The inspiration for the so-called "double suicide" of the Crown Prince and Mary Vetsera came from Shake-speare's Romeo and Juliet.

Crown Prince Rudolf

Crown Prince Rudolf was sole heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne.

Rudolf was the exact opposite of his Syllabus of Errors father. He was intelligent, well read, liberal, and an author.

His dictatorial father ordered him to marry "airhead" Princess Stéphanie of Belgium.

That disastrous union took place on May 10, 1881. It led to the Mayerling Lodge murder in 1889.


Princess Stéphanie of Belgium

The Crown Prince was trapped in that unhappy marriage. All his efforts to obtain an annulment was fruitless because his father had more influence at the Vatican that Pope Leo XIII....Amazingly, the Austrian Adolf Hitler was born the very same year as the Crown Prince's assassination!

Mayerling is the Ford's Theatre or the Dealey Plaza of Austria. It is located about 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Vienna. At that time it was just a hunting lodge belonging to Crown Prince Rudolf—the sole heir to the Habsburg throne.

King eopold II (18351909).
Misruled from 1865 to 1909.

Princess Stéphanie was the second daughter of King Leopold II of Belgium.

British Belgium was founded by Leopold's father in 1830.

Princess Stéphanie was the forerunner of Jackie Kennedy.

She never actually shot her husband, but she arranged for the "double suicide" in the Mayerling Lodge.


Queen Marie Henriette

The Crown Prince hated "Kaiser Bill"—Queen Victoria's favorite grandson. King Leopold II was anxious to replace Vienna with Berlin as Europe most powerful capital, so the princess was his secret agent in Vienna!

The Mayerling Lodge where the Crown
Prince was assassinated.

According to the "official account," the Crown Prince took his own life in a double suicide with his lover, Mary Vetsera.

In reality, Mary shot him with her pistol, and then a doppelgänger took her place.

Like John Wilkes Booth, Mary was given a new identity, and the doppelgänger was buried in her place!


Franz Joseph built a Carmelite convent
on the site of the Mayerling Lodge.

There were plenty of dead females to replace Mary Vetsera because Vienna was the suicide capital of Europe at that time!

In the diabolical assassination of the only bright star in the dark Habsburg sky, the only double was the dead girl who replaced Mary Vetsera.

Buxom Mary Vetsera (b. 1871).


Crown Prince Rudolf despised the upstart Prussians; especially Queen Victoria's favorite grandson, Wilhelm II.

Mary Vetsera was the Austrian Marilyn Monroe, but unlike Marilyn, she lived to a ripe old age!


Supposedly the last photo of Mary Vetsera before her "suicide."

In 1854, Emperor Franz Joseph married the beautiful Bavarian Princess Elizabeth Wittelsbach. The House of Witterlsbach was even older that the Habsburg dynasty!

Emperor Franz Joseph (18301916)
. Misruled Austria from 1848 to 1916.

The naive 16-year-old princess had no way of knowing the dire fate that awaited her in the House of Habsburg!

No matter how beautiful, the Emperor could not be faithful to his wife, and he infected her with venereal disease!

That was the reason why she avoided him like the plague until her assassination in 1898.



Empress Elizabeth

In 1860, Empress Elizabeth's wrists and knees were disfigured by curious swelling of the joints which none of her doctors could cure. While traveling through Munich, she visited a doctor incognito, who told her the TRUTH that she was suffering from venereal disease:

For Franz Joseph, who adored Elizabeth, to be told by her that her illness was gonorrhea was an appalling revelation. In the 1860's there was no cure—those with good, strong health shook it off, the others gradually wasted away. In her state of nerves, Elizabeth was determined to flee to a southern climate and stay away till she was well again. (Listowel, A Habsburg Tragedy, p. 12).

After the shocking truth was discovered, Elizabeth tried to stay away from her husband as much as possible. The couple had 3 daughters, but Crown Prince Rudolf was their only son, and heir to the throne.

Emperor Franz Joseph was the father of Crown Prince Rudolf . . . and Mary Vetsera!!

That most Catholic dynasty was well known for consanguinity but it was generally confined to cousins (kissin' cousins). Even the Latin Vulgate Version condemned closer unions.

Emperor Franz Joseph in 1870.

In 1870, Emperor Franz Joseph began an affair with Helene Vetsera, wife of a "diplomat" named Albin Vetsera (18251887).

Helene's father was Theodor Baltazzi and her mother's named was Eliza Sarrell.

The Baltazzi family were closely connected with the Churchills and the Spencers.



Helene Vetsera

Albin was a "diplomat," and his assignments kept him away from Vienna most of the time. He was absent from Vienna for the 10-months prior to the birth of Mary. On March 19, 1871, Helene gave birth to a baby girl which she named Mary.

In 1885, both mother and daughter were pursuing Crown Prince Rudolf:

What temptations assail such a young man. Among others, I find, is Madame Vetsera . . . which ought not to be so very dangerous, for Heaven knows she is not good-looking, but she is so sly and so glad to make use of everybody . . . her daughters are growing up and she is beginning to train them in good time. She means to get to Court and advance herself and her family. (Wolfson, The Mayerling Murder, p. 71.).

Helene did not have to try very hard to advance herself because Mary was already the daughter of the Emperor!

Mary Vetsera was 4 months pregnant with the Crown Prince's baby!!

As well as Austria, the Crown Prince's liberal views were causing alarm bells to ring in Roma, London, and Berlin. The pontiff at that time was the reactionary Leo XIII, and he was dependent on Austria to recover the Papal States.

A newspaper publisher named Berta Szeps published the Crown Prince's articles anonymously, but everybody knew who the real author was:

Officialdom retaliated: To silence Rudolf, the government closed Szeps's newspaper. We have embarked on a catastrophic policy and it seems that one can alter it now" Rudolf complained. "We are being driven into darkness by fate, and it's partly the work of the Jesuits, who are closely connected with all the influential members of the Imperial Family." (King & Wilson, Twilight of the Habsburgs, p. 88).

Austria was indeed a bulwark of the Jesuits and the Archduke was risking his life by attacking the entrenched Papal hierarchy.

Mary Vetsera was the
daughter of Franz Joseph.

Crown Prince Rudolf tried to end his affair with Mary, but in January 1889 she told him that she was pregnant with his baby.

To his horror, he was also told that she was his half-sister.

Both of them were in serious trouble because such a scandal would have brought down the Habsburg monarchy!



Mary was the half-sister of
Crown Prince Rudolf.

Habsburg Austria was not Pharaonic Egypt, so brother-sister consanguinity was condemned by most people. A baby born of that unholy union was most likely to be retarded.

The last photo of the Crown Prince
taken just before his assassination.

Rudolf was lured to the Mayerling Lodge by Helene and Mary.

During a so-called "lover's quarrel" the couple decided the only solution to their terrible predicament was suicide.

In reality, Mary blew the top of his head off with a revolver.

Mary was bundled off to a convert to have the baby and then she assumed a new identity!


The top of the Crown Prince's head
was completely blown away.

Remarkably, the year 1888 saw a profusion of suicides in Vienna. Here is a quote from 2 authors who accept the double suicide myth:

Thoughts of death increasingly filled Rudolf's head. Vienna celebrated its supremacy in coffee, pastries, and waltzes, yet it also held the unwelcome distinction of having Europe's highest suicide rate. "At the slightest difficulty these people meet," Walburga Paget recorded in astonishment, "they at once resort to suicide. There must be something in the air in Vienna that makes people do this." Servants she noted "kill themselves because they break a plate, children of seven or eight hang themselves because they cannot do a lesson, soldiers because they do not like the army, girls because they cannot marry their first loves." (King & Wilson, Twilight of Empire, p. 88).

Franz Joseph had a longtime mistress named Katharine Schratt, who was also a well-known Shakespearean actress. Perhaps the play Romeo and Juliet encouraged the Viennese to commit suicide.....As a result of the profusion of suicides, there was no shortages of bodies to replace Mary Vetsera in the lodge.

The 31-year-old Crown Prince had a great future ahead of him and had absolutely no reason for taking his own life at that time!

The Mayerling Lodge assassination was a Sword of Damocles hanging over Franz Joseph

Very few people really believed the double suicide story concocted by the Emperor. Like the Kennedy assassination "lone gunman" myth, few accepted the Habsburg version of the Warren Commission. Those who were familiar with Shake-spare accepted it even less.

The last photo of Empress Elizabeth taken a week before her death.

Empress Elizabeth loved her son, and she was the one person who knew the truth about his assassination.

She avoided the Emperor, wandering across Europe and North Africa, and friends constantly urged her to write her memoirs.

Before she could reveal the mystery of Mayerling, she was assassinated in Switzerland by an "anarchist" named Luigi Luccheni.


A pictorial representation of the
assassination of Empress Elizabeth

The reactionary Emperor was ordered to remain on the throne, and he began to establish closer ties between Austria and the bellicose Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Franz Ferdinand

After the assassination of Archduke Rudolf, the next in line to the throne was Franz Ferdinand—the Emperor's nephew.

In 1900, Franz Ferdinand married a Czech duchess named Sophie.

This further alienated him from his nephew, because she wasn't a princess, and a member of the exclusive "royal club."


Duchess Sophie

Sophie and Franz Ferdinand were married on July 1, 1900, at Reichstadt (now Zákupy) in Bohemia. The Emperor did not attend the wedding, nor did any of the archdukes, including Franz Ferdinand's brothers. The only members of the Imperial family who were present were Franz Ferdinand's stepmother, Archduchess Maria Theresa, and her two daughters.

A pictorial of the assassination of the Archduke and his wife.
A pictorial of the assassination of
the Archduke and his wife.

Gavrilo Princip was a British Secret Service agent provocateur whose cover was "Bosnian Serb nationalist."

On June 28, 1914, at Sarajevo, the Archduke and his wife were killed by the assassin.

That assassination led to the worldwide conflict which became known as World War I.

Gavrilo Princip
Gavrilo Princip

At that time the couple had 3 children: Maximilian, Ernst, and Sophie.

When the war started, Adolf Hitler was already living in Munich with his father, Houston Steward Chamberlain.

The 84-year-old Emperor Franz Joseph ignited World War I

Even though the 2 countries spoke the same language, Prussia and Austria were always deadly rivals. In 1866, Austria made an exception to their rule "make love (to your cousins) and not war" and they went to war with Prussia. They were soundly defeated at the Battle of Königgrätz, and they planned on regaining territory lost to Prussia.

Winston Churchill. 1st Lord of the Admiralty from 1911 to 1915.
Warlord Winston Churchill (1874
Misruled Britannia from 1914 to 1965.

"Dead Head" Kaiser Bill took his marching orders from warlord Winston Churchill.

Both men were dying for a war with Orthodox Russia!

However, they planned on using their puppet, Franz Joseph, to start the war.

Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859–1941).
Warlord Wilhelm II (1859–1941).
Misruled Germany from 1888 to 1918.

The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was blamed on the Serbs. The Emperor sent an ultimatum to the Serbs, which he knew they would refuse. Their rejection of the ultimatum was his excuse to ignite the Great War.

The "dinosaur" in 1914.

In 1914, "dinosaur" Franz Joseph could barely walk, never mind ride a horse into battle!

He left the running of the war to a puppet Prussian field marshal named Franz Von Hötzendorf.

He was confident that "Kaiser Bill" would fulfill his boast about "lunch in Paris, and dinner in St. Petersburg!."


Field Marshal Franz Von Hötzendorf (1852

Unfortunately for the Emperor, his dream of a quick victory over Serbia and Russian was soon gone with the wind.

Field Marshall Helmuth von Moltke was fearful of the prospect of Russian troops entering Berlin while he entered Paris. As a result, he lost his nerve, and moved as many as 275,000 soldiers back to East Prussia. Here is an account of that history-changing event from "Kaiser Bill's" cousin Winston Churchill:

And at that culminating moment the Russian pressure began to produce substantial effects. Honour must ever be done to the Tsar and Russian nation for the noble ardour and loyalty with which they hurled themselves into the war. A purely Russian treatment of their military problem would have led the Russian armies into immediate withdrawal from their frontiers until the whole of their vast mobilization was completed. Instead of this, they added to a forward mobilization an impetuous advance not only against Austria but against Germany. The flower of the Russian Army was soon to be cut down in enormous battles in East Prussia. But the results of their invasion were gathered at the decisive point. The nerve of the German Headquarters failed. On August 25 two army corps and cavalry of the German right were withdrawn from France. On August 31 Lord Kitchener was able to telegraph to Sir John French "Thirty-two trains of German troops were yesterday reported moving from the western field to meet the Russians." (Churchill, The World Crisis 1911–1918, p. 147).

That withdrawal of troops from France caused "Dead Head" to fire von Moltke a few months later. As revenge for saving Christian civilization from the Prussians, Tsar Nicholas II was titaniced just 4 years later.

A bitterly disappointed Emperor Franz Joseph went to meet his Maker in 1916.The dogs of war that he unleashed eventually caused the deaths of over 50 million souls. That war was just a prelude to another much greater conflict that was to erupt just over 20 years later!

Vital Links


Churchill, Winston S. The World Crisis 1911–1919. (Abridged version, originally 5-volumes).Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1929.

King, greg & Wilson, Penny. Twilight of Empire: The Tragedy at Mayerling and the End of the Habsburgs. St. Martin's Press, New York, 2017.

Haslip, Joan. The Lonely Empress: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1965.

Haslip Joan. The Emperor and the Actress: the Love Story of Emperor Franz Joseph and Katharina Schratt. Dial Press, New York, 1982.

Judtmann, Fritz. Mayerling: The Facts Behind the Legend. George G. Harrap & Co., London, 1968.

King, Greg & Wilson, Penny. Twilight of Empire: The Tragedy at Mayerling and the End of the Habsburgs. St. Martin's Press, New York, 2017.

Listowel, Judith. A Habsburg Tragedy: Crown Prince Rudolf. Butler & Tanner Publishing, London,1978.

Longo, James. Hitler and the Habsburgs: The Führer's Vendetta Against the Austrian Royals. Diversion Books, New York, 2018.

Markus, Georg. Crime at Meyerling: The Life and Death of Mary Vetsera. Ariadne Press, Riverside, California, 1995.

Wawro. Geoffrey. A Mad Catastrophe; the Outbreak of World War I and the Collapse of the Habsburg Empire. Basic Books, New York, 2014.

Wolfson, Victor. The Mayerling Murder. Prentice-Hall, New Jersy, 1969.

Copyright © 2019 by Patrick Scrivener

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