Archduchess Elisabeth Marie of Austria

Archduchess Elisabeth Marie of Austria

Elisabeth Maria Henriette Stephanie Gisela, Archduchess of Austria, (2 September 1883 – 16 March 1963) was the only child of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria and Princess Stéphanie, daughter of King Léopold II of the Belgians.

Elisabeth was born at Laxenburg on 2 September 1883. Elisabeth was known within the family as Erzsi, an affectionate Hungarian diminutive. She was the favorite grandchild of her paternal grandfather, Emperor Franz Joseph.

In 1889, her father and Baroness Mary Vetsera, his lover, were found shot to death in the Mayerling incident.

Rumour had it that Prince Albert, heir to the throne of Belgium, had considered marrying Elisabeth. He asked his uncle and Elisabeth's maternal grandfather, King Léopold II, for permission to propose to her; but Léopold was too angry about the recent morganatic marriage by Elisabeth's mother, so he refused to give Albert his permission.

Elisabeth married Prince Otto Weriand of Windisch-Grätz (1873–1952) on 23 January 1902. They had three sons: Princes Franz Joseph {1904-1981}, Ernst [1905-1952} and Rudolph {1907-1939}. Their only daughter, Princess Stephanie of Windisch-Graetz, was born at Ploschkowitz on 9 July 1909. Stephanie died on 7 September 2005.

In 1925 Elisabeth moved to the Hütteldorf district of Vienna, where she joined the Social Democratic Party.

She formally divorced Prince Otto in early 1948. On 4 May 1948, Elisabeth married Leopold Petznek (1881–1956), with whom she had been living for many years. Leopold was a teacher and a Social Democratic politician who served as Speaker of the lower chamber of parliament. He also spent a period of time imprisoned by the Nazis.

Elisabeth became known as The Red Archduchess for her association with her husband, Leopold, and the Socialist party. She frequently visited spiritualists, and she wrote about these séances in her diary.

Elisabeth died in Vienna on 16 March 1963 at the age of 80. According to her wishes, she was buried in a nameless grave at the Hütteldorfer Friedhof in Vienna, close to the house where she spent her last years with her enormous dogs (Gruppe 22, Grab G29; nameless white cross).


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1= 1. Archduchess Elisabeth Marie of Austria
2= 2. Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria
3= 3. Stephanie of Belgium
4= 4. Francis Joseph I of Austria
5= 5. Elisabeth of Bavaria
6= 6. Leopold II of Belgium
7= 7. Marie Henriette of Austria
8= 8. Archduke Francis Charles of Austria
9= 9. Sophie of Bavaria
10= 10. Maximilian Joseph, Duke in Bavaria
11= 11. Ludovika of Bavaria
12= 12. Leopold I of Belgium
13= 13. Louise-Marie of France
14= 14. Archduke Joseph, Palatine of Hungary
15= 15. Maria Dorothea of Württemberg
16= 16. Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor
17= 17. Maria Teresa of the Two Sicilies
18= 18. Maximilian I of Bavaria
19= 19. Karoline of Baden
20= 20. Pius Augustus, Duke in Bavaria
21= 21. Amélie Louise of Arenberg
22= 22. Maximilian I of Bavaria (=18)
23= 23. Karoline of Baden (=19)
24= 24. Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
25= 25. Augusta of Reuss-Ebersdorf
26= 26. Louis-Philippe of France
27= 27. Maria Amalia of the Two Sicilies
28= 28. Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor
29= 29. Maria Louisa of Spain
30= 30. Duke Louis of Württemberg
31= 31. Henrietta of Nassau-Weilburg


* Her biography, "Die rote Erzherzogin" (The Red Archduchess), by Friedrich Weissensteiner.

ee also

*Elisabeth Island (An island in Franz Josef Land, Russia, that was named in her honor).

External links


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