Karel Schwarzenberg was a member of one of the oldest noble families in Europe. Therefore, the nobility will not be absent even at his funeral. The family has not yet provided the list of foreign guests, but the contacted Czech nobles confirmed that they will arrive.
“I’m going to say goodbye to my relative. I expect a large turnout, whoever has the legs will come,” said Count František Kinský from the church branch of the Kinský family in a statement for Nauzal.
He became widely known mainly as the presenter of the popular Czech TV series Blue Blood, which charts the destinies of more and less well-known noble families connected to the Czech lands. Kinský recently spoke about Schwarzenberg in an interview for Nauzal.
To the Prague Castle to the Cathedral of St. Jaroslav Lobkowicz, who is the head of the family, is also planning to welcome. He also has extensive experience in politics, having been a member of parliament for several years.
“I would like to come, I plan to. I knew Karl Schwarzenberg well, but again we were not great friends. That cannot be said. But I will go there. My eldest son Vladimir will come with me,” 81-year-old Lobkowicz described his plans.
Senator Tomáš Czernin (TOP 09), who is also one of the Czech nobles, will also be present.
“Of course, I will participate. We usually go to each other’s funerals, I consider it automatic that those people will be there. Karel Schwarzenberg was probably the most visible (nobleman) for at least the last 40 years,” answered Czernin when asked if he expected a large participation of the Czech nobility.
Who will come from abroad is still shrouded in mystery. Karl Schwarzenberg’s family has not yet released the guest list. But a large turnout is expected. In the Cathedral of St. Víta na Pražské hradá has about a thousand places for sitting and standing.
A number of Czech politicians will be among the guests. The head of the Senate, Miloš Vystrčil (ODS), or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Markéta Pekarová Adamová (TOP 09), confirmed their participation for Seznam Správy.
“Karel Schwarzenberg was one of the reasons why I entered politics and subsequently ran for the leadership of TOP 09. He will forever be my role model. He was a true European and I miss his insight, nobility and, last but not least, his rare sense of humor. Of course, I will go to the last farewell with him. I can’t imagine that I would be anywhere else,” said the head of the House of Representatives.
Klaus won’t come
Ex-president Václav Klaus, for example, will be absent due to his health. He sent his personal condolences to the family of the late Karel Schwarzenberg.
“He will not participate in Saturday’s funeral mass because he is still recovering from covid, for which he was treated in the last few days at the Infectious Diseases Clinic of Prague’s Central Military Hospital,” wrote spokesman Petr Macinka in an SMS message.
There will be representatives of the government. Defense Minister Jana Černochová (ODS) and Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský (Pirates) confirmed their participation to Seznam Zprávám.
“The family invited the guests to Mr. Schwarzenberg’s funeral, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has no information about this that it could share with you,” Ministry spokesman Daniel Drake responded to the question of whether the Černín Palace has information about foreign guests.
Prague Archbishop Jan Graubner will officiate the service, Tomáš Halík will preach, Salesian priest Ladislav Heryán will perform the ceremonies in the cathedral.
Even the Office of the President of the Republic has not yet published the list of guests.
“Prague Archbishop Jan Graubner will officiate the service, Tomáš Halík will preach, Salesian priest Ladislav Heryán will perform the ceremonies in the cathedral. Cardinal Dominik Duka will serve together with the Archbishop. Bishop Václav Malý will also be present,” Archbishop Jiří Prinz described the list of church representatives.
The police presidium does not yet want to say how many foreign guests it will provide protection for or what the specific security measures will be.
“They will depend both on the actual schedule of the final farewell, as well as on the possible participation of protected persons, including those from the ranks of foreign guests. Until we know more details, especially in relation to the possible participation of protected persons, it is not possible for us to provide any more detailed information,” said Jozef Bocán, spokesman for the police presidium.
Starting at noon on Wednesday, Schwarzenberg’s coffin will be on display under a chain in Prague’s Knights of Malta church on the Malá Strana. The place will be open to the public until 22:00 and then at the same time on Thursday and Friday. Afterwards, the remains will be taken to St. Vitus Cathedral for burial.
Large screens on Hradčanské náměstí
Prague Castle announced in advance on its website what visitor traffic will look like on Saturday.
Passage through the grounds of Prague Castle will remain possible for visitors. Courtyard I, part II will be closed throughout the day. and III. courtyard. Due to capacity and security reasons, entry to the cathedral will be limited to invited guests only.
On Hradčanské náměstí, it will be possible to watch the entire ceremony on a large screen.
The cathedral will be accessible only to holders of an invitation from the Schwarzenberg family. Subsequently, Schwarzenberg’s remains will be placed in the family tomb at Orlík Castle according to parte.
Who was Karel Schwarzenberg (1937–2023)
He was a member of a famous noble family. After the communist putsch, in December 1948, his family had to leave the republic and take refuge in Austria. Karel Schwarzenberg studied law and later forestry. As chairman of the International Helsinki Committee in the 1980s, he advocated for the observance of human rights in Europe. At that time he also met Václav Havel. After 1989, he worked close to Havel as an adviser and from the summer of 1990 as head of the presidential office. Between 1992 and 2004, he was involved in the management of family property. In 2004, he entered public life again: as a senator, later as foreign minister. In 2013, he was a finalist in the presidential election, defeated by Miloš Zeman in the second round. In 2009, he co-founded the party TOP 09.