ARCHDUKE OTTO VON HABSBURG (1912-2011), SON OF KARL I, EMPEROR OF AUSTRIA AND KING OF HUNGARY HAS DIED
The Archduke Otto von Habsburg, eldest son and heir of the last Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, Karl I, and his wife, Zita of Bourbon-Parma, has died at the age of 98. He was baptized with an impressive list of names: Franz Joseph Otto Robert Maria Anton Karl Max Heinrich Sixtus Xavier Felix Renatus Ludwig Gaetan Pius Ignatius. The Archduke was born into a long-vanished world when the great European dynasties, the Habsburgs, Hohenzollerns and Romanovs, still graced the thrones of Austria-Hungary, Germany and Russia. Otto’s great-great uncle was none other than the Emperor Franz Josef. Otto’s father, Karl I, was beatified in 2004 by Pope John Paul II. Otto was set to succeed eventually his father in the line of succession, but the infamous assassination in Sarajevo in June 1014, of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, precipitated World War I. By the end of the war, the Habsburgs, Hohenzollerns and Romanovs had been toppled from their thrones.
An erudite man, who spoke some seven languages fluently, Archduke Otto lived through some of the most significant events in European history. Besides the First World War and the fall of the ruling dynasties including his own, the Archduke opposed Hitler in his attempt to annex Austria. As The Daily Telegraph’s obituary of the Archduke put it: “Not for nothing did the Führer call the triumphant march-in of March 12 1938 ‘Operation Otto’.” The Archduke also opposed Stalin’s occupation of Eastern Europe. Archduke Otto, whose family had ruled a multi-ethnic and multi-national empire, was an early advocate of a united Europe and was a supporter of the European Union. He served as a member of the European Parliament for two decades. Archduke Otto married Princess Regina of Saxe-Meiningen in 1951. She predeceased him in 2010. They were the parents of five daughters and two sons.
Here is a link to the Archduke Otto’s obituary in the following sites:
The Daily Telegraph: