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Elizabeth the Empress of Austria

This is the story of the journeys that she made to England and Ireland.

Combermere House, Cheshire
Empress Elizabeth
Cottesbrooke House, Northants

Elizabeth married the Emperor of Austria when she was sixteen years old. Her youth, background and home life provided none of the qualities needed to fulfil the role of an Empress at the Habsburg court of Vienna. Her husband equally lacked the necessary qualities or skills to support her against the constant pressure of her over-bearing mother-in-law, the Archduchess Sophie, who sought to control and influence their lives.

Travelling and her passion for horse riding became the principle activities by which she could escape. One of her sisters, Marie Sophie, had married into the family of the King of The Two Sicilies and she and her husband were briefly the Monarchs until deposed by Garibaldi in 1861. This led her to also lead a peripatetic life around Europe socialising with many of the royal families and nobility.

In 1873 a big international exhibition was held in Vienna and our Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII) visited it and whilst in Vienna met the Empress and talked to her about horses and hunting. He told her about the hunts held in England and encouraged her to visit during the hunting season.


Elizabeth's visits to Britain were from 1874 to 1887


Steephill Castle, Ventnor, Isle of Wight
1876 Easton Neston, Towcester, Northants
1877 Cottesbrooke, Northants
1879 & 1880 Summerhill, Meath, Ireland
1881 & 1882 Combermere Abbey, Cheshire
1887 Tuckers Hotel, Cromer, Norfolk