The real story about the state of mind and health of Rudolf towards the end of his life is about as different from the official story as the photos above.
The one on the left is the real last photo of Rudolf taken according to Judtmann. The one on the right is the drawing of this photo showing a countenance that has little to do with the reality.
Here's another contrasting example:http://www.archive.org/stream/lastdaysofarchdu01gran#page/280/mode/2up
On page 245 of the above book link provided Rani, "The Last Days of the Archduke Rudolf
", this is what the secretary had to say about a group of friends last meeting
with Rudolf on January 26, 1889:
".....had the Archducal ménage been a source of fretfulness to him or even had his health of mind and body suggested anything like life-weariness, then I might have admitted a strong presumption for the view that he had premeditated self-destruction. None of these conditions, however, pointed any way" to this view and ....................."the tragedy of Mayerling, to those who were with him in that final symposium, came with a shock that well-nigh unseated reason itself."
The man who wrote this book had to be Lt. Victor Fritsche (younger than Rudolf by several years), listed as Secretariat Chancellor, in the last establishment of Rudolf's according to Judtmann's book "Mayerling: the Facts behind the Legend
" from a draft prepared by Count Bombelles. The other secretary was "Head of the Secretariat, Heinrich Ritter von Spindler, who had been with Rudolf for years and had grown children. The other possibility was Giesl von Gieslingen who was about Rudolf's age, but was preferably known as an Aide-de-Camp.Now here's the contrast!:
In the book by Carl Lónyay, Stephanie's nephew-in-law, he repeatedly cites the statements and personal communication of both Victor Fritsche and Giesl v Gieslingen to say that not only was Rudolf seriously suicidal, but that he asked each of these men to join him in suicide!! They supposedly told Rudolf they were flattered by the invitation but politely declined. Fritsche also supposedly told Lónyay that Rudolf was so cruel, spiteful and insane towards his Archducal ménage that it was most difficult to find anyone willing to work in Rudolf's establishment/household. Fritsche also told Lónyay that Rudolf would continuously brag about his romantic conquests because he couldn't perform in bed. (in the book by the secretary, he specifically said Rudolf never talked about his personal love life)
Another tidbit I remember is that Giesl apparently told Lónyay that according to Rudolf's personal physician, Franz Auchenthaler, Rudolf had also given gonorrhea to Mary Vetsera. However, in Judtmann's book, which is most thorough on documentation, Auchenthaler never did any autopsy/exam on Vetsera.
Unfortunately for the truth, the book by Carl Lónyay, "Rudolph: The Tragedy Of Mayerling
" is often provided as a reputable source of facts about Mayerling. The trouble here is that for whatever reason, justified or not, Carl Lónyay was so bitter and filled with hate towards the Habsburgs that most everything he said has to be suspect. I don't understand why this point was/is not made about his book the same way it is readily made about those of Countess Larische and Princess Louise (sister of Stephanie) where it is often stated that whatever they say can be discounted because of their spite?