Maximilian, Duke of Hohenberg

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Prince Max of Hohenberg.jpg
Photograph from 1913
Duke of Hohenberg
Successor Franz
Spouse(s) Countess Maria Elisabeth Bona von Waldburg zu Wolfegg und Waldsee
Duke Franz
Duke Georg
Prince Albrecht
Prince Johannes
Prince Peter
Prince Gerhard
Father Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
Mother Sophie, Duchess von Hohenberg
Born (1902-09-29)29 September 1902
Died 8 January 1962(1962-01-08) (aged 59)

Maximilian, Duke von Hohenberg (Maximilian Karl Franz Michael Hubert Anton Ignatius Joseph Maria; 29 September 1902 – 8 January 1962), was the eldest son of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary and his wife Countess Sophie Chotek von Chotkowa und Wognin, Duchess von Hohenberg.[1] Because his parents' marriage was morganatic, he was excluded from succession to the Austro-Hungarian throne,[1] to which his father was heir presumptive, and to inheritance of any of his father's dynastic titles,[2] income and properties, although not from the archduke's personal estate nor from his mother's property.


Sarcophagus of Maximilian, with his wife's sarcophagus on the left

Maximilian was born with the lesser princely title and the territorial designation von Hohenberg accorded his mother at the time of her marriage, and in 1905 shared with his siblings her receipt of the style "Serene Highness".[1] Although Sophie had been raised from Princess (Fürstin) to Duchess (Herzogin) in 1909 by Emperor Franz Joseph, because that title was accorded ad personam, Maximilian did not inherit it upon her death in 1914. On 31 August 1917, however, Emperor Charles I granted him the dukedom on a 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, Maximilian, his sister, Princess Sophie and their brother, Prince Ernst, were initially taken in by their maternal aunt and uncle Marie and Jaroslav, Prince and Princess von Thun und Hohenstein, subsequently being raised in the care of their step-grandmother, Archduchess Maria-Theresa of Austria.[2]

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.

Because he had never been a dynast of the Austrian Imperial Family, he was neither banished nor his properties expropriated under Austria's law of exile of 3 April 1919.[2] Remaining in Vienna, by the 1930s the Duke became the leader within Austria of a significant movement for restoration of the monarchy and of his kinsman Otto von Habsburg to the former Imperial throne.[2]

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,[2] 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 as mayor, with the concurrence of the Soviet occupation authorities. He served two five-year terms as mayor.

Maximilian died on 8 January 1962 at the age of 59. He is buried in the crypt of the Hohenberg family's Artstetten Castle.[3] His wife's remains are in a sarcophagus to his left. His eldest son, Franz, acceded to the ducal title.

Marriage and issue[edit]

Maximilian married Countess Maria Elisabeth Bona von Waldburg zu Wolfegg und Waldsee on 16 November 1926. They had six children, all sons:[1][4]

  • Franz, Duke von Hohenberg (1927–1977), 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 (divorced 1998) Romée de la Poëze, Count d'Harambure (born Düsseldorf 15 July 1949) with issue; married secondly at Schloss Kornberg 9 July 2005 Count Andreas von Bardeau (born Graz 13 February 1957); no further issue.
    • Princess Sophie von Hohenberg, born at Schloss Berg, Luxembourg, 10 May 1960; married at Artstetten 18 June 1983 Jean-Louis Marie René Ghislain de Potesta (born Liège 8 February 1951) with issue. She has pursued restoration of ownership of Konopiště Castle, in the Czech Republic,[5] on the grounds that the Hohenbergs were never recognized as members of the House of Habsburg, and therefore the provisions of Article 208 of the Treaty of Saint Germain, and Article 3 of Law no.354 of 1921 in Czechoslovakia, do not apply to them.[6] * 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 in Boulogne-sur-Seine 3 July 1961; married at Fürstenberg, Westphalia, 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 19 June 1963), married Archduke Joseph Karl of Austria on 28 December 1990, with issue.
    • Prince Leo von Hohenberg, born in Vienna 28 September 1964; married Lisbon 3 September 1994 Rosalind Roque Alcoforado (born New York 3 July 1964), with issue.
    • Princess Johanna von Hohenberg, born in Vienna 29 September 1966, married Count Andreas Henckel von Donnersmarck, with issue.
    • Princess Katharina von Hohenberg, born in Vienna 9 March 1969, married Carlos Manuel Mendez de Vigo y Loewenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg
  • Prince Johannes von Hohenberg (1933–2003), married Elisabeth Meilinger-Rehrl (born 1947) with issue:
    • Princess Sophie von Hohenberg, born at Salzburg 26 May 1970, married 7 October 2006 Clemens von Trauttenberg .
    • Prince Stephan von Hohenberg, born at Salzburg 3 July 1972; married Salzburg 30 September 2000 Leonie von Kloss (born Salzburg 11 April 1977), with issue.
    • Prince Georg von Hohenberg, born at Salzburg 3 February 1975, married 8 October 2005 Valerie Hutter.
    • Princess Isabelle von Hohenberg, born at Salzburg 13 May 1976.
  • Prince Peter von Hohenberg (born at Artstetten 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 at Salzburg 25 November 1970.
    • Princess Marie-Therese von Hohenberg, born at Salzburg 31 July 1972, married Salzburg 27 October 2007 Anthony Bailey, with issue.
  • Prince Gerhard von Hohenberg (born 1941), no issue.

Titles and styles[1][4][edit]

  • 29 September 1902 - 1905: Prince Maximilian von Hohenberg
  • 1905 - 28 June 1914: His Serene Highness Prince Maximilian von Hohenberg
  • 31 August 1917 - 8 January 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 "Almanach de Gotha", Hohenberg, (Gotha: Justus Perthes, 1942), pp. 52, 440-441, (French).
  2. ^ a b c d e Les manuscrits du C.E.D.R.E. – Dictionnaire Historique et Généalogique, vol. II. L’Empire d'Autriche. Cercle d'Études des Dynasties Royales Européennes (president, Jean-Fred Tourtchine), Paris, 1991, pp. 190-195. (French). ISSN 0993-3964.
  3. ^ Family crypt info
  4. ^ a b Enache, Nicolas. La Descendance de Marie-Therese de Habsburg. ICC, Paris, 1996. pp. 54-60. (French). ISBN 2-908003-04-X
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "Princess and Heir of Franz Ferdinand Fights to Repeal a Law and Gain a Castle." New York Times. 19 February 2007