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Author Topic: Nicholas II & Family  (Read 32352 times)
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miliosr

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« Reply #120 on: January 24, 2020, 01:35:00 AM »

The January 23rd, 1917 entry from French Ambassador Maurice Paleologue's diaries:

I have dined at Tsarskoie-Selo with the Grand Duke Paul’s family party. [Note: Grand Duke Paul was the youngest brother of Alexander III and Nicholas II's uncle.]

When we rose from table, the Grand Duke took me into a distant room so that we could talk as man to man. He made me the confidante of all his griefs and anxieties.

“The Emperor is more under the Empress’s thumb than ever. She has succeeded in persuading him that the hostile movement against her – and it’s beginning to be against him, unfortunately – is nothing but a conspiracy of the Grand Dukes and a drawing room revolt. All this can only end with a tragedy . . . You know my belief in monarchy, and that to me the Emperor represents everything that is sacred. You must realize what I am suffering through what is happening, and is yet to happen.”

During the railway journey back to Petrograd, I discussed what the Grand Duke had told me with Madame P-----.

“I’m even more pessimistic than he,” she exclaimed with flashing eyes. “The tragedy now on its way will be not only a dynastic crisis but a terrible revolution; we can’t escape it . . . Don’t forget what I’m foretelling; the disaster is at hand.”
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Konradin

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« Reply #121 on: January 24, 2020, 07:50:57 PM »

Ella, sister of the czarevna, and also a dowager grand duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, now a nun, tried to reason with her and before she left, once her sister order her out, she said:
- REMEMBER MARIE ANTOINETTE!

Well, I'm sure she did think about that the second the bolsheviks showed their weapons.  Sad
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CyrilSebastian

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« Reply #122 on: February 06, 2020, 10:34:05 PM »

In The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport, Prince Adalbert of Bavaria was mentioned as a suitor for Grand Duchess Tatiana.
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Kristallinchen

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« Reply #123 on: February 06, 2020, 11:02:39 PM »

In The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport, Prince Adalbert of Bavaria was mentioned as a suitor for Grand Duchess Tatiana.

Didn't know this one yet. Star
Have only heard about King Alexander of Yugoslavia.
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Konradin

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« Reply #124 on: February 07, 2020, 02:28:35 PM »

In The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport, Prince Adalbert of Bavaria was mentioned as a suitor for Grand Duchess Tatiana.

Didn't know this one yet. Star
Have only heard about King Alexander of Yugoslavia.
Queen Victoria wanted GD Tatiana to marry Pr. David, the future Edward VIII, I'd love to see how that would play out...  Secret

In any case, those girls were raised in a very queer way, they were ill disposed to foreign matches, none of them wanted to leave Russia. It's interesting whether in the end they would have, had the empire not crumbled, the Pauline Laws for marriages in the Romanov family were really strict. Princess Irina marrying Pr. Félix Youssoupoff took some time to be approved, and he was rumored to be wealthier than the emperor itself. I guess like it happened in other families, especially after the WWI, rules would have been somewhat relaxed.

A marriage I don't see happening is Lord Louis Mountbatten, formerly Prince Louis von Battenberg, to GD Maria, he was a mere HSH and she an HIH.
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anastasia beaverhausen

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« Reply #125 on: February 08, 2020, 12:44:40 AM »

In The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport, Prince Adalbert of Bavaria was mentioned as a suitor for Grand Duchess Tatiana.

Didn't know this one yet. Star
Have only heard about King Alexander of Yugoslavia.
Queen Victoria wanted GD Tatiana to marry Pr. David, the future Edward VIII, I'd love to see how that would play out...  Secret

In any case, those girls were raised in a very queer way, they were ill disposed to foreign matches, none of them wanted to leave Russia. It's interesting whether in the end they would have, had the empire not crumbled, the Pauline Laws for marriages in the Romanov family were really strict. Princess Irina marrying Pr. Félix Youssoupoff took some time to be approved, and he was rumored to be wealthier than the emperor itself. I guess like it happened in other families, especially after the WWI, rules would have been somewhat relaxed.

A marriage I don't see happening is Lord Louis Mountbatten, formerly Prince Louis von Battenberg, to GD Maria, he was a mere HSH and she an HIH.

Really?  I had not heard that, but it makes some sense.

I doubt David would have gone along with it - too much fun being the playboy prince, and I don’t think the girls would have ever left their parents. In retrospect, it seems to me that the biggest tragedy is that these girls died never having been allowed to live their own lives.
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miliosr

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« Reply #126 on: February 08, 2020, 01:20:45 AM »

There was also the problem that Louis and Maria were first cousins and the Orthodox Church expressly forbade marriage between first cousins. (Louis' mother, Princess Victoria, and Maria's mother. Empress Alexandra, were sisters.)

Of course, by the start of World War I, Nicholas II had already accepted the marriage of Grand Duke Kirill to his first cousin, Princess Victoria Melita ("Ducky") so the ban on first cousin marriages may not have posed an insurmountable hurdle. (Kirill and Victoria Melita were both first cousins to Nicholas as Nicholas' father Alexander III, Kirill's father Grand Duke Vladimir and Victoria Melita's mother Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna were all siblings.)
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Carreen

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« Reply #127 on: February 08, 2020, 01:07:16 PM »

It always baffles me when I read that Alexandra's only redeeming feature was her excellent mothering skills :-) I have sympathy for poor Alicky in many ways and think she has been grossly misrepresented for decades but I don't think she was such a brilliant mother. She preferred her son in the most blatant manner, and her letters to the girls are really quite manipulative (be good girlies otherwise poor Mama's heart will hurt even more... something in this style). She didn't let them develop freely, didn't let them take their place in society. In the war, she gave them more leeway to grow and they did it beautifully.

I'm always amazed how she was worshipped by her children and husband. Hey, I've been trying my best to be a perfect mother and gave my children freedom and respect and everything, but all I get in return is lots of criticism :-) Alexandra must have cracked the code of how to raise children who adore her.... LOL But seriously, I don't think it was for the girlies' best.

Maybe her family saw clearly what I find her most endearing quality: her vulnerability.

She's one of the most interesting characters of the royal sphere, no doubt.

Had she been more like any of her sisters, probably the debacle would have played out differently. Robust, intelligent and active like Victoria - charming and outgoing like Ella - peaceful and unselfish like Irene - none of them put up other peoples' backs the way poor Alix did. And neither did any of her children. They were universally praised and beloved. Even reading their letters, you can't but love them.

I recommend Helen Rapaport's book and documentary about the Tsar's daughters. If you haven't seen or read them, enjoy!
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Principessa

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« Reply #128 on: February 08, 2020, 06:18:54 PM »

It always baffles me when I read that Alexandra's only redeeming feature was her excellent mothering skills :-) I have sympathy for poor Alicky in many ways and think she has been grossly misrepresented for decades but I don't think she was such a brilliant mother. She preferred her son in the most blatant manner, and her letters to the girls are really quite manipulative (be good girlies otherwise poor Mama's heart will hurt even more... something in this style). She didn't let them develop freely, didn't let them take their place in society. In the war, she gave them more leeway to grow and they did it beautifully.

I'm always amazed how she was worshipped by her children and husband. Hey, I've been trying my best to be a perfect mother and gave my children freedom and respect and everything, but all I get in return is lots of criticism :-) Alexandra must have cracked the code of how to raise children who adore her.... LOL But seriously, I don't think it was for the girlies' best.

Maybe her family saw clearly what I find her most endearing quality: her vulnerability.

She's one of the most interesting characters of the royal sphere, no doubt.

Had she been more like any of her sisters, probably the debacle would have played out differently. Robust, intelligent and active like Victoria - charming and outgoing like Ella - peaceful and unselfish like Irene - none of them put up other peoples' backs the way poor Alix did. And neither did any of her children. They were universally praised and beloved. Even reading their letters, you can't but love them.

I recommend Helen Rapaport's book and documentary about the Tsar's daughters. If you haven't seen or read them, enjoy!

I think the girls also didn't know better, being a kind of isolated from others.
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karma chamelion

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« Reply #129 on: February 08, 2020, 07:12:47 PM »

I take Ms Rappaport's writings with the proverbial grain of salt, but that's just me. I found her book hard to finish and had MANY issues with her 'facts'. It's good fan fiction but not very scholarly IMO.
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Carreen

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« Reply #130 on: February 08, 2020, 09:26:31 PM »

Considering Rapaport's book - it may be true that she presented her version of the truth, I'm not a historian and don't know Russian, so it's hard to judge for myself. But when I read the letters of the girls themselves, I found nothing to contradict the picture I found in Rappaport. Well, at least each sister is now sketched in my mind as individual with her character, as far as it's possible to reconstruct. When I'll re-read it, I'll keep your caution in mind.

And concerning isolation - young Queen Victoria was kept in even stricter isolation and rebelled nevertheless. Hm, but she didn't get the love and security that the Tsar's children had in abundance. Besides, the state of permanent alarm and fear concerning Alexey's health, and the perceived need to hide it, bound the family strongly together. A very special family unit and a very tragic story.
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Konradin

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« Reply #131 on: February 10, 2020, 07:43:46 PM »

I take Ms Rappaport's writings with the proverbial grain of salt, but that's just me. I found her book hard to finish and had MANY issues with her 'facts'. It's good fan fiction but not very scholarly IMO.
Ditto.  Star

But she is right about Alicky, especially since she was always maneuvering everyone and everything around her to get her way. Nicky the most. In fact, there is well known story that when a Russian Courtier told one of the Hessian ones that they were sorry for taking their " Hessian flower" from them, he almost laughed, and "sure, sure, good luck, you'll need it", the RC got speechless.
What followed, we all know; she was always fast in creating issues. Instead of trying to get to know Russia, and the Russians. Asking, I don't know, her MIL for guidance, or the rest of the family, which she was related through Nicholas' grandmother, another princess of Hesse. But no, b*tch knew best. Add to that her shyness, she coloured really fast whenever something she didn't like nor approve happen close to her, her lips thightned, and well, that was St. Petersburg, it was like being queen of Babylon. Your sister is a GD too, you didn't know!? Please!  Snare

Then, of course, you have millions of moments where you say, this woman makes no sense, she made Nicholas wait for the thorny affair of the conversion, which, you see, I think it spoke very well about her. She was a good Lutheran and didn't want to leaver her faith. Or so I think, then, his brother marries their cousin, Ducky, which she doesn't like, she wasn't particularly fond of anyone in the family, and she changes her mind after Wilhelm basically gave him a piece of his mind. She could have bullied Wilhelm back but she had a change of heart. Well, my a**. I would go as far as to say that as Ducky was now the reigning GD next to her brother, she was no longer the one calling the shots at Darmstadt, being the first lady, so she that made her see that she had to marry, and soon. Nicholas was basically pining for her, and then everyone seemed to guide him his way, except Q. Victoria of course, and well... the religion issue, Ok, I'll convert. And yes, they worked, but only in their closeted live at the Alexander Palace and barely, by the end, Nicholas would rather agree to everything she wanted to "avoid yet another hysterical scene".

She wanted to reign through him and boy, we all saw how that played out. And sorry, I don't see most redeeming sides here, she did love her children, I don't doubt that. No matter where she went, she would have meant troubles to whichever court had took her.
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miliosr

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« Reply #132 on: February 11, 2020, 12:13:08 AM »

The February 10th, 1917 entry from French Ambassador Maurice Paleologue's diaries:

Bratiano left Petrograd this evening and is returning straight to Jassy. [Note: Ion Bratianu, Prime Minister of Romania]

I am told that during his visit to Petrograd, Bratiano has sounded the Emperor as to his ultimate consent to the marriage of the Grand Duchess Olga to Prince Carol, the presumptive heir. The idea of this union has been mooted several times before. The Emperor's answer was quite encouraging: "I shall have no objection to the marriage if my daughter and Prince Carol find they suit each other."


The mind boggles that such a conversation could have occurred when the Revolution was 30 days away. But, for all that, Nicholas' answer was a clever one. He didn't say 'no' to the idea of a marriage between Olga and Carol and, by extension, say 'no' to Carol's mother, Queen Marie ("Missy"), who was no doubt pressing for such a union. Nicholas could give a non-answer answer to Marie (through Bratianu) because he knew Carol had not appealed to Olga when the two met before the War. And Nicholas also knew that Olga had said she would never leave Russia. So Nicholas could placate his cousin Missy in the knowledge that the prospect of such a marriage was virtually nil.
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CyrilSebastian

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« Reply #133 on: February 15, 2020, 10:14:38 PM »

Was Tsarina Alexandra socially inactive?     
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUXECaR0_qM
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« Reply #134 on: February 15, 2020, 11:22:52 PM »

It always baffles me when I read that Alexandra's only redeeming feature was her excellent mothering skills :-) I have sympathy for poor Alicky in many ways and think she has been grossly misrepresented for decades but I don't think she was such a brilliant mother. She preferred her son in the most blatant manner, and her letters to the girls are really quite manipulative (be good girlies otherwise poor Mama's heart will hurt even more... something in this style). She didn't let them develop freely, didn't let them take their place in society. In the war, she gave them more leeway to grow and they did it beautifully.

I'm always amazed how she was worshipped by her children and husband. Hey, I've been trying my best to be a perfect mother and gave my children freedom and respect and everything, but all I get in return is lots of criticism :-) Alexandra must have cracked the code of how to raise children who adore her.... LOL But seriously, I don't think it was for the girlies' best.

Maybe her family saw clearly what I find her most endearing quality: her vulnerability.

(..)
I think the key to understanding this, is the custom of "Honor thy Father and thy mother".
Critique of some royals (and others) very doubtful parenting skills have only come later and without many exceptions from outsiders - not the children themselves.
Children were raised so much stricter, with so much less freedom of thought and development, the grandduchesses were no single cases in their isolation from the outside world. Sure there were families who were less strict, more indulgend and more encouraging of individuality, but the norm was brutal.
We condemn e.g. Bertie's parents for being so incredibly cold and almost unfeeling resulting in the poor lad's stammer and perpetual digestive problems, we condemn Victoria and Albert for favoring their clever daughter over a rather underperforming son, to the extent that Victoria hated her son for "causing her Darling Albert's death"...but if you read letters from children to their parents, there is always this incredible but enormous reverence and veneration.
I think this never becomes clearer as in letters from the children of the Raj to parents they had seen last at the age of 5-6 in India and who spent often very lonely and dreadful times at an unloving boarding school back home in Britain. The amounts of "dearest Papa, most beloved Darling Mama, your ever loving best child… etc " is staggering...
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