Princess Marie von und zu Liechtenstein, née Countess Marie Aglaë Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau, is the current Princess Consort of Liechtenstein as wife of Prince Hans-Adam II, since his accession to the throne on 13 November 1989.
Family Background, Childhood, and Education
Countess Marie Aglaë Bonaventura Maria Theresia Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau was born in Prague (then Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, now Czech Republic) on 14 April 1940; she is the fourth child and second daughter of the seven children of Count Ferdinand Carl Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau (1907-1969) and his wife Countess Henriette Caroline, née Countess von Ledebur-Wicheln (1910-2002).
Her paternal grandparents were Count Ferdinand Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau (1866-1916) and Countess Aglaë, née Princess von Auersperg (1868-1919); her maternal grandparents were Count Eugen von Ledebur-Wicheln (1873-1945) and Countess Eleonore, née Countess Larisch von Moennich (1888-1975). Among her relatives, her paternal uncle Ulrich succeeded in 1930 as Fürst Kinsky von Wchnitz und Tettau, while in 1936 her maternal aunt Karoline married Prince Johannes von und zu Liechtenstein, a cousin of the late Fürst Franz Josef II, and their daughter Barbara is married to Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia, son of Prince Paul, Regent from 1934 to 1945.
Count Ferdinand Carl and his family lived in the Protectorate until the end of World War II, when they were forced to leave the country (which in the same year, 1945, changed its name, becoming Czechoslovakia), and settled in Germany. Countess Marie attended elementary school from 1946 to 1949 in Ering am Inn, and then she moved to the Lioba Sisters’ boarding school at Kloster Wald (Wald Cloister) in Württemberg, where she studied for eight years and graduated in 1957.
After graduation, the young Countess spent an extended period in England, in order to perfect her English; then she resumed her studies, attending the Academy for Applied Arts at the University of Munich, where she graduated after three years. She then moved to Paris where she improved her knowledge of French, before returning for the last time to Germany, where she found employment in Dachau as industrial designer for a printing house.
Princess of Liechtenstein
In 1965 Countess Marie became engaged to the then 20-year-old Hereditary Prince Hans-Adam von und zu Liechtenstein, who is both her third cousin on his paternal side and her second cousin once removed on his maternal side. They were married two years later, on 30 July 1967, in St. Florin Church, Vaduz, and became parents of four children: Alois, the present Hereditary Prince, born on 11 June 1968, married Duchess Sophie in Bavaria in 1993; Maximilian, aka Max, born on 16 May 1969, married Angela Gisela Brown in 2000 (Prince Max is Chief Executive Officer of the Liechtenstein Global Trust); Constantin, born on 15 March 1972, married Countess Maria Gabriele Kálnoky de Köröspatak in 1999; and Tatjana, born on 10 April 1973, married Philipp von Lattorff in 1999. Their children have made Marie and Hans-Adam grandparents 14 times.
Like her parents-in-law, the hereditary couple settled in Vaduz Castle, where they brought up their children and where they still live.
After her marriage, Princess Marie dropped her career as designer in order to dedicate herself to her growing family and her duties first as Hereditary Princess and then as wife of the Reigning Prince. On 16 August 1984 her father-in-law Prince Franz Josef turned over his executive powers to Hereditary Prince Hans-Adam, who acted as regent for the following five years, until he became Reigning Prince on the death of Franz Josef on 13 November 1989.
Princess Marie’s main activities are concentrated in social issues and institutions in the Principality; in particular she pays attention to cultural, educational and artistic issues. In 1985 she took over the presidency of Liechtenstein Red Cross, founded 40 years before and presided over by her mother-in-law Princess Gina; Princess Marie also served as Honorary President of the Society for Orthopaedic Aid from 1983 until 2005.
On 15 August 2004 Prince Hans-Adam turned over the regency to Hereditary Prince Alois, in order to better prepare him for succession to the Throne; he did, however, remain Head of State and retain the Headship of the princely family. Princess Marie and Prince Hans-Adam now live in retirement in Vaduz Castle, but they still attend the main public events in Liechtenstein and take journeys abroad representing the Principality and the princely family.
Official press photo by Presse- und Informationsamt, Vaduz; used with permission.