Empress Elisabeth of Austria was the wife of Emperor Franz Joseph I, and held her title for 44 years, plus that of Empress of Hungary after the dual monarchy was created in 1867. She was an educated, independent, and beautiful woman known for her travels and her magnificent hair. Elisabeth’s life was quite an adventure, ending with her assassination in 1898. But her fascinating life had low points. Her son, crown prince Rudolph, committed suicide at age 30, a scandalous incident that contributed to a sequence of events that led to World War I. Empress Elisabeth is said to have only worn black for the rest of her life after the death of her only son.
The picture above shows one of Elisabeth’s mourning outfits with a mask made of black velvet, surrounded by beads, lace, and ostrich feathers. It tops a dress with a long train, now in the possession of the Imperial Carriage Museum Vienna. See more pictures of the outfit at Haute Macabre. -via Damn Interesting
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