June 11, 2009

Transylvania Had Royalty... No Really it Did!

I'm amazed with people. Sometimes I wonder if they understand the fine art of writing about a place they haven't been to before. One suggested that I speak about vampires, and another about the big castles. all though were amazed when I told them that Transylvania was a principality for a time.

A what? A principality. Means it had a prince. Like Price Rainer and Princess Grace? Sort of.
Oh... do they have one now? Yes, but he is a pretender to the throne... oh what's a pretender? Say like Bonnie Prince Charles of England. Oh... so did Charles live there? No. So then who's the pretender? Crown Prince Otto von Hapsburg of Austria.

I know from the blank stares I what the next question is. They ask it and I roll my eyes.

But it's true many people don't know much about Transylvania or its past. So I'll give you my next person whom I'll be writing about Crown Prince Otto von Hapsburg of Austria. He is still alive, and had he reigned he would be Emperor Otto of Austria and King of Hungary, and Prince of Transylvania.

Born in 1912, he lived under the rule of Two Emperors, Franz Joesph who started the First World War, by wanting to punish Serbia for killing the heir to the throne, Ferdinand and his wife Sofie and then his father Karl, who became Emperor in 1916. The family of Karl was large, and his wife was pregnant with their child when he died in 1922. Otto then became pretender to the throne of Austria and Hungary.

Later in 1966 he was allowed to return to his homeland of Austria only after the enforced signing of a waiver saying he would not involve himself in Austrian politics. He would later comment he wished he hadn't done so.

In 2007 he gave up his title as head of the house of Hapsburg to his son. By this time he was 94. His son is named Karl, but is not pretender to any of the thrones, as his father is still alive.

It must be interesting to have lived the life he did, where people were a part of what would have been his Empire. Transylvania was included in this land, and he must have visited it as a young boy. He returned to Austria in 1966.

I don't know if he has ever gone to Transylvania, as it is a part of Romania, but it was incorporated into Hungary in 1867, and the title of Prince of Transylvania became a subsidiary title, after King of Hungary.Many people wonder why the Kings of Romania didn't simply become princes of Transylvania. The answer is simple, there was still a prince of Transylvania in Emperor Karl of Austria (At the time) and Otto is now pretender to the principality.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The two people to whom you are referring to are the former prince and princess of monaco.

this country has its links to rance, whereas, Transylvania has links to Hungary and Austria. The best referrence would have been Princes of Wallachia or Moldovia.

They are closer to this are than Monaco, which really only became famous this century.

Rebecca said...

Thanks so much,

but for the conversation they really don't know much about Transylvania, so I needed to use something they could relate to.