Archduke of Austria
Menu dated 20th May 1899
Dinner at the Belvedere Palace, Vienna, hosted by His Imperial Highness Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.
As heir to the Habsburg throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was undoubtedly one of Europe’s most eligible bachelors when he hosted this 12 course dinner at, what was likely, the Belvedere Palace in Vienna. The Emperor Franz-Joseph had given the upper wing of the palace to the Archduke for his use, just three years earlier, when he became heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne.
This banquet took place almost fifteen years before the Archduke's famous assassination in 1914 which is largely attributed to triggering World War I. The menu-card is embossed with the Archduke's family arms of the House of Habsburg-Este.
The 12 course dinner commenced with Vefour soup made from tapioca and also featured roasted capons (castrated roosters) from the Archduke's home city of Graz. The dessert of Fanchonettes a la Marquise was made from meringues topped with a pear purée and a cream flavored with pineapple and Champagne.
This menu is one of few insights into the personal life of the Archduke. Most English history on the Archduke is centred on the day and implications of his assassination; or on his controversial morganatic marriage to the Countess Sophie Chotek in 1900.
From the private Royal Menu Collection of © Jake Smith
Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Countess Sophie of Chotek (later the Duchess of Hohenberg)