In view of all this, I was quite surprised at her daughter Marie-José's testimony of Elisabeth's terror of death in her old age. I don't mean to detract from her courage, but it is an interesting insight into the complexity of her personality.
Mia madre, nonostante la sua temerarietà e intraprendenza, aveva un sacro terrore della morte. Da quando aveva saputo di soffrire di cuore, bastava un piccolo raffreddore perché cadesse in panico. Le faceva paura sopratutto il fatto di affrontare la morte da sola; estremamente realista, s'impressionava di tutto ciò che riteneva inspiegabile e misterioso. Molte volte mi telefonò a Merlinge: Figlia mia, sento che sto per morire. Poi veniva a casa mia ed era in perfetta salute.
My mother, notwithstanding her daring and enterprise, had a holy terror of death. Ever since she had discovered she had a heart condition, a slight chill was enough to send her into a panic. What frightened her, above all, was the fact of confronting death alone; extremely realistic, she was awed by everything she found inexplicable and mysterious. Many times, she telephoned me at Merlinge: My child, I feel I'm dying. Then, she would come to visit me, and was in perfect health. (Quoted by Luciano Regolo in La regina incompresa: tutto il racconto della vita di Maria José di Savoia, 2002, p. 358)