Princess Regina of Saxe-Meiningen

Princess Regina
Crown Princess of Austria, Hungary, Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Galicia and Lodomeria
Born (1925-01-06)6 January 1925
Würzburg, Weimar Republic
Died 3 February 2010(2010-02-03) (aged 85)
Pöcking, Germany
Burial 1) 10 February 2010, Heldburg Fortress
2) 16 July 2011, Imperial Crypt, Capuchin Church, Innere Stadt, Vienna, Austria
Spouse Crown Prince Otto of Austria
Archduchess Andrea, Hereditary Countess of Neipperg
Archduchess Monika, Duchess of Santangelo
Archduchess Michaela
Archduchess Gabriela
Archduchess Walburga
Crown Prince Karl of Austria
Archduke Georg
Full name
Regina Helene Elizabeth Margarete
House Saxe-Meiningen
Father Georg, Prince of Saxe-Meiningen
Mother Countess Klara Maria von Korff genannt Schmissing-Kerssenbrock
Religion Roman Catholic
The Veste Heldburg, where Regina grew up, overlooks the Heldburger Land in South Thuringia.

Archduchess Regina, Crown Princess of Austria, Hungary, and Bohemia (6 January 1925 – 3 February 2010; née Princess Regina of Saxe-Meiningen (Regina Helene Elizabeth Margarete Prinzessin von Sachsen-Meiningen) was a member of the House of Wettin.[1][2]

Styles of
Crown Princess Regina of Austria
Reference style Her Imperial and Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Imperial and Royal Highness
Alternative style Ma'am


She was born in Würzburg, the youngest of four children born to the marriage of Georg, Prince of Saxe-Meiningen and Countess Klara Maria von Korff genannt Schmissing-Kerssenbrock. Regina was the only one of her siblings to have children: of her two older brothers, Anton Ulrich died aged twenty, killed in action during World War II, and Frederick Alfred became a Carthusian monk who renounced his succession rights. Her only sister, Marie Elisabeth, died aged three months in 1923, before Regina's birth.

Regina was a second cousin of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and a great-great-granddaughter of Princess Feodora of Leiningen, half-sister of Queen Victoria.[1]

Although the Saxe-Meiningen dynasty was Protestant, she was raised in the Roman Catholic faith of her mother. Regina grew up in the Veste Heldburg which overlooks the Heldburger Land in south Thuringia. Her father, a judge in Meiningen and Hildburghausen, died a captive at the Soviet POW camp at Tschernpowetz on her 21st birthday in 1946. Her mother had fled with her to West Germany. There, while working at a Caritas home for Hungarian refugees, Regina met her future husband.

On 10 May 1951 she married Otto von Habsburg, eldest son of Emperor Charles I of Austria and former crown prince, in the Church of Saint-François-des-Cordeliers in Nancy, capital city of Lorraine, her husband's paternal ancestral lands, with the blessing of Pope Pius XII.[3] After her marriage she used the names Regina, Crown Princess of Austria or Regina von Habsburg. From 10 May 1954 until her death Regina and Otto lived together at his official residence in the Villa Austria, also called the Kaiservilla, in Pöcking near Lake Starnberg.

Regina and Otto lying in repose in the Capuchin Church, Vienna, draped with the Habsburg standard. The guards of honour are dressed in Austro-Hungarian uniforms.

Regina held several chivalric orders, including Dame and Supreme Protectress of the Order of the Starry Cross, Grand Mistress of the Order of Saint Elizabeth, Dame Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta[1]

On 2 December 2005 she suffered a brain injury and was taken to a hospital in Nancy. Nevertheless, by 22 February 2006 she had recovered sufficiently to participate in the transfer of the remains of her mother and her brother, Anton Ulrich, to the vault of the Veste Heldburg in the churchyard of Heldburg. The transfer of the remains of her father thither from Tschernpowetz took place in the spring of 2007.

Tomb at Imperial Crypt

Regina died in Pöcking on 3 February 2010, aged 85, and was entombed at Veste Heldburg on 10 February.[4] Her remains, except for her heart, were moved to Mariazell and then to the Kaisergruft in Vienna at the time of her husband's funeral on 16 July 2011.[5][6]


Regina and Otto had seven children; two sons and five daughters:



  1. 1 2 3 Enache, Nicolas. La Descendance de Marie-Therese de Habsburg. ICC, Paris, 1996. pp. 43, 49, 173, 373. French.
  2. Her marital and birth titles were not recognized in the Austrian Republic, however, in Germany, where she was born and resided most of her life, former hereditary titles are legally incorporated in the surname.
  3. "Archduke Otto Married to German Princess In Church and Civil Rites in Nancy, France", The New York Times, Nancy, France, 11 May 1951
  4. Main Post, February 8, 2010
  5. "Regina von Habsburg tritt ihre letzte Reise an". Retrieved 2011-07-06.
  6. "'Puttis' Herz bleibt in Heldburg". Retrieved 2011-07-10.
  7. Full name
Princess Regina of Saxe-Meiningen
Cadet branch of the House of Wettin
Born: 6 January 1925 Died: 3 February 2010
Titles in pretence
Title last held by
Zita of Bourbon-Parma
Empress consort of Austria
Queen consort of Hungary and Bohemia

10 May 1951 – 3 February 2010
Title next held by
Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza
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