July 24, 1904
Archduke Otto of Austria, the younger brother of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir presumptive to the throne, is "exceedingly ill," reports the Marquise de Fontenoy.
The archduke is second in line to the throne due to his brother's morganatic marriage. About three months ago, Otto suffered a "paralytic seizure," which left him "powerless to move." He had been confined to his palace in Vienna, but now he is recuperating at Rosenburg, where the "change of air and scene" may help in his recovery.
He is said to be "entirely helpless," while reclining in his "daily airing.
The Marquise says she called attention to this story because of the "certain amount of mystery" in connection with Archduke Otto's health. No official announcement was made about his health, even after the reports of his wife, Archduchess Maria Josefa appearing at court events without him.
There are no foundations for these rumors. Otto is the father of 17-year-old Archduke Karl, on "whom all hopes of the house of Habsburg and the Austrian nation are centered." Karl is being brought up "entirely under the supervision" of Emperor Franz Josef, who is "devoted to him. Karl will one day become the ruler of the Austro-Hungarian empire.