An obscure German nobleman named Rudolf of Habsburg was elected Holy Roman Emperor in 1273 when an assemblage at Aachen shouted "Fiat!"
(So be it). He promptly proved his worth by storming Vienna and conquering two rich Austrian duchies for himself. His latest descendant is not so bold. Banished when his father Karl I was toppled from power after World War I, the current pretender to the throne of Austria-Hungary last week came home to his domains as plain Dr.
Otto Habsburg, and not with a Fiat but a Mercedes 220.
The visit lasted less than four hours.
An aide drove Otto...