THE HABSBURGS AND FOOTBALL

Do have a look at this video! It’s yesterday’s highly impressive funeral in Vienna of the last heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the former crown prince Otto von Habsburg:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14174891

I don’t normally post about this kind of event but I make an exception here; not so much for any historical significance but because it reminds me of a great and allegedly true story I was told years ago by a Swedish colleague (they do have a sense of humour, you know). I now know that the story must have been about this guy.

It’s on record that von Habsburg (who was born in 1912, six years before the end of the empire) was an MEP for several years. Apparently he went into the Parliament building a few years ago and found the chamber empty but lots of MEPs in the bars watching TV. Otto asked “what’s happening?” and was told everyone was watching an international football match.

“Who’s playing?” asked the former prince, evidently ignorant of such mundane matters as football.

“Austria – Hungary,” came the answer.

“Oh really? Against whom?”

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You’ve heard the story; now watch the funeral!

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