Princess Ludovica of Bavaria 1808-92. Portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler

Empress Elisabeth’s mother Ludovica was the sixth of nine children of King Max of Bavaria. She was the only one of her siblings that did not make a ‘good’ marriage. In 1828 Ludovica married her cousin Duke Max in Bavaria, one of the junior branches of the Wittelsbach family.

Ludovica did not enjoy Court life and instead preferred the countryside around the summer home at Possenhofen, they had bought in 1834. Unusually she brought up her eight children personally, allowing them great freedom. A liberal, she was not devout like her sister Sophie, Franz Josef’s mother.

Ludovica stayed close to Sisi and died in Munich in 1892.


Duchess Ludovica in Bavaria - Sisi's Mother