Elisabeth Habsburg – Lothringen
Born on Christmas 1837 in Munich, Elisabeth was educated at the Palais Max in a liberal humanistic tradition. Her childhood dream was to become a circus artist. She first experienced theatre when she and her father dressed up as vagabonds and danced in public. “The only money I ever earned with honest work,” she would later say when showing the coins they garnered to employees at the Vienna court. In 1854, this freethinker -through tragic coincidence or through destiny- married the Emperor of Austria. She thereby began her career as Empress and mother to four children, though arguably failed as she outlived two of her children. In 1861, Elisabeth visited Greece for the first time - the beginning of a lifelong fascination. She studied literature, philosophy and a range of languages. She became fluent in Greek, even translating Shakespeare into it. She successfully established herself as an immortal beauty.