Outbreak of the war
End of the war

Emperor Karl, Empress Zita and Archduke Otto at the funeral of Franz Joseph I on 30 November 1916, photo

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  • Chapter

    The accession of Emperor Karl

    After two years of war Austria-Hungary was economically and militarily entirely worn out. On 21 November 1916 a further blow came with the death of Emperor Franz Joseph, who had been an important linchpin for the unity of the decrepit Dual Monarchy.

  • Chapter

    The New Emperor

    The death of Franz Joseph was no surprise, but for the Habsburg Monarchy it meant the loss of a major symbolic figure. The succession was exploited as propaganda before the war-fatigued population as the sign of a new era.

  • Chapter

    Otto, the last ‘crown prince’

    Otto made his first public appearance as a representative of the House of Habsburg at the tender age of four, at the funeral of his great-great-uncle Emperor Franz Joseph in November 1916.