Austria bids farewell to emperor that never was

The last crown prince of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire was laid to rest in Vienna on 16th July.

Otto von Habsburg, who was 98 when he passed away earlier this month, spent the majority of his life in exile.

Cut off from his inheritance by the First World War, the archduke later became a vehement opponent to Hitler in the lead-up to the second. He was sentenced to death in absentia by the Nazis, but ultimately emerged as a respected member of the European Parliament, campaigning for many years for the collapse of the Iron Curtain.

Born on 20th November 1912, Otto von Habsburg was just four years old when he watched his father Karl be crowned emperor in Budapest's Church of Our Lady.

However, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was poised to collapse, with the ceremony taking place at the height of the First World War.

The imperial family was forced to go into exile after the war was lost, and Otto was not able to return to Austria until 1966, and then only intermittently, living in Bavaria, Germany.

The funeral for the archduke was held in Vienna's St. Stephen's Cathedral, after which he was laid to rest in the imperial crypt of the nearby Capuchin Church. His heart was interred in the Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma, Hungary.


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