Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein, currently the wealthiest European ruler, was born on this day in 1945. His personal fortune is estimated at around 3.5 to 4 billion U.S. dollars.
Indeed, according to some estimates the Liechtenstein family fortune amounts to around 7.6 billion dollars. All in all, Hans-Adam II is up to 8 times wealthier than British queen Elizabeth II.
The sovereign prince Hans Adam II rules a state of over 36,000 inhabitants. The land area of Liechtenstein is some 16,000 hectares, and it is located between Austria and Switzerland. It is interesting to note that the ruling prince in Liechtenstein wields a lot of power, far more than, for example, Elizabeth II in the UK.
Namely, the prince’s powers were increased in 2003, and allow him to dismiss the government and parliament, and to nominate judges. The voters confirmed the strengthening of the prince’s authority in 2003, so that the British BBC called this event the return of the “absolute monarchy” to Liechtenstein.
The Liechtenstein family owns considerable wealth outside its country. For example, they own a number of manors and palaces in Austria as well as several renowned vineyards. It is interesting that the Hilti company, which produces tools and construction equipment is the largest individual employer in Liechtenstein, and the Liechtenstein family owns a 25% share in it.