- Profession: Court official.
- Residences: Vienna, Salzburg
- Relation to Mahler: Hofopera, Vienna.
- Correspondence with Mahler:
- Born: 16-09-1854 Vienna, Austria.
- Died: 06-09-1927 Palace at Lowelstrasse 6, Vienna, Austria.
- Buried: Family mausoleum, Bóly (Német-Bóly), Hungary. The mausoleum was built in 1879 to the command of Montenuovo Vilmos’s wife, countess Julianna. The neoroman-neogothic building is unique in Hungary.
Alfred, 2nd Prince of Montenuovo was one of the highest court officials of Emperor Francis Joseph I of Austria. Among his ancestors were members of the Habsburg family.
Prince Alfred of Montenouvo was born in Vienna, Austrian Empire, the only son of William Albert, 1st Prince of Montenuovo (1819–1895), (son of Adam Albert, Count of Neipperg and Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria) and his wife, Countess Juliana Batthyány-Strattmann (1827–1871), (daughter of Count János Baptist Batthyány-Strattmann and Countess Marie Esterházy de Galántha). His paternal grandmother Marie Louise was the Empress consort of Napoleon I of France from 1810 to 1814 and Duchess of Parma from 1814, she married morganatically to his grandfather Adam Albert in 1821.
Alfred married on 30 October 1879 in Vienna to Countess Franziska Maria Stephania Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau (1861–1935), daughter of Ferdinand Bonaventura, 7th Prince Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau, and his wife, Princess Maria Josepha of Liechtenstein. They had four children:
- Princess Julianahad issue. Rosa of Montenuovo (15 November 1880 – 27 June 1961), (1) Married in 1903 to Count Dionys Maria Draskovich of Trakostjan, had issue, but divorced. (2) Married in 1914 to Karl, Prince of Oettingen-Oettingen and Oettingen-Wallerstein, no issue.
- Princess Marie of Montenuovo (20 October 1881 – 10 August 1954), married in 1909 to Count Franz Maria of Ledebur-Wicheln, had issue.
- Ferdinand, 3rd Prince of Montenuovo (29 May 1888 – 2 May 1951), married in 1927 to Baroness Ilona Solymossy of Loós and Egervár, had issue.
- Princess Franziska of Montenuovo (22 August 1893 – 3 November 1972), married in 1878 to Count Antal Apponyi de Nagy-Appony,
He inherited the title Prince of Montenuovo in 1895 following the death of his father. The prince died in 1927 in his palace at Löwelstrasse 6 in Vienna’s city centre after suffering a heart attack. His corpse was interred at his family’s burial place at Bóly (Német-Bóly) in Hungary.
Montenouvo palace at Löwelstrasse 6 in Vienna.
After studying at the Catholic seminary in Salzburg, Alfred started a career as court official, in 1896/97 becoming Obersthofmeister (literally: highest master of the court) of Archduke Otto of Austria, brother of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, from 1896 successor to the throne.
In 1898 Francis Joseph I made him Second Obersthofmeister of the court of the emperor (besides Prince Rudolf of Liechtenstein). In 1900, Montenuovo was honoured by the Order of the Golden Fleece, the personal order of the dynasty. After Prince Rudolf’s death, Montenuovo advanced to First Obersthofmeister in 1909. The Obersthofmeisteramt, as his office was called, among other duties was supervising the court theatres. Montenuovo supported the decision to make Gustav Mahler conductor and director of the I.R. Court Opera.
Montenuovo was said to have been a lifelong enemy of Franz Ferdinand. Following the assassination of the latter and his morganatic wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, at Sarajevo in 1914, and with the emperor’s connivance, he decided to turn the funeral into a massive and vicious snub. Even though most foreign royalty had planned to attend, they were pointedly disinvited and the funeral was attended by just the immediate imperial family, with the dead couple’s three children excluded from the few public ceremonies.
The officer corps was forbidden to salute the funeral train, and this led to a minor revolt led by Archduke Karl, the new heir to the throne. The public viewing of the coffins was curtailed severely and even more scandalously, Montenuovo tried unsuccessfully to make the children foot the bill. The Archduke and Duchess were interred at Artstetten Castle because the Duchess could not be buried at the Imperial Crypt. In 1917, the new emperor Charles I replaced Montenuovo with Prince Karl von Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst.