In 1880 Rudolf met Princess Stephanie, the daughter of King Leopold II. and Marie Henriette. Wedding took place on the 10th of May in 1881, Rudolph was at first devoted to his wife and she liked very much to accompany her husband to social events. She was willing to do anything to their life was as pleasant as possible.
After marriage they lived in Prague in the spring of 1883 Stephanie became pregnant and excited about an unborn child Rudolph talked about it as Wenceslas. On the 2nd of September was born a girl, named her Elizabeth (the family called her "Erži). A young mother was unhappy that she did not give the desired son to Rudolf, but he happy about their 3,5 kg baby.
Franz Josef liked Rudolf very muich and he encouraged him in all directions of science, however, but he saw in him a liberal and juvenile boy. The emperor liked the traditional role of officers in the army and was not going to change anything, but Rudolph was looking for new and more efficient use of their troops, but Archduke Albert also didn't like that. In the spring of 1888, Rudolf assumed that he would be given a command of the second regiment of the army headquarters in Vienna. Instead of that, Albert made sure to get a sub and carefully guarded office, made directly for Rudolph. He became the Inspector General of Infantry. At the time, Rudolph's health began to ruin. He suffered from rheumatic pains and bronchitis. Even more he had created a dependency on alcohol and morphine. He had blinding headaches since childhood, after the fall of the tree is it now more often exhibited. Even his marriage was not happy. Stephanie underwent a venereal disease, she was contracted from Rudolf, after this illness she could no longer conceive. Rudolf had frequent infidelities and he didn't make any secret about that and he ingulded in that everywhere it was possible. At the court was said that he has at least thirty illegitimate children.
Problematic behavior of Rudolph had warn Emperor of Rudolph's great change. Rudolf pretty thoughtless fired near the Emperor on one of the imperial hunting, and it almost hurt or even killed him. This prevented one of the cowboys who stood if front of emperor and this act saved the Emperor's life. After this incident, Rudolph got a total ban to participate in the imperial hunting. Emperor didn't like Rudolph's affection for newspapers, which often contributes to. On the 29th of January, before noon Rudolph told to his subjects that he leaves to the hunting lodge in Mayerling. On the 30th of January in 1889 heard Emperor terrible news that Prince Philip and Count Hoyos found lifeless body of Prince Rudolf and his mistress Marie Vetserao in one room in hunting lodge a few hours ago. The family told as the first report for the public that Crown Prince died of a heart attack, two days later they admited the prince's suicide.
On the 5th of February took place a funeral, funeral procession led just Emperor Franz Joseph and his daughter Gisela. Rudolph's wife Stephanie, his mother and sister Valerie did not participate. The procession started from the chapel of the Hofburg, where were deposited his remains, to the Habsburg crypt in the Capuchin church. Mary who Rudolf shot have been probably buried somewhere in uncanonized and abandoned tomb. Emperor's mistress and girlfriend, actress Katharina Schrahtt provided that Mary's family buried her with dignity.
In Vienna wrote Rudolf many letters of farewell to sister, his mistress Mitzi Caspar, Baron Hirsch, and other friends. Only a letter to his mother he wrote shortly after the shooting of Mary, begging her for forgiveness of his father, he did not write any letter to Emperor. Rudolph wrote in the letter that Franz Josef didn't deserve to have a son and that he killed, that's why he has no right to live. The emperor and empress had never fully recovered from the trauma .
Hunting lodge in Mayerling had been demolished a few days after the tragic event. At this place was built a chapel and a monastery for Carmelite.