Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Archduke Leopold Franz of Austria (1942-2021), Former Head of the Grand Ducal Tuscan Habsburgs

A portrait of Archduke Leopold Franz.

According to his son Archduke Sigismund, Archduke Leopold Franz of Austria, former titular Grand Duke of Tuscany, died in June 2021. Leopold Franz was seventy-eight years-old. He is survived by his two sons, Sigismund and Guntram, as well as by five grandchildren.

Archduchess Dorothea and Archduke Gottfried of Austria,
Titular Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Tuscany.

Archduke Leopold Franz Peter Ferdinand Maria Joseph Gottfried Georg Karl Otto Rudolf Michael of Austria, titular Hereditary Grand Duke of Tuscany was born on 25 October 1942 at Leutstetten, Bavaria. He was the only son of Archduke Gottfried of Austria (1902-1984) and Princess Dorothea of Bavaria (1920-2015), who married in 1938. Leopold Franz had three sisters: Archduchess Elisabeth (b.1939), Archduchess Alice (b.1941), and Archduchess Antoinette (b.1950). The paternal grandparents of Leopold Franz were Archduke Peter Ferdinand of Austria and Princess Maria Cristina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. The maternal grandparents of Leopold Franz were Prince Franz of Bavaria and Princess Isabella of Croÿ.

Archduke Leopold Franz and Archduchess Laetitia of Austria, titular Hereditary Grand Duke and Hereditary Grand Duchess of Tuscany, with their sons Archduke Sigismund and Archduke Guntram.

In 1965, Leopold Franz married Laetitia de Belzunce d'Arenberg (b.1941), eldest child and only daughter of Marquis Henri de Belzunce (1909-1944) and his wife Marie-Thérèse de la Poëze d'Harambure (1911-2005). Through her mother, Archduchess Laetitia was a first cousin of Count Romée de La Poëze d’Harambure, who was the first husband of Princess Anita of Hohenburg, the daughter of Duke Franz Ferdinand of Hohenberg and Princess Elisabeth of Luxembourg, who was herself the niece of Crown Princess Antonia of Bavaria. Leopold Franz and Laetitia had two children together: Archduke Sigismund of Austria, Prince of Tuscany (b.1966) and Archduke Guntram of Austria, Prince of Tuscany (b.1967). Leopold Franz and Laetitia divorced in 1981. He married for a second time on 18 June 1993 to Marta Perez Valverde, a Salvadoran-born Viennese psychoanalyst; the couple divorced in 1998. Upon his second marriage, Leopold renounced his rights as titular Grand Ducal throne of Tuscany in favour of his elder son Sigismund, the current head of the House of Tuscany. 

May Leopold Franz Rest in Peace.

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