Who is Princess Maria Singh? Granddaughter of Last Emperor of Austria Dies in Houston

The princess in the bloodline of the Habsburg dynasty worked as an interior designer in Houston, where she lived with her Indian husband.

Princess Maria Galitzine Singh, the 31-year old princess of Austria, died of sudden cardiac aneurysm in Houston, Texas. The princess who died on May 4, just six days before her 32nd birthday, is survived by her chef husband Rishi Singh and two-year-old son Maxim.

Maria Singh
Maria Singh with son Maxim Facebook/Maria Singh

Born on May 11, 1988, in Luxembourg, to Russian aristocrat Prince Piotr Galitzine and Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria, Singh's grandfather Archduke Rudolf was the youngest son of Emperor Charles I of Austria and Empress Zita of Bourbon-Parma. Charles I was the last emperor of Austria.

In 1993, at the age of five, Singh along with her family returned to Russia where she attended the German School of Moscow. Upon graduation, she moved to Belgium to attend the College of Art and Design (CAD), as per her obituary in legacy.com. She worked as an interior designer in Brussels, Chicago and later Houston, where she met her future husband Rishi Singh.

Maria Singh
Maria Galitzine and Rishi Singh's marriage Facebook/Maria Singh

The couple got married on April 22, 2018 in an orthodox religious ceremony. Two months before their marriage, they welcomed their son Maxim on February 10, 2018, DailyMail reported. She died of a sudden cardiac aneurysm on May 4 and was laid to rest on May 8. Along with her husband and son, Singh is survived by her parents, three sisters and two brothers.

Life as a princess

In an interview with the Houston Chronicle, Singh's elder sister Princess Tatiana Galitzine opened up about her life as a princess, which she described as "completely normal unless we are invited to royal weddings". She said that both her parents were involved in charities, thus as kids, she and her siblings had to do charity work, every summer. "We would clean up a church or help in a foster home or a homeless shelter. It was as normal for us as brushing our teeth", she said.

Speaking to Paper City, Galitzine said that despite her family's not so good relations with both Austria and Russia, they grew up with a sense of duty for both. In Austria, her family was exiled following World War I and being Russian aristocrats, her father's family was persecuted during the communist rule. Despite this, during the Olympics, her family rooted heavily for both the countries. "At home, my father speaks Russian to us, the girls speak French to each other, and the boys speak German".

About Habsburg dynasty

The Habsburg family ruled for over 600 years from 15th to 20th century. Charles V (1500-1558) inherited a kingdom larger than the Roman empire. Singh's great-grandparents Charles I and Zita of Bourbon-Parma were the last emperor and empress of the Austrian empire. In 1918, following the World War 1, Zita's family was forced into exile. She passed away in 1989. Her funeral was allowed to be held in Austria on the condition that the family would pay for it.

In 2011, the funeral of Singh's great-uncle and the last crown prince of Austria, Otto von Habsburg, was allowed to be held in Austria. He renounced his claim to the throne, following which he was allowed re-entry in Austria in 1966.