By Darren Shelton for the European Royal History Journal.
My maternal grandfather at one time was mooted as heir to a throne he did not inherit, although in time he was to become a reigning sovereign on his brother's death. I was born to a well-known mother who was a considerable heiress, and whose inheritance was hard won over cousins with a greater claim. My father was plucked from obscurity. With my siblings, we ruled in the major capitals of the world. Married twice, I was unlucky in love. My first wife, the treasure of my heart, loved another and despised my presence. My second wife, a political match, loved me to distraction, while I could not stand her. Deprived of children who lived, I spent my life being a progressive free thinker. Who am I, and who were my wives?
The answer will be revealed on Thursday.
I am Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II and my wives, Princess Isabella of Parma and Princess Maria Josepha of Bavaria.