EXPIRED: 09/06/10 – Archduke Felix of Austria, 95, was the end of the line. As the was the last surviving child of the last Austrian Emperor Charles I, Felix (real name: Felix Friedrich August Maria vom Siege Franz Joseph Peter Karl Anton Robert Otto Pius Michael Benedikt Sebastian Ignatius Marcus d’Aviano) was just 2 years old when Austria-Hungary collapsed following its defeat in the World War I. When Austria and Hungary were split in two the Imperial Family went into exile, first in Switzerland, and then to the Portuguese island of Madeira after the King made a failed effort to reclaim the throne in Hungary.
Felix didn’t return to Austria until 1937, at the age of 21. Then, during the World War II, he volunteered to serve in the US Infantry “Free Austria Battalion.” It ended before it began when the majority of volunteers, mostly Jewish exiles, declined to confirm their enlistment.
Unlike his brother Otto, Felix refused to renounce his rights to the Austrian throne. As a result he was banned from entering the country except to attend his mother’s funeral in 1989. Seven years later, after Austria had joined the European Union and checkpoints between Austria and other EU countries shut down, he crossed into the country from Germany and held a press conference the next day to announce his illegal arrival.
Facing imprisonment, Felix, a marketing consultant, went back to his home in Mexico City, and sued to get back the property taken by Adolf Hitler during the war. That failing, he spent the rest of his days in Mexico, as a ‘coulda-been’ King.