27.01.

Emperor Francis Joseph’s Mother had a Twin Sister – 1805

Emperor Francis Joseph’s Mother had a Twin Sister – 1805

Archduchess Sophie was Emperor Francis Joseph’s mother, and arranged his marriage to the famous Sissi. Sophie had a twin sister called Maria Anna of Bavaria, who later became the Queen Consort of Saxony.

This day in 1805 marked the birth of the mother of famous Emperor Francis Joseph I. Her name was Sophie and she was the daughter of Bavarian king Maximilian I Joseph. Her father was originally the Elector of Bavaria, and became the first King of Bavaria in history roughly one year after her birth. It is interesting that Sophie was born together with her “identical” twin sister. The sister’s name was Maria Anna of Bavaria, and she became the Queen Consort of Saxony through her marriage with Frederick II August of Saxony. “Identical” (monozygotic) twins are very rare, making up only around 3 of 1,000 births.

Sophie married Archduke Franz Karl of Austria at the age of 19. Franz Karl was the son of the Austrian emperor, and Sophie became one of the most important people on the Austrian imperial court through that marriage. She bore six children, the oldest of whom was Francis Joseph. At the time of the revolution in 1848 young Francis Joseph became emperor, which meant his father was bypassed. Sophie was quite influential as the emperor’s mother, and arranged his marriage to the famous Sissi.

It is especially interesting that Sissi was actually the daughter of Sophie’s younger sister Maria Ludovika of Bavaria (who was born after the aforementioned twin sisters). Archduchess Sophie lived to be 67 and died in Vienna in 1872.

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