|Birth Day:||December 18, 1863|
|Death Date:||Jun 28, 1914 (age 50)|
|Birth Place:||Graz, Austria|
|#1||Archduke Otto of Austria||Brother||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#2||Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria||Cousin||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#3||Princess Sophie of Hohenberg||Daughter||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#4||Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria||Father||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#5||Princess Maria Annunciata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies||Mother||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#6||Charles I of Austria||Nephew||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||34||Historical Personalities|
|#7||Maximilian, Duke of Hohenberg||Son||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#8||Prince Ernst of Hohenberg||Son||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#9||Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg||Spouse||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||46||Duchess|
|#10||Franz Joseph I of Austria||Uncle||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#11||Maximilian I of Mexico||Uncle||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#12||Franz Ferdinand Prinz von Hohenberg||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#13||stillborn son von Hohenberg||N/A||N/A||N/A|
As per our current Database, Franz Ferdinand died on Jun 28, 1914 (age 50).
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
His cousin committed suicide and his father died of typhoid fever. This put him next in line for the Austrian throne.
Franz Ferdinand was born in Graz, Austria, the eldest son of Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria (the younger brother of Franz Joseph and Maximilian) and of his second wife, Princess Maria Annunciata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. In 1875, when he was eleven years old, his cousin Francis V, Duke 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.
In 1889, Franz Ferdinand's life changed dramatically. His cousin Crown Prince Rudolf committed suicide at his hunting lodge in Mayerling. This left Franz Ferdinand's father, Karl Ludwig, as first in line to the throne. Karl Ludwig died of typhoid fever in 1896. Henceforth, Franz Ferdinand was groomed to succeed to the throne.
Despite this burden, he did manage to find time for travel and personal pursuits, such as his circumnavigation of the world between 1892 and 1893. After visiting India he spent time hunting kangaroos and emus in Australia in 1893, then travelled on to Nouméa, New Hebrides, Solomon Islands, New Guinea, Sarawak, Hong Kong and Japan. After sailing across the Pacific on the RMS Empress of China from Yokohama to Vancouver he crossed the United States and returned to Europe.
In 1894 Franz Ferdinand met Countess Sophie Chotek, a lady-in-waiting to Archduchess Isabella, wife of Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen. Franz began to visit Archduke Friedrich's villa in Pressburg (now Bratislava), and in turn Sophie wrote to Franz Ferdinand during his convalescence from tuberculosis on the island of Lošinj in the Adriatic. They kept their relationship a secret, until it was discovered by Isabella herself.
Franz Ferdinand, like most males in the ruling Habsburg line, entered the Austro-Hungarian Army at a young age. He was frequently and rapidly promoted, given the rank of lieutenant at age fourteen, captain at twenty-two, colonel at twenty-seven, and major general at thirty-one. While never receiving formal staff training, he was considered eligible for command and at one point briefly led the primarily Hungarian 9th Hussar Regiment. In 1898 he was given a commission "at the special disposition of His Majesty" to make inquiries into all aspects of the military services and military agencies were commanded to share their papers with him.
To be eligible to marry a member of the imperial House of Habsburg, one had to be a member of one of the reigning or formerly reigning dynasties of Europe. The Choteks were not one of these families. Deeply in love, Franz Ferdinand refused to consider marrying anyone else. Finally, in 1899, Emperor Franz Joseph agreed to permit Franz Ferdinand to marry Sophie, on the condition that the marriage would be morganatic and that their descendants would not have succession rights to the throne. Sophie would not share her husband's rank, title, precedence, or privileges; as such, she would not normally appear in public beside him. She would not be allowed to ride in the royal carriage or sit in the royal box in theaters.
The wedding took place on 1 July 1900, at Reichstadt (now Zákupy) in Bohemia; Franz Joseph did not attend the affair, nor did any archduke including Franz Ferdinand's brothers. The only members of the imperial family who were present were Franz Ferdinand's stepmother, Princess Maria Theresa of Braganza; and her two daughters. Upon the marriage, Sophie was given the title "Princess of Hohenberg" (Fürstin von Hohenberg) with the style "Her Serene Highness" (Ihre Durchlaucht). In 1909, she was given the more senior title "Duchess of Hohenberg" (Herzogin von Hohenberg) with the style "Her Highness" (Ihre Hoheit). This raised her status considerably, but she still yielded precedence at court to all the archduchesses. Whenever a function required the couple to assemble with the other members of the imperial family, Sophie was forced to stand far down the line, separated from her husband.
He was disappointed when Austria-Hungary failed to act as a great power, such as during the Boxer Rebellion, in 1900. Other nations, including, in his description, "dwarf states like Belgium and Portugal", had soldiers stationed in China, but Austria-Hungary did not. However, Austria-Hungary did participate in the Eight-Nation Alliance to suppress the Boxers, and sent soldiers as part of the "international relief force".
He also held honorary ranks in the Austro-Hungarian Navy, and received the rank of Admiral at the close of the Austro-Hungarian naval maneuvers in September 1902.
Historians have disagreed on how to characterize the political philosophies of Franz Ferdinand, some attributing generally liberal views on the empire's nationalities while others have emphasized his dynastic centralism, Catholic conservatism, and tendency to clash with other leaders. He advocated granting greater autonomy to ethnic groups within the Empire and addressing their grievances, especially the Czechs in Bohemia and the south Slavic peoples in Croatia and Bosnia, who had been left out of the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867. Yet his feelings towards the Hungarians were less generous, often described as antipathy. For example, in 1904 he wrote that "The Hungarians are all rabble, regardless of whether they are minister or duke, cardinal or burgher, peasant, hussar, domestic servant, or revolutionary", and he regarded even István Tisza as a revolutionary and "patented traitor". He regarded Hungarian nationalism as a revolutionary threat to the Habsburg dynasty and reportedly became angry when officers of the 9th Hussars Regiment (which he commanded) spoke Hungarian in his presence – despite the fact that it was the official regimental language. He further regarded the Hungarian branch of the Dual Monarchy's army, the Honvédség, as an unreliable and potentially threatening force within the empire, complaining at the Hungarians' failure to provide funds for the joint army and opposing the formation of artillery units within the Hungarian forces.
Franz Ferdinand exerted influence on the armed forces even when he did not hold a specific command through a military chancery that produced and received documents and papers on military affairs. This was headed by Alexander Brosch von Aarenau and eventually employed a staff of sixteen. His authority was reinforced in 1907 when he secured the retirement of the Emperor's confidant Friedrich von Beck-Rzikowsky as Chief of the General Staff. Beck's successor, Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf, was personally selected by Franz Ferdinand.
Franz in 1913, as heir-presumptive to the elderly emperor, had been appointed inspector general of all the armed forces of Austria-Hungary (Generalinspektor der gesamten bewaffneten Macht), a position superior to that previously held by Archduke Albrecht and including presumed command in wartime.
Franz Ferdinand was a prominent and influential supporter of the Austro-Hungarian Navy in a time when sea power was not a priority in Austrian foreign policy and the Navy was relatively little known and supported by the public. After his assassination in 1914, the Navy honoured Franz Ferdinand and his wife with a lying in state aboard SMS Viribus Unitis.
Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his Castle of Artstetten were selected as a main motif for the Austrian 10 euro The Castle of Artstetten commemorative coin, minted on 13 October 2004. The reverse shows the entrance to the crypt of the Hohenberg family. There are two portraits below, showing Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg.
Currently, Franz Ferdinand is 158 years, 1 months and 1 days old. Franz Ferdinand will celebrate 159th birthday on a Sunday 18th of December 2022.
Find out about Franz Ferdinand birthday activities in timeline view here.