A Century Since the Birth of Archduchess Elisabeth, Posthumous Child of Emperor Karl of Austria

A young Elisabeth with her mother and siblings, 1928.

One hundred years ago today marks the birth of Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria, the youngest child of the Blessed Emperor Karl of Austria and his wife Empress Zita.

The wedding of Archduke Karl of Austria and Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma, 1911.

Archduchess Elisabeth Charlotte Alphonsa Christina Theresia Antonia Josepha Roberta Ottonia Franziska Isabella Pia Marcus d’Aviano of Austria was born at El Pardo on 31 May 1922. Her father Emperor Karl had fallen ill and died from pneumonia on 1 April 1922, almost two months before Elisabeth was born. After his death, Empress Zita was invited by King Alfonso XIII of Spain to live in Spain. This was the reason that Elisabeth was born at the Royal Palace of El Pardo. The archduchess was named after Empress Elisabeth of Austria, the wife of Emperor Franz Joseph; the name had been chosen by Elisabeth’s father before his passing: it was almost as if he was certain that his next child would be a girl. 

The eight children of Emperor Karl and Empress Zita standing in order of birth.
Elisabeth joined seven older siblings: Archduke Otto (1912-2011; married Princess Regina of Saxe-Meiningen), Archduchess Adelheid (1914-1971), Archduke Robert (1915-1996; married Princess Margherita of Savoy-Aosta), Archduke Felix (1916-2011; married Princess Anna-Eugénie von Arenberg), Archduke Carl Ludwig (1918-2007; married Princess Yolande de Ligne), Archduke Rudolph (1919-2010; married 1st Countess Xenia Tschernyschev-Besobrasow; married 2nd Fürstin Anna Gabriele von Wrede), and Archduchess Charlotte (1921-1989; married Duke Georg Alexander of Mecklenburg). 

Empress Zita and Archduchess Elisabeth are reunited with Archduke Felix and Archduke Otto in New York, July 1940.
Empress Zita and her eight children resided in Spain until 1929; they then relocated to Belgium. In 1940, Empress Zita left Belgium and took her children to the Americas in order to escape the horrors of World War II. The family arrived in the United States, where they spent time at Royalston, Massachusetts, in the home of Calvin Bullock. The family later settled in Quebec, Canada, at the Villa Saint Joseph. While in Quebec, Archduchess Elisabeth attended the Sillery convent.
Archduchess Elisabeth and Prince Heinrich on their wedding day, 1949.
On 12 September 1949 at Lignières, Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria religiously married Prince Heinrich of Liechtenstein (1916-1991), the son of Prince Alfred of Liechtenstein and Princess Theresia Maria zu Oettingen-Oettingen. The newlyweds honeymooned in the South of France. Elisabeth and Heinrich had five children: Prince Vincenz (1950-2008; married 1st Hélène de Cossé-Brissac; married 2nd Roberta Valeri Manera), Prince Michael (b.1951; married Hildegard Berta Peters), Princess Charlotte (b.1953; married Pieter Kenyon Fleming-Voltelyn van der Byl), Prince Christoph (b.1956), and Prince Karl (b.1957)
Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria, Princess Heinrich of Liechtenstein, died on 6 January 1993 at Waldstein, Bavaria. She was seventy years-old.
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