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Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria

Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria

Austrian archduke
The basics
A.K.A. Karl Ludwig
Gender male
Birth July 30, 1833 (Vienna, Schönbrunn Palace)
Death May 19, 1896 (Vienna)
Mother: Princess Sophie of Bavaria
Father: Archduke Franz Karl of Austria
Siblings: Franz Joseph I of AustriaMaximilian I of MexicoArchduke Ludwig Viktor of Austria
Spouse: Princess Margaretha of SaxonyPrincess Maria Annunciata of Bourbon-Two SiciliesInfanta Maria Theresa of Portugal
Children: Archduchess Margarete Sophie of AustriaArchduchess Elisabeth Amalie of AustriaArchduke Otto of AustriaFranz Ferdinand of AustriaArchduke Ferdinand Karl of AustriaArchduchess Maria Annunciata of Austria
Authority Library of congress id VIAF id
The details

Archduke Karl Ludwig Joseph Maria of Austria (30 July 1833 – 19 May 1896) was the younger brother of Franz Joseph I of Austria (1830–1916), the father of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria (1863–1914), whose assassination ignited World War I, and grandfather of the last emperor, Charles I.


An 1848 portrait of Karl Ludwig by Anton Einsle.

He was born at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, the son of Archduke Franz Karl of Austria (1802–1878) and his wife Sophie of Bavaria (1805–1872). His siblings included Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria and Maximilian, the Emperor of Mexico executed in 1867.

His mother ensured he was raised a devout Roman Catholic by the Vienna Prince-archbishop Joseph Othmar Rauscher, a conviction that evolved into religious mania in his later years.

Though not interested in politics, the 20-year-old joined the Galician government of Count Agenor Romuald Gołuchowski and in 1855 accepted his appointment as Tyrolean stadtholder in Innsbruck, where he took his residence at Ambras Castle. However, he found his authority to exert power restricted by the Austrian cabinet of his cousin Archduke Rainer Ferdinand and Baron Alexander von Bach. He finally laid down the office upon the issue of the 1861 February Patent for a life as patron of the arts and sciences.

As the eldest surviving brother of the Emperor, Karl Ludwig, after the death of his nephew Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria in 1889, became heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A newspaper article appeared shortly after the death of his nephew claiming that the Archduke had renounced his succession rights in favor of his eldest son Franz Ferdinand. This rumor proved to be false.

Marriage and family

Karl Ludwig and his third wife Maria Teresa of Portugal

Karl Ludwig married three times.

His first wife, whom he married on 4 November 1856 at Dresden, was his first cousin Margaretha of Saxony (1840–1858), the daughter of Johann of Saxony (1801–1873) and Amalie Auguste of Bavaria (1801–1877). She died on 15 September 1858 and they had no children.

His second wife, whom he married by proxy on 16 October 1862 at Rome, and in person on 21 October 1862 at Venice, was Princess Maria Annunciata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1843–1871), daughter of Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies (1810–1859) and Maria Theresa of Austria (1816–1867).

They had four children:

  • Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria (1863–1914). Married morganatically to Sophie Chotek; had issue.
  • Archduke Otto Franz of Austria (1865–1906). Married Maria Josepha of Saxony; had issue including Karl I of Austria.
  • Archduke Ferdinand Karl of Austria (1868–1915). Married morganatically to Bertha Czuber; no issue.
  • Archduchess Margarete Sophie of Austria (1870–1902). Married Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg; had issue.

Maria Annunciata died on 4 May 1871.

His third wife, whom he married on 23 July 1873 at Kleinheubach, was Infanta Maria Theresa of Portugal (1855–1944), daughter of Miguel I of Portugal (1802–1866) and Adelaide of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg (1831–1909).

They had two daughters:

  • Archduchess Maria Annunziata of Austria (1876–1961). Abbess of the Theresia Convent in the Hradschin, Prague.
  • Archduchess Elisabeth Amalie of Austria (1878–1960). Married Prince Aloys of Liechtenstein; had issue including Franz Joseph II of Liechtenstein.

Karl Ludwig died of typhoid at Schönbrunn in Vienna returning from a journey to Palestine and Egypt, allegedly after the consumption of contaminated Jordan waters. His widow, Maria Teresa died on 12 February 1944.


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