Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Archduke Karl Ludwig dead, brother of Franz Joseph


May 19, 1896

Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria, the brother of Emperor Franz Joseph, died this morning at Schönbrunn. He was 62 years old, reports the New York Times. Dispatches from Budapest say that the "announcement of his death has created a feeling of sorrow throughout Hungary," where the Archduke was "very popular." His death also "casts a shade of sadness" over Hungary's forthcoming millennium celebration, which was scheduled to being on June 8. This event has now been postponed, due to the official mourning period.
Archduke Karl Ludwig's second son, Archduke Otto Franz Joseph, is now regarded as the heir to the throne. Karl Ludwig's eldest son, Franz Ferdinand, who became the heir presumptive after the death of Archduke Rudolf in January 1889, is "incurably ill," and incapacitated from succeeding to the throne. Archduke Karl Ludwig had renounced his rights in favor of Franz Ferdinand.
Karl Ludwig Joseph Marie was born at Schönbrunn on July 30, 1833, the second son of Archduke Franz and Duchess Sophie in Bavaria. He was married three times, first to Princess Margarete of Saxony who died in 1856, just two years after the wedding; Princess Maria Annunciata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, who died in 1871; and Infanta Maria Teresa of Braganza, who survives him. Karl Ludwig had three sons and a daughter by his second wife, and two daughters by his third wife. He is survived by his wife and all of his children, although Franz Ferdinand is "supposed to be dying of consumption."
Archduke Otto is most likely to succeed his uncle, unless Franz Joseph changes the succession, "which is probable," as Otto "is a drunken ruffian, detested by both the Emperor and his people."
Archduke Karl Ludwig was a "Habsburg of the most reactionary, narrow-minded, and bigoted kind." He was educated "under Jesuit influence, his Ultramontanism has always been thorough going and fanatical." Karl Ludwig abhorred "the ideas of constitutional government and popular rights," and during his brother's reign, Karl Ludwig had been a "bitter foe of all the reform and progress." He "openly attacked" Franz Joseph's advisers, and "insisted on maintaining the Pope's temporal power, at least in Austria."
The hostility between the two brothers was well known. Many in Vienna believe that the Emperor will change the succession due to the fear of revolution if either of Karl Ludwig's sons succeeds to the throne. There is talk that the Emperor has already made arrangements to allow the crown to pass to the eldest son of his favorite daughter, Valerie, who is married to Archduke Franz Salvator.
Archduke Karl Ludwig has been an invalid for many years. He suffered a stroke in 1894, and his death "has been regarded as only a question of months."
Last month, he traveled to Territet on Lake Geneva, and he had intended to stay at the Grand Hotel there for "some time."

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