Sisi’s second-born daughter was brought up by her grandmother Sophie and she had little contact with her mother. Gisela remained close to her brother Rudolf even after they were split up when he was six and each had their own household.
Gisela rarely saw her mother at the key events in her early life such as attending her first communion.
At the age of 16 the Empress arranged a marriage with Prince Leopold of Bavaria, even though negotiations were being conducted for him to marry Amelie of Coburg. The wedding took place in Vienna in 1873 after very elaborate and formal celebrations that lasted several days.
Gisela had four children, the first of whom Elisabeth was born nine months after the wedding.
She lived in Munich and became very popular with the Bavarians for her devotion to good causes including operating a hospital in the First World War. She is buried in the Jesuitenkirche, St Michael in Munich.