Imperial and Royal

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The so-called middle coat of arms of Austria-Hungary 1867–1915 with the coat of arms of the House of Habsburg (Habsburg lion, Austrian shield , Lorraine eagle) as a central element.
The middle coat of arms 1915–1918. In it the essence of the dual monarchy with its two halves of the empire held together by personal and real union becomes clear.

The term imperial and royal, abbreviated k. u. k. (also , k. and k. rarely k. & k.), was in 1867 from the Empire of Austria resulting Austro-Hungarian Empire (from the compensation to the Kingdom of Hungary on) for the common facilities of both halves of the empire, so the , monarchy introduced . It is to be distinguished from the designation imperial-royal (abbreviated k. K.).

The first k (imperial) stood as an abbreviation for the title Kaiser von Österreich , the second k (royal) for the title Apostolic King of Hungary from the Habsburg-Lothringen monarch . The u between the two k is pronounced in full despite the shortened form; the correct pronunciation is ['ka: unt'ka:].

Signs of the dual monarchy

The previous "prerogatives of the crown" were then called "Pragmatic Affairs" from 1867, as they had to be dealt with jointly due to the pragmatic sanction that was still in effect .

  • The monarch himself was known as his k. and k. apostolic majesty .
  • The archdukes and archduchesses were given the title of kuk highness .
  • The Ministry of the Imperial and Royal House and Foreign Affairs , the ministers and the representations (embassies, consulates) abroad were designated as kuk . Friedrich Ferdinand von Beust , the first incumbent 1867–1871, bore the title of “ Reich Chancellor ”, which was no longer awarded from 1871 onwards at the request of Hungary. See Foreign Ministers and Chairmen of the Joint Council of Ministers .
  • The original Reich Ministry of Finance, since 1903 joint Ministry of Finance, and its minister were kuk (the Ministry was exclusively responsible for the financing of common affairs; there were separate finance ministries for their affairs in both halves of the empire). See the list of finance ministers of Austria-Hungary (1867–1918) .
  • The common navy was officially designated as kuk .
  • The Common Army , only called “(Common) Army” in times of peace, was run as an Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1889 onwards. Until then, the designation k was illegal . k. been used. (The name Austro-Hungarian Army was only used in war.)
  • Finally, on September 20, 1911, when there was a change of minister, Franz Joseph introduced the term “Minister of War” instead of the previously used title “Reich Minister of War”. The Ministry was now called the Austro-Hungarian War Ministry . See kuk war minister .
  • The entire court of his Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty belonged to the common institutions, from the kuk Obersthofmeister to three of the four life guards of the monarch (the ku body guards were not included), the kuk castle commanderships in Vienna and Budapest and the other castles used by the monarch.

Characteristics of separate institutions

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Today the abbreviation kuk is often confused with the abbreviation kk , but it must be clearly distinguished from it under constitutional law ; kk ( imperial-royal ), previously used for institutions of the entire state , from 1867/68 onwards only referred to the authorities and state institutions of the western half of the empire of the monarchy, imperial Austria ( Cisleithanien ). This abbreviation is the second k. (royal) for the royal title of the Habsburgs, especially as King of Bohemia . The monarch also carried the title of King of Dalmatia and of Galicia and Lodomeria as well as the honorary title of King of Jerusalem in old Austria .

The institutions of the Hungarian half of the empire (Old Hungary or Transleithanien) were named with the abbreviations m. k. ( magyar királyi ) and k. u. or kgl. ung. (royal Hungarian). The monarch also carried the title of King of Croatia and Slavonia in old Hungary .


1804–1867 there was only the abbreviation kk (for the term imperial-royal). The first k. until 1806 related to the dignity of the elected Roman emperor with the House of Austria, the second to the kingship of the Habsburgs in the lands of the crown of St. Stephen and Wenceslas and in the other kingdoms. Since the end of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation , the first k. on the by Franz II. / I. in 1804 assumed the title of Hereditary Emperor in the Austrian Empire.


The Austro-Hungarian monarchy is sometimes referred to as "Kakania", and life in it as "Kakan". This is associated with, among other things, the architecture in the cities, the colorful military uniforms, the multilingualism of the state, the social life of the time and the coffee house tradition. This expression was coined - after the fall of the monarchy - by Robert Musil in his novel The Man Without Qualities . It can be found in the Austrian dictionary and in the Duden .

In the 1970s, based on the earlier relationships, "KuK" was also adopted as an abbreviation for K reisky and K ádár , under which the political situation relaxed somewhat.

The names in the other languages ​​of the monarchy

German Czech Hungarian Polish Slovenian Croatian Romanian
kuk c. a k. - císařský a královský cs. és kir. - császári és királyi  C. i K. - Cesarski i Królewski  c. in kr. - cesarski in kraljevski  ci kr. - carski i kraljevski isc - chezăresc și crăiesc / împărătesc și crăiesc
kk ck - císařsko-královský cs. kir. - császári-királyi CK - cesarsko-królewski c. kr. - cesarsko-kraljevski c. kr. - carsko kraljevsko cc - cezaro-crăiesc / chezaro-crăiesc
ku král. uher. - královský uherský  m. kir. - magyar királyi królewski węgierski kr. ug. - kraljevsko ugarsko

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Wiener Zeitung daily newspaper of September 22, 1911, p. 1.
  2. ^ See Court and State Handbook of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy , 1900 edition.
  3. Robert Musil: The man without qualities. First Book - Chapter 9 (Project Gutenberg)
  4. Gábor Ujváry, The Hungarian Vienna , Balassi Institute , accessed on 29 November 2012 found.