AUSTRIA – POSTCARD – ERZHERZOG LEOPOLD FERDINAND
This postcard shows Erzherzog Leopold Ferdinand of Austria in uniform. He was a cousin of Austria’s royal family, Archduke Ferdinand IV of Tuscany’s son, and quite the black sheep. Leopold fell in love with a prostitute and suffered from alcoholism. His parents had him dried-out, then tried to bribe him to abandon his mistress. He left the Imperial House and fled to Switzerland, where he married the prostitute, Wilhelmina Adamovich, whom he later divorced. (He married two more times).
He petitioned Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria to renounce his rank as an archduke, which was granted in 1902. He took the name Leopold Wölfling, after a peak in the Ore Mountains. He was forbidden from entering Austrian lands and became a Swiss citizen. He was given money from the state, as well as an income from his parents. After World War I, Wölfling’s allowance from his family stopped.
He had many adventures before returning to Austria and opening a delicatessen store in Vienna where he sold salami and olive oil.
He eventually wrote a book called From Archduke to Grocer.
He died in 1935.