Walburga Habsburg Douglas
|Archduchess Walburga of Austria|
Archduchess Walburga at the European People's Party, Bonn
5 October 1958 |
Berg am Starnberger See, Germany
|Spouse||Count Archibald Douglas|
|Issue||Count Moritz Douglas|
|House||House of Habsburg-Lorraine (by birth)
House of Douglas (by marriage)
|Father||Otto, Crown Prince of Austria|
|Mother||Princess Regina of Saxe-Meiningen|
Walburga Habsburg, Countess Douglas (born 5 October 1958) is a German-born Swedish lawyer and politician, serving in the Riksdag of Sweden as a member of the Moderate Party (since 2006). She is also the vice-president of the Paneuropean Union and a board member of the Institute for Information on the Crimes of Communism.
Born in 1958 in Berg am Starnberger See, Germany, she is the daughter of the late Otto von Habsburg, last crown prince of Austria-Hungary, and of Princess Regina of Saxe-Meiningen. Her given names are Walburga Maria Franziska Helene Elisabeth. At the time of her birth, her father was stateless, domiciled in Germany on a Spanish diplomatic passport. Walburga was banished from the Republic of Austria from birth and well into adult life, along with her siblings, by the Habsburg Law that had been in effect since 1938, having been (re)imposed by the Nazis. The Austrian Republic was forced to repeal the banishment of Walburga and her family, which was found to violate their human rights, as a precondition for admission to the European Union.
|Austrian imperial family|
From 1979 to 1992 she worked as an assistant at the European Parliament. In 1983 she studied at the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., and worked at the office of Reader's Digest in the same city. She worked for the Ministry of Information of the Sultanate of Oman from 1985–1992, and in 2004 she became a member of the board of the Arab International Media Forum in London.
In 1973 she co-founded Paneuropa-Jugend Deutschland, and was its chairperson in Bavaria, and vice chairperson on the national level. In 1977 she founded Brüsewitz-Zentrum (Christlich-Paneuropäisches Studienwerk). From 1980 to 1988 she was assistant international Secretary General of the international Paneuropean Union, 1988 to 2004 she was its Secretary General and she is its executive vice chairperson since 2004.
She was one of the organisers of the Paneuropa-Picknick at the Iron Curtain on the 19 August 1989, on the border between Hungary and Austria. At this occasion, the fence was opened for the first time, letting more than 660 Germans from the GDR escape from the east. This was the largest number of escapees since the Berlin Wall was built and is seen by many as one of the main symbols of the fall of Eastern European Communism.
Since 2003 she is the chairperson of the local branch of the Swedish Moderate Party in Flen and on the board of the regional organisation of the party in Södermanland. She is a member of the board of the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation since 2005, a foundation closely linked to the Moderate Party.
In 1999 and 2004 she ran for the European Parliament for the Moderate Party, in 2002 and 2006 she ran for the national parliament (riksdagen). She was elected, 17 September 2006 to the Swedish Parliament, in an election which showed the greatest support for the Moderate Party since 1928. Chair of the Swedish Parliamentary delegation to the OSCE since 2006. She was re-elected to the Swedish Parliament in 2010.
She is a board member of the Institute for Information on the Crimes of Communism.
Archduchess Walburga married the Swedish Count Archibald Douglas on 5 December 1992 in Budapest, Hungary. They have a son, Count Moritz Otto Wenzel Douglas (born 30 March 1994). Her husband's family is a prominent noble family in Sweden, descended from the Scots Robert Douglas, Count of Skenninge. The family's comital title, conferred by Queen Christina of Sweden in 1654, is legally recognized in the country. Born a member of the House of Habsburg, her historical titulature would be 'Archduchess Walburga of Austria, Archduchess of Austria, Princess Royal of Hungary and Bohemia, with the style Her Imperial and Royal Highness. By marriage, she bears the title Countess Douglas.
National dynastic honour
- : Dame of Honour and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
References and notes
- Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XVI. "Haus Österreich". C.A. Starke Verlag, 2001, pp. 90-92. ISBN 978-3-7980-0824-3.
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