Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian
Archduke Maximilian as a boy
Archduke Maximilian was born on the 6th July 1832 in the Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna.
Maximilian's had a very strict education in regard to his native language German and additional languages such as Bohemian (Slavonic), English, French Hungarian, Italian and Spanish together with diplomacy, geography, history, law, military education etc.
Maximilian was an intelligent child and showed a great deal of interest for the arts, botany and science.
The young Maximilian was very charming but also increasingly undisciplined in his ways and played many a prank on his teachers and others in the Imperial court.
Maximilian entered military service and was trained in the Austrian Navy where he managed to get promoted to lieutenant at the age of eighteen.
He soon received command of a corvette (Minerva) and was sent on an expedition along the coast of Albania and Dalmatia.
In 1854, at the age of twenty-two the Archduke became Commander-in-Chief of the Austrian Navy.
Maximilian was responsible for many reforms which led to the modernisation of the Austrian Navy, and had much to do with the establishing of a naval port at Trieste and Pola (Pula) which enabled the Austrian battle fleet to be based there and large-scale expeditions such as the circumnavigating of the globe with the frigate SMS Novara.
Maximilian and Charlotte