Thursday, June 14, 2012

Zita: not living in poverty

June 14, 1922

A "high personage" who lives near the castle owned by former Empress Zita of Austria, near Viareggio, has told the New York Times:

"Much has been written and said about ex-Empress Zita, which is absolutely false  It is not true that Zita ever found herself in such restricted financial conditions as many European papers have colorfully stated.  She left Vienna, in all comfort, with all her jewels, which represent several millions.  Her reluctance to part with them is understandable, this being the reason why her brother Sixtus has sometimes come to her aid.

"It is most true that in Madeira the family lived most modestly in a house the extreme dampness of which was the primary cause of Charles's illness and death. He always had weak lungs.

"Zita has no definite project and at one time thought of asking for permission to live her with her mother, trusting in the chivalry of the Italian people and the hospitality of the Government, which would have had nothing to say against such a plan.  But she gave up this project. She has never thought of going to Switzerland, still less to Hungary, where, having once been Queen, she could not have lived as a simple individual, and where her presence would have caused disturbances and plots.  She therefore willingly accepted the invitation of the King of Spain and has no intention of leaving that country.

"Zita does not personally interest herself in political affairs.  She has entrusted that part to the brother of her husband, Archduke Max, who keeps in contact with the Hungarian royalists.  But for the moment nothing is being plotted; it is a period of patience and waiting."

The New York Times believes that the "high personage" is her cousin, Don Jaime, Duke of Madrid.  He lives for most of the year in the Villa del Borboni, which is located in a pine forest the surrounds Zita's castle.    The entire area was once owned by the Dukes of Parma.  Zita inherited the castle from her father, Duke Roberto.  Don Jaime inherited his home from his mother, who was Duke Roberto's sister, who was the first wife of the late Duke of Madrid, Don Carlos, Carlist pretender to the Spanish throne.

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