At the age of 15, she was called by Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II to Vienna and educated in the Salesianerinnenkloster where she also converted to Catholicism. The purpose of this was to make her the future wife of Joseph II's nephew Francis, the future emperor.
In Vienna on 6 January 1788, Elisabeth and Francis were married. At this time, Emperor Joseph was in ill health; the young archduchess was close to the emperor and brightened his last years with her youthful charm. At the end of 1789, Elisabeth became pregnant; however, her condition was very delicate, caused in part by concern for the deteriorating health of the Emperor. Joseph received the Anointing of the Sick on 15 February 1790 and the scene overwhelmed the young Archduchess: she fainted upon seeing the terminally ill emperor. On the night of 18 February, she prematurely gave birth to Archduchess Ludovika Elisabeth of Austria, who lived for only 16 months. Elisabeth didn't survive the childbirth, which lasted more than 24 hours, and died, despite an emergency operation to save her life. Two days later, Emperor Joseph also died.
* also an infanta of Spain by marriage
** also a princess of Tuscany by marriage
*** also a princess of Modena by marriage
^also an archduchess of Austria in her own right
^^did not have a royal or noble title by birth