Thursday, September 8, 2011

Felix von Habsburg, Archduke of Austria, Prince of Hungary (1916-2011)

Felix Friedrich August Maria vom Siege Franz Joseph Peter Karl Anton Robert Otto Pius Michael Benedikt Sebastian Ignatius Marcus d'Aviano
Marcia Tracy explores the life of this former Austrian Archduke.
Born: 31 May 1916
Died: 6 September 2011
Archduke Felix was the third son, and fourth child, and last surviving child of the last Austrian Emperor Charles I and his wife Empress Zita of Austria. He was a member of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. He was a younger brother of the late Crown Prince Otto of Austria.
Archduke Felix was born in the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna the third son of the then heir presumptive to the throne of Austria-Hungary the Archduke Charles and his wife Zita of Bourbon-Parma. He was christened at Schönbrunn on 8 June 1916 in the presence of his great-grand uncle Emperor Franz Joseph while his godfather was his great-uncle King Frederick Augustus III of Saxony, brother of his grandmother Princess Maria Josepha of Saxony. On 21 November 1916 the Emperor Franz Joseph died and Felix's father succeeded as the new Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary.
The young Archduke was less than three years old when the empire of Austria-Hungary collapsed after their defeat in the first World War. As a result of the defeat, Austria and Hungary were declared two separate countries and the Imperial family was forced into exile. The family was orginally exiled to Switzerland, and were later moved to Portugal's island of  Madeira in 1921. His father died there a year later.
In 1937, Felix and his brother Karl were permitted to return to Austria, entering the Theresian Military Academy in Wiener Neustadt. They  became the first Habsburg since the abolition of the monarchy to pursue a career as an officer in the Austrian Army. During the Second World War while in the United States, Felix and his brother Karl Ludwig volunteered to serve in the 101st US Infantry Battalion known as the "Free Austria Battalion". However the battalion was disbanded when a number of exiled Jewish volunteers who made up the majority of force ultimately declined to confirm their enlistment.
Unlike his recently deceased brother Otto, Felix has always refused to renounce his rights to the Austrian throne and membership of the Habsburg family, saying that doing so would violate his human rights. As a result he was banned from entering Austria except for a brief three-day stay in 1989 in order to attend his mother's funeral. As a result he was banned from entering Austria except for a brief three-day stay in 1989 in order to attend his mother's funeral. On 10 March 1996, after Austria had joined the European Union and the concurrent dropping of staffed border checkpoints between Austria and other EU countries, he crossed into the country from Germany and held a press conference the next day to announce his illegal arrival. After his presence became known, he was warned by the Austrian government that he would face prosecution if he ever tried to enter the country illegally again. Ultimately, a deal was reached between Felix, his brother Karl Ludwig and the Austrian government whereby they declared their allegiance to the republic without any reference being made to their rights to the throne or to their membership in the Imperial Family.
In June 1998, in a joint action with his brother Karl Ludwig, Felix attempted to have the properties which were given to their ancestor Maria Theresa of Austria by her husband Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor restored to them after the properties had been taken from the Habsburg family by Adolf Hitlerduring the Anschluss.During his time in exile Archduke Felix has lived in Portugal, Belgium, Mexico and the United States. He lived in the colonia of San Ángel in Mexico Citywhere he passed away in 2011.
Archduke Felix was married civilly on 18 November 1952 at Beaulieu, France, and religiously a day later, to Princess and Duchess Anna-Eugénie of Arenberg (1925–1997).

They had seven children. Their seven children, grandchildren and great grandchildren are:
  1. Archduchess Maria del Pilar of Austria (born 1953) married Vollrad-Joachim Edler von Poschinger (born 1952)
    1. 1 Son, Carl Ludwig, Ritter and Edler of Poschinger
    2. 4 daughters:
      1. Edle Kinga
      2. Edle Maria Benedicta
        1. Maria Benedikca is married to Hubertus Ritter of Burger-Scheidlin and they have 1 son, Lorenz Ritter of Burger-Scheidlin
      3. Edle Antonia Josepha. 
      4. Edle Maria Franziska 
  2. Archduke Carl Philipp (Carlos Felipe) of Austria (born 1954) married first (div 1997) Martina Donath. Married second Annie-Claire Christine Lacrambe (born 1959).
    1. Julian von Habsburg
    2. Count Louis-Damian of Habsburg
  3. Archduke Raimund (Ramon) of Austria (1958–2008) married Bettine Götz (born 1969). They have three children:
    1. Count Felix
    2. Countesses Sophia 
    3. Countess Maria Teresa
  4. Archduchess Myriam of Austria (born 1959) married Jaime Corcuera Acheson (born 1955), a Mexican descendant of the Earls of Gosford. Archduchess Myriam is married to Jaime Corcuera. 
    1. They have 4 sons, Sebastian, Pedro, Felipe and Andres.
    2. Sebastian is engaged to Andrea Villarreal.
  5. Archduke István is married to Archduchess Paola, née Paola Temesvary. 
    1. They have 2 sons and 1 daughter:
      1. Archduke Andreas 
      2. Archduke Pál
      3. Archduchess Marguerite
  6. Archduchess Kinga is married to Freiherr Wolfgang of Erffa. They have 4 daughters and 1 son:
    1. Freiin Zita
    2. Freiin Marie Asunta
    3. Freiin Isabel 
    4. Freiin Constanza
    5.  Freiherr Laszlo
  7. Archduchess Viridis is married to Carl Dunning-Gribble. They have 3 sons and one daughter:
    1.  Carl
    2.  Ferdinand 
    3. Maximilian
    4.  Marie-Charlotte.
Archduke Felix was a Knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece. Along with his brothers Otto and Rudolf, Archduke Felix was a patron for the revived Almanach de Gotha. Archduke Felix resided in Mexico at the time of his death.

He is survived by six of his seven children, 22 grandchildren, 1 great grandchild, and numerous nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews. 

  1. Bridge, Adrian (1996-03-12). "Habsburg seeks right to return"The Independent. Retrieved 2008-02-15
  2. Brook-Shepherd, Gordon (2003). Uncrowned Emperor. Hambledon Continuum. pp. 156
  3. Gedye, Robin (1996-04-15). "Austria to end law barring Habsburgs from family home". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-02-15
  4. Gimson, Andrew (1998-06-01). "Habsburgs seek property 'taken by Nazis'". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-02-15
  5. Lennhoff, Eugene (2007). The Last Five Hours of Austria. p. 258
  6. Lundy, Darryl. "Felix Ferdinand Erzherzog von Österreich". The Peerage. Retrieved 2008-02-15.
  7. "Comité de Patronage". Almanach de Gotha. Archived from the original on 2006-02-11. Retrieved 2008-08-09.

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