|Rudolf as a Field Marshal Lieutenant, c.1895|
|Prince of Liechtenstein|
|Born||18 April 1838|
Vienna, Austrian Empire
|Died||15 December 1908 (aged 70)|
Moravský Krumlov, Austro-Hungarian Empire
Rudolf, Prince of Liechtenstein (German language: Rudolf Eugen Cresantius Ferdinand Karl Fürst von und zu Liechtenstein; 18 April 1838 – 15 December 1908) was an Austrian aristocrat, a general in the Common Army and one of the highest officials in the court of Emperor Franz Joseph I.
Rudolf was the youngest child and second son of Prince Karl Joseph of Liechtenstein and Countess Franziska von Wrbna-Freudenthal. His family was a cadet branch of the reigning Princely House of Liechtenstein, the Karoline line, which was descended from Prince Karl Borromäus, the younger brother of Franz Joseph I, Prince of Liechtenstein. Upon the death of his older brother Karl Rudolf – who was unmarried and childless – in 1899, Rudolf became head of the family.
After completing his education, Rudolf joined the military, eventually becoming General of the Cavalry in 1904. In 1862 he entered the service of the imperial court in Vienna, first as treasurer and later, privy councilor and Acting Minister of the Horse, as well as an honorary colonel of the Imperial Life-guards. In 1896 he was personally appointed by the Emperor as First Oberhofmeister (Lord High Steward), the premier official of the court, after the death of Prince Konstantin of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst. Rudolf's tenure at court was fraught with multiple events: the Badeni riots in Bohemia in 1897, the assassination of the Empress Elisabeth in 1898, and the morganatic marriage of Archduke Franz Ferdinand to Countess Sophie Chotek in 1900. He was also present during the state visits of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia in 1903.
An accomplished musician, Rudolf composed music for the texts of Walther von der Vogelweide and Heinrich Heine.
In the later years of his life, Rudolf was often plagued by illness; his duties were taken over by his deputy Alfred, 2nd Prince of Montenuovo. He eventually died unmarried in 1908, and was interred in the family crypt in Moravský Krumlov castle, Moravia. With his death, the Karoline line of the House of Liechtenstein became extinct.
Titles, styles and honours
Titles and styles
- 18 April 1838 – 16 January 1899: His Serene Highness Prince Rudolf of Liechtenstein, Count Rietberg
- 16 January 1899 – 15 December 1908: His Serene Highness The Prince of Liechtenstein
- National orders and decorations
- Knight of the Golden Fleece, 1892
- Grand Cross of St. Stephen, 1896
- Golden Jubilee Court Medal, 1898
- Golden Jubilee Medal for the Armed Forces, 1898
- Service Award for Officers, 3rd Class
- Foreign orders and decorations
- Egger, Franz (1972). "Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon 1815–1950" (in de). Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. p. 206.
- "Hof- und Staatshandbuch der Österreichisch-Ungarischen Monarchie". 1900. pp. 15, 17, 25, 30, 54, 56, 205, 208, 257, 283. http://alex.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/alex?aid=shb&datum=1900&pos=1&size=45. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
- "Hof- und Staatshandbuch der Österreichisch-Ungarischen Monarchie". 1908. p. 15.
- "Hof- und Staatshandbuch der Österreichisch-Ungarischen Monarchie". 1908. pp. 53, 56.
- Dotson, Samuel C. (2003) (in de). Genealogie des Fürstlichen Hauses Liechtenstein seit Hartmann II. (1544-1585). Rosvall Royal Books. ISBN 9789197397841.
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