Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Prince of Orsini und Rosenberg

HSH The Prince of Orsini und Rosenberg died on December 11.  He was 86 years old.  He was the head of a princely family that has lived in Carinthia, Austria, for more than 400 years.   He is survived by seven children,  19 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Prince Heinrich was born on January 29, 1925 at Schloss Welzenegg in Klagenfurt, the eldest son of Johannes Prince von Orsini und Rosenberg and Countess Marie Larisch von Moennich. 

He attended school in Bavaria, and returned to Carinthia after the war.  At the family home in Grafstein, he restored and enhanced the family's agricultural and forestry operations. 

As president of the European Farmers' association,  the Prince von Orsini und Rosenberg actively promoted nature conservation.

He married Countess Eleonore von Goess on July 20, 1947 at Gradisch.    She died on May 21, 2004.

The Prince von Orsini und Rosenberg is Prince Heinrich's eldest son, Johannes, who was born in 1949, and is married to Countess Marie Eleonore von Thun und Hohenstein.  They have two sons, Heinrich and Paul and one daughter, Johanna. 

In January 2010, Prince Heinrich was interviewed by a reporter from the local newspaper, the Kleine Zeitung.  The occasion of the interview was the publication of a book on the Orsini-Rosenberg family by genealogist Hans Pavlik.

Prince Heinrich was only seven when his father died in 1932, and he succeeded to the title.  He and his mother moved to Salzburg, and then he was sent to school in Bavaria.  He returned to serve as a lieutenant in the Bamberger Reiter.  During the war, he was captured by the British and imprisoned in Schloss Welzenegg.  The prince was not sure if this was coincidence or fate.

He said he had a "solid, no doubt-free faith in God," and after the war, established himself with a "unparalleled career" as a farmer and landowner.

He had wanted to be a diplomat, but he realized the "value of farm work for the preservation of nature," and used his skills to build up the family estate.

Prince Heinrich also had strong views on the then political situation in Carinthia.  "Our reputation is gone, everyone in parliament and government should resign, and not stand for re-election."

He was 70 years old when he learned to wind surf and snorkel at the family vacation home in Cayman Islands, where locals called him Mr. Orsini.

In an unpublished memoir, the Prince talked about his "rich life," and his struggles with God, "even when no misfortunes take place."   He wrote that this was due to "the effect of education.

No comments: