Story of Max and Carlota

At 10 o'clock on June 10th, 1867, the last Emperor of Mexico extinguished the light in his small chamber in the convent of the Capucines in the town of Queretaro and went to bed. The tiny room had little ventilation and the air was close, almost suffocating. Maximilian was far from home. He had been born in Austria, the brother of the Austrian Emperor, Franz Josef. He was 35, fair haired with blue eyes and a flamboyant set of bushy sideburns. He was a member of the house of Hapsburg, the oldest ruling European Dynasty. He had come to Mexico in 1864, just a little over three years before with his beautiful wife, Carlota, to rule over a new world Empire. This night was to be his last. The next morning he and two other men were led up to the top of a hill top square. Seven uniformed men armed with rifles lined up; To each the Emperor handed an ounce of gold and he asked them to take good aim for his heart and make a clean death. He asked that the men not deface him, so his mother, the Archduchess, could see him once more in his coffin.

They say he pinned a scarlet piece of cloth to his white pleated shirt to mark the spot where the marksmen should take aim. He was wearing black civilian clothes; all signs of his Imperial office were gone. Maximilian was incredibly calm as he faced his executioners. "I forgive everybody. I pray that everybody may also forgive me, and my blood which is about to be shed will bring peace to Mexico. Long live Mexico! Long Live Independence!, he shouted in Spanish - the last words of the Austrian Archduke now so far from Vienna. MORE

Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico


Carlota, Empress of Mexico

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