Travelling with Edmundo, who has worked for so long in Mexico as well as in Europe, has finally brought the story of one of many of the inter-marrying European Royal households to life. What is more annoying for me, is that Ken Turner knows as much, or more than Edmundo! What a dummy I feel.
In Trieste, we went to visit the Miramare, a wonderful 19th Century palace on a promontory overlooking the sea. It was designed and built by Austrian Arch Duke Maximillian who was given the areas of Lombardy and Veneto by his brother Emperor Franz Josef of Austria to rule. He married Charlotte of Belgium, a beautiful woman, but it is said that the marriage was never consummated. (She later went mad. Wouldn’t you?)
Later, through Napoleon III, he was approached by Mexican Monarchists to become Emperor of Mexico. He and Charlotte sailed for Vera Cruz, were throned, lived like kings in a palace at one end of the Paseo de la Reforma, but Maximilian was subsequently shot by firing squad by Mexican Republican Creoles, and Charlotte returned to Europe.