Archduke Leopold(Leopold Franz Ferdinand; 8 March 1860 - 3 January 1884) was a son to Emperor Eduard I and Inspector General of the Infantry until his assassination by the Italian nationalists. 
Elisabeth Franziska Austria 1831 1903 family

Archduke Leopold with Family

Early lifeEdit

Leopold was born in the Hofburg Caste in Vienna to his father Eduard and his mother Catherine. 

His siblings were Crown Prince Wilhelm Franz, Archduke Joachim and Archduchess Elisabeth(now Empress of Siam). 

When Leopold attained majority, he was given the Palais Albrect in Vienna by his father. 

Military career Edit

Like his brothers, Leopold too joined the armed forces of the Austrian Empire in 1878 as lieutenant colonel(Oberstleutnant) of the 43rd Infantry Regiment(Infanterie-Regiment "Ruprecht von Bayern" Nr. 43). He became Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment in 1879 following the resignation of the previous commander. He was then promoted to Colonel(Oberst). 

In 1881 he was put in command of the 2nd Field Howitzer Regiment(Feldhaubitz-Regiment "Graf von Geldem-Egmond" Nr. 2) in which he distinguished himself as a good artillery commander. In 1883 during the Ottoman war he served in the Southern Army and was awarded the Order of the Iron Crown. 

In 1883 he was transfered to Milan to command the 14th Field Howitzer Regiment(Feldhaubitz-Regiment "Ritter von Krobatin " Nr. 14). 

Riots in Lombardy-Venetia and funeralEdit

During the riots and demonstrations in Milan, the Archduke was ordered to control the masses. A shot was fired and the mob started attacking the soldiers. The soldiers responded with fire and 30 civilians were killed. Archduke Leopold was hated by the Italians, and the anarchists and nationalists were plotting an assassination attempt. 

Just one day later, on the 3rd of January, 1884, the Archduke and his regiment were marching towards Venice with their howitzers. They stopped for a rest when suddenly two bullets were fired from the treeline and Leopold was heavily wounded. Soldiers responded with revolver fire and killed three people, others ran away. The Archduke died just two hours later, 2 kilometers away from the nearest hospital. 

On the 23rd of January, 1884, there was a Royal funeral in Vienna attended by all the members of the House of Habsburg and all the previous officers who have served the Archduke were invited. The regiments the Archduke served in were included in a procession from St. Stephan's Cathedral to his final resting place with his heart buried in Prague, Bohemia. 

Orders, decorations and awardsEdit

  • Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece 
  • Knight Commander of the Austrian Imperial Order of the Iron Crown
  • Knight of the Austrian Imperial Order of Leopold 
  • Knight of the Order of Elisabeth