Habsburg imperial couple (19th century)
Emperor Franz Joseph I and the beautiful Elisabeth got married in Vienna in 1854, but their marriage was unfortunately an unhappy one.
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Franz Joseph of the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty was born on August 18, 1830 in Vienna. He was the eldest child of Archduke Franz Karl of Austria and Princess Sophie of Bavaria.
Following the abdication of Ferdinand I and the intervention of his mother, Franz Joseph became Emperor of Austria in December 1848, ignoring hereditary succession. Despite his young age, he was a deliberate ruler.
After the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 that established the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he was also crowned King of Hungary.
His reign ended in 1916, when he died of severe pneumonia. His 68-year reign is the longest continuous reign in the history of the Habsburg dynasty.
Elisabeth Amalie Eugenie of the Wittelsbach dynasty was born in Munich on December 24, 1837 as the second daughter of Duke Maximilian Joseph of Bavaria and Princess Maria Ludovika Wilhelmine. The House of Wittelsbach was one of the oldest royal families of Germany.
In 1853, at the age of 16, she joined his mother and her oldest sister, Helene, to meet Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I.
On his 24th birthday, the emperor proposed to the beautiful and intelligent Elisabeth. They got married on April 24, 1854 in St. Augustine’s Church in Vienna.
In the beginning they had a happy marriage and in 1855 the 17-year-old Empress gave birth to their first daughter, Sophie Friederike, and a year later to Gisela. Their son and heir to the Empire, Rudolf, was born in 1858, and their youngest daughter, Marie Valerie, in 1868.
The death of the 2-year-old Sophie Friederike left Sisi, as Elisabeth was called, badly shaken. She could not cope with the rigid protocols of the court so she spent most of her time traveling. After Rudolf committed suicide in 1889, she started wearing black and kept this habit for the rest of her life.
Empress Elisabeth died in 1898 when the Italian anarchist Luigi Lucheni stabbed her on the shore of Lake Geneva.
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