There was once a short-lived BBC Radio Four quiz programme based on the theme of historical connections. At some stage in the programme the panellists were invited to provide an example of their own historical connections. The example I have always remembered was from former British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Denis Healey. As a young man he met a lady whose mother remembered playing as a little girl in ‘summer snow’ in the garden of a villa near Waterloo. It was only when she was older that she learnt that the ‘summer snow’ was the cotton wadding from the muskets and rifles of the soldiers fighting the battle of Waterloo, the wadding having been blown into huge drifts against the garden hedge. I remember thinking that if ever I were invited to appear on such a programme I would have trumped everybody with Otto von Habsburg, who passed away on Monday (4th July) at the ripe old age of 98. For a while, when I was working with the European Parliament, I met him quite often. The former last Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary and a direct descendant of Charlemagne (he would have been the Holy Roman Emperor if the Holy Roman Empire had not been abolished in 1806 and as late as 1961 Francisco Franco offered him the Spanish crown), he was a true gentleman who, all things considered (exile, statelessness, Soviet domination of one of his homelands) led an admirable life. Notwithstanding the temptations that such status might have brought, von Habsburg remained a modest, almost entirely humble, man who began his life as a true Crown Prince and ended it as a true European.