Empress Elisabeth of Austria, known as Sissi, became famous for her tiny waist, beautiful face, love for the Hungarians, bad manners and good heart. She later became a fashion icon, and inspired movies and cartoons, as well as crazy diets. But most importantly, she was the wife of Emperor Franz Joseph I, and a historical figure who will never be forgotten.
She was born and brought up in Bavaria. She wasn’t at all raised to be a queen, since her older sister was prepared to be engaged with Franz Joseph. However, when the Emperor visited the family, he couldn’t help but fall in love with the young princess. Even through his mother stood against the change of plans, the two of them arranged the wedding. When Sissi was only 16, in 1854 they got married.
Even through Franz Joseph loved her, she had no easy life: the Wiener royal-court never accepted her. Her mother-in-law, Princess Sophie was the toughest, she insisted on keeping her from politics, and didn’t let her raise her own child. No doubt why she spent as time abroad as possible. She lover travelling to Hungary, for example, where she was always welcomed.
Her life was surrounded by tragedies: her daughter, Sophie once accompanied her on her holiday to Hungary, where the beloved child got sick, and died in typhus. Her oldest son, Rudolph almost never saw her, since his grandmother took him away. The boy was raised by strict soldiers, and later committed suicide.
Sissi got assassinated in Genf, on the 10th September, in 1898. She spent her vacation in a small and luxurious hotel undercover, but the press gathered information. The media was all about her. Luigi Luccheni, an Italian anarchist, who planned on killing the Prince of Orleans, decided on ending her life, since his original victim never showed up. They met, when the Princess was getting on the boat, that was supposed to take her home. He got so close, that he could stick a shredder in her breast, but Sissi continued her way. Her company discovered how bad the injury was only after they took her corset of, but it was already too late. She died from loosing too much blood.
Luchelli was caught, and he never denied his sin. The Monarchy, especially Hungary mourned for her, and there are still a lot of places around the country, that are named after her (Pesterzsébet, for example).