Gabriela von Habsburg

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Gabriela von Habsburg
Gabriela von Habsburg.jpg
Ambassador of Georgia to the Federal Republic of Germany
In office6 November 2009 - 15 January 2013
PredecessorLevan Duchidze
SuccessorVladimer Chanturia
Born (1956-10-14) 14 October 1956 (age 62)
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Christian Meister
(m. 1978; div. 1997)
IssueSeverin Meister
Lioba Meister
Alena Meister
Full name
Gabriela Maria Charlotte Felicitas Elisabeth Antonia
FatherOtto, Crown Prince of Austria
MotherPrincess Regina of Saxe-Meiningen
ReligionRoman Catholic
Austrian imperial family
Imperial Coat of Arms of the Empire of Austria (1815).svg

HI&RH Archduke Karl
HI&RH Archduchess Francesca

Gabriela von Habsburg (born 14 October 1956) also known as Archduchess Gabriela of Austria, is the granddaughter of Charles I, the last Emperor of Austria. She is also a prolific abstract sculptor, working mainly in stainless steel as well as stone-printed lithography, she was the Ambassador of Georgia to Germany from 2009[1] to 2013.[2]

Early life[edit]

Gabriela von Habsburg was born in Luxembourg, the fourth child of Otto von Habsburg, the erstwhile crown prince of Austria, and his wife, Princess Regina of Saxe-Meiningen, she was baptised with the names Gabriela Maria Charlotte Felicitas Elisabeth Antonia. According to her birth certificate, her last name is "of Austria-Hungary" (von Österreich-Ungarn).[3]

She was raised at her parents' home in exile, Villa Austria, in Pöcking, Bavaria; as a result of the Habsburgs' banishment from Austria, she feels that she grew up deprived of any sense of pride of country, evolving instead a self-concept as a "European".[4] She believes that her dynasty's role in history shaped her upbringing, "I grew up in a family where we never spoke about anything at mealtimes except politics," she recalls.[4]

After graduating in 1976, Gabriela von Habsburg studied philosophy for two years at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. From 1978 to 1982, she studied art at the Munich Academy of Arts with Robert Jacobsen and Eduardo Paolozzi.

She is a granddaughter of the last Austrian emperor, Charles I. However, she does not use her ancestral titles as a member of the House of Habsburg: "Princess Imperial and Archduchess of Austria, Princess Royal of Hungary and Bohemia", with the style of Imperial and Royal Highness."[4][5] The use of such titles is illegal in Hungary and Austria.[6]


Since 2001, she has been an art professor at the Academy of Arts of Tbilisi, Georgia while also teaching at the Summer Academy of Arts in Neuburg an der Donau, Germany until 2005, she found the creativity and cheerfulness of her students in the face of the adversity then prevalent in Georgia inspiring.[4] During her tenure there she was granted Georgian citizenship,[4] her five hectare vineyard in Georgia produces wine.[4]

In November 2009, Georgia appointed Gabriela von Habsburg as its ambassador to Germany, and since March 2011 she has maintained a flat in Berlin.[4][7] Believing that Georgian history served as a crucible for European culture, she has maintained that the liberalizing reforms of President Mikheil Saakashvili have been welcome and invigorating for Georgia's people and economy, which has prompted her to work for Georgia's membership in the European Market,[4] she was dismissed from her position in January 2013, after the change of government in Georgia in October 2012.

Since March 2010 Gabriela von Habsburg has represented Georgia at the International Council[8] of the Austrian Service Abroad.

Some public installations[edit]

  • 1985 Museum of the State of Tyrolya (Ferdinandeum), Innsbruck, Austria
  • 1990 National Academy of Science, Washington D.C.
  • 1994 Voest Alpine MCE, Linz, Austria
  • 1994 Achmatowa Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • 1994 Museion Bozen, Bolzano, Italy
  • 1995 Museum for foreign Art, Riga, Latvia
  • 1996 Museum Würth, Künzelsau, Germany
  • 1997 Municipal Gallery of Budapest, Hungary
  • 1998 City Museum of Skopje, Macedonia
  • 1998 Galeria Murska Sobota, Slovenia
  • 2004 Skulpturschweiz Foundation Sculpture park, Luzern, Switzerland[9]
  • 2007 Monument of the Rose Revolution in Georgia[10]
  • 2009 Monument to the Three Powers in the State, at the Georgian Presidential Administration in Georgia

Marriage and children[edit]

On 30 August 1978, in Pöcking, Bavaria, Gabriela was married civilly and on 5 September 1978 religiously at Mont Sainte-Odile to Christian Meister (born 1 September 1954 in Starnberg), a German attorney, son of Karl Meister and Johanna Sponheim, they divorced in 1997 and the marriage was annulled canonically.[5] Gabriela was the only one of her parents' seven children to marry a spouse who had neither a title nor an aristocratic name, they had three children and four grandchildren:

  • Severin Meister (born 9 January 1981 in Starnberg), married on 19 May 2018 in Guanajuato City, María Cristina Luna Loya (born 1985 or 1989)
  • Lioba Meister (born 20 August 1983 in Starnberg), married on 13 July 2013 in Starnberg, Alistair Drummond Hayward (born 1982 in South Africa). They have three children:
    • Karl Hayward (born 2014)
    • Philippa Hayward (born 23 March 2016)
    • Teresa Hayward (born 2018)
  • Alene Meister (born 7 September 1986 in Starnberg), married in 2017, Carl-Alexander von Trott zu Solz (born 1983). They have one child.


Dynastic honours[edit]

National state honours[edit]



Gabriela von Habsburg.Sculpture (English version) By Prof. Mathias Frehner and Prof. Carla Schulz-Hofmann Bucher GmbH & Co. Druck Verlag Netzwerk; (22. Oktober 2007) ISBN 978-3-902612-31-1

Gabriela von Habsburg.Skulpturen (German version) ISBN 978-3-902612-20-5


  1. ^ Parliament Approves New Ambassador to Germany. Civil Georgia. November 6, 2009
  2. ^ Saakashvili Dismisses Ambassadors FM Wanted to be Replaced. Civil Georgia. January 15, 2013
  3. ^ "Gabriela von Habsburg: "Riesenvorteil, heute zu leben"".
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Gelber, David, Financial Times, The art of diplomacy, 29 April 2011, access date 21 May 2011
  5. ^ a b de Badts de Cugnac, Chantal and Coutant de Saisseval, Guy. Le Petit Gotha. Empire d'Autriche-Hongrie. Paris, 2002, p.201. ISBN 2-9507974-3-1
  6. ^ "RIS - Gesamte Rechtsvorschrift für Habsburgergesetz - Bundesrecht konsolidiert, Fassung vom 09.08.2015".
  7. ^ "Georgia Nominates Habsburg Duchess as Envoy to Germany". Retrieved 2009-10-27.
  8. ^ "Österreichischer Auslandsdienst". Archived from the original on 2012-05-30.
  9. ^ (in German) : SkulptUrschweiz : Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ President of Georgia - PressRelease Archived 2007-10-19 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Archdiocese of Vienna - " Oberste Schutzfrau: Gabriela Habsburg-Lothringen "
  12. ^ Sancrucensis, blog article about the Order and its Grand Mistress
  13. ^ Seeger Press
  14. ^ Considering that her brother Karl and sister-in-law Francesca live separated since 2003, Archduchess Gabriela assumes, since her mother Regina's death in 2010, the rank of Grand Mistress of the Order, normally held by the wife of the Head of the imperial House.[citation needed] The order requires 16 quarters and legitimate birth, as well as Catholicism. Francesca, estranged wife of the Head, was not born within Catholic marriage, nor does she have 16 noble great-great-grandparents as required, her sister-in-law Archduchess Eilika is not Catholic. However, the choice of Archduchess Gabriela is surprising, given that she has older sisters
  15. ^ Hohe Ehrungen Für Den Nestor Der Jenaer Kaukasiologie – Thueringenreporter[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ Profil -Internationaler Hilfsfonds e.V

External links[edit]