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Archduke Ludwig Viktor of Austria

Archduke Ludwig Viktor of Austria

Austrian archduke
The basics
About
Date of birth Vienna, Austria
Date of death Jan 18, 1919 Schloss Klessheim, Kleßheim, Wals-Siezenheim, Salzburg-Umgebung District
Family
Father: Archduke Franz Karl of Austria
Brother(s): Franz Joseph I of Austria Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria Maximilian I of Mexico
Mother: Princess Sophie of Bavaria
Sister(s): Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Order of St. Andrew
Authority VIAF id Library of congress id
The details
Biography

Archduke Ludwig Viktor of Austria (Ludwig Viktor Joseph Anton; 15 May 1842 – 18 January 1919) from the House of Habsburg was the youngest son born to Archduke Franz Karl of Austria and Princess Sophie of Bavaria and younger brother of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria.

Biography

Ludwig Viktor (r.) with his brothers Karl Ludwig, Franz Joseph and Maximilian

He was born in Vienna shortly after his sister Archduchess Maria Anna had died at four years of age, followed by a stillborn brother. His elder siblings included Emperor Franz Joseph, Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico and Archduke Karl Ludwig.

During the Revolutions of 1848 and the Vienna Uprising, pampered "Luziwuzi" with his royal family had to flee the Austrian capital, at first to Innsbruck, later to Olomouc. Ludwig Viktor pursued the usual military career and was appointed General of the Infantry, but had no intentions to interfere in politics. He rejected his brother Maximilian's ambitions in the Second Mexican Empire and especially plans to marry him to Princess Imperial Isabel, daughter of Emperor Pedro II of Brazil. Instead he concentrated on building up his own art collection and had a city palace erected on Schwarzenbergplatz Palais Erzherzog Ludwig Viktor in Vienna according to plans designed by Heinrich von Ferstel, where he hosted homophile soirées.

Despite his mother's attempts to arrange a marriage for him with Duchess Sophie Charlotte in Bavaria, youngest sister of Empress Elisabeth, he remained a bachelor all his life. As a result of his very public homosexuality and transvestitism, culminating in a brawl at the Central Bathhouse Vienna, his brother Emperor Franz Joseph finally forbade him to stay in Vienna. The same emperor joked that he should be given a ballerina as adjutant to keep him out of trouble.

Ludwig Viktor retired to Klessheim Palace near Salzburg where he became known as a philanthropist and patron of the arts. He died in 1919, at the age of 76, and is buried at the Siezenheim cemetery. He was the last surviving grandchild of Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 15 May 1842 – 18 January 1919 His Imperial and Royal Highness Archduke Ludwig Victor of Austria
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