Archduke Karl of Austria has succeeded as Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, following the death of his great-uncle Franz Josef, who died tonight at the age of 86. The new emperor is 29 years old.
Karl is the son of Archduke Otto, and a grandson of Archduke Carl Ludwig, a younger brother of Franz Josef. He was born on August 17, 1887 at Schloss Persenbeug in Lower Austria as the elder son of Archduke Otto and Princess Maria Josefa of Saxony. His brother, Archduke Maximilian, is 21 years old.
On October 21, 1911, Archduke Karl, then second in line to the throne, married Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma, a daughter of Duke Roberto I of Parma, who was deposed in 1859, and his second wife, Infanta Maria Antonia of Portugal, a daughter of King Miguel of Portugal and Princess Adelheid of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg.
Karl became the heir to the Dual Monarchy on June 28, 1914, when his uncl, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated by a Bosnian Serb, Gavrilo Prinzip. Franz Ferdinand's morganatic wife, Sophie, the Duchess of Hohenberg, was also killed by Prinzip. The couple's three children did not have dynastic rights to the throne.
The new emperor and empress lived a simple life, reports the New York Times. Zita has nursed all of her children, and the "parents have often taken democratic excursion in public parks, the father wheeling a baby carriage like any Vienna clerk."
He was educated in Vienna's public schools. After the death of his uncle, Franz Ferdinand, Karl became entitled to the income from the Este estate. The last Duke of Modena left his estate with an "extraordinary clause." The income of the Este estates provide an income to the heir of the Austrian, but when he succeeds to the throne, the income passes to the new heir. The estate provided Karl with an annual income of $16 million.
The new Emperor speaks English like a native, according to the American ambassador Frederic C. Penfield. He told Ambassador Penfield: "You want to know how I learned my English. When I was courting my wife -- she was still in school at a convent -- I spent a long time on the Isle of Wight, so that I could see her every day. That is where I learned English."
The couple have four young children: Archduke Otto, who celebrated his 4th birthday yesterday, is now the Crown Prince; Archduchess Adelheid, 2; 21-month old, Archduke Robert; and an infant, Archduke Felix, who was born last May 31.
|Marlene A, Eilers Koenig collection|