|A.K.A.||Archduke Rainer the Elder|
|Birth||September 30, 1783 (Pisa, Province of Pisa, Tuscany, Italy)|
|Death||January 16, 1853 (Bolzano, South Tyrol, Trentino-South Tyrol, Italy)|
Rainer Joseph of Austria (30 September 1783 – 16 January 1853) was a Viceroy of the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia from 1818 to 1848. He was also an Archduke of Austria, Prince Royal of Hungary and Bohemia.
Although Rainer suffered from a mild form of epilepsy, this did not visibly interfere with his military career.
Rainer served as Viceroy of the Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia from 1818 to 1848. The position made Rainer and his wife the head of the Austrian court at Milan. Rainer politics were increasingly unpopular, the Italians resented him for their lack of political freedom and for collecting revenues with so little benefit to them.
Throughout the 1840s, the political situation worsened to such an extent that in 1847, Metternich resurrected his 1817 plans for an Italian chancellery by sending his right-hand man count Charles-Louis de Ficquelmont to Milan as acting Chancellor of Lombardy–Venetia to restore the Austrian rule while taking over Northern Italy's administration. But only a few months later, Ficquelmont was recalled to Vienna to assume the leadership of the Council of war as the Revolutions of 1848 started.
Archduke Rainer's mistakes as well as the lack of understanding between Rainer and Feldmarschall Graf Radetzky, were blamed for the disasters of the Italian Revolution of 1848.
Marriage and children
He married at Prague on 28 May 1820 Princess Elisabeth of Savoy (13 April 1800 – 25 December 1856). She was the sister of the Prince of Carignano, who would in 1831 become King of Sardinia as King Charles Albert. She was also a granddaughter of the late former Duke of the Baltic principality of Courland.
- Maria Karolina (6 February 1821 – 23 Jan 1844) – unmarried, no issue
- Adelaide (3 June 1822 – 20 January 1855) – wife of Victor Emmanuel II, from 1849 king of Sardinia
- Leopold Ludwig (6 June 1823 – 24 May 1898) – Oberkommandant der Marine ('High Commander of the Navy') from 1864 to 1868
- Ernst Karl (8 August 1824 – 4 April 1899), Feldmarschalleutnant
- Sigismund Leopold (7 January 1826 – 15 December 1891), Feldmarschalleutnant
- Rainer Ferdinand (11 January 1827 – 27 January 1913) – Austrian Minister President 1859–61; his visit to the Hotel Greif in Wels is commemorated by a wall plaque there. Married Archduchess Maria Karoline of Austria (1825-1915). No issue.
- Heinrich Anton (9 May 1828 – 30 November 1891), Feldmarschalleutnant
- Maximilian Karl (16 January 1830 – 16 March 1839)
The Revolution of 1848 forced Rainer and Elisabeth from the court at Milan; when the insurrection was quelled, Radetzky was named Rainer's successor as Viceroy. Although his children, except Adelheid, are buried in the Imperial Crypt in Vienna, he and his wife are buried at the Maria Himmelfahrtskirche in Bolzano.
Through his daughter Adelaide, Rainer is an ancestor of the entire royal family of Italy which reigned from 1861 to 1946.
Titles, styles, honours and arms
Titles and styles
- 30 September 1783 – 11 August 1804 His Royal Highness Archduke Ranier Joseph of Austria
- 11 August 1804 – 16 January 1853 His Imperial & Royal Highness Archduke Ranier Joseph of Austria