Archduke Leopold of Austria, Prince of Tuscany
|Prince of Tuscany|
Archduke Leopold (left) with his mother and his brother Rainier (right)
30 January 1897|
|Died||14 March 1958
Willimantic, Connecticut, U.S.
|Spouse||Dagmar von Nicolics-Podrinska, Baroness von Nicolics-Podrinska
|Issue||Gabrielle of Habsburg-Lorraine|
|Father||Archduke Leopold Salvator of Austria|
|Mother||Infanta Blanca of Spain|
Archduke Leopold Maria of Austria, Prince of Tuscany German: Leopold, Erzherzog von Österreich-Toskana (born in Zagreb 30 January 1897 - died Willimantic, Connecticut 14 March 1958) was the second son of Archduke Leopold Salvator, Prince of Tuscany and Infanta Blanca of Spain. At the fall of Habsburg monarchy he remained in Austria and recognized the new republic in order to marry Dagmar, Baroness von Nicolics-Podrinska. The couple had one daughter. After divorcing his wife in 1931, Leopold eventually emigrated to the United States where he became a naturalized American citizen under the name Leopold Lorraine, and where he remarried. He died in 1958 in Connecticut.
Archduke Leopold of Austria was born in Agram (the historic Austrian-German name for what is now the city of Zagreb in Croatia), the fifth child and second son of Archduke Leopold Salvator of Austria, Prince of Tuscany and Infanta Blanca of Spain (daughter of Carlos, Duke of Madrid). He received the names Leopold Maria Alfons Blanka Karl Anton Beatrix Michael Joseph Peter Ignatz von Habsburg-Lothringen.
During World War I Archduke Leopold served as a lieutenant of artillery in the Austro-Hungarian Army with his eldest brother Archduke Rainier. His actions as an officer at the Battle of Medeazza, near Trieste in Italy, (25 May 1917) were favorably noted. At the age of 19, he was the last person appointed to the Order of the Golden Fleece by his great uncle, Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. Archduke Leopold also took part in the first line of combat in the Battle of the Piave River.
After the fall of the Habsburg Monarchy and the establishment of the First Austrian Republic, he renounced his rights to the Austrian throne in order that he could remain in Austria. He was in love with Baroness Dagmar Nicolics- Podinje (Zagreb 15 July 1898 - Lausanne 15 November 1967), a member of the minor Croatian nobility. His parents were initially against the marriage as Dagmar did not belong to a royal family. The wedding took place in Vienna on 12 April 1919. Theirs was a morganatic marriage. Dagmar received the title of Baroness von Wolfenau. The couple had one daughter :
- Gabrielle of Habsburg-Lorraine (Vienna 15 May 1921 - Zürich 1996) (created Countess of Wolfenau in 1922), who married Jan van der Mühll (1918 - 1977), a Swiss banker, in 1948 and had two daughters and a son in Switzerland before her divorce in 1958.
Through his mother, after the death in 1931 of his uncle Jaime, Duke of Madrid, Leopold was an heir to the Carlist claims to the throne of Spain, but having given up his aristocratic status upon his morganatic marriage in 1919, he renounced the claims in favour his youngest brother, Archduke Karl Pius of Austria (b. Vienna 4 December 1909 - d. Barcelona 24 December 1953), but took them up again after his brother's death. Through his grandmother Princess Maria Immaculata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies he was in the line of succession to the British Throne, ranking around 300th in line at his birth, and descending to approximately 1000th in line at the time of his death.
In 1930 Archduke Leopold was cleared of a grand larceny charge in connection with the sale of a necklace that had been in the possession of the sister-in-law of the Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria, Infanta Maria Theresa of Portugal. The necklace, valued at $400,000, had been a gift to an earlier Habsburg, Marie Louise, from her husband Napoléon Bonaparte.
After divorcing his wife in 1931, Leopold emigrated to the United States where he was known as "Mr. Leopold H(absburg) Lorraine". In 1932 he remarried, also morganatically, Alicia Gibson Coburn (New York 20 January 1898 - New York City 25 August 1960). Their marriage remained childless and ended in divorce.
For a time Leopold sought a career in Hollywood and had several minor roles. He moved to Willimantic, Connecticut where he settled into a small house with his second wife and spent the rest of his life as a factory worker. He became an American citizen in 1953. His ashes are in tomb 91 of the Imperial Crypt in Vienna.
- Harding, Bertita. Lost Waltz: A Story of Exile. Bobbs-Merrill, 1944. ASIN: B0007DXCLY
- McIntosh, David. The Unknown Habsburgs. Rosvall Royal Books, 2000. ISBN 91-973978-0-6
- "Leopold Habsburg Lorraine Dead at 61". New York Times. 15 March 1958. p. 17.
- Historical Line of Succession to the British Throme
- Harding, Lost Waltz, p. 20
- McIntosh, The Unknown Habsburgs, p. 51