Prince Richard de Metternich

Prince Richard de Metternich

A report of Prince Richard Metternich’s death was filed in Vienna on 1 March 1895 and appeared in The Times the following day: ‘The sudden death from apoplexy early this morning of Prince Richard Metternich, the eldest son of the great Austrian Chancellor, has evoked universal regret in Vienna, where the late diplomatist enjoyed great popularity in social circles. Prince Richard Metternich, who was born in 1829 and entered the diplomatic service in his 23rd year as attaché to the Austrian Embassy in Paris, practically concluded his public career on the fall of the Second Empire in France in 1871. His name and that of his wife, Princess Pauline Metternich, are inseparably bound up with the history of the second Napoleonic era, during the greater part of which he occupied a prominent position at the French Imperial Court as Austrian Ambassador, an office which he filled from December, 1859, to 1871. Both he and Princess Metternich exercised great influence at the Tuileries, the latter being an intimate friend of the Empress Eugénie. The Prince assisted the ex-Empress to escape from Paris after the defeat of Sedan. It was through the intervention of Prince Richard Metternich that the meeting at Salzburg between Napoleon III and the Emperor Francis Joseph was arranged. The Prince was shortly afterwards invested with the Order of the Golden Fleece. In the autumn of 1864 there was at one moment some question of his appointment as Foreign Minister.

‘After his return from Paris the Prince’s public activity was confined to taking a silent part in the proceedings of the Chamber of Peers, of which he was created a life member in 1861.

‘He belonged to the Centre party, which supported the Taaffe régime. He was a Moderate Conservative and an advocate of centralization. As a young man the late Prince spent a short time in England, whither he accompanied his father after the latter had been obliged to resign office in 1848. Prince Richard Metternich devoted much of his time to the cultivation of music and was himself a composer. Several relatives who had come to Vienna in connexion with the funeral of the late Archduke Albrecht were staying at the Prince’s house at the time of his death.’

Photographed by Disdéri of Paris.


Code: 123180
© Paul Frecker 2023