Emperor Karl and Emperess Zita: Individual Children

Figure 1.--Here are the Austrian royal children with their mother, Emperess Zita. The portrait is undated, but was taken after the War. We would guess about 1921. They may hace been in Switzerlans at the time.

Karl and Zita had eight children. The oldest and crown prince was Otto. Except for Otto, we know little about the children. Grand Duchness Adelheid was the oldest girl and second child. She was born a year after Otto (1913). The children were born about 1 year apart untill Karl died (1922). This testifies to the close relationship between the Empror and Emperess. After the War and Emperor's death, Zita took the children to various countries all over Europe. Austria declared a Republic at the end of World War I. This ended centuries of Hapsburg rule. It meant that Otto had lost is crown, but became as he got older the head of the Hapsburg family. He also became an outspoken anti-NAZI and high on the German list of people to arrest and liquidate. The family was in Belium at the time of the German invasion, but managed to escape to Britain.

Otto (1912- )

Otto was to be the heir to the Hapburg throne. His full name was Franz Josef Otto. The children were very smartly dressed in many formal and informal photographs. Otto is pictured in a variety of outfits. As a small boy he wore dresses. A family portrait taken when he was about 3 years old shows him wearing a dress. He also wore a dress for the emperor's funeral in 1916 when he was about 4 years old. By about 5 years of age, probably in 1917, Otto began to wear short pants, usually with white ankel socks. Despite beginning to wear knee pants, his mother did not have his curly hair cut until much later. In one photograph he wears a white suit with short pants and a very long blouse with a fancy ruffled collar, white socks and shoes and a straw hat with a ribbon band. I don't believe American or British boy wore such long blouses. Their blouses either tucked into or buttoned on to the pants.

Adelheid (1913- )

Grand Duchess Adelheid was the oldest daughter. She was born only a year after Otto in 1913. We know very little about her. As the two were very close in age, they were very close to each other as children. There outfits at times seem to have been coordinated. Quite a few photographs We do not yet have details on her adult life. Otto.

Robert (1915- )

Robert the second son was born in 1915. Robert's son Lorenz was born after World War II (1955). His sons Prince Amadeus of Belgium was born (1986) and Prince Joachim of Belgium (1991).

Felix (1916- )

Empress Zita brought the family safely to America (1940). The family settled in Uebec, Canada. We do know that in 1943 Felix, Carl Ludwig, and Rudolf were training as privates in a U.S. Army Free Austria Brigade (1943). Earlier there had been considerable enthusiasm for a Free Greece Brigade. There were, however, few volunteers for the Free Austria Brigade so the Army began assigning soldiers of Austrian ancestry the Brigade. Through a misunderstanding this include non-Austrian descendents of the old Austrian-Hungarian Empire as well as Jews. Many of these people were unhappy about being in A Free Austria Brigade. In the meantime Emperess Zita was promoting the idea that her sons in a Free Austria Brigade would march into Vienna and reinstall their brother Otto on the throne. In the end the Army dropped the idea and reassigned the men. Felix, Karl, and Rudolf were allowed to apply for discharge. It was intended at the time that they were going to enlist in the Canadian Army. I do not know if they did this. [Jacobs]

Carl Ludwig (1918- )

We do not have much information on Carl Ludwig. As he and Rudolph were born about the same time, they were very close. They were often dressed similarly and had their hair styled the same. The Austrian monarchy was abolished (1918) and an attempt to established a Hungarian monmarchy failed. Thus Carl Ludwig and Rudolph never experienced life as princes in an illustrious ruling family. They lived with their family as royal refugees in Switzerland and other countries. We have one impage of Karl Ludwig with his brother in Spain. Carl Ludwig was like his brothers briefly associated with the U.S. Army Free Austria Brigade (1943).

Rudolph (1919- )

Rudolf like his brothers briefly associated with the U.S. Army Free Austria Brigade in 1943.

Charlotte (1921- )

Elizabeth (1922- )

Elisabeth was the baby of the family. She was born posthumously after her father died (1922). King Alfonso XIII of Spain offered to provide a home for the family in Spain. As a result, Elizabeth was born in the Royal Palace of El Pardo in Madrid (May 1922). Her father had chosen her name before he died. She was named after Empress Elisabeth, the wife of Emperor Franz Joseph. King Alfonso secured the Palacio Uribarren for the family. The family moved to Steenokkerzeel, a small Belgian town outside Brussels (1929). The fled the NAZIs and settled in Quebec, Canada (1940). The family spoke German at home, but their education gave considerable attention to foreign languages. Elizabeth and the other younger children were still learning English, but soke excellent French. They spent the War there before retuning to Europe after the War. Elisabeth married Prince Heinrich of Liechtenstein in Lignières, FranceOn (1949). His father was Prince Alfred of Liechtenstein and Princess Theresia Maria of Oettingen-Oettingen. He was also a cousin of the Franz Joseph II, the reigning Prince of Liechtenstein.


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Created: 8:10 PM 5/20/2011
Last updated: 8:10 PM 5/20/2011