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THE OTAGO DAILY TIMES TUESDAY, JUNE 30, 1914. THE AUSTRIAN TRAGEDY.

Thk news of the at&assination at Serajevo of the Grand Duke Francis Ferdinand of Austria and his wife will cause a painful sensation in the courts of Europe. The tragedy is particularly uncompromising in its finality. It' removes a figure destined, if his life had been spared, to ascend the throne of Austria-Hungary as successor to the venerable Emperor Francis Joseph, who must inevitably lay down very shortly the burden of sovereignty which he ha? borne for over sixty-five yoars. The heirapparent to the throne of the Hapsburgs was no patty prince, but the ruler in prospect of one of the great nations of Europe. Perhaps, if his destiny had . been less high, he would not have fallen a victim to the assassin. Upon that aspect of the case the circumstances may yet throw more light. Nothing can soften, however, the blow which the House of Hapsburg has 'received in being, deprived of the re-

presentative upon whom its hopes were mainly set. The- .Archduke Francis Ferdinand was a man btill in the prime of life, and his career had been such as to justify every expectation that he would prove a worthy and capable (successor to the Emperor who lias reigned and held the esteem of his people during a period crammed with more, dangers, disasters, and disappointments than usually mark the life of a single Sovereign. The ancient House of Hapsburg has suffered some cruel blows during tho present Emperor's lifetime. Sixteen.years ago, the Empress Elizabeth; who was particularly beloved by her people, was cruelly assassinated at Geneva by an Italian anarchist. There was apparently no distinct motive for the crime except a thirst ' for Royal, blood. The Emperor's only uon, the Archduke Rudolf, met a tragic and premature death. The intellectual qualities of the Crown Prince were said to be of a specially brilliant character, but he took his own life when apparently in an abnormal state of mind. And, as if the aged Emperor's family troubles \vere not enough already, now comes news of a worse tragedy still, the murder of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife. The Archduke Francis Ferdinand, who became heir to the throne upon the death of the Archduke Rudolf, was a nephew of the Emperor and a con of the Archduke Charles\Louis and his second ivife, the Princess Maria, daughter of Ferdinand 11, King of the two Sicilies.

In his earlier years he was an assiduous soldier. In order to prepare him. for the illustrious destiny awaiting him, he was sent on a voyage round the world, the result of hlis observations being recorded in a diary published some eighteen years ago. The diary possesses considerable interest in revealing the trend of its author's mind and convictions, and makes it clear that he allied to a strong sense of duty a perception and knowledge of the problems of modern life. There fs every reason to believe that if Francis Ferdinand had come to the throne he would have ruled in a manner befitting the dignity of the Hapsburgs, but also with an enlightened conception of the duties of a Scrtcreign. Regret at his untimely death ; ~ associated with interest in the personality of the new heir to the throne of Austria-Hun-gar,y, whoever he may prove to be. Upon his marriage in 1900 with tho Countess Sophia Chotek—a marriage to which a romance attached that created no little stir at the time, —the Archduke Franz Ferdinand renounced the right of his future children to succeed to the throne. The succession >may now pass to the Archduke Karl 'Franz Joseph, son of the Archduke Otto, who died recently.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ODT19140630.2.16

Bibliographic details

THE OTAGO DAILY TIMES TUESDAY, JUNE 30, 1914. THE AUSTRIAN TRAGEDY., Otago Daily Times, Issue 16113, 30 June 1914

Word Count
616

THE OTAGO DAILY TIMES TUESDAY, JUNE 30, 1914. THE AUSTRIAN TRAGEDY. Otago Daily Times, Issue 16113, 30 June 1914

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