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  #141  
Old 07-21-2013, 04:29 PM
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It is certainly an interesting phenomenon here in Austria. I have often wondered about it myself but there is only one AD who gets really valued here and this is AD Johann of Austria, brother of Franz I. / Ii. and great benefactor of Styria. Empress Maria Theresia as well. FJ Is known because of the Sissi-movies among the younger generation. Karl and Zita are more or less unknown by many Austrians. On a side note the Republic does not have personal things apart from clothes, etc which were regularly distributed by the Imperial Court among the servants. Many of Elisabeth's famous diamond stars are still in possession of the descendants of her close confidantes. Sometimes these things turn up and are auctioned off. All these things are then exhibited in the Hofburg. The Habsburgs still are in possession of all important family heirlooms, especially Otto's branch and the descendants of Marie Valerie. Except for the most valuable jewels which were stolen during the abolishment of the monarchy.
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  #142  
Old 07-22-2013, 08:33 AM
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After all that I have read and heard from other people who have done research about the matter, I understand that Karl and Zita left Austria with little more than the clothes on their body. Even if they had taking any valuables with them, they were most likely sold in the early years of their exil considering that they were poor and only lived of money given to them by monarchists, family members and the Catholic church. Their situation only improved when their sons started to earn money and that's also the reason why they are wealthy these days.

It was Zita's decision that Otto would go into politics and it were his brothers who supported him financially during times that he could not earn a lof of money giving presentations and such about the political situation in Europe. Most of the sons Karl and Zita married very well and their wives brought money and heirlooms into their new families. It is my understanding that most if not all of the tiaras and jewels that are owned by the different descendants of Karl and Zita are either heirlooms from other families (for example the Este branch has lots of Savoy-Aosta jewellery which were brought into the family by Archduchess Margherita) or have been purchased with the money they earned (or inherited in Francesca's case).

About every ten years there have been auctions by the Austrian state of Habsburg valuables. A friend of mine has seen one of the catalogues and they include such personal items as family photo albums, letters and jewels. (Also a lot of other stuff like paitings, furniture, etc.) I have read interviews of many family members in which they told that they are trying to purchase the most important personal items at auctions.

Of course, there were a lot of archduchesses who married into other families before the monarchy was abolished and had substantial dowries including jewels and such. That's one of the reasons why Prince Sophie of Windisch-Graetz, née Archduchess of Austria has a collection of Habsburg jewels to wear but they aren't owned by the Habsburg family.
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  #143  
Old 07-22-2013, 08:54 AM
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As I said jewels like Elisabeth's diamond stars were gifts from the Empress to close confidantes after CP Rudolph's death. Valuable jewels were stolen after the abolishment like the yellow FLORENTINER in that we absolutely agree with each other. Also FJ distributed personal things like letters, combs, pictures to his servants. But these things were given to the Republic by the descendants of said servants or bought by the Republic at auctions. I am not saying the Habsburgs were treated correctly by the Republic. But I know that OTTO's branch and also Marie Valerie's branch still have a lot of personal memorabilia. What the main branch does not have are the really valuable things: the family jewels, paintings, the castles, hunting lodges, property, etc. in that case I agree with you. Yet the other minor branches like the FJ- branch through Marie Valerie and the Hohenbergs still have several family heirlooms, buildings like the Kaiservilla, hunting lodges, etc. As I said I have often wondered about the harsh treatment of the Habsburgs myself. It is an interesting topic.
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  #144  
Old 07-22-2013, 08:59 AM
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After all that I have read and heard from other people who have done research about the matter, I understand that Karl and Zita left Austria with little more than the clothes on their body. Even if they had taking any valuables with them, they were most likely sold in the early years of their exil considering that they were poor and only lived of money given to them by monarchists, family members and the Catholic church. Their situation only improved when their sons started to earn money and that's also the reason why they are wealthy these days.
But she keept her Wedding tiara which was later giiven to daughter-in-law Regina who wore it at her Wedding Day. In one book i also read that around 1920/21 one of ther trusted sold some old Family Jewels (going back to Maria Theresia) which they wanted to keep, and went away with the Money.
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  #145  
Old 07-22-2013, 09:08 AM
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Yes Stefan that is right. Zita and Karl were also betrayed by a close confidant. They sold important jewels but said confidant kept the money and left without a trace.

On a side note: who is Sophie Windischgrätz ? Do you mean CP Rudolf's daughter Elisabeth Marie Henriette Stephanie who married Prince Otto Windischgrätz?
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  #146  
Old 07-22-2013, 09:15 AM
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On a side note: who is Sophie Windischgrätz ? Do you mean CP Rudolf's daughter Elisabeth Marie Henriette Stephanie who married Prince Otto Windischgrätz?
Probably the daughter of Archduke Ferdinand and Archduchess Helene, née Countess zu Toerring-Jettenbach is meant as her name is Sophie and she is married to Fürst Mariano Hugo zu Windisch-Greatz.
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  #147  
Old 07-22-2013, 11:51 AM
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Is it possible that those heirlooms which the main line of the Habsburgs still own were given back to them only in the 1930s? If I don't mistake in these years they were allowed to return to Austria and some properties were given back to them, until they lost them again with the Anschluss.
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  #148  
Old 07-22-2013, 12:14 PM
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More likely after 1961 when Otto renounced his rights to the throne and was therefore given permission to enter Austria. And Zita was allowed to return for a few days in 1981 because PM - or Kanzler in German - Bruno Kreisky allowed it. They even met each other and were on very good terms with each other.
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  #149  
Old 07-23-2013, 01:10 PM
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HIRH Archduke Karl has given up his rights too?
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  #150  
Old 07-23-2013, 01:28 PM
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No he didn't - he didn't have to do, because Archduke Otto had renounced to all claims to the Austrian throne for himself and his descendants, Karl included.
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  #151  
Old 07-23-2013, 03:55 PM
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No he didn't - he didn't have to do, because Archduke Otto had renounced to all claims to the Austrian throne for himself and his descendants, Karl included.
That is not correct.

In his renouncation of 31 May 1961, he explicity wrote of "my membership to the House of Habsburg-Lorraine" and did not mention his descendants. (I have a picture of it somewhere; if you want, I can search for and upload it.)

Karl never needed to renounce his membership anyway. Technically, only Otto as well as his brother Carl-Ludwig and Felix (as well as male members of the House who were born before the end of the Empire) were required to renounce their membership to the House as they were born before the end of the Empire. There was a court ruling in favour of their brother Rudolf in 1980 as he filed a lawsuit against the republic and the outcome was that only members of the Habsburg family born before 19 April 1919 are (were) banned to enter the country. Carl-Ludwig and Felix never signed a waiver and thus neither renounced their membership nor their title as Austria had become a member of the EU in the mid-1990's and the EU criticised the ban as being against human rights and it was thus lifted.

But back to Otto and Karl... I have heard that Otto only decided to renounce his right as his wife had given birth to their first son a few months earlier as his headship would have naturally passed to Karl - instead of Robert, who would have been next in line before - in case anyone disputed his headship.

There are some people who claim that Karl had actually been head of the House since 1961 as Otto legally renounced his membership of the House. Otto himself called the waiver fiction. His mother and brothers did not like it but I do not think that they ever seriously disputed his headship. The same people say that either Otto made all decisions for Karl as his legal guardian or that Robert acted as guardian in Habsburg matters for his nephew. As Otto still made decisions and amended house rules when Karl was of majority for many years, I myself do not follow their argumentation which would also mean that Georg is neither in line of succession nor a member of the House as he was born after 1961 when his father renounced his membership.

Zita was allowed into the country after King Juan Carlos threatened a diplomatic incident during meetings with Bruno Kreisky in the early 1980's. The official reasoning given was that she only was a Habsburg by marriage and did not have any claim to the throne herself. She then entered the country to visit the Stephansdom and meet with the bishop, it was during the time when the wish of a beatification of Emperor Karl grew stronger.
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  #152  
Old 07-23-2013, 04:04 PM
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Probably the daughter of Archduke Ferdinand and Archduchess Helene, née Countess zu Toerring-Jettenbach is meant as her name is Sophie and she is married to Fürst Mariano Hugo zu Windisch-Greatz.
Indeed. She, or rather her husband's family, has a bunch of historical Habsburg jewels.

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But she keept her Wedding tiara which was later giiven to daughter-in-law Regina who wore it at her Wedding Day. In one book i also read that around 1920/21 one of ther trusted sold some old Family Jewels (going back to Maria Theresia) which they wanted to keep, and went away with the Money.
I was told - unfortunately, I could never find a written reference to it - that the wedding tiara was smuggled out of the country by a confident (that's what apparently also happened to a few other personal items). If anyone has any info about the tiara, I would be very grateful
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  #153  
Old 07-23-2013, 04:37 PM
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Thank you for the clarification and the correction of my mistake.

Just there is one thing that is still unclear to me. If I have correctly understood, only in 1980 it was decided that only those born before 19 April 1919 had to renounce their membership to the Imperial Family in order to be allowed to enter to Austria. So if Otto's renounciation applied only to himself, what was Karl's (and Georg's) position until 1980?

ETA: it would be great if you could share with us the picture of Otto's renounciation, thank you in advance!
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  #154  
Old 07-23-2013, 04:44 PM
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The famous wedding tiara of Zita made by Köchert! Yes it made headlines in the early 90ies cause Karl tried to smuggle it from Switzerland to Austria and was discovered at the state border. LOL
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  #155  
Old 07-23-2013, 06:12 PM
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Is it forbidden to take your (family's) own jewels to Austria?
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  #156  
Old 07-23-2013, 06:31 PM
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The famous wedding tiara of Zita made by Köchert! Yes it made headlines in the early 90ies cause Karl tried to smuggle it from Switzerland to Austria and was discovered at the state border. LOL
Wasn't it at an airport? But anyway, not very smart of him... Didn't know though that it was the wedding tiara. I have read somewhere that it (along with the rest of Regina's wedding jewellery) was donated to the treasury of statue of the Virgin Mary in Mariazell though I don't recall the year but it's possible that it was some time in the late 1990's.

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Thank you for the clarification and the correction of my mistake.

Just there is one thing that is still unclear to me. If I have correctly understood, only in 1980 it was decided that only those born before 19 April 1919 had to renounce their membership to the Imperial Family in order to be allowed to enter to Austria. So if Otto's renounciation applied only to himself, what was Karl's (and Georg's) position until 1980?

ETA: it would be great if you could share with us the picture of Otto's renounciation, thank you in advance!
Firstly, Otto's waiver. For those who don't speak German: "I (...) declare herewith that (...) I waive my membership to the House of Habsburg-Lorraine and all resulting claims to power, and profess myself to be a loyal citizen of the republic." (Sorry if the wording is a little off but I tried to stay with the original as close as possible.) Btw, he was only able to visit Austria for the first time again in 1966 (Innsbruck) and Vienna the following years as some parties were still not in favour of him being allowed to visit despite a ruling of 1963 which said that his declaration (renounciation) fulfilled all requirements.

Can't recall when Karl and Georg got their first Austrian passports though I remember that they got them from the Austrian general consulate in Munich and they stated "allows entrance to all countries but Austria". Otto got his in 1966 and I think that his family got their's a little before that though I'm a little shaky on the details. I seem to recall Otto's nephew Carl-Christian stating that he visited Austria for the first time during the 1970's and neither his father nor he himself ever signed a waiver, so it must have been possible to enter for Blessed Emperor Karl's grandchildren during time. (Though it's also possible that Christian travelled on a passport that made it rather hard for the border guards to recognise him. I know that as a child and teenager he travelled on a Belgian passport using the last name "de Bar" as did his mother Yolande and his siblings.)
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  #157  
Old 07-23-2013, 06:32 PM
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Is it forbidden to take your (family's) own jewels to Austria?
No, it isn't, but you have to declare it to customs officials and pay customs duties.
If I recall correctly, it happened in 1996; Karl didn't declare to customs officials that he was carrying the tiara, trying to avoid customs duties, but the officials discovered it and he was eventually fined for smuggling.
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  #158  
Old 07-23-2013, 06:38 PM
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Is it forbidden to take your (family's) own jewels to Austria?
You have a point there. It makes sense if it would have been a newly-purchased piece of jewellery as it would have the same status as clothes or any technical gadget (*). If it was the wedding tiara, it would have been made by Köchert, thus purchased in Austria and you wouldn't need to pay customs for a tiara bought in Austria bringing it into Austria again, would you?!

(Karl had already made Austria his home during that time; if he bought expensive jewellery, clothes or any other products over X amount of money abroad, he would need to declare it at customs.)
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  #159  
Old 11-17-2013, 10:13 PM
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What are the legal penalties for using a title socially in Austria? Especially since they needed special permission to use titles and songs during Otto's funeral?
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  #160  
Old 12-14-2013, 01:34 PM
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In the first Austrian Republic you had to pay one Schilling each time you used your title socially after the abolishment of the monarchy. Well as a currency the Schilling no longer exits since 2002 and in fact nothing happens at all if you use it within certain social circles. Officially you can not use a title on your personal documents like your birth certificate, marriage certificate,passport,etc. and therefore from a legal point of view you do not have a title. As far as I recall the problem at AD Otto's funeral was that the family wanted the old Kaiserhymn to be sung officially and therefore they needed a permission.
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