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Prince Danilo and Crown Prince Mirko of the Kingdom of Monteblanco meet Sally O'Hara, a follies girl on tour, and both seek to win her favor. Favoring Danilo, Sally accepts his proposal to dinner, and he does his charming best to seduce her. Mirko finds them in a compromising situation, and Danilo, overcome by genuine love for Sally, announces his intention of making her his wife. The king and queen prevent the marriage, and Sally, believing that Danilo has jilted her, spitefully marries Baron Sadoja, the richest man in the kingdom. The Baron dies of excitement on their wedding night, and Sally goes to Paris, where she becomes known as "The Merry Widow." Mirko later follows her there with the intention of seeking her hand and fortune in marriage. Danilo goes also, and Sally agrees to marry Mirko to further torment him. Danilo strikes Mirko, and a duel is arranged. Believing that Sally loves Mirko, Danilo allows the crown prince to shoot him. Danilo is only wounded, however, and discovers then that Sally loves him still. The king dies, the crown prince is assassinated, and Danilo becomes king, taking Sally as his queen.