By Jonathon Van Maren
There’s something a bit weird about seeing a Habsburg pop up on Twitter. If 54-year-old Eduard Habsburg’s surname seems familiar, that’s because his family ruled Austria for more than six centuries. The Habsburg dynasty began in 1273 when Rudolf I was elected King of Germany, boasted emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, and only ended in 1918 when the cataclysm of the Great War forced Charles I from his throne and into exile in Switzerland. Eduard himself is the great-grandson of Franz Joseph I, Emperor of Austria, and King of Hungary, Croatia, and Bohemia.
Eduard Habsburg has served as Hungary’s ambassador to the Holy See and Sovereign Military Order of Malta since 2015. “I am unusual as an ambassador in that I have done many other things—TV work, animation producer, screenwriter, bishop’s spokesman—before, much to my surprise, being nominated as ambassador by the Hungarian government,” Habsburg told me.
In Austria he is still known popularly as Archduke Eduard, and the Habsburgs maintain their royal bloodlines—his wife is Baroness Maria Theresia von Gudenus, with whom he has six children. It is an ancient family with a very current role in 21st-century politics: “I had visions of diplomatic life that can best be summed up as ‘standing around at boring cocktails, holding a glass, and always having to say nice things.’ Boy, was I ever wrong.” Habsburg, who tweets his thoughts on a wide range of issues daily, is a staunch advocate of the pro-life and pro-family policies of Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Habsburg is a devout Catholic and Orbán is a Calvinist, but the two agree on much.