Rudolf of Austria
Rudolf of Austria
Vital statistics
Sex Male
Born 21 August, 1858
Died 30 January, 1889
Nationality Austrian
Family Franz Joseph I of Austria (father)
Elisabeth of Bavaria (mother)
Stéphanie of Belgium (wife)
Archduke Karl Ludwig (uncle)
Behind the scenes
Appearances Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria was an Austrian prince and the heir apparent to the Austro-Hungarian throne. He was the son of Emperor Franz Joseph I and the nephew of Archduke Karl Ludwig.

He died on 30 January, 1889, in his hunting lodge at Mayerling, where he apparently committed suicide after killing his mistress.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Sherlock Holmes realises that Prince Rudolf's death was likely part of a conspiracy by Professor James Moriarty, designed to destabilise Europe and cause a world war as part of a war-profiteering scheme. After his apparent suicide, the death of the crown prince was reported in the newspapers, which brought it to the attention of Sherlock Holmes, who connected this death, along with numerous other seemingly unrelated incidents, to a plot later revealed to be masterminded by Moriarty.


  • Rudolf's death was in fact highly destabilising in Europe, as the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, next in line to the throne, was what triggered World War I.
  • The body of the newspaper article in Holmes' study was copied directly from Rudolf's Wikipedia's entry.