Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Sad Fates of Two Princely Siblings: The Lobkowicz Brothers

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In the 1980s, Prince Edouard and Princess Françoise Lobkowicz twice suffered the loss that no parent ever wants to experience. They had to bury two of four children within a four year span. Violence and illness claimed the lives of their first and second sons.


Edouard
(1960-1984)

On 18 October 1960, Prince Marie Edouard-Xavier Ferdinand Auguste Gaspard Lobkowicz was born at Paris. He was the first child of Prince Edouard Lobkowicz and Princess Françoise of Bourbon-Parma. Edouard's parents had married civilly in 1959 and religiously in 1960.

After graduating from secondary school in France, Edouard Lobkowicz received a bachelor's degree in 1983 from the Jesuit-run University of San Francisco. The prince, a reserve lieutenant in the French Army, had fulfilled active service as a paratrooper. He was a Knight of Honor and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

In early April 1984, Prince Edouard went missing in Paris, where he had been residing at the Avenue Morceau apartment of his parents. The French police found Edouard's car in mid-April outside the Gare de Lyon, a Paris rail station. The body of Prince Edouard Lodkowicz was found by the police on 27 April at Ivry in the River Seine. An autopsy of the body was conducted: it found that he had been shot in the throat with a shotgun and had a bullet in his left shoulder blade. His waist was tied to an iron slab, which weighed his body down in the waters of the Seine. The Lobkowicz family was not informed of the discovery of Edouard's body until 4 May. This delay was attributed to the fact that the authorities had been supplied with an inaccurate physical description of Edouard.

The prince was described by his friends as "refined." Edouard had returned to Paris from San Francisco only three months before his untimely death. The police first contemplated the possibility of suicide, but, upon discovering the gun wounds, realised that the prince had been the victim of a murder. No culprits were ever arrested.

Prince Edouard Lobkowicz was twenty-three years-old when he was killed. He was survived by his parents, Prince Edouard and Princess Françoise, by his brothers, Prince Robert and Prince Charles-Henri, and by his sister, Princess Marie-Gabrielle.

Prince Robert Lobkowicz
Robert
(1961-1988)

Prince Marie Robert Emanuel Joseph Michel Benoît Melchior Lobkowicz was born at Paris on 31 December 1961. He was the second child of Prince Edouard Lobkowicz and Princess Françoise of Bourbon-Parma.

Like his older brother Edouard, Robert attended the Saint Ignatius Institute at the University of San Francisco, from which he graduated. Robert also completed his service in the French Army. The prince was also a Knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

On 29 October 1988, Prince Robert Lobkowicz died from a brain tumour while in Bhannes, Lebanon.   Robert was twenty-six years-old when he passed away. In 1989, Robert's father Edouard opened the Bhannes Therapeutic Educational Center For Children With Cerebral Palsy in tribute to his late son. 

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