Wladislaus was the son of Archduke Albert V of Austria and Elizabeth of Bohemia. Wladislaus was born four months after his father died, hence the title "Posthumous". After he was born he was immediately crowned the Archduke of Austria and the official head of the House of Habsburg, and was soon also recognised in Bohemia. The nobility of Hungary though had before his birth elected Wladislaw III of Poland their king. Elizabeth, however, had the crown of Hungary stolen from its guards in Visegrád and brought to Wiener Neustadt by Helene Kottannerin. Legend has it that the cross is bent due to damage occurred during the transport. Elizabeth then used it to compel the primate to crown Wladislaus in Székesfehérvár on 15 May 1440. For safety reasons, she sent Wladislaus into the care of his distant relative, the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick.
Frederick had Wladislaus imprisoned in Castle Orth and ruled Austria in his place. After King Wladislaw of Poland died in 1444 the Hungarian nobility elected with considerable opposition Wladislaus the new king, and sent a deputation to Frederick demanding the release of the crown and Wladislaus which Frederick refused. George Podebrady acted as his regent in Bohemia and John Hunyadi in Hungary. Beginning in 1450, demand for his release grew in Austria also, which eventually led to the Mailberg Confederation in 1452 led by Ulrich of Eyczing and Ulrich III of Cilli freeing him by force. Ulrich of Cilli prevailed against Ulrich of Eyczing, and effectively became the regent of Wladislaus in Austria.
Wladislaus was crowned King of Bohemia on 28 October 1453, and proceeded to spend most of his time in Prague and Vienna. After John Hunyadi died, Wladislaus appointed Ulrich of Cilli the governor of Hungary at the Diet of Futtak in 1456. After the Siege of Belgrade, Ulrich was assassinated by Laszlo Hunyadi in retaliation for an assassination attempt on him. Wladislaus had Laszlo beheaded on 16 March 1457 in retribution. The execution caused a ruckus in Hungary and Wladislaus was forced to flee to Prague where he spent the rest of his life. Wladislaus died on 23 November 1457 from leukaemia while making preparations to marry Magdalena, the daughter of King Charles VII of France. It was rumoured in Bohemia he had been poisoned.
With no heirs, Wladislaus was succeeded by Frederick in Austria, George Podebrady in Bohemia, and Matthias Corvinus in Hungary.
|Albert||King of Hungary|
1440 - 1457
opposed Wladislaw I
1440 - 1444
|Albert||King of Bohemia|
1440 - 1457
|Albert V||Archduke of Austria|
1440 - 1457