Rudolph liked to say he would rather be the president of the United States of the Danube than emperor of the Habsburg Empire.
Rudolph was the inbred son of Francis Joseph and the most famously beautiful woman in the world: Sisi.
Instead of 16 branches on his family tree Rudolph ‘enjoyed’ only 11 and most of those branches were ‘Wittelsbach’ as in The Wittelsbach Bane. You know …. like in….
‘And I know I am insane!’ Ludwig of Bavaria bellows proudly to his kindred! ‘Cue the Wagner please! I am about to ascend to Valhalla!’
Rudolph grew up isolated from his family. His famous parents were remote and mostly absentee. Surrogate parents such as his nanny Wowo and his tutor Latour tried but could not provide the love and security that children require to grow up happy and well adjusted.
Rudolph might see his family at Christmas for two hours. Then there might be maybe a week during Francis Joseph’s birthday celebrations watching everyone grovel to Mr. I command to be obeyed! And maybe there might be some time in the autumn during war games as his parents hunted and held lavish parties while watching the annual war games roll out. That was pretty much it. The rest of the time it was 13 hours six days a week minus friends with an army of 50 tutors. Rudolph grew up feeling there had to be something wrong with him if his parents did not love him.
Contrary to Hollywood images of him, Rudolph saw himself as a modern man.
He never saw himself as Mr. Mayerling the doomed star crossed lover of Love & Death.
Rudolph was a modern man thrilled by the ‘Ocean of Light’ as he described electricity. He looked forward to the Twentieth Century and all of its glorious modernity.
Rudolph was trained personally by Carl Menger of the Vienna School of Economics as well as other elite scholars and scientists.
Rudolph loathed anything antiquated and medieval. He loathed the fuddy duddy.
He was an Anglophile and Francophile and Americanophile. He was also a notorious Jew Lover (in every sense of the word including rumors of a Jewish bastard sent to America with the help of an American friend General Longstreet).
Rudolph traveled to remote Spain and the Near East. He took a scientific trip down the Danube and then explored Great Britain to discover its industrial and economic triumph.
Rudolph also helped to organize every sort of convention and world’s fair for his country to display and promote the latest technological marvels and gizmos which the Victorian Era was as obsessed with as today. Inventions were pouring out of an industrial cornucopia which was transforming the world. Alas only Bohemia was industrialized. Rudolph loved science and technology as much as he ignored the arts and music and fuddy duddy medieval mucky muck. And ironically that included romantic mucky muck. One of his secretaries wrote in his memoirs that Rudolph never liked talking about sex or romance or listening to others talk about sex or romance. He was actually rather a prude and his manner of speech was overly scientific and profoundly unromantic. In short he was a Victorian geek and nerd.
Rudolph saw himself as an organic machine. A biological Babbage Computer.
His concept of art was a blueprint and his concept of sculpture was an engine and his concept of music was the chatter of the world wide telegraphic interface (the Victorian version of the internet).
Rudoph hated Prussia Germany after the crushing defeat of Koniggratz by Iron & Blood Bismarck who casually redrew the borders of Europe with a snap of his fingers while raping Belgium and threatening to flatten beautiful Paris while threatening to stable the Kaiser’s horses in the Hofburg— courtesy of a pin rifle. That later led to Rudolph’s obsession with modern gunnery. His empire was reduced to a historic jumble table of used antiques to be pilfered because of a gun.
Francis Joseph hoped the humiliating Prussian Austrian Treaty would stop the Imperial Second Reich from devouring his moldering old empire.
But Bismarck had a secret treaty with Russia which nullified the tattered treaty which Francis Joseph clutched to his chest as if a security blankie.
Willy openly bellowed at Victoria’s Jubilee that he intended to march into Vienna and gently shove Francis Joseph aside and show him how a ‘real’ Kaiser ruled! While bellowing about looking to the east in the next war while gesturing with a gaudy ring sheathed finger at Austro Poland and Galicia! While also bellowing about the need for more ports while gesturing with a bracelet festooned hand at ports of France and Belgium! While adjusting his latest kitsch fashionista uniform while bellowing about why the British and the Dutch had so many colonies instead of the Imperial Second Reich and how that should be corrected! While calendaring another hunting lodge orgy with his ‘Darling Circle’ of Gay Camarilla chaps who inclined to poodle costumes with unique openings for Junkers in tutus and feather hats to do something really novel while Willy watched while fussing with his jeweled whip and anyway Where was I? Oh yes! And Willy adding more fantasy metals to his kitsch fashionista uniform while drawing up invasion plans to seize Cuba and the West Indies and even attack Boston and New York!
Everyone desperately hoped Willy was just being silly while his wife desperately hoped that Willy just like playing the voyeur and did not actually join in the Gay Gallops and Sodomite Ballets with Junkers dressed in tutus and feathered hats. And everyone desperately hoped his father Frederick would rule after Wilhelm I for a really really long time. Alas, Willy became Kaiser at the callow age of 28.
The post WW 1 revelation of the ‘September Program’ and ‘Space For Life’ proved that when Willy bellowed about his place in the sun he really, really, really meant it. Tragically, while Hitler despise Willy he adopted all of Willy’s grand plans so the Imperial Second Reich spawned the Nazi Third Reich.
Once Willy devoured France and cannibalized Belgium he would have the Dutch in a pincer to nibble like an after dinner mint at his leisure leaving Britain for breakfast the next day when his hunger for world conquest returned. Then Willy would not need Francis Joseph to secure one vulnerable flank. A midnight snack perhaps?
Then Willy meant to cannibalize Austria , industrial Bohemia, Austro Poland, Galicia, and cut a deal with Russia to give Russia Austro Hungary’s Slav Hinterland and full control of the Balkans to buy off Russian threats to the Reich’s eastern flank leaving Hungary as powerless as tiny bitter Serbia. And incredibly —Willy is on record saying this!
Rudolph even had whores of Mrs. Wolfe telling Rudolph about how Willy boasted of all of this while trying to prove what an amazing lover he was as if over compensating for other inadequacies beside his withered hand. Mrs. Wolfe clearly was not amused by Willy’s clientage — especially as he declined to pay his bills at her elite establishment — if she was willing to violate the sanctity of the brothel confessional to provide Rudolph with such tasty tidbits for the autumn newspaper wars being waged between Berlin and Rudolph’s liberal syndicates.
But apparently Prime Minster Taaffe choose to not route any of these explosive gibbering by Willy into the Inner Sanctum of Francis Joseph where the aging tyrant only read such newspaper clippings, color underlined, as Taaffe was willing to provide while signing tons of meaningless busy work such as the Corrupt Camarilla provided to keep him too busy to understand what was really happening before spending hours designing new uniforms before savoring his beloved Red Book of Regulations.
Francis Joseph was clutching a blankie of a treaty that guaranteed absolutely nothing while the Corrupt Camarilla ran rings around him while Taaffe adopted as the national policy ‘Fortwursteln: Muddling Through . So Rudolph was as suspicious of the Imperial Second Reich as Francis Joseph was terrified yet impotent.
If Rudolph had his way Austro Hungary would join France, Belgium, and Britain in an Entente being promoted by Wales to cage the Hohenzollern Eagle.
Rudolph felt stifled and frustrated by his fading empire which was moldering as it stumbled toward the cliffs of ruination.
Rudoloph was frustrated why the Vienna worshiped Francis and Sisi instead of modern technology. He was frustrated why the Viennese saw electricity as a fad, a toy, not as the amazing potential to transform the world. He was frustrated that the telephone exchange was rationing telephone time and half of the ten minutes of that ration of precious time was spend on Spanish Etiquette. He was frustrated that the ‘Blue Paper’ as expedited ‘twitter’ style telegrams were called were being held up by lack of modern wire and hydraulic technology. He was frustrated why the new automobiles and motorcycles were being discouraged and he could not speed across town except by horse and carriage.
He was frustrated that the Hofburg was encircled by antiquated rituals and slow motion stagnation.
He was frustrated that most Viennese lived in the past and feared the future. It was as if the Viennese saw themselves trapped in the Fin De Siecle. The End Of the Century.
The Fin de Siecle. The End of the Century incarnated. Rudolph wanted to rush into the modern Century incarnate. The Twentieth Century. He could not wait to exit the Ninetieth Century fast enough!
Rudolph did not see himself as great lover or some decadent archduke.
He saw himself a scientist, a biologist, a zoologist, an ornithologist (bird lover), an economist trained by Carl Menger of the Vienna School of Economics, a linguist, a scholar, and lover of all thing technological, a Darwinist, and a professional soldier. He spent his time doing modern things. He even saw his job as a professional soldier as modern.
He hated the parade grounds pomp and circumstances of pointless cavalry charges when the Maxim Machine Gun and Modern Artillery was rendering the entire concept of romantic war as dead as the dodo. He brooded on battles like Koniggratz which introduced modern industrialized war and he especially brooded on blitzkrieg. Lighting War.
He knew if Austro Hungary could not modernize it would not survive the arrival of the Twentieth Century.
Rudolph saw American tycoons arriving to be ‘civilized’ by Vienna but found it tragically ironic that his nation’s only claim to fame was teaching Robber Barons like Vanderbilt and Carnegie how to be genteel. Meanwhile, any citizen of the fading empire who dreamed dreams only dreamed of immigrating to America.
Rudolph was certainly the poorest prince in Europe. His Habsburg stipend at the time of his death was equal to that of four times the income of an university professor. 45,000 guilders.He also had a military income. 800 guilders per month. So when Countess Larisch and Mary Vetsera tried to extort 10,000 guilders from him that represented one fourth of his income. And he was expected to pay his entire staff, mess bills, servants, expenses, charities, hobbies, traveling expenses, and diplomatic expensies out of that. No wonder he was always in debt. And he had no castles, palaces, townhouses, estates, or luxurious retreats. He lived in expensive places. Sure. Grace & Favor at the good will of Francis Joseph. That is not the same thing as owning a home.
There are endless mythic descriptions of expensive cigarette cases to be bestowed by Spanish Etiquette to lovers per social rank. But not one such cigarette case has ever has materialized. It was a myth perpetuated by his handler Bombelles to sell Rudolph as a glamorous prince. But Rudolph was a working prince.
Rudolph could only afford to buy Mayerling after he became Inspector General. It was a converted farm estate in the suburbs one half hour by commuter train.
It was a working retreat. Bare white washed stone walls. Cold. Damp. No modern luxuries. No security whatsoever. His ground level bedroom featured oversized ground level windows and shutters that were outside so there was absolutely no security.
And often Rudolph would help Bratfisch his cabbie extraordinaire to cook the evening meal. His few servants were local peasants whose concept of dressing up was washing their hands and wiping the mud off their peasant boots. Fortunately the dress code was informal. No one was expected to dress up. Boss or guests or anyone. Mayerling as notoriously — casual and informal.
Mayerling was even shockingly —- casual and informal. Except for his daughter, Rudolph only invited between two and five men to hunt. Loschek probably had to transport linens in large baskets because of the damp and crudeness of the place made laundry impossible. The stables was run by the local Don Juan Peasant Lover called Weiner whose bastards populated the stables as stable boys. The brothers Max and Otto were the male servants. Occasionally there was a cook hired from Vienna when Rudolph invited guests who expected fancy cooking. Though Rudolph suffered from anorexia nervosa he was the fussbudget type to worry about guests. But this part time cook would be the sole female if she was asked to come at al. — the greedy sort who pilfered the house hold accounts and was not above nicking the wallets left in the billiards room. And believe it or not there were wallets by men with titles in left in the billiard room and they were nicked after Mayerling. But good cooks were hard to find so Rudolph put up with her venal greed. However Rudolph was also the type to prefer to help Bratfisch cook the fruits of the hunt. In sort guy food! Barbecue!
The Wolfe Brothers were likewise locals who did all of the hard chores in an era before modern technology or cleaning or sanitation. That included the daily cleaning out the ash and soot of fireplaces as well as slops which had to be done when Rudolph was out hunting. So the Wolfes were booked to come based on hunting times. For instance on January 30th the Wolfes were booked to come in the wee hours of pre dawn because Rudolph was expected to be out hunting before dawn which was around 7:00. For some curious reason Loschek told the Wolfes to go home —- before Bratfisch told Wodiczka to likewise go home — all before 7:30 AM when Loschek officially became ‘concerned’ about the state of his master’s health — possibly because Rudolph was apparently and most mysteriously not following his normal early raising predawn hunt routine —- and neither was Loschek! How house hold chores foul up conspiracies! But I digress!
Despite fireplaces it was extremely cold in the winter. If Loschek did not keep the fire going and keep refilling hot water bottles for the bed the bedroom would be freezing. There was no modern bathroom at all. Water had to be laboriously boiled for washing in hip baths or else basins and to shave with. And a gentleman expected his valet to warm up the freezing bedroom and have the hot water boiled and also hot coffee and the clothing laid out before being waken and assisted in washing and dressing. The valet also took care of the gunnery though Rudolph’s OCD probably meant he had a cleaning fetish about gunnery which he laboriously cleaned himself instead of tossing to Loschek.
Hunting featured the usual predawn raise around 3:30 AM or 4:00 AM and Rudolph was actually a rather notorious early raiser like his father. Rain or shine or work or pleasure the official events of the day started at 7:00 AM and pre dawn hunts started at well—- predawn. So Loschek was expected to come into the freezing bedroom around 3:00 or 3:30 at the very latest to light the fireplace to warm the freezing room up before boiling water for bathing and shaving and laying out hunting gear in order for Rudolph to be up between 4:00 and 5:00 AM and out and about by 7:00 AM come rain or shine or mud or show or ice. A predawn hunt means getting up well before predawn. Francis Joseph despised anyone who did not have the guts to hunt despite all weather so his son likewise hunted in all weather. And Francis Joseph hunted in all weather usually starting at predawn. So Rudolph was expected to do the same. In fact Rudolph often hunted in the wilderness with only sleeping boxes or crude hunting huts before he got Mayerling.
And Mayerling never saw any orgies and in fact only hosted between two and five male hunters or else Rudolph’s child Erzsi. And a lot of the time Rudolph used Mayerling as his suburb office.
Bratfisch later described the last days at Mayerling. He described helping Rudolph to bring in BRIEFCASES OF WORK IN ANTICIPATION OF DOING WORK BECAUSE NO ONE ANTICIPATED MARY INVITING HERSELF WHILE WAVING A FORGED INVITATION.
Rudolph then ignored Mary locked up in the Stephanie Suite and toiled for the last day of his life on an academic article while handling a crisis over a defense bill in Budapest over the use of German as the command language. The crisis started when Rudolph was in his garret office in the Hofburg. He even waited for telegrams from Budapest before departing for Mayerling. Rudolph spent the last day of his life sending endless telegrams to Budapest and calendaring an appointment with the poor chap to train immediately to Vienna so Rudolph could personally confront him and bellow at him. Then Rudolph spent two hours complaining to Hoyos about the poor chap instead of relaxing despite the fact both men knew what would probably happen when Coburg trained back to Mayerling from Vienna. So Rudolph was working up to the last moments of his life. I know what the movies show but alas facts are so disappointing!
Stephanie came once to Mayerling to force Rudolph to build a Stephanie Suite on the top floor which connected to the lower bedroom by a back stair case. But that was normally kept locked — though of course a greedy cook would have access to below stairs keys if someone locked in the Stephanie Suite offered her a bribe…… and why didn’t Loschek just use the below stairs keys anyway….. or just have burly Bratfisch just kick in the door….. or just walk around to the large ground level windows with shutters outside which meant the bedroom had absolutely no security whatsoever and just open a window and climb inside….. but I digress!
Rudolph live as grace and favor of Francis Joseph. So he could be evicted at any time from any royal digs. And there are actual references to Francis Joseph and especially Sisi requesting that Rudolph NOT COME while they occupied various royal digs. In the Hofburg he was assigned disjointed rooms in a lessor wing. No heat other than smoky fireplaces. Whitewashed walls. Tarnished gilt. Odds and ends of expensive but mismatched antiques from royal storerooms. Impossibly hot in the summer. Impossibly cold in the winter.
One scholar arrived for a meeting and found Rudolph in his garret office trying to sleep in the notorious Vienna heat in his military underwear on the window sill. Both men drenched in sweat. The scholar still got his business settled timely by a blasé Rudolph. That was the real reality behind the apparent glamour of the Hofburg.
No running water. No bathroom. No toilet. One hip bath. Two buckets. One water basin and pitcher. Chamber pot. Latrine outside or else a slops bucket. The only heat a smoky fireplace. At other palaces he lived in rooms garnished by mildrew and damp. His officer military barracks were standard issue. Orgies there? Well perhaps but Mizzi Casper was more often than not his camp follower rather than some busty peasant.
While Francis Joseph threw out all of the stops for the pomp and circumstances wedding it was to keep up with the parvenu Jones called the Coburgs of Belgium, a greedy family of Catholic johnny-come-lately social climbers who were the sort to count the family silver and then nick a piece. Stephanie’s first demand on meeting Rudolph was how big her engagement ring would be , what palaces she would expect to enjoy, how fast Francis Joseph would die so she would achieve her sole goal in life of being Empress, and how expensive her wedding would be—- with Francis Joseph footing the bill.
Rudolph’s honeymoon suite in a drafty old castle featured no curtains, no bed sheets, no pillows, no rugs, no heat, no hot water bottles, the water pitcher frozen, no food ready, all but no staff aware he was even coming, not even flowers to welcome a disgusted Stephanie who never ever forgave her in-laws for that for as long as she lived. Francis Joseph spent millions to pleased Sisi. No one spent a guilder to help Rudolph.
Stephanie should have sympathized with Rudolph for his mother’s shockingly cavalier, back handed treatment of her own son but instead Stephanie ranted narcissistically only about her own sufferings at the back handed treatment by Sisi. The marriage went down hill from there. In five years they only managed to birth one child, a girl, dynastically useless.
In fact Rudolph usually lived in the roof of the Hofburg in a garret located next to rooms where raw meat hung to age and also taxidermy rooms. So it was the fanciest garret in Europe. His pet ravens felt right at home. Rooftop back doors facilitated secret meetings with — with men like Clemenceau or Jews like Baron Hirsch or Szeps the newspaper syndicate ally of Rudolph. Or else Carl Menger who was the Jewish head of the Vienna School of Economics.
Jews were not allowed in the Hofburg. Once when Rudolph entertained Wales they were publically challenged at a night club when Wales and Rudolph invited a close friend, Baron Hirsch the famous builder of the Transcontinental Orient Express Railroad Corridor. Hirsch was one of Europe’s most famous philanthropists. Both princes considered Hirsch to be a close friend.To Wales and Rudolph’s embarrassment the billionaire was politely asked to leave. The refined place did not serve Jews.
When Stephanie the Rubber Princess moved into the Hofburg she complained to the world about its primitiveness to embarrass her in-laws. Then she spent some of her Congo blood money on installing the first functioning bathroom —- but Rudolph was not allowed in. Her suite of rooms were located next to his disjointed rooms. That symbolized their disjointed lives.
Rudolph finished his garret and disjointed rooms with whatever stuff he found in storerooms. Antiques no one else wanted. Leftovers of exotica from a visit of the Shah of Persia. Machines and technology and endless displays of biology and botany and taxidermy filled the rooms as if a museum. Mineral displays next to bird eggs next to maps next to books next to guns next to elaborate taxidermy dioramas. It was fortunate Rudolph was not famous for orgies because a courtesan would be hard pressed to find the space between the taxidermy diorama displays. His bedroom became his natural history museum. One display featured a dying wild Polish prehistoric horse being attacked by wolves. Another featured every form of predator bird. When his great eagle displays were ready he all but wept for joy like the Victorian geek and nerd he was.
The Vienna Natural Museum got three eagles . Rudolph’s personal natural history museum ie his bedroom got two eagles. His bed was an English wrought iron bed. Not king size. His books and newspapers and dogs were everywhere. But contrary to Hollywood no glamorous females. Rudolph’s idea of a midnight rendezvous was with Clemenceau the French statesman and in-law to Szeps.
Rudolph saw Baron Hirsch or the Prince of Wales more often than his infamous Archduke relations or bimbos.
Archduke Otto was quite peeved that his infamous escapades were always attributed to Rudolph. Otto was very proud of his infamous escapades. Rudolph once threatened to sue newspapers for linking Otto’s escapades to him. The politician who claimed Rudolph jumped a horse over a coffin during a graveside burial quickly retracted the rumors —- especially after Rudolph got the reporters laughing by stressing that his reputation for riding was so bad it was all but libelous to attribute Otto’s amazing horse jump over a coffin to him!
Rudolph’s queasy approach to escapades was perhaps fortunate because one of his only genuine affairs was with Helen Vetsera the mother of Mary. Yep! A Vetsera old enough to be his mother. Ok. Let’s pass on!
His father openly ridiculed Rudolph for failing to ‘raise to the occasion’ with ‘sanitation countesses’ sent to try to teach his hopelessly geek son how to fornicate like his father who was a famous fornicator. Rudolph was so scared of sex had to be drunk to copulate. In sort he was psychologically impotent long before he became physically impotent.
Did this connect to the child abuse he suffered under the ‘Brutal Colonel’ Count Gondrecort? No one knows. But Rudolph grew up associating beds with fear: guns going off at night over his tiny head by terrorizing bogeymen, bed wetting, nightmares, night terrors, and acute insomnia. Clearly Rudolph was abused but no one knows to this day everything the ‘Brutal Colonel’ did to the six year old boy.
Rudolph became psychologically impotent long before he became physically impotent from gonorrhea. But he never had syphilis. They are two totally different STDs. Gonorrhea causes sterility. It is called a life preventer. Syphilis is called a life destroyer. Big difference of STDs. Don’t mix them up please! To mix up gonorrhea with syphilis is like mixing up herpes with Aids. Per proven evidence and pharmacy ledgers and medical treatments Rudolph was treated once for gonorrhea and never for syphilis. If his court doctor suspected syphilis and refused to treat Rudolph for syphilis he would have been committing medical malpractice and treason. He treated Rudolph once for gonorrhea.
Rudolph did become sterile and impotent. It made pissing painful. It sped up his glaucoma but his weak eyes were already deteriorating before 86. But gonorrhea does not drive a man insane. Rudolph already had arthritis and phantom muscle/bone pains from anxiety depression (exactly like his mother Sisi) but gonorrhea does not cause that except around the loins. So that was the only physical impact of the disease. The sterility was a problem but later Franz Ferdinand became heir apparent after agreeing to disinherit his children so the lack of heirs was not critical to the Habsburg Dynasty which did not follow a straight biological line of succession. And as for Rudolph’s receding hair line, that is biological. Rudolph looked almost exactly like his pater who went bald in his early thirties .
As Rudolph was already psychologically impotent his impotence from gonorrhea was not pivotal. Everything indicated he had a low sex drive. His neurosis caused that long before gonorrhea hit. He was not a Don Juan like his father who only lost his sex drive much later in life after too many reinfections of gonorrhea.
Despite rumors of 30 bastards Rudolph only faced scandalous rumors over one Jewish bastard and never ever got Mizzi pregnant (who never had gonorrhea) and in almost six years he could only get Stephanie pregnant once. Anxiety Depression plus Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (which Rudolph suffered symptoms no less than Anxiety and Depression as well as possible OCD ) originating from child abuse flattens the sex drive. (Unlike Bipolar which heightens the sex drive). If Rudolph was also sexually abused as well as emotionally and physically abused then the sex drive would be flattened even further. It was and still is routine to assign Otto’s sexual misadventures to Rudolph. That is sloppy reporting.
Like his mother Sisi, Rudolph’s Wittelsbach fragility caused him to almost die when infected by gonorrhea. The photographs used to prove his suicidal inclinations in 1889 were these 1886 photographs during and after gonorrhea. Again. Don’t mix up STDs or photographs! This is not normal of gonorrhea which even Francis Joseph along with 30% of the Imperial Army and upper class suffered from. Sisi almost died of gonorrhea as well when Francis Joseph infected or else reinfected her.
The illustration above shows that the famous ‘Death Stare Face’ taken after the 1886 gonorrhea bout. The young face is a year or two before. The Bearded Face and Hungarian Mustache Face are June of 88 just before the war games and around the time of Mayerling . One of his secretaries in his memoirs wrote that by the time of Mayerling the mustached Rudolph was over his concussion symptoms and was once again fencing at his mess club and riding and hunting aggressively despite his poor eyesight and fear of getting fat which plagued him his whole life. Rudolph was not dying. So don’t be melodramatic. A man who puts in between 10, 20, 30, even 40 civic and royal and military events and meetings daily while traveling the country extensively while matching Francis Joseph mano y mano in workaholic work is not a man who is dying.
Rudolph had arthritis, migraines, glaucoma, and asthma. The latter three illnesses required his Victorian doctor to prescribe morphine (not good!) and dark glasses and goggles which today would be considered so chic! Alas in the Victorian Age everyone considered dark glasses and goggles bad and morphine good! That is not good! But Rudolph was not dying though he was realizing that his doctor’s reckless over prescription of morphine was not good. Rudolph was struggling stay off morphine (weaning proven in the court pharmacy ledger). But he was also simply replacing morphine with alcohol to self medicate for Anxiety Depression -PTSD-OCD. That was not good but it was predictable. But Rudolph was not dying.
Stephanie’s attempt to poison Rudolph was not helpful (please see Rudolph: A man and his demons) but despite Stephanie’s encouragement of aiding and abetting Rudolph’s decline and fall (including signing out poison late in 88 so please read the Paramatta Mystery ) Rudolph was stubbornly defying everyone by refusing to keel over and die. No wonder Albrecht later ordered his Roll Commandos to shot Rudolph on January 30th at 6:30 A.M. if Rudolph continued to stubbornly refuse to take his own life and die (please read Taaffe’s Metal Box). Clearly reports of Rudolph’s dying was overstated and in fact appear to be a post Mayerling paper trail to belatedly explain his death.
The Dead Man Walking dribble was spread by the Rubber Princess who was not even living with Rudolph and wanted him dead. So much so she tried to poison him with arsenic before signing out more poison just before Mayerling. This is not rumor. Pages of the official court pharmacy ledger were found torn and replaced by different pages pasted in. Post Mayerling. The Rubber Princess was so used to backdating she accidentally pasted in a page of ‘benign drugs’ signed The Crown Princess Widow Stephanie. Oops! Now. And previously Rudolph’s symptoms included symptoms that amazingly matched symptoms of arsenic! What do you think the Rubber Princess, frantic to keep her boy toy, would sign out which she did not want anyone to know about? And Gosh! She told her boy toy six weeks before Mayerling that Rudolph would commit suicide with poison. Gosh! I wonder how she knew? And it did not even go down that way! Though apparently someone gave the unstable Mary a poison which no commercial pharmacy would have allowed her to sign out. Gosh! I wonder how Mary got that poison? (so please read the Paramatta Mystery!)
Mother and son had a very close physical genetics and shared the same health problems, phobia toward being fat, and fragile reaction to gonorrhea which was unusual. Francis Joseph despised Rudolph because of his physical fragility which was exactly like Sisi. Francis Joseph forgive Sisi everything. He never forgive Rudolph anything.
And Rudolph’s definition of a wild night on the town was either a timid visit to Mrs. Wolfe’ elite brothel or else the flat of Mizzi Caspar (where Mrs. Caspar also lived). Let me repeat the logical conclusion of that housing arrangement: Rudolph lived with Mizzi Caspar and her mother. Ok. So much for Hollywood!
Mizzi Caspar was a sweet girl’ ie amateur lower middle class part time whore. Not a professional. Not a street doxie. Not a fashionable courtesan. Just a sweet girl. Rudolph moved in with her and she became his ‘Camilla’ .
Evidence exists to indicate that Rudolph even took her to Belgium to meet the Rubber Princess. She was seen in his barracks and he took her on military exercises. Up to the last weeks of his life he told people he loved MC. He spent his last night in Vienna with MC.
No. She is not pretty or titled or glamorous. Like Charles and his significant other, Rudolph and MC were lovers. Real. Genuine. Eternal. Beyond Hollywood’s understanding. Beyond anyone’s understanding. MC was his sweet girl.
Rudolph was required to attend First Estate events which Francis Joseph and Sisi did not want to attend but which required a Royal. But Rudolph actually preferred a humble night at a heurigen club where ordinary people enjoyed solid but not rich food and plain beer and new wine. Stephanie went once and sneered it as vulgarian. After that Rudolph went with Mizzi Caspar. It is not known if they went with or without Mrs. Caspar.
In London Rudolph rarely could stay at the Embassy. He stayed in hotels which had standing contracts to house minions of the Austro Hungarian government who were not important enough to stay at the Embassy. That usually translated into a small hotel in Mayfair.
And Sisi would actually ask that Rudolph not appear when she was entertaining in London. His presence embarrassed her. However Rudolph did have one genuine friend. The Prince of Wales. Despite the twenty year age gap they really liked each other.
Scotland Yard, Paris Secret Services, and Belgium Secret Services all expressed shock when Rudolph would debark from a public train in their cities with his briefcases and gun bags with Loschek frantically gathering up the minimal luggage sans pomp and circumstances and also sans bodyguards or security or even advance warning for the host country to rush security to protect him. The Austro Hungarian Embassies never bothered to alert the cities that their Crown Prince was coming so the cities at least could plan security even if the Embassies could not bother to provide security for their own Crown Prince.
By the last months of Rudolph’s life the Scotland Yard, Belgium Secret Services, and Parisian Secret Services were all frantically trying to warn the Hofburg that Rudolph was appallingly unprotected while rumors of assassination were racheting upwards. Berlin sinisterly suggested that in 1889 one of the two males of the Habsburg Royal Family would die. Bismarck boasted that he enjoyed the amazing good luck to see his enemies die at exactly the right time.
During his last Balkans trip Rudolph was warned that there would be threats on his life. He updated his will and left an ironical letter of fair well to the Rubber Princess and went anyway. Two years later, after Mayerling, these two documents were used as evidence to prove suicide. Two years after being written. The handwriting proves it. Rudolph suffered from growing carnal tunnel in his right hand from hand writing hundreds of letters a week. (Like Prince Charles he was addicted to letter writing). It was a fairly common condition and many Victorians suffered from it including the writer of ‘Peter Pan’ Sir Barrie. In the last six months of Rudolph’s life his handwriting changed. But most curiously not the supposed Stephanie death letter or other supposed death letters found at Mayerling alongside a genuine letter dated the day he died to an editor named Weilen pleading for more time to finish an article about Godollo which was in his new handwriting afflicted by carnal tunnel. So this supposed death letter was written two years prior to Mayerling and it was written just before going to the Balkans after continuous threats on his life. Ok. Lets pass over the irony of this so-called evidence of suicide shall we?
In the last two years of his life there was endless rumors of threats on his life and the Scotland Yard was frantic.
Scotland Yard was frantic about threats to the life of Rudolph. But not Prime Minister Taaffe or the notorious Vienna Secret Police or the Hofburg or Francis Joseph or Sisi or Stephanie who appeared utterly blasé about threats to Rudolph’s life. Rudolph openly said he would be assassinated and he openly said that Franz Ferdinand would be the heir apparent. Not Rudolph. Is that suicidal when four major national police agencies were warning that Rudolph ‘s life was in danger and one of two male Habsburg Royals were predicted to die in 1889?
Taaffe later said no end of people said Rudolph was suicidal yet before Mayerling Taaffe did absolutely nothing. The Hofburg did absolutely nothing. No one did absolutely anything whatsoever? Why not? And one of those ‘testimonies’ was from the secretary who in his memoirs described his boss as self possessed, hard working, and asking him to bring extra research books to Mayerling for that vexing article he was struggling with while apologizing for the inconvenience. All the young secretary could find to complain about was Rudolph’s workaholic work loads and his volcanic temper (typical of Anxiety Depression which PTSD did not help). This same secretary also described gathering up samples of Von Holstein /Petri Berlin forgeries of Rudolph pre-carnal tunnel handwriting. Gosh! Do you smell a rat?
And today there are no police files pre – Mayerling that prove that anyone was reporting any suicidal threats by Rudolph. Surely authorities should have these files to document their amazingly failure to do anything whatsoever as a crown prince supposedly raved about killing himself? There are no files. Let me repeat: THERE ARE NO OFFICIAL FILES WHATSOEVER including no official file of Mizzi supposedly reporting Rudolph threatening to take his life. No files! Only post Mayerling rumor, gossip, and hearsay which nobody in authority did anything about whatsoever pre Mayerling. Do you smell a rat now?.
Oddly, Mary Vetsera was also telling everyone that she planned to kill herself over love of Rudolph —- ideally with Rudolph. Translation: a mad suicidal girl was openly talking about killing herself and the crown prince of the realm and no family members or secret police or Hofburg bodyguards did anything whatsoever. Zero. Zip. Nada. Nothing. Do you smell a rat now ?
Did I mention Mary’s penchant for nudity after deflowering herself in Egypt with a British officer before sleeping her way through Rudolph’s circle including Hoyos and Bombelles? Perhaps she was rehearsing for her chosen death scene:
Fortunately her mother Helen Vetsera built a huge tomb to cash in on her daughter’s spectacular exit. Die young and leave a beautiful corpse — preferably nude.
Too bad about the bludgeoning …..
Never mind …… Who cares for facts when you have myths! The Myth of Mayerling….
…..even if Rudolph spent his last night in Vienna with MC while telling everyone now much he loved MC while telling people he wished someone would do something about Mary and her unwanted and increasingly embarrassing fixation on him and …..
Never mind….. why bother……. Where was I? Oh yes! Rudolph!
Rudolph had recently been promoted to Inspector General of the Infantry which involved everything from inspecting the far flung military barracks and forts to inspecting military field hospitals to military supplies, sanitation, training, telegraphic communications to gunnery and bullets. The later led directly to his death because it led directly to the gun crisis.
Contrary to being a lounge lizard like his kin Archduke Otto (whose notorious behavior was routinely attributed to Rudolph), Rudolph traveled the country more than either of his parents. Despite fragile health and no lavish private royal train like Sisi. Rudolph was the most traveled prince of the entire Habsburg Empire. More people saw him than his famous parents. He traveled Europe and Great Britain more than any Habsburg Prince. He promoted and organized and opened more exhibitions than any Habsburg Prince. He calendar often featured 10,20, 30, 40 official meetings or events a day. After his death his father challenged Albrecht to produce a better drill manual. Albrecht ultimately (and bitterly) was forced to admit there was no better modern drill manual. The Imperial K & K adopted the Rudolph Drill Manual. Rudolph launched a 20 volume illustrated history of the Habsburg Empire. He explored Spain and the Near East and wrote books about it. He wrote hundreds of articles. Rudolph did the same work load as his workaholic father Francis Joseph up to the end of his life so why is Rudolph’s last days described as a decline and fall? Oh yes! The Concussion! And Stephanie went into grim details of Rudolph’s Decline and Fall based on symptoms of a concussion. Um……concussions heal!
Rudolph’s secretary in his memoirs said Rudolph was back riding and fencing and working insane hours by January. Concussions heal. Rudolph’s concussion was healing —- and why does no one comment about the fact Rudolph worked furiously through a serious concussion? Odd that! While no one gave him any slack or credit!
He promoted hospital modernization and the training of modern doctors and nurses. He promoted modern education for the ordinary citizen in their common tongue. He promoted keeping kids in school instead of sending them off to toil in manual labor after the age of twelve. He championed Darwin and Pasteur . He helped Baron Hirsch fund and build rural schools in Galicia. He advocated schools in the local language instead of just German and Hungarian (though he insisted that the Empire had to be bilingual and German had to be the command language for the military). He helped Baron Hirsch finish the transcontinental Orient Express Railroad Corridor and finish crucial dry docks in Trieste along with extending crucial credit lines for the Empire’s merchant marine and Mediterranean/Suez Trade.
Rudolph could speak to almost any of his citizens in their common tongue. And he loved nothing so much than talking with the ordinary people of his empire sans Spanish Etiquette or Hofburg formality.
Rudolph was not religious. Many biographies condemn him for that. But the Brutal Colonel so debased the Catholic Religion and the infamous Concordant so corrupted the church with abusive power Rudolph could be forgiven for losing his faith. He once snarled that he would rather have his children taught by a Protestant or Jew than a ‘Blackie’ ie Catholic priest. And in fact Rudolph was more comfortable with Third Estate Protestants, Freemasons, and Jews than members of his own First Estate Catholic Hochadel Aristocracy.
So Rudolph was not what Hollywood or his post death detractors said he was.
Rudolph was an unusual man. A modern man. A man of the Twentieth Century. Overworked. Nervy. Suffering from PTSD from child abuse and OCD along with Anxiety Depression.
He struggled with drugs over prescribed by his careless court doctors for asthma and migraines and arthritis (much like Sisi) and when he kicked that habit (documented by court pharmacy ledgers) he then struggled with alcohol.
Sure. He was a tragically modern man in The Capital Of Nervosa where the nervous breakdown was fashionable and suicide was going around.
But does that prove that Mayerling was suicide? Let’s study the crime of the Fin de Siecle in detail along with the Gun Crisis and the rest of Rudolph’s life before drawing the final conclusions.