Elisabeth Empress of Austria
- Category : 1837-births
- Type : PSP
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Prevention 2
German royalty, the second daughter of Duke Joseph of Bavaria. After a happy childhood, raised in a rural family castle, she became the Empress of Austria and Hungary with her marriage to her cousin Franz Josef on 4/24/1854 when she was 17. Coming from an unrestrained background into the ceremonies of the Vienna court, her marriage suffered not only from the necessary adjustments but from the stress of a nagging mother-in-law. The marriage began as a glowing love-match, but gradually turned cold when her husband began to pursue casual infidelities.
Elizabeth had three children who were raised by Franz Josef's mother; she was allowed very little contact with them, and the first daughter died in infancy. After their third child was born, Crown Prince Rudolph, she became estranged from her husband. Seeming to suffer from poor health, she sought relief and recuperation in a great deal of travel.
A striking beauty with a gay spirit, Elizabeth was an accomplished horsewoman. Her ability to speak Magyar fluently endeared her to the Hungarians. Though her judgment was sound, she took little part in public affairs and abhorred publicity, preferring a quiet interest in literature. In 1881 her son, Archduke Rudolph, married Princess Stephanie, but it was not a close union.
When the country began a disastrous war with Prussia and Italy in 1866, Elizabeth rejoined her husband, helping to bring better relations between Austria and Hungary, halves of the dual monarchy.
Europe was shocked with the scandal when Archduke Rudolph committed suicide with Baroness Maria Vetsera at Mayerling 1/30/1889, 7:00 to 8:00 AM. Family trauma was not unfamiliar to the Empress; her cousin had been a suicide and her sister died in a fire in 1897.
Elizabeth fell deeply into melancholia. Seeking escape again in travel, as the left the hotel to board a ship, she was stabbed to death by Italian anarchist Luigi Luccheni the afternoon of 9/10/1898,at Geneva, Switzerland.