Publication: Bringing home Charlotte. Baron Adrien Goffinet’s mission in Vienna and Miramar – July 1867

4th of April 2012

In June 1867, the Belgian Royal family learned of the execution in Mexico of the Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, husband of Empress Charlotte. This led to King Léopold II entrusting Queen Marie-Henriette and Baron Adrien Goffinet with the mission of bringing back Charlotte, who was the King’s sister, from Miramar in Italy.

Because of her mental state, Princess Charlotte was living in seclusion in the Gartenhaus on the Miramar estate, unaware of the tragic fate of her husband. How could the Empress be persuaded to leave Miramar and brave the many opponents preferred not to see Charlotte leave together with her considerable fortune?

A document acquired by the King Baudouin Foundation in 1993, which had previously been kept in the Goffinet archives, recounts this epic story in the travel diary of Adrien Goffinet. Based on this travel diary, which he has studied and deciphered completely, the historian and writer Olivier Defrance brings alive for us this adventure full of intrigue and strategic calculations. Ms Rossella Fabiani, Director of the Castello di Miramare, introduces Olivier Defrance's text by talking about Charlotte's life in Miramar.