Archduke Charles Joseph of Austria (born 1745)

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Archduke Charles Joseph
Martin van Meytens 003.jpg
Born(1745-02-01)1 February 1745
Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna
Died18 January 1761(1761-01-18) (aged 15)
Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna
English: Charles Joseph Emmanuel John Nepomuk Anthony Prokop
German: Carl Josef Emanuel Johann Nepomuk Anton Prokop
FatherPrince Francis, Duke of Lorraine
MotherMaria Theresa

Archduke Charles Joseph of Austria (Carl Josef Emanuel Johann Nepomhk Anton Prokop; 1 February 1745 – 18 January 1761) was the second son of the Habsburg ruler Empress Maria Theresa I and her husband, Francis of Lorraine.


Charles Joseph was the favourite son of Maria Theresa and Francis. He is known to have hated his older brother, the future Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II. He ridiculed him for his haughtiness and thought himself to be more deserving of the Crown of the Holy Roman Empire because he was the first son born to Maria Theresa during her reign as Empress. Charles Joseph often said that he meant to contend with his brother for the imperial crown.

In contrast to his older brother Joseph, who later became Holy Roman Emperor , he was considered extroverted and open-minded. The boy soon became his parents' favorite son and, with his charm and intelligence, won the affection and respect of his siblings and the entire court.


The rivalry between the brothers was ended by Charles Joseph's premature death from smallpox, two weeks before his sixteenth birthday. While his mother was sitting by his bed in tears, Charles Joseph told her:

You should not weep for me, dear mother, for had I lived, I would have brought you many more tears![1]

Charles Joseph is buried in the Imperial Crypt in Vienna. His heart was buried separately in the Habsburg Crypt in the Loreto chapel of the Augustinian Church in Vienna.



  1. ^ Mahan, 270.
  2. ^ Genealogie ascendante jusqu'au quatrieme degre inclusivement de tous les Rois et Princes de maisons souveraines de l'Europe actuellement vivans [Genealogy up to the fourth degree inclusive of all the Kings and Princes of sovereign houses of Europe currently living] (in French). Bourdeaux: Frederic Guillaume Birnstiel. 1768. p. 1.