The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Noblemen of all time. This list of famous Noblemen is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Noblemen.
With an HPI of 85.12, Marie Antoinette is the most famous Nobleman. Her biography has been translated into 89 different languages on wikipedia.
Marie Antoinette Josèphe Jeanne (; French: [maʁi ɑ̃twanɛt] (listen); née Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna; 2 November 1755 – 16 October 1793) was the last Queen of France before the French Revolution. She was born an Archduchess of Austria, and was the penultimate child and youngest daughter of Empress Maria Theresa and Emperor Francis I. She became dauphine of France in May 1770 at age 14 upon her marriage to Louis-Auguste, heir apparent to the French throne. On 10 May 1774, her husband ascended the throne as Louis XVI and she became queen. Marie Antoinette's position at court improved when, after eight years of marriage, she started having children. She became increasingly unpopular among the people, however, with the French libelles accusing her of being profligate, promiscuous, harboring sympathies for France's perceived enemies—particularly her native Austria—and her children of being illegitimate. The false accusations of the Affair of the Diamond Necklace damaged her reputation further. During the Revolution, she became known as Madame Déficit because the country's financial crisis was blamed on her lavish spending and her opposition to the social and financial reforms of Turgot and Necker. Several events were linked to Marie Antoinette during the Revolution after the government had placed the royal family under house arrest in the Tuileries Palace in October 1789. The June 1791 attempted flight to Varennes and her role in the War of the First Coalition had disastrous effects on French popular opinion. On 10 August 1792, the attack on the Tuileries forced the royal family to take refuge at the Assembly, and they were imprisoned in the Temple Prison on 13 August. On 21 September 1792, the monarchy was abolished. Louis XVI was executed by guillotine on 21 January 1793. Marie Antoinette's trial began on 14 October 1793; she was convicted two days later by the Revolutionary Tribunal of high treason and executed, also by guillotine, at the Place de la Révolution.
With an HPI of 79.42, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria is the 2nd most famous Nobleman. His biography has been translated into 91 different languages.
Archduke Franz Ferdinand Carl Ludwig Joseph Maria of Austria (18 December 1863 – 28 June 1914) was the heir presumptive to the throne of Austria-Hungary. His assassination in Sarajevo was the most immediate cause of World War I. Franz Ferdinand was the eldest son of Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria, the younger brother of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. Following the death of Crown Prince Rudolf in 1889 and the death of Karl Ludwig in 1896, Franz Ferdinand became the heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne. His courtship of Sophie Chotek, a lady-in-waiting, caused conflict within the imperial household, and their morganatic marriage in 1900 was only allowed after he renounced his descendants' rights to the throne. Franz Ferdinand held significant influence over the military, and in 1913 he was appointed inspector general of the Austro-Hungarian armed forces. On 28 June 1914, Franz Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated in Sarajevo by the 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip, a member of Young Bosnia. Franz Ferdinand's assassination led to the July Crisis and precipitated Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against Serbia, which in turn triggered a series of events that eventually led – four weeks after his death – to Austria-Hungary's allies and Serbia's allies declaring war on each other, starting World War I.
With an HPI of 76.95, Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria is the 3rd most famous Nobleman. His biography has been translated into 44 different languages.
Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria (Rudolf Franz Karl Josef; 21 August 1858 – 30 January 1889) was the only son and third child of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria and Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria. He was heir apparent to the imperial throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from birth. In 1889, he died in a suicide pact with his mistress Mary Vetsera at the Mayerling hunting lodge. The ensuing scandal made international headlines.
With an HPI of 73.30, Otto von Habsburg is the 4th most famous Nobleman. His biography has been translated into 59 different languages.
Otto von Habsburg (given names: Franz Joseph Otto Robert Maria Anton Karl Max Heinrich Sixtus Xaver Felix Renatus Ludwig Gaetan Pius Ignatius, Hungarian: Ferenc József Ottó Róbert Mária Antal Károly Max Heinrich Sixtus Xaver Felix Renatus Lajos Gaetan Pius Ignác; 20 November 1912 – 4 July 2011), was the last crown prince of Austria-Hungary from 1916 until the dissolution of the empire in November 1918. In 1922, he became the pretender to the former thrones, head of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, and sovereign of the Order of the Golden Fleece upon the death of his father. He resigned as Sovereign of the Golden Fleece in 2000 and as head of the Imperial House in 2007. The eldest son of Charles I and IV, the last emperor of Austria and king of Hungary, and his wife, Zita of Bourbon-Parma, Otto was born as Franz Joseph Otto Robert Maria Anton Karl Max Heinrich Sixtus Xaver Felix Renatus Ludwig Gaetan Pius Ignatius von Habsburg, third in line to the thrones, as Archduke Otto of Austria, Royal Prince of Hungary, Bohemia, and Croatia. With his father's accession to the thrones in 1916, he was likely to become emperor and king. As his father never abdicated, Otto was considered by himself, his family and Austro-Hungarian legitimists to be the rightful emperor-king from his father's death in 1922.Otto was active on the Austrian and European political stage from the 1930s, both by promoting the cause of Habsburg restoration and as an early proponent of European integration—being thoroughly disgusted with nationalism—and a fierce opponent of Nazism and communism. He has been described as one of the leaders of the Austrian Resistance. After the 1938 Anschluss, he was sentenced to death by the Nazis and fled Europe to the United States. Otto von Habsburg was Vice President (1957–1973) and President (1973–2004) of the International Paneuropean Union movement. From 1979 to 1999 he served as a Member of the European Parliament for the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU). As a newly elected Member of the European Parliament in 1979, Otto took a strong interest in the countries behind the Iron Curtain, and had an empty chair set up in the European Parliament to symbolize their absence. Otto von Habsburg played a notable role in the revolutions of 1989, as a co-initiator of the Pan-European Picnic. Later he was a strong supporter of the EU membership of central and eastern European countries. A noted intellectual, he published several books on historical and political affairs. Otto has been described as one of the "architects of the European idea and of European integration" together with Robert Schuman, Konrad Adenauer, and Alcide De Gasperi.Otto was exiled in 1919 and grew up mostly in Spain. His devout Catholic mother raised him according to the old curriculum of Austria-Hungary, preparing him to become a Catholic monarch. During his life in exile, he lived in Switzerland, Madeira, Spain, Belgium, France, the United States, and from 1954 until his death, finally in Bavaria (Germany), in the residence Villa Austria. At the time of his death, he was a citizen of Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia, having earlier been stateless de jure and de facto, and he possessed passports of the Order of Malta and Spain. His funeral took place at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna on 16 July 2011; he was entombed in the Imperial Crypt in Vienna and his heart buried in Pannonhalma Archabbey in Hungary.
With an HPI of 65.37, Mariana of Austria is the 5th most famous Nobleman. Her biography has been translated into 40 different languages.
Mariana of Austria (Spanish: Mariana de Austria) or Maria Anna (24 December 1634 – 16 May 1696) was Queen of Spain as the second wife of her uncle Philip IV of Spain from their marriage in 1649 until Philip died in 1665. She was then appointed regent for their three-year-old son Charles II, and due to his ill health remained an influential figure until her own death in 1696. Her regency was overshadowed by the need to manage Spain's post-1648 decline as the dominant global power, internal political divisions and the European economic crisis of the second half of the 17th century. The inability of her son Charles to produce an heir led to constant manoeuvring by other European powers, which ultimately ended in the 1701 to 1714 War of the Spanish Succession. The Mariana Islands consisting of 14 islands in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, and through them the Mariana Trench, are named after her.
With an HPI of 64.87, Leopold III, Duke of Austria is the 6th most famous Nobleman. His biography has been translated into 32 different languages.
Leopold III (1 November 1351 – 9 July 1386), known as the Just, a member of the House of Habsburg, was Duke of Austria from 1365. As head and progenitor of the Leopoldian line, he ruled over the Inner Austrian duchies of Carinthia, Styria and Carniola as well as the County of Tyrol and Further Austria from 1379 until his death.
With an HPI of 64.69, Archduke Ludwig Viktor of Austria is the 7th most famous Nobleman. His biography has been translated into 27 different languages.
Archduke Ludwig Viktor Joseph Anton of Austria (15 May 1842 – 18 January 1919) was the youngest child of Archduke Franz Karl of Austria and his wife Princess Sophie of Bavaria, and as such was the younger brother of Emperor Franz Joseph I. He had a military career, as was usual for archdukes, but did not take part in politics. He was openly homosexual and declined to marry princesses who were sought for him. He is well known for his art collection and patronage as well as philanthropy.
With an HPI of 61.81, Elizabeth of Austria is the 8th most famous Nobleman. Her biography has been translated into 27 different languages.
Elizabeth of Austria (Polish: Elżbieta Habsburżanka; 9 July 1526 – 15 June 1545) was Queen of Poland by marriage. She was the eldest of fifteen children of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor, and his wife Anne of Bohemia and Hungary. A member of the House of Habsburg, she was married to Sigismund II Augustus, who was already crowned as King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania even though both of his parents were still alive and well. The marriage was short and unhappy. Elizabeth was of frail health, experiencing epileptic seizures, and died at age 18.
With an HPI of 61.40, Archduchess Elisabeth Franziska of Austria is the 9th most famous Nobleman. Her biography has been translated into 17 different languages.
Archduchess Elisabeth Franziska Marie Karoline Ignatia Salvator (27 January 1892 – 29 January 1930) was the eldest daughter of Archduke Franz Salvator of Austria and Archduchess Marie Valerie of Austria. Through her mother, she was a granddaughter of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria and through her father she was a descendant of King George II of Great Britain.
With an HPI of 60.95, William, Duke of Austria is the 10th most famous Nobleman. His biography has been translated into 26 different languages.
William (c. 1370 – 15 July 1406), known as William the Courteous (German: Wilhelm der Freundliche), a member of the House of Habsburg and Wilhelm, was Duke of Austria from 1386. As head of the Leopoldian line, he ruled over the Inner Austrian duchies of Carinthia, Styria and Carniola as well as the County of Tyrol and Further Austria from 1396 until his death.
Pantheon has 35 people classified as noblemen born between 1262 and 1999. Of these 35, 1 (2.86%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living noblemen include Princess Alexandra of Hanover. The most famous deceased noblemen include Marie Antoinette, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, and Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria. As of April 2022, 4 new noblemen have been added to Pantheon including Countess Franziska Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau, Princess Dorothea of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and Archduchess Rosa of Austria.
1755 - 1793
1863 - 1914
1858 - 1889
1912 - 2011
1634 - 1696
1351 - 1386
1842 - 1919
1526 - 1545
1892 - 1930
1370 - 1406
1427 - 1496
1262 - 1295
Which Noblemen were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 22 most globally memorable Noblemen since 1700.