Sunday, May 8, 2022

Archaeologist and Author: Prince Erkinger zu Schwarzenberg (1933-2022)

Prince Erkinger zu Schwarzenberg died in late April at San Casciano, near Florence. The prince had turned eighty-nine years-old earlier that month.

The prince's father Johann and mother Kathleen.

Born on 8 April 1933 at Vienna, Prince Karl Erkinger Thaddäus zu Schwarzenberg was the first child and only son of Prince Johann zu Schwarzenberg (1903-1978) and Vicomtesse Kathleen de Spoelberch (1905-1978), who wed in 1931. Erkinger was joined by a younger sister, Princess Colienne (b.1937; married Count Maximilian Joseph von Meran). Erkinger's parents, Prince Johann and Princess Kathleen, were both killed in a motor vehicle accident on 26 May 1978 at Cittá della Pieve.

In 1946, Prince Johann and Princess Kathleen purchased a fifteenth-century villa in the countryside of San Casciano. Their son Erkinger was entranced by the villa and returned to live there permanently in 1978.

Erkinger Schwarzenberg attended Oxford and Princeton. His father was the Austrian ambassador to the United Kingdom. In 1957, while a student at Oxford, Erkinger became unofficially engaged to Alice Jolliffee, the daughter of the 4th Baron Hylton - the romance did not end in marriage. On 26 July 1962 at Athens, Prince Erkinger zu Schwarzenberg married Elisabeth Constantinides (b.1943). Erkinger and Elisabeth had three children: Prince Johannes (b.1963), Princess Anna Gabriella (b.1964; married 1st Baron Philipp von Waechter; married 2nd Adam Dixon), and Prince Alexander Konstantin (b.1971; married 1st Annabel Dimitriadi; married 2nd Donna Elena Bonanno dei Principi di Linguaglossa). Erkinger and Elisabeth divorced in 1975. On 13 July 1977 at San Casciano, Prince Erkinger zu Schwarzenberg married Countess Claudia zu Brandis (b.1949). Erkinger and Claudia had two daughters: Princess Gaia (b.1978; married Loïc van Cutsem), and Princess Ida (b.1980; married Baudouin de Troostembergh). 

Fluent in six languages, the prince was keenly interested in archeology and the history of art. He was also a passionate farmer. In 1966, Erkinger's book Die Grazien was published. In 1969, the prince contributed an article entitled "From the Alessandro Morente to the Alexandre Richelieu. The Portraiture of Alexander the Great in Seventeenth-Century Italy and France." which was published in the Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes.

Erkinger Schwarzenberg is survived by his wife, his five children, and his twenty grandchildren.

May the Prince Rest in Peace.

Source: San Casciano, addio a Karl Erkinger Schwarzenberg: a 89 anni muore il “principe contadino”

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