Nisha Rathode (Editor)

Archduchess Sophie of Austria

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Burial  Imperial Crypt, Vienna
Name  Archduchess of
House  House of Lorraine

Archduchess Sophie of Austria httpssmediacacheak0pinimgcom736x58a60a
Born  5 March 1855Laxenburg castles, Vienna, Austrian Empire (1855-03-05)
Father  Franz Joseph I of Austria
Mother  Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria
Died  May 29, 1857, Budapest, Hungary
Parents  Franz Joseph I of Austria, Empress Elisabeth of Austria
Grandparents  Princess Sophie of Bavaria
Cousins  Archduke Franz Ferdinan, Archduke Otto of Austria, Countess Marie Larisch v, Elisabeth of Bavaria - Queen of, Archduchess Maria Annuncia
Similar People  Empress Elisabeth of Austria, Franz Joseph I of Austria, Princess Sophie of Bavaria, Archduchess Gisela of Austria, Archduke Franz Karl of Austria

Archduchess sophie of austria

Archduchess Sophie of Austria (German: Sophie, Erzherzogin von Österreich; 5 March 1855 – 29 May 1857) was the first child and first of three daughters born to the Empress Elisabeth (Sissi) and Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria. She died aged two.


Archduchess Sophie of Austria, the forgotten daughter of Empress Sisi


Within two months of her marriage to Franz Joseph, Elisabeth was obviously pregnant. On 5 March 1855, the seventeen year-old Empress of Austria delivered a daughter who was christened the same day Sophie Friederike Dorothea Maria Josepha, after Franz Joseph's mother. The infant was christened such without Elisabeth even knowing. On both her mother and her father's side, Sophie descended from King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria, as her parents were first cousins. On her father's side, she descended from the last Holy Roman Emperor, Francis II. During the next year, Elisabeth delivered another daughter, Archduchess Gisela, a younger sister to Sophie. Even though they were both girls and did not need to be educated for duties a monarch would be obliged to fulfil, both infants right after being baptised were taken away from Elisabeth by Princess Sophie of Bavaria (who was both Elisabeth's aunt and mother-in-law) on account of the Empress being too young to raise two children. Elisabeth later commented:

No matter how long Elisabeth begged Franz Joseph to discuss the matter with his mother, her cries went unheard. Eventually, Franz Joseph did discuss the problem with his mother and Elisabeth eventually began to openly express her wishes to her mother-in-law and even took the little girls with her as she travelled.


Empress Elisabeth adored Hungary and its people and proposed to her husband that they take a trip to her favourite country, perhaps even tour it. This was a desire she would regret for the rest of her life. Franz Joseph accepted and they left in early spring 1857. While in Budapest, both Sophie and her sister Archduchess Gisela fell ill with diarrhea and had a very high fever. Ten-month-old Gisela recovered quickly. However, two-year-old Sophie's body could not take it. At 21:15 in the evening, after eleven hours of struggling to survive, Sophie died in her mother's arms, probably from dehydration due to the diarrhea or from convulsions due to the high fever. It was later theorized that Sophie died from typhus fever, but this is yet to be proven.


Sophie's body was brought back to Vienna and buried in the Imperial Crypt, in Ferdinandsgruft (literally, Ferdinand's Vault), within the southwest pier.

The death of her oldest child would haunt Empress Elisabeth for her entire life. Elisabeth was held indirectly responsible for Sophie's death by Princess Sophie of Bavaria. She suffered a breakdown and would lock herself in her apartments for days at a time or go riding until she reached a state of exhaustion, just to avoid having to think. Sophie's death also settled who got the children. Princess Sophie indisputably took the children as soon as they were born. Elisabeth also started to neglect her surviving daughter, and their relationship was not a close one. One of Elisabeth's ladies-in-waiting, Marie Festetics, commented in her diary that the Empress did not even take the time to attend Gisela's wedding preparations. Elisabeth also behaved in a similar manner to her only son, Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria. For the rest of her remaining days, Elisabeth would wear a bracelet with a likeness of her dead daughter and kept a portrait of her in her apartments.


Archduchess Sophie of Austria Wikipedia