When the imperial couple moved into separate bedrooms, Franz Joseph had a portable brown-painted iron bedstead set up in this room, an arrangement he also used at Schönbrunn, Budapest, Laxenburg, Bad Ischl and Gödöllö. A plain folding toilet table completed the bedroom furniture, which was of a piece with the emperor’s modest lifestyle. Franz Joseph had himself woken by his valet-dechambre every day at half past three in the morning. Then the bathing assistant entered the room and set up a rubber bathing tub for the emperor’s morning ablutions. After dressing, Franz Joseph went straight to his study to begin reading through the files that were waiting for his attention.
The pictures on the walls show various members of the family. A replica of a portrait of the empress mounted on a horse deserves special mention: it depicts Elisabeth at the age of fifteen, already engaged to the emperor, in front of Schloss Possenhofen.
The original painting was a Christmas present from Duke Max in Bavaria to his future son-in-law Franz Joseph. The painting was in private Habsburg ownership until 2017, when it was put up for sale at auction. Schloß Schönbrunn Kultur- und Betriebsges.m.b.H. were unable to acquire this outstanding portrait as it changed hands for several times its estimate.
On the opposite wall above the sofa is a portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler showing Archduchess Sophie as a young mother with the two-year-old Franz Joseph on her lap.
The emperor’s bedroom also had a prie-dieu or praying stool, on which Franz Joseph said his morning and evening prayers every day. Like all Habsburgs, he was a devout Catholic and regarded his rule as divinely instituted.