Alexander von Mensdorff-Pouilly, Prince Dietrichstein von Nicolsburg
Alexander Konstantin Albrecht Graf von Mensdorff-Pouilly
Lithograph by Josef Kriehuber, 1854
|4th Chairman of the Austrian Ministers' Conference|
26 June 1865 – 27 July 1865
|Monarch||Francis Joseph I|
|Preceded by||Erzherzog Rainer Ferdinand von Österreich|
|Succeeded by||Richard Graf von Belcredi|
|8th Foreign Minister of the Austrian Empire|
27 October 1864 – 30 October 1866
|Preceded by||Johann Bernhard Graf von Rechberg und Rothenlöwen|
|Succeeded by||Friedrich Ferdinand Graf von Beust|
4 August 1813|
|Died||14 February 1871(aged 57)|
Count Alexander Mensdorff-Pouilly (4 August 1813, Coburg – 14 February 1871) was an Austrian general, diplomat and politician, including two years as Minister of Foreign Affairs (1864-1866) and one month's service as Minister-President of Austria. He was a first cousin of Queen Victoria of the UK. Their mothers were sisters.
He was born as a son of Princess Sophie of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and Count Emmanuel von Mensdorff-Pouilly, a member of the House of Mensdorff-Pouilly. He entered the Austrian army in 1829 and was promoted to captain in 1836 and major in 1844. In 1848-49 he fought in the First Italian War of Independence and against the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. In 1849 he was promoted to colonel and the following year to major general. In 1851 he was appointed as the Austrian commissioner to Schleswig-Holstein. In 1852 he became the Austrian ambassador to Russia. Mensdorff-Pouilly was promoted to Feldmarschallleutnant in 1858. During the Polish Uprising of 1863, Mensdorff-Pouilly served as the governor of Austrian Galicia.
Mensdorff-Pouilly was appointed as the Austrian Foreign Minister on 23 October 1864. Mensdorff-Pouilly's policies during his tenure as Foreign Minister for Emperor Franz Joseph were often largely a continuation of the conservative traditionalism of Rechberg, his predecessor. Mensdorff, like Rechberg, sought to maintain conservative dominance of the German Confederation through an alliance between Austria and Prussia (in which Prussia was the junior partner), and he steadfastly refused to consider British suggestions that Austria surrender Venetia to Italy. He was also a first cousin of Queen Victoria their mothers being sisters. After Austria's defeat in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, Mensdorff-Pouilly resigned his functions in November of that year. After his resignation he was appointed commanding general in Zagreb and Prague.
He married Alexandrine "Aline" von Dietrichstein, heiress of Prince Joseph von Dietrichstein, with whom he had two sons:
- Prince Hugo Dietrichstein zu Nikolsburg, married in 1892 Princess Olga Alexandrovna Dolgoruky (a former mistress of Alexander II of Russia)
- Count Albert von Mensdorff-Pouilly-Dietrichstein
- F. R. Bridge, The Habsburg Monarchy Among the Great Powers, 1815-1918.
Archduke Rainer Ferdinand of Austria
|Minister-President of Austria
|Minister of Foreign Affairs