Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen

Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen

Infobox_Prince| name = Archduke Friedrich of Austria, Duke of Teschen

caption =
consort =Princess Isabella of Croÿ
royal house =House of Habsburg
father =Karl Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria
mother =Archduchess Elisabeth Franziska of Austria
date of birth =birth date|1856|06|04|mf=y
place of birth =Gross-Seelowitz, Moravia
date of death =death date and age|1936|12|30|1856|06|04|mf=y
place of death =Ungarisch-Altenburg, Hungary
place of burial=|

Friedrich Maria Albrecht Wilhelm Karl, Archduke and Prince Imperial of Austria, Prince Royal of Hungary and Bohemia, Duke of Teschen (In German: "Erzherzog Friedrich Maria Albrecht Wilhelm Karl von Österreich-Toskana, Herzog von Teschen") - (4 June 1856, – 30 December 1936) was a member of the House of Habsburg and the Supreme Commander of the Austro-Hungarian Army during World War I.

Early life

Friedrich was born at the castle Gross-Seelowitz (now Židlochovice, near Brno in Moravia) the son of Karl Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria and his wife Archduchess Elisabeth Franziska of Austria.
Amongst his siblings were Queen Maria Theresia of Bavaria, Queen Maria Cristina of Spain, Archduke Charles Stephen of Austria, and Archduke Eugen of Austria.When Friedrich's uncle Archduke Albert, Duke of Teschen died in 1895, he and his brothers each inherited large estates. Friedrich owned properties at Ungarisch-Altenburg (now Mosonmagyaróvár in Hungary), Belleje, Saybusch (now Żywiec in Poland), Seelowitz (now Židlochovice) and Frýdek in the Czech Republic, and Pressburg (now Bratislava in Slovakia). His Vienna residence, the Palais-Albrecht, housed the Albertina art collection which he owned.


On 8 October 1878 Friedrich married at Château L'Hermitage in Belgium Princess Isabella of Croÿ (1856 - 1931), daughter of Rudolf, Duke of Croÿ, and his wife Princess Natalie of Ligne. They had nine children together.

* Maria Christina, Archduchess of Austria-Teschen (1879-1962)
* Maria Anna, Archduchess of Austria-Teschen (1882-1940)
* Maria Henrietta, Archduchess of Austria-Teschen(1883-1956)
* Natalie Maria, Archduchess of Austria-Teschen (1884-1898)
* Stephanie Maria Isabelle, Archduchess of Austria-Teschen (1886-1890)
* Gabriele Maria Theresia, Archduchess of Austria-Teschen (1887-1954)
* Isabella, Archduchess of Austria-Teschen (1887-1973)
* Maria Alice, Archduchess of Austria-Teschen (1893-1962)
* Albrecht Franz, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Teschen (1897-1955)

In the mid-1890s the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria began visiting Friedrich's home. At first it was assumed that he was there to court one of Friedrich's daughters. Eventually it was discovered that in fact he was courting Countess Sophie Chotek, a lady-in-waiting to Friedrich's wife Archduchess Isabella. Archduchess Isabella became infuriated that Franz Ferdinand had not singled out one of her eight daughters as his bride and future empress; as a result she engaged in a crusade to thwart the marriage of Franz Ferdinand and Sophie. Sophie was dismissed from service, thus beginning an ongoing conflict between Friedrich and Franz Ferdinand who married Sophie in 1900. The marriage was morganatic, Sophie was subjected to indignities of low rank at court, and none of their children could succeed their father—all chiefly as a result of Isabella's machinations.A decade later, the unwaveringly spiteful Archduchess Isabella created a similar fuss when her nephew, Karl, 13th Prince von Croy, of the House of Croy, sought to marry Nancy Leishman, the charming young daughter of United States Ambassador to Germany John George Alexander Leishman, the former president of Carnegie Steel. As with Sopie Chotek, the Archduchess felt Nancy was not sufficiently aristocratic. Karl and Nancy were wed, nonetheless; today their grandson is the present Duke of Croy.

Military career

On July 11, 1914 Friedrich was appointed Supreme Commander of the Austro-Hungarian Army by Emperor Franz Joseph I; it was thought that he would not interfere with the operational and tactical talents of Franz Graf Conrad von Hötzendorf. He was promoted to the rank of Generalfeldmarschall on December 8, 1914. Friedrich remained Supreme Commander until February 1917 when Emperor Charles I decided to take the office himself.

Retirement and death

After World War I the governments of Austria and Czechoslovakia confiscated all of Friedrich's properties within their borders. These included his palace in Vienna and his art collection. He retained his properties in Hungary however. In 1929 he won a court case requiring compensation from the Czechoslovak government. [ [,9171,737417,00.html "Papa Friedrich Preferred"] , "Time Magazine" (February 18, 1929)]

Friedrich died at Ungarisch-Altenburg (now Mosonmagyaróvár) in 1936.His death was the biggest royal event for Hungary since the coronation of King Karl in 1916. The funeral was attended by his nephew, the exiled King of Spain; by numerous archdukes; by all the surviving Austro-Hungarian Feldmarshals; by personal representatives of Hitler; by members of the House of Savoy; by the diplomatic corps; by a son of exiled German Kaiser Wilhelm ; by representatives of the governments of Germany, Italy and Austria, and by Hungary's Regent, Miklós Horthy and his wife. There were members of the Hungarian government and delegates of the German and Austrian in attendance as well. Entire battalions of the Hungarian army was present to pay their last respects to their former Supreme Commander.


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1= 1. Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen
2= 2. Archduke Karl Ferdinand of Austria
3= 3. Archduchess Elisabeth Franziska of Austria
4= 4. Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen
5= 5. Princess Henrietta of Nassau-Weilburg
6= 6. Archduke Joseph, Palatine of Hungary
7= 7. Duchess Maria Dorothea of Württemberg
8= 8. Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor
9= 9. Maria Louisa of Spain
10= 10. Frederick William, Duke of Nassau
11= 11. Isabelle of Sayn-Hachenburg
12= 12. Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor (= 8)
13= 13. Maria Louisa of Spain (= 9)
14= 14. Duke Louis of Württemberg
15= 15. Princess Henriette of Nassau-Weilburg
16= 16. Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor
17= 17. Maria Theresa of Austria
18= 18. Charles III of Spain
19= 19. Maria Amalia of Saxony
20= 20. Charles Christian, Prince of Nassau-Weilburg
21= 21. Princess Carolina of Orange-Nassau
22= 22. Wilhelm Georg, Count of Sayn-Hachenburg
23= 23. Princess Isabella Auguste Reuss of Greiz
24= 24. Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor (= 16)
25= 25. Maria Theresa of Austria (= 17)
26= 26. Charles III of Spain (= 18)
27= 27. Maria Amalia of Saxony (= 19)
28= 28. Frederick II Eugene, Duke of Württemberg
29= 29. Margravine Sophia Dorothea of Brandenburg-Schwedt
30= 30. Charles Christian, Prince of Nassau-Weilburg (= 20)
31= 31. Princess Carolina of Orange-Nassau (= 21)



* Heiszler, Vilmos. "Photo Habsburg: Frederick Habsburg and his Family". Budapest: Corvina, 1989.
* Jewison, Glenn, and Jörg C. Steiner. [ "Erzherzog Friedrich"] (Austro-Hungarian Land Forces 1848-1918).
* Palmer, Alan. "Twilight of the Habsburgs: The Life and Times of Emperor Francis Joseph". Atlantic Monthly Press; 1st Pbk. Ed edition.
* Stefanovics, Glenn W. [ "Friedrich Maria Albrecht Wilhelm Karl von Österreich-Toskana, Herzog von Teschen"]

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