In our household, we refer to the beloved princess as "Poor Sissi." Why?
By all accounts, including photos and formal portraits, she was a stunning woman. She did not actually look like a smudgy plastic doll:
Catch a glimpse of one of these puppies, and my children will quietly intone, "Oh, poor Sissi!"
And, in truth, beyond the tragic plastic fake Sissi's, the personal story of the princess is also quite sad. She was a shy and retiring child, who was granted a fairly unstructured childhood. Unfortunately, she was married off to the quite structured Franz Josef I of the Austrian Hungarian Empire, becoming Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary as well as queen Bohemia and Croatia when still a teen.
Her new family were quite a bit more straightlaced than she was used to, and she was deeply unhappy. Her first child was born within a year of marriage and quickly removed from her to be raised by more formal Hopsburg relatives. She bore two more children, both of whom were removed from her immediate care. She consequently developed what was probably a severe case of anorexia, what were probably psychosomatic illnesses, and was often depressed.
She was beautiful, but unfortunately ultimately chose to define herself based on her appearance. Wiki offers this insight:
She had no control in her new life and was unable to identify herself as both the spouse of the emperor and a young mother. As a result, she attempted to recreate her childhood with its lack of obligations. The only quality for which she felt herself appreciated, and over which she had control, was her physical appearance, so she started cultivating this as the primary source of her self-esteem. Obsessively achievement-oriented and almost compulsively perfectionistic in her attitudes, she became a slave to her own beauty and image.
I can't help but think the poor thing would be beside herself with this:
Really. It's just awful, the stuff they put her on. At least the image on the tea set is a formal portrait, so it resembles her. But, a dollhouse tea set?? Really, is this necessary?
Although I think the tea set is a notch up from this:
Orange vermouth in a chello shapped bottle with Sissi's portrait. All that's missing is a silhouette of the Prater Wheel.
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