Become acquainted with The Scandal at Mayerling’s key characters

Prepare yourself for the gripping drama of the Austrian royal court by reading our synopsis

Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria-Hungary

The heir to a vast empire, Rudolf had a harsh childhood and grew up desperate for affection from a mother unable to provide any. He is notorious in the royal court for his turbulent lifestyle and obsession with sex, drugs, and death.

Empress Elisabeth & Emperor Franz Josef

Rudolf’s unhappily married mother and father. Elisabeth finds her life in the court barely tolerable and her relationship with Rudolf is fraught with emotions. Rudolf had little contact with his parents as a child, particularly his mother, as was common for royal heirs at the time.

Princess Stephanie of Belgium

Rudolf’s new bride. Stephanie is eager to commit to a happy and successful marriage but is not prepared for the horrors that await her.

Princess Louise

Stephanie’s sister and the subject of Rudolf’s attention during his wedding celebrations.

Mary Vetsera

The daughter of Baroness Vetsera, a friend of Countess Larisch. She is first introduced to Rudolf at his wedding and soon proves she shares his appetite for the macabre.

Countess Larisch

A courtier and Rudolf’s former mistress. The pair seem to make no effort to end their affair, despite Larisch choreographing Rudolf’s liaisons with Mary Vetsera.

Mitzi Kaspar

Rudolf’s regular mistress.


Rudolf’s private coachman and one of the few who know the full extent of his dark and debauched tastes.

Sketches by Elin Steele.