daughter of Prince Max, Duke of Bavaria. They belonged to the now-defunct House of Wittelsbach, the former ruling house of the Kingdom of Bavaria in Germany. 

The fairytale castle, Neuschwanstein Castle, was built during the reign of King Ludwig II, often referred to as the Mad King. The last Bavarian King, Ludwig III, was Princess Sophie's great-great-grandfather.

Prince Alois and Princess Sophie attending the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden in 2010

Princess Sophie is the heiress to the Jacobite (referring to King James II, the ousted monarch in Britain) succession of the British throne because her uncle, Prince Franz, the Duke of Bavaria, is unmarried and childless. Prince Franz is the most senior living male descendant of King Charles I of the United Kingdom.

Charles I's Catholic descendants were barred from succeeding the British throne through the Act of Settlement 1701. The British throne eventually was inherited by the protestant descendants of King Charles I's niece, Princess Sophia of Hanover, where the current British royal family directly descended.

Liechtenstein royals have a courtesy title of His or Her Serene Highness but Princess Sophie was allowed to retain her courtesy title since birth, Her Royal Highness, which is superior to HSH. 

The succession to the Liechtenstein throne is restricted to male descendants only. Females and their descendants are not eligible to inherit the throne, making Liechtenstein the only remaining royal house in Europe to maintain such succession law.

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