Empress Sisi – The 19th Century Princess Diana
She was a royal who hated, the pressures, of royalty, and aristocracy with. The comment untrue dedicated. Herself to helping the poor she was also a woman trapped in a loveless marriage whose, life, was tragically, cut, short and, I we're not talking, about Princess, Diana the beloved, British royal, who died in 1997. We're talking about Empress, Elisabeth, of Austria better. Known as Cece a. Legendary. Beauty Cece rose up from a bohemian background, to become co-regent. Of the second most powerful empire on earth but she was also a free-thinking woman, who suffered, dark depressions, and found herself stifled. By life among Vienna's 19th century elite reviled by the rich beloved by the poor Cece was a woman who led a complex, and tragic, life even as her influence, helped shape Europe for generations, to come in a video today the tale of the 19th century version, of Princess. Diana. Twas. The night before Christmas. 1837. All through the house not a creature was stirring and, not even a mouse best that is you've lived in the stately home of Duke Maximilian Joseph. Of Bavaria. And his wife Princess. Luna Vica in which case everything, was utter chaos, the royal couple had just welcomed their newest child into, the world young Elizabeth nicknamed. Cece was one of an incredible, seven children that Princess Ludovico, had pumped out producing. A plethora, of as. Spares. The reason for this was Princess Ludovico's family as sister, to the powerful Austrian, Archduchess, Sofia, her children were conceivably, one tragedy, away from becoming next, in line to the imperial, throne for, most kids in 19th century household such proximity to power would have meant a strict, upbringing, luckily for baby sissy, though duke Maximilian's household, it wasn't, most, despite. His royal position the Duke was passionate. Liberal he believed in democratic, values pacifism. And spending, time with a common man when he wasn't on his estate he could be found playing Zilla, at a local tavern CeCe's, charters it was therefore a bit unusual on the one hand she had to go to educate lessons and things like that like any, other rich gifts on the other those, lessons were constantly, interrupted, by her free-spirited, dad he would whisk, the children away on adventures. This menses he grew up with, and now look deeply at odds with the privileged, world in which she lived she certainly couldn't, have known that world was about to have to fight for, its life in February, 1848. When sissy was only 10 a revolution, in France snowballed, into a series, of revolutions, all, across, Europe, that threatened, to sweep, the old order away in Austria Hungarian. Uprising forced, Emperor Ferdinand, the first to step down CeCe's, aunts the Archduchess, Sophia engineered, it so her son took, his place that December 18, year old Franz Josef became the Emperor of Austria the, second, biggest power in Europe although little cc didn't know it yet his ascension it, would change her life come, 1849, the revolutions, across Europe they had been crushed in Austria Franz Joseph's, new regime it cracked down hard on the Hungarians, who'd tried, to split off from the Empire not that it was the revolution.
That Led sissy, to catastrophe. Though it, was love in, 1853. Franz Josef now firmly in control of his empire decided, to find a wife his, mother Archduchess Sofia contacted. Her sister, Princess Luna Vica and asked, if she had a suitable, daughter princess Ludovico picked CeCe's older sister Helen, that August Helen her mother and CeCe they all travel to bard iskele to meet friends, Joseph Cece, was now 15 and already, a beauty she had flowing, chestnut hair that reached all the way down to our ankles and, eyes that people, could write sonnets about when Franz Joseph met her all thoughts of Marian Helen they went out of the window the 23 year old Emperor was blown away by Cece he demanded, her hand in marriage right, there and then given, that Archduchess, Sofia and Princess Ludovico had come all this way expecting, a marriage they simply, cut their losses Helen was simply, shoved aside and Cece was betrothed to the ruler, of Austria it, should have been a happy time and for Franz Josef it really was for, Cece though this, was the beginning of a life of misery. From. The moment the couple got engaged CeCe's, life it went into a tailspin. Suddenly, all those lessons she'd skipped to play with dad were a big deal she, had to cram a lifetime's, learning into a few short months so that she didn't look like a total, dumb-dumb at court just as suddenly she was being forced to sit for portraits, that friends Joseph could parade around his empire showing off his new wife to his subjects, for the naturally, shy Cece this was, as shocking as being plunged, into ice water and. What it kept getting worse that, I before Cece was due to leave for Austria, a huge, ball was thrown in her honor the teenage girl was forced to parade before a crowd of onlookers in, an expensive, gown inscribed, with the Arabic, for Oh Lord, what a beautiful, dream but, a radiant, exterior, are concealed something, much, much, darker by, now Cece had almost entirely. Stopped eating it's, thought that this period is when she developed the anorexia, that would haunt her for the rest of her life but, this was, the 19th century and female suffering it was practically. A spectator, sport despite, of misery Cece was put in a carriage and whisked, off to the yenna on April the 24th, 1854. She and friends Josef they, were officially, married almost, immediately, things went so far south they were basically in the Atlantic, life, in Vinnie's Court circa 1854. Was one governed, by ceremony, deference, and strict etiquette, ignoring. Any one of these things could result, in you being ostracized, Cece, who'd grown up in a relaxed household, she willfully. Ignored, all three, this set Cissy on a collision, course with her, new mother-in-law from, the moment, her son chucked pious Helen, for this young, tramp Archduchess, Sophia, had been determined, to make CeCe's life hell, now, that the girl was finally in Vienna so for you decided it was time to go for Disney, villain, when. Cece and Franz Josef's, first child was born on March the 5th 1855, Archduchess, Sophia snatched, the baby away from Cece, and forbade. Her from ever seeing it she even named that child Sophia, after. Herself, classy. Naturally. This made Cece, extra miserable, she begged her husband, to put his foot down and get the baby back the friends Josef he was nothing, if not a mummy's, boy while he wanted Cece to be happy he also refused. To upset his mother and so when Cece gave birth to their second child barely, a year later, on July the 12 1856. There was nothing to stop us Duchess Sophia from snatching, baby, chiseler, away - and, that is Archduchess. So fear of Austria folks a woman who literally, stole, babies, but, if you thought that this despicable, behavior was, it well wait until, you hear the next part, not, long after Gisela was born Cece entered her private chambers to find a crude pamphlet, lying, on a desk left, anonymously, the pamphlet declared that any Empress who failed to give birth to a boy was, an abject failure to, this day we don't know who left the pamphlets but we could probably hazard.
A Guess after. The pamphlet introduced Cece who we should remember is still only 18 -, a whaling wreck Archduchess. Sofia, wrote to her friends, you cannot imagine how charming, Cece is when, she cries, sadly. Fate and Archduchess, Sofia they weren't done making her cry just yet. If. You. Ever looked at Vienna on a map you'll know that it lies close to two borders just, outside the city is the Slovak border and its capital Bratislava. Known, when our story is set as Pressburg. To, the south is the edge of a land far more mysterious and alluring a land with a long proud history that, only recently submitted to Austrian domination, this was, the land known. As Hungary for Viennese society in 1857, Hungary was a source, of both fascination. And revulsion exotic. Revolutionary. Beautiful, dangerous. All, this may be why in the spring of that year Cece, begged her husband to take her there on vacation perhaps, sensing how close his wife was to cracking franz, josef agreed even let, her bring the children in may the imperial, family they board as a carriage and left at the end of a heinz for the east of the empire from the moments, they crossed into Hungary Cece, was in love it's hard to say what exactly captured, her heart it could be the simple fact that she was away, from Vienna and her baby, stealing mother-in-law, but it could also be the language the landscape, or the informality. Of the Hungarian court whatever, the cause by the time they reached Budapest, Cece, had given, her heart to this downtrodden Kingdom sadly, no sooner had Hungary, captured, her heart than. It cruelly broke it in Budapest, the family came down with a nasty case of food poisoning CC, Franz Joseph, and baby Gisela, they were recovered, but baby Sophia did, not on May the 29th, 1857. The child died in CeCe's arms after, two years of barely, seeing her own child when she finally got her back death, snatched. Her away back, in Vienna Archduchess, Sofia declared the baby's, death proved, that CC, was unfit, to be a mother for her part seized he plunged into a black depression that was painful, even, by her standards she, stopped eating drinking, only broth, and began exercising fanatically. Punishing, her body for the sins she imagines. That she had committed nonetheless. The duties of life at court continued, bearly was baby Sophia cold, than Sisi who was pregnant again she, gave birth on August the 21st 1858. To the general excitement of all excitements. Because the new baby Crown Prince Rudolf was a boy and, Franz Joseph finally, had an air while, Sisi may have been suffering depression the arrival of Rudolf did have one welcome, upshot in the way at politics of 19th century Europe, cc's inability, to have a son had rendered her powerless, at court, now that she'd produced friends Joseph an heir she suddenly wasn't quite so weak. Although Archduchess, say fear still snatched Rudolf, away CC finally, had some political muscles, to flex she began to ditch boring, court life spending a time writing poetry and working, out instead she took up unladylike habits, like smoking and, began to claw back her, bohemian, past she, also began learning Hungarian for. The elites in Vienna this was tantamount to Sisi aligning, herself with. Revolutionaries. As Sisi began to excel, at the language and surround, herself with more and more hungarians, on a personal, staff Austrian, polite society it, came to regard her as a bit of a traitor, if the Viennese were scandalized, now well wait, until sissy.
Met, Count and recei. Cows. And recei was the sort of guy holocron romances, are written about a dashing, Hungarian, nobleman, and recei had been involved, in the revolution of 1848 and. Seen action in the war when Franz Josef's new regime had crushed the Hungarians, in 18-49, and recei had barely escaped, with his life, a few years later had been sentenced, to death in absentia by the end of the 1850s, though and receipt had returned to Hungary and was now living and awkward, life where basically everyone, agreed not to mention his involvement in the revolution, it was at this time that, he met CC Hogg books have been written about the relationship, between CC, and and resi exploring, all of the possibilities at, the one end of the spectrum you have histories, that asserted, the two were simply friends, who bonded, over their joint love of the Hungarian, language and, Hungarian, culture on the other hand you have books that suggest, from the moment the two first set eyes on each other they were rolling, in the bedsheets every time Franz Josef's, back was turned, certainly, plenty of people envy and I believed that CC was fooling, around with this handsome Count it, also helps that there were joint rumors that Franz Josef had also, taken mistresses, whatever, the truth it's undeniable. That CC, and Friends Joseph's relationship, had started to break down around. The time and drasi, appeared in 1862, CC abandoned, Vienna began spending time abroad Switzerland. Ireland England Greece, all became sissy's ports in the storm, of her life as well of course did. Hungary now, this caused even more problems than you might be expecting, in the mid 19th century other, class marriages, they weren't made for love it wasn't super important, if you spent time gallivanting. Around with, Hungarian, men, what was important, was producing, heirs CC, had given her husband baby Rudolf but that wasn't enough Franz, Joseph had his heir but Archduchess, Sofia, was determined, that he also have a spare, CC though she wanted no part of, this baby-making plan way into the 1860, CC refused, thousand access to her bet at court, this was an absolute scandal it was made worse by the way that CC was cozying. Up to the insurrectionist. Hungarians, vienna was. Practically, spitting her name by this point luckily world events were about to give everyone in austria far more serious, things to worry about in 1862, a wily politician became, Prussia's new minister, president's known as Otto von Bismarck he. Had two grand, plans one, was to unite most german-speaking, peoples, into a single nation and the other was to make sure Catholic, Austria, absolutely. Wasn't, a part of his new Germany, and if you want more details on all of that we do have a Bismarck video, that you can check out I will link to it below this. One but for now all you need to know is that in summer of 1866, Bismarck. Had a plan and, he put that second, part of the plan into action the seven weeks war was as one-sided.
As It sounds Prussia, steamrolled. Austria, the army was smashed and Prussian troops they came close to occupying Vienna the only reason they didn't, was because Bismarck, pulled back at the last minute preferring, a humiliated. But intact, Austria to a disintegrating. Empire right on his doorstep not that the Austrian Empire didn't try its hardest to disintegrate, anyway, with Vienna humiliated, the old drive the Hungarian independence, it came roaring back as 1867. Rolled, into view it seemed entirely, possible Franz, Josef was going, to have to fight yet another version of the 1848, revolutionary. War but this time and, something that he hadn't had in 1848, he had Sisi. Back. In August 1865. CC and Franz Joseph had taken the first tentative steps towards, reconciliation, it, started with a letter CC wrote her husband saying this she needed more control of her life more right to see our own children, by the time of the seven weeks war CC had been back in Vienna where she visited the wounded, and military hospitals providing comfort, to the dying come 1867, she was close enough to both Vienna and Budapest to, prevent catastrophe. The creation of the austro-hungarian Empire from what it once just been Austria, was more than the work of one woman but if CC hadn't been there it could have all come crashing, down as, Hungary rumbled towards independence, there were elements of the Viennese course that wanted, another, war one that would crush Budapest, once, and for, all equally, of course there were those in Hungary who were willing to fight for, full independence. Just about the only person who, could possibly talk to both sides were, CC she was able to talk Franz Joseph out of repeating, the mistakes of 1848, and instead settle, for a diplomatic, solution she was also instrumental in, getting the Hungarian, side to, the table it was skilled backroom, diplomacy, of the highest, order and it absolutely, worked On February the 8th 1867. The austro-hungarian. Empire it was born without, any bloodshed under, the new system the east of the empire would be an independent. State under Hungarian, control, in return the Hungarians, would make friends Joseph their King and accept joint administration. Of Defense and foreign affairs, for, CC this meant being crowned queen of Hungary in a summer ceremony, in Budapest count, and receive his part became Hungary's, new prime minister it was a remarkable, transformation from.
The Carnage, of 1848, and for CC her new position meant, a chance to live in her beloved Hungary, in a full time the queen of Hungary she threw herself into charity, work visiting hospitals across the Dual Monarchy holding, hands with the dying and talking, to them not like a royal but, like a fellow human being cc's, common touch it boosted her popularity, immeasurably. As did her involvement, promoting, new humane treatments, for the mentally ill she, was so happy that she even agreed to resume her wifely duties, on April the 22nd, 1868. CC gave birth while in Budapest to her fourth child Valerie. Valerie was the first of the Imperial, couple's children born in Hungary she was also the first that Archduchess, Sophia didn't get her talons into CC, was allowed, to raise the girl all by herself perhaps, unsurprisingly, she grew to absolutely, dote, on her, new daughter now, ideally this would, be where things kind of ended with CC finally, happy as a mother and as an honorary Hungarian. And even, as a wife but the story of CC it's, not a happy one and there are still a lot of tragedies, to come. In. May 1872. Archduchess. Sophia suffered a stroke while in a family's Grand Palace of Vienna as, she lay dying the elite of Austria came to pay their respects, camps ministers Royals they all passed, through her bedchamber and among, their number was, CC for all Sophia seemed like a complete villain, in our story it's worth remembering that she lived in a really different time women, in her position were meant to be powerless Babymakers. Yet sophia was able, to subvert that to take a revolution, by the horns and use it to put her teenage son on the throne not, only that she was then strong enough to rule the court at Vienna bending, it to her will she, may have been haughty spiteful, and a bit of a witch but she was also admirable. Just in, her own way and, maybe that's why it said that she and CC finally, managed, to reconcile, in those, final hours after, Sofia passed away Cece was freed, of a nemesis from now on the 34, year old and breast could be, whoever she, wanted to be over the next few years CeCe's, eccentricities, both, good and bad they grew, exponentially. She mastered ancient Greek became an exercise, fanatic who could have two dumbbells like a circus, strongman she also devised brand new hair treatments, that impressed, the whole empire thus happily her anorexia. Continued, to dominate her life as the 1870s rolled, on sissy, began only eating milk based foods such as cheese determined, to, keep her waist tiny yet, this could have all stayed in the backgrounds, well and not for what happened, to Rudolf by, 1881, cc's only son was no longer the baby of the family but, a melancholy, lads of 22. Valium, he married, Princess stéphanie of Belgium, in a, rather ironic, turn of events ICI immediately, took against, a new daughter-in-law, branding. Her with venom. Archduchess, Sophia would have been proud of clumsy. Earth just. As Sisi and Franz Joseph had done Rudolph and Stephanie's marriage it soon hit the rocks the difference while Sisi had managed to keep her misery, bottled up Rudolph, though he, wouldn't be so strong in late 1888, the unhappy Rudolf met 17 year old Baroness, Mary and it began an affair with her On January the 30th 1889. He took his new flame to his hunting lodge mailing. Them, Rudolph convinced, the poor girl that the world was now out to get them and they needed to die for their love Mary, who was herself a melancholy, romantic, she, agreed taking, a pistol Rudolf shot Mary dead and, then he turned the gun on himself.
When The news hit Vienna, Cece suffered, a catastrophic, breakdown, she began to talk about suicide telling, a frightened friends Joseph that she, wanted to die her, youngest daughter Valerie would find, her laughing hysterically, for no reason, finally, in 1890, Cece did the only thing she could she, fled Vienna she, even fed hungry instead, that broken Empress began roaming, the world travelling by boat to far-flung, shores as, she traveled Cece refused to see anyone but the crew living a Spartan, life and the bowels, of the ship when, terrific storms broke out she would order captain to tie her to a chair on the deck so that she could be battered by the wind and the waves watching, the sea royal and crash around her as her soul roiled, inside, her breast when, someone worked up the courage to ask what she was doing Cece simply replied that she wanted to travel, the whole world over until. I drown, and I'm forgotten, and, well I wish it would soon be granted. On. May the 11th 1878. A German man known as max Hodel fired a pistol that kaiser film the first to see past him in the street, although the Kaiser was unhurt Hodel was more than just a crackpot, he was an anarchist deeply, committed to something known as the propaganda, of the deed the idea that violent terrorist actions would inspire other anarchists, to carry, out more atrocities, hurdles, faith would turn, out to be rather well placed his, plot shot at the Kaiser was, the start of a wave of an accursed attacks come, September, 1898, Sisi must, have been aware of the new threat just, four years before On June the 24th, 1894. An anarchist, had stabs, the presidents of France to death at a banquet two years after that and other Anika's to gun down the spanish prime minister but even with these high profile killings she likely believed that she couldn't be a target, she, was at Lake Geneva with their friends countess earnest array to seek treatment for her ill health and not, to worry about anarchist, killers this turned out to be very fortunate, for the anarchist killer who was already waiting, in Geneva, Luigi, Lucania had come to the lake after reading the prints on Rhea Foley all would be visiting his plan was to stab the young roll to death but then Prince honoré cancelled his trip and, the assassin, was left kicking his heels in Geneva with nothing to do it was in this frame of mind that Lucania, found out about Cece, CeCe's, visit to Lake Geneva was supposed to be clandestine, but someone, had informed the press now the papers were full, of pictures of the Empress and with that Janie, had found his new target Cece, for her part was completely unaware of the assassin, as she and the counter strolled around the lake they failed to notice they were being watched until, there was too late on September the 10th 1898. The two women were walking towards, a steamship, when a passing, man punched, Cece in the chest the Empress was knocked, off her feet but quickly recovered, thanking those who helped her she and the countess then continued to the steamship as if nothing had happened as the boat pulled away from the shore Cece, began to feel faint the countess opened a corset, for her only to watch in horror as blood, began, to seep, out of an invisible wound, the, passing man had been Lucini and the punch had been a direct, blow to CeCe's, heart with, a sharpened, file as the countess called for help Cece fell unconscious the, steamship turned rounds, but, it was too late by the time the ship reached the shore Cece, was dead when the news reached the now captured, new chaney he said right it put on trial he demanded to be executed, instead, he was sentenced to life in prison, twelve years later on October the 19th 1910. He, hanged himself in a Cell you Cheney's foul deed it didn't go unheeded not two years later an anarchist chard king umberto of, Italy to death a year after that President, McKinley of America, was likewise killed one and I kissed it's bullet thought of CC what did she think is she lay on that steamship, her, life slipping away for an answer we, could turn to her writings, in the last year's CC wrote I loved, I lived, I wanted, through the worlds but never, reached what, I strove for it's.
A Fittingly tragic, end to a tragic, life the woman who had everything and had, nothing who, never found what, her heart really, wanted but, there's another ending and one that's not quite so downbeat. Not long after CeCe's, assassination. Her daughter Valerie wrote now, it has happened just, as she always wished quickly, painlessly, without, medical, consultations. Without, long anxious days, of worry for, her loved ones to, which cc's friends the poet Carmen Silva added her death was beautiful, calm and great, within, the sight of beloved, great nature, painless, and peaceful. Only, to the world did. It seem horrific, CC's life may have been one of tragedy, but it was also one of beauty a life more intensely. Passionate than, perhaps any of us will ever live at the end of baldness it's comforting, to think that maybe just maybe they're reluctant Empress, she. Found peace at. Last so, I really hope you found that video interesting, if you did please do give us a thumbs up below and don't forget to subscribe we've got brand new videos just like this every day of the week for more from me why not check out my other channel called top tens you will find that linked to below and, as, always thank. You for watching.