The Royal Diaries

The Princess Bride,
Austria-Hungary, 1853

Written by Barry Denenberg
ISBN 0-439-26644-0

A free and impetuous spirit, Elisabeth is chosen at the age of fifteen (over her older sister) to be the wife of Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria. From that moment on, she is thrown into an intimidating world of restrictions and tremendous responsibilities. Feeling alone and alienated, Elisabeth is forced to rely upon her own personal strength, which eventually leads her down the aisle and into an uncertain future.

Saturday, September 24, 1853

Finding myself the most important person in the whole household and the constant center of attention is most unnerving and disturbing. I wish it were not so, but there doesnít seem to be anything I can do to stop it.

I canít go anywhere unless everyone knows where I am because there are so many great personages and foreign delegations arriving night and day to meet me. Although they mean well, their speeches are so long that the mere anticipation of one is enough to ruin my entire day.

Possi used to be so serene and calming. Now that I have so much to do, it is far from that. I hardly have any time to spend with my animals, walk in the woods, or even ride with Poppy.

I wish I could go back to the way things were, before Ischl. (Except, of course, I would never give up meeting the Emperor!) Then no one cared where I was or when I was going to be back. And there were no foreign delegations coming to meet me. Now I am hardly ever alone.