Role models of greatness.

Here you will discover the back stories of kings, titans of industry, stellar athletes, giants of the entertainment field, scientists, politicians, artists and heroes – all of them gay or bisexual men. If their lives can serve as role models to young men who have been bullied or taught to think less of themselves for their sexual orientation, all the better. The sexual orientation of those featured here did not stand in the way of their achievements.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Prince Wenzel Anton von Kaunitz

Austrian statesman and diplomat Prince Wenzel Anton von Kaunitz-Reitberg (1711-1794) was born in Vienna. Empress Maria Teresia of Austria relied on his expertise throughout her reign, and he furthered her strength in forging an alliance between Austria and France to keep Prussia at bay. For his successes, in 1764 he was made a prince of the Holy Roman Empire as Reichfürst von Kaunitz-Rietberg, and in 1776 was made a prince of the Kingdom of Bohemia.

Unfortunately, his talent and influence went straight to his head. Eccentric, arrogant, conceited and always happy to hear the sound of his own voice, he was accustomed to getting his own way. If what he wanted was a stable of sexy young men, then, by God, nothing would stand in his way; it was reported that he kept a virtual male harem. His wife’s early death forty years before his own left many decades for him to pursue his interests in young men.

Kaunitz had surprising manias. He hated bright light and would not listen to any reports of death, nor approach a sick man; he would not breathe fresh air and kept a handkerchief over his mouth when outdoors. For two years he refused to receive his employer, Austrian Emperor Josef II (son and successor of Maria Teresia), because Josef had returned to Austria sick from battle. Each morning Prince Anton did some riding indoors. He was also consumed by vanity, spending hours each morning preparing his toilet, surrounded by a bevy of handsome male servants, each assigned a particular task.

On the plus side, however, Kaunitz had some good personal qualities – he was astute, laborious and orderly. Plus, his granddaughter married Prince Metternich, his successor to the post of Austria’s State Chancellor.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    I would like to know about the homosexuality of Kaunitz. Have you got some references?

    Thank you very much!