Archduke Rudolph turns 90

  September 5, 2009 at 3:39 am by

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His Imperial and Royal Highness Archduke Rudolph of Austria turns 90 years old today.

He was born in Nyon, in Switzerland, where his family was living in exile after the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, on 5th September 1919, the sixth child and fifth son of Emperor Karl I of Austria and his wife Empress Zita, born Princess of Bourbon-Parma.

Archduke Rudolph married firstly in 1953 in New York Countess Xenia Sergeievna Czernichev-Besobrasov, daughter of a Russian count; they had together 4 children, a daughter Maria Anna, now Princess Peter Galitzine, and three sons, Carl Peter, married to Princess Alexandra von Wrede, Simeon, married to Princess Maria Paloma of Bourbon, and Johannes. Archduchess Xenia died in Casteau, Belgium, in 1968, in a car crash in which the Archduke was seriously injured. Seven years later, in 1975, their youngest son Johannes tragically died aged 13 in Bruxelles, in a traffic accident.

He married secondly in 1971 to Princess Anna Gabriele von Wrede, daughter of Fuerst Carl von Wrede (and aunt of his daughter-in-law Alexandra), with whom he had another daughter, Catharina-Maria, now married to Count Maximiliano Secco d’Aragona.

The Archduke worked in the financial field, as a Wall Street junior executive at the time of his first marriage, and then as a bank director. He has lived for a long time in the USA, before to settle in Belgium.

Together with his elder brothers Otto, who turns 97 the next 20 November, and Felix, who has turned 93 three months ago, Archduke Rudolph is the third child of Emperor Karl and Empress Zita to turn 90 years old; their mother herself died aged 96 twenty years ago.

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