Coat of arms of the Princes of Liechtenstein: Aristocratic elites under the double eagle
This design for an armorial standard from around 1615 shows the arms of the Liechtensteins, an aristocratic family whose meteoric rise at the beginning of the seventeenth century exemplifies the opportunities that offered themselves to loyal aristocratic supporters of Habsburg politics.
Raised to the rank of princes in 1608, the Liechtensteins, whose ancestral estates are situated in the borderlands of Lower Austria and Moravia, rose to become one of the richest and most politically influential families at the Habsburg Court. Thanks to their acquisition of the mediatized demesnes of Schellenberg and Vaduz on the upper reaches of the Rhine, the Liechtensteins attained the status of sovereign imperial princes in 1719. The principality of Liechtenstein still exists today as a small but sovereign state.