On 15 August the Principality of Liechtenstein celebrates its national day, Staatsfeiertag, for the 77th time. Some unfortunate but understandable changes this year. More about that later. However already yesterday, 30 July, there was something to celebrate. Fürst Hans Adam II and Fürstin Marie von und zu Liechtenstein celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. At the time Hereditary Prince, Hans Adam married Countess Marie Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau at the St. Florin Church in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. In a wedding anniversary interview in the newspapers Volksblatt and Vaterland the couple recalls its first meeting. Fürstin Marie recalls that their fathers visited the same school in Vienna, Austria, and already knew each other. Her aunt had married Prince Hans of Liechtenstein. One day, Hans Adam was only 16, Marie almost five years older, Marie and her family visited their aunt in Vaduz. Fürstin Gina, Hans Adam’s mother, invited them to the castle. Hans-Adam says: “I knew right away: I want to marry her.” And he got what he wanted, six years later. More about the interview can be found at Luxarazzi.
No spectacular celebrations this time, just some private time with the family and a mass. But the wedding itself in 1967 was quite a big event. The bride wore a dress by the couturier Jacques Heim from Paris. Thousants of people cheered the couple and their guests, the “Volksblatt” recalls. A short video can be found here. The booklet “Julies Secrets from the Princely House of Liechtenstein” from princely cook Julie Hahnl recalls that Fürstin Gina, Mr Felix Real (proprietor of a known Vaduz-Hotel) and herself worked for over four months on the preparations for the dinner. There were more than 1000 guests that had to be fed for three days. Needed was lots of food for the cold buffet for 450 guests, a mixed buffet for 600 people at lunchtime. The wedding dinner at the inner courtyard was attended by 140 people, while 230 more were seated indoors.
On 15 August the people of Liechtenstein might have the chance to congratulate the princely couple with their wedding anniversary. But if other visitors will get the chance too? The programme for the national day (Staatsfeiertag):
- 11.30am: Official act of state next to Vaduz Castle. Speeches by a.o. Hereditary Prince Alois.
- 12.30pm-2.30pm: Aperitif at Vaduz Castle.
- Afternoon: celebrations and funfair in the centre of Vaduz.
- 9.15pm: Lighting of mountain-top fires and torch-lit procession.
- 10.00pm: Firework display in Vaduz.
- Party in the centre of Vaduz.
The aperitif in the Rose Garden of Vaduz Castle is hosted by Fürst Hans Adam II and Fürstin Marie. The entire population is invited to attend. Since a few years security measures are more extensive than previously. Bags are being searched, and there are also traffic restrictions around Vaduz Castle. New is a ticket regulation for the aperitif. The reason according to the organization is the gaining in popularity among domestic and foreign guests. Liechtenstein citizens therefore have less chance to get in touch with the princely couple. Hereditary Prince Alois has thus decided that only people with a ticket will get access to the Rose Garden. Tickets can be ordered online as off 1 August, but you need the codes which are printed in the information booklets about the national day that are sent out to the citizens and inhabitants of Liechtenstein. People without a ticket will be allowed to attend the aperitif in the area next to the Rose Garden. But the chance for foreign royalty watchers to have a short meeting with any of the royals has probably become rather limited now.
Thanks to Arjan for being allowed to use some of his photos of Staatsfeiertag 2016. His report from last year with more pictures can be found at Luxarazzi.