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ERZSI & OTTO - January 22 1902.

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    Posted 7 years ago

    (725 items)

    I love a mystery. It is even better to solve one! In the case of this card the mystery lay in the identity of the couple. There was nothing on the card itself that gave any hint as to their identity. But the back of the card had multiple language versions of the word Post Card – 10 different languages. In a way that gave me a hint. They were extremely well known in middle Europe. Hungarian is one of those ten languages, German, Italian etc..

    It suggested the Austro-Hungarian Empire to me. I was researching a couple of the other Royal Belgians and decided to look a little further afield. Finally I came across another version of the image. Bingo.

    She is the important figure rather than her husband. It is actually a photo taken on the day before their wedding. It was January 22 1902. The location was the château de Ploschkowitz in Bohemia,

    He is Prince Othon de Windisch-Graetz. He was ten years older than his young bride. She was just nineteen!

    She was Elisabeth Maria Henriette Stephanie Gisela, Archduchess of Austria.

    Now that is an important title. She was the grand-daughter of the Emperor Franz-Joseph. The emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

    She was quite a catch!

    After the marriage Prince Othon de Windisch-Graetz became "prince souverain" (Fürst). He had definitely stepped up in the world.

    The important character is the beautiful young Archduchess. Her life reads like a novel. If you have read the novel or seen the movie “Mayerling” then you will know something about the background of the young Archduchess whose nickname within the family was the Hungarian “Erzsi".

    Erszi’s mother was a Belgian princess: Princesse Stéphanie de Belgique.

    Erszi’s father was the Crown Prince Rudolph of Austria. He was the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. But he was in love with another young woman called Marie Vetsera. The bodies of the 30-year-old Archduke and the 17-year-old baroness were discovered in the Imperial hunting lodge at Mayerling in the Vienna Woods, fifteen miles southwest of the capital, on the morning of 30 January 1889.


    Erzsi was just five years old.

    These events actually shaped the course of history and led to the destabilization of Europe that led to the First World War.

    The marriage to Prince Otto Windisch-Graetz did not go well although they did have four children. The Prince did wander! Erzsi is known these days as the “Archiduchesse rouge” or the Red Archduchess. She was political. She was a member of the Social Democratic party. A feminist!

    Erzsi and Otto both flaunted their much discussed affairs and on one occasion Erszi used a gun to scare off one of Otto’s mistresses. They finally separated in 1924 after a long battle over the children. I love this description she made of her husband: “Un dandy dépourvu de sens moral, pétri de lâcheté et de médiocrité”.

    There is much more to Erzsi's story that just this period in her life. Perhaps you can find out some more information here:

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    1. vetraio50 vetraio50, 7 years ago
      This is a nice photo essay :
    2. vetraio50 vetraio50, 7 years ago
      Many thanks MOON!
    3. Moonstonelover21 Moonstonelover21, 7 years ago
      Kevin, fantastic read!!! I loved your bio...many thanks!!! XOXOXO
    4. AmberRose AmberRose, 7 years ago
    5. vetraio50 vetraio50, 7 years ago
    6. vetraio50 vetraio50, 7 years ago
      Many thanks MIKELV, DON 'n AUSTRO too!
    7. vetraio50 vetraio50, 7 years ago
      Many thanks GEO!!!
    8. SEAN68 SEAN68, 7 years ago
    9. shareurpassion shareurpassion, 7 years ago
      Wow! Great history!!! I too love "discovering" just about anything...sooo exciting! Thanks for sharing.
    10. vetraio50 vetraio50, 7 years ago
      Many thanks SHAREURPASSION, SEAN, GARY, PHIL, TOM 'n KERRY too!!!
    11. vetraio50 vetraio50, 7 years ago
      Many thanks BLUNDERBUSS!!!!
    12. vetraio50 vetraio50, 7 years ago
      Many thanks TTOMTUCKER, WINDWALKER 'n PETEY!!!
    13. vetraio50 vetraio50, 7 years ago
      Many thanks POPS52!!!!
    14. vetraio50 vetraio50, 7 years ago
      Many thanks ELISABETHAN!!!!
    15. mcheconi mcheconi, 7 years ago
      What a great post vetraio...I am passionate about the stories behind each object and my greatest fun is to discover them. Thank you for sharing!
    16. vetraio50 vetraio50, 7 years ago
      No thanks to you MCHECONI!!!!
    17. vetraio50 vetraio50, 7 years ago
      Many thanks MILITARIST!!!
    18. vetraio50 vetraio50, 7 years ago
      Many thanks JENSEN!!!
    19. antiquerose antiquerose, 7 years ago
      Wow....what a Detective You are!!
    20. Radegunder Radegunder, 7 years ago
      Nice Research!!
      By brother told me this some time ago when the movie " Mayerling"was being made in Laxenburg it was winter and a friend of his was working as an electrician, he just had a break. The door to the constuction Container opened and
      who came in to warm up Omar Sharif and James Mason!
    21. vetraio50 vetraio50, 7 years ago
      Many thanks ANTIQUEROSE 'n RADEGRUNDER too!
      That must take you back to 1967 or 68?
    22. friendofvincent33 friendofvincent33, 7 years ago
      Amazing! I love it.
    23. vetraio50 vetraio50, 7 years ago
      Many thanks FRIEND OF VINCENT !!!!
    24. vetraio50 vetraio50, 7 years ago
      Many thanks JEWELS 'n GUARDIAN too!!!!!
    25. MisterEsoteric MisterEsoteric, 6 years ago
      Awesome post. Thanks for sharing. I love the vintage postcard pics. It was certainly a different time.

      Happy New Year!
    26. Alan2310 Alan2310, 6 years ago
      Fabuleux,et Merveilleux,What a nice post and solving here.
      We feel so good(don't we)when we do kind of detective research, and so cool, it's free to do..just need ,time, passion, and patient.
      And when it's done, what a praise.....
      Happy New Year 2015, and lot more to come.

    27. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
      Many thanks MISTER ESOTERIC 'n ALAIN too !!!
    28. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
      many thanks ELISABETHAN 'n FREIHEIT too !!!!!
    29. Militarist Militarist, 6 years ago
      Good write up!! Otto was as morally unfit as his old man.
    30. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
      Many thanks MILITARIST !!!!!!
    31. antiquerose antiquerose, 6 years ago
      HAD to love again ~ Such an Amazing Story !!
    32. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
      Thanks so much Rose ... CW has just been reorganising their cards and gave this one a new heading. This is a personal favourite .... the two of them were like chalk and cheese.
    33. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
      Many thanks KATHERINESCOLLECTIONS !!!!!!
    34. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks CATBURGLAR !!!!
    35. martika martika, 5 years ago
      Very interesting!!! You are an excellent detective! Sorry for correcting one little mistake: the name must be Erzsi. The letter 'zs' sounds different from the letter 'sz' in Hungarian - it's my first language
    36. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks MARTIKA, I will fix that up !!!!

      Thanks too to AURA, TTOMTUCKER, CAPERKID & VERBATIM too !!!!!
    37. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      Many thanks THOMAS & RADEGRUNDER !!! !!!! !!!
    38. vetraio50 vetraio50, 3 years ago
      Many thanks NH10 ! !!! !!! !!! !

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