Most of us know the tragic story of Crown Prince Rudolf and his mistress Mary Vetsera. They probably made some sort of murder-suicide pact, which cost both of them their lives on 30 January 1889. I visited Mayerling Hunting Lodge where the event took place and the Imperial Crypt where Rudolf is buried last year. Mary Vetsera was buried in Heiligenkreuz.
Recently, Mary’s goodbye letters which were thought to be destroyed by Mary’s mother were found in an archive. She wrote letters to her mother, sister Hanna and brother Feri. They were found in a brown leather binder.
Forgive me for what I have I have done. I could not resist love. In agreement with him I wish to be buried at Alland Cemetery with him. I am happier in death than I am in life.
The letter to her brother Feri:
‘My dear Feri,
I was unable to see you again. Live well. I will watch over you from the other side, because I love you so much.
Your loyal sister, Mary’
Part of her letter to her sister Hanna:
‘Several hours before my death I wish to say goodbye to you. We are blissfully going into the unknown limbo’
The documents will go on display in the exhibition planned in 2016 for the 100th anniversary of Rudolf’s father, Franz Joseph I’s death in the Austrian National Library.