It is impossible to over-estimate Ida Ferenczy’s importance to Empress Sisi, wrote Brigitte Hamann (The Reluctant Empress). She was confidant, friend and go-between for Elisabeth and became privy to her greatest secrets.
Ida did not come from one of the great Austro-Hungarian families and so she had to be Sisi’s Reader; she could not be a lady-in-waiting. She joined Sisi in 1864 and played a key part in relations between Hungary’s politicians such as Gyula Andrassy and the Empress.
Ferenczy took on tasks requiring extreme tact such as arranging for Franz Josef to take Katharine Schratt as his mistress – companion so that Sisi could travel freely. Ida never married and after Sisi’s murder kept her memory alive by creating the Queen Elisabeth Memorial Museum in Buda in 1899. This museum closed in 1944 and the collection was reassembled at Godollo Palace after the fall of communism
Image Credits: Wikimedia.