Author Topic: Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death  (Read 165673 times)

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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #435 on: September 03, 2010, 05:41:30 AM »
I think we need to be cautious in claiming that Rudolf would have been a good ruler had he not died in 1889. I am inclined to think he would never have reigned, since in 1889 he was already in poor health, and, as events turned out, his father was to survive and reign for another 27 years. His position was rather simiilar to that of Prince Charles, who may not survive his mother, or, if he does, will only reign for a short period.

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Offline Imperial_Grounds

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #436 on: September 03, 2010, 07:35:19 AM »
I think we need to be cautious in claiming that Rudolf would have been a good ruler had he not died in 1889. I am inclined to think he would never have reigned, since in 1889 he was already in poor health, and, as events turned out, his father was to survive and reign for another 27 years. His position was rather simiilar to that of Prince Charles, who may not survive his mother, or, if he does, will only reign for a short period.

Ann

Sure, that's all true...

But if Rudolf would have had the chance to rule he would have made a fine Emperor... A great one I think, and partly Elisabeth is to be thanked for that - yes she had her faults as Empress, as wife, as a mother, but she only became who she was because she could not live with the burden of life at court.... And she was the one who eventually made sure Rudolf got his liberal education, more to her own beliefs rather than those of her husband or mother-in-law... That made Rudolf to the Prince he was, a Liberal one -, of course she too saw it as her own fault Rudolf was a broken man by the time of his death, sure she must have seen much of herself in him.... I think that is why she never let him in, because he was so much like her and she had too little to do in bringing her own son up, while he needed his mother so much...

Ahh well.... I tend to think the world was not ready for Rudolf. It is as Elisabeth herself said, born in the wrong era.... Can be often said, not only about Rudolf but several other August Figures of World History...
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Offline Pezzazz

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #437 on: September 03, 2010, 08:06:45 PM »

Also, some of Rudolf's suicide letters were written before he left for Mayerling.... So, why would he do that if he did not intend to kill himself...

Excellent point Imperial_Grounds, and it's difficult to attribute them to someone other than Rudolf (or Szogyeny?).  According to Lavender Cassels in Clash of Generations, Rudolf left a suicide note to Szogyeny asking him to open his writing desk in Vienna ..............."in the Turkish room where in better times we often sat together".  The author claims this note and its accompanying instructions were discovered in the State Archives in 1958 and found to be authentic.

Now even if a foreign government forged the suicide notes of Rudolf, as claimed in the 1916 book by his private secretary, it's quite difficult to explain how these letters got into Rudolf's locked/private writing desk in Vienna.  One possibility is suggested by Rudolf's complaints in a letter to Szeps that it was getting so he could trust no one anymore, not even his oldest long-term servants.  Vienna was practically a police state then, overrun with spies, double agents and surveillance everywhere -- especially against Rudolf.

It is interesting that the instructions accompanying the letter found at Mayerling to Szogyeny, telling him to go to his desk in Vienna and give letters found there to Valerie, his wife, mother, Baron Hirsch and Mitzi Caspar are similar to the 2nd Will he wrote almost 2 years before in early 1887.  Notable differences are that the suicide instructions were undated and unsealed whereas the 2nd Will of Rudolf was dated and sealed.
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Offline Pezzazz

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #438 on: September 06, 2010, 12:22:13 PM »
Well onto an examination of the next idea on the Mayerling Mystery.   Back in 1915, a book was written by a member of the secret service and privy counselor to the German Kaiser called The Secrets of the Hohenzollerns by a Dr. Armgaard Karl Graves.  Several years before he also wrote The Secrets of the German War Office.          
 http://tinyurl.com/2wmukme

Needless to say this fellow had become a rogue agent and was hounded for years by the authorities in the US, Germany and other countries and finally ended up in prison.  He did know an amazing amount of detail to have made it all up, and he was taken seriously enough to prosecute to the fullest extent.  

His book, The Secrets of the Hohenzollerns is the earliest published report of which I am aware of the champagne bottle in the brain story for the cause of Rudolf's death.  Parts of it were later corroborated by several different books approaching the mystery from a different point of view, including the books by Marie Larisch, the private secretary of Rudolf, the forgotten son R, and by Ferdinand IV of Tuscany, perhaps the closest thing to a real friend accepted by Emperor Franz Joseph.

So here is the 1915 explanation for the death starting on pg 218:

Quote

    "Erherzog Rudolph, the archduke, next in succession, was mysteriously killed at Mayerling, an obscure little hunting lodge in upper Austria. Much has been written and many conjectures made about the cirumstance of this lamentable tragedy. The real reason, so vast in its importance, has of necessity never been divulged.

    "On a blustery and cold January night in 1889 His Royal Highness and the Baroness Marie Vetzera (Vetchera) were familiarly seated around a plain but daintily spread supper table in the hunting lodge of Mayerling. They were attended by Max and Otto K----, two brothers much trusted in the archducal household. Supper was nearly finished and the Prince, who was very fond of a certain brand of champagne, had just given the order to Otto for another couple of bottles, when the deep baying of the Prince's favorite deerhound gave notice of the approach of strangers. A dull thud and agonized yelp of the dog made the Prince jump up and stride toward the door, which was guarded by Max. Pushing the servant aside, His Royal Highness pulled the door open. Three men muffled up to their eyes in great coats forced their way into the room. In a trice the leader of the trio pinioned Max to the wall. The Archduke, who had jumped back startled and was reseating himself behind the supper table, demanded the reason for this intrusion, when the smallest of the three, supposedly the brother of the Baroness Vetzer, laid hold of a bottle of champagne and brought the weapon down with terrific force on his unprotected head, completely crushing the skull. The Baroness, who apparently had recognized one of the three intruders, was hysterically screaming and uttering dire threats and vengeance against the perpetrators of this foul deed. As she stood there, gripping the edges of the table, the third, standing at the door, raised his Stutzen (a short hunting gun in great favor in the Austrian Alps), and fired point blank at the unfortunate woman, almost blowing her head to pieces.

    "The commotion brought Otto from the wine cellar, and, taking in the situation at a glance, he threw himself fiercely upon the intruders, ably assisted by his brother Max, who also began attacking his captor. They managed to dispose of one of the assailants when again the gun rang out, sending Max to the floor with his chest almost torn to ribbons. The next moment Otto received a Hirsch-fanger (a hunting dagger) between his shoulders. Dragging their wounded conspirator with them, the two assassins disappeared into the night. From that day to this there have never been any arrests made or any one held to account for this dastardly deed.

    "Otto, who was left for dead, on regaining sufficient strength decently covered the bodies with table cloths and napkins, and left a short pencil written account of the occurrences pinned on to his brother's clothes. He also disappeared in the night; for he well knew the consequences attached to an even entirely innocent witnessing of such a royal family tragedy. Old, gray and bent, Otto is living to this day the quiet life of a hermit and exile not five hundred miles from New York City. Money would never make Otto talk, but some day the upheaval in Europe may provide an occasion when this old retainer of the House of Habsburg may unseal his lips; and then woe to the guilty.

    "The above account of the tragedy of Mayerling, notwithstanding the 'proof' of the Crown Prince's supposed suicide contained in the letters alleged to have been written by him to his confidant and friend Ambassador Szoegyenyi and to the 'Duke of Braganza,' is the correct one, and will be proved when the venerable head of the House of Habsburg shall have passed away. The Author."

Armgaard Karl Graves also suggested that Prussia might be responsible for the deaths by the following:

Quote
"...Prussian diplomacy had gained such an ascendancy over the House of Habsburg and the affairs of Austria, that Austria has been and is a staunch ally and supported by Germany in all its aims and ambitions. This alliance is developed to such an extent that even an heir apparent to the Austrian empire unless acceptable to and identified with Prusso-Germanic interests finds it impossible to ascend the throne.............    "Rudolph of Habsburg had to the full the proud instinctive dislike to, and rooted disinclination against, the ever increasing Germanic influence in and over his country. He died.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2010, 12:25:08 PM by Pezzazz »
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Offline nena

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #439 on: September 06, 2010, 05:51:17 PM »
Thank you Pezzaz! I even wondered, maybe they (at least Mary) swallowed poisoned drink or something. Since, allegedly, no traces of fighting were found on their bodies, when they were exhumed.

Russian site, translation is not so good :

'   No one suspected the possibility of tragedy, so only some time later they found the frozen corpses of lovers in the castle. Mary laid on a couch with her spread hair and with the rose in her folded hands, in sitting pose there was Rudolph, not so far away on the floor was a revolver, which fell from Prince's arisen hand . Near the other hand was a glass of cognac. Later examination showed that there was no poison in the brandy was not. Lovers died from a double shot from a revolver in each bullet went through one temple and exited through the second. These causes of death have not been clarified, but that it was a suicide, there was little doubt. Probably the first Rudolf murdered his beloved and only then put the revolver to his temple. '
--------------------
I am not sure if the site/source is authentic.

Who did find them? Who did attend the Mayerling castle on that night? At what time were they found? Strange, I have read that no bullet hole was found. I am guessing that somebody lies.
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Offline Pezzazz

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #440 on: September 06, 2010, 06:45:31 PM »

Who did find them? Who did attend the Mayerling castle on that night? At what time were they found? Strange, I have read that no bullet hole was found. I am guessing that somebody lies.

...........and thank you Nena!  I've often thought the secret to finding the truth is knowing enough to know who lied -- or as they prefer to call it:  who had "memory lapses" ;)

One thing that seems strange to me is there is seldom any mention of any security around Rudolf.  Sure, he was always under surveillance, but that was more to protect others from him, not to protect Rudolf!  Why was there not even one security guard at Mayerling?  Was that considered normal then for royal heirs?  Didn't Sisi travel without any security most of the time too?  FF was killed in Sarejvo for lack of security too some claim.   Were the Austrians slow to learn their lessons or what?
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Offline Imperial_Grounds

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #441 on: September 07, 2010, 11:16:00 AM »
Well... As for Elisabeth, she refused security and often fled the agents asigned to her in the earlier days as Empress.

There is a theory that Mary might have been pregnant and that she and Rudolf went to Mayerling to abort the pregnancy.... There is a dutch book on that subject and it is quite strong in its claim, it uses Countess Larisch's writing, several others... But the book makes a good point. It said that Mary died during the abortion and that Rudolf killed himself to save his honor. However, this is something that will remain unsolved... I don't believe it. As long as we don't know the truth In stick to the official claim of suicide.

And there were gunholes found, atleast 1 - but I have read several sources claiming there to be just 1 gunshot and another to claim that there were several -, also Mary's remains were exhumed in the 90's and there were traces of a gunshot if I remember correctly. There is no saying that it weren't Mary's remains since the dress was partly preserved - the same one she wore in the famous last picture with the Countess Larisch -, her shoos too and some hair. I have a picture somewhere, will have to look for it and post it here.

Only... I'm amazed that the Habsburg Family still does not allow Rudolf's remains to be properly exhumed... It is as if they want to hide something. And why was the Empress refused to see his hands?(I heard this only once, not sure if it's true)
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Offline Pezzazz

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #442 on: September 07, 2010, 05:40:24 PM »

And there were gun holes found, atleast 1 - but I have read several sources claiming there to be just 1 gunshot and another to claim that there were several -, also Mary's remains were exhumed in the 90's and there were traces of a gunshot if I remember correctly.


From what I remember about the later autopsy on Mary Vetsera was that they found no bullet hole in her head, but rather it looked like she had been beaten and the top of her head showed signs of the beating, eh?  

Here's an excerpt from "Francis Joseph And His Court: From The Memoirs Of Count Roger De Resseguier" (1917) that also supports the champagne bottle in the brain story.  Count Roger De Resseguier was the son of FJ Court Chamberlain.  This book was written a couple years after the one by the rogue German agent mentioned above, but the details differ considerably.

"..................it was now that her brother or cousin, Baron Baldazzi, appeared on the scene and was betrothed to the wayward girl.  But he was not the man one might have thought.  He soon proved to be rather the guardian to the family's honour than the convenient bridegroom.  He installed the reign of terror...................................

Night was closing in.  The usual orgy took place at Meyerling that evening to the accompaniment of much champagne while snow reigned over the whole world without.......................from a solitary pine tree which stood like a sentinel at the side of the road, death came to them.

For at a very late hour, Baron Baldazzi, stood beside it.  There is a ditch between the road and the castle so that the trunk of the pine tree is on a level with the first floor.  Baldazzi looked through the window and beheld a revolting scene in the flickering light.  In the background, on a bed in the alcove, the Archduke Rudolph and Mary Vecsara slept in each other's arms.  On a divan, on the floor, even under the table, lay Philip of Coburg, Count Hoyos and the 2 Apanjagers, all dead drunk.  Empty bottles of champagne were scattered about all over the place.  The candles were expiring in their sockets.

Then Baldazzi fired without the least hurry or excitement.  He fired at his betrothed and at the heir to the Austrian throne.  He was a crack shot and he struck both through the heart.  

Then he was seized with mad fury.  He threw away his gun which was later found by servants of the Abbey, swung himself up to the low window whose panes had been broken, entered the room, seized an empty bottle and battered the heads of the two dead lovers.  Bits of glass were later found right inside their brains.

Very early the same morning, Count Hoyos and Philip of Coburg, hurried off to Vienna to announce the death of the Archduke................naturally the police stopped its feverish secret inquiries as soon as they found it was leading where they didn't want to go...................
"

The where had to do with how Franz Joseph had an affair with both Mary Vetsera's mother and sister:  The Baldazzi sisters from Greece, and he treated them so badly, that one killed herself in the Danube, and the other gave birth to Mary, FJ's child, and was quickly married off to some newly created baron.  It was this tangled past that fed the rage of the Baron Baldazzi as avenger.  

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Offline Imperial_Grounds

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #443 on: September 07, 2010, 07:31:39 PM »

From what I remember about the later autopsy on Mary Vetsera was that they found no bullet hole in her head, but rather it looked like she had been beaten and the top of her head showed signs of the beating, eh?  

The where had to do with how Franz Joseph had an affair with both Mary Vetsera's mother and sister:  The Baldazzi sisters from Greece, and he treated them so badly, that one killed herself in the Danube, and the other gave birth to Mary, FJ's child, and was quickly married off to some newly created baron.  It was this tangled past that fed the rage of the Baron Baldazzi as avenger.  

Yes, I remember that too... I believe "Crime at Mayerling" states both... Not sure, it's been forever since I read it. Shall take up a reread of the book soon and give what I find in it then. And yes, the famous rumour that Franz had an affaire with Helene.... There is no way in knowing this is true. And we must not forget that Helene herself tried to catch the eye of the young Crown Prince while being in England, much to the displease of the Empress. Can Helene really be this 'cold'? We don't know much about her, but can she have been both the mistress of father and son, and has she coached her daughter in her game to win Rudolf's heart.... I'm not sure Helene was known with the fact that Rudolf saw Mary at the start... Mary herself wrote that her mother and sister must never know of the affair, and she even wrote about a certain pact she and Rudolf made.... I haven't the quotes right at hand but I made a video using those, even though romanticized - See it as Mary's pov -, and still.... They must have had the intention of killing themselves, those letters. To me that is all the proof  needed that they at least had the intention of committing suicide, and it all comes to terms with what Mary wrote before and what Rudolf wrote to his mother - if we may believe that story as Corti got it secondhand -, he wrote about this angel who accompanied him in death and his wish to be put to rest with her... However, as we all keep saying: the truth might never come out. That is what we love about this dramatic episode in the history of the Hapsburg's, the mystery.

And here is the video I mentioned(Quotes in German):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xX876ISHipE

The audio is from the musical "Rudolf - Affaire Mayerling", the video from several movies based upon the Mayerling Drama.
It might be a bit too romantic, but I had to work with it:p As my friend took the beutiful part about Mayerling itself...
Ahh well, now it's not the history-buff speaking but the movie/musical-fan:p
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Offline Pezzazz

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #444 on: September 07, 2010, 11:29:53 PM »

And here is the video I mentioned(Quotes in German):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xX876ISHipE

The audio is from the musical "Rudolf - Affaire Mayerling", the video from several movies based upon the Mayerling Drama.
It might be a bit too romantic, but I had to work with it:p As my friend took the beutiful part about Mayerling itself...
Ahh well, now it's not the history-buff speaking but the movie/musical-fan:p


That is beautiful Imperial_Grounds, Thank You!  It is a mystery that does have the irresistible pull of the romance in a love to die for.  

Here is another youtube video set to one of my favorite songs:  "Who wants to live forever".  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6p4-jnUCaMA&feature=related
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Offline nena

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #445 on: September 08, 2010, 10:35:57 AM »
This discussion seems interesting to me. Thank you for your opinions, quotes, etc.

Well, I have a question - about the shots from the gun/revolver that were, again, allegedly (?), heard by two gentlemen at the hunting lodge.

Well, how many shots there were heard? Two, from what I have understood. Let's speculate a bit:
 
- If there were heard two shots (in short time interval, one after another), there is possibility that Rudolf firstly killed his Mary, and afterwards himself. This my thesis doesn't argue with the fact that Mary had been already dead, several hours before Prince dead.

- Logically, at least one of the shots was meant to killed the Prince.  So, who died the first - Mary or Rudolf? I 'believe' Mary. Why would he have fired 2 hits from revolver? Perhaps to confuse the others? One hit was enough to kill him, since he 'put the revolver on his temple' and shot. (Remember the white bandage around Prince's head on the photo taken in his deathbed!). Does this make sense?  Well, most likely that Rudolf , Mary and their company entertained each other's in orgies the night drama occurred. The star - crossed lovers met in November of 1888, one site states. Is there possibility for Mary to remain pregnant in that relatively short time -interval of barely three months? Of course, they both may have doubted, I believe it is one of 'hear-say' stories. Yes, I believe that Rudolf may have intended to kill himself, letters are enough proofs.

Well, one's for sure -- too many endless theories with a little trace of the real truth.


From : http://www.exulanten.com/mayerling.html I think some facts here in the site are incorrect.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2010, 10:37:36 AM by nena »
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Offline Imperial_Grounds

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #446 on: September 08, 2010, 12:53:30 PM »
I do not believe in the theory about Mary being pregnant... The relationship was, as widely believed, consummated on January 13th 1889... Mary gave Rudolf a box for his cigarettes in-scripted with "Now we belong to each other"(freely translated), and it is at this moment it is believed Rudolf gave her the ring. The letter in which Mary writes about the fact is dated on January 14th, so they had the intention to kill themselves - he possibly because desperation and illness - he had a sexual illness, which is often overlooked, and this weakened him... Along with his usage of drugs, and she out of love for him - and as it turned out they both did die.

How this happened is a mystery.... Rudolf killed himself, I am sure of that and Mary died several hours before - approximate 6 hours, the autopsy stated that...  But what if the Court doctors changed the hour of death on purpose... Maybe to get people confused, as the Emperor didn't want this scandal to get out -, but Loschek stated that there were 2 shots fired in a short timelaps.... However it is widely believed that he lied, or he simply misheard(maybe he took the 'echo' of the gunshot as a second one?, if there is an echo anyway).... I am sure, we won't ever get the truth unless Taaffe's papers are found and the Vatican releases a possible annulment-request of Rudolf.

However I do not believe the last assumption, Rudolf trying to divorce - He knew Mary not long enough for that - and why would Franz Joseph go meddling in Rudolf's love affairs while he had several mistresses himself... La Schratt being the constant one, with the Empress' approval, and several others - there is a story that he broke of with a mistress in January 1889 because of her similarity in looks towards Mary -, so why would he not allow Rudolf to have a mistress....
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Offline Pezzazz

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #447 on: September 09, 2010, 03:04:57 PM »
This discussion seems interesting to me. Thank you for your opinions, quotes, etc.

Thanks you all too, and it is a fascinating topic -- almost like a giant puzzle.[/size]

Quote from: Nena
Well, I have a question - about the shots from the gun/revolver that were, again, allegedly (?), heard by two gentlemen at the hunting lodge.

Well, how many shots there were heard? Two, from what I have understood. Let's speculate a bit:
 
- If there were heard two shots (in short time interval, one after another), there is possibility that Rudolf firstly killed his Mary, and afterwards himself. This my thesis doesn't argue with the fact that Mary had been already dead, several hours before Prince dead.

I believe it was Loschek the valet who said he heard 2 rapid shots?  He gave a statement sometime before he died in the 1930s of which I still have to read, but one of the things he was reported to have said in that statement was about the levity and good cheer displayed by Taaffe, Bombelles, Weiderhofer and a couple others at the meeting 2 days after Rudolf's death when they signed off on the investigation which forever disappeared after that.   Also wasn't Loschek forced to move to America soon after Rudolf's death?  Could Loschek have felt threatened?

It's hard for me to believe whatever Loschek claims without reservation due to the little problem of his "having to break the first floor door down with an ax" when he could easily have gone through the window.

Another problem with the number of shots fired comes from the Papal Nuncio, Monsignor Luigi Galimberti who stated that 6 shots had been fired, the gun next to Rudolf did not belong to him, and most important, the entry wound was behind the left ear, given rise to the large exit wound on the right top side of the head.  Given that Rudolf was right-handed, this would have been a most difficult maneuver. 

 The Papal Nuncio's sources as a representative of the Vatican were considered as good or better than those of anyone in that time in Austria.  However, more on Monsignor Galimberti later.  That's when the tale really starts to twist and turn.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 03:07:25 PM by Pezzazz »
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Offline Pezzazz

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #448 on: September 09, 2010, 03:20:58 PM »

.......................and why would Franz Joseph go meddling in Rudolf's love affairs while he had several mistresses himself... La Schratt being the constant one, with the Empress' approval, and several others...................................

This is an astute observation, and one that is mostly forgotten.  By many reports, Rudolf had many girlfriends and his father never seemed to mind, until Mary Vetsera.  What was different about Vetsera?   Could she have been a half-sister of Rudolf, or was there something more?  Something perhaps political?  There's more to the story about Mary than her merely being obsessed with Rudolf so therefore he couldn't get rid of her since she had a way of being a little devil as stated by Rudolf according to both Marie Larisch and Rudolf's private secretary.   Mary, Mary, quite contrary, what is your story?   There is no question in my mind that Rudolf had plenty of experience in distancing himself from people with whom he no longer wanted to spend time.    There is an intriguing theory about her too that I never heard about before recently, but more on that later too since I need to find it again.   That's the trouble with reading old books is they didn't do indexes back then so sometimes if can take a long time to track down a source.

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Offline Imperial_Grounds

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #449 on: September 09, 2010, 04:59:46 PM »
Mary being Rudolf's half-sister.... No way... I can't believe that.

Just to mention in researching one of my books about Mayerling(for some things on Mary and Helene) I found this little fact, which I had forgotten: There was found a tray(? for cigarettes) in the Hofburg on which Mary wrote "I prefer a gun, no poison"... This all works together with the suicide-pact.

However, nothing to find about Helene's way of life around Mary's birth. She died in 1909 of starvation, Hanna Vetsera(Mary's sister) died in 1902... And yes, there are claims that there is no proof on Mary's skull.... If we only could get to the reports or see the skull ourselves...

Mary's grave was opened in 1945 by the Soviets, in search of jewels and such.... Maybe her body was replaced? Far-fetched I know, but anything is possible. And Mary has been reburied several times. Her original coffin is in the monastery now.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 05:01:19 PM by Imperial_Grounds »
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