Otto von Habsburg.jpg
King of Hungary
Reign 1 April 1922 — 1 April 2007
Predecessor Charles IV
Successor Charles V
Prime Ministers See list
Born 20 November 1912
Buda Castle, Budapest, Hungary
Died 4 July 2011 (aged 98)
Pöcking, Germany
Spouse Princess Regina of Saxe-Meiningen
Issue Princess Andrea, Hereditary Countess of Neipperg

Princess Monika, Duchess of Santángelo
Princess Michaela of Hungary
Princess Gabriela
Princess Walburga
Charles V
Prince George

Full name
Franz Joseph Otto Robert Maria Anton Karl Max Heinrich Sixtus Xavier Felix Renatus Ludwig Gaetan Pius Ignatius
House House of Habsburg-Lorraine
Father Charles IV
Mother Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma
Burial 16 July 2011
Imperial Crypt, Vienna
Religion Roman Catholicism

Otto of Hungary (20 November 1912 – 4 July 2011) was the King of Hungary from the death of his father, Charles IV, in 1922, to his abdication in 2007. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Charles V.

The eldest son of Crown Prince Charles of Hungary and his wife, Zita of Bourbon-Parma, Otto was born as the third in line to the Hungarian throne, as Prince Otto of Hungary. With his father's accession to the throne in 1916, Otto became the Crown Prince. After his father's sudden death in 1922, Crown Prince Otto at the age of ten became King of Hungary. As he was still a child at his accession, his mother ruled as regent until he came of age in 1930.

Otto became active on the European political stage soon after his accession as an early proponent of European integration – being thoroughly disgusted with nationalism – and a fierce opponent of Fascism. After Hungary was invaded by Italy in World War III, the young King and his family fled the country, and was accepted into Austria as political refugees – the first time any members of the House of Habsburg were allowed to enter Austria since the end of the Austrian Empire in 1871. He has been described as one of the leaders of the Hungarian Resistance. Under Italian occupation, supporters of the royal government were severely persecuted in Hungary and sentenced to death by the Fascists.

After the war, Otto returned to Hungary and resumed the throne with the support of the Russian government. He became Vice President (1957–1973) and President (1973–2004) of the International Paneuropean Union. A noted intellectual, he published several books on historical and political affairs. Otto has been described as one of the "architects of the European idea and of European integration" together with Robert Schuman, Konrad Adenauer, and Alcide De Gasperi.

Otto abdicated the throne to his eldest son, Crown Prince Charles, in 2007, and moved to Germany. Now no longer restricted by the constitutional limitations on his influence in domestic politics, Otto became a fierce critic of the Eurosceptic Orbán government once it took office in 2010. He died on 4 July 2011 of natural causes.

His funeral took place at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna on 16 July 2011; he was entombed in the Imperial Crypt in Vienna and his heart buried in Pannonhalma Archabbey in Hungary.

Early life

Kroenung Budapest Karl und Zita 1916a

The young crown prince Otto with his parents posing for official photographs on the occasion of the coronation in Budapest, 1916

Otto was born at Buda Castle in Budapest, Hungary. He was baptised Franz Joseph Otto Robert Maria Anton Karl Max Heinrich Sixtus Xavier Felix Renatus Ludwig Gaetan Pius Ignatius on 25 November 1912 at Buda Castle by the Archbishop of Budapest. His godfather King Franz Joseph I of Hungary (represented by Crown Prince Franz Ferdinand of Hungary); his godmother was his grandmother Infanta Maria Antonia of Portugal.

In November 1916, Otto became Crown Prince of Hungary when his father, Prince Charles, acceded to the throne. However, in 1922, his father died suddenly, and Otto became King at the age of ten.

Otto spoke German, Hungarian, Croatian, English, Spanish, French and Latin fluently. In later life, he would write some 40 books in German, Hungarian, French and Spanish. His mother made him learn many languages because she believed he one day might rule over many lands, as his Austrian ancestors did.

Early reign

Otto von Habsburg young

The King taking a photograph, 1925

World War III

After World War III

Later reign

Death and funeral

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