Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => The Habsburgs => Topic started by: La_Rainha on March 22, 2006, 09:59:15 AM

Title: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: La_Rainha on March 22, 2006, 09:59:15 AM
I must confess, when I see photos of Elisabeth, Empress of Austria, I`m fascinated from the wonderful looking woman! Her long brown her, the beautiful dresses, her expensiv jewels!
But, is this the right Elisabeth?
I think, the most people have a romantic view of Elisabeth!
Maybe we saw too often the "Sissi" Films with Romy Schneider!
But, was Elisabeth not only a self-actress?
More and more, I see the Empress in another light!
She was no good partner for her husband!
When there were problems, she went away, made her visits in other countries and noticed no obligations in her role as Empress!
She had 4 children, but only to Marie Valerie, she had a loving contact!
In the "Donau-Monarchie", there were several ethnic people, but Elisabeth only loved the Hungarians!
She learned their language, loved their culture, but what was with the bohamians, with the people from Bosnia, Croatia, Galicia, Poland, ......?
No interest!
Was Elisabeth interest in politic?
.... she loved to make holidays, stayed in Greece, learned antique lyrics....!
Was she interest in social projects?
.....never heard!
was she interest in her husband, the Emperor?
....she helped to find Katharina Schratt as his "girl-friend"!

The writer Caesar Conte Corti wrote a book about Elisabeth with the titel: "Elisabeth, the strangely woman"!
He was right!

Don`t flog me too much...! ;)
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Eric_Lowe on March 22, 2006, 10:24:13 AM
People like Sisi because she was a victim of cicumstances. When she was married she was still a child, naive of court intrigue and have a love for freedom. The court in Vienna was cold and cruel to her, her mother-in-law was jealous of her power of her son. Sisi gave birth to two children but was cast aside. Worst she was conteminated by her husband of a possible veneral diaese (apparently treatable) . With all that the poor woman had a nervous breakdown, and fled Austria for a lonely island. A damsel in distress ! She came back eventually and regain her lost ground due to her beauty. She finally won her independence and save her son Rudolf from a cruel tutor. She knew her power came from her beauty and tried hard to retain it...as long as she can by dieting and exerise (very modern here and years before Jane Fonda) . Finally she was assinated by a mad man (like Loncoln and Kennedy) and became an icon. Yes she was complicated but also very modern and fasinating.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Prince_Lieven on March 22, 2006, 10:27:22 AM
I'm going to be hated for this but I've got to say I'm no fan of Sissi either!

As you say Eric, she did go to Vienna as a young woman, and though this seems like an excuse in this day and age, back then it was no excuse to act like she did. Hundreds, thousands of princesses were sent to foreign courts as child brides, and most of them at least managed to be dutiful, if not happy.

I would never compare Sissi to Diana, Princess of Wales - certainly both are romantic and beautiful legends, but at least Diana knew the meaning 'duty'.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Eric_Lowe on March 22, 2006, 10:41:06 AM
Well...Sisi was not trained to be an Empress, Helene was. Also Archduchess Sophie was hard on her and the poor child was friendless in Vienna. She was a romantic, and that was why she was endearing. When asked if she loved Franz Josef she said " I love the emperor so much ! If only he were not the Emperor." Even then she was intimidated by her position. Yes Sisi had her failings as a royal, but as a person, it required someone who is very hard-hearted not to feel for such an innocent soul.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Prince_Lieven on March 22, 2006, 10:44:48 AM
I don't think I'm hard hearted, but I don't have much sympathy for the whole 'poor little me I have no friends' thing. I mean, if she was so pretty and charming, why didn't she make friends? I admit I'm no Sissi expert, so I'm willing to learn here.

I agree that her mother in law behaved bad to her, and of course things weren't easy for her, but sympathy isn't enough to make me like her, let alone love her.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: royal_netherlands on March 22, 2006, 10:45:32 AM
Quote
I'm going to be hated for this but I've got to say I'm no fan of Sissi either!

As you say Eric, she did go to Vienna as a young woman, and though this seems like an excuse in this day and age, back then it was no excuse to act like she did. Hundreds, thousands of princesses were sent to foreign courts as child brides, and most of them at least managed to be dutiful, if not happy.

I would never compare Sissi to Diana, Princess of Wales - certainly both are romantic and beautiful legends, but at least Diana knew the meaning 'duty'.

Noooooooo!!!! dont say that Prince Lieven. ;D
She was such a beaty and maybe not a great empress but a most loving person.
(http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f78/opzich/89284788efSHZV_ph.jpg)
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Margarita Markovna on March 22, 2006, 10:50:08 AM
I agree with royal_netherlands. I think she would have been more loving with her first two children if she had been given the chance, and probably would have been a better match for FJ if she knew how, but she didn't.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Eric_Lowe on March 22, 2006, 10:55:08 AM
Sisi in her youth was quite shy. Her ladies were selected by her mother-in-law, and they deferred to her than to the young and inexperienced empress. She was sensative and her husband though loved her did not understand her at all. Another disadvantage was that her grandmother was born a Countess Arenberg, so she was not highly regarded in the bloodlined consious court.

Yes...in her early years she was a mouse. Unlike Diana who was a fighter. When Diana was presented with a stack of royal biographies to read from, she turned and said "If they think I am going to read all of this, they have another thing coming." Such spunkiness she did lack in her early marriage life, which in fact scarred her.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: royal_netherlands on March 22, 2006, 10:59:48 AM
Ant she hat friends, she visited Carmen Silva allot and the talked about manny things for  example the position of the women in thier time.
Also Ida Ferenczy becama a good friend of the Empress and Ida was heartbroken wenn the Empress was murdered. And yes she shout be a good mother if she had a change but she still loved her childeren verry much I read a letter she wroght to Rudolf ant it was verry charming and sweet.
I think if I had a mother in law that was a monster I also would go to a other country. ;D
She was a lovly person but she really had a hard life thats why she was so sad sometimes and I understand that.

  royal netherlands
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Eugenie_of_Montijo on March 22, 2006, 02:31:05 PM
Mnnnn...

I like so much Sissi because she was a complex woman who often broke into pieces the social rules of her time. But, by the way, I like so much her aunt and mother in law Sophia...

When Franz Joseph fell in love with Sissi, his bavarian cousin had fifteen years. A girl, remember, who was raised up overshadowed by the elder sister Helena, a most suitable bride to an emperor. Helena was an educated and well-mannered young woman, but Sissi was...a vivacious creature with no sense of duty. She was, also, mourning her first love, a count named Richard who was dead before time. I believe Sissi suffered from a great melancholy, so her mother decided to take her with Helena to Bad Ischl...and never thought, of course, this choice could change the history of an empire.

I think that Sophia was not a wicked mother-in-law. She was a woman with a great sense of her role in the imperial family. She tried in vain to make an empress of a little bavarian princess too young, too shy and insecure...a little one who hated so much the ceremonies of royalty and the rules of society.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: grandduchessella on March 22, 2006, 05:35:47 PM
I'm going to give my friend Prince_L a little suport here and say that I really don't like her one bit. I have sympathy for some of her circumstances--it was disastrous for her to have been married to Franz Josef (no matter that he loved her) and at such a young age. She had a very hard-to-deal with mother-in-law and battles with the Court. Yet, one of my favorites, Vicky, had it equally tough, if not worse, yet remained a loving, warm and engaged woman.

Sisi always struck me as exceedingly lovely when young but, in my opinion, became very cold and hard-looking. Part of her physical appeal lies in the fact that she refused to be photographed or painted once she was even middle-aged. Old portraits and photographs were touched up to represent a passing of years and this lent an aura of mystery and perpetual youth to her--something always appealing to history.

I also don't find her loving at all--wasn't she really horrible to one of her daughters? And I'm sure Stephanie could've used some help--another bride temperamentally unsuited to her husband and position, married very young, and with a husband who didn't care for her the way FJ at least did for Sisi. Yet, she received nothing but condescension and verbal cruelty from her mother-in-law.

I just can't warm to her at all.  :(
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: nelly on March 22, 2006, 05:54:57 PM
I'm with you Prince L and Gdella--at one point I rather liked Sissi, but as I read more about her, the more cold and selfish she seemed to be.  She was horrible to her oldest surviving daughter and daughter in law.  Did not provide support to her husband, did not perform her duties as empress--well I could go on and on.

People fall in love with the image, and heaven knows that she spent most of her time worshiping it, too!!  The person I feel most sympathy for is poor Franz Joseph, financing all her caprices, waiting for her fleeting visits to Vienna and still loving her after being treated like dirt--if he infected her with some disease that remains nameless, he really paid for it. >:(
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: crazy_wing on March 22, 2006, 06:10:29 PM
I am no fan of Sisi either.  

Sisi neglected her elder children.  Yes, Sophie, Gisela and Rudolf were taken away from her by her mother in law but after her mother in law died, she did not step in to fill the gap.  She cared little about them.  

Some books said that Sisi thought Gisela "killed" her Sophie b/c Gisela passed measles to her.  Strong Gisela lived while Sophie died.  I wouldn't say Sisi hated Gisela but they definitely were not close.  

Sisi did not have a sense of duty.  I think she traveled to England a few times to ride and hunt.  More than once, QV invited her for a banquet and she always refused to attend, which annoyed both QV and FJ.  

She was rather wasteful too.  She felt in love with Corfu and convinced FJ to build her a palace there.  Afterwards, she got bored with Corfu and rarely went back to there.  She made various expensive trips to England, Ireland and Madeira for pleasure.

I think in addition to her beauty, part of the reason why she is so popular is the tragedy that surrounds her.  However, I think part of her tragedy was created by herself and the way she viewed life.  
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Prince_Lieven on March 22, 2006, 06:15:06 PM
Quote
I'm going to give my friend Prince_L a little suport here and say that I really don't like her one bit. I have sympathy for some of her circumstances--it was disastrous for her to have been married to Franz Josef (no matter that he loved her) and at such a young age. She had a very hard-to-deal with mother-in-law and battles with the Court. Yet, one of my favorites, Vicky, had it equally tough, if not worse, yet remained a loving, warm and engaged woman.

Sisi always struck me as exceedingly lovely when young but, in my opinion, became very cold and hard-looking. Part of her physical appeal lies in the fact that she refused to be photographed or painted once she was even middle-aged. Old portraits and photographs were touched up to represent a passing of years and this lent an aura of mystery and perpetual youth to her--something always appealing to history.

I also don't find her loving at all--wasn't she really horrible to one of her daughters? And I'm sure Stephanie could've used some help--another bride temperamentally unsuited to her husband and position, married very young, and with a husband who didn't care for her the way FJ at least did for Sisi. Yet, she received nothing but condescension and verbal cruelty from her mother-in-law.

I just can't warm to her at all.  :(


Thank you GDella. :) I agree completely, especially with the Vicky analogy. And I agree with you too Nelly, and crazy wing - one thing I can never warm to in Sissi is they way she didn't do her duty. I love royalty, I really do, but the way I see it, the price for all the privilege is duty. Most, in fact almost all, royals know this and act accordingly. Sissi, unfortunately, didn't have a conscientious bone in her body, and seemed to want all the good things about being an empress, and none of the drawbacks.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Grand Duke on March 22, 2006, 06:35:29 PM
Why do the people love Sissi?

Because of Romy Schneider's films!  8)

Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Eugenie_of_Montijo on March 22, 2006, 06:45:01 PM
I understand your points of wiew...Prince Lieven, Gdella, Nelly. In fact, I don´t like the image of Sissi forever young and always a legendary beauty, as a fairy queen ill-treated by her in-laws, specially the proverbial wicked mother-in-law. It´s not easy for me to explain in english, but I will try...and sorry for my mistakes! ;)

1.-A young  girl of fifteen raised up so far away from a court with strict etiquette as was the vienese court never should be married to an powerful emperor.  Franz Joseph was madly in love with Elisabeth, but I believe that he never thought that his unexpected bride could not managed well the situation.

2.-I think that the struggle between Elisabeth and Sophia proves that the young empress was too inmature and unexperienced. Sophia was a pretty bavarian princess married against her will with Franz Karl, but when she convinced herself that the marriage was not a choice but a duty, she pronounced the famous words "I am determined to be happy, and I will be". I think that Sophia could provides a great support to her niece and daughter in law, but Sissi was so afraid of her aunt and mother in law that they never could had a benefit relationship.

3.-It was said that sexual relationship between Franz Joseph and Sissi was disastrous since the bad experience of the bride in the first nights after the marriage. I suppose it was a shock for a very young woman so naive. If a few years later he infected her with a veneral dissease, I think the question made a severe emotional damage to Elisabeth.

4.-A complicated point were the children. At the first, Elisabeth tried to raise up the children, but when the daughter Sophie died in Hungary, she shamed herself for this because her mother in law had advised her that it was not good idea to take the little Sophie and the little Gisela far away from home.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Eric_Lowe on March 23, 2006, 01:02:09 AM
I think people change because of their circumstances. I don't think Sisi was cold at all. I agree that she should not have been made empress, but it was the emperor's choice not hers to make.

Sisi was a wonderful child and was blessed with being truthful and modesty (being raised in the country). When she married Franz Josef she was not a complicated girl at all. However she quickly found out how hard and cruel a court can be. Without friends or allies ( even her mother-in-law, her full Aunt was jealous of her and tend to treat her as a child), Sisi was driven more and more into herself. Without proper education, she could hardly be included in politics. Her only path would be a good mother and wife. Even her children were denied her, and as they became more attached to Archduchess Sophie, they became more and more emotionally exiled from their mother. The birth of Valarie proved how much love the other two could have recieved had she been given a chance. It was a tragedy on both sides.

Sisi became a more self-centered woman after her flight and self exile. She became convinced that she won over her husband because of her beauty and sought to retain it by any means. She in fact became a victim and slave to her image, simply because people began to expect it. In the end even that gave her no joy at all.

I always think that she was a victim and should be felt sorry than blamed. It would have been much better had she not married Franz Josef.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Svetabel on March 23, 2006, 01:15:32 AM
Quote
I am no fan of Sisi either.  

Sisi neglected her elder children.  Yes, Sophie, Gisela and Rudolf were taken away from her by her mother in law but after her mother in law died, she did not step in to fill the gap.  She cared little about them.  

Some books said that Sisi thought Gisela "killed" her Sophie b/c Gisela passed measles to her.  Strong Gisela lived while Sophie died.  I wouldn't say Sisi hated Gisela but they definitely were not close.  

Sisi did not have a sense of duty.  I think she traveled to England a few times to ride and hunt.  More than once, QV invited her for a banquet and she always refused to attend, which annoyed both QV and FJ.  

She was rather wasteful too.  She felt in love with Corfu and convinced FJ to build her a palace there.  Afterwards, she got bored with Corfu and rarely went back to there.  She made various expensive trips to England, Ireland and Madeira for pleasure.
 
I think in addition to her beauty, part of the reason why she is so popular is the tragedy that surrounds her.  However, I think part of her tragedy was created by herself and the way she viewed life.  


Agree with you, with GDElla and Pr.Lieven...
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Eric_Lowe on March 23, 2006, 01:19:28 AM
This is not a contest nor a vote....it would be interesting to hear why you think a particular way about Sisi.  :-/
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Eric_Lowe on March 23, 2006, 01:23:58 AM
Sisi did not raised to be a royal. She was neglected in her education and deportment. Also she did not asked to be Empress...she was simply selected. Both Franz Josef and Archduchess Sophie knew she was not empress material, but they simply turn a blind eye to reality.  :(
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Svetabel on March 23, 2006, 07:33:54 AM
Quote
This is not a contest nor a vote....it would be interesting to hear why you think a particular way about Sisi.  :-/


Do we vote here?...

Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Agneschen on March 23, 2006, 08:19:10 AM
Quote
Why do the people love Sissi?

Because of Romy Schneider's films!  8)



I think they did contribute to the Sisi myth & made her widely popular among the masses. For, historically inacurate & wishy washy though they were, who has not seen them ? I remember watching them as a child (a recurrent Christmas program here) & dreaming afterwards I would become a princess myself one day.
By all accounts, during her lifetime Sisi seems to have possessed some kind of very peculiar aura which attracted those around her. After her death, she was remembered for her ethereal beauty, her tragic end & somewhat mysterious personality.
However I must join the ranks of the non-Sisi fans of the forum. I am very interested in the Wittelsbach family & have read a lot about Elisabeth. She has always striken me as a rebellious, selfish & antipathetic character.
True she was forced at the tender age of 15 into matrimony but she was not always 15 & yet she behaved like a spoilt, touchy little girl for the rest of her life. True she had an intrusive (though a well meaning one IMO) mother-in-law but she herself was no pattern of empathy & help where her own daughter-in-law Stéphanie who was a mere 16 when she married the instable (to say the least) Rudolf was concerned. True her children as toddlers were taken away from her but after many an argument (let us not forget her famous ultimatum to Franz Josef on the subject) they were handed back to her care. She did not seem to make the most of this new state of things & more or less ignored them. When Rudolf as an adult was on the verge of a serious mental breakdown all that preoccuped her was that, once become Emperor, he might behave unfairly to his sister Valérie (herself literally smothered under their mother's overbearing love).
True she was unhappy at heart & probably depressive but she never tried to overcome that. Instead she chose to flee from her husband & adopted country when she could have found some solace at least in doing her duty. She was not the only princess to have been forced into a loveless marriage at a very young age - so was Queen Marie Henriette of Belgium, Sisi's own sister Marie and many, many others. I might add that Sisi was undoutedly loved by her husband which was probably not the case for many of her contemporaries.
Maybe she was too modern for her time. Her republican leanings & yearning for a free independant life are strikingly modern. Fate had made an Empress of her. She made the most of absolutely all the advantages her position as such could bring her but staunchly refused to assume the obligations that went with it. The meaning of the word "duty" she refused to learn.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Eric_Lowe on March 23, 2006, 08:37:01 AM
Thanks for your very balanced opinion. Sisi was definitely no saint, but she was neither the cold and selfish bitch who only cares about her own vanity.

Franz Josef did love her but took no interest in her. After the marriage he did go occationaly back to his causal mistresses for fun. It was the discovery that he had inflicted on her purity that accalate her breakdown. Sisi was too sensative and was in floods of tears during the early years of marriage. After her return, Sisi used her absences to blackmail her husband into hetting her own way. I would not catagorize that as selfish but surival instinct. It was a pity that Sisi failed to see that in doing so she abandon her "duty". But again did the court cared a fig about her ?

Sisi was capable of love and the service she did for Hungary was still remembered there. She loved the Hungarians who loved her and welcomed her while the Bohemian and Austrian nobles sided with Archduchess Sophie. She rewarded the Hungarians and cold-shouldered those who (she felt) rejected her.

Of her children, Rudolf was the one she felt the most like her, yet because of the influence of Archduchess Sophie, Sisi felt cannot be wholly hers (like Valerie). Yet they had a strange relationship. Sisi would dress especially fine when Rudolf called. Tragically they cannot break the ice. After Rudolf's death, she blamed herself for not brave enough to care more for her son..
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Frederika on March 23, 2006, 09:33:08 AM
I dont understand why people think she was beautifle.
Pretty yes but not beautifle.  I dont think queen Maria of Romania was beautifle either.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Prince_Lieven on March 23, 2006, 10:30:20 AM
Quote
2.-I think that the struggle between Elisabeth and Sophia proves that the young empress was too inmature and unexperienced. Sophia was a pretty bavarian princess married against her will with Franz Karl, but when she convinced herself that the marriage was not a choice but a duty, she pronounced the famous words "I am determined to be happy, and I will be". I think that Sophia could provides a great support to her niece and daughter in law, but Sissi was so afraid of her aunt and mother in law that they never could had a benefit relationship.

 


Good point. I think Franz Josef wasn't really worried about how Sisi would cope, since his own mother, thrown into quite a smiliar situation, had coped very well indeed.

Eric Lowe said:
Quote
she was neither the cold and selfish pregnant dog who only cares about her own vanity.  


No one has said she was. ;)
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: grandduchessella on March 23, 2006, 11:01:26 AM
I referred to her looks as cold rather than her personality. I never sense the warmth that you see in many royals--Empress Eugenie for example. She strikes me as lovely but remote in her portraits and photos.

I do think she was vain however--the obsessive dieting and refusal to be photographed once she had lost the first bloom of her looks--strikes me as such. Queen Alexandra, another famous beauty, may have had a number of photos retouched but she also was photographed many times in public where she looked her age and was still lovely, if not the fresh-faced beauty of yesteryear.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: royal_netherlands on March 23, 2006, 11:41:31 AM
Quote
I referred to her looks as cold rather than her personality. I never sense the warmth that you see in many royals--Empress Eugenie for example. She strikes me as lovely but remote in her portraits and photos.

I do think she was vain however--the obsessive dieting and refusal to be photographed once she had lost the first bloom of her looks--strikes me as such. Queen Alexandra, another famous beauty, may have had a number of photos retouched but she also was photographed many times in public where she looked her age and was still lovely, if not the fresh-faced beauty of yesteryear.


Well I have to agrey whit you on this one I think :-/
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: kmerov on March 23, 2006, 01:31:49 PM
She is not my favorit royal, but I do feel a bit sorry for her
Her personality wasn't ment for, or shaped to be the Austrian Empress, and the result was a very unhappy woman, who I feel was to intelligent  just to accept her fate, because the majority of other Princesses did. She wasn't just a vain person, but a very unhappy person, caught in a position that didn't fullfil her or give her joy, forced on her by others. Her self-starvation and other "strange behaviour" tells me of a person with deep psychological problems, not in balance with her self, so that makes me feel sorry for her.
She did have some selfish behaviour and neglected her role as Empress, but I can't say that I dislike her.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Eric_Lowe on March 26, 2006, 05:11:35 AM
I don't think Sisi was a vain person at all. If you notice how casual she was in her early years and her complete disregard for her skin when she go riding (which resulted in her weather-beaten skin). She kept her looks because she had very little self-esteem. Sis believe people liked her because of her legendary beauty, and it did created a stirr in her crowning years. even when State visits, people asked to see this legendary beauty and poor Sisi had to put on a performance. She hardly open her mouth when she spoke because of a comment by Archduchess Sophie because of her yellow teeth. She continue to do that even after her teeth was supposed to be fixed. Yes she was a figure of pity than dislike (at least I thought so).  :(
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Grand Duchess Kimbo on March 31, 2006, 06:16:14 AM
I am sorry, but I do not like Sisi either. She neglected Gisela and Stephanie, and did not have a very good sense of duty at all.  I agree with the Vicky thing, too.  :-[
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Nathalie on June 10, 2006, 07:25:19 AM
Nah come on! Many of you talk like we were still in those king-and-queen ages... :-X So what she couldn't behave as a "proper princess"? Don't condemn her because of not being able to fit into a system what is so unjust and -IMO-alien to human nature (hereditary kingdoms, aristocrats)...
I wrote in an other thread this about ther last Tzar and I can only repeat it here, Elisabeth is a clear proof, how such systems damage a person's life.

certainly both are romantic and beautiful legends, but at least Diana knew the meaning 'duty'.

What duty she exactly had? Don't say, charity, cz I find such royaltie's charity rather hypocritic...just like the Pope's. If they'd really care, they could probably sell their diamonds and castles, come on, they have like 100 and people still and ere dying on streets. What other duty? Cercles? Visiting hospitals? Oh...

Im not a "fan" either. Im not a fan of any royal or prince, I prefer to be fan of certain peole, personalities, regardless of their lineage. An Arabic bedouin in the desert is even more keen to his horse's lineage, than any European aristocrat... :P
She was not fit into this and I would really welcome a psychological analysis, if there is any about her. Perhaps she was in love with the Kaiser, so what, she was 15, people usually don't keep their first love...Her wedding night's horror due to the shyness of the Victorien education...the humiliations, many of them because she didn't have "the proper blood" (her grandmother was not a royal, "just" a princess), etc etc...
How tragic!
And how ironic, that Lucheni found HER as his victim, her, who was already victimized by the system, what Lucheni hated.
she reminds me of the first wife of Joseph II., Isabelle, who could had been also like elisbaeth but (un?)fortunately due to her early death, we have only traces from her extraordinary abilities concerning writing, arts and some psychological hints and theories about her being...attracted to the fair sex as well.

Oh, and not to forget: she might had been instable...no wonder if she was...Its also an other crime of these lineage-maniac people back those days, marrying cousins with cousins-seems like for them, a menthally instabil or many times a sick, retarded "heir" was still better than a "non-royal".
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Vaska_Meow on June 16, 2006, 02:25:18 PM
While I don't "dislike" Sissi I must say that were I her child I would probably kill myself!

(Whooops, Hello Rudolf!)

To be honest I just don't understand the woman. Her beauty was stunning, still is in the pictures that have come down to us, and beauty is an incredibly powerful thing, but the poor child seems to have been a case of arrested development.

She never did learn to see herself in other people it seems.
Considering that they shared many views and personality traits she could have been such a help and support for her son but no, she ignored the boy quite literally to death!
She sniped at her daughter-in-law when she might have shown support in that quarter.

Her relations with her daughters veered between indifference and smothering favoritism.

I have no doubt that court was stultifying and at a time when personal naturalness was held in such low esteem there would have been almost no place at all where Sissi could simply let her miles of hair down and be herself while in Vienna.

I guess my problem is that she was such a basically venal woman. Look at Alexandra of Russia, she was shy, she was overwhelmed by a backstabbing court and a mother in law who, given an inch could be assured to take a mile, yet Alexandra reacted in a grown up way.

She attacked her new role as a mother head on and hewed to the ideal of creating a close and warm place within her family. She strove to share her interior world with her loved ones.

Sissi froze those who most needed her out. I suppose the difference is that Alexandra married as a woman who had had experience of suffering and overcoming painful situations by searching within. Sissi was simply a child who developed a crush on a picture book emperor and went headlong into a hothouse atmosphere before she'd even developed a "within".

So, why do people love Sissi? Probably because the glamour of position and the image of eternal beauty give her the aura of a glorious cast out angel who floated a foot above the mire and tragedy that surrounded her. Unfortunately she was a human woman whose refusal to take an active role in the lives of those dependent upon her is what led to the tragedy.

That, no doubt has a certain glamour too.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Guinastasia on June 25, 2006, 11:09:43 AM
IIRC, she suffered from either schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder.  Having an untreated mental illness, in her position, what else could one expect?  Also, didn't her husband infect her with the clap early on in their marriage?  I know if I had that happen to me, I don't think I'd be all that thrilled in my marriage!

I do agree though, her treatment of her children was horrible.  I feel sorry for poor Gisele.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: koloagirl on June 30, 2006, 09:21:41 PM
 :)

I think that Sisi suffered from various mental illnesses that were not able to be diagnosed in her time.  Her lineage was riddled with people labeled "eccentric" - and who were in fact, probably mentally ill.  Certainly her cousin, Ludwig II was one of the more notorious ones.

I love seeing her photos and portraits -- you cannot help but admire her beauty -- but as far as "warmth" - no, don't see it in any pictures at any time.  I do have sympathy for her - but she was just so self-centered -- can't get around that I'm afraid.  

I do not love her, but she fascinates me all the same!   ::)

Janet



Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: grandduchessella on July 01, 2006, 11:02:18 AM
Quote

I love seeing her photos and portraits -- you cannot help but admire her beauty -- but as far as "warmth" - no, don't see it in any pictures at any time.  I do have sympathy for her - but she was just so self-centered -- can't get around that I'm afraid.  

This is exactly how I feel. I look at her photos and, yes, there's beauty there but nothing soft or warm like you see with Queen Alexandra, another legendary beauty. It's almost like admiring a statue.  :(
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 14, 2006, 08:43:29 PM
Well...Certainly Sisi was capable of love. Her devotion to Valerie was complete, as she fretted over every aspect of her daughter's life. When she discovered the object of her love, she actively campaign for Valerie's happiness. One must remember that she was the only child that she was allowed to love (she did not even allow Archduchess Sophie to touch the child).  :-[
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Guinastasia on August 19, 2006, 01:03:13 AM
I think it's a shame that she and her sister-in-law, Charlotte, couldn't have bonded.  Both had a lot in common-both were great beauties neglected by their husbands and both of them suffered from mental illness-Charlotte though had a complete breakdown, where it seems Sissi went back and forth.

Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 19, 2006, 12:03:00 PM
I think there was a bit of jealousy on both sides. Charlotte was a bit spoiled (as the only daughter of Leopold I) and as she was better educated and rich, looked down on the poor duchess in Bavaria, who only by a fluke accident became Empress. Sisi liked Max and adored his dreamy sentiment and advertures at sea, and could not figure out why he fell for that money consisious, politically ambitious and proud princess.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Noelle Royale on April 26, 2007, 12:21:50 AM
I guess why people loved and still love Sissi to this very day,is because of the romantic legend that has been created around her.Her beauty and her mysterious personality.She was very odd like the rest of the Wittesbalch.But her eccentricity and her rebellious nature alongside her physical look made her a romantic heroine.She did look pretty amazing.Accounts of many who met her is very intriguing.Like when the Kaiser,the then Prince Wilhelm of Prussia,first met her,he was so amazed with her beauty that he just froze there staring at her upon presentation,forgetting to bow his head and kiss her hand.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Zanthia on April 27, 2007, 01:21:11 AM
I find her a fascinating person, and I feel very sorry for her. She had a difficult mind, but she knew from the beginning that she wasn't suited to be Empress, and she certainly never wanted to be it either. The accussaions of her being a bad partner for FJ is a little harsh in my opinion. I, for one, can safely say that if I were married off in the tender age of 16 to a man I hardly knew, just because I wouldn't be allowed to say no to an emperor, and then, in spite of him saying he loved me above everything on earth, be raped by him on the wedding night, breaking all my imaginations of love and romance, I probably would be a cold fish towards him too and prefered that he maintained his distance.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Eric_Lowe on April 27, 2007, 03:06:37 AM
True...Sisi was truthful from the start" I love him so much...if only he is not the Emperor." she cried. So it was for her personally that she fell for not the Emperor. That is why she treated FJ more a husband than soverign. Not for her would she repeat Queen Mary's words " I have to remember that their father was also their king" (She was talking about her children of course).
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Greenowl on April 27, 2007, 05:54:03 PM
Present day society is extremely egocentric thus part of Elisabeth’s appeal may lie in the fact that she “did her own thing”, regardless of the consequences. This makes her appear somewhat modern and ‘real’ in comparison to many of her contemporaries. The fact that she was a very attractive woman also helps and no doubt Romy Schneider added to the legend.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Eric_Lowe on April 27, 2007, 08:30:41 PM
Yes all the above is true !  ;)
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Greenowl on April 28, 2007, 07:48:47 AM
Thanks Eric L!! What I forgot to mention is that Elisabeth suffered from both severe depression and anorexia, which are also “modern” diseases insofar as they were not recognised until relatively recently (especially anorexia, which only became known in the 1970s). It is a strange coincidence that Elisabeth felt misunderstood by her contemporaries and addressed many of her poems to the “Zukunftsseelen”…which I roughly translate as “the spirits of the future” or future generations. She had some of her poems printed, but insisted that they should not be published until 60 years after her death. She left these instructions in a letter written in her own hand, again addressed to “Liebe Zukunfts-Seele!” (Dear future spirit/person). She added that any financial gain from her work should be given to the families/dependents of political prisoners, “as then (i.e. in 60 years time), just as now (1890), happiness and peace, in other words freedom, will be equally rare on our little planet. But perhaps on another?”(my rough translation from the German) In this regard, like her idol Heinrich Heine, Elisabeth was either prophetic or had such a good grasp of reality that she was able to predict the future fairly accurately….Heine died in 1856, Elisabeth in 1898 and neither were under any illusion that things would improve…Heine hints at environmental problems and the holocaust among other things. Elisabeth believed that her poetry was as good as Heine’s and that he “dictated” it to her from “the other side”. Obviously there is no resemblance, and to even suggest that her work is a pale imitation of Heine’s would be grossly overstating its quality. In view of the fact that she so idolized Heine (indeed some of her poems about him are even slightly erotic in content) it is ironic that she unwittingly insulted him by comparing his work to hers, but obviously she was oblivious to the paradox. Fascinating!!!!
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Eric_Lowe on April 29, 2007, 08:22:57 PM
Indeed ! Sisi is actually quite talented by nature. She could have done so much for Austria had she been guided properly. However Archduchess Sophie was not the one to do it. In fact her repressive regime and FJ's "supposed infidenlity" drove her into deep depression. When she did came out of it, she was too wounded in spirit to do anything but to constantly escape... :(
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Greenowl on April 30, 2007, 04:18:57 AM
Oh yes, Elisabeth was highly intelligent, there is no question about that. Her son Rudolf was very similar in that regard. What both seemed to lack was persistance...when they were confronted with opposition or problems they appeared to give up and retreat. Elisabeth was also stubborn. When her mother-in-law declared that Elisabeth should learn Czech Elisabeth "switched off" completely and never mastered the language (despite private tuition it was said she could not count to three in Czech) no doubt because Sophie was fond of the Czech lands, especially due to their support in 1848. Sophie hated Hungary, so it is no surprise that Elisabeth became passionate about Hungary and later became fluent in the language. Her language skills were certainly not lacking, as she later mastered Greek as well.

I feel a bit sorry for Sophie, as while she was tactless and lacked understanding for Elisabeth, I think she though she was doing her best. She had a very strong sense of duty and could not understand why Elisabeth did not have the same attitude
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Eric_Lowe on May 01, 2007, 02:48:37 AM
I think they just didn't get along. Sisi later realised that Sophie's motives were not mean spirited. She tended Sophie nite and day during her final illness and did asked for her forgiveness.  ???
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Greenowl on May 01, 2007, 05:45:19 AM
While I knew that Elisabeth was present when Sophie passed away I was not aware that she asked for  forgiveness.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Eric_Lowe on May 01, 2007, 09:01:12 PM
Yes she did. She rushed to her bedside not wishing to arrive too late. Sophie did make peace with her at the end.  ;)
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Linnie on March 29, 2009, 05:15:59 PM
I think that the myth of Sissi was "resurrected" after WWII, when Austria needed a new image, after being so closely associated with Nazi Germany. The movies were beautiful, and the actress chosen to portray Sissi perfectly cast. Once people get past the idyllic Sissi of the movies, they are fascinated by a woman who is ten times more interesting than the "poor lonely princess" portrayed in the movies. I do not love Elizabeth of Austria, but I am fascinated with the complex and flawed woman that she was.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Eric_Lowe on March 30, 2009, 04:14:35 PM
Sisi was a charming and beautiful woman, a bit like Diana in our day.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Imperial_Grounds on March 30, 2009, 04:29:07 PM
Well,

Why are people fascinated with Sisi.

I think, like Diana in our day - our Grace Kelly and Queen Astrid of Belgium, she is admired for her beauty and charm.
And also Royalty is fascinating to all, especialy when the Royal seems to be wrong for the role, or have a different view of Royalty.
Also the tragedy of it all fascinates - Her son commited suicide, during childhood almost all her children were taken away.
She became broken by the way she was treated, and lost too many people to love life, she longed for the freedom of death.

Tragedy is what makes it fascinating.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Eric_Lowe on March 31, 2009, 12:13:01 PM
Indeed. Instead of cherishing her charming instincts, Archduchess Sofie tried to fashion her niece as an empress of her own idea. They clashed and the children were caught in the cross fire. It really do not need to choose between granny or mother. As a result, Gisela was totally neglected, Rudolf had a love-hate relationship with his mother, and Valerie was seperated from any contact with Sofie as part of Sisi's revenge.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Linnie on April 01, 2009, 04:52:21 PM
One can also think that people were and, in some ways, are in love with what she could have been... At first glance, her marriage to Franz-Josef was like a fairy tale, a true love story and a good match. Franz-Josef was dedicated, hard-working. She was beautiful, intelligent and compassionate. In other circumstances, she could have worked to unite the many peoples that constituted the Empire. The Empire was big enough that, instead of traveling the countries outside of Austria-Hungary, she could have spent all this time in "her" countries. She could have been a great Empress if, maybe, she wanted to or if she had been allowed to.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Eric_Lowe on April 01, 2009, 06:24:20 PM
Archduchess Sofie tried to snuff out Sisi spontanous charm, which was one of her best feature. The strictness of the court and Franz Josef's "supposed infidelity" (Sisi got some mild form of veneral diease from her husband) pushed her through the edge. She was never the same again...
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Imperial_Grounds on April 02, 2009, 09:21:31 AM
Indeed, also when Rudolf killed himself she was the one who took the blame. She completely saw it as her fault, for not being there for him - and therefore she tried to connect him in death. Only one day she would not grieve in the rest of her life, the marriage of her youngest Marie-Valerie, and wear gray instead of black. The charming and lovely Empress turned into a distant and broken woman for most people, she was a complete stranger at court, and she became this way because of Archduchess Sophie. Sophie wanted to make Sisi into her views of an Empress, instead of using Sisi's character she tried to break it, and all this made Sisi the woman she became.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Eric_Lowe on April 02, 2009, 11:30:31 AM
Indeed. The shattering of her youthful dreams made Sisi the woman she became. However Sisi did sense trouble in the begining. She said "I love him (Franz Josef) so much, if only he is not the emperor !".
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Imperial_Grounds on April 02, 2009, 11:47:12 AM
Indeed - In fact the first video I am doing on her is about that, that she realizes she loves Franz but that something really is overshadowing their love and destiny.

And it did not show to the world public, who only saw the fairytale - Much like Charles and Diana.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Eric_Lowe on April 02, 2009, 11:57:15 AM
For Sisi it was a fairy tale too (no Camilla Parker-Bowles lurking behind), but the court intrigue and rules (represented by Archduchess Sofie) soon infotrated into her life. Soon she began to feel like a caged bird. Franz Josef failed her too, but his sporedic sexual adventures and kow-towing to his mother. When it overwhelmed her, all she could think about is to flee...
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Princess Susan on April 02, 2009, 11:59:15 AM
Archduchess Sofie tried to snuff out Sisi spontanous charm, which was one of her best feature. The strictness of the court and Franz Josef's "supposed infidelity" (Sisi got some mild form of veneral diease from her husband) pushed her through the edge. She was never the same again...

I have read in several book the information, that Franz Josef infected Sisi with some veneral disease too. But this claim have never been comfirmed for sure. Many of authors have serious doubts about that fact.
For example Hans Bankl (author of the book- Die kranken Habsburger) meant, that she was rather under large psychical pressure and upset by gossips (more or less truthful) about Franz's infidelity, then had really veneral infection. By the way, did any symptoms of this disease appear by Franz Joseph himself? At least I have never read anything about it.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Eric_Lowe on April 02, 2009, 12:05:56 PM
I think he did. That would explained why she did not allow her husband to come near her (always a member of her family nearby) immediately after her return. I don't think it was a serious condition, but even if it was a mild as lice. It would be enough to push the sensitive woman over the edge. I truly believe her illness was psyclogically induced. That also marked the end of her love for him, she later said she only pity the emperor.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Imperial_Grounds on April 02, 2009, 12:14:22 PM
For Sisi it was a fairy tale too (no Camilla Parker-Bowles lurking behind), but the court intrigue and rules (represented by Archduchess Sofie) soon infotrated into her life. Soon she began to feel like a caged bird. Franz Josef failed her too, but his sporedic sexual adventures and kow-towing to his mother. When it overwhelmed her, all she could think about is to flee...

Ofcourse but soon she noticed love would not save them,as soon as she was at court she sensed things were wrong. Even when they just got engaged she said 'If only he was not the Emperor' as if she sensed this would be too much for her.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Paola on April 03, 2009, 02:47:30 AM
I think he did. That would explained why she did not allow her husband to come near her (always a member of her family nearby) immediately after her return. I don't think it was a serious condition, but even if it was a mild as lice. It would be enough to push the sensitive woman over the edge. I truly believe her illness was psyclogically induced. That also marked the end of her love for him, she later said she only pity the emperor.



When was this, that Franz Joseph supposedly infected Elisabeth with  a venerial disease? In 1860, when she went to Madeira (offical medical report saying she had a lung disease) ?

I think Marie Valerie's birth after ten years of Rudolphs one,  was result of a  short reconciliation between the couple.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Linnie on April 04, 2009, 03:19:32 PM
Since none of the biographies about Sissi that I have read mentioned as a fact that Franz-Josef infected Sissi with an venereal disease, I suppose that we can only speculate when it happened. I remember one instance when Sissi had left Vienna and her older sister Helene went to visit with her and then met with the Emperor to "negotiate" Sissi's return to Vienna. I could very well suppose that Sissi left Court at that time because of one of Franz-Josef's indiscretions, which could have had resulted in said disease. Some biographers of Franz-Josef deny that he had a venereal disease, while others insist on it, claiming that he had a milder form of syphilis. Considering the prevalence of syphilis in Vienna and Europe at that time, I wouldn't see why Franz-Josef would not have been infected if he wasn't a faithful husband... That being said, I doubt that Sissi's trip to Madeira was meant to cover her being infected with VD. I can't recall the exact nature of her health problems, then, but TB was rumoured.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Princess Susan on April 05, 2009, 05:36:51 AM
Yes, I agree. We can not know, what really happened between them. Supposedly Franz Joseph infected Sisi with an venereal disease around 1859/60, though I don't consider this information for trustworth.
It's claimed, that he had some affairs with women (one polish countess was rumoured) in that time. But he definitely didn't have syphilis. Syphilis is very serious illness with many symptoms and neither Franz  nor Elisabeth suffered them. If he would have been infected, he didn't cartainly reach so advanced age of 86. In some biographies  which I have read, was mentioned gonorrhoea. That would be more likely, although I still doubt about such rumours. I have never read anything about the symphtoms typical for those venereal diseases appeared on Elisabeth's or her husband's side. I admit, that the Emperor was not all the time of marriage absolutely faithful husband, he had few mistresses like A. Nahowsky or K. Schratt. But according my opinion, he was more careful and didn't choose disreputable women like for example Crown Prince Rudolph.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Eric_Lowe on April 05, 2009, 01:13:25 PM
I do not think Sisi had TB, I think the discovery of herself having a mild form of VD made her have aq mental collapse. Once she knew she could escape, her spirits improved dramatically. The Archduchesses who visited her was shocked at her enjoyment of leaving her family for a strange land. Some claimed she faked the illness, but I believe the damage was psycological.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Paola on April 06, 2009, 01:44:46 AM
 I don't Elisabeth she had  really TB. Maybe an excuse to  be far away from her duties and the Imperial Court, after Franz Joseph's infidelities? I think there is a picture of her and her ladies taken in Madeira where she looks quite relaxed playing a musical instrument (bandolim?). Only her sister Helene (sent by Franz Joseph) could conviced her to return to Vienna.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Linnie on April 06, 2009, 05:17:32 PM
But from Madeira, she went to Corfou...
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: aor on April 06, 2009, 06:11:04 PM
But from Madeira, she went to Corfou...

Yes, but via Vienna for yet another 'dose' of Habsburg!
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Maximilano on April 06, 2009, 11:51:31 PM
The Hapsburg dose did not last long! Corfu was certainly more appealing to her than....
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: aor on April 07, 2009, 07:32:31 AM
I do not really 'love' Sissi, I think she should have never been put in a 'public' position and 'Franzl' should have listened to his mother when it came to choosing a wife and consort!
I admire Empress Elisabeth as a horse woman, am very interested in her life and her quirks, but too many mistakes and assumptions were made in regards to her abillities. She most certainly was intelligent, but she reminds me of a child with one too may toys, always looking for that toy she does not have, forgetting about what she does have. I believe there are mental instabillities that run through both the Wittlesbach and Habsburg families. No matter what, I firmly see her and her son as victims.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Eric_Lowe on April 07, 2009, 03:59:23 PM
I agree that Sisi wasn't cut out for public life. She was too private a and intelligent a person to love the constant show. She had a low opinion of the populace whom she thought of herself as a performing monkey to amuse the public (the frequent appearances and contant costume change did not help). If only she was allowed to keep her naturalness at least in private. The palace was a whispering gallery with Archduchess Sofie watching her every move...If you think about even Princess Diana complained about the lack of privacy, it was tenfold in the Austrian court, where Spanish rules of ediquette still in force.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Yelena Aleksandrovna on April 27, 2009, 05:23:20 PM
Why do people love Sissi?...mmmm....
There are several reasons, I´m her fan because she's special and enigmatic. She had an unhappy life but she struggled for her happiness and peace. She was elegant and beautiful. Not a common lady.
Title: Re: Why do the people love Sissi??????
Post by: Royal Bulgaria on April 28, 2009, 01:55:08 AM
It's interesting question....In my opinion one of the reasons is the movie with Romy
Other reason is that she attract the attention of the other people with her life.... And probably because of her love to Hungary.... Thats why they made a bridge.