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Austria means music. The greatest composers are Austrian. The best operas and the most proficient orchestras are Austrian…

Since I was a teenager, I have attended the Salzburg Music Festival, and indeed it was there that my relationship with Marina developed, as she was working there in the workshop of the illustrious Kokoshka, and we found that we shared a common passion for music.

I have been a faithful and frequent visitor ever since. And so I attended a fabulous performance of Don Carlos in 2013, with Jonas Kaufmann and our compatriot, Anja Harteros. As for the libretto, it has to be said that Verdi invented the whole thing. Queen Elisabeth was never in love with her son-in-law, Don Carlos, and she was deeply attached to her husband, Philip II of Spain, whom she supported against her own mother, Catherine de’ Medici.

INTRODUCTION TO AUSTRIA Austria means music. The greatest composers are Austrian. The best operas and the most proficient orchestras are Austrian... Since I was a teenager, I have attended the Salzburg Music Festival, and indeed it was there that my relationship with Marina developed, as she was working there in the workshop of the illustrious Kokoshka, and we found that we shared a common passion for music. I have been a faithful and frequent visitor ever since. And so I attended a fabulous performance of Don Carlos in 2013, with Jonas Kaufmann and our compatriot, Anja Harteros. As for the libretto, it has to be said that Verdi invented the whole thing. Queen Elisabeth was never in love with her son-in-law, Don Carlos, and she was deeply attached to her husband, Philip II of Spain, whom she supported against her own mother, Catherine de' Medici. And in fact, Don Carlos himself was not a handsome and charming hero, but a deformed, abnormal and horribly violent man subject to dangerous outbursts. He had killed one of his own valets. He proved incapable of rule, and Philip II was reduced to sending pathetic letters to the Vatican asking for advice. We return often to Salzburg. There is the opera, the omnipresent figure of Mozart, the exquisite and inspirational city itself, and the warm hospitality of our friend Thaddaeus.

And in fact, Don Carlos himself was not a handsome and charming hero, but a deformed, abnormal and horribly violent man subject to dangerous outbursts. He had killed one of his own valets. He proved incapable of rule, and Philip II was reduced to sending pathetic letters to the Vatican asking for advice.

We return often to Salzburg. There is the opera, the omnipresent figure of Mozart, the exquisite and inspirational city itself, and the warm hospitality of our friend Thaddaeus.

Austria-

Royalty

AUSTRIA-FAMILY PICTURES

Emperor Franz Joseph leaving his train. Mary Vetsera, beloved of the Archduke Rudolf, who died with him at Mayerling. Archduke Rudolf with his wife, Stephanie of Belgium. Archduke Rudolf of Austria, who would die tragically at Mayerling. The Austrian imperial dynasty. From left to right: Emperor Franz Joseph, his brother-in-law Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, his…

Royalty

NEWS CONCERNING MAYERLING

Our dear friend, Tatiana told us that, newly wed in Austria, she had meticulously interrogated the descendants of the people linked to the Mayerling case. She had mostly collected testimonies concerning the archduchess that had replaced the empress during her absences. Who at the time held the position of mistress of the house? Was it…

Royalty

CESKY KRUMLOV CASTLE

King Rudolf II, an odd fellow and a master of the occult, governed his kingdoms from a magic castle in Prague. He had no legitimate heir. He had a ba stard son, however, Julio, whom he adored. He even gave him the vast Cesky Krumlov castle in Krumau as a home, but Julio proved to be not…

Royalty

THE MONSTER OF GLAMIS (last part )

Since times immemorial, one room upstairs seemed to host particularly impressive apparitions. It had remained locked for centuries and no one dared venture there. However, one night, the cries and rattles had reached such violence that the Lord Strathmore of the time had decided to see for himself. He had gone up to the threshold…

Royalty

THE MONSTER OF GLAMIS

“Good thing our hosts are away for the day!” “We will finally be able to share ghost stories, which is an impossible task in their presence!” It was the beginning of spring, the beginning of the 20th century. The count and the countess of Strathmore had invited some twenty guests to enjoy the weekend in…

Mysteries

THOMAS THE RHYMER « THE GREATEST WIND EVER HEARD»

« On Thursday, before noon, shall blow the greatest wind that ever was heard, to the great calamity and trouble of all Scotland. » Thomas the Rhymer made this prophetic announcement to the Earl of March a few days before the events. Thomas was the most famous poet and prophet in the history of Scotland….

Royalty

A WARNING FOR KING ALEXANDER III

On November 1st 1285, the King of Scotland, Alexander III, remarried. He had lost his first wife, two sons and a daughter, and the heir to the kingdom was now his young grand-daughter. It was a delicate situation and so he decided to try to have a male heir. He himself had been 8 years…

Mysteries

A GHOST VERY MUCH ALIVE

The young wife was very happy. She had a young, handsome and loving husband who was promised a fine position. They lived in one of the finest parts of London in a sunny apartment. Only one thing bothered the young woman… She was always having the same dream. She saw herself in front of a…

Art

LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR

Lucia di Lammermoor is Donizetti’s best-known opera. It’s the story of a young, aristocratic Scottish girl who is in love with with a noble and handsome, but poor young lord, whose parents are against their union. Lucy is forced to break up with him and he moves far away. Her parents make Lucy marry a…

Royalty

Greece family portraits

My grandmother Queen Olga of Greece in exile in Italy. Immediately behind her is my father, Christopher, and next to him, his sister Maria. Behind her is her brother Andrew, father of the Duke of Edinburgh.   King Georges II of Greece and his brother, the heir to the throne Paul of Greece, visiting the…

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