February 1, 1889
The cause of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria's death has been officially announced. The Weiner Zeitung states: " Prof.Wiederhofer, who performed the autopsy on the body of Crown Prince Rudolf, found a large wound in the side of the head, which must have caused instant death. The revolver, with one chamber discharged, was found on the bedside close to the right hand of the dead Prince. The position in which proves beyond doubt that the Crown Prince committed suicide. The pericranium was torn and the skull bones were partially shattered."
The report also stated that no one heard the shot as Crown Prince Rudolf's "attendants having left the house to make preparations for a hunting excursion." Several members of the Crown Prince's entourage have spoken about the Crown Prince's "final few weeks" where he had "manifested signs of morbid nervous excitement." In the view of the Wiener Zeitung, the "shooting was the result of temporary mental derangement.
The Crown Prince's will, which was made three years ago, leaves his entire property to his daughter, Archduchess Elisabeth, with the exception of Mayerling and Lacroma, an island. His widow, Crown Princess Stephanie, retains a life interest in the estate.
It has been "fully confirmed" that the Crown Prince spoke to several "intimate friends" in his final days "showed an utter weariness of life and betrayed great nervous excitement."
Prince Henry of Prussia, the younger brother of Kaiser Wilhelm II, will attend the funeral. Emperor Franz Josef made the request to the German Emperor to not attend the funeral.
Many believe, including those in Parliamentary circles, that "much of the truth" about the Crown Prince's death, remains concealed.
For more information about Mayerling, Greg King's book, Twilight of Empire, is excellent.