Princess Stephanie of Windisch-Graetz

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Princess Stephanie
Countess Pierre d'Alcantara de Querrieu
Archduchess Elisabeth w Stephanie.jpg
HSH Princess Stephanie of Windisch-Graetz with her mother
Born (1909-04-04)4 April 1909
Died 29 May 2005(2005-05-29) (aged 96)
Spouse Count Pierre d'Alcantara de Querrieu
Karl-Axel Björklund
Issue Alvar Etienne d'Alcantara de Querrieu
Björn-Axel Björklund
House Windisch-Graetz
Father Prince Otto Weriand of Windisch-Graetz
Mother Archduchess Elisabeth Marie of Austria

Princess Stéphanie of Windisch-Graetz (April 4, 1909 in Ploskovice, Bohemia – May 29, 2005 in Uccle, Belgium) was the daughter of Prince Otto Weriand of Windisch-Graetz (1873–1952) and Archduchess Elisabeth Marie of Austria (1883–1963), only child of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria and Princess Stéphanie of Belgium. She was the great-grandchild of Emperor Franz-Joseph and Empress Elisabeth ('Sissi') of Austria. She was also the great-grandchild of King Leopold II of Belgium.

Her full name was Stéphanie Eleonore Maria Elisabeth Kamilla Philomena Veronika zu Windisch-Grätz in German, and Stéphanie Éléonore Marie Élisabeth Camille Philomène Véronique de Windisch-Grätz in French. She may have been named after her maternal grandmother, Princess Stéphanie of Belgium. Her nickname in the family was Fée.


As a child she suffered greatly from her mother's frequent absences, and her parents' inharmonious marriage. The couple was separated in 1924 and divorced in 1948. Her mother came to live in Brussels with the four children and Princess Clementine of Belgium offered a friendly refuge to Stéphanie.

In 1921, Archduchess Elisabeth had begun a relationship with the Austrian socialist member of parliament Leopold Petznek, whom she eventually married in 1948. Stéphanie got along well with her stepfather, but her relationship with her mother was not very good, and worsened after her second marriage. Archduchess Elisabeth did not like Karl-Axel Björklund, and forbade him her house. Stéphanie financially supported her father Otto Weriand in later life.

Stéphanie had three elder brothers:

  • Prince Franz Joseph zu Windisch-Grätz (1904 in Prague - 1981 in Nairobi), married to Ghislaine d'Arschot Schoonhoven (1912–1997) and father of
    • Princess Stéphanie Windisch-Graetz (b. 1939) became an artist, known for her photographic portraits using only candles as a source of light and for her sensual images from the animal world. She married Dermot Blundell-Hollinshead-Blundell (1935–2009). They are the parents of:
      • Henry Victor William Blundell-Hollinshead-Blundell (born 1967) and
      • Alexander Otto Blundell-Hollinshead-Blundell (born 1969)
    • Prince Guillaume Franz Josef Maria Windisch-Graetz (born 1950; unmarried).
  • Prince Ernst zu Windisch-Grätz (1905–1952)
  • Prince Rudolf zu Windisch-Grätz (1907–1939)


In 1933 Stéphanie married Count Pierre d'Alcantara de Querrieu. Count dÁlcantara was the son of Jean d'Alcantara de Querrieu and baroness Marie-Lucie 't Kint de Roodenbeeke. Count d´Alcantara was member of the household of King Leopold III. In 1942 he was arrested by the Gestapo and died two years later in the camp of Sachsenhausen.

After the death of her husband, she remarried in 1945 Karl-Axel Björklund (1906–1986). She had one child by each husband:

  • count Alvar Etienne d'Alcantara de Querrieu (born 30 July 1935)
  • Bjorn-Axel Björklund (20 October 1944 - 7 September 1995)

Later life and legacy[edit]

During her long life, Stéphanie traveled extensively, especially in Africa, where her brother François-Joseph lived in Kenya, and also in South America, particularly in Argentina.



  • Ghislaine Windisch-Graetz, née d'Arschot Schoonhoven, Kaiseradler und rote Nelke: Das Leben der Tochter des Kronprinzen Rudolf, 1988
  • Friedrich Weissensteiner, L'Archiduchesse rouge, Payot, Paris, 2010
  • Oscar Coomans de Brachène, Etat présent de la noblesse belge, annuaire 2003, Brussels, 2003.