Archduchess Eilika and Archduke Georg of Austria, 2016.
The couple are here attending the wedding in Tirana of Crown Prince Leka of Albania.
Photo (c) Seth B. Leonard.

Today, Archduchess Eilika of Austria celebrates her fiftieth birthday!

Johann and Ilka of Oldenburg with their daughter Eilika and her fiancé Georg of Austria in 1997.
Photograph (c) Seeger-Presse.

Born on 22 August 1972 at Bad Segeberg, Duchess Eilika Helene Jutta Clementine of Oldenburg was the eldest child of Duke Johann of Oldenburg (b.1940) and Duchess Ilka (b.1942; née Countess zu Ortenburg), who wed in 1971. Eilika was followed by a sister and a brother: Duchess Tatjana (b.1974; married Count Axel de Chavagnac) and Duke Konstantin (b.1975; married Esther Sáchez Calvo). From 1993-1994, Eilika of Oldenburg attended the Sorbonne in Paris. In the summer of 1994, the duchess studied the Spanish language in Madrid. Between 1996-1997, Eilika enrolled at the University of Lille where her focus was business management. 

Hereditary Grand Duke Nikolaus of Oldenburg and Hereditary Grand Duchess Helene (née Waldeck und Pyrmont)

Eilika’s paternal grandparents were Hereditary Grand Duke Nikolaus of Oldenburg (1897-1970) and his first wife Hereditary Grand Duchess Helene (1899-1948; née Princess of Waldeck and Pyrmont). Her maternal grandparents were Count Alfred-Friedrich zu Ortenburg (1906-1973) and Jutta von Lücken (1906-1991).

Georg and Eilika on their wedding day, 1997.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Jean-Claude Deutsch.

On 18 October 1997 at Budapest, Duchess Eilika of Oldenburg married Archduke Georg of Austria (b.1964), the youngest child and second son of Archduke Otto of Austria and Archduchess Regina (née Princess of Saxe-Meiningen). In addition to the Habsburg and Oldenburg families, their wedding was attended by King Felipe VI of Spain (then Prince of Asturias) and Prince Albert II of Monaco (then Hereditary Prince of Monaco). Through their respective mothers, Duchess Eilika and Archduke Georg are fifth half cousins once removed; they are both descendants of Kurfürst Wilhelm II of Hessen (1777-1847), with Georg descending from Wilhelm and his first wife Princess Auguste of Prussia (1780-1841) and with Eilika descending from Wilhelm and his second wife Emilie Ortlöpp, Countess von Reichenbach und Lessonitz (1791-1843).

Archduke Georg and Archduchess Eilika with their parents and their three children, 2004.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Isza Ferenc.

Archduke Georg and Archduchess Eilika are the parents of three children: Archduchess Zsófia “Sophie” (b.2001), Archduchess Ildiko (b.2002), and Archduke Károly-Konstantin (b.2004). Georg and Eilika had made their home in Budapest, the Hungarian capital, which is where their three children were born.

In September 1998, Eilika founded the Eilika of Habsburg Foundation (HABSBURG EILIKA ALAPITVÁNY) in Hungary. The foundation has provided support to hospitals and social institutions in the country. At a certain point, the archduchess began to focus on encouraging adults and children to participate in equestrian sports by facilitating training and practice. Eilika recalled: “When I came to Hungary as a young bride, I didn’t speak a word of Hungarian and didn’t even understand the language. However, my language skills have now at least developed to such a level that, for example, I can comprehend the information that people tell me and pass it on. I’ve always been a curious person who likes to work, and if necessary I’ll do hard physical work. I can say that my work is also my hobby, and my hobby is also my work…and I give many people the opportunity to enjoy this hobby with us…I have been riding since my early childhood and have passed this passion on to my children. Horse riding is not only a sport but also a way of life. It helps with body language, communication, clear and honest words and driving skills.” Eilika’s son Karoly is also becoming an accomplished horseman, following in the steps of his mother.

Our best wishes to the Archduchess on her birthday!

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