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A writer, blogger, and historian, born in New York, educated in Argentina, Scotland, and South Africa, now based in London. read more
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Reclaiming his Birthright

Blessed Emperor Charles’s two homecomings to Hungary after the overthrow of the Hapsburgs are worthy of the greatest spy novels, except they are fact: the hushed secrecy and underground preparations, the airplane contracted under a false name, the disguises used to sneak over borders. In his first attempt, Charles — the Apostolic King of Hungary — made it all the way to Budapest, only to be persuaded to return to exile by the self-appointed regent, Admiral Horthy (a naval commander in what, by then, was a land-locked country).

The King’s second attempt to reclaim his power was much more considered and deliberate, and he spent some time securing a loyal power base of local nobility before pressing on to Budapest by armoured railway train. The King’s force made it to just outside of the Hungarian capital before they were overwhelmed by troops loyal to Horthy — who, in order to maintain their loyalty, neglected to inform the soldiers and officers that the “rebels” they were fighting were actually those of their King and Queen.

Along his path to the capital, the King was greeted by fervent crowds, and stopped at least twice to review small detachments of troops and to show himself in person to his loyal Hungarian subjects. The King had returned, but sadly not for long. After the failure of this second attempt, the Allied powers refused to allow the Imperial & Royal family to remain in mainland Europe, and exiled them to the Portuguese island of Madeira, where the Emperor-King grew ill and eventually died. He is entombed on the island today — a source of great pride, I am told, to the Madeirans.

Elsewhere: Miracle Attributed to Blessed Charles (Norumbega)

This post was published on Friday, August 7th, 2009 11:16 am. It has been categorised under Austria Hapsburg History Hungary Military Monarchy Saints and been tagged under , , , , .
Comments
  1. Harold
    7 August 2009
    3:57 pm

    Blessed Charles of Austria: Pray for us!

  2. Jacques Blutoir
    8 August 2009
    9:47 am

    Congratulations. This is a very interesting blog.

    Ha-B-sburg or Ha-P-sburg? In Poland, we use only the form “Habsburg”.

  3. 9 August 2009
    3:27 pm

    Every true saint has his traitor. Admiral Horthy played his role well.

    Here’s a link to the 1921 NY Times article on Charles’s secret return:

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9F0CE6DE103FEE3ABC4950DFB566838A639EDE

  4. Michael
    12 September 2009
    1:42 am

    Mr. Cusack,
    Thanks very much for this, especially for the top picture of Blessed Kaiser Karl. It is now on my computer’s desktop.

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