A New Netflix Series Will Chronicle The Tragic Story of This Austrian Empress

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Photo credit: Imagno - Getty Images
Photo credit: Imagno - Getty Images

If you thought things were getting dark in season four of The Crown, you're not wrong, but there's a new Netflix royal drama on the way that'll really put the Windsors' problems into perspective. The streaming platform is developing a series about Duchess Elisabeth of Bavaria, an Austrian empress whose life involved a series of escalating tragedies before finally culminating in an assassination.

Elisabeth, known as Sissi, was Empress of Austria beginning in 1854, when she married Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary at the age of 16. But despite this lofty title, her life was largely dark and difficult—she lost her first child at a young age, and then lost her only son, Rudolf, in what was suspected to be a murder-suicide on his part (his body was found next to that of his lover). Less than ten years later, her sister Duchess Sophie also perished in a fire. After all of this loss, Elisabeth's own life also ended at a young age, when she was assassinated by an Italian anarchist in 1898.

Titled The Empress, the six-part series will star German actress Devrim Lingnau. Per The Daily Mail, the series won't all be doom and gloom—it'll also explore Elisabeth's infamous beauty and fitness regime, which led her to be dubbed "the loveliest woman in Europe." She was reportedly an exercise fanatic, performing 20 pull-ups every morning, and used a series of unusual beauty treatments including bathing in goats' milk, putting veal on her face, and washing her hair in eggs and cognac.

So while the series isn't likely to be a cheerful watch, you may pick up a few unorthodox beauty tips along the way. The Empress is expected to launch in spring of 2022.

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