- Historical event:
- 9 August 1872
- Field Marshal Archduke Joseph August was the owner of the largest flawless white diamond in the world. In 2012, the diamond was sold for over 20 million Swiss francs.
Archduke Joseph August of Austria, a member of the Habsburg-Lothringen dynasty, was born on this day in 1872.
He belonged to a branch of that dynasty which held the highest positions in the Kingdom of Hungary. Namely, Archduke Joseph August’s grandfather was the Hungarian palatine Joseph, who held the highest function in Hungary apart from that of the king for over 50 years.
Archduke Joseph August was born on the area of today’s Hungary, in Alcsútdoboz near Budapest. He owned a large palace there, which has unfortunately not been preserved until today. It is interesting that Archduke Joseph August married his distant cousin, who was the granddaughter of Emperor Francis Joseph and the famous Empress Sissi.
Archduke Joseph August was the last person in history to bear the rank of Austro-Hungarian field marshal. He received that rank on 24 October 1918, only a few days before the end of World War I.
After that, Joseph August even served as the head of state (regent) in Hungary for a while, but was forced to flee the country. A position similar to his was later taken by the Hungarian admiral Miklós Horthy.
The Archduke died in 1962, in the Bavarian town of Rain. He is notable for being the owner of the largest flawless white diamond in the world.
That diamond is today called the Archduke Joseph Diamond (German: Erzherzog-Joseph-Diamant), and was sold for over 20 million Swiss francs in 2012.