Archduke Wenceslaus of Austria

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Portrait of Archduke Wenceslaus as Grand Prior of the Order of Malta, by Alonso Sanchez Coello, 1577.

Archduke Wenceslaus of Austria (9 March 1561 – 22 September 1578), was a German prince and member of the House of Habsburg and since 1577 Grand Prior of the Order of Malta in Castile.

He was the son of Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor by his wife Maria of Spain.


Born in Wiener Neustadt, Wenceslaus was the eleventh child and eighth son of his parents' sixteen children, from whom nine survived early infancy.[1][2] He grew up mostly in the Spanish court of Philip II with several of his siblings. In 1577 Wenceslaus was appointed Grand Prior of the Order of Malta in Castile, but died suddenly one year later in Madrid, aged seventeen. He was buried in the Panteon de los Infantes in the Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial.



  • Richard Reifenscheid: Die Habsburger in Lebensbildern, Piper Verlag (2007).