Princess Sophie of Hohenberg

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Princess Sophie
Princess of Hohenberg
Princess Sophie von Hohenberg-1.jpg
Spouse(s) Count Friedrich von Nostitz-Rieneck
Issue
Count Erwein von Nostitz-Rieneck
Count Franz von Nostitz-Rieneck
Count Aloys von Nostitz-Rieneck
Countess Sophie von Nostitz-Rieneck
Father Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
Mother Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg
Born (1901-07-24)24 July 1901
Konopischt, Kingdom of Bohemia
Died 27 October 1990(1990-10-27) (aged 89)
Thannhausen, Austria
Religion Roman Catholicism
Princess Sophie as a child
Princess Sophie as a young woman

Princess Sophie of Hohenberg (Sophie Marie Franziska Antonia Ignatia Alberta von Hohenberg; (1901-07-24)24 July 1901, Konopischt – 27 October 1990(1990-10-27), Thannhausen) was the only daughter of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his morganatic wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, both of whom were assassinated at Sarejevo on 28 June 1914. Their assassination triggered the First World War, thus Sophie and her two brothers are sometimes described as the first orphans of the First World War.[1]

Early life[edit]

Princess Sophie was born on 24 July 1901 at Konopiště chateau, in the Czech Republic, fifty kilometres south-east of Prague. This chateau, situated in Bohemia, was the favourite home of the Archduke and his wife.[2] On 29 September 1902, the couple's first son, Maximilian, was born. A second son, Ernst, followed on 17 May 1904. In 1908, the Archduke's wife became pregnant again, but the fourth child, a boy, was stillborn on 7 November 1908.[3]

Since the Archduke had sworn an oath that any children he had with his morganatic wife could never succeed to the throne,[4] he envisaged a future for them that would be normal and tranquil. He wanted his sons to lead the uncomplicated life of a country squire, while he intended that his daughter, Sophie, would be happy at the side of a socially-suitable partner whom she loved. He hoped that his children would grow up to be private individuals who could enjoy life without material worries, while leading lives of anonymity. Sophie later said that she and her brothers were brought up to know they were nothing special. She stated that her father had been firm with his children, but never harsh or unjust.[5]

After assassination[edit]

After the assassination of her parents, Sophie and her two surviving brothers, Maximilian and Ernst, were taken in by their father's close friend and shooting partner, Prince Jaroslav von Thun und Hohenstein.

In late 1918, their properties in Czechoslovakia, including Konopiště and Chlumec nad Cidlinou, were confiscated by the Czech government. The children moved to Vienna and Schloß Artstetten.

Marriage and issue[edit]

Sophie married Count Friedrich von Nostitz-Rieneck (1891–1973) on 8 September 1920. They had four children:

  • Count Erwein Maximilian Franz Peter Paul Hubertus Konrad Maria von Nostitz-Rieneck (29 June 1921 – 11 September 1949), died in a Soviet POW camp
  • Count Franz von Assisi Friedrich Ernst Leopold Josef Maria von Nostitz-Rieneck (2 February 1923 – 23 February 1945), killed on the Eastern Front
  • Count Aloys Karl Joseph Maria von Nostitz-Rieneck (12 August 1925 – 22 April 2003), he married Countess Theresia of Waldburg-Zeil and Trauchburg on 7 August 1962. They have four children, thirteen grandchildren and one great-granddaughter:
    • Count Friedrich of Nostitz-Rieneck+ (19 July 1963), he married Countess Stefanie of Calice on 19 October 2002. They have three children:
      • Countess Ludmilla Maria Aloisia Therese of Nostitz-Rieneck1 (21 January 2004)
      • Count Erwein Wenzel Alois Henirch Johann Joseph Maria of Nostitz-Rieneck1 (10 December 2006)
      • Countess Teresa Maria Josefa Aloisia of Nostitz-Rieneck1 (28 July 2008)
    • Countess Monika Maria Theresia Walburga Henriette of Nostitz-Rieneck (15 April 1965), she married Friedrich, Baron Mayr von Melnhof on 14 July 1985. They have four children and one granddaughter:
      • Friedrich Alois Roman Maria Baron Mayr von Melnhof (26 April 1986), he married Countess Antonia Czernin von Chudenitz on 10 September 2011. They have one daughter:
        • Baroness Philippa Mayr von Melnhof (2015)
      • Matthäus Johannes Franz Maria Baron Mayr von Melnhof (24 January 1988), he married Baroness Anna Maria von Waechter in 2014.
      • Clarissa Maria Anna Theresia Baroness Mayr von Melnhof (18 January 1990), she married Baron Leopold of Waechter on 19 July 2014.
      • Franziska Theodora Maria Sophia Baroness Mayr von Melnhof (7 July 1996)
    • Countess Sophie-Bernadette Maria Hyacintha Thaddäa Walburga of Nostitz-Rieneck (17 August 1967), she married Count Christian of Seilern and Aspang on 3 September 1994. They have three children:
      • Countess Aglae Maria Sophie Monika Valerie Theresia of Seilern and Aspang (22 September 1995)
      • Count Ferdinand Christophorus Friedrich Alois Franz Maria of Seilern und Aspang (4 September 1997)
      • Count Jakob Friedrich Alois Lukas Josef Maria of Seilern und Aspang (18 February 2000)
    • Count Franz-Erwein of Nostitz-Rieneck (4 May 1970), he married Countess Isabelle Josephine of Moys de Sons on 23 June 2001. They have three daughters:
      • Countess Theresita Sophie Elisabeth Benedikta Gräfin von Nostitz-Rieneck1 (11 July 2002)
      • Countess Sophie Karoline Bernadette Johanna Maria of Nostitz-Rieneck1 (30 March 2004)
      • Countess Helena Marie Clarissa Diane Nadine Eleonore of Nostitz-Rieneck1 (21 February 2008)
  • Countess Sophie Amalia Theresia Quirinia Henriette Lucretia Magdalena Maria Ignatia von Nostitz-Rieneck (4 June 1929), she married Ernst Baron von Gudenus on 18 August 1953. They have four children and ten grandchildren:
    • Baroness Sophie of Gudenus (6 June 1954), she married Count Thomas of Seilern and Aspang on 2 July 1981. They have four children:
      • Count Josef of Seilern und Aspang (10 September 1985)
      • Countess Sophie of Seilern and Aspang (9 July 1987)
      • Countess Marie Magdalena of Seilern and Aspang (13 May 1989)
      • Countess Franziska of Seilern and Aspang (14 April 1992)
    • Baroness Marie-Sidone of Gudenus (20 August 1955), she married Alexander Friedrich Carl Maria Graf von Seilern und Aspang on 17 July 1982. They have four children:
      • Countess Antonia of Seilern and Aspang (24 May 1984), she married Count Maximilian of Clary und Aldringen on 28 June 2014.
      • Countess Ilona Marie of Seilern and Aspang (18 May 1985)
      • Count Mathias Fredinand Marie of Seilern and Aspang (6 September 1988)
      • Countess Olivia Hemma Maria Johanna of Seilern and Aspang (7 June 1991)
    • Baron Erwein of Gudenus (30 August 1958)
    • Baron Ferdinand of Gudenus (27 July 1960), he married Countess Caroline of Hoyos zu Stichsenstein on 11 August 1987. They have two children:
      • Baron Anton of Gudenus (11 September 1990)
      • Baroness Lucy of Gudenu (2 October 1993)

Later life[edit]

In 1938, following the Anschluss (the union of Austria and Germany under Adolf Hitler), her brothers Maximilian and Ernst were arrested by the Gestapo as a result of making anti-Nazi statements and deported to Dachau concentration camp. Their properties in Austria were confiscated by Nazi authorities.[6] They both survived their imprisonment in Dachau.

Sophie's husband died in 1973,[7] after which she led a quiet life in Austria, accompanied at times by her grandchildren. In 1981, she visited Konopiste for the first time in sixty years. During this visit, she talked of how happy her family life had been there.[8]

Sophie lived to be 89 years old, dying in October 1990. She was laid to rest beside the body of her husband in the family crypt of her son-in-law, Baron Ernst Gudenus, at Weizberg near Thannhausen, in Austria.[9] She had outlived both of her younger siblings by many years.

Letter to Nedeljko Cabrinovic[edit]

During the trial of the men accused of murdering Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, the only defendant to express remorse was Nedeljko Cabrinovic, who expressed his regrets for what he had done and apologized to the children of the victims. Princess Sophie and her brothers were told about Cabrinovic's apology and wrote a letter to him. In the letter, they said they had heard about his apology and stated that his conscience could be at peace because they forgave him for his role in the murder of their parents. Sophie and Max signed the letter, but Ernst refused. The letter was delivered personally to Cabrinovic in his cell at Theresienstadt, in Bohemia, by the Jesuit Father Anton Puntigam, who had given the last rites to Franz Ferdinand and his wife. On 23 January 1916, Princess Sophie and her brothers were informed that Cabrinovic had died.[10]

Fictional appearances[edit]

A fictional version of Princess Sophie, played by Danish actress Amalie Ihle Alstrup, appeared in "Vienna, November 1908", an episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles later re-edited to form half of The Perils of Cupid. Young Indy falls in love with the princess and shares his first kiss with her, but is forbidden from seeing her further. Several times during the series, he is shown wearing a locket that contains her picture, which she gave to him.

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Assassination of the Archduke, Greg King, Sue Woolmans (Macmillan) 2013, p.XXXIV ISBN 978-1-447-24521-6
  2. ^ The Assassination of the Archduke, p.120
  3. ^ The Assassination of the Archduke, p.119
  4. ^ The Assassination of the Archduke, p.58
  5. ^ The Assassination of the Archduke, p.107
  6. ^ Sophie Hohenberg Site
  7. ^ The Assassination of the Archduke, p.273
  8. ^ The Assassination of the Archduke, p.273
  9. ^ The Assassination of the Archduke, p.273
  10. ^ The Assassination of the Archduke, p.246

External links[edit]