Czech monarchists raise money to give the grandson of the last King of Bohemia a crown

Photo: ČTK/Luboš Pavlíček

The Association for the Restoration of the Czech Kingdom has raised money to make a copy of the St. Wenceslas Crown for Charles Habsburg. The grandson of the last Austrian Emperor Charles I, who was also the king of Bohemia and Hungary, will celebrate his 60th birthday on January 11.

Charles Habsburg is unlikely to ascend the throne in the Czech Republic anytime soon, but his chances of getting the St. Wenceslas Crown for his birthday are considerable. If he is willing to settle for a copy, that is. The gift to order was made by the Turnov jeweler Jiří Urban and commissioned by the Association for the Restoration of the Czech Kingdom – a small group of enthusiastic monarchists who feel that the nation would fare much better under a monarch.

According to the association’s president Jindřich Holub, who is also the mayor of a small town called Pohleď in the Havlíčkův Brod region, the initiative should serve to remind Czechs that there is still a hereditary line of rulers who could rightfully serve the country.

Jindřich Holub,  photo: ČTK/Luboš Pavlíček

He argues that the popularity of royal families in countries where the monarchy has survived proves that hereditary royal families with limited executive powers are more dignified representatives of the state than elected presidents.

"We think that the Czech state lacks a symbol of lasting value, which the monarchy would be even in the modern-day world” Holub said in an interview for At the same time, he is aware that the chances of such a change in the Czech Republic are slim.

The current head of the Habsburg-Lorraine family- Charles Habsburg - lives in Austria. And although he has no apparent ambitions to ascend the throne in this country, he is revered by a group of around 130 monarchists who would love to see him representing the Czech Republic. According to Jindřich Holub, the association’s plans to hand over the symbolic birthday gift on January 11th may be hampered by the coronavirus pandemic. However the grandson of the last Austrian Emperor Charles I and King of Bohemia may look forward to a gift worthy of his lineage.

Charles Habsburg,  photo: © Hubertl / Wikimedia Commons,  CC BY-SA 4.0

The St. Wenceslas Crown, is part of the Bohemian coronation jewels, together with the royal orb and sceptre, the coronation vestments of the Kings of Bohemia, the gold reliquary cross, and St. Wenceslas' sword. The copy made for Charles Habsburg is made of gilded silver and decorated with glass stones. It is the exact size as the original.

Although the country’s monarchists have scant hope of seeing their dreams realized, they are respectful of the country’s royal line. A bronze bust of the Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Josef I was unveiled in Pohled, where the association is based, on the 100th anniversary of his death four years ago. It was the first newly-installed monument to Francis Joseph I in Bohemia in the last one hundred years.