QUEEN ELISABETH EVENING – 5 March 2019, 07:00 p.m. – 09:10 p.m.
Secrets, Mysteries and Passions

Queen Elisabeth and Bay Middleton – Crown Prince Rudolf and Mary Vetsera

Program: Presentation by Barbara Káli-Rozmis, the researcher of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, presentation and discussion with Esztér Virág Vér, historian (ELTE University)

Venue: Benczúr Ház – Benczúr House (Ceremonial Hall – Ball Room), 27 Benczúr Street, 6th district, Budapest
Tickets with gifts: 1600 HUF (Information:

The whole program is in Hungarian.

Description: Empress Elisabeth of Austria and Queen of Hungary had been a passionate and daring horse rider since her childhood. The harder the field was, the more she enjoyed riding. She could spend a whole day on horseback. Sisi was regarded to be one of the best women riders of her time. She loved English style hunts the most. During a hunt in Northampstonshire, England in 1876, she met Bay Middleton the excellent Scottish rider, who was the equerry to Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (John Spencer, 5th Earl Spencer). At first, Middleton was opposed to being a pilot (escorting and taking care of) the Empress in the hunting field, against whom, he was prejudiced. However, when he met Sisi, he was amazed by her beauty, gentleness, kindness and riding knowledge. Elisabeth also felt some attraction to the man. During her stays in Great Britain, they spent several weeks in each other’s company while riding. What is more, the man (although he had no rank) was sitting next to the Empress during meals. Some of Sisi’s companions reacted with indignation. Crown Prince Rudolf disliked Bay Middleton, and behaved impolitely to him. Elisabeth was hurt but she did not care about anybody’s opinion, and invited the man to the Royal Palace of Gödöllő. There were some rumours and gossips about them even that time. In my presentation, I will talk about this relationship in details. What could make Sisi give up horse riding unexpectedly and permanently in 1882? Was it relating to health problems and her horse accidents or is it more related to the fact that Bay Middleton – finally, after six years of engagement – married his fiancée in October of the very same year?
Sometimes, Crown Prince Rudolf attended the hunts with Elisabeth. The other half of the program will be in connection with him. Crown Prince Rudolf was found dead accompanied by his mistress, Mary Vetsera in Mayerling Hunting Lodge 130 years ago – 30 January 1889. According to the official version Rudolf committed a murder-suicide in a state of “mental unbalance”. Although both Mary Vetsera and the Crown Prince wrote suicide notes, many believed and have though recently that the death of the Habsburg heir had been an assassination or a murder. There are a lot of contradictory and mysterious details around the tragedy. Was it a double suicide? A murder? An assassination? During the other half of the program, I will be interviewing Eszter Virág Vér, historian about it. Eszter Virág Vér held a presentation and took part in the Memorial Conference on the occasion of the 130th anniversary of the Crown Prince’s death organised in Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna between 28-29 January 2019.

Barbara Káli-Rozmis

Tickets with gifts: 1600 HUF. Request:

GAME: After the presentation and during the interval, the audience can fill in a test relating to the topic of the presentation. (Lot:) The name of each respondent – who provide suitable answers – will be put into a box from which members of the audience will draw. The lucky ones will get some gifts relating to Empress and Queen Elisabeth.
Events on Facebook: Erzsébet Királyné Klubest
Sources of pictures:
Photo 1 – Crown Prince Rudolf ÖNB – Pk 499, 2/86
Photo 2 – Elisabeth – ÖNB – Pf 6639 E 53/1
Photo 3 – Mary Vetsera – ÖNB – Pf 14403 : C (14)
(Pictured were modified.)
Ball Room – Benczúr House © Benczúr Ház
Poster – photo: Elisabeth – ÖNB Pf 6639 E 27a/1


Stefánia Palace, Budapest, 25 November 2018 – the whole program is in Hungarian

Presentation by Barbara Káli-Rozmis and an Exhibition by Mónika Czédly


About the exhibition: Replicas of Elisabeth’s dresses – including the one worn by her on the coronation ceremony in Matthias Church – will be on display. The replica of the coronation dress was first exhibited on the 150th anniversary of the coronation, in the Royal Palace of Gödöllő.

The venue: Stefánia Palace is connected to Elisabeth, the Empress was there more times. The palace has an Elisabeth Room as well as an Ida Ferenczy Room (Sisi’s conversationalist).

The date of the event: 25 November 2018. From 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

See the detailed program below.



10.00 – 10.05 Opening ceremony

10.05 – 10.30 Budapest Dance Studio: Viennese Waltz. Song from Elizabeth Musical (in Hungarian) by Anita Potvorszki. Budapest Dance Studio: Blue Danube Waltz. Song from Rudolf Musical (in Hungarian) by Anita Potvorszki

10.30 – 11.30 Presentation of Barbara Káli-Rozmis, the researcher of Empress and Queen Elisabeth

11.30 – 11.45 Break

11.45 – 12.15 Budapest Dance Studio: Hungarian Dance – “Palotás”. Song from Rudolf Musical (in Hungarian) by Anita Potvorszki. Budapest Dance Studio: Hungarian Dance – “Csárdás”. Song from Elizabeth Musical (in Hungarian) by Anita Potvorszki

12.15 – 12.40 Replicas of Queen Elisabeth’s Dresses and presentation about them by Mónika Czédly

12.40 -13.00 Exhibition: Replicas of Queen Elisabeth Dresses

13.00 – 14.00 (Optional program) Gastronomic time travel: Dishes that Elisabeth was fond of