Synopsis & Review of The Empress, Life Story of Elisabeth of Austria Love at first sight becomes a shocking marriage for both families

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Love at first sight becomes a marriage that shocks both families. Elisabeth officially became the consort of the Austrian emperor, Franz Joseph I. However, their love experienced many obstacles, especially the displeasure of the emperor’s mother.

Apart from that, they were also faced with coup plans from within the palace, wars in Europe, and echoes of revolution from their people.

The Empress is a German-produced historical drama series that released on Netflix on September 29, 2022. Set in Elisabeth’s first year as empress to the Emperor of Austria, the series stars Devrim Lingnau as Elisabeth and Philip Froissant as Franz Joseph I.

Can the stories presented in these 6 episodes mix political intrigue and government turmoil in an interesting way? Check out the following review before watching it, OK!

Elisabeth and Helene grew up in a noble Bavarian family. In contrast to Helene who was very feminine, Elisabeth loved to ride horses and was rebellious at heart. Their mother, Ludovika, planned their marriage to Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I who was the son of his old friend, Princess Grand Princess Sophie.

They were asked to come to the emperor’s holiday palace in Bad Ischl, but the clothes they had prepared were left behind. Finally they came to Princess Sophie in mourning clothes.

Franz had met Elisabeth before the meeting in the garden when Elisabeth was holding an injured bird. And since then, Franz has fallen in love with Elisabeth.

A banquet is held to celebrate Franz’s engagement to Helene. But Franz’s decision that night surprised all parties, he chose Elisabeth as his wife. Franz told his mother that he would only marry Elisabeth when he saw the doubt in Princess Sophie’s eyes.

8 months later, Elisabeth came to the palace in Vienna for her wedding. She must appear perfect as a future empress at the wedding later. He was given several maidservants who came from prominent families in Austria.

Meanwhile, Franz is in a precarious situation. He must decide whether to side with Russia or the alliance of France and England in the ongoing war. Franz, who was still under the influence of his mother, decided that Austria would not side with anyone.

The wedding day arrived. Franz and Elisabeth are feeling happy. Princess Agung Sophie’s ex-lover came to meet the invitation and mentioned that Franz could be the child of their affair.

The popularity of the imperial family increased in the eyes of the people since Elisabeth’s arrival. The people pin their hopes on their empress. But there are also some who want a revolution. They were Countess Leontine von Apafi and infiltrated another woman as her substitute at court.

Franz’s first step to move Austria forward was to build a railroad to alleviate poverty in various regions. He tried to find investors, but there were no businessmen and nobles who were willing to lend him the funds.

But through his former lover, Franz meets the son of a rich businessman who is willing to provide capital. Grand Princess Sophie and the council of ministers urge Franz to jump into battle. But once again Franz remained unmoved from his previous decision.

However, Franz invites the sons of the Russian Czars to visit the palace and talk about their nation’s future. Elisabeth came up with a welcoming idea with a hunting party.

At first it was only the men who hunted in the forest, but they returned with nothing. The son of the Russian Tsar then invites Elisabeth to join the hunt.

Elisabeth, who was used to being invited to hunt by her father since childhood, did not hesitate to go down. In a precarious situation, Elisabeth managed to shoot a wild boar after the son of the Russian Tsar failed to subdue it many times.

This incident embarrassed and angered Franz’s son, the Russian Tsar, which heated up relations between the two empires. Not long after, Franz sent troops to the national border to face the Russian military.

He used the railroad’s capital to fund a war that angered the son of the businessman who invested in it.

Not liking the various policies taken by Franz, Maximilian devised a plan to stage a coup against his brother’s power. He already has the support of the military and the board of ministries, only the support from his mother is what he has yet to get.

Meanwhile, Elisabeth, who was assigned to visit her people, caused a commotion. While at the iron factory, Elisabeth forced her way into the factory.

He then gave his shoes to a little girl who worked there. Suddenly the people who gathered became riotous and were beaten by the empress’s security forces.

Leontine, who managed to steal Elisabeth’s attention, became closer to the empress. This invites jealousy from the other maids who are trying to find out who Leontine really is.

Feeling blamed for what happened at the factory, Elisabeth feels that no one can understand her feelings, except for Maximilian. They spend their time partying which infuriates Franz who then wants to return Elisabeth to Bavaria.

Russia withdrew its troops, but the people demanded a revolution. People gathered in front of the palace gate. Maximilian’s plan is detected by Franz, Leontine shoves a maid who knows her true identity to death and Elisabeth confronts the crowd gathered at the gate.

What will be their fate next? Did Elisabeth really leave the palace? What did Franz do when he learned of Maximilian’s coup plot? To get the answer, watch this series till the end!

Listening to a series with a historical background makes us have to study the existing historical facts, as well as the characters told in it.

The Empress series clearly explores Elisabeth’s first year as empress to the Emperor of Austria. And we really need to get to know this figure because of his role in history and the uniqueness of his figure.

It is told in the series that Elisabeth became Franz’s wife at a young age. Elisabeth was born in Bavaria on 24 December 1837 and married Franz in 1854 at the age of 16.

In the 6 episodes that summarize the life of the empress in her first year at the Austrian Emperor’s side, the figure of Elisabeth is brought to life by Devrim Lingnau.

The nature of a rebellious but soft-hearted teenager is successfully delivered in every scene that constantly steals our attention. It was shown by her how she rebelled against the order of the nobility while still in Bavaria and the empire when she became empress.

At court, she is always at odds with her mother-in-law, Grand Princess Sophie. Franz’s mother considered Elisabeth inappropriate to be side by side with her son.

But several times anyway, on other occasions, he also seemed to give guidance so that Elisabeth would not repeat the mistakes she had made in the past.

Even though she has become the empress, the teenage side that still doesn’t have mental stability still appears on the surface.

He chose to party hard to get rid of his sadness because he was blamed for an incident at a factory just because he wanted to be closer to his people. When her gentle heart is not acknowledged, her rebellious spirit dominates.

The most interesting thing about series about the kingdom is the thick layer of story with intrigue in the palace. And The Empress has all the qualities that have been presented in the Netflix series The Crown as well as the ITV series Victoria.

Elisabeth and Franz’s love story opens the way to a complicated and conflict-ridden story. Cleverly, Katharina Eyssen and Lena Stahl as scriptwriters, arrange stories and build strong story structures, so that piles of conflict and intrigue can be enjoyed properly.

Inside is the coup attempt planned by Maximilian, Franz’s brother. There is also the emperor’s efforts by the people who want a revolution because of the injustice of their rulers. Apart from that, there was also a struggle for attention between Elisabeth’s maids and Princess Sophie’s maids.

As a kingdom in the midst of a war, Austria was also faced with the choice of siding with the two warring factions. This is what makes the political conflicts in this series make it seem like we don’t want to stop watching all the episodes at once.

In addition, this series also has reliability on the visual side. Camera placement and shooting are very neat.

The emotions felt by the characters are well captured through the close-up technique and the atmosphere of the palace with a strict system can be felt through shooting from below. And when the scene is outdoor, the camera’s view expands to capture the beautiful landscape.

Not to forget anyway, the authenticity of this series is very high. Starting from the costumes, the style of speech and behavior, to other knick-knacks from 19th century Austria are described in detail and beautifully. So that it gets us carried away in the atmosphere and helps us capture the emotions of the characters well.

Unexpectedly, The Empress can be aligned with other royal-themed series that always manage to present interesting stories about conflict and intrigue in the palace. Moreover, this Netflix series spends more of its duration in the palace, so that we are made to understand the Austrian imperial system at that time.

Maybe many feel confused by the ending that hangs. But all these stories are just the beginning of a long story that will be full of twists and turns. If you look at Elisabeth’s history, the first year that is told in this series is only the foundation of the many problems and glories that colored her life.

Maybe in the next season we will be shown how increasingly strong the pressure experienced by Elisabeth from her parents-in-law was so that she was separated from her daughters.

He started to get a place when he gave birth to a son who was positioned as a prince. He also had a big hand in the unification of the two kingdoms, Hungary and Austria, under Franz.

We can expect the story of The Empress to close with great sadness when all the glory she has achieved must disappear instantly when her son.

Then a few years later, his beloved sister was killed in a fire. And all ended with him in Geneva by an anarchist from Italy.

I don’t know how many seasons this series will continue, but what is certain is that with this quality, The Empress is one of the must-watch series.