Princess Sophie of Hohenberg (Sophie Marie Franziska Antonia Ignatia Alberta von Hohenberg; 24 July 1901–27 October 1990) was the only daughter of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, both of whom were assassinated at Sarajevo on 28 June 1914. Their assassination triggered the First World War, thus Sophie and her two brothers are sometimes described as the first orphans of the First World War.
Princess Sophie was born on 24 July 1901 at Konopiště chateau, in Austria-Hungary (now the Czech Republic), fifty kilometres south-east of Prague. This chateau, situated in Bohemia, was the favourite home of the Archduke and his wife. On 29 September 1902, the couple’s first son, Maximilian, was born. A second son, Ernst, followed on 17 May 1904. In 1908, the Archduke’s wife became pregnant again, but the fourth child, a boy, was stillborn on 7 November 1908.
Since the Archduke had sworn an oath that any children he had with his morganatic wife could never succeed to the throne, he envisaged a future for them that would be normal and tranquil. He wanted his sons to lead the uncomplicated life of a country squire, while he intended that his daughter, Sophie, would be happy at the side of a socially-suitable partner whom she loved. He hoped that his children would grow up to be private individuals who could enjoy life without material worries, while leading lives of anonymity. Sophie later said that she and her brothers were brought up to know they were nothing special. She stated that her father had been firm with his children, but never harsh or unjust.
After the assassination of her parents, Sophie and her two surviving brothers, Maximilian and Ernst, were taken in by their mother’s brother-in-law and their father’s close friend and shooting partner, Prince Jaroslav von Thun und Hohenstein.
On 8 September 1920, Sophie married Count Friedrich von Nostitz-Rieneck (1 November 1893 in Prague – 29 December 1973 in Graz), son of Count Erwein Felix von Nostitz-Rieneck and Countess Amalia Podstatzky-Lichtenstein, in Tetschen. They had four children:
- Count Erwein von Nostitz-Rieneck (29 June 1921 in Heinrichsgrün – 11 September 1949 in Vysokaye), died in a Soviet POW camp.
- Count Franz von Nostitz-Rieneck (2 February 1923 in Vienna – 23 February 1945 in Berent), killed on the Eastern Front.
- Count Aloys von Nostitz-Rieneck (12 August 1925 in Vienna – 22 April 2003 in Salzburg) married Countess Theresia von Waldburg zu Zeil und Trauchburg (born 8 August 1931 in Leutkirch im Allgäu), daughter of Erich, Prince of Waldburg-Zeil and Trauchburg, and Princess Monika of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg. They have four children.
- Countess Sophie von Nostitz-Rieneck (born 4 June 1929 in Vienna), married Baron Ernst von Gudenus (26 March 1916 in Madrid – 7 December 1972 in Weiz), son of Baron Erwein von Gudenus and Baroness Sidonia von Morsey gennant Picard. They have four children.