Franz Ferdinand was an Archduke of Austria-Este and the heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Initially he was only third in line to the throne, but certain unexpected events led to dramatic twists in his life. His cousin Prince Rudolf of Austria, who was originally the Crown Prince, committed suicide in 1889, leaving Franz Ferdinand's father, Karl Ludwig, as first in line to the throne. In another unexpected twist of fate, Karl Ludwig died of an illness a few years later making Franz Ferdinand the heir to the throne. Franz, like most males in the ruling Habsburg line, had entered the Austro-Hungarian Army at a young age. Starting his military career at the tender age of 12, he quickly rose through the ranks to become the colonel at 27 and major general at 31. Being the heir presumptive, he was made the Inspector General of the Austro-Hungarian Army, and he proved to be much popular in this position due to his promotion of naval expansion and military modernization. In 1914, he accepted an invitation from General Oskar Potiorek, Governor of the Austrian provinces of Bosnia-Herzegovina, to visit the capital of Bosnia, Sarajevo, to inspect army maneuvers and went there with his wife. This trip proved fatal for the couple as they were shot dead by a group of assassins and this incident incited Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against Serbia which in turn sparked the First World War.