The true royal story behind Netflix’s next big period drama

Here’s everything we know about The Empress, a new Netflix story inspired by Empress Sissi of Austria-Hungary. 

There have been some cracking royal period dramas in recent years. The nation is of course obsessed with The Crown, inspired by the British royal family, which has just finished its fourth season. Last year’s The Great, based on Catherine The Great, was a hit with viewers and critics alike. And ITV drama Victoria saw Jenna Coleman take on the role of the famous queen. 

To feed our obsession, Netflix has announced another royal period drama that we’re going to be addicted to. 

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What is Netflix’s The Empress?

The Empress is a six-part German Netflix Original series about the iconic Empress of Austria-Hungary. The synopsis reads: “A day in August 1853, two young people meet. A fateful encounter – the proverbial love at first sight. He is Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary, she is Elisabeth von Wittelsbach, Princess of Bavaria and the sister of the woman Franz is to marry…”

It adds: “The stirring life story of Empress Elisabeth – better known as ‘Sisi’ – has thrilled audiences in Germany, Austria and Switzerland for generations.”

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Who was Sissi, the Empress of Austria?

Sissi, born Duchess Elisabeth of Bavaria, had an incredible but troubled life. She disturbed the strict Viennese court conventions with her marriage to Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary. 

Franz’s mother, Princess Sophie, had actually intended for her first son to marry Sissi’s older sister, Helene. However, when he met the girls, he fell in love with Sissi at first sight, and declared that he would marry her. This led to Princess Sophie making life very difficult for 16-year old Sissi. And, to further complicate things, Franz’s younger brother, Maxi, also wanted Sissi and the throne.

Netflix’s The Empress: Devrim Lingnau and Philip Froissant.

During her 44-year reign, Sissi dealt with miscarriages and her only son died in a murder-suicide at a hunting lodge. Her sister later died in a mysterious house fire. After receiving warnings of possible assassination attempts, Sissi was killed while travelling.

Who stars in Netflix’s The Empress?

German actors Devrim Lingnau and Philip Froissant take on the leading roles of the imperial couple. 

When is Netflix’s The Empress out?

Filming on The Empress has started, and Netflix has said that we can expect it to land on the streaming platform in Spring 2022.

Images: Getty, Netflix

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