Elisabeth Amalie Eugenie of Wittelsbach (1837-1898) was empress of Austria and queen of Hungary, honoured with several titles thanks to her union with the powerful husband the emperor Franz Joseph I. Born in the Bavarian royal house of Wittelsbach, Elisabeth of Bavaria most commonly known as Sissi, was educated in a rather informal way for the customs of the time and when she was 16 she married her first cousin Franz Joseph I for which a papal dispensation was necessary. The union with the emperor imposed a way more formal lifestyle to Elisabeth, the conflicts with the mother in law the Archduchess Sophie of Bavaria, with the Austrian Court and overall the whole Viennese society caused her many health problems.

Sissi’s beauty was legendary amongst both the nobility and the population. Usually, during official visits, the common people would gather outside not for praising the royals yet to admire Elisabeth’s charm. Worried about keeping a perfect shape, perhaps suffering from anorexia nervosa caused by the court life, her body shape was very different from the one of all women from that era:

Sissi was 172 cm tall (5’7.72) and used to weight 52 kilograms (115 lbs)

Sissi spent all her life in a perfect physical shape with het famous “wasp waist” and her crown made out of braided hair, style which was inspiration for many other noble women of that epoch. She never gave up on beauty and over time she started wearing a veil over  her face which was starting  to show the signs of time. She died when she was 61, killed by the Italian anarchist Luigi Lucheni in Geneva. For further analysis,  Wikipedia has a page dedicated to her.

Elisabeth of Bavaria at the funeral of her son Rudolf

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Elisabeth’s Bavaria, duchess Sophie

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All pictures  are in the public domain

Below it is possible to watch the trailer from the 1955 (therefore just 57 years after Elisabeth’s death) with Romy Schneider as the Queen

Matteo Rubboli

I am a publisher specialised in the digital distribution of culture and founder of the portal Vanilla Magazine. I don't wear a tie or branded clothes, I keep my hair short so I don't have to comb it. That's not my fault but just the way I've been drawn as...

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