Karel Schwarzenberg celebrates 85: A place of mass celebrations and words of weak health

According to Filip Štědré, the person in charge of the prince’s office, the birthday boy will go to Vienna at the weekend. “I will attend the funeral mass,” Schwarzenberg himself explained to Bleska the reasons for the trip and added that while he was in Austria, he hoped to see his family. So the former foreign minister will celebrate his birthday on the street. And there doesn’t seem to be any big celebration even after returning to the castle at Sýkořice in Central Bohemiaprince’s residence.

Gift from Pekarová

The current leader of the party as well as the House of Representatives, Markéta Pekarová Adamová (38), congratulated the honorary chairman of the TOP 09 last week. “I’ve been with my husband last Sunday and he gifted her books and homemade treats which I know she loves. I especially wish him health and thank him for everything.” he said to Lightning.

Schwarzenberg in conversation Blesku in early August this year stated that his health condition was in accordance with his age. “I am 85 years old, my heart is also in good shape, I have had several procedures. Well, that old man must have some illness. It’s time for him to go too,” he told the editor of Blesk at the time. The only thing he feared in terms of old age was a lingering illness. “You don’t make plans at eighty-five. You don’t know how long you will be here,” he said.

He is always close to people

Karel Schwarzenberg attracts attention with his classy, ​​pipe, occasional dozing during meetings and sometimes even candor and provocative colloquialism. He often called himself a forester and an innkeeper, but in recent years he was primarily a politician. He is considered to be one of the richest politicians and his family owns an extensive fortune. Currently, the honorary chairman of TOP 09 ten years ago in the first direct presidential election advanced to the second round, where he lost to Milos Zeman.

Karel Schwarzenberg came from the Eagle branch of an ancient noble family. He was born in the Prague maternity hospital in Bubenč as the eldest son of Karel Schwarzenberg and his wife Antonia. After the February 1948 coup, the family lost all their possessions in Czechoslovakia and left for Austria. In exile, he studied forestry law in Munich and law in Vienna and Graz. After the death of his uncle Jindřich, who had adopted him, in 1965 he also became heir to the properties of the Krumlov-Hlubock branch.

In the 1980s, he chaired the Helsinki International Human Rights Committee and placed an archive of literature banned in Czechoslovakia at the time in the family residence in Scheinfeld, Bavaria. Thanks to his position, he was also able to visit communist Czechoslovakia, where he discussed human rights issues and met with dissidents.

He returned to his homeland in the fall of 1989 and in the early 1990s became head of the presidential office. Vaclav Havel. He joined the Alliance of Civil Democracies (ODA) and in 2004 was elected to the Senate for Prague 6 with US-DEU support. He then resigned from ODA. From January 2007 to May 2009, he was the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the government Mirka Topolánek (ODS), he was nominated to the government by the Green Party.

A politician and a man from the castle

In June 2009, he became the leader of the new TOP 09 party, whose formation was initiated by the former chairman of KDU-ČSL and Minister of Finance of the Topolánek government Miroslav Kalousek. In November, he was elected chairman of the TOP 09 at the first party congress. In the elections to the House of Representatives in May 2010, the TOP 09 became the third most powerful party, Schwarzenberg became a member of parliament, and after the party became part of the government coalition, he returned to the chair of foreign minister. In government Peter Nečas (ODS), where he also served as first deputy prime minister, remaining until late July 2013. In 2013, he was re-elected to the House of Representatives, where he chaired the foreign affairs committee. As of December 2015, he no longer retains the seat of TOP 09 chairman and was elected honorary chairman of the party. In 2017, he was re-elected as a Member of Parliament and, at 79 years old, became the youngest elected Member of Parliament in history. He did not defend last year’s parliamentary mandate.

According to him, he practically ceased to be involved in the party. “I’m an old grandpa. After all, I can barely climb, literally, because I’m in a wheelchair. Sometimes someone calls, sometimes I call someone, sometimes I hear back with an article, but that’s it. Old man shouldn’t be anymore angry and should not interfere with those who have responsibilities today,” evaluates his current political life.

When Blesk asked Schwarzenberg about the presidential race in the summer, he was still unsure which candidate he would support. “Some of those contenders might make good presidents, but I don’t know which would be good presidential candidates. It’s something else,” he said.

Karel Schwarzenberg, whose title (cancelled) reads Karel Jan, XII. Prince Schwarzenberg, Window-pleasing Landscrab Klettgau, Prince Schulz and Duke Krumlov, he was not only a well-known politician, but also, until recently, the administrator of a large family estate. “I was brought up that all property is a trust, not mine. He was given to me to be cared for and passed on.

Before 1918, the Schwarzenberg family was among the wealthiest in Europe. In addition to 200,000 acres of land, the family also owned more than a dozen castles in Austria, Bohemia and Germany. In 1941 the property was expropriated by the Nazis, but was returned to Austria and Germany after World War II. In the Czech Republic, property was confiscated by the communists and partly returned to Schwarzenberg only after 1990. The Orlík branch’s property was returned to Schwarzenberg as restitution, including the castles of Orlík, Čimelice, Zvíkov, Sedlec near Kutná Hora and more than 11,000 hectares of land. In Austria, Schwarzenberg’s property includes, for example, a palace in Vienna, Murau Castle, and forest groves.

Orlík passed it on to his son, his grandson being in Austria

According to information from the newspaper E15, at the end of November, he handed over the company Orlík nad Vltavou, the only company majority owned by Karel Schwarzenberg in the Czech Republic, to his son Jan. The company manages more than 10,000 hectares of forest and agricultural areas. “My son is in love with Orlík. He is there every month and learns Czech. He will stay here, he may not be in politics, but he is active here as a businessman and maybe the next generation will be in politics again,” he told Blesku .

In the Czech Republic, Karel Schwarzenberg participated, among other things, in the privatization of Karlovarská Becherovka and sits on the supervisory board of Patria Finance. Until June 2007, he was the majority owner of the company that publishes the weekly Respekt news. In 1997, he purchased Dřevíč castle near Beroun, which is now his permanent residence.

Holder of several domestic and foreign awards (eg the TGM Order), Schwarzenberg holds Swiss and Czech citizenship. In 1967, he married a doctor, Terezia, born Countess of Hardegg. They divorced in 1988, but remarried twenty years later. They have three children – daughter Anna Karolina and sons Jan Nepomuk Ondřej and Karel Filip (stepson). This year, the documentary My Father, the Prince was presented at the Karlovy Vary festival, which is based on daughter Lily’s interview with her famous father. “I communicate as much as I can with my children and grandchildren, whom I love,” he told Blesk of his relationship with the children, most of whom live in Austria. “Unfortunately they are not here, what should I do? It is my silent pain that no grandchildren will grow up here,” complained Schwrzenberg.

Julia Craig

"Certified bacon geek. Evil social media fanatic. Music practitioner. Communicator."

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