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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 1:15 pm 
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I saw discussion about Empress Elisabeth “Sisi” in another topic on the Disney Discussion forum and it prompted me to dig up this old chestnut I wrote for a different website. Europeans know Sisi and the Habsburgs but we Americans generally do not. Yes, this is history— but it’s also a rollicking good story well worth a read! I so badly want somebody to turn this into a big budget Netflix show. The tale of Emperor Franz Josef and Empress Elisabeth starts out like a magnificent fairytale... but it ends with one of the most tragic events of the 20th century. The narrative essay below is based on my personal research I did for my own fun two years ago and I apologize for any inaccuracies— they are not intentional.

My fascination with Sisi all began when I saw this portrait by Winterhalter. It was the first time I’d ever seen a real Royal look like the fairytale Disney princesses I’d grown up with...


- UmbrellaFish

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I was captivated the first time I saw her: Elisabeth, Empress of Austria. A real life Queen who looked like someone from a fairytale. Curious to learn more about her, I embarked upon further research, and I learned that she and her family’s true story was actually incredibly tragic, sordid, and surprising— filled with infidelity, madness, and even murder. All this eventually culminated in the greatest war that the world had ever seen to that point. This is the story of the last of the House of Habsburg.‬

The Royal House of Habsburg was the name of the family who reigned over Austria and various parts of Europe from 1278 to 1918. In 1848, 18-year old Franz Joseph was crowned Emperor of Austria.‪ His path to the throne had been an unusual one. His uncle, Ferdinand I & V, was believed mentally unfit and eventually forced to abdicate after the people revolted. Franz Joseph’s father was Emperor Ferdinand I & V’s brother, and thus was next in line, but he was also widely believed to be mentally feeble. At the behest of his strong-willed wife, Princess Sophie, Archduke Franz Karl waived his rights to the succession in favor of their son, Franz Joseph.‬

Franz Joseph’s mother, Princess Sophie, was a real piece of work. Having personally engineered his ascent to the throne, Sophie wielded great power over her son, and he was reticent to ever go against her wishes. In fact, ‪Princess Sophie had already arranged Franz Joseph’s marriage to her niece, the beautiful Duchess Hélène of Bavaria. Sophie believed that the obedient and pious Hélène, who had been groomed since birth for an eventual marriage to the Emperor of Austria, would be the perfect match for her son, and an ideal Empress of Austria.‬

Princess Sophie, however, did not account for one thing: Elisabeth. Hélène’s younger sister, Elisabeth, nicknamed Sisi, accompanied her and their mother to the Austrian spa town of Bad Ischl, where the young emperor was to be engaged to his first cousin, Hélène, in 1853. However, upon meeting the bridal party the Emperor took one look at the then 15-year old Sisi and was immediately captivated. The engagement plans for the Emperor and Hélène were immediately called off. Publicly humiliated, Hélène sank into a deep depression and even considered becoming a nun until she, too, eventually became engaged.

Sisi and the Emperor were married on April 24th, 1854. To Princess Sophie, the new Empress Elisabeth’s union to her son represented the first significant threat to her control over her son. Sophie also grew quickly irritated with Sisi, who was unprepared for the strict and formal code of the Habsburg court. Sophie and Sisi would clash, and often.

Ten months after her wedding, the Empress became pregnant with her first child, a girl. After the baby’s birth, Princess Sophie separated the child from its mother and insisted that she would supervise the infant’s rearing. She even went so far to name the child— after herself.‪ One year later when Sisi would give birth to yet another daughter, Princess Sophie would again take charge of the child despite Sisi’s resistance. This time, however, to add insult to injury, Princess Sophie slipped a pamphlet onto the Empress’ desk, criticizing her for not yet producing a male heir to the throne.‬

‪Constantly unhappy in Austria, it wasn’t until 1857 that Sisi would find respite in the nation of Hungary— one of her husband’s many dominions. She took an instant liking to the culture and relaxed manners of the Hungarians, learning their language and becoming a lifelong advocate for Hungarian interests. However, tragedy would also strike on this blissful trip, when her eldest child, Archduchess Sophie, became ill with typhoid and eventually died. Thus, Sisi experienced her first bout with depression, which she would battle for the rest of her days.‬

‪Despite the Empress’ melancholy, cause for celebration ensued the next year in 1858, when the Empress finally gave birth to the long-awaited heir: Crown Prince Rudolf. Nevertheless, the Empress remained in despair. Barred from both her children, and still mourning the death of her daughter, the only thing Sisi could control was her own beauty. She soon began a regimen of crash diets and extreme exercise, ultimately developing an eating disorder that would affect her the rest of her life. Meanwhile In 1860, rumors swirled that the Emperor was having illicit affairs with younger women. At the same time, the Empress was off to Portugal to recover from a lung disease, then thought to be tuberculosis. Historians now suspect her illness to have been psychosomatic, brought on by the stresses of court. Eventually, Sisi returned to Austria six months later for a short stay until she again became sick and was forced to leave for her health. Thus began a life-long cycle of traveling, further alienating herself from the Austrian court, as well as from her husband and children.‬

‪Meanwhile, Princess Sophie was distressed at the state of her other son, Archduke Maximillian. Growing up in his older brother’s shadow, Maximillian was eager to prove his worth. In 1863, the Archduke accepted the offer of a small group of Mexican royalists to become that country’s Emperor in 1863.‬

‪When Emperor Maximillian and his wife Charlotte, who had recently changed her name to the Spanish “Carlota,” arrived in Mexico 1864, it was clear that many Mexicans opposed the establishment of a monarchy. This resulted in constant warfare between Republicans and the Emperor’s forces. Nevertheless, the Royal couple attempted to make a positive impact in Mexico, introducing reforms and raising charity to combat poverty & inequality in the North American nation. Unfortunately, these reforms dismayed many of the Emperor’s domestic allies, who were members of the upperclass. At the same time, the US, no longer embroiled in Civil War, began to supply the Mexican Resistance with arms, & floated the possibility of a US invasion to reinstate Mexican President Juárez.‬

‪With his domestic and foreign allies abandoning him, the Emperor went to battle against the Mexican Republicans. His forces defeated, Emperor Maximillian was captured at the Siege of Querétaro on May 16, 1867. Sentenced to death by military court marshal, the Emperor was executed by firing squad on June 19, 1867, sending shockwaves across Europe.‬

‪Before her husband’s death, Empress Carlota had returned to Europe to seek support. With his demise, she went mad and was institutionalized. Back in Austria, the shock and grief from her son’s death led to Princess Sophie’s gradual withdrawal from court life until her own death in 1872.‬

‪Meanwhile, Emperor Franz Joseph was eager for Empress Elisabeth to bear another son to safeguard the line of succession. However, another pregnancy would have interfered with Sisi’s intense beauty regimen that including the corseting of her 18 inch waist. However, in 1867, the Austro-Hungarian Compromise created the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This culminated in the coronation of Franz Joseph and Elisabeth as King and Queen of Hungary. As a gift to the country and people she so deeply loved, Empress Elisabeth consented to have a fourth child in 1868. Finally freed of Princess Sophie’s influence, Sisi doted upon her daughter, Archduchess Valerie, who was deemed “The Hungarian Child.” Spoken to only in Hungarian, and rumored to be the product of an affair between Sisi and the Hungarian Prime Minister (this was not true), Valerie would eventually feel smothered by her mother’s devotion and would grow an antipathy towards all things Hungarian.‬

‪After the birth of Archduchess Valerie, Sisi would continue to roam throughout Europe. With his wife constantly traveling, Emperor Franz Joseph began an affair with Austrian actress, Katharina Schratt, in the early 1880’s. Katharina was the Emperor’s companion for the rest of his life. Relieved of her wifely duties, Empress Sisi even encouraged the match. Elisabeth and Katharina spent time together, exchanging tips and advice; Elisabeth even gifted a portrait of the Emperor’s mistress to Katharina herself.‬

‪During this period, Empress Elisabeth spent much of her time with her cousin, King Ludwig II of Bavaria. A gay man, Ludwig had repeatedly postponed his engagement to Elisabeth’s sister, Duchess Sophie Charlotte, until the engagement was finally called off. Prone to obsessive behavior, the King was deeply enamored with the music of Richard Wagner. King Ludwig II became his royal patron and even threatened to abdicate when the composer was forced to leave Bavaria due to his own scandalous behavior. However, today Ludwig II is best known for his extravagant castle building. His Wagner-inspired Neuschwanstein Castle was criticized for its style and cost during his day, but would eventually inspire Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.‬

‪Disturbed by the King’s peculiar private life, as well as his excessive spending, members of the Bavarian government ultimately decided to depose Ludwig II in June of 1886. Declared insane, the King was taken away from his beloved Neuschwanstein. The day after arriving at Castle Berg in June 13, 1886, Ludwig II and his private doctor went on an after dinner stroll of the castle grounds. Later that night, the former King and his doctor were found drown in a shallow pool.‬

‪The circumstances of King Ludwig II’s death would remain mysterious. Ultimately deemed a suicide, rumors that the King was murdered continue to this day. Empress Elisabeth is said to have been haunted by visions of her cousin for the rest of her life.‬

‪Meanwhile in Austria, son of Franz-Joseph and Elisabeth, Crown Prince Rudolph, had come of age with his marriage to Princess Stéphanie. An unhappy man, his marriage left him unfulfilled while his relationships with both his parents were strained. Like his mother, Rudolf was sympathetic to Hungarian sensibilities, and even supported an independent Hungarian state. This caused him to clash with his conservative father, while he never maintained a relationship with his distant mother.‬

‪Despondent, Rudolf was obsessed with his own death. He tried to convince his mistress, Mizzi Kaspar, to commit suicide with him, but she declined. With her refusal, the Crown Prince turned to another one of his mistresses, the young Mary Vetsera. Described by her contemporaries as a “silly girl,” Mary Vetsera believed that the Crown Prince was madly in love with her, and that due to the Church’s teachings on divorce, they could never marry. When Rudolf proposed his suicide pact to her, she agreed.‬

‪On January 30, 1888, Rudolf and Mary secretly met at the Crown Prince’s hunting lodge in Mayerling, Austria. Rudolf first shot his mistress in the head, and then himself, finally ending his life.‬

‪The sensational & disgraceful manner of the Crown Prince’s death was immediately hushed up by the Austrian court. The Crown Prince’s cause of death was declared as heart failure, while the Emperor speedily obtained special dispensation from the Vatican for his son’s Christian burial inside the Austrian imperial crypt. On the other hand, Mary Vetsera’s body was whisked away under the cover of night by her uncles from Mayerling Lodge. Transported in a carriage and seated between her uncles, a broomstick was placed up her back to keep her head from bobbing. At the time, it was believed that she had pulled the trigger herself, so her uncles had to convince the priests to give her a burial on consecrated ground on the stance that she’d killed herself due to “a momentary lapse of senses.” The priests relented and she was given a simple, speedy Christian burial. Her mother, who was not allowed to attend the funerary services, would later recover Vetsera’s body and give her a more permanent burial.‬

‪After the Crown Prince’s death, Empress Elisabeth would go into deep mourning and would wear black the rest of her life. Her visits to the Habsburg Court became less and less frequent, while she blamed her family’s history of mental instability for the demise of her son. Ten years later, Empress Elisabeth came to her own tragic end when, at the age of 60, she was assassinated by an Italian anarchist in Switzerland via stabbing. The assassin, Luigi Lucheni, had originally targeted Phillipe, Duke of Orleans, but after the Duke changed his travel plans, Luigi settled for another royal in the form of Elisabeth. After the stabbing, the Empress did not immediately realize the severity of her injuries, due to her tight corseting. When news of his wife’s demise reached Emperor Franz Joseph, he first feared she had committed suicide. Later he said of Elisabeth, “You’ll never know how important she was to me.”

‪With the death of his son, and later his brother, Emperor Franz Joseph’s nephew, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, became the heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne by 1896. Franz Joseph’s relationship with his nephew and heir was a contentious one. Archduke Franz Ferdinand was determined to marry Countess Sophie, a woman of lower rank than Ferdinand and thus unfit to be the wife of a future Emperor. Deeply in love, the Archduke would not relent, and finally Emperor Franz Joseph allowed their marriage in 1900. The Emperor did not attend his heir’s wedding, and declared that any children borne from the match would be excluded from the line of succession.‬

Archduke Franz Ferdinand and now Duchess Sophie had four children together. The married couple were riding together in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914 when Serbian nationalist, Gavrilo Princip assassinated the pair in their open car. Soon after the assassination, Emperor Franz Joseph would sign off on his government’s plans to declare war on Serbia on July 28, 1914. Due to entangled alliances, the rest of Europe was swept into arms and the First World War began.‬

‪Emperor Franz Joseph died in the midst of the Great War on November 21, 1916, at the age of 86. He was succeeded by his grandnephew, Charles I, who would reign until the end of the war and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and its monarchy in 1918.‬


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:32 am 
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DAMN! That was a really great, cool story, bro! I know people say "cool story bro" to be saracastic assholes but I actually mean it! That was an absolutely fascinating read.

I loved how Elisabeth clashed with Princess Sophie and the court. I loved how, sad as it was, when she was forced to not have control over her kids or much of her own life, Elisabeth decided to control her own beauty. I loved how Elisabeth actually got along with her husband's mistress! I loved that stuff about King Ludwig! I actually knew a lot about him myself. He was known as "the fairy tale king" because he loved operas and stories of fantasy, and, I am guessing, including fairy tales. I guess I had this childlike fantasty of him being the perfect guy for me if we had lived in the same time because he liked fairy tales like me and he was a king, and I wanted royalty because I saw myself as fit for royalty. Maybe he would love me based on our love of fairy tales and good music? :p I even had a friend named Sofie who almost got with me (at least one time she asked me in a sad voice "Why are you gay?") I know, I'd probably also have to be hot, but I used to be skinny and some cute guys called me cute but now I think I'm fat and ugly lol but he looked kind of fat and ugly in his open casket photo, which I know is not nice to say about someone you wish to be your lover, but, well, he did not look very handsome in all honesty. It could have been just bloating from the water he drowned in, though. On that note, I also am confused, I thought he was taken in a boat to a lake and people heard a gun shot and the guy who went with him in the boat returned. I guess I'm wrong on that...any help? Aaaaaand to get back on topic, that part about the Archduke wanting to marry the Countess below his status and because of their love, they were allowed, sounds like the Cinderella fairy tale come to life in a beautiful way.

Thank you for the great read!

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Last edited by Disney Duster on Sat Apr 18, 2020 12:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:53 am 
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I thought you’d enjoy this history, Duster. I’ve always loved to learn about historical royalty... it’s just damn good drama! All the English monarchs (particularly the Tudors), the Russians, the French, but I never bothered to learn about the Austrian Imperial Family. We learn about Archduke Franz Ferdinand in school because of the significance of his assassination, but that’s it!

When I discovered Sisi, I kept digging and I kept finding more and more fascinating stories connected to her and different members of her family. It blew my mind to learn, for example, that there was ever a monarchy established in modern Mexico! They’re our neighbors— how come I didn’t know that?

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I loved how Elisabeth clashed with Princess Sophie and the court. I loved how, sad as it was, when she was forced to not have cotnrol over her kids or much of her own life, Elisabeth decided to control her own beauty.


I don’t delve into the details of this in my write-up, but her obsession with her beauty had a pretty terrible impact on her life. To maintain her weight, she’d eat nothing but bowls of beef broth. On the other hand, sometimes she would go on eating binges— consuming a great deal of food, and some of the people who knew her suspected she engaged in “secret eating” behaviors when no one else was around. Some museums house her dresses and corsets and it’s almost terrifying to see how tiny her waist was, based on a combination of her constant dieting and corseting (Sisi’s dress: https://runawaybunnydotorg.files.wordpr ... corset.jpg). Today, she would almost certainly be diagnosed with anorexia or bulimia.

To stave off wrinkles, she’d sleep with a face mask made of veal on her face (sometimes, just crushed strawberries instead). Her hair regimen took hours everyday to wash her locks with egg whites and to create her beautiful, elaborate braids. The person who combed out her hair had to present the stray strands that had fallen out of her head, and if there were too many, she’d weep. Her teeth were crooked, so she spoke in a way to hide her teeth, but this led to mumbling and many people could not hear or understand her when she spoke. She became famous for her fans that could hide her teeth and when she became older, she used fans, veils and umbrellas to hide her aged face— at a certain age, she declared no more photographs would ever be taken of her.

She led a very sad life.

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I guess I had this childlike fantasty of him being the perfect guy for me if we had lived in the same time

Ludwig II was a handsome guy! But King or no King, I’m much rather be a gay man today than back then!

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I think I'm fat and ugly lol


Don’t call yourself that!!! I’ve never seen an “ugly” person, honestly. I’ve seen people who are attractive to me and people who are unattractive to me, but everybody’s somebody’s cup of tea! As for weight, it’s something I myself have always struggled with. Just try and love yourself and believe you’re worthy. I struggle with that myself... I don’t know if there’s a trick to it... maybe working towards goals, focusing on positivity? I don’t know, it’s hard, but I can say both you and I are worth it!

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On that note, I also am confused, I thought he was taken in a boat to a lake and people heard a gun shot and the guy who went with him in the boat returned.


I’ve never heard about a boat and the doctor he was with definitely died, too— the story you heard rings of The Godfather. It is a mystery though— there are claims that people nearby heard gunshots and a Princess later claimed that he was shot and she had his bullet-ridden coat to prove it. Certainly he had a mysterious death!

A recommendation for you: the Sissi movies. These are a highly romanticized, and often ahistorical take on the life of Empress Elisabeth. But they do tell the story of Sisi’s early life in a fairytale, romantic way. I can’t seem to find the version with English subtitles on YouTube, though... But definitely, if you ever can you should watch them— there are 3 movies!

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sissi_(film)


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2020 12:48 am 
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As dumb as it makes me sound, I don't go learning about much beyond that which are my biggest obsessions. That includes my top favorite Disney movies and my top favorite fairy tales. But what you presented was so interesting that you deemed you had to share it for any who would like it, and wouldn't you know it, I loved reading it and learning! When my parents watched the Tudors show, I did like that, too. I don't even remember if I learned about Franz Ferdinand beforehand.

Yes, a monarchy in modern Mexico is a very interesting fact!

Wow, that is so sad about what Sissi did to be beautiful. Seeing that picture, her waist was way too small and I feel bad for her. I just thought it was cool she tried to control something, but it's not cool what she did to herself.

Ludwig II was handsome from what pictures I can find online before his casket picture. I just think with him being gay and loving fairy tales, and being pretty good-looking and a freaking King, he would have been a dream prince for me! I think I would be ok being his secret lover. But I will admit one thing, I would rather live in my time today out of all time periods with all the great things technology and modern society give me! I would just love to time travel to fairy tale times every once in a while given the choice! Can you imagine having a medieval romance?

Thank you for telling me not to call myself fat and ugly. But I wish that I looked a way different than what God or nature has decided I should look. One of my spiritual beliefs is come Heaven everyone gets to look the way they want. If you want to lose weight, go ahead, but remember what you said yourself, everyone is someone's cup of tea, and before I got overweight I actually found some overweight guys exactly the kind I would love to be with, in addition to me loving to get with someone like that now. Lots of overweight people are very, very cute! My weight actually comes from my depression, though. You see, I'm so sad about my life food is one of the few things I can always depend on to make me happier, so, well, that explains it all I think. When I tried to go on diets I became suicidal or crazy or got bad headaches. I am pretty sure nature has decided I need to be overweight.

It's funny that you say the boat and the gun shot sound like The Godfather because that is exactly what I thought of in my head when writing that that's I thought I had read had happened to Ludwig II, lol. Thank you for a little bit of extra info on his death.

Your link about the Sissi movies didn't work. Any help?

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 6:51 pm 
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I’m quite late but here’s a link to the Wiki article on the Sissi movies, hopefully I’ve got it right now- https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sissi_(film)


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:33 am 
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Well, they're available on Amazon Prime, so when I have some days off, I will watch them. Probably one per day. Thanks for the recommendation!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:42 am 
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Oh, good, I didn’t realize that! Watch them and tell me what you think— remember it’s not great history, but it’s a pretty fairytale.


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 2:28 am 
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I just watched the first film! I think the best way I can sum up what I thought of it was it was nice. It was a very nice film. A nice story that actually got way more interesting in the end once Elisabeth ran away from Franz, and it took off from there. There was some very beautiful cinematography, some very beautiful costumes (I ususally don't like tiered gowns, but Sissi's ballgown and wedding gown were both goregous!), and the actress who played Sissi was freaking gorgeous! She reminded me of an even prettier Judy Garland! It's interesting because her sister, Nene, was pretty, but then next to her Sissi was even more beautiful and it was kind of amazing. The actress for Sissi wasn't impressive to me or anything, but some people's acting I thought was very good. I think they should have showed more how Sophie controlled her son, maybe, somehow. Also, it didn't seem like Helene was getting groomed to marry an Emporer of Austria from the beginning. I liked the things Sissi did, however. The whole thing reminded me at times of Disney's Cinderella and The Sound of Music! I mean, the mother locked the sister she didn't want marrying the prince in her room! Anyway, yeah, it was nice, and when I have more days off I will watch the other films.

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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 6:16 pm 
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I’m glad you enjoyed it! I’m glad you noticed the similarity to The Sound of Music— you may already know this, but the “Sissi” films belong to a genre of German filmmaking called “heimat films” which were popular after the war and focused on natural beauty and the outdoors. Rodgers and Hammerstein got the idea for TSOM after watching the German heimat film based on Maria von Trapp’s life story— and in turn, I think when Robert Wise ended up directing the 1965 movie adaptation of the musical, he ended up creating his own American heimat film.

I meant to share this before, but I wonder if you’ve ever seen this portrait of Franz Joseph in his youth? It has always reminded me of the Prince’s costume in Disney’s Cinderella. https://images.app.goo.gl/jwqwT9S1VkQLKcaD8


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 12:46 am 
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That is so cool about the heimat films and how The Sound of Music made it's own type as a film.

I forget if I have ever seen that picture before, but it looks familiar. And yes, it is like Prince Charming's outfit! In the Sissi movie, I thought Franz's ball outfit was so like it, too!

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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2020 3:13 am 
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Well, I finally watched all three Sissi films! You know, they were very nice and worth a watch. They were very enjoyable and by the time I was done I was really glad I watched them. I just wish they had more historical accuracy! Lol I know you told me they weren't very historical, but more of a fairy tale, and I must admit I do appreciate the fairy tale take on it, too. You know, by the end of the series, I had become enchanted by Sissi just like everyone in the films are, and with her Emporer, too. Sissi's being a super kind princess reminded me so much of Cinderella, but I always am thinking about Cinderella anyway lol. And speaking of, did Sandy Powell watch all these films as research for the 2015 live-action Disney Cinderella? Because so many costumes from these films reminded me of the ones in that film! I totally thought Major Bockl was adorbs. I guess I find stupid older men really attractive and adorable. What was with Sissi getting to raise her child again? What happened in the films that totally did not happen in real life, because I don't remember you ever saying she got sick in her lungs, either. And why did they leave Nene's story on such a sad note? They showed her crying and running away from Franz and then her story never got resolved!

But I really loved how Sissi and Franzl were shown as very kind, great rulers.

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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2020 8:08 am 
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I’m glad you liked the movies so much you became enchanted by Romy Schneider’s performance! She is lovely, isn’t she? She actually played the Empress once more in her career about 15-20 years later in the Visconti film “Ludwig II” about the Mad King/Swan King— I own it but I’ve yet to watch it all the way through, it’s much darker than the Sissi movies. And even darker yet, there’s a musical in German called “Elisabeth” which has some wonderful songs and sticks with the darker edges of her story which you should check out if her story interests you. There’s a couple of YouTube uploads with translations available.

It’s been about two years since I’ve seen the Sissi movies or done any research on the historical Elisabeth, but I’ll try and answer your questions to the best of my ability. Historically, Sisi’s mother-in-law took over the raising of her grandchildren, presumably because she thought the Empress, who was barely more than a child herself, was ill suited to raise her own children. Sisi hated this and wanted to raise her children on her own, but ultimately was only ever close to one of her children, the “Hungarian child” Marie Valerie.

The historical Sisi did face frequent bouts of sickness for which the doctors at the time recommended a treatment that required her to move to places with sunnier and warmer climates than Vienna. Frequently, Sisi would immediately improve upon these moves and then when she returned to the Viennese court, she would quickly become ill again (sometimes even just on the way to Vienna). Experts today suggest that her symptoms were psychosomatic and were related to the stresses and pressures she felt in the Viennese court— Empress Elisabeth was never popular in her own court, although she was more popular with the Austrian and especially the Hungarian people.

As for Nene, to me her experience with Franz Joseph is so sad and humiliating that I had to add a little side-note to the story to explain that the rest of her life wasn’t so bad. I’ve always felt bad for Elisabeth, too, both the historical Sisi and the movie’s Sissi— both of them were really strong armed into the marriage by the Emperor. At least in Sissi’s case, she already loved the Emperor— I don’t think the historical Sisi fell in love with him at first sight.


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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2020 12:50 am 
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Yes, that actress is so, kind of amazingly beautiful. I did fall for her performance by the end. I love that the people of her two kingdoms loved her, though the court did not. The movies showed this so well. Like, the court didn't like her unceremonious ways, but the people loved her kind and loving ways.

Oh, so she did have illnessnes and moved to other climates for them, but probably psychosomatic illnesses. I forgot you had written that.

She had four children, right? Her first daughter died, then her second child was anothr daughter, and her third was a son, and he fourh was a daughter again? And it was rumored her fourth child was with Andrassy? Who was Andrassy, did he really love her? His storyline in the movies was never resolved either!

Aw, it's a shame Sisi didn't really love Franz before he married her. I wonder if she loved him at all?

I checked out some of the first act of the musical. It's cool, but I am not super into the Elisabeth story. It's very cool and you fascinated me by the true story, but I am not so into it to spend a lot of time checking out different versions of the story told, I'm sorry to say. If there are songs from the musical you think are so good I should check them out by themselves, though, go ahaead and recommend them and I will watch them!

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