Marie Valerie of Austria

Marie Valerie

Marie Valerie was the Empress's favourite child, but at the age of two somewhat weak. In 1870 physicians recommended that she spend the winter in the south. Elisabeth decided on the mild climate of Meran. Elisabeth also often used Marie Valerie to justify her subsequent journeys, even after she was long cured.

Elisabeth had a rather distant relationship with her children Gisela and Rudolf. With Marie Valerie, on the other hand, she developed a hysterical motherliness. At the Court they scoffed that the Empress was fussing like a hen. Marie Valerie accompanied her mother on nearly all her journeys; even in 1889 to Meran, although she was already engaged.

Marie Valerie began to keep a diary at the age of ten. It provides a bleak picture of the family. At Trauttmansdorff on 25 October 1889 Marie Valerie wrote: "How often do I ask myself whether the relationship between my parents might not have been different if Mama had also in her youth had a serious, courageous will."