Prince Constantin, the youngest son of the reigning monarch of Liechtenstein, died “unexpectedly” at the age of 51 on Tuesday.
The Princely House of Liechtenstein announced the sudden passing in a statement Wednesday. The cause of death was not revealed.
Prince Constantin was seventh in line for the throne.
The prince’s eldest brother, Hereditary Prince Alois, is first in line to succeed their father Hans-Adam II, the reigning Prince of Liechtenstein. Liechtenstein is a principality, so their monarchs use the title of Prince, not King.
Prince Constantin leaves behind his wife, Princess Marie of Liechtenstein, and their three children: Prince Moritz, Princess Georgina and Prince Benedikt. The prince’s wife and children have yet to comment publicly on his death.
Two days of national mourning are underway until Friday, as the country pays its respects to the late prince.
Local paper Vaterland reported that state parliament, called the Landtag, held a minute of silence to commemorate the prince. Churches across the country rang their bells in his memory.
An electronic mourning book has been set up for the public to leave their condolences.
The statement on Prince Constantin’s death added that he served as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Liechtenstein Group AG and was a member of the Board of Directors of Liechtenstein Group Holding AG.
The Liechtenstein Group is a private banking and asset management company owned by the Princely House of Liechtenstein. It is the largest organization of its kind to be owned by a royal family.
In a statement on its website, the Liechtenstein Group wrote that Prince Constantin’s death “comes as a terrible shock to all those who knew him, and the Liechtenstein Group is in deep mourning.”
Liechtenstein is rated as one of the most solvent countries in the world and has a built a strong reputation around its financial services sector. Prince Hans-Adam II was a successful banker before ascending to the throne. His reform of the Liechtenstein Group from a small local bank to an international holding company has helped make him the wealthiest monarch in Europe.
The small country of Liechtenstein is nestled between Austria and Switzerland and is home to around 40,000 residents. As a constitutional monarchy, Liechtenstein’s head of state is the reigning prince. Compared to other constitutional monarchies in Europe, the Prince of Liechtenstein wields a relatively large amount of sovereign power.
In 2003, a referendum was passed giving the Princely House the power to veto legislation and implement emergency powers to dismiss the democratically-elected Landtag. The referendum also gave citizens the right to call a vote of confidence to abolish the monarchy if they so choose.
The referendum was strongly endorsed by Prince Hans-Adam II. He frequently threatened to relocate to Austria if his wishes were not granted.
In 2004, Hans-Adam II handed over the day-to-day managing of state affairs to his eldest son. Together he and Hereditary Prince Alois represent the Princely House.