As it was, it took the influence of her sister, the Austrian empress, to persuade him to change his mind and grant consent to a match he had been hesitant to approve. Their mother, Princess Ludovika, wrote to Elisabeth, urging her to intervene to her husband on behalf of her older sister (who, as is common knowledge, had been the originally intended bride of the emperor). The imperial couple complied, with Franz Joseph writing to the Bavarian king, putting in a good word for the mediatized house.
So the young lady Prince Charming (i.e. the Habsburg emperor) passed over in favor of her younger sister ended up getting the better bargain, in the end, since Helene turned out to be the only daughter of her parents to enjoy a personally happy marriage. Fortunately, they blessed the union from the beginning (in fact, they were the ones who introduced the couple to each other, after the failed engagement with Franz Joseph). If nothing else, the groom was extremely rich, and the bride got to stay in her native land.
So much for the expression "consolation prize" ...
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