Princess Alexandra of Bavaria was born on August 26, 1826, the fifth daughter of the eccentric King Ludwig I of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Ever since she was a child, Alexandra had been suffering from psychological problems. She was so obsessed with cleanliness (a case of obsessive-compulsive disorder) that she insisted on only wearing white clothes. In her early 20s, her eccentricities intensified. One day, she was observed walking awkwardly sideways down the corridors and through the doors in their palace. When she was asked by her family, she told them that she had swallowed a glass grand piano. Apparently at this time, Alexandra was suffering from delusion. This made her convinced herself that she had swallowed a grand piano made of glass when she was a child, and she was walking sideways through doors because the piano was still inside her and she was afraid of getting stuck. Despite her mental and emotional issues, Alexandra was an intelligent woman and could boast many literary accomplishments. She lived her life to the fullest, She was also a beauty; her portrait was painted by Joseph Stieler for her father's Gallery of Beauties.
Princess Alexandra and her delusion was the subject of a BBC Radio program, The Glass Piano written by Deborah Levy.