Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Archduchess Elisabeth makes debut

January 27, 1900

The first state ball since the tragic assassination of Empress Elisabeth of Austria "has just taken place at the court of Vienna," according to the latest column in the Chicago Daily Tribune by the Marquise de Fontenoy.
The ball was hosted by Emperor Franz Joseph and was "signalized by the debut of the young Archduchess Elisabeth," the only child of the late Crown Prince Rudolf. Elisabeth's future husband, Duke Robert of Württemberg, "a handsome man, with clean cut features, dark hair, and mustache," also attended the ball. He attracted a "good deal of attention," even though the engagement has not yet been officially announced.
The young Archduchess' mother, Crown Princess Stephanie was also present, and she was "treated with unusual consideration and cordiality" by Franz Joseph. This is "taken in conjunction" with the fact that Stephanie was also included in the family party at the Emperor's family dinner on New Year's day. The dinner was the first time that the Princess "participated in any strictly family festival" since Rudolf's death ten years ago.
Crown Princess Stephanie's presence also appears to confirm the rumor that she has broken off her engagement with the Hungarian Count Lonyay, "in deference to the wishes of the Emperor and of the imperial family."

The matrimonial ties between the Württembergs and the Habsburgs are close.
Duke Robert is the fourth child of Duke Philipp of Württemberg and his wife, Archduchess Maria Theresia of Austria. Robert's eldest brother, Albrecht, is married to Archduchess Margarete Sophie of Austria.

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