Hungary – the “home of the heart” – coronation in Budapest and the consequences

Sisi's amazing Journey - Österreichs legendäre Kaiserin Sisi

What was the effect of Elizabeth’s only interference in the politics of the Empire? What were the consequences of the equalization on a private level? Who was Count Andrassy?

Empress Elisabeth hated being the center of attention and avoided public appearances as much and as often as she could. Only once did she interfere in the politics of the Empireit was about Hungary.

Sisi felt a great closeness to the warm and spirited Hungarian soul and persistently and successfully campaigned for a consensus. She admired the Hungarian struggle for freedom and preferred to stay in Budapest than in Vienna.

The settlement with Hungary in 1867 was very important to her and ultimately her great merit. In the Matthias Church in Budapest, Elisabeth and Franz Joseph were crowned King and Queen of Hungary on 8 June 1867 . After that she withdrew from politics.

Her fondness for Hungary was also expressed in her Hungarian ladies- in-waiting and closest confidants, such as Ida Ferenczy, Countess Marie Festetic and later Irma Sztáray.

Sisi and Count Andrássy – her Hungarian lover?

Count Gyula Andrássy (1823-1890)

Sisi admired the Hungarians and their fiery temperament. She was on very familiar terms with Gyula Andrássy , who later became Prime Minister of Hungary.

He was exiled in 1848 because of his participation in the Hungarian Revolution. After his amnesty, he met the empress in 1866 at an audience. He became her closest friend and personal adviser in Hungary.

They were accused of having a secret affair , but this could never be proven . The rumor mill even went so far as to suggest that Marie Valerie was his daughter . If it was ever more than a friendship, the procedure was extremely discreet. Elisabeth remained closely connected to Count Andrássy into old age.

She even claimed with pride: “Yes, that was a true friendship, and it wasn’t poisoned by love,” meaning physical love.”

Marie Valerie – the “only one” is born in Budapest

Sisi and Franz Joseph with the children in front of Gödöllö Castle, 1869

The birth of Marie Valerie, Elisabeth’s youngest daughter, was closely related to Elisabeth’s passion for Hungary . Ten years after the first three children, she gave Franz Joseph another daughter, who was born in Budapest in April 1868. It was assumed that she once again performed her marital duties for the sake of Franz Joseph in gratitude for the settlement with Hungary.

Marie Valerie was therefore called the “Hungarian child” . What Sisi missed with her first three children, due to her own youth and the many absences from the Viennese court, she now wanted to make up for.

Sisi took care of Marie Valerie’s upbringing at Gödöllö Castle and spoke only Hungarian to her. Their laws, which had little to do with questions of rank and protocol, ruled at the country estate not far from Budapest. Sisi adored her youngest child and called it “the only one”. Now, at the age of 30, she was finally able to live out her role as a mother and to absorb herself in it.

Tip from Sisi’s Amazing Journey: If you ever travel to Budapest, a visit to Gödöllo Castle, not far from Budapest, is highly recommended.

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