September 4, 1934
King Vittorio Emanuele and Queen Elena met today with former Austrian Empress Zita to discuss a marriage between Princess Maria and Archduke Otto. The "royal conclave" has approved of the engagement of the Italian sovereigns' youngest daughter to the pretender to the Austrian throne.
N o official announcement was made, although Prince Felix, husband of Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg, who has been visiting former Empress Zita, formed the engagement to the Associated Press. Prince Felix and Grand Duchess Charlotte were present at the meeting. He is Zita's younger brother, and a Prince of Bourbon-Parma by birth.
The official announcement has been delayed "pending clarification of Otto's position in reference to the restoration of the monarchy in Austria and Hungary."
The King and Queen of Italy, accompanied by the "pretty Princess Maria," arrived without ceremony at the semi-deserted Villa Pianore, near Viareggio. The royal family were driven from their summer palace at San Rossore directly to the villa where Zita and her family have been living for the last month.
Zita welcomed the king and queen and Princess Maria into her drawing room. The 19-year-old Princess Maria remained with her parents as the plans for the betrothal were "quickly settled," according to a member of Zita's entourage.
Seven of Zita's eight children were at the Villa: Archduchess Adelheid, Archduke Robert, Archduke Felix, Archduke Carl, Archduke Rudolf, Archduchess Charlotte and Archduchess Elisabeth.
Archduke Otto, who will turn 22 in November, was not present for the family meeting. He was "hunting elk" in Sweden.