Thursday, January 31, 2019

Archduke Rudolf - the latest news.

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 January 31, 1889

The Fremdenblatt, an Austrian newspaper, is reporting that "Crown Prince Rudolf left Vienna on Monday in a Court carriage for Breitenfurth, where a cab was waiting to convey him to Mayerling.  The Crown Prince, however, preferred to walk the distance and did not use the cab.  During the walk he conversed cheerfully with the guests who accompanied him."

The paper's dispatch, which was been published by the New York Times, adds that the Crown Prince and his friends went on a hunting expedition on Tuesday.  After returning to Mayerling,  the Crown Prince "complained of a headache and retired to his room."  He sent a telegram of the palace "stating that he would be unable to attend the imperial dinner which was to be given that evening."

On Wednesday morning, he was awoke before 7 a.m, and "summoned his old servant, Johann, " asking for breakfast to be served at 7:30.  The valet brought his breakfast at the "appointed time" and was "horrified to find the Crown Prince dead in his bed."

The valet rushed out the room to inform Count Hoyos and Prince Philipp of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, both of whom hurried to the Crown Prince's room.   Prince Philipp was "overpowered by grief," remained in the bedroom.  Count Hoyos immediately called for a carriage to return to Vienna to inform the Emperpr and Empress.
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 The Count arrived at the Hofburg at 11:30 a.m., and was immediately "ushered into the private study of the Emperor."  Count Hoyos remained with the Emperor for fifteen minutes before the Emperor "hastened to the Empress" to inform her about the death of their son.  She was "greatly shocked, but after a few minutes she was able to control her grief as she accompanied her husband to Crown Princess Stephanie's apartments where she was informed about her husband's death.   Franz Josef and Elisabeth had "great difficulty in dissuading" the Crown Princess from going to Mayerling.

Franz Josef retired to his private apartments until 3:00 p.m,, when he gave the order to bring Rudolf's body back to Vienna.  Rudolf's body was brought to Baden's train station for the final ride back to Vienna. The train left the station at 12:20 this morning.   Those already in the station were asked to quietly leave.

The Grand Master of the Imperial Household, Prince of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst arrived at at 12:34. The funeral train arrived at the station fifteen minutes later.   The coffin, covered in a velvet pall, was placed in a carriage driven by six horses, for the procession to the Hofburg,, where a large crowd had already gathered.
The coffin was then taken to the late Crown Prince's apartments.

The Crown Princess was the first to place a wreath on her husband's coffin.  She was followed by her daughter, young Archduchess Elisabeth, who "brought a wreath of moss roses entwined with white ribbons."

The Emperor's elder daughter, Archduchess Gisela and her husband Prince Leopold of Bavaria,  arrived at the Hofburg earlier today.  They were met at the railroad station by a grieving Emperor.

An autopsy will take place tonight, after which the body will be embalmed.'

Franz Josef saw his son for the last time on Sunday night at the German Embassy in honor of German Emperor Wilhelm II.

All the members of the Imperial family are now in Vienna or are on their way.

The Neue Freie Press has been confiscated "for publishing a report that the Crown Prince had been shot at Mayerling."

In London, the Prince of Wales paid his respects at the Austrian Embassy.  He plans to go to the funeral, but will respect the Emperor's "desire for a private funeral."

It is being reported in Paris that Rudolf "was shot by the husband of a lady who was staying at Mayerling."


BlueSaphire70 said...

So the version of his suicide is incorrect? I thought that he and his lover, Baroness Vetsera, took part in a murder-suicide. Was that ever confirmed?

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Greg King has a marvelous book on the subject ... It took decades for the entire story to see the light ... versions of his death changed in the first few days. I will continue to update story.