Franz Joseph II, Prince of Liechtenstein

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Francis Joseph II
Fürst Franz Josef II..jpg
Franz Joseph II official portrait
Prince of Liechtenstein
Reign 25 July 1938 – 13 November 1989
Predecessor Franz I
Successor Hans-Adam II
Prime Ministers
Spouse Countess Georgina von Wilczek
Issue Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein
Prince Phillipp
Prince Nikolaus
Princess Nora
Prince Wenzel
Full name
Franz Josef Maria Aloys Alfred Karl Johannes Heinrich Michael Georg Ignaz Benediktus Gerhardus Majella
House House of Liechtenstein
Father Prince Aloys of Liechtenstein
Mother Archduchess Elisabeth Amalie of Austria
Born (1906-08-16)16 August 1906
Schloss Frauenthal,
Deutschlandsberg, Austria-Hungary
Died 13 November 1989(1989-11-13) (aged 83)
Grabs, Switzerland
Burial St. Florian Cathedral,
Vaduz, Liechtenstein
Religion Roman Catholicism

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

Franz Joseph was the son of Prince Aloys of Liechtenstein and Archduchess Elisabeth Amalie of Austria. He succeeded his childless great-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 never violated by any of the combatants.

Just end of the war the Prince granted an politicial asylum for 494 Russian White emigres led by General Boris Smyslovsky.[1]

However, in 2005, it was revealed that Jewish labourers from the Strasshof concentration camp, provided by the SS, had worked on estates in Austria owned by Liechtenstein's Princely House.[2]

Marriage and children[edit]

On 7 March 1943, at Vaduz, Franz Joseph II married Countess Georgina von Wilczek (24 October 1921 – 18 October 1989). They had five children:

Final years[edit]

Franz Joseph handed over most of his powers to his son, Hans-Adam, on 26 August 1984.[4] Franz Joseph II died on 13 November 1989, a mere twenty-six days after his wife. Ruling Liechtenstein for 51 years, he was the longest-ruling sovereign in Europe at the time of his death.


National honour
Foreign honours



See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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