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Archduke Franz Karl of Austria
Austrian archduke

Archduke Franz Karl of Austria

Archduke Franz Karl of Austria
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Austrian archduke
A.K.A. Franz Karl
Was Archduke Noble
From Austria
Type Royals
Gender male
Birth 17 December 1802, Vienna, Austria
Death 8 March 1878, Vienna, Austria (aged 75 years)
Star sign Sagittarius
Mother: Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily
Father: Francis I of Austria
Siblings: Ferdinand I of AustriaArchduke Johann Nepomuk of AustriaArchduke Joseph Franz of AustriaArchduchess Clementina of AustriaMarie LouiseDuchess of ParmaArchduchess Maria Anna of AustriaArchduchess Marie Caroline of AustriaMaria Leopoldina of Austria
Spouse: Princess Sophie of Bavaria
Children: Franz Joseph I of AustriaMaximilian I of MexicoArchduke Karl Ludwig of AustriaArchduchess Maria Anna of AustriaArchduke Ludwig Viktor of Austria
The details (from wikipedia)


Archduke Franz Karl Joseph of Austria (17 December 1802 – 8 March 1878) from the House of Habsburg was father of two emperors (Franz Joseph I of Austria and Maximilian I of Mexico) as well as the grandfather of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, whose assassination sparked the hostilities that led to the outbreak of World War I, and the great-grandfather of the last Habsburg emperor Karl I.


Franz Karl at age 75, 1878

Early life and marriage

He was born in Vienna, the third son of Emperor Francis II (I) by his second marriage with Princess Maria Theresa from the House of Bourbon, daughter of King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies and Maria Carolina of Habsburg-Lorraine. On 4 November 1824 in Vienna he married Princess Sophie of Bavaria from the House of Wittelsbach, a daughter of King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria by his second wife Caroline of Baden (Sophie's paternal half-sister, Caroline Augusta of Bavaria was by this time Franz Karl's stepmother, having married his thrice-widowed father in 1816.) The Wittelsbach condoned the unappealing manners of her husband in consideration of the incapability of his elder brother Ferdinand and Sophie's chance to become Austrian Empress.

Franz Karl was an unambitious and generally ineffectual man, although he was together with his uncle Archduke Louis a member of the Geheime Staatskonferenz council, which after the death of Emperor Francis II ruled the Austrian Empire in the stead of his mentally ill brother Ferdinand from 1835 to 1848. The decisions however were actually made by the Minister of State Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich and his rival Count Franz Anton von Kolowrat-Liebsteinsky. His wife Sophie had already given up her ambitions, when she urged Franz Karl to renounce his claims to the throne at the time of his brother's abdication on 2 December 1848, allowing their eldest son Franz Joseph I to take the throne.

Death and burial

Archduke Franz Karl died in Vienna in 1878, six years after the death of his wife. He is buried at the Imperial Crypt at the Capuchin Church. Franz Karl was the last Habsburg whose viscera were entombed at the Ducal Crypt of St. Stephen's Cathedral and whose heart was placed at the Herzgruft of the Augustinian Church according to a centuries-long family rite.

Honours and awards

He received:


  • Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece
  • Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Stephen of Hungary


  •  Baden :
    • Knight of the Order of Loyalty
    • Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Zähringer Lion
  •  Kingdom of Bavaria : Knight of the Order of Saint Hubert
  •  Kingdom of Hanover :
    • Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Guelphic Order
    • Knight of the Order of St. George (Hanover)
  •  Grand Duchy of Hesse : Knight of the Order of Louis
  • Ernestine Duchies : Knight Grand Cross of the Saxe-Ernestine House Order
  •  Prussia :
    • Knight of the Order of the Black Eagle
    • Knight, First Class of the Order of the Red Eagle
  •  Kingdom of Saxony : Knight of the Order of the Rue Crown
  •  Württemberg : Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown (Württemberg)


  •  Empire of Brazil : Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Southern Cross
  •  Kingdom of France : Knight of the Order of the Holy Spirit
  •  Kingdom of Greece : Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer
  •  Duchy of Parma Senator of the Grand Cross with Collar of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George
  •  Russian Empire :
    • Knight of the Order of St. Andrew
    • Knight of the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky (Russia)
    • Knight of the Order of St. Anna (Russia)
    • (Poland) : Knight of the Order of the White Eagle
  •  Sweden : Knight of the Order of the Seraphim
  •  Two Sicilies : Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Ferdinand and of Merit


Name Birth Death Notes
By Sophie, Princess of Bavaria (27 January 1805 – 28 May 1872; married on 4 November 1824 in St. Augustine's Church, Vienna)
Franz Joseph 18 August 1830 21 November 1916 Succeeded as Emperor of Austria;
married his first cousin Elisabeth, Duchess in Bavaria, and had issue
Maximilian 6 July 1832 19 June 1867 Proclaimed Emperor of Mexico
executed by a firing squad
married Charlotte, Princess of Belgium, no issue
Karl Ludwig 30 July 1833 19 May 1896 Married 1) his first cousin Margaretha, Princess of and Duchess in Saxony, (1840–1858) from 1856 to 1858, no issue, married 2) to Maria Annunziata, Princess of the Two-Sicilies (1843–1871) from 1862 to 1871, had issue (three sons and one daughter) and married 3) to Maria Theresia, Infanta of Portugal, (1855–1944), from 1873 to 1899, had issue (two daughters)
Maria Anna 27 October 1835 5 February 1840 Died in childhood, no issue
Stillborn son 24 October 1840 24 October 1840
Ludwig Viktor 15 May 1842 18 January 1919 Died unmarried, no issue


The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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