Sunday, December 13, 2020

A new position for Archduke Georg

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Archduke Georg of Austria, the younger son of the late Archduke Otto, is reported to be Hungary's next Ambassador to France, according to Hungarian newspapers.   he will be succeeding Count György Karolyi, a dual Hungarian-French citizen who has lived in Paris since age one. 

The archduke has lived in Hungary since his marriage to Duchess Eilika of Oldenburg, daughter of Duke Johann of Oldenburg and Countess Ilka of Ortenburg.   The couple's religious wedding took place at St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest on October 18, 1997.  It was an ecumenical service as Georg is Roman Catholic and Eilika is Lutheran.    

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 The couple's three children, Archduchess Zsófia Mária Tatjána Mónika Erzsébet Katalin (2001), Archduchess Ildikó Mária Walburga (2002) and Archduke Károly-Konstantin Mihály István Mária (2004) were all born in Budapest and are all being raised in the Roman Catholic faith.

Bucharest 2011  King Michael's 90th birthday   Photo by Marlene A Eilers Koenig

In Hungary, the archduke is known as György Habsburg.  According to the Hungarian newspaper, Index, he is expected to be confirmed on Monday by the Foreign Affairs Committee.  This committee has no concerns about the archduke as he has represented Hungary on several occasions, including the Hungarian Olympic Committee. He has also served as president of the Hungarian Red Cross. He has also worked as a journalist and a documentary filmmaker.

Currently, he is "a Special Envoy for UN issues, Olympic affairs, and some other areas."    He worked "intensively on Hungarian integration into the EU."

Archduke Georg, who is fluent in French, is already at the Foreign Ministry undergoing preparations so he can take up his diplomatic position as soon as possible.  It is assumed that Hungary's right-wing president, Viktor Orban, sees a benefit in naming Archduke Georg as Ambassador to France and strengthen Hungary's negotiating position with Emmanuel Macron's government.   Georg's name and family history -- his grandfather, Karl, was the last emperor of the Austro-Hungarian empire.

Georg has good relations with Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister's office, and with Prime Minister Orban.  

Archduke Georg, who will celebrate his 56th birthday on December 16, told the press: "I will not be a member of any party.  I want to continue my work in the media and I will not receive any salary."

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In a recent interview with a Slovenian news organization,  Georg said that "many of the criticisms [of Hungary] are in fact unjustified so I also see it as my task to correct the image of Hungary abroad and present the true images."

Archduchess Eilika's younger sister, Duchess Tatjana lives in Chambourcy, a suburb of Paris, with her husband, Count Axel de Chavagnac, and their two daughters, Alexandrine and Astrid.

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