Originally published on Huffington Post Blog
She Was Not Supposed to be Empress
Sisi traveled to the imperial court at the age of fifteen with her elder sister, Helene, who was intended as Emperor Franz Joseph’s betrothed. It was there that the spirited and guileless young Duchess Elisabeth, “Sisi,” inadvertently caught the eye—and stole the heart—of her cousin, the handsome young Emperor Franz Joseph. From almost the moment he saw Sisi, the emperor would not look twice at big sister Helene, instead declaring his intention to make Sisi his bride—and thus empress of much of Europe by the ripe old age of sixteen.
This did not sit well with Franz Joseph’s most powerful advisor—his mother. The formidable Archduchess Sophie happened to be the same advisor who had arranged the marital match with Helene, and she did not believe that Sisi was the right bride for her beloved son. Read more here.