Archduke Franz Karl of Austria

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Franz Karl
Archduke of Austria
Waldmüller Erzherzog Franz Carl 1839.jpg
Franz Karl at age 37, 1839
Spouse Princess Sophie of Bavaria
Issue Franz Joseph I
Maximilian I of Mexico
Archduke Karl Ludwig
Maria Anna
Archduke Ludwig Viktor
House House of Habsburg-Lorraine
Father Francis II
Mother Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily
Born (1802-12-17)17 December 1802
Vienna, Austria
Died 8 March 1878(1878-03-08) (aged 75)
Vienna
Burial Imperial Crypt
Monarchical styles of
Archduke Franz Carl of Austria
Wappen Kaisertum Österreich 1815 (Klein).png
Reference style His Imperial and Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Imperial and Royal Highness
Alternative style Sir

Archduke Franz Karl Joseph of Austria (17 December 1802 – 8 March 1878) from the House of Habsburg was father of two emperors (Franz Joseph I of Austria and Maximilian I of Mexico) as well as the grandfather of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, whose assassination sparked the hostilities that led to the outbreak of World War I, and the great-grandfather of the last Habsburg emperor Karl I.

Life[edit]

Franz Karl at age 76, 1878

Early life and marriage[edit]

He was born in Vienna, the third son of Emperor Francis II (I) by his second marriage with Princess Maria Theresa from the House of Bourbon, daughter of King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies and Maria Carolina of Habsburg-Lorraine. On 4 November 1824 in Vienna he married Princess Sophie of Bavaria from the House of Wittelsbach, a daughter of King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria by his second wife Caroline of Baden. The Wittelsbach condoned the unappealing manners of her husband in consideration of the incapability of his elder brother Ferdinand and Sophie's chance to become Austrian Empress.

Franz Karl was an unambitious and generally ineffectual man, although he was together with his uncle Archduke Louis a member of the Geheime Staatskonferenz council, which after the death of Emperor Francis I ruled the Austrian Empire in the stead of his mentally retarded brother Ferdinand from 1835 to 1848. The decisions however were actually made by the Minister of State Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich and his rival Count Franz Anton von Kolowrat-Liebsteinsky. His wife Sophie had already given up her ambitions, when she urged Franz Karl to renounce his claims to the throne at the time of his brother's abdication on 2 December 1848, allowing their eldest son Franz Joseph I to take the throne.

Death and burial[edit]

Archduke Franz Karl died in Vienna in 1878, six years after the death of his wife. He is buried at the Imperial Crypt at the Capuchin Church. Franz Karl was the last Habsburg whose viscera were entombed at the Ducal Crypt of St. Stephen's Cathedral and whose heart was placed at the Herzgruft of the Augustinian Church according to a centuries-long family rite.

Honours and awards[edit]

He received:[1]

Austro-Hungarian[edit]

German[edit]

Foreign[edit]

Issue[edit]

Name Birth Death Notes
By Sophie, Princess of Bavaria (27 January 1805 – 28 May 1872; married on 4 November 1824 in St. Augustine's Church, Vienna)
Franz Joseph 18 August 1830 21 November 1916 succeeded as Emperor of Austria
married his first cousin Elisabeth, Duchess in Bavaria, and had issue
Maximilian 6 July 1832 19 June 1867 proclaimed Emperor of Mexico
executed by a firing squad
married Charlotte, Princess of Belgium, no issue
Karl Ludwig 30 July 1833 19 May 1896 married 1) his first cousin Margaretha, Princess of and Duchess in Saxony, (1840–1858) from 1856 to 1858, no issue, married 2) to Maria Annunziata, Princess of the Two-Sicilies (1843–1871) from 1862 to 1871, had issue (three sons and one daughter) and married 3) to Maria Theresia, Infanta of Portugal, (1855–1944), from 1873 to 1899, had issue (two daughters)
Maria Anna 27 October 1835 5 February 1840 died in childhood, no issue
Stillborn son 24 October 1840 24 October 1840
Ludwig Viktor 15 May 1842 18 January 1919 died unmarried, no issue

See also[edit]

Ancestors[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Archduke Franz Karl of Austria at Wikimedia Commons

Archduke Franz Karl of Austria
Cadet branch of the House of Lorraine
Born: 17 December 1802 Died: 8 March 1878
Austro-Hungarian royalty
Preceded by
Crown Prince Ferdinand
Heir to the Austrian throne
2 March 1835 – 2 December 1848
Succeeded by
Ferdinand Maximilian