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Old 04-18-2008, 09:06 AM
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Archduke Franz-Ferdinand (1863-1914) and Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg (1868-1914)

Franz Ferdinand Karl Ludwig Joseph, Archduke of Austria-Este, Archduke of Austria, Prince of Hungary and Bohemia (Graz 18 December 1863 - assassinated at Sarajevo on 28 June 1914); married (morganatically) in Reichstadt on 1 July 1900 Countess Sophie Maria Josephine Albina Chotek von Chotkova und Wognin (Stuttgart 1 March 1868 - assassinated at Sarajevo on 28 June 1914)

Children: Countess Sophie von Nostitz-Rieneck; Maximilian, Duke of Hohenberg; Prince Ernst of Hohenberg and a stillborn son

Parents Franz-Ferdinand: Archduke Karl-Ludwig of Austria and Princess Maria Annunciata of the Two Sicilies

Parents Sophie: Count Bohuslaw Chotek von Chotkova und Wognin and Countess Wilhelmine Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau

Siblings Franz-Ferdinand: Archduke Otto of Austria; Archduke Ferdinand Karl of Austria and Duchess Margrethe of Württemberg

Half-Sisters Franz-Ferdinand: Archduchess Maria Annunziata of Austria, Abbess of the Theresia Convent in Prague; and Princess Elisabeth of Liechtenstein

Siblings Sophie: Count Wolfgang Chotek von Chotkow; Countess Sidonia, nun of the Saint Heart of Jesus Order in Riedenburg; Fürstin Maria Pia of Thun-Hohenstein; Countess Karolina of Nostitz-Rieneck; Countess Theresa Chotek von Chotkow; Countess Oktavia of Schönburg-Glauchau-Waldenburg; Countess Maria Antonia von Wuthenau-Hohenturm and Countess Marie-Henriette of Nostitz-Rieneck
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:25 AM
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Franz Ferdinand (December 18, 1863June 28, 1914) was an Archduke of Austria-Este, Prince Imperial of Austria and Royal Prince of Hungary and Bohemia, and from 1896 until his death, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne. His assassination in Sarajevo precipitated the Austrian declaration of war. This caused countries allied with Austria-Hungary (the Central Powers) and countries allied with Serbia (the Triple Entente Powers) to declare war on each other, starting World War I.
Full Name: Franz Ferdinand Karl Giuermo Anikò Strezpek Belschwitz Mòric Pinche Bálint Szilveszter Gömpi Maurice Bzoch János Frajkor Ludwig van Haverbeke Josef von Habsburg-Lothringen , was born in Graz, Austria, the eldest son of Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria (younger brother of Emperor Franz Joseph and Maximilian I of Mexico) and of his second wife, Princess Maria Annunciata of the Two Sicilies. When he was only twelve years old, his cousin Duke Francis V of Modena died, naming Franz Ferdinand his heir on condition that he add the name Este to his own. Franz Ferdinand thus became one of the wealthiest men in Austria.
When he was born, there was no reason to think that Franz Ferdinand would ever be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. He was given the normal strict education of an archduke with an emphasis on history and moral character. From 1876 to 1885 his tutor was the historian Onno Klopp. In 1883 Franz Ferdinand entered the army with the rank of third lieutenant.
As a young man, Franz Ferdinand developed two great passions: hunting and travel. It is estimated that he shot more than 5,000 deer in his lifetime. In 1883, he visited Italy for the first time in order to see the properties left to him by Duke Francis V of Modena. In 1885, he visited Egypt, Palestine, Syria, and Turkey. In 1889, he visited Germany.

Read the entire wikipedia article here.
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:27 AM
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Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, born Sophie Maria Josephine Albina Chotek, Countess of Chotkova and Wognin (March 1, 1868 - June 28, 1914). She died at the age of 46. She is the morganatic wife of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. Their assassination sparked World War I. (de: Sophie Maria Josephine Albina Chotek Gräfin von Chotkova und Wognin, later the Fürstin von Hohenberg, since 1909 Herzogin von Hohenberg, cs: Žofie Marie Josefína Albína hraběnka Chotková z Chotkova a Vojnína, later the kněžna z Hohenbergu, since 1909 vévodkyně z Hohenbergu)

Sophie was born in Stuttgart to a prominent Bohemian aristocratic family. She was the fourth daughter of Count Bohuslaw Chotek von Chotkova und Wognin and of his wife, Countess Wilhelmine Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau. As a young woman, Sophie became lady-in-waiting to the Archduchess Isabella, wife of Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen. It is unknown where Sophie first met Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, though many claim a ball in Prague.
Sophie and Franz Ferdinand kept their relationship a secret for years. When Franz Ferdinand began to make regular visits to the home of Archduke Friedrich, it was assumed that he had fallen in love with his eldest daughter, Marie Christine. When the relationship was discovered by Archduchess Isabella a public scandal was created.
Emperor Franz Joseph made it clear to Franz Ferdinand that he could not marry Sophie. To be an eligible partner for a member of the Austro-Hungarian imperial family, one must be a member of one of the reigning or formerly reigning dynasties of Europe. The Choteks were not one of these families, although they did include among their ancestors in the female line princes of Baden, Hohenzollern-Hechingen, and Liechtenstein. Ironically one of Sophia's direct ancestors was Count Albrecht IV of Hapsburg; she was descended from Elisabeth von Hapsburg a sister of King Rudolph I of Germany.
Franz Ferdinand insisted he would not marry anyone else. Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Pope Leo XIII all made representations to Franz Joseph on Franz Ferdinand's behalf arguing that the disagreement was undermining the stability of the monarchy.

Read the entire wikipedia article here.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:10 PM
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Here are some photos ( from Imageshack): Franz Ferdinand with Sophie,their daughter Sophie and with their three children .
I wonder what would his wife's status would be when he ascended at the throne. I know he couldn't make her Kaiserin ( or he would go through hell from the other archdukes) but could he give her a higher title? I also wonder how his children would be viewed. For example Sophie seems quite beautiful. Would she have the opportunity to make a royal match or she would be looked down upon because of her morganatic status?
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Old 06-25-2010, 12:50 PM
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He is the emperor. That means everybody has to do what he want. That sounds weird, but Franz Jopseh did that without mercy. All archdukes and archuduchesse had the choice between a life at the court or a free life outside. And the most wanted a comfy life.
I read somewhere, that FF wanted to change the rules, after FJ death. So Sophie had become Empress and the eldest son crownprince, later Emperor. Maybe the monarchy had live longer under FF. He wasn´t so narrow-minded. But who knows.
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Old 06-25-2010, 12:52 PM
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Their wedding

http://i49.tinypic.com/vh6tt0.jpg
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Old 03-15-2011, 05:52 PM
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It seems like for such an important historical figure, there would be more pictures and information on FF's descendants. Anybody know anything further on the children and grandchildren of FF and Sophie?
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:36 PM
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After their parents' murder, the three children Sophie, Maximilian and Ernst lived with their maternal uncle (and close friend of Archduke Franz Ferdinand) the Prince of Thun-Hohenstein, who was the husband of Sophie's sister.

Both Ernst and Maximilian, but especially the latter one, were strong opposers of Anschluss and Nazi regime; they also worked closely to Archduke Otto, who was himself working for restoring the Monarchy in Austria and Hungary (and was strongly hated by Hitler). For these reasons, in 1938 they and their sister Sophie were imprisoned in Dachau concentration camp, where they remained until the end of World War II.

Princess Sophie (1901-1990) married in 1920 to Count Friedrich von Nostitz-Rieneck, with whom she had three sons and a daughter; the eldest son, Erwein, died in 1949 in a Soviet prisoner of war camp; the second son, Franz, was killed in action during the war.

Prince Ernst (1904-1954) married in 1936 to Marie-Therese Wood, and they had two sons together, Prince Franz and Prince Ernst, both married with issue.

Duke Maximilian (1902-1962) married in 1926 to Countess Maria Elisabeth von Waldburg zu Wolfegg und Waldsee, and they became parents of six children, all sons: Franz Ferdinand, Georg, Albrecht, Johannes, Peter Gerhard.

At Duke Maximilian's death in 1962, he was succeeded as Duke of Hohenberg by his eldest son, Franz Ferdinand (1927-1977); he married in 1956 to Princess Elisabeth of Luxembourg and Bourbon-Parma, daughter of Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg and her husband Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma; they had two daughters, Anita and Sophie.

Since Franz Ferdinand had no sons, he was succeeded by his brother Georg, born in 1929, who is the present Duke of Hohenberg; he served as Austrian Ambassador to the Holy See and retired a few years ago.
He married in 1960 to Princess Eleonore of Auersperg-Breunner, and they have three children: Prince Nikolaus, Princess Henriette and Prince Maximilian; the two sons are married and with issue, while Henriette is unmarried.
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Old 03-16-2011, 12:25 AM
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Thanks MAfan for the information, interesting histories.
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:09 PM
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I read somewhere, that FF wanted to change the rules, after FJ death. So Sophie had become Empress and the eldest son crownprince, later Emperor.
I doubt that. Franz Ferdinand and FJ didn't share the same opinion regarding his marriage with Sophie but FF was a loyal member of the Habsburg family and no person who would cheat behind FJ's back or break a contract.
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Old 04-08-2011, 06:27 PM
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Considering that the Imperial Family was very large, with dozens of Archdukes in the line of succession, and that a large part of them or at least some very influential were against FF and Sophie's marriage, I think it would be rather unlikely that as Emperor he would upgrade her and their children.

I think it's more likely that he would do something to improve Sophie's social conditions and to mitigate the consequences of the morganatic marriage, that were somehow rather heavy and humiliating for her.
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:11 PM
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Yes, exactly my thoughts.
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:52 AM
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According to Noblesse & Royautes, there is a new book about Archduke Franz Ferdinand entitled "The Assassination of the Archduke". It is written by Sue Woolmans and Greg King and is in English. Noblesse & Royautes asked her (Sue Woolmans) if the book will be published in French, and she said no, but it will be published in Polish, Czech and Portuguese. They also asked her what her sources are and she said that the current Duke of Hohenberg, Prince Georg, gave her permission to visit Haus Hof und Staatsarchiv, where the main archives about the Archduke are located. Sue Woolmans also says that other members of the Hohenberg family allowed her to look at their family archives. More of the interview, photos and information about Franz Ferdinand can be found here:

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Old 12-13-2013, 04:26 PM
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In 1886 Maria Josepha of Saxony married Archduke Otto of Austria, the brother of Franz Ferdinand. Had she been considered a wife for Franz Ferdinand?
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:50 PM
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As far as I can remember, I once read (I think on another forum) that in the 1880s Emperor Franz Josef wanted an union between his family and the Royal House of Saxony.
He firstly suggested a marriage between his son Rudolf and Princess Mathilde of Saxony, a daughter of King Georg, but Rudolf refused it because he found Mathilde unattractive. Rudolf later married to Princess Stephanie of Belgium.
The Emperor then suggested a marriage between his nephew Franz Ferdinand and Princess Mathilde, and again Mathilde was refused because also Franz Ferdinand found her unattractive.
At that point both Princess Mathilde and her father Georg became quite angry, because of these two refusals, but Franz Josef still wanted his Austrian-Saxon marriage. So he proposed that his other nephew Archduke Otto married to another daughter of Georg, the pretty Princess Maria Josepha, and this time finally the proposal was accepted.
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Old 12-14-2013, 02:23 PM
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Yes MAfan you are right! :-)
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Old 12-15-2013, 01:10 AM
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As far as I can remember, I once read (I think on another forum) that in the 1880s Emperor Franz Josef wanted an union between his family and the Royal House of Saxony.
He firstly suggested a marriage between his son Rudolf and Princess Mathilde of Saxony, a daughter of King Georg, but Rudolf refused it because he found Mathilde unattractive. Rudolf later married to Princess Stephanie of Belgium.
The Emperor then suggested a marriage between his nephew Franz Ferdinand and Princess Mathilde, and again Mathilde was refused because also Franz Ferdinand found her unattractive.
At that point both Princess Mathilde and her father Georg became quite angry, because of these two refusals, but Franz Josef still wanted his Austrian-Saxon marriage. So he proposed that his other nephew Archduke Otto married to another daughter of Georg, the pretty Princess Maria Josepha, and this time finally the proposal was accepted.
Would this be the Princess Mathilde you are talking about?
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi..._of_Saxony.jpg
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Old 12-15-2013, 07:13 PM
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Yes, it's her indeed.
She and her father were quite embittered after she was rejected by two Archdukes and after that relations between Austria and Saxony became quite strained.
Later the marriage between the handsome Otto and the pretty Maria Josepha was an easy way for improving the relations between the two nations.
Princess Mathilde later remained unmarried and led quite a sad life; she became quite irascible, turned embittered and irascible and became an heavy drinker. For these reasons, also her relations with her relatives became strained.
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Old 12-16-2013, 01:41 AM
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I don't know how old she would have been in that photo and it is unfair to judge standards of beauty when everything from hair and clothes to what we regard as beauty is different to a time 120 odd years ago. But I can see why Rudolph would have found her wanting. It's a shame that she was embittered by it but certainly in an era when there were very few approved options for a Princess to do (marriage or glorified nurse for elderly relatives) I can understand. perhaps if she had been more of a rebel. but I get the impression that she was a woman who liked the traditional options and was rejected for it. Perhaps watching what happened to the Crown Princess Louise of Saxony you could understand. Very sad.
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Old 06-27-2014, 03:46 PM
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First World War centenary: Franz Ferdinand’s final journey


First World War centenary: Franz Ferdinand’s final journey - Telegraph
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