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The Strange Deaths of Archduke Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria, and Baroness Mary Vetsera – 30 January 1889

On 30 January 1889, the bodies of Archduke Rudolf and his mistress, Baroness Mary Vetsera, were discovered in the royal hunting lodge at Mayerling. The official verdict is that the star-crossed lovers died in a suicide pact after Rudolf’s father, Franz Joseph I of Austria, demanded that he end the relationship. However, there are theories that Rudolf was murdered (Mary’s body was smuggled out of Mayerling in the middle of the night and Rudolf was described as being ‘mentally unbalanced’)

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The First Duel Fought in Hot Air Balloons – Paris, 1808

Monsieurs Granpree and Le Pique fight for the hand of Mademoiselle Tirevit in the skies above Paris We love stumbling across quirky stories in the Archive! More often than not, we find these stories while looking for something else – our eyes always seem happy to read weird and wonderful tales in adjacent columns. This strange story reports on the first duel to be fought in hot air gas [Ed: Thanks to all that provided feedback. Correction made!] balloons, in Paris,

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