750 years Habsburg dynasty

In October 1273, Rudolf I, the first Habsburg, was elected and crowned king. Our Grand Master actually wanted to commemorate the 750th anniversary of this historic event last autumn, but then he was diagnosed with cancer… Thankfully, he overcame this and was able to invite guests to a very special evening at the Palais Ferstel in Vienna on 13 June 2024. It was very important to Archduke Karl to use this event to create a link between Austria, Europe and the world. This combination of a certain value-based timelessness with an internationality deeply rooted in Austria still characterises the Habsburg-Lothringen family today and was reflected in the programme – both in terms of content and music.

As the Grand Master remarked in an interview, it would have been nice to have even more people connected to the archducal house around him, but then the Stadthalle would probably have been needed. As it was, the time-honoured palace in the heart of the former imperial capital and residence city could only hold just about 300 guests. Numerous members and friends of the imperial family, high-ranking personalities from the clergy, nobility, politics, diplomacy, economy, art, culture and media as well as, of course, the sponsors queued up to pay their respects to Archduke Karl.

Another highlight of this unforgettable evening was a musical world premiere: the FALCO SYMPHONIC CHAMBER ORCHESTRA. Falco stood and stands like no other artist for modern Austrian music with an international dimension. His timeless work now connects generations. In order to emphasise all these facets and honour the occasion, not “only” the original Falco musicians played, but a classical ensemble accompanied and amplified them. The world hits of Austria’s only pop superstar were interpreted by local and international vocalists. Archduke Karl’s decision in favour of this unique musical melange was confirmed by the enthusiasm of the guests, who celebrated the artists frenetically.

Thanks to President Major-General iTR Michael Blaha, MSc, the UEHMG was represented at the festivities by a strong delegation including Vice President Colonel iTR Hans-Joachim Böhm, Administration Officer Captain iTR Franz Schlosser, Financial Officer Financial Councillor iTR Frank Kasteliz, Media Officer Schützenfähnrich iTR Andreas Georg Tarbuk and Secretary-General Captain iTR Christian Zehetmayer. A worthy celebration of a truly important dynasty in Europe!