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From the Emperor’s Desk: I could not find a lot of information on Archduchess Elisabeth Franziska so I supplemented information on her parents marriage.

Archduchess Elisabeth Franziska of Austria (January 27, 1892 – January 29, 1930) was the eldest daughter of Archduke Franz Salvator of Austria and Archduchess Marie Valerie of Austria. Through her mother, she was a granddaughter of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria and through her father she was a descendant of King George II of Great Britain.

Archduchess Elisabeth Franziska of Austria

Her mother was Archduchess Marie Valerie of Austria (April 22, 1868 – September 6, 1924) was the youngest child of Emperor Franz Joseph I and Empress Elisabeth of Austria. She was usually called Valerie.

In Bad Ischl on July 31, 1890, Archduchess Marie Valerie married her third cousin Archduke Franz Salvator.

Princess Maria Immaculata of Bourbon-Two-Sicilies

Her father, Archduke Franz Salvator of Austria 21 August 21, 1866 – April 20, 1939) was a son of Archduke Charles Salvator, Prince of Tuscany and Princess Maria Immaculata of Bourbon-Two-Sicilies, the fifth child and second-eldest daughter of Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies and his wife Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria.

Archduchess Marie Valerie of Austria

He became a cavalry general in the Imperial and Royal (k.u.k.) Austro-Hungarian Army. He received an honorary doctorate in medicine from the University of Innsbruck for his work with the Red Cross during World War I and was a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece and Order of the White Eagle.

Archduke Franz Salvator had met Archduchess Marie Valerie in 1886 at a ball, but Marie Valerie waited several years to be sure that her feelings toward Franz Salvator were strong enough for a successful marriage.

It was hoped by many at court that she would marry someone like the Crown Prince of Saxony (King Friedrich August III of Saxony); the Prince Royal of Portugal (King Carlos I of Portugal); or Prince Alfons of Bavaria as she courted with him.

Archduke Franz Salvator of Austria, Prince of Tuscany

Nonetheless, Empress Elisabeth declared that Marie Valerie would be allowed to marry even a chimney sweep if she so desired (in contrast to her other children, who both had to make dynastic marriages).

Marie Valerie chose Franz Salvator, a relatively minor prince from the Tuscan branch of the Austrian imperial family who had no great wealth to offer, and Elisabeth, as promised, supported her favorite daughter.

This caused a deep rift between Marie Valerie and her siblings for a time, but eventually Crown Prince Rudolf reconciled with her when Marie Valerie and Franz Salvator became engaged on Christmas 1888. However, the relationship between Marie Valerie and Crown Prince Rudolph’s wife, Princess Stéphanie of Belgium, remained cold even after Rudolf’s death.

Archduchess Marie Valerie and Archduke Franz Salvator of Austria

Marie Valerie’s solemn renunciation of her rights to the Austrian throne, which was necessary for the marriage to proceed, took place on July 16, 1890 at the Hermesvilla.

The young couple’s festive wedding followed in the parish church of Bad Ischl on July 31. The ceremony was conducted by the Bishop of Linz, Franz Maria Doppelbauer. Afterwards, Valerie and Franz honeymooned in Italy, Switzerland and Bavaria.

Thier daughter, Archduchess Elisabeth Franziska of Austria, married at Niederwallsee on September 19, 1912 Georg Count von Waldburg zu Zeil und Hohenems (1878–1955). The marriage was one of love and not a political marriage. Georg von Waldburg had no money or property, and had been hired as a tutor for her brothers.

Archduchess Hedwig (left) and Archduchess Elisabeth Franziska of Austria

They had four children, three daughters and a son:

1. Countess Marie Valerie von Waldburg-Zeil (1913–2011), married Archduke Georg of Austria, Prince of Tuscany (1905–1952) in 1936. He was the younger son of Archduke Peter Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Princess Maria Cristina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.

2. Countess Klementine von Waldburg-Zeil (1914–1941), unmarried and without issue.

3. Countess Elisabeth von Waldburg-Zeil (1917–1979), unmarried and without issue.

4. Count Franz Josef von Waldburg-Zeil (1927 – 2022), married Countess Priscilla of Schönborn-Wiesentheid in 1956. They had seven children.

Archduchess Elisabeth Franziska was a painter for some time. She died, aged 38, of pneumonia on January 29, 1930. Her widower remarried nearly two years later, on December 29, 1931, to his wife’s younger sister Archduchess Gertrud of Austria.