King Charles IV & Queen Zita

December 30, 1916 – The last coronation in Hungary is performed for King Charles IV and Queen Zita.

Charles I (Karl Franz Joseph Ludwig Hubert Georg Otto Marie; August 17, 1887 – April 1, 1922) was the last ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was the last Emperor of Austria, the last King of Hungary (as Charles IV), and the last monarch belonging to the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. After his uncle Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in 1914, Charles I reigned from 1916 until 1919 when he “renounced participation” in state affairs, but did not abdicate. He spent the remaining years of his life attempting to restore the monarchy until his death in 1922. Following his beatification by the Catholic Church in 2004, he has become commonly known as Blessed Charles of Austria.

Historians have been mixed in their evaluations of Charles and his reign. One of the most critical has been Helmut Rumpler, head of the Habsburg commission of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, who has described Charles as “a dilettante, far too weak for the challenges facing him, out of his depth, and not really a politician.” However, others have seen Charles as a brave and honorable figure who tried as Emperor-King to halt the First World War.  (Wikipedia)

In 1918, the Hungarian Post Office issued the last of its Monarch series – a set of with 6 values – with the following stamps portraying King Charles (Scott No. 127) and Queen Zita (Scott No. 132):

king-charles-iv-and-zita-hungary-1918-sc-127

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