Robert, Archduke of Austria-Este

Archduke Robert, Archduke of Austria-Este (8 February 1915 – 7 February 1996), was the second son of Karl I, (beatified) last Emperor of Austria-Hungary, and Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma.

Archduke of Austria-Este
Tenure16 April 1917 – 7 February 1996
SuccessorArchduke Lorenz
Born(1915-02-08)8 February 1915
Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria-Hungary
Died7 February 1996(1996-02-07) (aged 80)
Basel, Basel-Stadt, Switzerland
IssueArchduchess Maria Beatrice
Prince Lorenz, Archduke of Austria-Este
Archduke Gerhard
Archduke Martin
Archduchess Isabella
Full name
Robert Karl Ludwig Maximilian Michael Maria Anton Franz Ferdinand Joseph Otto Hubert Georg Pius Johannes Marcus d'Aviano
FatherCharles I of Austria
MotherPrincess Zita of Bourbon-Parma

Archduke of Austria-Este

On 16 April 1917, at the age of two, his father the Emperor abdicated the title of Archduke of Austria-Este in Robert's favor. Archduke Robert was thereby chosen to preserve, in the form of a distinct secundogeniture, the Habsburg-Lorraine representation of the once-sovereign Duchy of Modena which had belonged to the House of Este. He was thus made heir to his assassinated relative Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, (1863–1914), who had inherited in 1875 the Austria-Este designation and what had been salvaged of the Este fortune when the duchy was annexed to Italy in 1860.

Archduke Robert descended through his Habsburg father from Ercole III d'Este, Duke of Modena, and his mother Zita was a descendant of Maria Beatrice d'Este, heiress of Modena and her husband, Archduke Ferdinand of Austria. Thus the lineage of the last Este dukes, in female descent, remained joined to the Austria-Este legacy. Archduke Robert eventually adopted use for himself and his descendants in male line the surname Austria-Este, and he took also the title Duke of Este, intended henceforth to be borne by the head of the Austria-Este branch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine.

Upon his death in 1996, the day before his 81st birthday, he was succeeded as head of this line by his son, Archduke Lorenz of Austria-Este, Prince of Belgium (born 1955). Although the marriage of his eldest son to Princess Astrid of Belgium, relegated use of the Austria-Este archdukedom to a secondary title in that realm, the title continues in use elsewhere among his cadet descendants.


Archduke Robert married Princess Margherita of Savoy-Aosta (born 7 April 1930), elder daughter of the late Amadeo, 3rd Duke of Aosta on 28 December 1953 in Bourg-en-Bresse, France (civilly) and 29 December 1953 (religiously), in Brou, France.
The couple had five children, all of whom use the designation of Austria-Este:



Robert, Archduke of Austria-Este
Cadet branch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine
Born: 8 February 1915 Died: 7 February 1996
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Archduke of Austria-Este
Succeeded by
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