24.04.

1854: The Wedding of Emperor Francis Joseph and Empress Sissi

1854: The Wedding of Emperor Francis Joseph and Empress Sissi
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons / Coronation of Franz Joseph and Elisabeth as King and Queen of Hungary and Croatia

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 24 April 1854
  • Emperor Francis Joseph I defiantly told his mother that he would either marry Elizabeth (Sissi) or remain single.

On this day, Austrian Emperor Francis Joseph I and Bavarian princess Elisabeth, known by the nickname Sissi, were married in Vienna. 

The two of them met the year before. It is interesting that Elizabeth was Francis Joseph’s first cousin (their mothers were sisters).

The mother of Francis Joseph wanted her son to marry Elizabeth’s older sister Helene, so she arranged an appointment in Bad Ischl, a famous summer resort in the Austrian Alps. Helene traveled with her ​​mother and younger sister, 15-year-old Elizabeth.

Francis Joseph was 23 years old at the time, and he instantly fell in love when he saw Elizabeth. He neglected to propose Helene and defiantly told his mother that he would either marry Elizabeth or remain single.

Five days later, the engagement of Elizabeth and Emperor were announced. They were married on this day in 1854, when she was only 16 years old, in St. Augustine’s Church in Vienna.

Imperial weddings were traditionally held in that church near the Viennese imperial court. Empress Maria Theresa and Maria Luisa (Napoleon’s second wife) were also married at that church.

This dynastic church holds urns containing the hearts of as many as 54 former Habsburg rulers and archdukes.

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