The Empress of Farewells: The Story of Charlotte, Empress of Mexico
With the rich historical texture and compelling immediacy of a novel, Prince Michael of Greece tells the story of Charlotte and Maximilian. After Charlotte, daughter of King Leopold I of Belgium, married Archduke Maximilian of Austria, brother of Habsburg emperor Franz Josef, they became viceroys of Lombardy-Venetia -- until Italian unification left them without a future. Shortly afterward, Napoleon III invaded Mexico, installing Maximilian as its powerless emperor. In Rome to plead for aid from the pope, Charlotte suddenly went mad, while Maximilian was executed before a Mexican firing squad. Drawing on previously unpublished documents from the royal families' archives, Prince Michael of Greece delves into Charlotte's life and the mystery that surrounds it. The result is a compelling, historically illuminating portrait of a remarkable woman.