Karl I of Austria

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Karl I, a.k.a. Kroly IV (in Hungary)

Karl of Austria (August 17, 1887April 1, 1922), Karl Franz Josef Ludwig Hubert Georg Maria von Habsburg-Lothringen, was (among other titles) the last Emperor of Austria, the last King of Hungary and Bohemia, and the last monarch of the Habsburg Dynasty.



Karl was the son of Otto Franz of Austria (1865-1906) and Princess Josepha of Saxony (1867-1944), he was also a nephew of Archduke Franz Ferdinand , whose assassination triggered World War I. In 1911, he was married to Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma.
They had eight children (six boys and two girls):

  • Otto (1912-)
  • Adelhaid (1914-1971)
  • Robert (1915-1996)
  • Felix (1916-). Married Anna-Eugnie Princess von Arenberg and has issue.
  • Carl Ludwig (1918-). Married Yolande Princess de Ligne and has issue.
  • Rudolph (1919-). Married 1st Xenia Countess Tschernyscheva-Besobrasova and 2nd Anna Princess von Wrede and has issue by both.
  • Charlotte (1921-1989). Married Georg Duke von Mecklenburg.
  • Elisabeth (1922-1993). Married Heinrich Prince von und zu Liechtenstein.

His reign began in 1916. In 1916, he also became a Generalfeldmarschall in the Austro-Hungarian Army. In 1917, Karl secretly entered into peace negotiations with France. Although his foreign minister, Ottokar Czernin, was only interested in negotiating a general peace which would include Germany as well, Karl himself, in negotiations with the French with his brother-in-law, Prince Sixtus of Bourbon-Parma, an officer in the Belgian army, as intermediary, went much further in suggesting his willingness to make a separate peace. When news of the overture leaked in April 1918, Karl denied all involvement until the French prime minister Georges Clemenceau published letters signed by him. This led to Czernin's resignation, and forced Austria-Hungary into an even more dependent position with respect to its seemingly wronged German ally.

On November 11, 1918, he proclaimed formally "I relinquish every participation in the administration of the State" but did not abdicate his thrones.[1] (http://www.firstworldwar.com/source/abdication_karl.htm)

He fled to Switzerland after the empire collapsed at the end of the war, but refused to abdicate. Encouraged by Hungarian nationalists, he sought twice in 1921 to reclaim the throne of Hungary, but failed, due to various factors including the lack of support of the Hungarian Regent Mikls Horthy. Horthy's failure to support Karl's restoration attempts is often described as "treasonous" by monarchists, but it appears likely that Horthy was more firmly grounded in political reality than the former king of Hungary and his supporters.

He died on the Portuguese island of Madeira in 1922.

After his death

Some historians have seen Karl as a brave and honourable figure who tried as emperor-king to halt World War I. Helmut Rumpler, head of the Habsburg commission of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, has described Karl as "a dilettante, far too weak for the challenges facing him, out of his depth, and not really a politician." [2] (http://www.iht.com/articles/541780.html)


Karl has been solemnly declared blessed in the ceremony of beatification by the Roman Catholic Church. The cause or campaign began in 1949 when testimony of his holiness was collected in the Archdiocese of Vienna. In 1954, he was declared venerable, the first step on the process beatification. The guild established for the promotion of his cause has created this website (http://www.beatificationemperorcharles.info/English/home%20EN.htm). The Roman Catholic Church has praised Karl for putting his Christian faith first in making political decisions, and for his perceived role as a peacemaker during the war. Cardinal Christoph Schnborn of Vienna has been the Church's sponsor for his beatification.

Recent milestones include:

Official Title of Karl I

His Imperial and Apostolic Majesty,

Karl the First,

By the Grace of God, Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, of this name the Fourth, King of Bohemia,

of Croatia, Slavonia, Lodomeria and Illyria; King of Jerusalem etc., Archduke of Austria; Grand Duke of Tuscany and Cracow, Duke of Lorraine, of Salzburg, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola and of the Bukovina; Grand Prince of Transylvania; Margrave of Moravia; Duke of Upper and Lower Silesia, of Modena, Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla, of Auschwitz [Oświęcim] and Zator, of Teschen [Cieszyn/Těn], Friuli, Ragusa [Dubrovnik] and Zara [Zadar]; Princely Count of Habsburg and Tyrol, of Kyburg, Gorizia and Gradisca; Prince of Trent [Trento] and Brixen [Bressanone]; Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia and in Istria; Count of Hohenems, Feldkirch, Bregenz, Sonnenberg, etc.; Lord of Trieste, of Cattaro [Kotor], and in the Wendish Mark; Grand Voivode of the Voivodina of Serbia etc. etc.

See also

External link

Template:Succession box one to threeTemplate:End boxcs:Karel I.de:Karl I. (sterreich-Ungarn)eo:Karolo la 1-afr:Charles Ier d'Autrichehu:IV. Krolynl:Karel I van Oostenrijkja:カール1世 (オーストリア皇帝)pl:Karol I (cesarz austriacki)sv:Karl I av sterrikezh:卡爾一世(奧匈帝國)

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