Charles I of Austria

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Charles I & IV
Charles I of Austria.jpg
Emperor of Austria,
King of Hungary, Bohemia,
Dalmatia, and Croatia
Reign21 November 1916 – 11 November 1918
Coronation 30 December 1916,
Budapest (as king of Hungary)
Predecessor Franz Joseph I
SuccessorMonarchy abolished
Prime Minister See list
Born(1887-08-17)17 August 1887
Persenbeug Castle, Persenbeug-Gottsdorf, Lower Austria, Austria-Hungary
Died1 April 1922(1922-04-01) (aged 34)
Madeira, Portuguese Republic
House Habsburg-Lorraine
Father Archduke Otto of Austria (1865–1906)
Mother Princess Maria Josepha of Saxony
Religion Catholicism

Charles I or Karl I (Karl Franz Joseph Ludwig Hubert Georg Otto Maria; 17 August 1887 1 April 1922) was the last Emperor of Austria, the last King of Hungary (as Charles IV, Hungarian : IV. Károly), [1] the last King of Bohemia (as Charles III, Czech : Karel III.), and the last monarch belonging to the House of Habsburg-Lorraine before the dissolution of Austria-Hungary. After his uncle Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated in 1914, Charles became heir presumptive of Emperor Franz Josef. Charles I reigned from November 21 1916 until November 11 and 12 1918, when he "renounced participation" in state affairs, but did not abdicate. He spent the remaining years of his life attempting to restore the monarchy until his death in 1922. Beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2004, he is known to the Catholic Church as Blessed Karl of Austria. [2]

Emperor of Austria

The Emperor of Austria was the ruler of the Austrian Empire and later the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A hereditary imperial title and office proclaimed in 1804 by Holy Roman Emperor Francis II, a member of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, and continually held by him and his heirs until Charles I relinquished power in 1918.

King of Hungary

The King of Hungary was the ruling head of state of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1000 to 1918. The style of title "Apostolic King of Hungary" was endorsed by Pope Clement XIII in 1758 and used afterwards by all Monarchs of Hungary.

Hungarian language language spoken in and around Hungary

Hungarian is a Finno-Ugric language spoken in Hungary and several neighbouring countries. It is the official language of Hungary and one of the 24 official languages of the European Union. Outside Hungary it is also spoken by communities of Hungarians in the countries that today make up Slovakia, western Ukraine (Subcarpathia), central and western Romania (Transylvania), northern Serbia (Vojvodina), northern Croatia, and northern Slovenia. It is also spoken by Hungarian diaspora communities worldwide, especially in North America and in Israel. Like Finnish and Estonian, Hungarian belongs to the Uralic language family. With 13 million speakers, it is its largest member in terms of speakers.


Early life

Charles was born 17 August 1887 in the Castle of Persenbeug in Lower Austria. His parents were Archduke Otto Franz of Austria and Princess Maria Josepha of Saxony. At the time, his granduncle Franz Joseph reigned as Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary. Upon the death of Crown Prince Rudolph in 1889, the Emperor's brother, Archduke Karl Ludwig, was next in line to the Austro-Hungarian throne. However, his death in 1896 from typhoid made his eldest son, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the new heir presumptive.

Persenbeug-Gottsdorf Place in Lower Austria, Austria

Persenbeug-Gottsdorf is a town in the district of Melk in the Austrian state of Lower Austria.

Lower Austria State of Austria

Lower Austria is the northeasternmost of the nine states of Austria. Since 1986, the capital of Lower Austria has been St. Polten, the most recently designated capital in Austria. Previously, Lower Austria's capital was Vienna, even though Vienna has not officially been part of Lower Austria since 1921. With a land area of 19,186 km2 (7,408 sq mi) and a population of 1.612 million people, Lower Austria is the country's largest state; it is the second most populous after the federal state of Vienna. Other main cities are Amstetten, Krems an der Donau and Wiener Neustadt.

Princess Maria Josepha of Saxony (1867–1944) Archduchess of Austria

Princess Maria Josepha of Saxony was the mother of Emperor Charles I of Austria and the fifth child of George of Saxony and Infanta Maria Anna of Portugal.

As a child, Archduke Charles was reared a devout Catholic. He spent his early years wherever his father's regiment happened to be stationed; later on he lived in Vienna and Reichenau an der Rax. He was privately educated, but, contrary to the custom ruling in the imperial family, he attended a public gymnasium for the sake of demonstrations in scientific subjects. On the conclusion of his studies at the gymnasium, he entered the army, spending the years from 1906 to 1908 as an officer chiefly in Prague, where he studied law and political science concurrently with his military duties. [3]

Reichenau an der Rax Place in Lower Austria, Austria

Reichenau an der Rax is a market town in the Austrian state of Lower Austria, situated at the foot of the Rax mountain range on the Schwarza river, a headstream of the Leitha.

Gymnasium (school) type of school providing advanced secondary education in Europe

A gymnasium is a type of school with a strong emphasis on academic learning, and providing advanced secondary education in some parts of Europe comparable to British grammar schools, sixth form colleges and US preparatory high schools. In its current meaning, it usually refers to secondary schools focused on preparing students to enter a university for advanced academic study. Before the 20th century, the system of gymnasiums was a widespread feature of educational system throughout many countries of central, north, eastern, and south Europe.

Prague Capital city in Czech Republic

Prague is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic, the 14th largest city in the European Union and the historical capital of Bohemia. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of 2.6 million. The city has a temperate climate, with warm summers and chilly winters.

In 1907, he was declared of age and Prince Zdenko Lobkowitz was appointed his chamberlain. In the next few years he carried out his military duties in various Bohemian garrison towns. Charles's relations with his granduncle were not intimate, and those with his uncle Franz Ferdinand were not cordial, with the differences between their wives increasing the existing tension between them. For these reasons, Charles, up to the time of the assassination of his uncle in 1914, obtained no insight into affairs of state, but led the life of a prince not destined for a high political position. [3]

Bohemia Historical land in Czech Republic

Bohemia is the westernmost and largest historical region of the Czech lands in the present-day Czech Republic. In a broader meaning, Bohemia sometimes refers to the entire Czech territory, including Moravia and Czech Silesia, especially in a historical context, such as the Lands of the Bohemian Crown ruled by Bohemian kings.


Charles and Zita's wedding, 21 October 1911 Hochzeit Erzh Karl und Zita Schwarzau 1911c.jpg
Charles and Zita's wedding, 21 October 1911

In 1911, Charles married Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma. They had met as children but did not see one another for almost ten years, as each pursued their education. In 1909, his Dragoon regiment was stationed at Brandýs nad Labem in Bohemia, from where he visited his aunt at Franzensbad. [4] :5

Zita of Bourbon-Parma empress consort of Austria and queen consort of Hungary

Zita of Bourbon-Parma was the wife of Charles, the last monarch of Austria-Hungary. As such, she was the last Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary, in addition to other titles.

Dragoon mounted infantry soldiers

Dragoons originally were a class of mounted infantry, who used horses for mobility, but dismounted to fight on foot. From the early 18th century onward, dragoons were increasingly also employed as conventional cavalry, trained for combat with swords from horseback.

Brandýs nad Labem-Stará Boleslav Town in Czech Republic

Brandýs nad Labem-Stará Boleslav is an administratively united pair of towns in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic, in the heart of the agricultural region of Polabí, about 25 km northeast from Prague. It is part of the Prague metropolitan area. It lies upon the Elbe river, Brandýs nad Labem on the left bank and Stará Boleslav on the right bank. The place is the longest-named one in the Czech Republic. Brandýs nad Labem dates its origin to the 13th century. The town was originally named as Boleslav by Boleslav I who built here his castle in the beginning of the 10th century. In 1960, the two adjacent towns were joined to form one town of Brandýs nad Labem-Stará Boleslav. With a population of about 18,000, it is the second largest Czech united pair of towns after Frýdek-Místek.

It was during one of these visits that Charles and Zita became reacquainted. [4] :5 Due to Franz Ferdinand's morganatic marriage in 1900, his children were excluded from the succession. As a result, the Emperor pressured Charles to marry. Zita not only shared Charles' devout Catholicism, but also an impeccable royal lineage. [5] :16 Zita later recalled:

Morganatic marriage, sometimes called a left-handed marriage, is a marriage between people of unequal social rank, which in the context of royalty prevents the passage of the husband's titles and privileges to the wife and any children born of the marriage.

We were of course glad to meet again and became close friends. On my side feelings developed gradually over the next two years. He seemed to have made his mind up much more quickly, however, and became even more keen when, in the autumn of 1910, rumours spread about that I had got engaged to a distant Spanish relative, Jaime, Duke of Madrid.

On hearing this, the Archduke came down post haste from his regiment at Brandeis and sought out his [step]grandmother, Archduchess Maria Theresa, who was also my aunt and the natural confidante in such matters. He asked if the rumor was true and when told it was not, he replied, "Well, I had better hurry in any case or she will get engaged to someone else." [4] :8

Heir presumptive

Charles became heir presumptive after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914, the event which precipitated World War I. Only at this time did the old Emperor take steps to initiate the heir-presumptive to his crown in affairs of state. But the outbreak of World War I interfered with this political education. Charles spent his time during the first phase of the war at headquarters at Teschen, but exercised no military influence. [3]

Charles then became a Feldmarschall (Field Marshal) in the Austro-Hungarian Army. In the spring of 1916, in connection with the offensive against Italy, he was entrusted with the command of the XX. Corps, whose affections the heir-presumptive to the throne won by his affability and friendliness. The offensive, after a successful start, soon came to a standstill. Shortly afterwards, Charles went to the eastern front as commander of an army operating against the Russians and Romanians. [3]


King Charles IV taking his coronation oath at Holy Trinity Column outside Matthias Church, Budapest, 30 December 1916 Karloath.jpg
King Charles IV taking his coronation oath at Holy Trinity Column outside Matthias Church, Budapest, 30 December 1916
Portrait of the recently crowned King Charles IV and Queen Zita with their son Otto Karlfamily.jpg
Portrait of the recently crowned King Charles IV and Queen Zita with their son Otto

Charles succeeded to the thrones in November 1916 after the death of his grand-uncle, Emperor Franz Joseph. On 2 December 1916, he assumed the title of Supreme Commander of the whole army from Archduke Friedrich. His coronation as King of Hungary occurred on 30 December. In 1917, Charles secretly entered into peace negotiations with France. He employed his brother-in-law, Prince Sixtus of Bourbon-Parma, an officer in the Belgian Army, as intermediary. However, the Allies insisted on Austrian recognition of Italian claims to territory and Charles refused, so no progress was made. [6] Foreign minister Graf Czernin was only interested in negotiating a general peace which would include Germany, Charles himself went much further in suggesting his willingness to make a separate peace. When news of the overture leaked in April 1918, Charles denied involvement until French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau published letters signed by him. This led to Czernin's resignation, forcing Austria-Hungary into an even more dependent position with respect to its seemingly wronged German ally. [7]

The Austro-Hungarian Empire was wracked by inner turmoil in the final years of the war, with much tension between ethnic groups. As part of his Fourteen Points, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson demanded that the Empire allow for autonomy and self-determination of its peoples. In response, Charles agreed to reconvene the Imperial Parliament and allow for the creation of a confederation with each national group exercising self-governance. However, the ethnic groups fought for full autonomy as separate nations, as they were now determined to become independent from Vienna at the earliest possible moment.

The new foreign minister Baron Istvan Burián asked for an armistice 14 October based on the Fourteen Points, and two days later Charles issued a proclamation that radically changed the nature of the Austrian state. The Poles were granted full independence with the purpose of joining their ethnic brethren in Russia and Germany in a Polish state. The rest of the Austrian lands were transformed into a federal union composed of four parts: German, Czech, South Slav, and Ukrainian. Each of the four parts was to be governed by a federal council, and Trieste was to have a special status. However, United States Secretary of State Robert Lansing replied four days later that the Allies were now committed to the causes of the Czechs, Slovaks and South Slavs. Therefore, autonomy inside the Empire for the nationalities was no longer enough. In fact, a Czechoslovak provisional government had joined the Allies 14 October, and the South Slav national council declared an independent South Slav state 29 October 1918.

Trialism and Croatia

Since the beginning of his rule he favored the creation of a third Croatian political entity in the Empire, in addition to Austria and Hungary. In his Croatian coronation oath in 1916, he recognized the union of the Triune Kingdom of Croatia, Dalmatia and Slavonia with Rijeka [8] and during his short reign supported trialist suggestions from the Croatian Sabor and Ban, but the suggestions were always vetoed by the Hungarian side which did not want to share power with other nations. After Emperor Karl's manifesto of 14 October 1918 was rejected by the declaration of the National Council in Zagreb. [9] President of the Croatian pro-monarchy political party Pure Party of Rights Dr. Aleksandar Horvat, with other parliament members and generals went to visit the emperor on 21 October 1918 in Bad Ischl, [10] [11] where the emperor agreed and signed the trialist manifesto under the proposed terms set by the delegation, on the condition that the Hungarian part does the same since he swore an oath on the integrity of the Hungarian crown. [12] [13] [14] The delegation went the next day to Budapest where it presented the manifesto to Hungarian officials and Council of Ministers who signed the manifesto and released the king from his oath, creating a third Croatian political entity (Zvonimir's kingdom) [13] [15] [16] [17] After the signing, two parades were held in Zagreb, one for the ending of the K.u.K. monarchy, which was held in front of the Croatian National Theater, and another one for saving the trialist monarchy. [15] The last vote for the support of the trialist reorganization of the empire was, however, too late. On 29 October 1918, the Croatian Sabor (parliament) ended the union and all ties with Hungary and Austria, proclaimed the unification of all Croatian lands and entered the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs. [18] The curiosity is that no act of Sabor dethroned King Karl IV, nor did it acknowledge the entering in a state union with Serbia, which is today mentioned in the preamble of the Constitution of Croatia. [19]

The Lansing note effectively ended any efforts to keep the Empire together. One by one, the nationalities proclaimed their independence; even before the note the national councils had been acting more like provisional governments. Charles' political future became uncertain. On 31 October, Hungary officially ended the personal union between Austria and Hungary. Nothing remained of Charles' realm except the predominantly German-speaking Danubian and Alpine provinces, and he was challenged even there by the German Austrian State Council. His last Austrian prime minister, Heinrich Lammasch, advised him that he was in an impossible situation, and his best course was to temporarily give up his right to exercise sovereign power.

Proclamations of November 1918

Proclamation of 11 November 1918 Verzichtserklarung Karl I. 11.11.1918.jpg
Proclamation of 11 November 1918

On the day of the Armistice of 11 November 1918, Charles issued a carefully worded proclamation in which he recognized the Austrian people's right to determine the form of the state and "relinquish[ed] every participation in the administration of the State." [20] He also released his officials from their oath of loyalty to him. On the same day the Imperial Family left Schönbrunn Palace and moved to Castle Eckartsau, east of Vienna. On 13 November, following a visit with Hungarian magnates, Charles issued a similar proclamation—the Eckartsau Proclamation—for Hungary.

Although it has widely been cited as an "abdication", the word itself was never used in either proclamation. [21] Indeed, he deliberately avoided using the word abdication in the hope that the people of either Austria or Hungary would vote to recall him. Privately, Charles left no doubt that he believed himself to be the rightful emperor. He wrote to Friedrich Gustav Piffl, the Archbishop of Vienna: "I did not abdicate, and never will [...] I see my manifesto of 11 November as the equivalent to a cheque which a street thug has forced me to issue at gunpoint [...] I do not feel bound by it in any way whatsoever." [22]

Proclamation of 13 November 1918 Eckartsaui nyilatkozat.jpg
Proclamation of 13 November 1918

Instead, on 12 November, the day after he issued his proclamation, the independent Republic of German-Austria was proclaimed, followed by the proclamation of the First Hungarian Republic on 16 November. An uneasy truce-like situation ensued and persisted until 23 to 24 March 1919, when Charles left for Switzerland, escorted by the commander of the small British guard detachment at Eckartsau, Lieutenant Colonel Edward Lisle Strutt.

As the imperial train left Austria on 24 March, Charles issued another proclamation in which he confirmed his claim of sovereignty, declaring that "whatever the national assembly of German Austria has resolved with respect to these matters since 11 November is null and void for me and my House." [23] The newly established republican government of Austria was not aware of this "Manifesto of Feldkirch" at this time—it had been dispatched only to King Alfonso XIII of Spain and to Pope Benedict XV through diplomatic channels—and politicians in power were irritated by the Emperor's departure without explicitly abdication.

The Austrian Parliament passed the Habsburg Law on 3 April, which dethroned and banished the Habsburgs. Charles was barred from ever returning to Austria again. Other Habsburgs were banished from Austrian territory unless they renounced all intentions of reclaiming the throne and accepted the status of ordinary citizens. Another law passed on the same day abolished all nobility in Austria. In Switzerland, Charles and his family briefly took residence at Castle Wartegg near Rorschach at Lake Constance, and later moved to Château de Prangins at Lake Geneva on 20 May.

Attempts to reclaim throne of Hungary

Encouraged by Hungarian royalists ("legitimists"), Charles sought twice in 1921 to reclaim the throne of Hungary, but failed largely because Hungary's regent, Admiral Miklós Horthy (the last commander of the Imperial and Royal Navy), refused to support him. Horthy's failure to support Charles' restoration attempts is often described as "treasonous" by royalists. Critics suggest that Horthy's actions were more firmly grounded in political reality than those of Charles and his supporters. Indeed, neighbouring countries had threatened to invade Hungary if Charles tried to regain the throne. Later in 1921, the Hungarian parliament formally nullified the Pragmatic Sanction, an act that effectively dethroned the Habsburgs.

Exile in Madeira, Portugal and death

Tomb of Charles I in Madeira Karl Grabmal Monte.jpg
Tomb of Charles I in Madeira

After the second failed attempt at restoration in Hungary, Charles and his pregnant wife Zita were briefly quarantined at Tihany Abbey. On 1 November 1921 they were taken to the Hungarian Danube harbour city of Baja, were forced to board the British monitor HMS Glowworm and there removed to the Black Sea where they were transferred to the light cruiser HMS Cardiff. [24] [25] They arrived at their final exile, the Portuguese island of Madeira, on 19 November 1921, which is an autonomous region of Portugal. Determined to prevent a third restoration attempt, the Council of Allied Powers had agreed on Madeira because it was isolated in the Atlantic Ocean and easily guarded. [26]

Originally the couple and their children, who joined them on 2 February 1922, lived at Funchal at the Villa Vittoria, next to Reid's Hotel and later moved to Quinta do Monte. Compared to the imperial glory in Vienna and even at Eckartsau, conditions there were certainly impoverished. [27]

Charles did not leave Madeira again. On 9 March 1922 he had caught a cold in town, which developed into bronchitis and subsequently progressed to severe pneumonia. Having suffered two heart attacks, he died of respiratory failure on 1 April, in the presence of his wife (who was pregnant with their eighth child) and nine-year-old Crown Prince Otto, remaining conscious almost until his last moments. His last words to his wife were "I love you so much." [28] His remains except for his heart are still on the island, resting in state in a chapel devoted to the Emperor in the Church of Our Lady of The Hill (Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Monte), in spite of several attempts to move them to the Habsburg Crypt in Vienna. His heart and the heart of his wife are entombed in Muri Abbey, Switzerland.


Historians have been mixed in their evaluations of Charles and his reign. In the interwar years he was celebrated in Austria as a military hero. When Nazi Germany took over it made his memory into that of a traitor. For decades after 1945, both popular interest and academic interest in the 1914–1918 war practically disappeared. Attention has slowly returned. [29]

One of the most critical historians is Helmut Rumpler, the head of the Habsburg commission of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, who has described Charles as "a dilettante, far too weak for the challenges facing him, out of his depth, and not really a politician." [30] However, others have seen Charles as a brave and honourable figure who tried to stop the war in which his Empire was doing so poorly. The English Jacobite writer, Herbert Vivian, wrote:

"Karl was a great leader, a Prince of peace, who wanted to save the world from a year of war; a statesman with ideas to save his people from the complicated problems of his Empire; a King who loved his people, a fearless man, a noble soul, distinguished, a saint from whose grave blessings come."

Furthermore, Anatole France, the French novelist, stated:

"Emperor Karl is the only decent man to come out of the war in a leadership position, no one listened to him. He sincerely wanted peace, and therefore was despised by the whole world. It was a wonderful chance that was lost."

[31] Paul von Hindenburg, the German commander in chief, commented in his memoirs:

"He tried to compensate for the evaporation of the ethical power which emperor Franz Joseph had represented by offering ethnical reconciliation. Even as he dealt with elements who were sworn to the goal of destroying his empire he believed that his acts of political grace would affect their conscience. These attempts were totally futile; those people had long ago lined up with our common enemies, and were far from being deterred." [32]


Blessed Charles of Austria-Hungary
Kaiser Karl I., Olbild von Hannes Scheucher.jpg
Emperor; Layman
Venerated in Catholic Church
Beatified 3 October 2004, Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City by Pope John Paul II
Feast 21 October
  • Imperial attire
  • Medals

Catholic Church leaders have praised Charles for putting his Christian faith first in making political decisions, and for his role as a peacemaker during the war, especially after 1917. They have considered that his brief rule expressed Catholic social teaching, and that he created a social legal framework that in part still survives.

Pope John Paul II declared Charles "Blessed" in a beatification ceremony held on 3 October 2004, [33] and stated:

The decisive task of Christians consists in seeking, recognizing and following God's will in all things. The Christian statesman, Charles of Austria, confronted this challenge every day. To his eyes, war appeared as "something appalling". Amid the tumult of the First World War, he strove to promote the peace initiative of my Predecessor, Benedict XV. [34]

Pope Benedict XV's peace plan consisted of seven principal elements: (1) the moral force of right ... be substituted for the material force of arms, (2) there must be simultaneous and reciprocal diminution of armaments, (3) a mechanism for international arbitration must be established, (4) true liberty and common rights over the sea should exist, (5) there should be a renunciation of war indemnities, (6) occupied territories should be evacuated, and (7) there should be an examination of rival claims. [35] To summarize, the best outcome to the war, according to Pope Benedict XV, was an immediate restoration to the status quo without reparations or any form of forced demands. Although the plan seemed unattainable due to the severity of the war thus far, it had been appealing to the Catholic Emperor Charles I, who could have seen it as his duty as Apostolic King of Hungary to carry out the Church's will, or as a way to preserve his throne in the years to come. Pope John Paul II was also beatifying and canonizing a significantly larger amount of individuals as saints during the later part of his reign as Pope, which could have influenced his decision to beatify Emperor Charles I as Charles the Blessed. [36]

From the beginning, Emperor Charles conceived of his office as a holy service to his people. His chief concern was to follow the Christian vocation to holiness also in his political actions. For this reason, his thoughts turned to social assistance.

The cause or campaign for his canonization began in 1949, when the testimony of his holiness was collected in the Archdiocese of Vienna. In 1954, the cause was opened and he was declared "servant of God", the first step in the process. At the beginning of the cause for canonization in 1972 his tomb was opened and his body was discovered to be incorrupt. [37]

The League of Prayers established for the promotion of his cause has set up a website, [38] and Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna has sponsored the cause.

Recent milestones


Titles, styles, honours and arms

Styles of
Charles I of Austria
Imperial Coat of Arms of the Empire of Austria.svg
Reference style His Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty
Spoken styleYour Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty
Alternative styleSir
Imperial monogram of Emperor Charles Imperial Monogram of Emperor Charles I of Austria.svg
Imperial monogram of Emperor Charles

Titles and styles

Official grand title

His Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty,

Charles the First,

By the Grace of God, Emperor of Austria, Apostolic King of Hungary, of this name the Fourth, King of Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, and Galicia, Lodomeria, and Illyria; King of Jerusalem, Archduke of Austria; Grand Duke of Tuscany and Cracow, Duke of Lorraine and of Salzburg, of Styria, of Carinthia, of Carniola and of the Bukovina; Grand Prince of Transylvania; Margrave of Moravia; Duke of Upper and Lower Silesia, of Modena, Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla, of Auschwitz and Zator, of Teschen, Friuli, Ragusa and Zara; Princely Count of Habsburg and Tyrol, of Kyburg, Gorizia and Gradisca; Prince of Trent and Brixen; Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia and in Istria; Count of Hohenems, Feldkirch, Bregenz, Sonnenberg; Lord of Trieste, of Cattaro, and in the Windic March; Grand Voivode of the Voivodeship of Serbia.


National decorations [52]
Foreign decorations [52]

Postage stamp


Charles and Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma had eight children together.

The children in Funchal, 1920s Die Kinder von Kaiser Karl und Kaiserin Zita, Quinta Vigia, Funchal.jpg
The children in Funchal, 1920s
Crown Prince Otto 20 November 19124 July 2011(2011-07-04) (aged 98)married (1951) Princess Regina of Saxe-Meiningen (1925–2010); seven children.
Archduchess Adelheid 3 January 19142 October 1971(1971-10-02) (aged 57)
Archduke Robert 8 February 19157 February 1996(1996-02-07) (aged 80)married (1953) Princess Margherita of Savoy-Aosta (born 7 April 1930); five children.
Archduke Felix 31 May 19166 September 2011(2011-09-06) (aged 95)married (1952) Princess Anna-Eugénie of Arenberg (5 July 1925 9 June 1997); seven children.
Archduke Karl Ludwig 10 March 191811 December 2007(2007-12-11) (aged 89)married (1950) Princess Yolanda of Ligne (born 6 May 1923); four children.
Archduke Rudolf 5 September 191915 May 2010(2010-05-15) (aged 90)married (1953) Countess Xenia Tschernyschev-Besobrasoff (11 June 1929 20 September 1968); four children.
Second marriage (1971) Princess Anna Gabriele of Wrede (born 11 September 1940); one child.
Archduchess Charlotte 1 March 192123 July 1989(1989-07-23) (aged 68)married (1956) George, Duke of Mecklenburg (5 October [ O.S. 22 September] 1899 6 July 1963).
Archduchess Elisabeth 31 May 19227 January 1993(1993-01-07) (aged 70)married (1949) Prince Heinrich Karl Vincenz of Liechtenstein (5 August 1916 17 April 1991), grandson of Prince Alfred; five children.


See also


  1. "Charles (I)". Encyclopædia Britannica . Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 2014. Retrieved 2014-10-20.
  2. "Blessed Karl of Austria". Retrieved 2018-01-03.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Wikisource-logo.svg Pribram, Alfred Francis (1922). "Charles"  . In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.). London & New York.
  4. 1 2 3 Beeche.
  5. Brook-Shepherd, G. (1991). The Last Empress: The Life and Times of Zita of Austria-Hungary, 1892–1989. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN   9780002158619.
  6. David Stevenson, "The failure of peace by negotiation in 1917." Historical Journal 34#1 (1991): 65-86.
  7. Edward P. Keleher, "Emperor Karl and the Sixtus Affair: Politico-Nationalist Repercussions in the Reich German and Austro-German Camps, and the Disintegration of Habsburg Austria, 1916-1918." East European Quarterly 26.2 (1992): 163+.
  8. (Hrvatska) Krunidbena zavjernica Karla IV. hrvatskom Saboru 28. prosinca 1916. (sa grbom Dalmacije, Hrvatske, Slavonije i Rijeke iznad teksta), str. 1.-4. Hrvatski Državni Arhiv./ENG. (Croatian) Coronation oath of Karl IV to Croatian Sabor (parliament), 28 December 1916. (with coat of arms of Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia and Rijeka above the text), p.1-4 Croatian State Archives
  9. F. Šišić Dokumenti, p.180.
  10. Vasa Kazimirović NDH u svetlu nemačkih dokumenata i dnevnika Gleza fon Horstenau 1941 – 1944, Beograd 1987., p.56.-57.
  11. Jedna Hrvatska "H. Rieči", 1918., no. 2167
  12. A. Pavelić (lawyer) Doživljaji, p.432.
  13. 1 2 Dr. Aleksandar Horvat Povodom njegove pedesetgodišnjice rodjenja, Hrvatsko pravo, Zagreb, 17/1925., no. 5031
  14. Edmund von Glaise-Horstenau, Die Katastrophe. Die Zertrümmerung Österreich-Ungarns und das Werden der Nachfolgestaaten, Zürich – Leipzig – Wien 1929, p.302-303.
  15. 1 2 Budisavljević Srđan, Stvaranje Države SHS, (Creation of the state of SHS), Zagreb, 1958, p. 132.-133.
  16. F. Milobar Slava dr. Aleksandru Horvatu!, Hrvatsko pravo, 20/1928., no. 5160
  17. S. Matković, "Tko je bio Ivo Frank?", Politički zatvorenik, Zagreb, 17/2007., no. 187, 23.
  18. Hrvatska Država, newspaper Public proclamation of the Sabor 29.10.1918. Issued 29.10.1918. no. 299. p.1.
  19. Narodne novine, br. 56/90, 135/97, 8/98 – pročišćeni tekst, 113/2000, 124/2000 – pročišćeni tekst, 28/2001, 41/2001 – pročišćeni tekst, 55/2001 – ispravak
  20. Horne, C. F., ed. (1923). Source Records of the Great War: 1918, the Year of Victory. VI. New York: National Alumni. p. 385. OCLC   793458451.
  21. Gombás, I. (2002). Kings and Queens of Hungary, Princes of Transylvania. Budapest: Corvina. ISBN   9789631347593.
  22. Werner, H. W. (2008). "Abdanken? Nie – nie – nie!". Die Presse (in German). Vienna. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  23. Portisch, H. (1989). Österreich I: die unterschätzte Republik (in German). Vienna: Kremayr & Scheriau. p. 117. ISBN   9783218004855.
  24. Brook-Shepherd, Gordon (17 January 2004). Uncrowned Emperor - The Life and Times of Otto von Habsburg. London: Hambledon & London. ISBN   978-1852854393. (Subscription required (help)).
  25. "Charles Carried into Exile on a British Ship As Napoleon Was; Zita to Bear Another Heir" (PDF). The New York Times . 5 November 1921. Retrieved 2014-10-20.
  26. "Charles St. Helena Likely to be Funchal" (PDF). The New York Times. 6 November 1921. Retrieved 2014-10-20.
  27. Blessed Emperor Charles, Prince of Peace for a United Europe. Archdiocese of Vienna K1238/05. 6 July 2005.
  28. "Charles of Austria Dies of Pneumonia in exile on Madera" (PDF). The New York Times . Associated Press. 2 April 1922. Retrieved 2014-10-20.
  29. Hannes Leidinger, " Historiography 1918-Today (Austria-Hungary)" International encyclopedia of the First World War (Freie Universität Berlin, 2017) DOI: 10.15463/ie1418.10326
  30. see online
  31. "L'Empereur Charles a offert la paix; c'est le seul honnête homme qui ait paru au cours de cette guerre, on ne l'a pas écouté. Il y avait là un moyen, on aurait pu l'essayer..." in Marcel Le Goff, Anatole France à La Béchellerie - Propos et souvenirs 1914-1924 (Léo Delteil, Paris, 1924), p. 166.
  32. Hindenburg, Paul von (1920). Aus meinem Leben [In My Life](PDF) (in German). Leipzig: S. Hirzel. p. 163 (pdf page 165).
  33. Sondhaus, Lawrence (29 April 2011). World War One: The Global Revolution. Cambridge University Press. p. 483. ISBN   978-0521736268. (Subscription required (help)).
  34. "Beatification of Five Servants of God; Homily of John Paul II". 3 October 2004. Archived from the original on 5 September 2011.
  35. "Pope Benedict XV's Peace Proposal - World War I Document Archive". Retrieved 2018-01-03.
  36. By ALAN RIDING, Special to the New York Times (1989-04-15). "Rome Journal - Vatican 'Saint Factory' - Is It Working Too Hard?". Retrieved 2018-01-03.
  37. The Forgotten: Catholics of the Soviet Empire from Lenin Through Stalin, Christopher Lawrence Zugge, Syracuse University Press, 2001, p. 208: "Karl of Austria-Hungary, who preceded Lenin in death on April 1, 1922, was opened fifty years later to being the cause of his beatification, his body was discovered to be miraculously incorrupt." Accessed 9 Jan. 2017
  38. "Kaiser Karl Gebetsliga für den Völkerfrieden" [Emperor Charles Prayer League for the Harmony of Peoples] (in German). 2011. Retrieved 2014-10-20.
  39. "Emperor and mystic nun beatified". BBC News. 3 October 2004. Retrieved 2014-10-20.
  40. "Historiker: Giftgas-Einsatzbefehl durch Karl I. war "Notwehr"" [Historian: poison gas use command by Charles I was "self-defense"]. Der Standard . 5 October 2004. Retrieved 2014-10-20.
  41. Goodman, Tanya (8 February 2008). "Miracle in our midst: Central Florida woman's cure may lead to sainthood for Blessed Karl of Austria". Florida Catholic . Archived from the original on 2 April 2010.
  42. Pinsky, Mark I. (8 February 2008). "Baptist woman from Kissimmee edges Austro-Hungarian emperor toward Roman Catholic sainthood". Orlando Sentinel . Retrieved 2014-10-20.
  43. "Historians Question the Beatification of Blessed Charles". Deutsche Welle.
  44. "Austria's Holy Uproar: Vatican beatification of World War I emperor triggers spirited debate". NBC News.
  45. Bogle 2005, p. 35.
  46. Bogle 2005, p. 54.
  47. Bogle 2005, p. 137.
  48. Bogle 2005, p. 143.
  49. Bogle 2005, p. 144.
  50. Kaiser Joseph II. harmonische Wahlkapitulation mit allen den vorhergehenden Wahlkapitulationen der vorigen Kaiser und Könige. Since 1780 official title used for princes ("zu Ungarn, Böhmen, Dalmatien, Kroatien, Slawonien, Königlicher Erbprinz")
  51. Croatian Coronation Oath of 1916. P.2-4, "Emperor of Austria, Hungary and Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia Apostolic King"
  52. 1 2 Hof- und Staatshandbuch der Österreichisch-Ungarischen Monarchie (1915), Genealogy p. 2
  53. 1 2 3 4 5 Justus Perthes, Almanach de Gotha 1923 (1923) page 6

Further reading

Charles I of Austria
Cadet branch of the House of Lorraine
Born: 17 August 1887 Died: 1 April 1922
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Franz Joseph I
Emperor of Austria
Abolition of monarchy
King of Hungary
Political offices
Preceded by
Franz Joseph I
Head of State of Austria
as Emperor of Austria

Succeeded by
Karl Seitz
as President of Austria
Head of State of Hungary
as King of Hungary

Succeeded by
Mihály Károlyi
as Provisional President of Hungary
Titles in pretence
Titles extant before
Dissolution of Austria-Hungary
Emperor of Austria
King of Hungary

1918 – 1 April 1922
Succeeded by
Crown Prince Otto
Preceded by
Franz Ferdinand
Archduke of Austria-Este
28 June 1914 – 16 April 1917
Reason for succession failure:
Title abolished in 1860
Succeeded by

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