Charles I of Austria

Charles I of Austria bigraphy, stories - Austro-Hungarian emperor

Charles I of Austria : biography

17 August 1887 – 01 April 1922

Charles I of Austria or Charles IV of Hungary (Karl Franz Joseph Ludwig Hubert Georg Otto Marie; 17 August 18871 April 1922) was, among other titles, the last ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was the last Emperor of Austria, the last King of Hungary,Charles (I), . (2009). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 19 April 2009, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online: the last King of Bohemia and Croatia and the last King of Galicia and Lodomeria and the last monarch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. He reigned as Charles I as Emperor of Austria and Charles IV as King of Hungary from 1916 until 1918, when he "renounced participation" in state affairs, but did not abdicate. He spent the remaining years of his life attempting to restore the monarchy until his death in 1922. Following his beatification by the Catholic Church, he has become commonly known as Blessed Charles of Austria.


Name Birth Death Notes
Crown Prince Otto 20 November 1912 df=yes|2011|7|4|1912|11|20}} married (1951) Princess Regina of Saxe-Meiningen and Hildburghausen (1925–2010); seven children.
Archduchess Adelheid 3 January 1914 df=yes|1971|10|2|1914|1|3}}
Archduke Robert 8 February 1915 df=yes|1996|2|7|1915|2|8}} married (1953) Princess Margherita of Savoy-Aosta (born 7 April 1930); five children.
Archduke Felix 31 May 1916 df=yes|2011|9|6|1916|5|31}} married (1952) Princess Anna-Eugénie of Arenberg (5 July 19259 June 1997); seven children.
Archduke Karl Ludwig 10 March 1918 df=yes|2007|12|11|1918|3|10}} married (1950) Princess Yolanda of Ligne (born 6 May 1923); four children.
Archduke Rudolf 5 September 1919 df=yes|2010|5|15|1919|9|5}} married (1953) Countess Xenia Tschernyschev-Besobrasoff (11 June 192920 September 1968); four children.Second marriage (1971) Princess Anna Gabriele of Wrede (born 11 September 1940); one child.
Archduchess Charlotte 1921|3|1|df=y}} df=yes|1989|7|23|1921|3|1}} married (1956) George, Duke of Mecklenburg (22 September (5 October) 18996 July 1963).
Archduchess Elisabeth 31 May 1922 df=yes|1993|1|7|1922|5|31}} married (1949) Prince Heinrich of Liechtenstein (5 August 191617 April 1991); five children.

Exile in Madeira and death

Tomb of Charles I

After the second failed attempt at restoration in Hungary, Charles and pregnant Zita were briefly quarantined at Tihany Abbey. On 1 November 1921 they were taken to the Danube harbor city of Baja, made to board the British monitor HMS Glowworm, and were removed to the Black Sea where they were transferred to the light cruiser .Gordon Brook-Shepherd Uncrowned Emperor – The Life and Times of Otto von Habsburg, Hambledon Continuum, London 2003. ISBN 1-85285-549-5. They arrived in their final exile, the Portuguese island of Madeira, on 19 November 1921. Determined to prevent a third restoration attempt, the Council of Allied Powers had agreed on Madeira because it was isolated in the Atlantic and easily guarded.

Originally the couple and their children (who joined them only on 2 February 1922) lived at Funchal at the Villa Vittoria, next to Reid’s Hotel, and later moved to Quinta do Monte. Compared to the imperial glory in Vienna and even at Eckartsau, conditions there were certainly impoverished.Blessed Emperor Charles, Prince of Peace for a United Europe, a Roman Catholic pamphlet, Nihil Obstat: Archdiocese of Vienna, 6.7.2005, K1238/05.

Charles would not leave Madeira again. On 9 March 1922 he caught a cold walking into town and developed bronchitis, which subsequently progressed to severe pneumonia. Having suffered two heart attacks, he died of respiratory failure on 1 April in the presence of his wife (who was pregnant with their eighth child) and 9-year old former Crown Prince Otto, retaining consciousness almost to the last moment. His remains except for his heart are still kept on the island, in the Church of Our Lady of Monte, in spite of several attempts to move them to the Habsburg Crypt in Vienna.