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Prince Commits Suicide After Wife’s Drug Death

November 28, 1988 GMT

LINZ, Austria (AP) _ Prince Ludwig Rudolf of Hanover, a great-grandson of Germany’s last emperor, committed suicide Monday after discovering his wife had died of an apparent drug overdose, police said.

The 32-year-old prince and his 26-year-old wife, Isabelle of Hanover, were married in October 1987 and leave a 9-month-old son, Prince Otto of Hanover.

Police said Prince Ludwig Rudolf, a great-grandson of Kaiser Wilhelm II, was found shot to death, his hunting rifle by his side, in a wooded area about 20 miles from Gmuden, a lakeside resort in Upper Austria.

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A security police official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the prince had found his wife dead in the so-called Queen’s Villa at Gmunden. The spokesman said she apparently died of a drug overdose.

The type of drug was not identified, and it was not known if the princess intentionally took an overdose of drugs.

Police said the prince called the Red Cross in Gmunden at 2:45 a.m. Monday and reported that his wife had apparently died. When a Red Cross physician arrived at the villa, the prince was not there, police said.

The princess, Austrian-born Countess Isabelle Maria von Thurn und Valsassina-Como Vercelli, was found dead in her bedroom.

Police said after making the telephone call, the prince took his hunting rifle and drove away. His body was found at 6:30 a.m. with a bullet wound to the head. Police ruled out involvement by another person.

In West Germany, the secretariat of the dead nobleman’s brother, the Prince of Hanover and Duke of Brunswick and Luneburg, said in a statement that Isabelle died of a circulatory failure caused by taking ″too strong medication.″

″In shock due to the sudden death of his wife, my brother, His Royal Highness Prince Ludwig Rudolf of Hanover, thereafter took his life,″ the statement said.

The villa where the princess died is a favorite meeting place of European aristocracy.