Maximilian, Duke of Hohenberg

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Prince Max of Hohenberg.jpg
Photograph from 1913
Duke of Hohenberg
Successor Franz
Born (1902-09-29)29 September 1902
Died 8 January 1962(1962-01-08) (aged 59)
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

Maximilian, Duke von Hohenberg (Maximilian Karl Franz Michael Hubert Anton Ignatius Joseph Maria; 29 September 1902 – 8 January 1962), was the elder 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 on 29 September 1902, and baptized in Vienna two days later with Archduke Charles Stephen of Austria as sponsor.[3] From birth he had the lesser princely title and the nobiliary particle von Hohenberg accorded his mother as a predicate 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]

In 1911, it was rumored among French circles that Germany planned to install Maximilian as Imperial Governor of Alsace-Lorraine.[4]

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.[citation needed]

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.[5] His wife's remains are in a sarcophagus to his left. His eldest son, Franz, took the ducal title.

Marriage and issue[edit]

Maximilian married Countess Maria Elisabeth Bona of Waldburg zu Wolfegg und Waldsee on 16 November 1926. They had six sons:[1][6]

  • Franz, Duke von Hohenberg (13 September 1927-16 August 1977) he married Princess Elisabeth of Luxembourg on 9 May 1956. They had two daughters. Their daughter Sophie has pursued restoration of ownership of Konopiště Castle, in the Czech Republic,[7] 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.[8] * Dukes of Hohenberg
  • Georg, Duke von Hohenberg (25 April 1929) he married Princess Eleonore of Auersperg-Breunner on 4 July 1960. They have three children.
  • Prince Albrecht von Hohenberg (4 February 1931), married Countess Leontine von Cassis-Faraone; had issue:
    • Princess Margarete von Hohenberg (born 19 June 1963) she married Archduke Joseph Karl of Austria, (son of Princess Maria of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg) on 28 December 1990. They have three sons.
    • Prince Leo von Hohenberg (28 September 1964) he married Rosalind Alcoforado on 3 September 1994. They have two children:
      • Princess Genevieve von Hohenberg (9 March 1998)
      • Prince Adrien von Hohenberg (29 October 2003)
    • Princess Johanna von Hohenberg (29 September 1966) she married Count Andreas Henckel von Donnersmarck on 17 June 1995. They have four children:
      • Laura Henckel von Donnersmarck (21 January 1997)
      • Marie Henckel von Donnersmarck (15 August 1998)
      • Ludwig Henckel von Donnersmarck (25 May 2001)
      • Albrecht Henckel von Donnersmarck (27 March 2006)
    • Princess Katharina von Hohenberg (9 March 1969) she married Carlos Manuel Mendez de Vigo y Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg on 3 May 1997. They have six children:
      • Emanuel Méndez de Vigo y Hohenberg (21 February 1999)
      • Fernando Javier Méndez de Vigo y Hohenberg (2000)
      • Livia Méndez de Vigo y Hohenberg (2002)
      • Alfonso Méndez de Vigo y Hohenberg (2003)
      • Clemente Méndez de Vigo y Hohenberg (2007)
      • Felipe Méndez de Vigo y Hohenberg (2009)
  • Prince Johannes von Hohenberg (3 May 1933-11 October 2003) he married Elisabeth Meilinger of Weyerhof-Rehrl on 28 August 1969. They have
    • Princess Sophie von Hohenberg (26 May 1970) she married Clemens von Trauttenberg on 7 October 2006.
    • Prince Stephan von Hohenberg (3 July 1972) he married Leonie von Kloss on 30 September 2000. They have four children:
      • Princess Philippa von Hohenberg (21 July 2001)
      • Princess Antonia von Hohenberg (9 January 2003)
      • Prince Nepomuk von Hohenberg (21 December 2005)
      • Princess Josepha von Hohenberg (23 September 2009)
    • Prince Georg von Hohenberg (3 February 1975) he married Valerie Hutter on 8 October 2005.
    • Princess Isabelle von Hohenberg (13 May 1976) she married Franziskus Bagusat in 2012. They have one son:
      • Antonius Bagusat (*2013)
  • Prince Peter von Hohenberg (26 March 1936) he married Christine-Marie Meilinger zu Weyerhof-Rehrl on 14 April 1970 and they were divorce in 1980. They have two daughters:
    • Princess Marie-Christine von Hohenberg (25 November 1970)
    • Princess Marie-Therese von Hohenberg (31 July 1972) she married Anthony Bailey on 29 September 2007. They have one son:
      • Maximilian Bailey (3 March 2010)
  • Prince Gerhard von Hohenberg (23 December 1941)

Titles, styles and honours[edit]

Titles and styles[1][6][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. ^ "Court Circular". The Times (36888). London. 2 October 1902. p. 7.
  4. ^ Hall Gardner (16 March 2016). The Failure to Prevent World War I: The Unexpected Armageddon. Routledge. p. 204. ISBN 978-1-317-03217-5.
  5. ^ Family crypt info Archived 9 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ a b Enache, Nicolas. La Descendance de Marie-Therese de Habsburg. ICC, Paris, 1996. pp. 54-60. (French). ISBN 2-908003-04-X
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "Princess and Heir of Franz Ferdinand Fights to Repeal a Law and Gain a Castle." New York Times. 19 February 2007
  9. ^ "Toison Autrichienne (Austrian Fleece) - 20th century" (in French), Chevaliers de la Toison D'or. Retrieved 2018-08-13.