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Otto von Habsburg - Honorary Knight

Otto von Habsburg (20 November 1912 – 4 July 2011), also known by his traditional royal title of Archduke Otto of Austria, was the last Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary from 1916 until the dissolution of the empire in 1919, a realm which comprised modern-day Austria, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, and parts of Italy, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine. He became the pretender to the former thrones, Head of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, and Sovereign of the Order of the Golden Fleece in 1922, upon the death of his father. He resigned as Sovereign of the Golden Fleece in 2000 and as head of the Imperial House in 2007. The eldest son of Charles I and IV, the last Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, and his wife, Zita of Bourbon-Parma, Otto was born as third in line to the thrones, as Archduke Otto of Austria, Royal Prince of Hungary, Bohemia, and Croatia. With his father's accession to the thrones in 1916, he was likely to become emperor and king. As his father never abdicated, Otto was considered by himself, his family and Austro-Hungarian legitimists to be the rightful emperor-king from his father's death in 1922.

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Otto was active on the Austrian and European political stage from the 1930s, both by promoting the cause of Habsburg restoration and as an early proponent of European integration—being thoroughly disgusted with nationalism—and a fierce opponent of Nazism and communism. He has been described as one of the leaders of the Austrian Resistance. After the 1938 Anschluss, where monarchists were severely persecuted in Austria and sentenced to death by the Nazis, Otto fled Europe to the United States. Otto von Habsburg was Vice President (1957–1973) and President (1973–2004) of the International Paneuropean Union, and served as a Member of the European Parliament for the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU) from 1979 to 1999. As a newly elected Member of the European Parliament in 1979, Otto had an empty chair set up for the countries on the other side of the Iron Curtain in the European Parliament, and took a strong interest in the countries behind the Iron Curtain. Otto von Habsburg played a notable role in the revolutions of 1989, as a co-initiator of the Pan-European Picnic. Later he was a strong supporter of the EU membership of central and eastern European countries. 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.

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Otto was exiled in 1919 and grew up mostly in Spain. His devout Catholic mother raised him according to the old curriculum of Austria-Hungary, preparing him to become a Catholic monarch. During his life in exile, he lived in Switzerland, Madeira, Spain, Belgium, France, the United States, and from 1954 until his death, finally in Bavaria (Germany), in the residence Villa Austria. At the time of his death, he was a citizen of Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia, having earlier been stateless de jure and de facto, and possessed passports of Monaco, the Order of Malta, and Spain. 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.

Honours - National dynastic honours

  • Austria-Hungary House of Habsburg:
    • Former Sovereign Knight with Collar of the Austrian Imperial and Royal Order of the Golden Fleece
    • Former Sovereign Knight Grand Cordon with Collar of the Imperial and Royal Order of Saint Stephen of Hungary
    • Former Sovereign Knight Grand Cordon with Collar of the Imperial and Royal Order of Leopold
    • Former Sovereign Knight Grand Cordon with Collar of the Imperial and Royal Order of the Iron Crown, Special Class

Foreign honours

  •  Croatia: Grand Cross of the Grand Order of King Dmitar Zvonimir
  •  Estonia: Grand Cross of the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana
  •  France: Grand Cross of the Order of the Legion of Honour
  • Germany:
    •  German Empire:
      • Kingdom of Bavaria Bavarian Royal Family: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Saint Hubert
      • Saxe-Meiningen Ducal Family of Saxe-Meiningen: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Saxe-Ernestine Meiningen House Order
    •  Germany: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
      •  Bavaria: Member of the Decoration of Merit
  • Kingdom of Italy Italian Royal Family: Knight Grand Collar of the Royal Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation
    • Kingdom of the Two Sicilies Two Sicilian Royal Family:
      • Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Royal Order of Saint Januarius
      • Bailiff Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Two Sicilian Royal Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George
    • Duchy of Parma Parmese Ducal Royal Family: Knight Grand Cross of the Parmese Royal Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George
  •  Kosovo: Recipient of the Medal of Liberty, Special Class
  •  Latvia: Commander of the Order of the Three Stars
  •  Lithuania: Commander of the Order of Grand Duke Gediminas
  •  Luxembourg: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau
  •  Morocco: Knight of the Order of Military Merit
  •  Netherlands: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the House of Orange
  •  Macedonia: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit
  •  Pakistan: Grand Officer of the Order of the Great Leader
  • Kingdom of Portugal Portuguese Royal Family: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Immaculate Conception of Vila Viçosa
  •  Rhodesia: Grand Cross of the Order of the Legion of Merit
  •  San Marino: Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Agatha
  • Sovereign Military Order of Malta Sovereign Military Order of Malta: Bailiff Knight Grand Cross of Obedience of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, 2nd Class
  •  Spain:
    • Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III
    • Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Africa
  •   Vatican: Honorary Knight Grand Commander of the Teutonic Order
    •   Holy See:
      • Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great
      • Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Sylvester

 

 Awards

  •  South Tyrol: Recipient of the Grand Order of Merit
  • Badge of the Tyrolean Nobility Register

 

Non-governmental awards

  • Paneuropean Union: Special Rank of the European Medal of the Paneuropean Union Germany
  • Sudetendeutsche Landsmannschaft: European Charles Price of the Sudetendeutsche Landsmannschaft

 

Academic awards

  • Medal of the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques, Institut de France, Paris, France
  • Medal of the Royal Moroccan Academy, Morocco
  • Medal of the Academia da Cultura Portuguesa, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Medal of the Real Academia de Ciencias Morales y Políticas, Madrid, Spain
  • Honorary Professor of the University of Bogota, Colombia
  • Honorary Fellow of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
  • Honorary Member of the Instituto de Estudos da Marinha, Portugal
  • Honorary Senator of the University of Maribor, Slovenia
  • Honorary Doctor of the University of Osijek, Croatia
  • Honorary Doctor of the University of Nancy, Lorraine, France
  • Honorary Doctor of the University of Turku, Finland
  • Honorary Doctor of the University of Budapest, Hungary
  • Honorary Doctor of the University of Pécs, Hungary
  • Honorary Doctor of the University of Veszprém, Hungary
  • Honorary Doctor of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
  • Honorary Doctor of the University of Ferrara, Italy
  • Honorary Doctor of the University of Skopje, Macedonia
  • Honorary Doctor of the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
  • Honorary Doctor of the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
  • Honorary Doctor of the University of Tampa, Tampa, Florida, USA
  • Accademician of Studium, Accademia di Casale e del Monferrato, Italy