04.07.

1914: Funeral of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

1914: Funeral of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 4 July 1914
  • Sofia, who had the title of Duchess of Hohenberg, was killed in Sarajevo together with her husband, Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The two of them were buried together on this day in what was not a classic Habsburg dynastic funeral.

On this day in 1914, the funeral of the famous Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination in Sarajevo triggered World War I, took place.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand was heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne (German: Thronfolger von Österreich-Ungarn) i.e. the next in line to succeed the reigning Emperor and King Francis Joseph.

Along with Franz Ferdinand, his wife Sophie, who had the title of Duchess of Hohenberg, was also killed in Sarajevo. The two of them were buried together on this day in what was not a classic Habsburg dynastic funeral.

The problem was that Franz Ferdinand and Sophie had a morganatic marriage. This is a marriage between people of unequal social rank.

Sophie was not born of royal blood, but was the daughter of an “ordinary” count, named Chotek. Despite the wealth and prestige of the Czech noble family Chotek, they were by no means equal to the Imperial House of Habsburg – Lothringen.

The children of Francis Ferdinand and Sophie would not have had archducal titles or succession rights to the Austro-Hungarian throne, but would only bear the title of Duke of Hohenberg (like their mother).

Since Sophie was not of royal blood, she could not be buried in the imperial crypt in Vienna, so she and her husband Franz Ferdinand were interred together in Artstetten Castle in Austria.

It is interesting that there are still living descendants of Franz Ferdinand and Sophie, bearing the surname Hohenberg (not Habsburg), and they are the owners of said Artstetten Castle.

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