Liechtenstein has entered a period of mourning for seven days following the death of Princess Marie aged 81. Marie, who passed away on Saturday, had suffered a stroke on Wednesday and was hospitalised.
Her death announcement stated that she received the last sacraments before passing away peacefully in hospital in Garbs, Switzerland, with her family members by her side.
Marie was the wife of Prince Hans-Adam II, the reigning Prince of Liechtenstein. Together, the couple shared four children and 15 grandchildren.
Flags at Vaduz Castle, the official royal residence, have been lowered to half-mast while the government has also asked for flags at public buildings to be flown at half-mast. The Prime Minister of Liechtenstein, Daniel Risch, has led the tributes to the late Princess, writing on Twitter: “I offer my heartfelt condolences to the royal family.”
Marie, the daughter of Count Ferdinand Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau and his wife Countess Henriette Caroline of Ledebur-Wicheln, was born in April 1940 in Prague. She married Prince Hans-Adam II, her second cousin once removed, in July 1967 in Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein.
They went on to welcome their first child Hereditary Prince Alois, who has been regent of Liechtenstein since 2004, followed by Prince Maximilian, Prince Constantin and Princess Tatjana. Because Liechtenstein bars women from inheriting the throne, Tatjana does not fall in the line of succession.
Mother-of-four Marie was involved in many organizations within Liechtenstein, with her focus being on education, culture and the arts. She served as president of the Liechtenstein Red Cross from 1985 to 2015 as well as being a patron of the Red Cross. She was also a member of Liechtensteinische Gesellschaft für Umweltschutz, Liechtenstein’s society for environmental protection.
The principality of Liechtenstein covers a 62-square mile area nestled between Switzerland and Austria. In 1921, Liechtenstein became a constitutional monarchy run by hereditary princes with real, not just symbolic, power.
A new constitution – much of which remains valid today – established a single-house parliament to which all 25 members are elected by the populace for four-year terms. But while the legislators draw up the laws, it is the reigning prince who ultimately approves them.