Archduchess Yolande of Austria

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Archduchess Yolande
Born (1923-05-06)6 May 1923
Madrid, Spain
Died 13 September 2023(2023-09-13) (aged 100)
Brussels, Belgium
(m. 1950; died 2007)
Issue Archduke Rudolf
Archduchess Alexandra
Archduke Carl Christian
Archduchess Maria Constanza
Full name
Yolande Marie Jeanne Charlotte
House Ligne
Father Eugène, 11th Prince of Ligne
Mother Philippine de Noailles
Religion Roman Catholicism

Archduchess Yolande of Austria (Yolande Marie Jeanne Charlotte de Ligne; 6 May 1923 – 13 September 2023) was an Austrian princess and the wife of Archduke Carl Ludwig of Austria. She was the daughter of Eugène, 11th Prince of Ligne and his wife Philippine de Noailles, and belonged to the House of Ligne, one of the most influential noble families in Belgium.

Birth and childhood[edit]

She and her husband were childhood sweethearts and had four children, all married to members of other royal or noble families. Yolande was born in Madrid on 6 May 1923, as the second daughter of Eugène, 11th Prince of Ligne (1893–1960) and his wife Philippine de Noailles (1898–1991). Her father was Belgian ambassador to India from 1947 to 1951, ambassador to Spain from 1951 to 1958, and head of one of the historically most influential noble families in Belgium. He died in 1960.[1]


Yolande had two brothers: Baudouin, 12th Prince of Ligne (1918–1985) and Antoine, 13th Prince of Ligne (1925–2005). Antoine is the father of Michel, 14th Prince of Ligne (b. 1951) and Princess Christine (b. 1955), wife of Prince Antonio of Orléans-Braganza (b. 1950), second in line to the extinct Brazilian throne. Antoine's youngest daughter, Yolande (b. 1964), was named after her sister.[2]

Marriage and issue[edit]

On 17 January 1950, at the Château de Belœil, Belgium (residence of the family of the House of Ligne), Yolande married Archduke Carl Ludwig of Austria (1918–2007). The fifth son of the last emperor of Austria, Charles I and his wife Zita of Bourbon-Parma, Carl Ludwig and Yolande were childhood sweethearts. The wedding guests included Carl Ludwig's elder brother, Crown Prince Otto (claimant to the Habsburg throne), as well as members of half a dozen other royal families; representatives of the Belgian royal family, however, did not attend. The couple spent their honeymoon in Florida, eventually settling in New York City, where Carl Ludwig worked for the Rockefeller Foundation.[3]

They had four children:

  • Archduke Rudolf (b. 1950), married Baroness Hélène de Villenfagne de Vogelsanck (b. 1954) in Brussels on 3 July 1976, and his family has been residing in Belgium ever since. On 29 May 1978 he and his male-line descendants were incorporated into the Belgian nobility by royal letters patent with the style of Serene Highness and the hereditary title of "Prince of Habsburg-Lorraine".
  • Archduchess Alexandra (born in 1952); married Chilean ambassador to the Holy See, Héctor Riesle Contreras. They have three children.
  • Archduke Carl Christian (born in 1954) married Princess Marie Astrid of Luxembourg on 6 February 1982 in Luxembourg. They have five children.
  • Archduchess Maria Constanza (born in 1957) married Franz Josef, Prince von Auersperg-Trautson. They have four daughters.

Death and funeral[edit]

Yolande turned 100 on 6 May 2023 and died in Brussels on 13 September. She was buried next to her husband in the crypt of Muri church in Switzerland, where several members of the Austrian imperial family are buried.[4][5][6]