Saturday, April 4, 2020

Coco Chanel----

Coco Chanel

French fashion designer.

Lovers' dazzling gifts
"Chanel had her own collection of dazzling fine jewelry, given to her by Boy Capel (his first lavish present was a diamond tiara; Chanelore says she was naive enough to mistake it for a necklace), Grand Duke Dmitri,, and, of course, Bendor, the Duke of Westminster. Dmitri introduced her to the long chains of gold interspersed with stones that became the hallmark of her look. Bendor would present her with an endless stream of priceless necklaces, brooches, and bracelets studded with Indian rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. While she always deferred to him in the presence of his posh friends . . . she then found it necessary, upon being presented with yet another breathtaking bijou, to take it apart before his eyes, using the stones for something of her own creation, perhaps with poured glass. She loved nothing more than mixing fake stones and real ones just to, you know, keep everyone guessing." (Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World's Most Elegant Woman)

Chanel's physical appearance & personal qualities.
" . . . She was not beautiful but had for assets a wide mouth, a long neck, an indomitable temperament. . . . " (Updike: 467)

Chanel's personal & family background.
"The official record shows that her mother, Eugenie, gave birth to Gabrielle on 19 August 1883 in the poorhouse in Saumur, a market town on the river Loire. Eugenie (known as Jeanne) was 28, and listed as a marchland, or merchant, on Gabrielle's birth certificate. They were not yet married but already had one daughter, Julia, born less than a year previously. Gabrielle Bonheur, a nun in the hospice where Chanel was born, was made her godmother, and, so according to Chanel, 'I was baptised Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel'. Gabielle she stayed throughout her childhood. -- Coco was a creation that came later -- although she invented a story that is revealing in its untruths: 'My father used to call me 'Little Coco' until something better should come along,' she told Marcel Haedrich (editor-in-chief of Marie-Claire). 'He didn't like [the name] 'Gabrielle' at all; it hadn't been his choice.' . . ." (Telegraph)

Coco's lovers as "marketing tools".
"Before his death, Boy had introduced Coco to a woman of the arts, Misia Sert, who would become friend, mentor and fan. A Russian intellectual, Sert was enchanted by the Coco's style and chic. . . They became friends and Misia opened many doors to the arts and artistic men. It wasn't long before Misia introduced her single friend to Sergei Diaghilev, Igor Stravinsky and Grand Duke Dmitri. All became Coco's lovers and companions, accepting monies from her in exchange for providing her access to upper-class Parisian society. The Grand Duke was put on the payroll of the House of Chanel. It paid huge dividends as this member from the former Russian royalty attracted many wealthy women to the House of Chanel...." (Landrum, p. 51)
Coco's lovers were:
1) Arthur Capel (1881-1919)
Lover in 1909-1918.
English industrialist & polo player.

"In 1908, Chanel fell in love with Arthur Capel, Balsan's riding partner and friend. Nicknamed 'Boy,' Capel was from the English upper class---handsome, rich, and mercurial. In 1908, Boy installed Chanel in a Paris apartment and helped her to launch a business making ladies' hats. Balsan may have lost a mistress---and he had many---but he would remain friends with Chanel for a lifetime. Boy Capel and Chanel were now soul mates. A generous Capel arranged for his mistress's nephew, Andre Palasse, to attend a fine English boarding school after his mother, Chanel's older sister, Julia-Berthe, committed suicide. Later, when Chanel moved into ladies' fashion wear, Capel would finance boutiques for her in Paris, Deauville, and Biarritz." (Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel's Secret War: 8)

"His affair with Chanel apparently lasted from 1909-1918 when as a friend of her then lover Etienne Balsan, he became acquainted with Balsan's 26-year-old mistress. Capel financed Chanel's first stores and his own clothing style, notably his blazers, inspired her creation of the Chanel look. The couple spent time together at fashionable resorts such as Deauville, but he was never faithful to Chanel." (Adriana Sassoon)

"In 1909, Balsan allowed her to establish a millinery shop in his Paris apartment. While in Paris, Chanel met Englishman Arthur Capel, one of Balsan's friends and had an affair with him. Capel gave her the financial backing she needed to open a boutique at 21 Rue Cambon in 1910. Chanel did the rest, and by 1912, celebrities and actresses were wearing her hats -- she had found success. . . ." (The Invisible Mentor)

" . . . Through him [Balsan], she met another man, an Englishman, named Captain Arthur Edward “Boy” Capel. Arthur Capel and Coco Chanel had an affair that lasted nine years, and it was Capel that encouraged Chanel to start her own hat making business, and later become a couturier. The two were in love, though Capel was already married at the time, and died in a car crash in 1919, leaving Chanel devastated." (Mango Moustache)
Lover in 1922.

"By spring of 1922, Dmitri was Gabrielle's lover. She gave him money and had him come with his 'man,' Piotr, to live with her in Garches. He gave her the Romanov pearls he had managed to save when he fled the Revolution. She made copies of them and launched the fashion of long strands of fake or real pearls. To be alone with him, she brought a property in the Landes, the isolated stretch of pineland coast between Bordeaux and Biarritz. Eight years younger than Gabrielle, Dmitri was an eccentric spoiled brat. It is doubtful that Coco ever mentioned the hospice in Saumur where she was born, the orphanage in Aubazine, or her start in the beuglant in Moulins, but in their own way, Dmitri's beginnings were as troubled as hers. . . ." (Chanel: A Woman of Her Own)

"Chanel's lover at the time was the Grand Duke Dmitri, who was dependent on her financial support. . . ." (Telegraph)

Dmitri's physical appearance & personal qualities: " . . . Dmitri seemed destined for a life of triumph and pleasure. He was strikingly good looking, tall, and athletic, with deep green eyes and the kind of chiseled profile associated with aristocracy. 'Dmitri was extremely attractive,' wrote his cousin and boyhood companion (and possible lover), Prince Felix Youssoupoff. 'Tall, elegant, very 'race,' his look recalled the ancient portraits of his ancestors.' . . . ." (Chanel: A Woman of Her Own)

"The Czar's nephew---cousin to England's Prince Edward---was a tall and very handsome man. Coco fell for his green eyes, his long, elegant hands, and, in their intimacy, his shyness. . . ." (Chanel: A Woman of Her Own)

The lovers' idyll.
" . . . For the summer of 1922, Coco rented a villa in Moulleau on the Bay of Arcachon, west of Bordeaux. The Atlantic thundered against the garden wall, and for two months she and Dmitri enjoyed the sun and the sea. A fishing boat took them out for a swim every morning. Afternoons were spent walking on the beach, evenings gambling at the Arachon casino or having Monsieur Joseph and Piotr prepare oysters right out of the bay. Coco listened to the rest of Dmitri's story, how the czar had put an end to the brother and sister's devotion to each other by marring Maria to Prince Wilhelm of Sweden, the young son of King Gustav V, how Dmitri's banishment to Persia following Rasputin's murder save his life in 1917, while the ruthless logic of the Soviet revolution resulted in his father being executed in a last roundup of Romanovs in 1919." (Chanel: A Woman of Her Own)

Affair's end & aftermath.
"The move from the villa in Garches to 29 Rue du Faubourg also coincided with the petering out of the affair with Dmitri. There were no scenes, and late in life Coco would speak of the duke, and of other Romanovs she had known, as big, handsome men of little substance. 'Those Grand Dukes were all the same---they looked marvelous but there was nothing behind. Green eyes, fine hands and shoulders, peace-loving, timorous. They drank so as not to be afraid . . . behind it all---nothing, just vodka and the void.' Dmitri was looking for a rich woman to support him and Coco had no intention of being the one. Audrey Emery was an American heiress who found hum and his name and title sufficiently alluring to marry. Audrey could afford him, too, She was one of the three sisters from Cleveland, heiresses to the Benjamin Moore paint fortune." (Chanel: A Woman of Her Own)
3) Etienne Balsan (1878-1953)
French socialite & heir.

Son of: Auguste Balsan, a wealthy manufacturer & member of the National Assembly & Marie Dupuytrem.

Husband of: Susanne Bouchard, mar 1920
"By the age of twenty she had achieved the next social step up from shop girl and amateur entertainer and become a kept woman. Her keeper was the infantry officer Etienne Balsan. His is the first name we encounter in her pilgrimage from man to man. A devoted horseman, an indifferent soldier, the good-humored heir of a textile fortune accumulated in Chateauroux, he encouraged Chanel to pursue her possible stage career at Vichy... His parents had recently died, and with his inheritance he purchased an estate called Royallieu...and invited Chanel to join him there. . . ." (Updike: 467).

"Around the age of 20, Chanel became involved with Etienne Balsan who offered to help her start a millinery business in Paris. She soon left him for one of his even wealthier friends, Arthur 'Boy' Capel. Both men were instrumental in Chanel's first fashion venture." (Striking Divas)

"While working at the House of Grampayre, she also held a part-time job working at a tailor shop where she met many soldiers who frequented La Rotonde, a local cafe. She went to La Rotonde with them and that's where she met Etienne Balsan, a soldier and horse breeder from a wealth French family. In 1906, Balsan invited Chanel to his horse farm; she accepted and decided to stay there on his vast estate. While there she met an affluent crowd, and she learned how to ride expertly. Chanel designed and made the most beautiful hats for her self that the affluent women she met wanted the same designs for themselves. This was great publicity for Chanel because the tabloids took note and wrote about the styles." (The Invisible Mentor)

" . . . During her teenage years, Chanel worked in Deauville, France, on the north coast, at a hat factory. She attracted the attention of a young officer, Etienne Balsan, and soon became his mistress. He helped her open her own millinery (an old-fashioned term for a ladies' hat shop) in Compiegne, France. It was badly timed, though, because World War I broke out shortly afterward. . . ." (Kuhlman: 90)

"While singing didn't prove to be Chanel's forte, the experience was valuable in that it introduced her to Etienne Balsan, a gentleman horse breeder and riding enthusiast, and accepted his proposal to live together. She would enjoy her life in a castle, even though she would never get used to her position of an official mistress. What did she really want? To make a career for herself as a milliner. She approached Balsan with a business proposition. With more money than he knew what to do with, Balsan decided to give Chanel the money she needed to open up her own hat and dress shop in Paris." (Tanya)
Hans Gunther von Dincklage
Lover in 1940-1950

German military officer." . . . During the German occupation of France, Chanel got involved with a German military officer, Hans Gunther von Dincklage. She got special permission to stay in her apartment at the Hotel Ritz. After the war ended, Chanel was interrogated by her relationship with von Dincklage, but she was not charged as a collaborator. Some have wondered whether friend Winston Churchill worked behind the scenes on Chanel's behalf." (Striking Divas)

"At the start of World War II in 1939, Chanel dismissed all her staff and closed House of Chanel, but continued to sell Chanel No. 5. Nazi forces took over France, and Chanel got romantically involved with Hans Gunther von Dincklage, a German diplomat and suspected Gestapo agent and labelled a collaborator. She was arrested but not charged. In 1946, Chanel and von Dincklage moved to Lausanne, Switzerland where she remained in exile for eight years. . . ." (The Invisible Mentor)
5) Hugh Grosvenor2nd Duke of Westminster (1879-1953)
Lover in 1923-1933.

" . . . She met the wealthy duke of Westminster aboard his yacht around 1923, and the two started a decades-long relationship. In response to his marriage proposal, she reportedly said 'There have been several Duchesses of Westminster---but there is only one Chanel!'" (Mercy)

"Another important romance for Chanel began in the 1920s. She met the wealthy duke of Westminster aboard his yacht around 1923, and the two started a decades-long relationship. In response to his marriage proposal, she reportedly said 'There have been several Duchesses of Westminster---but there is only one Chanel!'" (Striking Divas)
Villa La Pausa
@ Houses With a History
Coco's benefits from Duke of Westminster.
"The house was built in 1929 after Coco's then lover, (the very generous) Duke of Westminster bought her a plot of land in Cap Martin after spotting it together while sailing around the riviera (sic) on his yacht (as you do). Coco had architect Robert Streitz take inspiration from the Cistercian convent orphanage where she grew up, but on the vaulted brick ceilings you would also find the crown from the Duke of Westminster's coat of arms. Their love affair ended in 1933, ten years after they met in Monte Carlo, but as you might have guesses, Chanel kept the house. Talking about her separation with (sic) the Duke, Coco was famously quoted as saying, 'There are a lot of duchesses, but only one Coco Chanel.'" (Messy Nessy Chic)
6) Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)
Lover in 1921.

' . . . In 1921, she was already involved with a besotted, highly jealous (and married) Igor Stravinsky, whose work for the Ballets Russes she was subsidizing while housing him and his entire family at Bel Respiro. Coco's sudden zeal for a seaside vacation with Dmitri may have stemmed simply from her desire to avoid Igor and his possessiveness. Chanel also likely worried that her dignity would suffer if her financial upkeep of another bankrupt Russian became public knowledge." (Chanel: A Woman of Her Own)

" . . . For a time, Chanel had a relationship with composer Igor Stravinsky." (Striking Divas)
7) Paul Iribe (1883-1935).
French illustrator, cartoonist, decorator, art director & designer.

Husband of:
1. Jeanne Dirys, mar 1911, div 1918, a famed vaudeville actress
2. Maybelle Hogan, an heiress, sep 1928

"By then, Coco had another reason for being curious about the world of the movie industry. That winter, she had a new lover, and this time he was a man who had Hollywood connections. She had thrown herself into a liaison with the fashion illustrator, political satirist, and Hollywood set designer Paul Iribe, the illustrator and sometime-journalist who had famously sketched the dresses of her competitor Paul Poiret. Coco Chanel and Paul Iribe had known each other for decades, and they had an entire circle of friends in common. . . ." (Mazzeo: 127)

"Chanel's next noteworthy lover was Paul Iribe, a chubby, complicated. . . Basque cartoonist from Angouleme, who designed for her an array of antic, expressive jewelry. Hotheads the same age, they might have married, but in 1935 he collapsed before her eyes, on the tennis court of her Riviera villa, La Pausa, and died a few hours later. . . ." (Updike: 469)

"Coco had fun letting herself be seduced by Iribe. Self-assured and possessed of a roguish charm and a mordant wit, he challenged her to go to bed with him. He was someone for whom questions of origin didn't count---a man who, in that respect, was the opposite of Boy Capel, Dmitri, and Bendor. For over a year almost no one knew of the affair. He made no moves to divorce Maybelle, yet rumors circulated that Chanel was ready to marry him." (Chanel: A Woman of Her Own)

8) Sergei Diaghilev.

Bavarian Kings--

Louis I of Bavaria

"Ludwig I was the second King of Bavaria. He had been born in 1786, just in time to be made godson to the ill-fated Louis XVI of France, after whom he was named (Ludwig being the German form of Louis). He had come to the throne at the age of thirty-nine in 1825 on the death of his father. Maximilian I. In his youth, a gallant soldier, he was a man of learning and culture with a great love of the art and architecture of Italy and Greece. It was he who turned Munich from a quaint old German city into the 'New Athens' that it came to be called. Munich owes to him the imposing Florentine buildings on the Ludwigstrasse, the church of St. Boniface, and the Konigsplatz, whose pillared classical buildings were later used as a setting for several political rallies. Though rather hard of hearing, Ludwig I was a man of vibrant personality and strong physical presence." (The Swan King: Ludwig II of Bavaria: 1)

"Ludwig had soft features, wide-set blue eyes, and a proud mouth, but his face bore several marks as a result of his having survived smallpox at the age of eleven. He was also profoundly deaf and spoke with a stammer, which may have been related to his loss of hearing. Despite his aural deficiency he fought with distinction and courage, though not with passion. . . ." (Royal Romances: Titillating Tales of Passion and Power in the Palaces of Europe)

"Ludwig's wife, Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen, was a woman of attractive personality and great beauty, but Ludwig had a restless eye, and such an appreciation of female charms that he commissioned a series of portraits of famous beauties of the day. which now fills a room in the palace of Nymphenburg. At the time Lola Montez came into his life he was sixty-nine years old and Lola twenty-eight." (The Swan King: Ludwig II of Bavaria: 2)

True Pants Man.
" . . . The king of Bavaria was Ludwig I (1786-1868). He was a true pants man. Ludwig's architect and confidant Leon von Klenze kept a dossier of the king's conquests which lists the names of over 50 girls." (Destination Munich)

Ludwig's Gallery of Beauties
" . . . One of his most famous conceptions is the celebrated 'Schönheitengalerie' (Gallery of Beauties), in the south pavilion of his Nymphenburg Palace in Munich. A collection of 36 portraits of the beautiful women painted between 1827 and 1850 mostly by Joseph Karl Stieler. . . . " (Cadaster Workshop 2012)

"Ludwig even had scouts fan out across the kingdom to search for models for his Gallery of Beauties, a collection of portraits of the foxiest ladies he could find. . . . " (Destination Munich)

"Ludwig of Bavaria's admiration of art did not stop at inanimate treasures. His worship of beauty extended quite naturally to the loveliest women in his realm. Regardless of social position or class, the chosen ones were offered a place in his Schonheits Galerie (Gallery of Beauties), and their exquisite features, whether countess of shepherdess, were preserved by the court painters. Although he spent hours alone in silent meditation of the beauties in the Schonheits Galerie, it was opened at certain times for the appreciation of his subjects." (Cupid and the King: Five Royal Paramours: 266)
Ludwig I von Bayern

Ludwig I's lovers were:
1) Charlotte van Hagn (1809-1891)
Lover in 1826.
German actress

Wife of: Alexander von Oven, a landowner, mar 1848, div 1851

". . . Charlotte had met King Ludwig shortly after her 17th birthday, and after a quickie tryst the smitten aristocrat commissioned the royal painter Joseph Karl Stieler. . .to fashion a painting of Charlotte. Completed in 1828, the painting portrays Charlotte as the character of Thekla from Schiller's poem "Wallenstein's Camp," one of Ludwig's favorite pieces of Literature. Ludwig ordered the painting to be hung in his 'Schonheitengalerie" (Gallery of Beauties), located in the south pavillion of his Nymphenburg Palace in Munich. . . ." (German Adventures I: Liszt and Charlotte von Hagn)

2) Helene Sedlmayr (1813-1898)

First Encounter: " . . . Helene crossed the king's path after his wife, Queen Therese, bought toys from Auracher's for the princes. Helene was charged with delivering the goods to the royal Residenz, where she ran into the regent himself. Ludwig, struck by her doey-eyes and jet-black hair, decided she'd be a perfect fit for his gallery of gorgeous dames. . . Ludwig is said to have wooed her with the words 'Don't have such a searching and inquiring glance. You cheeky, lovely beauty, look at me and trust me.' Ludwig's heart ran so hot for Helene it was feared the affair would embarrass the royal court. After all, she was a mere shoemaker's daughter." (Destination Munich)

Affair's end & aftermath.
"To protect Ludwig's reputation Helene Sedlmayr was betrothed to the king's valet, with the surname Miller. Though is was as forced marriage, it was a happy one and the couple had 10 children -- nine sons and one daughter. . . . " (Destination Munich)
Jane Digby

3) Jane Digby, Lady Ellenborough (1807-1881)
British adventuress
Lover in 1830.

"After some hesitation and consultation with her mother, Jane decided to leave Paris for Munich and did so in August 1831. . . Jane made her way to Munich, and within days she was spotted by the king, who then insisted on meeting her. Shortly thereafter, he commissioned a portrait by Carl Stieler, the court painter, to be hung in the so-called Gallery of Beauty in the palace where Ludwig was known to visit each day for poetic inspiration. . . (T) extent of her relationship with Ludwig remains clouded and uncertain. Almost immediately, they were rumored to be lovers and such evidence as is available does suggest that she was the king's mistress. . . But the affair lasted only a short time, though they remained good friends for many years. . . . " (Cotteman: 103)
4) Lola Montez, Grafin von Landsfeld (1821-1861)
Irish dancer, actress & courtesan
Lover in 1846-1848.

" . . . While dancing in Munich, Lola attracted the attention of King Louis the First of Bavaria, who was in his 60s at the time, and she subsequently became his mistress. . . ." (Lackman: 75)

"Presenting herself to the Bavarian court as a Spanish noblewoman, Lola became acquainted with King Ludwig I. He was captivated by her and made her his official mistress. Ludwig lavished gifts on Lola including a house with all the trappings and a substantial income. On his birthday, February 17, 1847, he went so far as to make her Countess Marie von Landsfeld, and bestow Bavarian citizenship on her." (Ozmore & Abernethy)

Why Her?: " . . . Ludwig fell in love with Lola's beauty, her mind and her esprit fort; and Lola delighted in the company of this amiable, intelligent monarch who allowed her to flex her political muscle and to taste the heady wine of power. . . The king was enamored with Lola's mind as he was with her beauty. Many a sane man has bought a woman he admires flowers each day---Ludwig's daily bouquets for Lola were poems. . . . " (Cupid and the King: Five Royal Paramours: 273)

Why Him?: "There are many accounts of King Ludwig's fascination with the dance, but few make an honest attempt to explain Lola's feelings for the king. The assumption that her only interests were venal does both dancer and king an injustice. Ludwig was an easy man to like, and in some ways his temperament was very similar to Lola's. As well as being very learned, the king was a tremendous enthusiast who carried along with him anyone willing to listen and learn. . . He was gracious, kind, and excellent company; nor should the particular glamour and appeal of absolute monarch be underestimated. . . . " (Cupid and the King: Five Royal Paramours: 273)
5) Maria Bacinetti, Marchesa di Florenzi (1802-1870)
Lover in 1821-1868.
Italian noblewoman

She was an Italian noblewoman and a well-known translator of philosophical works. The daughter of the Count of Ravenna, Marianna received a good education, becoming the female ideal of an educated woman at that time. For 40 years, she was the mistress of King Ludwig I, and he greatly valued her advice in government matters." (Arrayed in Gold)

First encounter: "In 1821, at the age of 18, Marianna met Crown Prince Ludwig, then 34, during the Carnival in Rome. They immediately began an intense relationship that lasted until his death in 1868. Some sources state that they were lovers. Others claim that it was a platonic relationship on a high intellectual level." (Ludwig the First)

Personal & Family Background: She was the daughter of Count Pietro Bacinetti of Ravenna, scion of a(n) old and rich patrician family, and the Countess Laura Rossi. (Ludwig I of Bavaria).

Persona & Character: " . . . (T)he Florentine Marianna Marquesa Florenzi (was) a gifted and intelligent woman known for her translations of European philosophical works into Italian, who was King Ludwig's lover, friend and confidant for some forty years. Some 4,500 letters passed between the two of them survive to this day." (Atlas Obscura)

Physical Traits & Personal Qualities: [In 1810] "...Ludwig himself was then 'a fair young man...with soft features, a flushed face, a proud full mouth and wide blue eyes. . . ." (Lovell)

Spouses & Children: 
1. Marchese Ettore Florenzi, Marchese di Rasina (d.1832), mar 1819
2. Evelyn Waddington, mar 1836
Ludwig II von Bayern
Ludwig II's physical appearance & personal qualities.
"A French journalist who saw Ludwig II in his youth, has said: 'His beauty belongs to the romantic type. His dark eyes are dreamy and full of enthusiasm.  His handsome face, elegant personality, and dignified bearing at once win admiration and sympathy.  He is in possession of all the graces of youth, its illusions and enthusiasm; but at the same time he offers an example of that need for change which belongs to the youth.  His subjects look upon him as a fool.  They are mistaken: he is only foolish on one point---namely, where music is in question.'" (Ludwig II King of Bavaria: 141)
His lovers were:
1) Albert Niemann (1831-1917)
German singer

The greatest German tenor.
"The greatest German tenor, however, for many years was Albert Niemann, who was blessed with a magnificent voice and a fine appearance, suitable for the impersonation of Wagner's heroes, in which he excelled.  He was born in 1831, at Erxleben, Magdeburg, and went on the stage in 1849.  At first he sang only small parts, or else in the chorus, but, as he improved with study, he attracted the attention of Herr von Hulsen, General Intendant of the Royal German Theatres, who took him to Berlin, and was selected by Wagner to sing Siegmund at Bayreuth in 1876.  Until he came to America in 1886 and 1887, when his voice had long sing departed, his only appearances out of German were in the unsuccessful production of'Tannhauser' at Paris, in 1861, and he sang in London in '82.  In 1887 he formally retired from the stage."  (Famous Singers of T0-day and Yesterday: 2264)

"Ludwig was sufficiently unworried to attend a performance of Lohegrin on 21 February with Albert Niemann in the leading role.  Niemann, with his fine voice and striking looks, was for Ludwig the ideal Lohegrin.  Further performances were ordered, and the singer was invited to a series of audiences with the Prince.  Ludwig also sent Niemann bunches of flowers and a pair of jewelled cuff-links with a swan design."  (The Swan King: Ludwig II of Bavaria: 27)

2) Alfons Weber (1862-?)
3) Emil Rohde (1839-1913), German stage actor.

4) Innocent Nachbaur (1830-1903), German singer
5) Josef Kainz (1858-1910), Hungarian actor

"Joseph Kainz, the actor, who was later so celebrated, had, at the beginning of the eighties, an engagement at Munich; he was then twenty-three years of age. The King saw him for the first time in Victor Hugo's Marion de Lorme, in which he played the part of the homeless Didier.  His unusually sonorous voice, his lofty glance, and the passionate warmth of his acting captivated Ludwig, who the same evening caused to be delivered to him a valuable sapphire ring.  Kainz thanked him in a letter full of fire.  In an autograph letter, dated the 1st of May, 1881, his Majesty assured him of his friendly feelings, and of his sincere and hearty wishes for his welfare.  He added: 'Continue as you have begun, in your arduous and difficult but beautiful and honourable calling.'"  (Ludwig the Second, King of Bavaria: 209)

". . . Ludwig had no better luck with Josef Kainz, a young Hungarian actor who had dazzled the King with his performances on stage and off. . . . " (Lambda Philatelic Journal)

"A more recent protege was Joseph Kainz, a young actor, with a tenor voice of surprising quality. The King had heard him sing Didier in Victor Hugo's Manon Lescaut, and at once invited him to the palace. Kainz spent weeks with the King, who loaded him with handsome presents. Sometimes whole nights were passed in recitation, Ludwig taking his share. This incongruous friendship was much talked of; and, again, as in the case of Wagner, the cry was raised of political influence. Kainz, however, thought of nothing but advancing himself, neither had he the personal influence possessed by Wagner. Beyond his lovely voice he had little to recommend him. Such violent delights are likely to have violent endings, and the King, who was most capricious in his likings, took a sudden distaste to Kainz, who naturally had not sufficient experience in Court life to guide him over its many shoals and quicksands." (The Romance of King LUdwig II of Bavaria: His Relations with Wagner and his Bavaran Fairy Places: 182)

"From 1880 he worked with Ernst von Possart at the National Theatre Munich and became one of the favourite actors of King Ludwig II of Bavaria appearing in private performance exclusively for the monarch's delight. . . . " (Wikepedia)
bilder auf weiß für digital
Max Graf von Holnstein
@Suddeutsche Zeitung
Maximilian von Holnstein
6) Maximilian von Holnstein (1834-1895)
Bavarian landowner & diplomat
Imperial Councilor & Colonel of Ludwig II; Master of the Horse.

Son of the Bavarian landowner and royal chamberlain Karl Theodor von Holnstein (1797-1857) & Caroline, b. Freiin von Spiering (1815-1859)

Great-grandson of Count Franz Ludwig von Holnstein (1723-1780), the illegitimate son of the Elector and later Emperor Karl Albrecht of Bavaria (1697-1745) and his lover Maria Caroline Charlotte of Ingenheim

Husband of Maximiliane von Gumppenberg (1850-1937)

"Count Maximilian von Holnstein (1835-1895) had been a close friend, and possibly a lover, of Ludwig's and had been his Master of the House, but he fell from royal favour in 1883." (The Speedicut Papers: Book 7 (1884-1895): Royal Scandals)
Paul von Thurn und Taxis
Son of Maximilian Karl, 6th Furst von Thurn und Taxis & his 2nd wife Mathilde Sophie von Oettingen-Oettingen und Oettingen-Spielberg

Husband of Elise Kreutzer, mar in 1868.

"The King was more successful with Prince Paul von Thurn und Taxis, whom he called "My most beloved Angel". In the words of Desmond Chapman-Huston (Ludwig II: The Mad King of Bavaria), "if Ludwig's favorites had all been like Paul, and if Ludwig himself could have exercised even a reasonable amount of circumspection, he might well have lived a happier and less frustrated life." Ludwig and Paul liked to dress up in Wagnerian costumes, as Barbarossa and Lohengrin. It is a shame that their relationship did not last." (Reference here?). "Teenaged Ludwig became best friends with (and possibly the lover of) his aide-de-camp, the handsome aristocrat and sometime actor Paul Maximilian Lamoral, a scion of the wealthy Thurn and Taxis dynasty.  The two young men rode together, read poetry aloud, and staged excerpts from the operas of their idol, Richard Wagner.  Their relationship lapsed when Paul became engaged in 1866." (deatschlandostmark)

" . . . As an adolescent, Ludwig became close friends with his aide de camp, Prince Paul, a member of Bavaria's wealthy Thurn und Taxis family. The two young men rode together, read poetry aloud, and staged scenes from the Romantic operas of Richard Wagner. The friendship ended when Paul became engaged in 1866. . . ." (Ludwig II King of Bavaria: 214)

"His other biggest love affair, with Prince Taxis, was of a different sort. The prince and Ludwig held a candid friendship in which they staged scenes of Wagner's operas together, spent time with one another, and consummated their love deeply. Whenever Prince Taxis would go abroad, they sent each other extensive letters of love. The young, beautiful prince held a high place in Ludwig's favour, and he showered him with presents and adoration. The young man was beauty incarnated, and Ludwig's human version of Lohengin. Still, Prince Taxis began to displease Ludwig and the king began to draw away from him, much about the same time he met Hornig. Prince Taxis began to notice that Ludwig's heart was jumping each time Hornig was present, and he slowly began to realize that Ludwig had fallen in love with the young stable boy. The prince, being a sensible man, said goodbye to Ludwig, who in turn wished him a good life. Prince Taxis later married. Still, it was in his mind, where Ludwig met with the great difficulties." (Ludwig II Shrine)
8) Richard Hornig
Chief Equerry & Master of the Horse (Stalmeester de Koning)

"The story of Bavaria's capitulation to the German revolution begins with the appearance of a handsome young man at Schloss Berg, a castle of the Wittelsbachs shrouded in the shadows of the Bavarian Alps. The young man, with his well-proportioned body and blind and wavy hair, was a groom in Ludwig's stables; his name was Richard Hornig. Dressed in a sky-blue Eton jacket, he was leading a mount when the King's eye fell upon him Ludwig swooned. An intimacy soon grew up between the two men, in spite of the difference in their stations, and together they set out on a sort of honeymoon journey to France, where Ludwig, travelling incognito as the Count of Berg, made a pilgrimage to Versailles, the Mecca of his cult of kingship. When he returned to Bavaria, he dismissed his fiancee, Sophie, the daughter of Duke Max of Bavaria. Ludwig had, a few months before, thrown himself enthusiastically into preparations for their wedding; he had studied the precedents of Versailles, and had ordered a special coach to be built, more splendid than that of the Sun King. But no amount of frippery could conceal the fact that he was not to be the bride, and that in embracing a woman he would be compelled to forsake his groom. 'Sophie got rid of,' he wrote in his diary after the engagement was broken off. ' The gloomy picture fades. I longed for, am athirst for, freedom. Now I can live again after this torturing nightmare.'" (Forge of Empires: Three Revolutionary Statesmen and the World They Made, 1861-1871: 354)
Richard Hornig
"Prince Paul's successor was Richard Hornig, who began his 20 years career as the King's head groom and equerry. Hornig's influence was such that he was dubbed, by jealous politicians, "the secret Chancellor of Bavaria".  This affair ended with Hornig's marriage "something harder for Ludwig to bear ... than the whole of the Franco-Prussian War." Ludwig had no better luck with Josef Kainz, a young Hungarian actor who dazzled the King with his performances."(Koymansky, 1997-2008)

"Three months before the planned wedding to Princess Sophie, Ludwig met Richard Hornig, a groom at the stables of Berg castle. A blond, blue-eyed Prussian five years older than the King, he was to become an important figure in Ludwig's life. Richard Hornig was a superb horseman and mutual love of horses can be a strong bond. Hornig saw the King constantly and intimately, and their friendship seems to have been sincere and lasting. He saw to the comfort and well-being of his Sovereign. He soon occupied the office of Crown Equerry and Master of the Horse. He controlled all horse transport, coaches and carriages, stabling, purchase, breeding and training of the Royal horses, which numbered around 500. The King and Hornig often visited the remote castles, chalets and mountain huts, mostly in a four-horse carriage and sometimes in an illuminated sleigh in the moonlight. Hornig soon acted as go-between the King and his ministers...which cased much criticism. The King and Hornig also set out on a journey through Germany and to Grance, with the King travelling incognito as Count von Berg. The esteemed late author Major Desmond Chapman-Huston had little doubt that the appearance of Richard Hornig in May led to the break with Sophie. Perhaps it convinced Ludwig that for him a normal love for any woman was not possible." (Ursula's History Web)

"There were, however, a handful of very intense, and reasonably long-lived relationships that Ludwig had. The longest was with his equerry, Richard Hornig, who remained in the King's service for 20 years." (Koymansky, 1997-2008)

" . . . Ludwig's heart ached for a true companion, one he found when he met Richard Hornig.  Blond, with crystal blue eyes, Hornig came into the king's service as part of his table hands. He was not simply a stable boy, though.  He helped the king in various tasks, such as his personal affairs.  Hornig was Ludwig's lackey, waiting on him at every hour, but the young man didn't mind. Hornig's soul was a happy one, and a simple one, and this drew Ludwig to the young man.  Hornig refused at first to be treated as an object, or as another of the king's boys, and Ludwig refused to admit that what he felt for the young man was love.  But, the king's heart began to reach out towards the young man, and Hornig's soul began to bleed for the love he wanted from Ludwig.  Both men strip themselves of any pretences and admitted their love for each other without any doubts.  Ludwig's heart found peace next to him, and allowed the young man to embrace him with love and affection.  The young stable hand was happy in the king's love, even if Ludwig still kept other young boys with him. There were countess of tears on Hornig's face, sorrow eating his heart and longing tearing him apart, but he was comforted in knowing the Ludwig loved him.  The king gave him a key, a lovely small key, that allowed Hornig to read his secret diary, which only both of them could read, since only they held the key.  Hornig held the key to Ludwig's dark, passionate diary, as much as he held the king's heart." (Ludwig II Shrine)

"The Master of the Horse, Hornig, was later the King's favourite. He was a handsome and well-informed man, with agreeable manners. During the long period of eighteen years he acted as Ludwig's private secretary, and accompanied him on his travels. . . ." (Ludwig II King of Bavaria: 154)

Richard Hornig's physical appearance and personal qualities: "In July Ludwig went on another trip, this time to the Giant International Exhibition which was staged in Paris that year. He took with him a new companion, Richard Hornig, who had recently entered service in the King's stable and was to have a close relationship with Ludwig over many years. Though never as highly placed as Holnstein, the Master of the Horse, he was to hold the important position of Stallmeister (equerry)... At this time Hornig was about twenty-six years old and had recently completed his military service.. He was fair-haired with a lean, wiry build and, like Ludwig, was a magnificent horseman." (McIntish: 88)

Benefits: "Hornig persistently refused offers of a title from Ludwig. He did, however, accept the gift of a house and large grounds at Seeleiten on the Starnberg lake...." (McIntosh: 169)

9) Richard Wagner.

"The first of Ludwig's Friends was the composer Richard Wagner. Ludwig fell in love with the composer when, as a teen, he first saw Wagner's operas. As King (1864), Ludwig invited Wagner to Munich, gave him a pension and a house to compose in, and wrote him a series of passionate letters: 'I love no woman, no parents, no brother, no relations, no one fervently and from the depths of my heart -- as I love you.' Unfortunately, Wagner accepted Ludwig's gifts and set up house with Cosima von Bulow, who left her husband for the occasion. Within a year, the temperamental composer had alienated everyone and had to leave Munich. However, Ludwig remained, till his death, a 'perfect Wagnerite'." (Koymansky, 1997-2008)

10) Baron von Varicourt.

" . . . Another person who must be mentioned in this context is cavalry officer named Baron von Varicourt, whom Ludwig made his aide-de-camp in 1873 and for whom he had a short-lived infatuation. Because of Varicourt's name, Ludwig imagined him to possess an illustrious genealogy, with forebears who had rendered distinguished service to France and the French monarchy. Varicourt tried to tell the King that this was not so, but Ludwig would not listen. . . ."  (The Swan King: Ludwig II of Bavaria: 155).  

"Baron Varicourt, one of King Ludwig's best friends and his aide-de-camp, was a great friend of ours. From him we often heard much of the King's eccentricities. His great-grandfather was the Baron Varicourt of the Garde Suisse who defended Marie Antoinette against the rabble. . . Varicourt was a most interesting man: his devotion to his King was very great, and it is a strange coincidence that the unfortunate man, who had once been under restraint, became suddenly insane, and shortly after his master's tragic end shot himself at an hotel at Wartzburg on his way to see his sister. . . ."  (Macdonell: 160)

"One of these men was Count Varicourt, a youthful man of beautiful looks. Count Varicourt came into Ludwig's life wanting to use the king's innocent lavishness, and had faked to be a distant relative of King Louis XIV, the 'Sun King' of France, whom Ludwig admired a lot. Pompous, greedy, and a self centred fool, Count Varicourt led the king to believe this lie, and the king confused their friendship with love, since he began to lust for the young man. They shared a deep relationship, through letters and meetings, but Count Varicourt does not love him. Ludwig discovered that his lust was, indeed, unreal, and abandoned all attempts to find love with him." (Ludwig II Shrine)

Friday, April 3, 2020

Rudolf of Austria----

Rudolf of Austria
Rudolf von Osterreich (1858-1889) 
Crown Prince of Austria

The soldier-prince was a 'chick magnet'.
"The soldier-prince was often the target of rumors, particularly those that concerned love affairs. He went through puberty relatively late and wasn't taught the facts of life until he was in his mid-teens. Rudolf first evinced an interest in girls at the age of sixteen or seventeen, but after that, there was no stopping him, and it's possible that he became rather promiscuous in Prague. He had turned into a handsome and exceptionally charming, intelligent young man, with his mother's delicate features and an easy grace in company that would certainly have made him attractive to women. If those qualities didn't make him a chick magnet, his title surely would have done so." (Royal Pains: A Rogues' Gallery of Brats, Brutes, and Bad Seeds)

Madly in love with a Jewish girl in Prague.
"Rudolf's taste in paramours was as iconoclastic as his politics. He fell madly in love with a girl from Prague's old Jewish ghetto. Recognizing that no good would come of the affair, falling ill on the day of her arrival. She died without ever again laying eyes on her royal beloved and was buried in Prague's Jewish cemetery. Rudolf allegedly made regular visits to her grave, leaving a floral tribute on each occasion." (Royal Pains)

Crown prince's low opinion of women.
"Relations with fair sex now assumed high priority in the life of the young crown prince. Rudolf was one of the most desirable matches in the monarchy and had affairs with women from all different levels of society. Even after his marriage to Stephanie of Belgium he was alleged to have had numerous extramarital affairs. Over the years the once sensitive young man developed into a veritable Don Juan. Crown Princess Stephanie remarked in her memoirs that Rudolf, 'as a result of the many experiences that he had had with women from his youth onwards had a low opinion of women in general and did not regard them as being of equal worth." (Crown Prince Rudolf -- Traces of a Life
On the 10th May 1881, Crown Prince Rudolf married Stephanie of Belgium at the Augustine’s Church in Vienna.
Stephanie of Belgium
& Rudolf of Austria
Husband of Stephanie of Belgium.
"In 1880, Rudolf became engaged to Princess Stephanie, the eldest daughter of the Belgian royal family. On May 10th took place in the Vienna Augustinerkirche the wedding is taking place. Between Rudolf and Stephanie first true love seemed to exist, only his mother Sissi was anything but enthusiastic about the "Belgian Trampeltier". However, Stephanie, with whom Rudolf lived for some time in Prague, could not share the interests and aspirations of her husband, and over the years the two became increasingly alienated. Even the birth of the daughter Elisabeth on 2 September 1883 in Laxenburg Castle brought no improvement in their relationship. Stephanie could not give birth to another child because Rudolf had probably infected her with a venereal disease. Rudolf became melancholy and increasingly frustrated, which weakened him mentally and physically more and more. He drank a lot, Consumed drugs and sought more often the pleasures of middle-class ladies. So he met Mizzi Caspar, a dubious lady, with whom he was together for a long time." (Planet Vienna).

Crown Prince Rudolf's lovers were:
Johanna Buska in 1880
Johanna Buska (1848-1922).
Austrian actress & opera singer.
Lover in 1874-1880

Daughter of Johann Butzkow & Pawly Losch.

Wife of:
1. Miklós Kázmér Török de Szendrő (1812-1884), Hungarian aristocrat, mar 1880.
2. Angelo Neumann (1838-1910), Czech director & singer, mar 1887.

" . . . The blonde Burgtheater actress Johanna Buska is alleged to have been the crown prince's first lover and was carefully selected in advance by the court. Contemporary reviews reveal that the actress was very popular with Viennese audiences. 'The tones of her voice bespeak that bright sunlight of happiness and joy; there is something of poetry embodied in Miss Buska." (Crown Prince Rudolf -- Traces of a Life)

" . . . An affair with the Viennese actress Johanna Buska is also said to have led to the birth of an illegitimate son in 1881. Rudolf apparently didn’t trouble himself over such developments: Indeed, his grandson Prince Franz Josef von Windisch-Grätz once claimed that his grandfather had more than thirty illegitimate children. Mothers were bribed into silence, their children soon forgotten." (The History Reader

"Kinship ties resoundingly reinforced the aristocratic character of the corps. Among those diplomats who themselves did not belong to court society, an unusual number, especially in comparison with their counterparts in the central office, possessed immediate familial links with the aristocracy. The fathers of Counts Johann Forgach, Albert Nemes, Alexander Torok and Felix Bruselle-Schaubeck all moved in court circles, but their mesalliances with women of inferior standing prejudiced the social positions of their children. Torok's mother, the Burgtheater actress Johann Buska, allegedly initiated Crown Prince Rudolf into the mysteries of love. . . ." (Aristocratic Redoubt: 21)

Louise of Belgium.
Lover in late 1870s.

"Even the wives of Rudolf's best friends were considered fair game. In the late 1870s, it was whispered, he began a liaison with Princess Louise, wife of his friend and frequent hunting companion Prince Philipp of Coburg. . . ." (Twilight of Empire: 41)

Helene Vetsera.
Lover in 1877.
" . . . Rudolf's admirers included not only young single women but also a large number of married women from the upper echelons of society.  One of these was Helene Vetsera, eleven years his senior and the mother of Mary Vetsera. Court gossip alleged that there was a brief affair between the crown prince and Helene Vetsera in 1877." (Crown Prince Rudolf -- Traces of a Life)

Maria Antonia of Tuscany (1858-1883).
Lover in 1880?

"Some of these liaisons, however, were more serious than others. In 1880, the crown prince supposedly secretly married his distant Habsburg cousin Maria Antonia, daughter of Grand Duke Ferdinand IV of Tuscany, when she became pregnant. As she was dying of consumption, it is said, the emperor had the marriage annulled; Maria Antonia died in 1883, after allegedly giving birth to Rudolf’s son in 1881. . . ." (The History Reader)
Mizzi Kaspar
@Alexander Palace
Mizzi Kaspar (1864-1907)
Austrian actress & courtesan.
Lover in 1886-1889.

"'Rudolf was a virtual prisoner. He was kept under strict surveillance. No one could visit him unobserved. His correspondence was censored.' Thus Lonyay describes the situation after Rudolf and Stephanie returned to the old Imperial Castle. Under the circumstances, the Crown Prince turned more and more to the pursuit of women as a way to while away his ample free time. He even kept a diary in which each new conquest was given a rating as to standing and desirability. Although Rudolph's passing conquests were many, his one true friend in those days was Mizzi Kaspar, an actress, whom he saw even after he had met the Baroness Vetsera." (Famous Ghosts)

Rudolf's favourite mistress.
" . . . Mizzi . . . was Rudolf's favourite mistress for many years. (S)he was a courtesan originally though the sources don't always say this, but she didn't have any other lovers during the time she was with him. He had in fact asked her to die with him before he asked Mary Vetsera, but Mizzi was sensible enough not to do it. Rudolf apparently still kept seeing Mizzi during his affair with Mary, and spent with her the last night before he left for Mayerling to die with Mary. . . . " (Mizzi Caspar - a picture and thoughts)

The half-Greek who was the love of his life.
" . . . Rudolf consoled himself with alcohol, morphine, and alcohol, all of which heightened his distress. The venereal diseases were likely driving him mad. Of the many mistresses, the seventeen-year-old, half-Greek baroness Mary Vetsera was not his favorite. His favorite lover, probably the love of his life, was Mizzi Casper. Rudolf had given Mizzi a house in Vienna, where she lived and where a mutual friends ran a high-class bordello. He consoled himself with her in these sad days by going to wine bars and singing popular songs. Yet Mizzi laughed at Rudolf when he spoke his desire for a double suicide, and reported him to the police in the hope of stopping him. . . . " (The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg Archduke: 36)

A woman with a lust for life.
" . . . A cheerful woman with a lust for life, she became the person to whom Rudolf felt closest. Months before his death he asked Mizzi to die with him in a suicide pact. Unlike Mary Vetsera she refused and reported Rudolf's weariness to Krauss, the police commissioner, who, however, failed to take any action." (Crown Prince Rudolf -- Traces of a Life)

Anna Pick (1855-?)
Lover in 1887?

Wife of Reinhard von Leiningen-Westerburg (1863-1929), mar 1885.

"It was probably no accident that Rudolf bought Mayerling from Count Reinhard von Leiningen-Westerburg in 1887. The count lived in a villa on the estate with his beautiful wife, Anna---who just happened to be the former actress Anna Pick, who had shared the crown prince's bed and who had accompanied him to Brussels when he went to ask for Stephanie's hand. Having the new, sympathetic countess near at hand only added to Mayerling's attraction. . . ." (Twilight of Empire: The Tragedy at Mayerling and the End of the Habsburgs: 114)

"Towards the end of the 1870s, Crown Prince Rudolf began to look around for a wife. Since as a Habsburg he could only marry the daughter of a ruling Catholic dynasty of equal rank, his choice of potential consorts was very limited. Rudolf decided on the 15-year-old Stephanie of Belgium. In March 1880 the Austrian crown prince travelled to Brussels in order to betroth (sic) himself to the Belgian king's daughter. Among his entourage on this journey was his mistress, the actress Anna Pick. When the bride's mother, Queen Marie Henriette, was told of this, it triggered a scandal at the Belgian court. The image of the happy engaged couple was publicised in photographs." (Crown Prince Rudolf -- Traces of a Life)
Marie von Vetsera (1871-1889)
Austrian aristocrat & imperial mistress.
Lover in 1888.

Daughter of: Baron Albin Vescera, Austrian diplomat, & Helene Baltazzi.

"Vescera, Baroness Marie Alexandrine – (1871 – 1889), Austrian Imperial mistress, Marie Vescera was born in Vienna, the daughter of Baron Albin Vescera and his wife Helene Baltazzi, and attended a convent school. Marie became a great beauty, and had such an interest in horse-racing that earned the nickname of ‘Turf angel.’ She met the crown prince Rudolph at the Hofburg Palace (Nov, 1888) and the two became infatuated with each other. The attachment caused great scandal, and, at length was brought to the attention of the Emperor Franz Joseph, who ordered the couple to separate. At the royal lodge at Mayerling, they were founded (sic) together, both shot dead (Jan 30, 1889). It seems that the couple, in order not to be forcibly separated, had decided upon a suicide pact, though the real truth of the affair remains shrouded in mystery, and there remains the possibility that she may have been murdered." (Women of History - V)

"In all that time Rudolf had a secret admirer. It was the young Baroness Marie-Alexandrine Vetsera, called Mary. She lived with her siblings and mother in a palace at the Salesianergasse. In order to finally get in touch with Rudolf, Mary turned in the fall of 1888 to Marie-Luise Countess Larisch-Wallersee, who was the niece of the Empress and at the same time a close friend of the house Vetsera. The Countess took Mary to the farm, where she met Rudolf, on the pretext of using her for shopping. The Crown Prince could not reciprocate her love-fire to the same extent, but was touched by her affection and found in her a potential companion for his thoughts of suicide slumbering in him for some time. From November 1888, Rudolf met with Mary more often. In the house Vetsera one should know nothing of it, because it always happened secretly. Only Mary's maid Jahoda knew about it and helped her in each case Secretly leave the house and climb on the Moroccan lane the carriage of Rudolf's bodyfiaker Josef Bratfisch. If one began to suspect something, Countess Larisch always knew how to settle it." (Planet Vienna)

Femme fatale in the truest sense of the word.
" . . . Mary Vetsera, on the other hand, was a femme fatale in the truest sense; she actuated Rudolf's fascination with death.  On 30 January 1889, Franz Josef was given the awful news that his only son had been found dead at his hunting compound in Mayerling.  The doctor who investigated fond both Rudolf and Vetsera shot through the head, with the gun near Rudolf's right hand." (The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg Archduke: 36)

"In 1887, Rudolf bought Mayerling and adapted it into a hunting lodge. In the autumn of 1888, the 30-year-old crown prince met the 17-year-old Baroness Marie Vetsera, known by the more fashionable Anglophile name Mary. From the start, Mary adored him, and was ready to do anything for him. It was almost certainly not the great romance of his life, but Rudolf did have feelings for her, and was touched by her limitless, almost fanatical, love for him."  (Virtual Vienna Net)

Annie Frankfurter.
Lover in 1880s.

" . . . Annie Kuranda, nee Frankfurter, was the wife of the Jewish industrialist Emil Kuranda, who belonged to the crown prince's intimate circle of friends. Rudolf made fun of the allegation by his anti-Semitic opponents that he was having an affair with her; nonetheless, according to police files she was frequently to be seen at his side right up to the end of his life." (Crown Prince Rudolf -- Traces of a Life)

Wife of:
1. Count Georg Larisch von Moenich, Baron of Ellgoth & Karwin (1855-1928), mar 1877, div 1896
2. Otto Brucks (1854-1919), opera singer & musician, mar 1897
3. William H. Meyers (1859-?), American naturopath, mar 1924.

" . . . Sixteen-year-old Marie endlessly flirted with her cousin Rudolf. Although the illegitimate daughter of a morganatic union, she seems to have taken the empress's favor as evidence that she would be an acceptable bride for the crown prince. Although she later claimed to dislike Rudolf, Marie apparently showed herself more than amenable to his attentions. With his relaxed approach to appropriate behavior, Rudolf is said to have reciprocated his cousin's affections---a dangerous situation that Empress Elisabeth finally ended in 1877 by arranging Marie's quick marriage to Count George von Larisch, a minor aristocratic army officer." (Twilight of Empire: 72)

" . . . Later Rudolf meets Countess Marie Larisch and her friend Baroness Helene Vetsera, who introduces her daughter Mary to him (Larisch is Rudolf's ex-mistress, who latterly has been acting as his procurer and go-between).  After four Hungarian officers plead the cause of their country's separatist movement (to which Rudolf is sympathetic), Larisch makes clear her own sexual availability, should Rudolf wish to resurrect their relationship. The Emperor, however, interrupts the rendezvous and orders Rudolf to attend to his wife." (The Faber Pocket Guide to Ballet)

Marie's Personal & Family Background: She was the illegitimate first daughter of actress Henriette Mendel, a commoner, and Ludwig Wilhelm, Duke in Bavaria.

Marie's Spouses & Children: She married 1) divorced in 1896, she married Georg, Count Larisch von Moennich; 2) in 1897, divorced 1898, Otto Brucks, a Royal Bavarian Court singer; and 3) in 1924, William Meyers. [Marie, Countess Larisch

Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria Gallery.
Beautiful images of Rudolf
Rudolf of Austria
File:Rudolf Crown Prince of Austria LOC.jpg
Rudolf of Austria
Kronprinz Rudolf von Habsburg (1858-1889)
Rudolf of Austria
Rudolf - The goodlooking crown prince
Rudolf of Austria
The handsome Crown Prince Rudolf
Rudolf of Austria
Rudolf Crown Prince of Austria 1878
Rudolf of Austria