Hat From the Past

Royal Hats to this day, 103 years ago, and a pair of royal hats worn on a visit to Sarajevo’s City Hall. This couple is remembered for what happened, mere seconds after these photographs were taken, and the resulting World War that unfolded. Tragic though they are, these pictures also tell another story. Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie’s marriage was morganatic – their descendants had no succession rights and Sophie did share her husband’s rank or titles, was not allowed to ride in the royal carriage or sit in the royal box at the theatre and would not normally appear in public beside him (conditions of their marriage as Sophie did not meet the pedigree requirements to marry the heir to the House of Habsburg-Lorraine). In these shots, they are side by side, a fitting place for the couple who waited five years for Emperor Franz Joseph to grant them permission to marry. This Saturday is the 117th anniversary of their wedding.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Photo from Getty as indicated

8 thoughts on “Hat From the Past

  1. Archduke Franz Ferdinand was actually a progressive, and probably would have steered the empire in a more democratic direction.

  2. The Habsburg court was among the most conservative in all of Europe, and while Sophie was of noble birth (as a countess), she did not meet the qualifications of marrying the heir (or archduke in general), which called for a royal spouse. After much pressure, they were able to marry, but, she was humiliated for the rest of her life by being forced to proceed into court behind all the Imperial archduchesses, princesses, etc. because Franz Ferdinand was forced to sign a document agreeing his marriage was morganatic. In Sarajevo, which was far away from the strict Viennese court life, life was more relaxed, and Franz Ferdinand was able to publicly visit with Sophie by his side, something they both were very much looking forward to. By all accounts theirs was a true love story, albeit a tragic one.

    • Nor did I, until I did a search for royals on this day early yesterday morning, looking for an interesting hat for a “Hat From The Past” post. While these photos are sad, they were simply too interesting (and historically significant) not to share.

  3. This couple is an interesting pair. They were a true love match and Sophie was so willing to adhere to the conditions of her marriage agreement. Though she didn’t meet the requirements for a full marriage she wasn’t a commoner. While they met a tragic end at least they were together and their children should have been very proud of their parents!

    • Oh dear. 103 years ago. The perfect summer of 1914.
      The royal couple seem to have withstood so much and then, traveling side by side, this tragic incident happens which leads to a world-wide conflagration that no one seems to understand.

  4. Sophie and Archduke Franz….a very tragic love story. Some of the tragedy goes on even today, their descendants have been denied ownership and access to their former homes despite a battle through the courts. A very sad story.

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