Alexander Baltazzi was one of the party that hunted with Empress Elisabeth (Sisi) on the Isle of Wight in 1874. Sisi’s sister Queen Maria Sophia of Naples had introduced him and his brother Hector to Empress Elisabeth.
Born in Constantinople, his father Theodore (Evangelos) was a successful banker and had the concession for tolls on the Pera bridge. His mother Eliza Sarrell was Theodore’s second wife. Alexander was educated at Rugby School in England and reputedly inherited £100,000. He was able to move in aristocratic and royal circles throughout Europe.
Alexander was a noted rider and successful race horse owner. By the time he met Empress Elisabeth, Alexander had set up stables at Newmarket in partnership with his younger brother Hector and the Rothschilds. He owned the winner of the 1871 Derby and had many successes on the race track.
In 1878 Alexander married a popular actress Nelly Bromley. In 1874 The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News said: ‘Nelly Bromley holds a deservedly distinct and steadily rising position. … her style of acting is intelligently piquante and she possesses a voice of uncommon sweetness and capacity. ‘ ‘Miss Nelly Bromley made her first appearance at the Royalty as ‘Dolly Mayflower’ in Mr Burnard’s burlesque of Black-Eyed Susan in the year 1866.’ She then toured the provincial theatres, before returning to the London stage. In 1875 Nelly created the role of the Plaintiff in the original production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury. She retired from the stage in 1883.
After Crown Prince Rudolf shot his niece Mary Vetsera and then committed suicide in Mayerling, Alexander helped to collect her body for burial. The Baltazzis were no longer acceptable in Viennese society but Alexander was allowed to live in the city. It is said that he gambled away his fortune and died from appendicitis in 1914.
Photo made around 1890. Public domain due to age.