Franz Charles Joseph, known as archduke of Austria, was the second – born son of Emperor Francis II (1786 - 1835) and his wife, Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily (1772 - 1807).
Sophie Frederica of Bavaria was the second youngest daughter of the Bavarian king, Maxmilian I Joseph (1756 - 1825), and his second wife, Caroline Frederica Vilemine of Baden (1776 - 1841).
Franz Joseph started to study the languages of Hapsburg monarchy already from the age of four. He was consigned to hands of Hungarian baby – sitters not only because of this reason. The studies of imperial children were very strict and there was no place for wildness and bad manners. Not only the mother of Franz Joseph, Sophie, took care of bringing up her son but also a lot of skillful teachers. One of the leading teachers, the Count Henry Bombelles, continued in the traditional ways of education, which were established by Maria Theresa. The others were the Pilgram council (state sciences), the court counsellor Joseph the independent master of Lichtenfels (the crown and civil law), Dr. Moritz Fränzl (statistics and economic policy), the abbot Otmar Rauscher (philosophy and history), Dr. J. Columbus (the ecclesiastical law), Dr. Fick (history), professor Albert Jägel (the history of Tyrol), professor Helm (the Law), the court counsellor Zaleski (Polish language), later colonel of Hauslab (the military history) and already from the year 1847 he studied the practical leading of state affairs under the supervising of chancellor Metternich (every Sunday).
The young archduke learnt to speak fluently French, Polish, Czech and even Hungarian thanks to his perfect memory, extraordinary ability of comprehension and desire to get knowledge. He enjoyed natural sciences, geography, law and he was really exceptional in drawing, dancing, target shooting and later also in horse riding. In 1843, the army teacher, colonel of Hauslab, prepared a four year long military curriculum for almost thirteen years old Franz Joseph. He took part in army training as almost normal soldier. No wonder that a shy boy grew up into a proud and spirited commander.