On Sunday the 24th of December 1837, Her Royal Highness Elisabeth Amalie Eugenie was born in Munich, Bavaria. Sisi, as she became known, was the fourth child of Duke Maximilian Joseph & Duchess Ludovika. She had been born one of fortune’s darlings as she was born on a Sunday & right during Christmas time.
Ich bin ein Sonntagskind, ein Kind der Sonne; Die goldnen Strahlen wand sie mir zum Throne, Mit ihrem Glanze flocht sie meine Krone, In ihrem Lichte ist es, dass ich wohne.
[I am Sunday’s child, a child of the sun; / Her golden rays she wove into my throne, / With her glow she wove my crown, / It is in her light that I live.]
She grew up in a carefree environment where she was able to do as she wished & chase freedom. She was a child of the sun & of nature. She often skipped lessons to go horseback riding instead. She cared not for court protocols & always searched for more ways to spread her wings.
Sisi, a woman who lived for freedom, married Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph & became Empress Elisabeth of Austria at the age of sixteen. This marriage was an unhappy one. They were ill-matched & Sisi’s personality & constant search for freedom clashed with the Austrian court.
As Empress, she became renowned for her beauty & her peculiarities. Her hair was considered her crowning glory & her beauty regimen is a source of interest for many. She shocked many people when it was revealed that she often exercised & used tight lacing to maintain her weight & thin waist line. She also became known for helping create the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy due to her great love for Hungary. She often preferred to stay in Hungary over Austria & this love for Hungary caused many to dislike her.
Later in life, she withdrew from her court duties & she spent the rest of her days wandering & searching for the freedom she lost.