Rudolf
Archduke of Austria (non-ruling member of the dynasty); crown prince

Born 21 August 1858 (Schloss Laxenburg, Lower Austria)
Died 30 January 1889 (Mayerling, Lower Austria)

Crown Prince Rudolf epitomizes the tragedy of the declining Monarchy. With his progressive ideas, so unlike those of his father Franz Joseph, the heir to the throne was largely unable to find an effective role in the dynastic context and was opposed by conservative hardliners such as Archduke Albrecht. He inspired the monumental work The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in Words and Pictures. Rudolf committed suicide at Mayerling, shooting first his lover Mary Vetsera and then himself.

 

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