Karl and Francesca.

HI&RH Archduke Karl of Austria, Head of the Imperial House of Habsburg, recently confirmed that he and Archduchess Francesca have divorced. The couple married in 1993 and separated in 2003. A divorce was rumoured to be on the cards in 2008, but it did not occur. The archduke and archduchess maintained an amiable separation: Karl lived in Salzburg, and Francesca lived in Vienna. Karl’s father Archduke Otto was reported to have said at the time: “My son is Catholic enough to know what he has to do.” The divorce occurred sometime after their youngest child reached her majority, so it is possible that Karl and Francesca’s union ended as early as 2017. Interviews with Francesca in late 2019 related that she and Karl had recently terminated their marriage; however, the date of this imperial divorce is not certain.

The newlyweds in 1993.
Of course it is a very unfortunate affair for me. Because you can see that two people living together does not necessarily always work. We tried to save the relationship, but it did not work,” Karl stated, continuing, “all too often the children are the ones who suffer. That is why the wellbeing of our children was always the most important thing for me and Francesca.
Karl and Francesca with their three children.
Archduke Karl of Austria (b.1961) and Archduchess Francesca (b.1958; née Baroness Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kászon et Impérfalva) have three children: Archduchess Eleonore (b.1994), Archduke Ferdinand (b.1997), and Archduchess Gloria (b.1999).
Karl’s partner since 2017 is Christian Nicolau de Almeida Reid, a woman of British and Portuguese descent. Of Mrs. Reid, the archduke said, “Christian is a cultured and sensitive woman with elegant decency. She is a loving counselor, sometimes a valuable critic and always available to me, a partner in the best sense of the word. In short, she is an incredible asset to my life and I am happy to have her by my side.” Christian Reid is the daughter of the late Robin Reid, OBE, and his wife Elsa Andresen Nicolau de Almeida. 

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