Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen

Archduke Friedrich
Duke of Teschen
Reign 1895–1918
Predecessor Albrecht
Born (1856-06-04)4 June 1856
Gross-Seelowitz, Moravia
Died 30 December 1936(1936-12-30) (aged 80)
Magyaróvár, Hungary
Burial Imperial Crypt
Spouse Princess Isabella of Croÿ
Issue Maria Christina, Hereditary Princess of Salm-Salm
Maria Anna, Princess Elias of Bourbon-Parma
Maria Henrietta, Princess Gottfried of Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingfurst
Archduchess Natalie Maria
Archduchess Stephanie Maria Isabelle
Archduchess Gabriele Maria Theresia
Isabella, Princess Georg of Bavaria
Maria Alice, Baroness von Bassenheim
Archduke Albrecht Franz, Duke of Teschen
House Habsburg-Lorraine
Father Archduke Karl Ferdinand of Austria
Mother Archduchess Elisabeth Franziska of Austria
Religion Roman Catholicism

Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen (Friedrich Maria Albrecht Wilhelm Karl; 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.

His siblings included Queen Maria Cristina of Spain, Archduke Charles Stephen of Austria, a candidate for the Kingdom of Poland, and Archduke Eugen of Austria, and Austrian officer.

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.

Military career

Like most of the princes of the ruling house, Friedrich adopted a military career, and served creditably for many years as commandant of the V. (Pressburg) Corps. Subsequently, commander-in-chief of the Austrian Landwehr (militia) and army inspector, he became, after the murder of the heir to the throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, inspector-general of the Austro-Hungarian Army.[1]

In World War I, he was —from the dynastic point of view —as grandson of the victor of Aspern, Archduke Charles, and as nephew of the victor of Custoza, Archduke Albert, the predestined head of the armed forces of Austria-Hungary; and on 11 July 1914 Friedrich was appointed supreme commander of the Austro-Hungarian Army by Emperor Franz Joseph I. He thought it his duty to accept this heavy responsibility, but, modestly estimating his own powers, left the actual exercise of the command to his chief-of-staff, Franz Graf Conrad von Hötzendorf. In the performance of ceremonial duties, and as mediator for the settlement of the conflicting demands of the military, civil and allied elements, his services were undeniable.[1] He was promoted to the rank of Generalfeldmarschall on 8 December 1914. In the spring of 1917 Emperor Charles himself took over the supreme command; the Archduke, although the Emperor's representative, no longer appeared in the foreground. 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.[2]

Friedrich died at Ungarisch-Altenburg (Magyaróvár, now Mosonmagyaróvár) in 1936. His death was the biggest royal event for Hungary since the coronation of King Karl in 1916. The funeral and burial in the Pfarrkirche in Mosonmagyaróvár was attended by his nephew, the exiled King of Spain; by numerous archdukes; by all the surviving Austro-Hungarian field marshals; 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 were present to pay their last respects to their former Supreme Commander.


Decorations and awards

Austrian honours
Foreign honours


  1. 1 2  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). "Frederick, Archduke of Austria". Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.). London & New York.
  2. "Papa Friedrich Preferred", Time Magazine ( 18 February 1929)


External links

Media related to Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen at Wikimedia Commons

Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen
Cadet branch of the House of Lorraine
Born: 4 June 1856 Died: 30 December 1936
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Archduke Albert
Duke of Teschen
Succeeded by
Monarchy abolished
Titles in pretence
Loss of title
Monarchy abolished
Duke of Teschen
Succeeded by
Archduke Albrecht Franz
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/10/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.