Snow-bearded, 84-year-old Prince Franz Paul I, ruler of the 65-square-mile principality of Liechtenstein, which snuggles up in the central Alps between Switzerland and Greater Germany (see map), has not visited his tiny nation for five years. He has run his Government by long-distance from Vienna and his Czechoslovakian estates. Last week the aged ruler suddenly abdicated at his hunting lodge near Semmering, Austria, named his 31-year-old third cousin, mustached, dapper Prince Franz Joseph, as his successor.

While the old Prince assured his 10,200 German-speaking subjects that he had abdicated because of his...

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