Elise Hensler, countess d’Edla (Elise Friedericke; 22 May 1836 – 21 May 1929), was a Swiss-born actress and singer and the morganatic second wife of the former King Ferdinand II of Portugal.

Elise Friedericke Hensler (in Portuguese, Elisa) was born on 22 May 1836 at La Chaux-de-Fonds, in the Neuchâtel Canton, Switzerland, the daughter of Johann Friederich Conrad Hensler and his wife Louise Josephe Hechelbacher. Her family was Swiss-German. When she was twelve, her family moved to Boston in the United States, where she was given a remarkable education, with the arts and languages playing an important role. She finished her studies in Paris and as an adult could easily speak seven languages.

Following her studies, Elise joined the Teatro alla Scala of Milan with an easygoing life. In 1855, when she was nineteen, she had a daughter, Alice Hensler, from an unknown father. The father was certainly a member of the Milanese nobility, of whom she was a lover. Alice Hensler later married a Portuguese military, Manuel de Azevedo Gomes (1847–1907).

On 2 February 1860, Elise arrived in Portugal and sang at the Teatro Nacional São João in Oporto and then at the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon, where she performed in Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Un ballo in maschera. On 15 April 1860, King Ferdinand II of Portugal, widower of Queen Maria II, watched the play and was seduced by Elise’s voice and beauty, who was then 24 years old. Their relationship was rapidly deepened once the singer has, as well as the king, a passion for sculpture, ceramics, painting, architecture and gardening.

On 10 June 1869, Elise married morganatically, in Benfica (Lisbon), the former king Ferdinand II of Portugal, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Just before the ceremony, the duke Ernest II, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a cousin of Ferdinand and the Head of the House of Saxe-Coburg, granted to Elise the title of Countess d’Edla. The marriage was childless.

In Portugal, the couple lived a discrete life in Sintra, where the former king held the Palácio da Pena. As a hobby, both Ferdinand and Elise were passioned by botanica, and in the middle of their park, Elise built a marvelous cottage which she designed herself, inspired by the rural houses of the United States and Swiss Chalets.

As a cultivated wife, Elise and Ferdinand supported several artists, including the painter Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro and the pianist José Viana da Mota.

In 1885, king Ferdinand II died and in his will left all his households to his second wife, including the Castelo dos Mouros and the Palácio da Pena. In order for the Countess to keep these estates, King Charles I had to pay her the amount of 410 millions escudos.

As a widow, Elise abandoned Sintra and settled with her daughter Alice and her daughter's husband, Manuel de Azevedo Gomes. She died of uremia on 21 May 1929 in Lisbon, Portugal. At her funeral, the dowager queen Amélie of Orléans and the ex-king Manuel II of Portugal were represented by the Viscount of Asseca.
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