Author Topic: Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Countess Sophie and their family  (Read 268808 times)

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Offline José

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Re: Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Countess Sophie and their family
« Reply #30 on: October 21, 2006, 01:56:04 PM »
I've seen photos of the three Hohenbergs Pss. Sophie, Pr. Maximilian and Ernest, but can someone post photos of their spouses:
Friedrich Gf von Nostitz-Rieneck
Elisabeth Gfn von Waldburg zu Wolfegg und Waldsee
Marie-Therese Wood.

What was M.Therese Wood background ? She was born in Vienna, but the name seems english/american  ???

Offline Yseult

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Re: Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Countess Sophie and their family
« Reply #31 on: October 21, 2006, 02:29:51 PM »
It´s a beautiful but also a very tragical history.



Sophie Maria Josephine Albina Chotek was the fourth daughter of the Chief Equerry of the Austrian Imperial Court, the czech Bohuslaw Chotek von Chotkova und Wognin, and his wife, Wilhelmine Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau. Sophie was of a noble birth, and she had among their ancestor in female line princes of Baden, of Hohenzollern-Hechingen and Liechtenstein, but it was not good enough to became the bride of an archduke.


Franz Ferdinand met Sophie in 1895, reputedly at a ball in Prague. The prince and the countess fell madly in love. By this time, she was a lady-in-waiting to Archduchess Isabella, born princess Isabella of Cröy-Dülmen, wife of Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen. Our Franz Ferdinand began to visit with great frequency Archduke Friedrich and Archduchess Isabelle´s villa in Bratislava. The couple believed that the pressumptive heir to the austrian throne was making courtship to their eldest daughter, archduchess Marie Christina, a suitable bride. But the pressumptive heir was making courtship to his enchantress "Soph".

Franz Ferdinand and Soph kept their relationship a secret for more than two years. She wrotte him a great number of tender letters during the time he was recovering from his tuberculosis in an island situated far away, in the Adriatic Sea. Not the time, neither the distance, broke up the ties between them.

In 1898, the romance was discovered by Archduchess Isabelle. She opened the watch that Franz Ferdinand have left at her home, expecting to find a picture of her daughter Marie Christina or, at least, one of her another seven daughters...but she found the portrait of her lady-in-waiting Sophie. The czech countess was quickly dismissed from her position and a public scandal was created.

A great struggle happened between emperor Franz Joseph and his nephew and heir Franz Ferdinand. The emperor refused to allow a marriage with Soph, but Franz Ferdinand refused go give his true and only love up. Finally, in 1899, a compromise was reached and the old emperor agreed to permit the weeding if the marriage was a morganatic one. Sophie could not be called "archduchess", none of their future children could ever inherit the throne or any royal tittles, she had to enter state functions at the very end of the line, she could never sit with her husband in the opera or the theatre or during a carriage ride through the beautiful Vienna Woods. Apparently, Sophie bore all these insults better than Franz Ferdinand.

The couple married around 10:30 in the morning the frist of July 1900 at Reichstadt, Bohemia. Of course, emperor didn´t attend the marriage, nor did any archduke. The two brothers of the groom, Otto Franz and Ferdinand Karl, were not presents. By the way, Franz Ferdinand and Ferdinand Karl were in bad terms for years due to the fact that Ferdinand Karl refused Sophie Chotek. It´s funny to know that, a few years later, Ferdinand Karl fell in love and married morganatically Bertha Czuber.

The beloved step-mother of Franz Ferdinand, archduchess Maria Theresa, attended the marriage with her two daughters, Maria Annunziata and Elisabeth.

Upon the marriage, Sophie was given the tittle Fürstin von Hohenberg, with the style Her Serene Highness. Her status was raised considerably in 1909, when she was created Herzogin von Hohenberg with the style Her Highness.

She bore three children to Franz Ferdinand: Sophie, Maximilian and Ernst.


It was said that she was pregnant when she was killed together with her husband by Gavrilo Princip, but it´s untrue. Sophie had her three children and a stillborn son in 1908. After the birth of the stillborn son, doctors advised her not to became pregnant again because she would put in risk her life.

Best regards!

« Last Edit: January 23, 2010, 06:15:11 AM by Svetabel »

Offline Teddy

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Re: Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Countess Sophie and their family
« Reply #32 on: October 21, 2006, 02:40:48 PM »
Ysealt,

Do you know a good book about these 2?
And were did you got these photo's?

Gr. Teddy

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Countess Sophie and their family
« Reply #33 on: October 21, 2006, 03:03:56 PM »

In 1898, the romance was discovered by Archduchess Isabelle. She opened the watch that Franz Ferdinand have left at her home, expecting to find a picture of her daughter Marie Christina or, at least, one of her another seven daughters...but she found the portrait of her lady-in-waiting Sophie. The czech countess was quickly dismissed from her position and a public scandal was created.


I read an article in Royalty Digest once that fleshed this out. Apparently, it wasn't obvious at first who the item belonged to so she couldn't prove anything. She sent Sophie away with her daughter, who was sickly, to the Adriatic (?) coast. She soon heard that FF was arriving in the area. She took herself off to the house and whens he arrived, she found that Sophie was absent--she was off on a walk with Franz Ferdinand. Isabelle exploded into rage and dismissed Sophie.
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Offline Yseult

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Re: Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Countess Sophie and their family
« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2006, 03:12:39 PM »
Ysealt,

Do you know a good book about these 2?
And were did you got these photo's?

Gr. Teddy

I don´t know, Teddy. I always felt fascinated about Sophie Chotek, but here in Spain there are not books published about the lady, so I just have read what I have found in the net. And the pictures...all of these pictures are in the net, too ;)

Sorry, I modify the post to add the wedding picture of FF&Soph:

[imghttp://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e56/vanozzacatanei/WeddingPicture.jpg][/img]
« Last Edit: October 21, 2006, 03:18:50 PM by Yseult »

Offline Veronika

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Re: Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Countess Sophie and their family
« Reply #35 on: October 26, 2006, 05:39:34 AM »

Offline Paola

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Re: Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Countess Sophie and their family
« Reply #36 on: October 30, 2006, 08:30:22 AM »
I once read that Franz Ferdinand fathered a son, who was born before his marriage to Sophie Chotek. What happened to this son?

Offline Forum Admin

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Re: Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Countess Sophie and their family
« Reply #37 on: February 19, 2007, 09:33:15 AM »
Franz Ferdinand’s great-granddaughter, Her Serene Highness Princess Sophie von Hohenberg (or Sophie de Potesta to her neighbors), is trying to right what she sees as one of the wrongs from the past.  She hopes to get Franz Ferdinand’s castle, Konopiste, back from the Czech government.  The problem, Princess von Hohenberg says, is that Franz Ferdinand’s children — Sophie, Maximilian and Ernst — were not Hapsburgs and so the castle and its dependencies — nearly 15,000 acres of woodland and a brewery — should never have been seized.

Please see the article in the New York Times, of today, 19 Feb. 2007:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/19/world/europe/19castle.html?em&ex=1172034000&en=ccc356f5263f1aed&ei=5087%0A

Offline Veronika

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Re: Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Countess Sophie and their family
« Reply #38 on: February 19, 2007, 11:34:07 AM »
I read it in newspapers, but I think that it will be quite difficult for her. My opinion is that she will not have this castle back.

Offline britt.25

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Re: Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Countess Sophie and their family
« Reply #39 on: February 20, 2007, 06:01:34 AM »
Thanks for mentioning that interesting article ;)
La vérité est plus importante que l'amour

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Offline José

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Re: Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Countess Sophie and their family
« Reply #40 on: February 20, 2007, 12:43:58 PM »
I would like to start a topic on this lady.

I understand that after the Serajevo murder FF and Sophie's children were sort of placed under custody by  Emperor Franz Josef and seen that they were properly brought up, but far from the Court.
Who were their "tutors" ?

AD Maria Teresa - FF's step-mother - had been very supportive of FF even at the wedding question.
She was the only ADuchess to attend it.
Did she have anything to do with the education of her step-grandsons ? Did they keep any contact ?

Please post pictures of Pss. Sophie, her husband and children as well as her brothers, sisters-in-law and nephews.

Offline britt.25

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Re: Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Countess Sophie and their family
« Reply #41 on: February 20, 2007, 01:07:19 PM »
Hello José,

I fear that you will already know those pictures (I am not sure, if they were already posted here) but I send them, because they are nice.

Sophie with her children:



Franz Ferdinand (it´s an impressing picture for me):



Sophie and Franz Ferdinand´s children:

1) Max:

a) as a boy:


b) as an older man:




2) Ernst :






Has anyone pictures of him as an adult?

3) Sophie:

a) as a girl:



b) as an old woman in her house:




I would also like to know more about their lives after the death of their parents. I found it always very tragic that both sons of Franz Ferdinand had to suffer in KZs under Hitler´s regime, because they were against the connection Germany- Austria. Even after the became free the consequences always remained, and both did not become very old. Ernst died in his fiftees and Max in his sixties. 


« Last Edit: February 20, 2007, 01:09:46 PM by britt.25 »
La vérité est plus importante que l'amour

     Marie Bonaparte (1882-1962)

Offline MarieCharlotte

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Re: Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Countess Sophie and their family
« Reply #42 on: February 20, 2007, 02:13:00 PM »
Sophie and her younger brothers were brought up by their maternal aunt, Marie Fürstin von Thun und Hohenstein. Marie lived with her husband and her children in Bohemia. (Just a note: Marie is the great-grandmother of the actor Max von Thun who was recently seen as Crownprince Rudolf on German television).
At the end of WW I, in 1918, Max and Ernst were forced to leave the country and fled to Artstetten, Franz Ferdinand's castle in Lower Austria where they spent a lot of time during their early childhood. Sophie was allowed to stay with her aunt.

Max studied law and Ernst became a forester.

In 1938 Franz Ferdinand's sons were arrested. Under Hitler's regime they had to stay in different concentraction camps, for example at Dachau. Leopold Figl, who became chancellor of Austria, met them at Dachau and said about them: Das erste, was ich in Dachau sah, waren die beiden Hohenberg vor dem Kloaken-Karren. Entblößt von allen Titeln und Ämtern, stündlich den Tod vor Augen, ertrugen sie die qualvollen Demütigungen mit der unerschütterlichen Würde von Nachkommen eines alten Geschlechts, dem Herrschen Dienen und Dienen Herrschen bedeutet hatte.

In 1945, the brothers fighted for their possessions and their fortune. They received Artstetten which still belongs to the family.

Max married Elisabetha Bona Gräfin von Waldburg zu Wolfegg u.Waldsee (1904-1993) in 1926. The couple had six sons, among them Georg, the current head of the family of Hohenberg.
Ernst married Marie Therese Wood (1910-1985) in 1936 and was father of two sons.

Maybe because of the strains they had to endure at the concentration camp, the brothers died quite young. Ernst died in 1954 at the age of 49 and Max died in 1962 aged 59.

Sophie, Franz Ferdinand's only daughter, was married to Friedrich Graf von Nostitz-Rieneck (1891-1973) and became mother of three sons and one daughter. In 1945, like three million Germans from the Sudetenland, the Nostitz-Rienecks were driven out of the Cech Republic. They lost all their fortune. Sophie spent the rest of her life in modest circumstances at Thannhausen where she died in 1990.

In 2006 there was a special exhibition about the lives of Sophie, Max and Ernst after the death of their parents in 1914.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2007, 02:15:56 PM by MarieCharlotte »
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Offline James1941

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Re: Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Countess Sophie and their family
« Reply #43 on: February 20, 2007, 02:25:17 PM »
There is a news article that the great granddaughter of FF and Sophie is suing the Czech government for the return of the famous Konopiste Castle in Bohemia. This was one of the families favorite homes. It was here that FF and Sophie left to start their trip to Sarajevo and immortality.  After World War I, in the early 1920s, the government of Czechoslovakia seized all the property of the Hapsburgs as state property. The gg daughter, also a Sophie, is suing on the grounds that her family was not Hapsburg at the time of the seizure and thus the castle was not Hapsburg property.
Since Konopiste is a major tourist attraction today, it will be interesting to see how this case turns out.

***I should read further before jumping in to post. I see the Forum Admin has posted on this below. My apologies.***
« Last Edit: February 20, 2007, 02:28:57 PM by James1941 »

Offline britt.25

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Re: Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Countess Sophie and their family
« Reply #44 on: February 20, 2007, 02:27:46 PM »
Thanks for the detailled explanations and corrections. This evening it seems that I was too lazy to look it up for myself :P
La vérité est plus importante que l'amour

     Marie Bonaparte (1882-1962)