Maximilian, Duke of Hohenberg

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Prince Max of Hohenberg.jpg
Prince Maximilian ca. 1914.
Duke of Hohenberg
Successor Franz
Spouse(s) Countess Maria Elisabeth Bona von Waldburg zu Wolfegg und Waldsee
Prince Franz
Prince Georg
Prince Albrecht
Prince Johannes
Prince Peter
Prince Gerhard
Father Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
Mother Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg
Born (1902-09-29)29 September 1902
Died 8 January 1962(1962-01-08) (aged 59)

Maximilian, Duke of Hohenberg (29 September 1902 – 8 January 1962), was the eldest son of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary, and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg.[1] Because his parents' marriage was morganatic, he was excluded from succession to the imperial throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire,[1] to which his father was heir presumptive, and to inheritance of any of his father's dynastic titles, income and properties, although not from the archduke's personal estate nor from his mother's property.


Maximilian was born with the lesser princely title and territorial designation ("von Hohenberg") accorded his mother at the time of her marriage and in 1905 shared, with his siblings, in her receipt of the style of Serene Highness.[1] Although she had been raised from Princess (Fürstin) to Duchess in 1909 by Emperor Emperor Franz Joseph, because that title was accorded ad personam, Maximilian did not inherit it upon her death. On 31 August 1917, however, Emperor Charles I granted him the dukedom on an hereditary basis, simultaneously raising his treatment from "Serene Highness" (Durchlaucht) to "Highness" (Hoheit).[1]

Following the assassination of his parents in Sarajevo in 1914, which resulted in the outbreak of World War I, Prince Maximilian, his sister, Princess Sophie and their brother, Prince Ernst, were taken in by their father's brother-in-law and shooting partner Prince Jaroslav von Thun und Hohenstein.

In 1919, following the defeat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and collapse of the Habsburg monarchy, the new republic of Czechoslovakia expropriated Konopiště Castle, Maximilian's chief residence, and other family properties in the former Kingdom of Bohemia, and expelled the brothers to Austria. Subsequently they lived in Vienna and at Artstetten Castle in lower Austria.[1] Maximilian obtained a law degree from the University of Graz in 1926.[1] He managed the family properties and worked as a lawyer.

In March 1938 Austria became part of the German Reich as a result of the Anschluss. Having spoken out for the independence of Austria and against the Anschluss, Maximilian and his brother were arrested by the Reich authorities and interned in Dachau concentration camp, where they were chiefly employed in cleaning the latrines. According to Leopold Figl (who served as Chancellor of Austria after World War II), they did so cheerfully, and maintained comradely relations with fellow prisoners. Maximilian was released after six months (Ernst was transferred to other concentration camps and released only in 1943) and was then compelled to stay at Artstetten Castle; the Reich authorities also expropriated the family's other properties in Austria.

After the liberation of Austria in 1945 the residents of Artstetten elected Maximilian mayor, with the concurrence of the Soviet occupation authorities; he served two five-year terms.

Marriage and issue[edit]

Duke Maximilian married Countess Maria Elisabeth Bona von Waldburg zu Wolfegg und Waldsee on 16 November 1926. He had six children by her, all sons:[1]

  • Franz, Duke von Hohenberg, (1927–1977, Duke 1962-1977), married Princess Elisabeth of Luxembourg and Bourbon-Parma (1922–2011); had issue:
    • Princess Anna (Anita) von Hohenberg, born at Schloss Berg, Luxembourg, 18 August 1958; married firstly in Luxembourg on 15 July 1978 and religiously in Artstetten on 22 July 1978 (div 1998) Romée de la Poëze Count d'Harambure (born Düsseldorf 15 July 1949) with issue (three children); married 2nd Schloss Kornberg 9 July 2005 Count Andreas von Bardeau (born Graz 13 February 1957); no issue.
    • Princess Sophie von Hohenberg, born Schloss Berg, Luxembourg, 10 May 1960; married Artstetten 18 June 1983 Jean-Louis Marie René Ghislain de Potesta (born Liège 8 February 1951) with issue (three children). She is currently trying to regain ownership of Konopiště Castle, in the Czech Republic,[2] on grounds that the Hohenbergs were never recognized as part of the House of Habsburg, and therefore the provisions of Article 208 of the Treaty of Saint Germain, and the Article 3 of Law no.354 of 1921 in Czechoslovakia, do not apply to them.[3] * Dukes of Hohenberg
  • Georg, Duke von Hohenberg, (born 1929, Duke since 1977) former Austrian Ambassador to the Holy See, married Princess Eleonore of Auersperg-Breunner (born 1928); had issue:
    • Prince Nikolaus von Hohenberg, born Boulogne-sur-Seine 3 July 1961; married Fürstenberg, Westfalen 6 May 1989 Countess Marie Elisabeth von Westphalen zu Fürstenberg (born Münster 7 August 1963) with issue.
    • Princess Henriette von Hohenberg, born Boulogne-sur-Seine 9 November 1962.
    • Prince Maximilian von Hohenberg, born Buenos Aires 25 January 1970; married Lucca 9 September 2000 Emilia Oliva Cattaneo Vieti (born Genoa 29 July 1971).
  • Prince Albrecht von Hohenberg (born 1931), married Countess Leontine von Cassis-Faraone; had issue:
    • Princess Margarete von Hohenberg, born Vienna 19 June 1963; married Vienna 20 April 1991 Archduke Carl of Austria, with issue.
    • Prince Leo von Hohenberg, born Vienna 28 September 1964; married Lisbon 3 September 1994 Rosalind Roque Alcoforado (born New York 3 July 1964) with issue.
  • Prince Johannes von Hohenberg (1933–2003), married Elisabeth Meilinger-Rehrl (born 1947) with issue:
    • Princess Sophie von Hohenberg, born Salzburg 26 May 1970.
    • Prince Stephan von Hohenberg, born Salzburg 3 July 1972; married Salzburg 30 September 2000 Leonie von Kloss (born Salzburg 11 April 1977).
  • Prince Peter von Hohenberg (born Arstetten Castle 26 March 1936), Knight of Malta, KCSG, married Christine-Maria Meilinger-Rehrl (born Bramberg-Weyerhof 27 April 1945) with issue:
    • Princess Marie-Christine von Hohenberg, born Salzburg 25 November 1970.
    • Princess Marie-Therese von Hohenberg, born Salzburg 31 July 1972, married Salzburg 27 October 2007 (rel) to Anthony J Bailey OBE, GCSS (born London 13 January 1970) with issue. Bailey was made OBE by the Queen in her Birthday Honours List in 2008.[4]
  • Prince Gerhard von Hohenberg (born 1941). No issue.

Titles and styles[1][edit]

  • 1902-1905: Prince Maximilian von Hohenberg
  • 1905-1914: His Serene Highness Prince Maximilian von Hohenberg
  • 1917-1962: His Highness Maximilian, Duke von Hohenberg


Maximilian, Duke of Hohenberg
Born: 1902 Died 1962
Preceded by
Duke of Hohenberg
1917 – 1962
Succeeded by


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Almanach de Gotha", Hohenberg, (Gotha: Justus Perthes, 1942), pp. 52, 440-441, (French).
  2. ^ Smith, Craig S. "A battle royal for a Czech castle - Princess wants property taken after empire collapsed." International Herald Tribune. p 3. 20 February 2007.
  3. ^ "Princess and Heir of Franz Ferdinand Fights to Repeal a Law and Gain a Castle." New York Times. 19 February 2007
  4. ^ [1]