An in-depth look at the “Munich Beauty”, Helene Sedlmayr
HELENE: The portrait of the "Munich beauty" at
REGAL COUPLE: Queen Therese and King Ludwig I, both images are from portraits by Josef Stieler.
LOOKING OVER US: An image of Helene Sedlmayr
on a bar/carousel at the Münchner Frühlingsfest
(Munich Spring Festival).
Ludwig even had scouts fan out across the kingdom to search for models for his Gallery of Beauties, a collection of portraits of the foxiest ladies he could find.
Helene crossed the king’s path after his wife, Queen Therese, bought toys from Auracher's for her princes.
Helene was charged with delivering the goods to the royal Residenz, where she ran into the regent himself.
Ludwig, struck by her doey-eyes and jet-black hair, decided she’d be a perfect fit for his gallery of gorgeous dames. Stieler painted the 18-year-old Helene wearing a Munich-style Dirndl dress in 1831.
Ludwig is said to have wooed her with the words “Don’t have such a searching and inquiring glance. You cheeky, loveliest beauty, look at me and trust me.”
Ludwig's heart ran so hot for Helene it was feared the affair would embarrass the royal court. After all, she was a mere shoemaker’s daughter.
To protect Ludwig’s reputation Helene Sedlmayr was betrothed to the king’s valet, with the surname Miller.
Though it was a forced marriage, it was a happy one and the couple had 10 children – nine sons and one daughter. Though that would be a huge brood by today’s standards it was quite normal in the 19th century.
Helene died in 1898 aged 85 and her grave can be found in Munich’s Alter Südfriedhof cemetery.
Her great, great grandsons, Ernst and Peter Miller, are today the owners of the hotel Vierjahreszeiten (The Four Seasons) in Berchtesgaden in southern Bavaria.
KISS: Winfried Frey and Isabella Jantz
star in the TV production.
Pic:© Bayerischer Rundfunk
OFFSPRING:Helene and Ludwig's
children in the TV production.
Pic:© Bayerischer Rundfunk
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• Helene's portrait is at Nymphenburg Palace.
• Find out more about Munich at Munich Backstory.
• Jump from Helene Sedlmayr back to Destination Munich Home.
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