Assassination of an Archduke · 3:09

Courtesy of the Imperial War Museum; Creative Commons (Princip photo)

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, triggered the First World War. He is shown here with his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, and their three children. The assassin, Gavrilo Princip, was just 27 days too young at the time of his arrest to be condemned to death, but declared at his trial: ‘I suggest that you nail me to a cross and burn me alive. My flaming body will be a torch to light my people on their path to freedom.’ Sophie had been a lady-in-waiting before marrying the Archduke, which had angered the Habsburg family. The funeral procession of the royal couple gave the family another opportunity to punish Franz for marrying ‘below his station’, this time by placing Sophie’s coffin slightly lower than his as the two of them lay in state.

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