In Hungary Elisabeth could experience freedom. Buda was not far from Vienna, but far enough to allow the queen to arrange her court in the Royal Palace and later in Gödöllő with an atmosphere of greater freedom. Although Sisi started to learn Hungarian only to keep herself entertained, subsequently it became a passion of hers and she perfectly mastered the language.

At first, Elisabeth’s interest in Hungarians probably only served to annoy her mother-in-law. Archduchess Sophie felt a powerful aversion to this rebellious nation; the secessionist action of Hungarians leading to the war of independence threatened the unity of her son’s, Franz Joseph’s empire, who acceded to the throne in 1848. Due to the repression of the war of independence, Hungarians considered the emperor a bloody tyrant – it was the appearance of Elisabeth that helped to change the image previously formed of Franz Joseph.

Sisi assumed a political role for the first and last time in her life because of the Hungarian people. With her clear Hungarian pronunciation and her kind and attractive personality, she became an ideal mediator between Franz Joseph, the Viennese court and the Hungarian politicians, which contributed to the establishment of the Austro-Hungarian Compromise in 1867. On 8 June 1867, Franz Joseph was crowned King of Hungary and Elisabeth was crowned Queen of Hungary in the Matthias Church of Buda Castle, and the grateful Hungarians gave them the Castle of Gödöllő as a coronation gift.  Sisi recognised her own freedom-loving, rebellious nature in Hungarians, therefore both Buda and Gödöllő became her much liked places of residence.

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