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Human Heart Of Last Heir To Austro-Hungarian Empire, Otto von Habsburg, To Be Buried Seperate From Body

July 17, 2011

This is trivia material.  

A long tradition continues.

The funeral of the last crown prince took place on Saturday in the Austrian capital Vienna, where his body was buried alongside those of his ancestors in the Imperial crypt.

His heart is being buried separately in accordance with Habsburg tradition.  The event is also an echo of medieval aristocratic custom.

Mr Habsburg, the son of the last emperor, died earlier this month at the age of 98.

His family fled Austria when their empire collapsed at the end of World War I, and he spent many decades in exile before giving up his claim to the throne in 1961.

As a member of the European parliament for two decades, Mr Habsburg was a passionate advocate of European unity who dedicated himself to having former communist-ruled states brought into the EU.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso paid tribute to him as “a great European… who gave an important impetus to the European project throughout his rich life”.

His heart will be buried in a private ceremony at 1900 local time (1700 GMT) in the Benedictine Abbey in Pannonhalma, near Budapest, after a requiem mass.

Mr Habsburg said he wanted his heart buried in Hungary to show the affection he held for the country, Austria’s 19th-century partner in the Austro-Hungarian empire.

The hearts of other members of the Habsburg dynasty have been kept in urns in Vienna’s Imperial crypt, where their bodies have been taken for burial since 1632.

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