For my next Royal Diaries book, I decided to read about Empress Elisabeth of Austria. I don’t really know anything about her, so I didn’t have any preconceived expectations or anything like that.
I’ve read a fair number of Royal Diaries books (including this one on Elisabeth, I have read 12 of the 20 books in this series), so from my experience so far, I think this book is the most put-together one. Some of the other diaries were just, well, diaries, where the princesses talked about their day to day activities and barely any plot happens. This series is meant to educate kids about not only these historical figures, but also about what life was like back in their respective time periods, so I understand why some of the books were written that way. I was very pleased to find, when reading this book, that it managed to fit in an actual story as well, instead of just talking about what Elisabeth did every day.
This book on Elisabeth begins with herself, her mother and her sister being summoned to meet the Emperor of Austria and his mother, Princess Sophie. The reality of the meeting is that the mothers have paired up the 23 year old emperor with Elisabeth’s 18 year old sister. However, when everyone met, the Emperor found himself smitten with Elisabeth instead. He asks for her hand in marriage, which shocks Elisabeth. She had not expected this at all, and what’s worse, she’s afraid her sister will hate her for this. However, she, too, really likes this handsome young emperor so she accepts — well, also because her mother really wants Elisabeth to accept so at least ONE of her daughters can become Empress of Austria.
Even though Elisabeth is happy to be marrying the Emperor, she is absolutely intimidated by her future duties as an Empress. As the day of the royal wedding approaches closer and closer, Elisabeth finds herself more and more uncomfortable with imperial life. Yet, she must endure …
Like I said, it was great that this book actually had a story and I enjoyed reading it. It’s extremely short, only about 100 pages — the rest of the book is the epilogue, historical notes, family tree and pictures, which is roughly 50 pages on its own! While the story presented in this book is interesting, Elisabeth’s life after she was married would have made an even more fascinating story, I think! In a tragic sort of way. Of course, the Royal Diaries series focuses on the princess’ and queens’ childhoods since it is a series aimed at children.
Anyway, I digress. This is definitely one of the better Royal Diaries books of the series, short and sweet!