Monika von Habsburg

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Monika von Habsburg
Archduchess of Austria
Duchess de Santangelo
Born (1954-09-13) 13 September 1954 (age 61)
Würzburg, Germany
Spouse Luis de Casanova-Cárdenas y Barón, Duke de Santangelo
Issue Baltasar de Casanova y Habsburgo-Lorena, Marquès de Elche
Gabriel de Casanova y Habsburgo-Lorena
Rafael de Casanova y Habsburgo-Lorena
Santiago de Casanova y Habsburgo-Lorena
Full name
Monika Maria Roberta Antonia Raphaela
House House of Habsburg-Lorraine
Father Otto von Habsburg
Mother Princess Regina of Saxe-Meiningen
Austrian Imperial Family
Imperial Coat of Arms of the Empire of Austria (1815).svg

HI&RH Archduke Karl
HI&RH Archduchess Francesca

Monika von Habsburg (née Monika Maria Roberta Antonia Raphaela Habsburg-Lothringen), Archduchess of Austria, Princess Royal of Hungary,[1] Duchess de Santangelo (born 13 September 1954, in Würzburg), the daughter of Otto von Habsburg and Princess Regina of Saxe-Meiningen.[1][2] She is the twin sister of Michaela von Habsburg.[1]


Born and largely raised during her father's exile from his native land, Austria, where she was not legally allowed to visit or live until 1969.[3] To provide a home near the Austrian border to raise their family, her parents acquired a large villa in Pöcking, Bavaria in 1954, from which their father commuted weekly to his work in Vienna and Innsbrück, as vice-president of the Paneuropean Union, once his banishment was lifted in 1967.[3] During Monika's youth, her father usually spent his time traveling, lecturing, writing and attending political conferences abroad associated with his efforts to encourage Austria's alignment with and leadership in the Euro-movement, with the exception of an annual family holiday during the month of August.[3] Monika was in her late teens when the family acquired a residence in Austria.[3]

Her upbringing was less religious and more political in focus than her father's had been, and reflected his commitment to supra-national but limited government and to respect for moral and historical continuity to the extent these could remain consistent with the evolution of pan-Europeanism.[3][3] Having been the object of worker syndicate support (the Christlich Soziale Partei) for his repatriation to Austria before 1938; dodged Hitler's and Goebbels' efforts to appeal to Austria's traditionalist elements through recruitment of him; accepted President Roosevelt's invitation to visit the United States in 1939, whither he returned after the Nazis conquered France, staying until 1944; endured the expulsion from Austria by the Soviet Union after the war; and been kept in exile by a partisan alliances until the mid-60s, Habsburg drew from his experience the conviction that the best hope for a thriving Europe and the fall of the Iron Curtain would be a non-nationalist approach, consistent with the historical arc of his own ancestors as central European emperors for 600 years.

To that end, he sought to modernise the legacy of the House of Habsburg while eschewing claims to any throne, use of titles and monarchical restoration.[3] He sought rather to harmonize the former dynasty's incarnation of Austrian traditions (such as Christianity) with reality and with the multi-cultural, internationalist orientation he enthusiastically embraced for Europe's future as a current manifestation of the role he believed history customarily assigned to the Habsburg heir.[3] He recognised the utility of the fame he enjoyed and welcomed the prospect of holding elected office in Austria, yet also believed in building a grassroots and youth-oriented rather than an intellectual groundswell for the pan-European movement.[3]

He delegated roles in this advocacy to his five daughters as they grew up, not just to his two sons, accepting that some were more inclined to take up his calling than others.[3]


Archduchess Monika married a Spanish grandee, Don Luis María Gonzaga de Casanova-Cárdenas y Barón, Duke de Santangelo (and Duque de Maqueda,[4] until that dukedom was successfully claimed by his eldest sister in 2011), only son of Balthasar de Casanova-Cárdenas y de Ferrer and María de los Dolores Barón y Osorio de Moscoso, Duchess de Maqueda, on 21 June 1980 in Pöcking, Germany.[5] A farmer and business executive,[5] he and Monika raised their children in the old Moorish castle of La Rápita in Vallfogona de Balaguer, in the Catalonian province of Lérida, Spain.[5] Fifth cousins-once-removed through descent from daughters of Francis I of Bourbon, King of the Two Sicilies, the couple have been active in the civic and charitable activities of the regional Spanish chivalric orders of the Real Cuerpo de la Nobleza de Cataluña and the Real Maestranza de Caballería de Valencia.[5] They have four sons:[5]

  • Baltasar Carlos de Casanova y Habsburgo-Lorena, Marquès de Elche (b. 17 August 1981)
  • Gabriel Maria de Casanova y Habsburgo-Lorena, (b. 23 March 1983)
  • Rafael Maria de Casanova y Habsburgo-Lorena (b. 18 August 1986)
  • Santiago de Casanova y Habsburgo-Lorena (b. 26 April 1993)


  1. ^ a b c Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh. "Burke’s Royal Families of the World: Volume I Europe & Latin America, 1977, pp. 18, 32. ISBN 0-85011-023-8
  2. ^ "Archduchess Monika of Austria". Genealogics. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Walter Curley (1973). "Interview with Otto von Habsburg, February 1972". Monarchs-in-Waiting. Cornwall, NY: Dodd, Mead & Co. pp. 21–25, 118–136. ISBN 0-396-06840-5. 
  4. ^ Beeche, Arturo (2009). The Gotha, Volume 1. California, US: Kensington House Books. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-97-719617-3. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Enache, Nicolas. La Descendance de Marie-Therese de Habsburg. ICC, Paris, 1996. pp. 43, 566-568,. (French). ISBN 2-908003-04-X