Thursday, July 3, 2014

Funeral for Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Duchess Sophie.

July 3, 1914

The funeral for the slain Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, the Duchess of Hohenberg took place this afternoon in the Hofburg's chapel, reports the New York Times.

Emperor Franz Josef and the new heir to the throne, Archduke Karl led the mourners, which included "many Archdukes and Archduchesses, Cabinet Ministers, diplomats and high military and civil officials.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the Duchess of Hohenberg were assassinated last week in Sarajevo, Bosnia.

The "ecclesiastical procession" followed after the Emperor and other guests had taken their seats.  The service was officiated by Cardinal Prince Piffl, Archbishop of Vienna.  The service was "very brief," and the only music was "an anthem, which was beautifully sung by the choir, composed entirely of boys."

Later in the evening, the three children of the Archduke and the Duchess, accompanied by the Countess Chotek, were able to pay their respects.  They "prayed by the side of the coffins."  Their grief was said to be "heart-rendering."

Emperor Franz Josef left the Schönbrunn palace early this morning for the Hofburg, and as he "passed through the streets," he was cheered "heartily" by thousands of people

Two wreaths from the couple's children were placed in front of the coffins.  The wreaths were "composed of small white roses on a background of palms, and large white roses with red and white streamers bearing the simple inscription, "Sofie, Max, Ernst."

At 10 pm tonight, the bodies were taken to the Western Station in Vienna and placed on a train for Schloss Arstetten, where the internment took place at midnight.  The hearses carrying the bodies were placed on a ferry at Ampochiarn on the Danube crossing the river to Arstetten.  The boat was "lighted with flaming torches and the bodies were accompanied by guards in glittering uniforms."

There were "enormous crowds" on the streets wanting to pay their last respects to the dead.  The bodies were accompanied by Archduke Karl.

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