|Archduke Franz Karl|
Franz Karl at age 75, 1878.
|Born||17 December 1802|
|Died||8 March 1878 (aged 75)|
|Spouse||Princess Sophie of Bavaria|
|Issue||Franz Joseph I of Austria|
Maximilian I of Mexico
Archduke Karl Ludwig
Archduchess Maria Anna
Archduke Ludwig Viktor
|Father||Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor|
|Mother||Princess Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily|
Archduke Franz Carl of Austria
|Reference style||His Imperial and Royal Highness|
|Spoken style||Your Imperial and Royal Highness|
Archduke Franz Karl Joseph of Austria (17 December 1802 – 8 March 1878) was a member of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. He was the father of two emperors: Franz Joseph I of Austria and Maximilian I of Mexico. Through his third son Karl Ludwig, he was the grandfather of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria - whose assassination sparked the hostilities that led to the outbreak of World War I - and the great-grandfather of the last Habsburg emperor Karl I.
Franz Karl was born in Vienna, the third son of Emperor Francis II (I) by his second marriage with Princess Maria Theresa from the House of Bourbon, daughter of King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies and Maria Carolina of Habsburg-Lorraine. On 4 November 1824 in Vienna he married Princess Sophie of Bavaria from the House of Wittelsbach, a daughter of King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria by his second wife Caroline of Baden. Sophie's paternal half-sister, Caroline Augusta of Bavaria was by this time Franz Karl's stepmother, having married his thrice-widowed father in 1816. The Wittelsbachs condoned the unappealing manners of Sophie's husband in consideration of the incapability of his elder brother Ferdinand and Sophie's chance to become Austrian Empress.
Franz Karl was an unambitious and generally ineffectual man, although he was, together with his uncle Archduke Louis a member of the Geheime Staatskonferenz council, which after the death of Emperor Francis II ruled the Austrian Empire in the stead of his mentally ill brother Ferdinand from 1835 to 1848. The decisions, however, were actually made by the Minister of State Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich and his rival Count Franz Anton von Kolowrat-Liebsteinsky. His wife Sophie had already transferred her ambitions, when she urged Franz Karl to renounce his claims to the throne at the time of his brother's abdication on 2 December 1848, allowing their eldest son Franz Joseph I to take the throne.
Archduke Franz Karl died in Vienna in 1878, six years after the death of his wife. He is buried at the Imperial Crypt at the Capuchin Church. Franz Karl was the last Habsburg whose viscera were entombed at the Ducal Crypt of St. Stephen's Cathedral and whose heart was placed at the Herzgruft of the Augustinian Church according to a centuries-long family rite.
He received the following awards:
|By Sophie, Princess of Bavaria (27 January 1805 - 28 May 1872; married on 4 November 1824 in St. Augustine's Church, Vienna)|
|Franz Joseph||18 August 1830||21 November 1916||Succeeded as Emperor of Austria;|
married his first cousin Elisabeth, Duchess in Bavaria, and had issue
|Maximilian||6 July 1832||19 June 1867||Proclaimed Emperor of Mexico|
executed by a firing squad
married Charlotte, Princess of Belgium, no issue
|Karl Ludwig||30 July 1833||19 May 1896||Married 1) his first cousin Margaretha, Princess of and Duchess in Saxony, (1840-1858) from 1856 to 1858, no issue, married 2) to Maria Annunziata, Princess of the Two-Sicilies (1843-1871) from 1862 to 1871, had issue (three sons and one daughter) and married 3) to Maria Theresia, Infanta of Portugal, (1855-1944), from 1873 to 1899, had issue (two daughters)|
|Maria Anna||27 October 1835||5 February 1840||Died in childhood, no issue|
|Stillborn son||24 October 1840||24 October 1840|
|Ludwig Viktor||15 May 1842||18 January 1919||Died unmarried, no issue|
|Ancestors of Archduke Franz Karl of Austria|
Media related to Archduke Franz Karl of Austria at Wikimedia Commons