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Archduke Felix of Austria, Austrian royal, last surviving child of Charles I of Austria, died he was 95

Archduke Felix of Austria given names: Felix
Friedrich August Maria vom Siege Franz Joseph Peter Karl Anton Robert
Otto Pius Michael Benedikt Sebastian Ignatius Marcus d’Aviano
;  was the last surviving child of the last Austrian Emperor Charles I and a member of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine died he was 95… He was a younger brother of the late Crown Prince Otto of Austria.

(31 May 1916 – 6 September 2011)

Early life and exile

Archduke Felix was born in the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna the third son of the then heir presumptive to the throne of Austria-Hungary the Archduke Charles and his wife Zita of Bourbon-Parma.[2] He was christened at Schönbrunn on 8 June 1916 in the presence of his great-grand uncle Emperor Franz Joseph while his godfather was his great-uncle King Frederick Augustus III of Saxony, brother of his grandmother Princess Maria Josepha of Saxony.[3]
On 21 November 1916 the Emperor Franz Joseph died and Felix’s father
succeeded as the new Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary.
Archduke Felix was less than three years old when Austria-Hungary
collapsed following its defeat in the First World War. As a result,
republics were declared in the now-separate countries Austria and Hungary
which led to exile of the Imperial Family. Originally exiled in
Switzerland the Imperial Family were taken to Portuguese island of Madeira in 1921 after Archduke Felix’s father’s failed attempts to claim the throne in the Kingdom of Hungary from the regent Miklós Horthy. On 1 April 1922 his father Emperor Charles died in Madeira.
In the autumn of 1937 Archduke Felix was permitted to return to Austria, entering the Theresian Military Academy in Wiener Neustadt. He became the first Habsburg since the abolition of the monarchy to pursue a career as an officer in the Austrian Army.[4] With the Anschluss approaching Archduke Felix, his sister Archduchess Adelheid and Archduke Eugen fled Austria crossing the border to Czechoslovakia.[5][6]
During the Second World War while in the United States, Felix and his brother Karl Ludwig volunteered to serve in the 101st Infantry Battalion
known as the “Free Austria Battalion”. However the battalion was
disbanded when a number of exiled Jewish volunteers who made up the
majority of force ultimately declined to confirm their enlistment.[7]

Return to Austria

Felix, unlike his brother Otto,
always refused to renounce his rights to the Austrian throne and
membership of the Habsburg family, saying that doing so would violate
his human rights. As a result he was banned from entering Austria except
for a brief three-day stay in 1989 in order to attend his mother’s
funeral.[8] On 10 March 1996, after Austria had joined the European Union
and the concurrent dropping of staffed border checkpoints between
Austria and other EU countries, he crossed into the country from Germany
and held a press conference the next day to announce his illegal arrival.[9]
After his presence became known, he was warned by the Austrian
government that he would face prosecution if he ever tried to enter the
country illegally again.[10]
Ultimately, a deal was reached between Felix, his brother Karl Ludwig
and the Austrian government whereby they declared their allegiance to
the republic without any reference being made to their rights to the
throne or to their membership in the Imperial Family.[9]
In June 1998, in a joint action with his brother Karl Ludwig, Felix
attempted to have the properties which were given to their ancestor Maria Theresa of Austria by her husband Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor restored to them after the properties had been taken from the Habsburg family by Adolf Hitler during the Anschluss.[11]
Felix built up a number of successful businesses in Mexico and Brussels[9] and worked as a marketing consultant.[12]
During his time in exile Archduke Felix lived in Portugal, Belgium, Mexico and the United States.[8] He lived in the colonia of San Ángel in Mexico City where he died 6 September 2011.[13] He was interred in the family crypt in Muri Abbey, near Zurich.
The abbey is a favoured burial place of the Habsburg dynasty, and also
contains the remains of his wife and the hearts of his parents.[14]

Marriage and children

Felix was married civilly on 18 November 1952 at Beaulieu[disambiguation needed ], France, and religiously a day later, to Princess and Duchess Anna-Eugénie of Arenberg (1925–1997).[2] They had seven children.

  • Archduchess María del Pilar of Austria (born 1953) married Vollrad-Joachim Edler von Poschinger (born 1952)
  • Archduke Carl Philipp (Carlos Felipe) of Austria (born 1954) married
    first (separated 1997) Martina Donath. Married second Annie-Claire
    Christine Lacrambe (born 1959)
  • Archduchess Kinga of Austria (born 1955) married Baron Wolfgang von Erffa (born 1948)
  • Archduke Raimund (Ramón) of Austria (1958–2008) married Bettina Götz (born 1969)
  • Archduchess Myriam of Austria (born 1959) married Jaime Corcuera Acheson (born 1955), a Mexican descendant of the Earls of Gosford.
  • Archduke István (Esteban) of Austria (born 1961) married Paola de Temesváry (born 1971)
  • Archduchess Viridis of Austria (born 1961, twin of Archduke Istvan)
    married The Honorable Carl Dunning-Gribble, Lord of Marnhull (born 1961)

As they all lived in Mexico, and some still do, they are called by the Spanish equivalent to their names.

Honours and patronages

Along with his brothers Otto and Rudolf, Archduke Felix was a patron for the revived Almanach de Gotha.[15]

Titles and styles

To see more of who died in 2011 click here


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