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Ethiomonarchist

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On November 5, 2016, Pope Francis received 300 members of the Imperial and Royal Hapsburg family in audience in the Apostolic Palace of Vatican City.  The House of Austria and Hungary was on a family pilgrimage to the Holy See.  The Roman Pontiff payed homage to the Hapsburg family and to the Blessed Emperor Charles for their adherence to their faith, and their role and relevance in the world.  

http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2016/11/05/161105a.html

http://www.emperorcharles.org/news/2016/11/7/fcsr0p4u9t6mexiezz7xtqb9fqbunw

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His Holiness addressing the Imperial & Royal family


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Pope Francis took a formal group picture in the Clementine Hall with the House of Austria and Hungary following the audience there.


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Pope Francis also took an informal photograph with the youngest members of the House of Hapsburg.


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Windemere

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Thanks for the above post and photos of the Habsburg clan's trip to Rome and audience with the Pope earlier this month. Judging from the amount of children present, the Habsburg lineage appears to be well-fortified, although I suspect that a good many of them probably descend from the maternal lines. The present-day Habsburgs themselves are actually agnatic Lothringens, descending from Empress Maria Theresa and Emperor Francis I, from the House of Lorraine.

Eduard Habsburg (great-great-great-great-grandson of Emperor Leopold II), who I believe is now Hungary's ambassador to the Vatican, recently published an article (Nov.16. 2016) with another photo of that visit and family reunion, which can be seen online at the catholicherald.co.uk website under the title The 21st Century Habsburg Mission. It contains his own thoughts and reflections upon the visit, and upon his family.

I noticed that at the end of his article, Eduard added a postscript in which he requested that the Habsburg spelling of his family's name be used, rather than the Hapsburg spelling, as he feels that it's more correct and appropriate. That will be hard for me to get used to, as I've always used the latter spelling when referring to that family.

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Peter

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The House of Habsburg-Lorraine is extraordinarily numerous and many-branched, even not counting lines such as those of Hohenberg and Meran which are considered morganatic and non-dynastic, and I can well believe that it could have assembled over 300 members for this family pilgrimage even without resorting to children of Archduchesses who are not themselves Habsburgs (though I expect there were some of these present). All lines today descend from one of five different sons of the Emperor Leopold II (1747-1792).

The most senior lines are naturally from his eldest son the Emperor Franz II, who later became Franz I of Austria. The most senior of all is the morganatic Hohenbergs, derived from Archduke Franz Ferdinand. After them come the dynastically most senior lines, descended from two sons of Archduke Otto, younger brother of Franz Ferdinand. The elder son, Karl I/IV of Austria and Hungary, has male-line descendants through no fewer than five of his own sons, Archdukes Otto, Robert, Felix, Carl Ludwig and Rudolf. And the younger, Archduke Maximilian, through his own two sons Archdukes Ferdinand and Heinrich.

Next come the agnatic descendants of Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany, second son of Emperor Leopold II. These are all through his son Grand Duke Leopold II’s own sons Grand Duke Ferdinand IV (whose reign was only nominal, Tuscany already being occupied by Sardinian forces when his father abdicated in his favour) and Archduke Karl Salvator. Two of Ferdinand IV’s sons, Archdukes Peter Ferdinand and Heinrich, have agnates alive today, though only some of those from the former and none from the latter are considered dynastic.

The situation is similar with Archduke Karl Salvator, except that it is his younger son Archduke Franz Salvator from whom there are surviving dynastic branches. Next after the Tuscans would be the Teschen line, derived from the famous general Archduke Karl, third son of Emperor Leopold II, but though he has living agnates none has dynastic status. The Emperor’s fourth, fifth and sixth sons were all short-lived but the seventh lived to be 72 and founded the next most senior dynastic branch, which is also the most junior of all apart from the Meran line.

This was Archduke Joseph, Palatine of Hungary, and it to his line that the Archduke Eduard to whom Windemere refers belongs. Archduke Joseph’s lines all derive from his younger son, also Archduke Joseph and also Palatine of Hungary, born of his father’s third marriage and when the elder Joseph was already 56, nearly 57; I would say positively Trumpian, except that I would not ever wish to slur the Habsburgs in such a way. And of course Archduke Joseph the elder was twice widowed rather than twice divorced.

Several branches survive from Archduke Joseph the younger, dynastic and non-dynastic alike. Archduke Eduard as it happens is the most junior dynastic agnate of Emperor Leopold II alive today, apart from his own son Archduke Paul and his younger brother, also Archduke Paul, who as a Catholic priest presumably will not be having descendants. Not the most junior agnate of all, as the final surviving branch is that of Meran, already twice referred to, which descends from the first Archduke Joseph’s brother Archduke Johann, five years his junior. Somewhat remarkably for the times Archduke Johann married the daughter of a village postmaster, with whom he had a son Franz, second Count of Meran after his mother, lines surviving from three of Franz’s own sons.

And that ends the tale; three more sons were born to Emperor Leopold II but descent survives from only one of them and agnatic descent from none. It remains only to be mentioned that Archduke Eduard, whose article cited by Windemere sparked all this off, is married to Freiin Maria Theresa von Gudenus, a union which in former times would never have been accepted as dynastic but now is. And doubtless would be even were her own mother not herself a Habsburg agnate, albeit one of those pesky Merans, who now come up for a fourth and final time.

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