The Accidental Empress

Photography: Sara Kerens Creative and Art Direction: Lacy Lynch Styling: Annie Laurie Miller Hair and 
 Makeup: Annie Rush at Eva Scrivo Salon Sash Designer: Izquierdo

Right after the new year Kiel and I drove to New York to partake in a promotional Meet the Hapsburgs photo shoot for The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki.
It was an opportunity that we couldn’t resist! I enjoyed the unique
experience of dressing up like nineteenth century royalty. Kiel took on
the role of Franz Joseph, Emperor of the Austro-Hungarian empire. I
portrayed Duchess Helene of Bavaria and Camille Birkhead made a stunning Empress Sisi. (How gorgeous was her hair?!) The photos were fittingly shot at the luxurious Waldorf Astoria and St. Paul’s Chapel in New York City. 

The Accidental Empress
is an historical account of fifteen year old Sisi (Elisabeth) of
Bavaria, who famously changes history when she wins the heart of her
sister’s fiancee. Based on facts and actual events, the novel gives
readers a further glimpse into the glittering yet oppressive world of
the Habsburg Court. Alison does a beautiful job of bringing Sisi to life
with all of her hopes, defeats, and triumphs. She spins a captivating
tale of the beautiful, lonely empress who must fight to keep the love of
both her husband and empire, amongst an imposing Imperial Court
(including a tyrannical step mother).

I’m excited to announce that  The Accidental Empress is officially released today. I love, loved this book and finished reading it in a couple of days. Visit Allison Pataki’s website for more info.



Comments 100

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  1. Ladies in Navy on February 16, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    this is an ultra-gorgeous shoot! i would love to read the book and will go look for it!
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  2. Nidhi Patel on February 16, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    You all look so regal! Just added the book to my list, the premise is absolutely alluring!
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  3. Miriam Henderson on February 16, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    Beautiful photos and both you and Kiel look amazing!

  4. Natali on February 16, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    OH MY GOSH!!! I'm blown away with these photos! Speechless!!!

  5. Judit Farkas on February 16, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    There's a small mistake in your post: the name Hapsburg is Habsburg correctly.
    But the pictures are stunning! 🙂

  6. Julia on February 16, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    love these photos!!! beautiful! all the best from austria 🙂

  7. Laura Mitbrodt on February 16, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    These photos are so pretty, I love these gowns

  8. ladies & croissants on February 16, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    Beautiful dresses! Beautiful photos! Every girl's dream.

  9. ShoesManiac on February 16, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    absolutely amazing 🙂 love your first dress!

  10. Daphné on February 17, 2015 at 12:47 am

    Beautiful photoshoot, you all look stunning. Camille's hair is breathtaking !

  11. Countess Claire on February 17, 2015 at 2:12 am

    This is an amazing photoshoot!

    Just perfect!!!!!

  12. Anonymous on February 17, 2015 at 4:44 am

    Awesome pictures!


  13. Alyssa J Freitas on February 17, 2015 at 4:59 am

    What a great way to promote the novel! I am adding it to my goodreads right now, so mission accomplished

    Alyssa J Freitas

  14. Erin Fairchild on February 17, 2015 at 5:14 am

    What a gorgeous shoot! I so need to read this book!

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  15. Sasa Zoe on February 17, 2015 at 5:21 am

    Amazing! Love these gowns<3

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  16. Grace Beekman on February 17, 2015 at 5:38 am

    What gorgeous pictures! You're so right about her hair! Amazing!

  17. Lyndsay on February 17, 2015 at 7:11 am

    These pictures are just stunning, this photoshoot much has been like a dream. You all look so perfect!

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  18. Ashley Mungiguerra on February 17, 2015 at 7:26 am

    This is my FAVORITE shoot you have ever posted, beautiful!!

  19. Lauren on February 17, 2015 at 7:46 am

    That sounds like such a fun thing to take part in and I love the photos!


  20. Julia on February 17, 2015 at 8:12 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. Julia on February 17, 2015 at 8:15 am

    These are amazing!

  22. Anonymous on February 17, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Wow, this is wonderful! I kept thinking you and Kiel look like a young Nicholas and Alexandra. I can't wait to read the book.

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  23. One Stiletto At A Time on February 17, 2015 at 8:33 am

    This is amazing!!!

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  24. Southwestern Prepster on February 17, 2015 at 8:33 am

    These photos are absolutely beautiful, and those dresses are gorgeous! What a wonderful opportunity, this is amazing!
    xx, Mikkaela
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  25. Alison Jeanine on February 17, 2015 at 8:46 am

    This is TOO amazing! What a fun shoot – and you all look stunning!

    Xo, Alison

  26. Anonymous on February 17, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Oh my goodness, I absolutely love this photoshoot- you both look amazing. Love your hair btw sarah!

  27. Anonymous on February 17, 2015 at 9:10 am

    This is so fun! Photos are absolutely beautiful,and the historical context makes them even better.

  28. Unknown on February 17, 2015 at 10:22 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. Paige Flamm on February 17, 2015 at 10:41 am

    That gown is gorgeous!


  30. Ashley on February 17, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    What an awesome experience! Next stop, Downton Abbey! LOL : ) xo Ash
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  31. Ashlee Favro on February 17, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    This amazing! I can feel the vibe of the room!
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  32. Indya Smith on February 17, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Wow.. this is stunning. Absolutely incredible photography. I'm in love with this concept.

    Indya xx

  33. Anna on February 17, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Oh my gosh this is all so beautiful! So stunning

  34. Freckles Olives on February 17, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    This is stunning! I feel like this is an aspect of history not commonly explored and I love how well and beautifully it was portrayed…How fun it mush have been to dress up like that!!

  35. Tashina on February 17, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    Your makeup is perfection!

  36. Charlotte Noordsy on February 17, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    Unbelievably stunning… every single photo!

    xo, Charlotte

  37. Deanna D on February 17, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    Sarah, you are absolutely stunning in these photos! I love your hair up too! You are definitely channeling Kate Middleton.


  38. Cynthia Hoyt on February 18, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    What an incredible opportunity! This book sounds a lot like the move with Natalie Portman, the Other Boleyn girl and since I love period pieces, I think I'm going to have to scoop this book up!

    You all look incredible! Hope you're going to hang one of these pictures up in your house, they're too perfect not to!


  39. Emma and Andie on February 18, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Love these pictures! Check out my blog!

  40. Chic Coastal Living on February 19, 2015 at 4:10 am

    The book sounds wonderful and I'm definitely going to check it out! You look beautiful! Love the photos!

  41. danielle ericsson on February 19, 2015 at 5:09 am

    Sounds amazing! These pictures are absolutely incredible! Love all of them. Thank you for sharing this great post.
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  42. Sofia Donatelli on February 19, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Such a great post.

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  43. Cristina SF on February 19, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Wow!! This is my favorite photoshoot of yours so far!

  44. Harpy on February 20, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    This is a beautiful photo shoot! The pictures turned out great. Sarah, which book are you holding in one of the pictures of you sitting at a table?

  45. Kelly on February 22, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Oh my goodness, so much fun, I love that red dress!

    xx Kelly
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  46. AVY on February 25, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    This is so pretty, love the styling.


  47. Katie Loeffler on March 4, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Love the gowns; can you tell us who designed them? I'm looking for something just like the gold one in your first photo. TIA.

  48. jLk smallbutpreppy on March 6, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    This is so gorgeous! Love the dresses and hair!!

  49. Catherine Lux on March 12, 2015 at 5:58 am

    This is brilliant! I'm gonna have to send it to my old boss – he's the great grandson of Sisi and Franz Joseph! I stayed in the Hotel Imperial in Vienna last year, and it was so strange seeing his great grandparents everywhere – the famous portrait of Sisi hangs opposite the Royal Suite!

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