The Funeral of Emperor Franz Joseph


Austria Emperor Karl at the funeral of the late Emperor Franz Joseph in November 1916. Between the Emperor and his Empress, Zita of Bourbon-Parma, is Crown Prince Otto, who is still the head of the Hapsburg family. 

Emperor Franz Joseph died during the First World War, after ruling Austria-Hungary for 68 years–the third longest reign in European History. He left the conduct of the war strictly to his military officials, although by the time of his death, he believed the war was unwinnable and the break-up of his empire likely. Issuing war orders until the night before he died, Franz Joseph died in the Schönbrunn Palace, aged 86, singing “Gott erhalte, Gott beschütze, Unsern Kaiser” (“God Save the Emperor”). However, two years later, after defeat in World War I, the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy would be dissolved.

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