Skip to main content

Archduchess Gisela of Austria, Bavaria's Good Angel from Vienna

In pictures, left, Archduchess Gisela of Austria, right, the archduchess and her husband with their children. 


Archduchess Gisela of Austria was sober like her father, a total opposite to her free-spirited but frequently-absent mother, the beautiful Empress Elisabeth of Austria. Even as a child, Gisela preferred her grandmother, Archduchess Sophie, over Sisi. The archduchess being soft and caring to her grandchildren, the typical doting grandmother, while remaining icy and stern to her daughter-in-law.

She was 15 when she was betrothed to marry Prince Leopold of Bavaria, her second cousin on both the maternal and paternal sides.

Prince Leopold was actually in love with the beautiful Princess Amelie of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Sisi's brother, Duke Maximilian Emanuel in Bavaria, besotted Amelia and not wanting to break his brother's heart, the Empress arranged for him and Amalie to meet at  Gödöllő Palace. One of Sisi's guests was her cousin, Prince Leopold of Bavaria, who was already told that a marriage between him and Gisela was favored by Emperor Franz Josef. To be the son-in-law of one of Europe's most powerful sovereign weighed heavier than his infatuation to Amalie.

Franz Josef wanted a Catholic husband for his daughters and at that time, there was a shortage of Catholic princes who were deemed eligible enough in the eyes of Franz Josef.  When their engagement was announced,  Prince Leopold received half a million guilders as dowry.

Archduchess Sophie, however, objected. She thought the marriage "is no match. “Elisabeth, meanwhile, thought Gisela was too young to marry, although she herself was as young as Gisela when she married the emperor. It was decided that their wedding should take place after a year . According to Alan Palmer, the empress' critics insisted that "in her craving for eternal youthfulness, Elizabeth wished to put off the reality of becoming a grandmother as long as possible."

Archduchess Gisela of Austria and Prince Leopold of Bavaria were married without Sisi around, amidst great festivities. They established their residence at Palais Leopold in Schwabing and had four children, who all survived through adulthood. Gisela was particularly close to his only brother, Crown Prince Rudolf, and his death after suicide severely affected her. After this, the archduchess became active in various social and political activities, establishing charities that helped the poor, blind and deaf At the height of World War I, she converted her palace into a military hospital and when the monarchy was toppled, Gisela refused to leave  Munich but, instead, remained and participated the 1919 elections for the Weimar National Assembly where women above the age of 20 were allowed to vote for the first time.

The Bavarians’ esteem and affection towards Gisela never wavered until old age. Such was her popularity that they called her the Good Angel from Vienna. The still-active paddle steamer Gisela on the Traunsee and the Gisela Gymnasium in Munich were named in her honor.

Archduchess Gisela Louise Marie of Austria was born on July 12, 1856. She died on July 27, 1932, in Munich.

Comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

A Day in the Life of The Queen: How Queen Elizabeth II Spends Her Day

Queen Elizabeth II is a stickler for order, and so routine is a part of Her Majesty’s day-to-day life. She rises at around 8.30 am and would be greeted by a piper who plays at 9am on the terrace beneath her apartment at Buckingham Palace. When longtime attendant and confidante Margaret MacDonald was still in service, Don Coolican noted that  Bobo, as The Queen affectionately called MacDonald, would awaken her, “bringing in a cup of tea and a plate of biscuits handed over by the footman.” The Queen’s corgis are the first creatures to grace The Queen , who would also beg to be given biscuits, Coolican writes.

10 Interesting Facts About Princess Margaret of United Kingdom, Countess of Snowdon

Princess Margaret Rose was one of the most popular, albeit controversial, royals during her lifetime. She was a rather sad figure, a victim of love at an early age and a person who constantly sought affection and attention as she went on to looked for the real meaning of her life. Might as well want to learn about the colorful life of Queen Elizabeth II's younger sister? Here are 10 interesting facts about her.


1. Born on August 30, 1930, in Glamis, the family seat of her mother's family, Princess Margaret was the first member of the British Royal Family to be born in Scotland for over 300 years.



2. Her parents, the then Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth) wanted to call her Anne, but her grandfather, King George V, vetoed, so they named her Margaret Rose, instead.



3. In 1936, the princess' relatively peaceful life was altered considerably when his uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated to marry the woman he loved, the two-time American divorce…

King Edward VIII’s Financial Settlement: How Much Money Did He Get After The Abdication?

King Edward VIII leaped into financial uncertainty the moment he signed the Instrument of Abdication on December 10, 1936. That same day, Edward, now known as Duke of Windsor, entered into an agreement with his younger brother and successor, King George VI, that secured him £25,000 annually for the rest of his life. However, the King later renounced this agreement and instead offered him a smaller amount which would cease upon the King's death. The condition is that Edward should never step into British soil unless invited by government.