Skip to main content

The Archduke Otto

Upon his first official visit to Hungary in the 1970s, the Archduke Franz Josef Otto Robert Maria Anton Karl Max Heinrich Sixtus Xavier Felix Renatus Ludwig Gaetan Pius Ignatius, heir to the Imperial throne of Austria and the Apostolic Royal Throne of Hungary, the Royal Thrones of Bohemia, Dalmatia, Slavonia, Croatia, Lodemeria and Illyria. Heir to the titular kingdom of Jerusalem, the grand Duchies of Tuscany and Krakow, the Duchies of Lorraine, Salzburg, Styria, Carniola and Bukovina, the Grand Principality of Transylvania, the Margravate of Moravia and many dozens of other titles, was greeted with a rapturous reception.

Indeed he was asked to extend his stay and attend an international football match. He was told it was Austria-Hungary. Without missing a beat he asked "who are we playing?". The -by then- civilian "Archduke Otto" was more usually referred to simply as Dr. von Habsburg, yet he still carried some of the mystique of the lost Imperial era as well as a puckish sense of humour. Though born to the imperial purple, his family were to lose every throne that they had held during the course of his long life. Yet after the early death of his father, the last Habsburg Emperor, Karl, it was Otto who was to carry the burden and expectations of his family and of many millions in his lost realms.

His dignity and determination in the face of Hitlerian contempt for Austrian independence won him many friends, and his friendship with President Roosevelt secured Austria's status as a victim, rather than as a co-aggressor in the Second World War. He was to become a passionate supporter of European Co-operation and was, perhaps, the most distinguished member of the European Parliament for many years.

In 1989 it was a picnic on the Austrian-Hungarian border organised by the church and by Dr. Habsburg's own pan-European movement that was to be the occasion of the fall of the iron curtain: so even in our own day the Pope and the Emperor could face down the heirs of Stalin.

Although it was inevitable that he would always face controversy, his mistakes were few and as the years passed, the historical reassessment of the the legacy of the Empire grew more positive. In 2004, Dr. Habsburg's father, the Emperor Karl, was beatified, which was not only a vindication of the last Emperor's personal qualities, but something of a condemnation of those who persecuted him. It was certainly an especially moving day for the the last Crown Prince.

The death of the Archduke Otto at the age of 98 is truly the end of a long era. He will be much missed.

Comments

Richard T said…
It is sad indeed that the Archduke Otto has died. It just leaves our own dear Crown Prince Charles left as the heir to a grand monarchy. Although he shows little of the intelligence and charm of Otto von Habsburg, he does have much of the Bourbons about him in his extravagance and his sense of his own prospective majesty. Truly a man who has leanrt nothing and forgotten nothing.
Vergil said…
u r g e n t

to her majesty - queen elisabeth II.

for the reasons that his imperial higness, the archduke of austria, otto von habsburg-lothringen, firstborn son from the last austrian emperor, died on 4. July 2011, i should like to point out that the funeral of him takes place on 16. july 2011, in vienna.

with all due respect allow me to say, that many peoples in austria and europe expects that you will be take an active part at his funeral - personally!

yours faithfully,

Popular posts from this blog

Cicero ReDux

By Special Request of Baroness Scott and Mark Valladares... Cicero's Songs returns: bigger, longer and uncut.
October 1st marked the half way point of the Estonian Presidency of the European Union.  Perhaps for many people such an anniversary is of passing interest at best.  Yet the conduct of the Estonian Presidency is reinforcing just how forward looking and innovative the most northerly of the Baltic States has become.
Estonia is a country that wants to live in the future, and with its openness and innovation, that future seems a lot closer than almost anywhere else in Europe
It is not that Estonia does not “do” the past: the picturesque cobbled streets of old Tallinn have tourist crowds a-plenty enjoying the mediaeval architecture in an Indian summer of sunshine and blue skies.  The real point is that Estonia refuses to be a prisoner of its past. Lennart Meri, Estonia’s President in the 1990s- who spent years of his childhood in Siberia- once told me that the country had to conc…

Trump and Brexit are the Pearl Harbor and the Fall of Singapore in Russia's Hybrid war against the West.

In December 1941, Imperial Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor. After the subsequent declaration of war, within three days, the Japanese had sunk the British warships, HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, and the rapid Japanese attack led to the surrender of Hong Kong on Christmas Day 1941 and the fall of Singapore only two months after Pearl Harbor. These were the opening blows in the long war of the Pacific that cost over 30,000,000 lives and was only ended with the detonations above Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

"History doesn't often repeat itself, but it rhymes" is an aphorism attributed to Mark Twain, and in a way it seems quite appropriate when we survey the current scene. 

In 1941, Imperial Japan, knowing its own weakness, chose a non-conventional form of war, the surprise attack. Since the end of his first Presidential term, Vladimir Putin, knowing Russia's weakness, has also chosen non-conventional ways to promote his domestic powe…

The American National nightmare becomes a global nightmare

It is a basic contention of this blog that Donald J Trump is not fit for office.

A crooked real estate developer with a dubious past and highly questionable finances. he has systematically lied his way into financial or other advantage. His personal qualities include vulgarity, sexual assault allegations and fraudulent statements on almost every subject. 

He lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes.

He has, of course, been under criminal investigation practically since before he took the oath of office. The indictment of some of closest advisers is just the beginning. His track record suggests that in due course there is no action he will not take, whether illegal or unconstitutional in order to derail his own inevitable impeachment and the indictments that must surely follow the successful investigation of Robert Mueller into his connections with Russia.

However, all of that is a matter for the American people. 

It is also a matter for the American people that Trump is cheating…