Albumette:  Maria Sophie Wittelsbach, Queen of the Two Sicilies

Maria Sophie Wittelsbach, another of Empress Elisabeth's sisters, did not have long in the spotlight. The Wittelsbachs were almost an extension of the Habsburgs and the Habsburgs had tentacles formed by their own and Wittelsbach marriages throughout Italy. Cavour and Garibaldi acted to unify Italy, forcing the various German-linked rulers out. One of them was Maria Sophie, Queen of the Two Sicilies that included Naples (the ruling dynasty there was Bourbon). Maria Sophie went out of power in a blaze of glory, leading the defense of Gaeta. Marcel Proust called her the "soldier queen on the ramparts of Gaeta." She married Franceco II, King of Sicily in 1859 whose reign ended with the fall of Gaeta in 1862. As a result of her brief reign, her photos document the high crinoline era. Her Wikipedia article is here.

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