The current Habsburg family consists of the direct descendants of Emperor Karl
and Empress Zita.
Archduke Otto von Habsburg = Maria Josefa of Saxony
Emperor Karl (1887-1922) = Zita of Bourbon-Parma (1892-1989)
Otto (1912-) - Adelheid (1914-1971) - Robert Karl Ludwig (1915-1996) - Felix
Rudolf Syringus (1919-) - Charlotte (1921-1989) - Elisabeth Charlotte (1922-1993)
Otto is the head of the family (Otto
von Habsburg’s website), although he resigned as sovereign of the Order of
the Golden Fleece in favor of his son Karl on 30 November, 2000. Otto was the
claimant to the thrones of Austria, Hungary, Bohemia etc. until he renounced his
claims in 1961 so he could re-enter Austria and be more active in current European
politics. He lives in Pocking, Bavaria and has represented Bavaria in the European
Parliament from 1979 to 1999.
Life has not been particularly easy for Otto, and after the abdication of his
parents in 1918 he spent his youth wandering Europe from Switzerland to Madiera
to Spain before finally settling in Bavaria. Hitler had a definite animosity to
the Habsburgs, the Imperial family of his Austrian youth, and he persecuted them.
Otto opposed the annexation of Austria by Hitler and was therefore charged with
treason and forced to flee to America. While there he helped to smuggle thousands
of Jews away from Hitler's genocide. After the War he returned to a much more
Otto von Habsburg (1912-) = Regina von Sachsen-Meinigen (1925- )
Monika (1954-) - Michaela (1954-) - Andrea (1955-) - Gabriela (1956-)
Walburga (1958-) - Karl (1961-) - Gyorgy (1964-)
The eldest son and heir of the dynasty is Karl (Karl’s
website), who lives in Austria and has served in the Austrian army and was
a member of the European Parliament, like his father, from 1996-1999. He has worked
hard to keep the family in the public limelight, even hosting a popular television
game show. He works quietly to change the Austrian laws of 1919 that forbid the
Habsburgs from holding any political office and has often been mentioned as a
possible Chancellor of the Austrian Republic. At this time he is the Generaldirektor
of the UNPO (United Nations and Peoples organization). In 1993 Karl married Francesca
Thyssen-Bornemisza who is well known in European high society. They currently
have three children (Ferdinand’s
Georg (Gyorgy), in keeping with the old Habsburg tradition
of connecting family members to distinct parts of the Empire, lives in Hungary
(Georg’s website). As
with Karl, he has taken a dynamic, public presence and revived the fame of the
Habsburg family name. He is an executive for MTM-SBS TV, director of MTM Communications
and is a Hungarian special ambassador to lobby for EEU membership for Hungary.
He is married to Duchess Eilika von Oldenburg and they have two children.
Monika is married to the Duke of San Angelo, has four children and lives in Balaguer,
Michaela, Monika's twin sister, has married Eric Allen d'Antin and Hubert Graf
von Kageneck, has three children and lives in Florida.
Andrea is married to Eugen von Neipperg, has five children and lives in Schwaigern,
Gabriella is married to Christian Meister, has three children and lives in Germany.
Walburga is married to Archibald Douglas, has one son and lives in Sweden.
Some excellent genaeological details about the family can be found on Guy Stair Sainty’s site Imperial House of Austria.
Return to the Habsburg Biographies home page.
Go to The Society of the Golden Fleece.