Bridgerton groupies and fans of The Crown, now is the time to unite: The Empress trailer promises a new period piece obsession with sexiness, intrigue, court politics, and corset lacing. The German series comes to Netflix on September 29 with a new royal romance to fall head over heels for.
This time, it’s the Habsburgs in the spotlight—specifically, Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph (Philip Froissant) and his wife Elisabeth von Wittelsbach (Devrim Lingnau). Elisabeth—or “Sisi”—doesn’t have a conventional path to the throne; in fact, as seen in the trailer, Franz is courting someone else entirely. And yet Franz and Elizabeth are drawn to each other and fall in love regardless, and Franz’s announcement that Sisi will be the next empress shocks the court.
“After the wedding, the young empress not only has to find herself in a world that is strange to her, but also has to assert herself against Sophie (Melika Foroutan), her mother-in-law, who before had been the most powerful woman at court. Furthermore, Franz’s unpredictable brother Maxi (Johannes Nussbaum), who, as the second born, has always stood in the shadow of his powerful brother, turns Sisi’s emotional world upside down,” reads the synopsis from Netflix. “While enemy troops are forming up at the borders of the Habsburg empire, a new revolution lies in the air in Vienna. Elisabeth has to find out who she can trust and what it costs to become the empress and figure of hope for an entire nation.”
Much like another period piece contemporary, Elle Fanning’s Catherine the Great, Empress Elisabeth doesn’t like the rules and restrictions of her position and wants to lead in her own way. The trailer depicts a Princess Diana-esque figure who defies her new family to reach out to her suffering subjects directly. But Elisabeth’s rebellious nature proves to be a challenge to the young married couple: “I love only you,” she insists to Franz, who forebodingly returns, “Why, then, is that not enough?”
The Empress, from showrunner Katharina Eyssen, also stars Almila Bagriacik, Wiebke Puls, Elisa Schlott, and Jördis Triebel.