The Tragic Death of Royal Couple
The Tragic Visit
On Sunday, 28th June, 1914, Franz Ferdinand and Sophie von Chotkovato arrived in Sarajevo by train. General Oskar Potiorek, Governor of the Austrian provinces of Bosnia-Herzegovina, was waiting to take the royal party to the City Hall for the official reception.
Gavrilo Princip, the son of a postman had been given a revolver, two bombs and small vial of cyanide. He had been instructed to commit suicide after Archduke Franz Ferdinand had been killed. It was important that he did not have the opportunity to confess who had organised the assassination.
As the Archduke’s car past the waiting assassin, Princip stepped forward, drew his gun, and at a distance of about five feet, fired several times into the car. Franz Ferdinand was hit in the neck and Sophie von Chotkovato in the abdomen. They were driven to the governor's residence, but although both were still alive when they arrived, they died from their wounds soon afterwards.
Princip, following instructions, turned his gun on himself. A man behind him saw what he was doing, and seized Princip's right arm. A couple of policeman joined the struggle and Princip was arrested. Princip was interrogated by the police and charged with treason and murder.
Under Austro-Hungarian law, capital punishment could not be imposed on someone who was under the age of twenty when they had committed the crime. Princip therefore received the maximum penalty of twenty years. Gavrilo Princip died of tuberculosis on 28th April 1918.