1830 - 1907 (77 years)
Has 16 ancestors but no descendants in this family tree.
||Julie von Rothschild |
|Relationship||with Francis Fox|
||21 Sep 2001 |
- Born of the Austrian house, married into the Naples one (Adolph von Rothschild was her husband), living in Paris and a frequent visitor to her brother Ferdy's English splendors, Julie had her favorite residence in Switzerland---a fairytale villa in Pregny on the shores of Lake Geneva. On September 9, 1898, she and the villa became linked with a dark hallmark in Habsburg history.
That day the Empress of Austria came to visit, not in an Austrian vessel of state, not in the Rothschild yacht Julie had offered, but by ordinary steamer. She arrived in her customary deeply veiled, discreetly hatted, strictly incognito fashion (she traveled as Countess Hohenembs), attended by a single lady-in-waiting. As so often, Julie managed to cheer her high guest. The magnificent dinner was served with subtle regard for the dietary laws of both ladies: Julie ate kosher; while Elizabeth was the first low-calorie Empress, with Vogue cheekbones and, despite her sixty years, an infinitesimal waistline. The concealed orchestra played a sweet Italian air. The hostess steered the conversation to Heine, her guest's favorite poet; and before long the All-Highest lady proposed a champagne toast, a levity rare in her melancholy later years. Afterwards the ladies adjourned to the gardens and then to Julie's hothouses. Arranged by countries and climates, the plants constituted the finest private conservatory in Switzerland. As an exquisite bouquet of petals and aromas enveloped the Empress, she brightened still further. All was smiles until the time of departure. Then Elizabeth signed the visitors' book and, still in her pleasant mood, turned it a few pages back. She stopped, pale. There was the signature of Crown Prince Rudolf. Her son, too, had been a guest at Pregny, shortly before his suicide at Mayerling. When the Empress left, Julie noticed tears in her eyes.
And later the lady-in-waiting recalled that on the way back, again by ordinary steamer, Elizabeth had talked about nothing but death. The subject was apt. Less than fifteen hours afterward, in front of her Geneva hotel, she died of an anarchist's dagger. The Empress of Austria had spent her last full day in Julie von Rothschild's home. Happily, most fraternizings between royalty and the Austrian mishpoche were not ominous.