The reign of The Empress will continue on Netflix next year. The streamer has confirmed that its German period drama has been renewed for a second season, which will continue the story of the infamous Empress Elisabeth ("Sisi") I of Austria, the daughter of a Bavarian duke who married an emperor for love and subsequently became one of the first celebrity royals, who was almost maniacally beloved by her people. Her story is as often tragic as it is magical, and if seemingly fairytale life carried the seeds of its own doom within it, well — that doesn't make it any less fun to watch.
The series' first season explores the love story between Elisabeth (Devrim Lingnau) and Emperor Franz Joseph (Philip Froissant), a seemingly fairytale romance that saw him choose to wed her for love rather than her sister for politics. Their unconventional match brought Elisabeth to the Viennese court, a place she was ill-suited for and ill-prepared to navigate. Her arrival sent shocks through the Habsburg dynasty's power structure.
As the young empress struggled to assert herself against the stringent rules and expectations of her mother-in-law, Archduchess Sophie (Melika Foroutan), she must also navigate a relationship with her husband's unpredictable brother Maximillian (Johannes Nussbaum), and figure out which of her ladies-in-waiting she can trust, all as enemy troops gather at the borders of her new empire and the threat of revolution builds in the streets.
“I am incredibly grateful that we were able to touch so many different people in Germany and all over the world with our series,” creator and writer Katharina Eyssen said in a statement. “The story of Elisabeth’s life is a story of the power of love, but also of the courage to be different and of hope for a better future, and that is what we need at this time. That’s why we are very happy to be able to continue telling this exciting story.”
No details about Season 2 have yet been revealed, but stars Lingnau and Froissant are both set to return, alongside Faroutan and Nussbaum, keeping the series’ primary narrative and emotional Habsburg foursome intact.
Other confirmed names so far include Almila Bagriacik as Countess Leontine von Apafi (whom viewers know is the false identity of the commoner and revolutionary known as Ava) and Jordis Trebel as Elisabeth’s mother, Princess Ludovika of Bavaria.
“It is wonderful to see that our very own interpretation of this popular historical figure has generated interest and enthusiasm among so many people,” said Netflix VP of content for DACH (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) Katja Hofem. “It shows that people want to see more of Elisabeth.”
And she’s not wrong—according to Netflix, the German Original series has appeared on the streamer’s global top 10 non-English TV list for five straight weeks and topped the top 10 in 88 countries around the world, including Mexico, Brazil, the U.K., Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Australia and its home country of Germany.
Season 1 of The Empress is currently available to stream on Netflix.