Elizabeth of Austria (1526–1545)
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- For other women named Elisabeth of Austria, please see Elisabeth of Austria (disambiguation).
|Elisabeth of Austria|
Grand Duchess of Lithuania
|Tenure||5 May 1543 – 15 June 1545|
|Coronation||8 May 1543|
|Spouse||Sigismund II Augustus|
|House||House of Habsburg (by birth)
Jagiellon dynasty (by marriage)
|Father||Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor|
|Mother||Anna of Bohemia and Hungary|
|Born||9 July 1526|
|Died||15 June 1545|
Elisabeth of Austria (Polish: Elżbieta Habsburżanka) (9 July 1526 – 15 June 1545) was the eldest child of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor and his wife Anna of Bohemia and Hungary. Elisabeth was a member of the House of Habsburg.
From an early age Elisabeth was trained and prepared for her marriage to Sigismund II Augustus. Elisabeth's father had attempted to marry his daughter off to the Polish prince when she was only one year old. Even though Elisabeth knew of her future marriage she was not taught Polish, probably so she would need a translator—one the Habsburgs would choose to be their spy in the Polish court.
In view of the fact that Elisabeth was the granddaughter of Vladislas II of Hungary, uncle of Sigismund, Pope Clement VII had to give a papal dispensation so the wedding could take place. So 16 year old Elisabeth married 22 year old Sigismund on May 6, 1543, in Wawel. Elisabeth's mother-in-law Bona Sforza did not want the wedding to take place because she hated the Habsburgs.
The marriage was not happy. Young, inexperienced and shy, Elisabeth was not attracted to her husband. The situation deteriorated when Elisabeth was diagnosed with epilepsy. Throughout the duration of their marriage, Sigismund betrayed his wife by taking Barbara Radziwiłł as his mistress. At the same time Bona openly expressed her dislike of Elisabeth. The only person who showed sympathy to Elisabeth was her father-in-law, Sigismund I the Old.
In the spring 1545 Elisabeth's health deteriorated and she was tormented by her increasingly frequent seizures. At the beginning of June 1545 Sigismund went to Krakow to received Elisabeth's dowry, leaving his wife alone in Vilnius. On June 15 the young queen died when she was just 19, exhausted by her many epileptic seizures. She was buried on August 24, 1545, in Vilnius Cathedral next to her husband's uncle, a brother of her grandfather, Alexander the Jagiellonian.
After Elisabeth's death Sigismund II married Radziwiłł and, after her death, married Elisabeth's younger sister, Catherine of Austria. Sigismund had no legitimate children from his three wives.
|Ancestors of Elizabeth of Austria (1526–1545)|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Elisabeth of Austria (1526-1545)|
Elizabeth of Austria (1526–1545)Born: 1526 Died: 1545
as sole queen
|Queen consort of Poland
Grand Duchess consort of Lithuania
with Bona Sforza
as sole queen