Friday, December 6, 2019

OTD: 101 Years Since the Birth of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria (1918-2004)

Archduke Maximilian and Archduchess Franziska of Austria
Photograph © Alamy/Daniel Seidel
Archduke Maximilan of Austria and Princess Franziska zu Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfürst
On 6 December 1918, Archduke Ferdinand Karl Max Franz Otto Konrad Maria Joseph Ignatius Nikolaus of Austria was born at Vienna as the first child and eldest son of Archduke Maximilian of Austria (1895-1952) and Archduchess Franziska (1897-1989; née Princess zu Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfürst), who had married in November 1917. Ferdinand was a paternal grandson of Archduke Otto of Austria (1865-1906) and Princess Maria Josepha of Saxony (1867-1944); he was a maternal grandson of Prince Konrad zu Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfürst (1863-1918) and Countess Franziska von Schönborn-Buchheim (1866-1937). Ferdinand was a nephew of the Blessed Emperor Karl of Austria-Hungary.

Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and fiancée Countess Helen zu Törring-Jettenbach (4 April 1956)
Photograph © Keystone Press Agency/Keystone USA via ZUMAPRESS.com


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On 10 April 1956 in a religious ceremony at Schloß Seefeld, Archduke Ferdinand married Countess Helene (Helen) Marina Elisabeth zu Törring-Jettenbach (b.1937), the only daughter of Count Carl Theodor zu Törring-Jettenbach (1900-1967) and Princess Elisabeth of Greece and Denmark (1904-1955), who wed in 1934. Helen was a paternal granddaughter of Count Hans Veit zu Törring-Jettenbach (1862-1929) and Duchess Sophie in Bavaria (1875-1957); she was a maternal granddaughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark (1872-1938) and Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia (1882-1957). Helen's aunts were Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, and Princess Olga of Yugoslavia. Thirty-seven year-old Ferdinand, a businessman, had announced his engagement to eighteen year-old Helen in January 1956.

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During the course of their marriage, Archduke Ferdinand and Archduchess Helen had three children: Archduchess Elisabeth (1957-1983), Archduchess Sophie (b.1959), and Archduke Maximilian (b.1961).

Archduchess Helen of Austria with her eldest child Archduchess Elisabeth
Photograph © Eurohistory Royal Archive
Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria, Ferdinand and Helen's eldest child, married James Litchfield (b.1956), an Australian citizen, in October 1982 at Salzburg. Tragically, Elisabeth died from a brutally quick health issue in May 1983 in Australia. Archduchess Elisabeth was just twenty-six years-old. Her husband, James, was left a widower after barely six months of marriage. 

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Archduchess Sophie of Austria, Ferdinand and Helen's second child, married Fürst Mariano-Hugo zu Windisch-Grätz (b.1955) in January 1990 at Salzburg. Sophie and her husband have three children: Hereditary Prince Maximilian (b.1990), Prince Alexis (1991-2010), and Princess Larissa (b.1996). Archduchess Sophie was a muse of Valentino. Sophie designs and produces unique lines of clutches, purses, and other fashionable accessories for women. 

Archduke Maximilian and Archduchess Maya on their wedding day (2005)
Archduke Maximilian and Archduchess Maya are greeted by Archduke Otto and Archduchess Regina (2005)
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Archduke Maximilian of Austria, Ferdinand and Helen's third child and only son, married Sara Maya Al-Askari (b.1977) in 2005. Archduke Maximilian and Archduchess Sara have three children: Archduke Nikolaus (b.2005), Archduke Constantin (b.2007), and Archduchess Katharina (b.2010). 

Archduke Ferdinand and Archduchess Helen of Austria
Photograph © Eurohistory Royal Archive
On 6 August 2004, Archduke Ferdinand of Austria died at Ulm, Baden-Württemberg, at the age of eighty-five. The archduke was buried at Winhöring, Bavaria. He was survived by his wife of forty-eight years, Archduchess Helen, as well as by his younger two children, Archduchess Sophie and Archduke Maximilian, in addition to their families. 

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