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Topic: Emperor Alexander and Princess Ekaterina Dolgoroukaya  (Read 85890 times)
« on: September 18, 2004, 05:00:01 PM »
ashanti01 Offline
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I couldn't find this topic anywhere else, so here it goes.

I have been trying to find information on Alexander II and his mistress Catherine who later became his wife and given the name Princess Dolgorukaya. I have found bits and pieces of information on them which have left me wondering if I can call their "romance" a love story or national shame?

Before you jump on me, here me out.

What makes thier tale upsetting to me was how he placed his mistress under the same roof as his dying wife.

I understand men will have thier lovers here and there but you don't move them into your home.

I wish I could learn more about them, maybe I would understand better, but all I could find on them was a movie that was made in Russian with no subtitles...

Does anyone else have a say on Alexander II's love affair with the young Catherine?
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« on: September 18, 2004, 05:10:50 PM »
grandduchessella Offline
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It has been discussed somewhere else here--can't remember the exact thread.  Huh Anyway, it seems to be a combo of the 2. They were definitely in love, and I think MA had accepted the loss of her husband's love (if not affection) long before. However, it is extremely hard to accept moving your mistress & illegitimate children into the home you share with your wife. Granted the 'home' is a huge palace, but still. I think what can be said in AII's defense is he was terrified that something may happen to 'the wife of his heart' and their children--or himself going to visit them. And judging by what happened to him not long after their marriage, the fear was well-founded.
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« on: September 18, 2004, 05:23:24 PM »
ashanti01 Offline
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That is true, I understand his love for "his wife before the eyes of God" but he must have understood what he was doing was not right.

I wonder how Catherine felt about all of this because she had to been the most hated girl in the imperial family for a long time.
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« on: September 18, 2004, 05:33:37 PM »
grandduchessella Offline
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I think 'Katya' was deeply aware of it. I can't help but think it would've been VERY uncomfortable to come face-to-face w/her 'step-children'. She was very deeply resented, esp on the part of AIII who was devoted to his mother. He was fairly kind to her (considering) in the aftermath of his father's death--continuing her allowance, caring for her financially, as his father would've wished. I think Alexei was the friendliest. I can't remember where I read it, but there was a letter between him and Katya where he sends friendly greetings--much after his father's death.
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« on: September 18, 2004, 05:41:10 PM »
ashanti01 Offline
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Alexander III did try to be nice to her after his fathers death, but I think at some point he started to push her away as it was very known Empress Marie did not like her. I think she felt resentful of her because she believed Catherine has stolen Alexander's love from his wife.
If you have read Little Mother of Russia, it states Marie felt very attached to her husbands mother who protected and cared for her when she first arrived to Russia.

How old was she when the affair started? I heard she was sixteen and Alexander II was at least in his forties?
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« on: September 18, 2004, 06:08:18 PM »
grandduchessella Offline
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Some of the letters detailing their relationship:
Alexander II to Louisa Dolgorukova, sister-in-law of Catherine. His liason with Katia was only about a year old, and gossip about it had spread to Petersburg society, leading Alexander to write this letter to Louisa. Katia Dolgorukova herself seems to have been beautiful but not very bright. She was probably devoted to the Tsar, but not smart enough to realize that her relatives and "friends" embroiled her in all sorts of plots and plans.
November 24 [Dec. 6], 1867
You will understand my despair at having been capable of doing something unpleasant to her, and that just on the day before her name's day. I who have only one single thought in my head, and that is to see her content and happy. May God preserve her and grant her all the happiness of which she is so worthy, and in which, as I know, you yourself are so sincerely
interested.

Sebastopol, September 12 [24], 1873
…I hope to be with you before 5 o'clock. Understand my impatience and where I am drawn to. I am sending you the strawberries which I forgot just now and am utilizing the occasion to announce that I have managed to make arrangements so as to be able to dine with you, who are my idol, my treasure, my life. Be it thus and nothing else.-- Good-bye until 3 o'clock [in the afternoon]. Yours forever

St. Petersburg, December 31, 1875 [Jan. 12, 1876]at three quarters past 1 in the afternoon
Before going to see my sister [Marie] who thank God is slightly better, I only want to tell you that your good letter filled me with sunshine and that I keep ceaselessly thanking God for the happiness He has
accorded me in you, my adored Angel, my idol, my treasure, my life. May he continue to watch over us,
and not forsake us in the future.

At three-quarters past 10 in the evening.
You must have felt my prayers during the Te Deum this evening and you know what they contained. I thanked God from the very depth of my soul for all the happiness He granted us during this year that is about to end, and which I am sad to leave behind. May the one which is about to begin be as lucky for us. May God preserve you and our two little Angels, who are our joy, and may He bless your delivery and give you back all the happiness you have never ceased giving me for nearly ten years. Oh, how happy I was a short while ago when I was with you and our dear children, whose appetites and dispositions were both brilliant. But I was sad not to be able to bring them back and to be present at their going to bed. Dear Pupussia was as distressed as I was by it, and you saw how happy he was to look at the pictures spread out on my knees, which dear Oly wanted to look at also. Their tenderness to us is truly touching, and one cannot but adore them, as well as their dear little Mama, in whom all is concentrated for me. Now I will finish all I have to do, so as to be able to go to bed as soon as we have exchanged our New Year greetings.

At midnight.
Just another word before I do go to bed. I am happy that we were able to exchange our New Year greetings as we like to do, and I hope it brings us luck. I embrace you, my Angel, from all my soul.

Jan. 1 [13], 1876.
I start a new day by congratulating you and wishing you all possible happiness, which I wish I could give you, and which is our dream. My heart overflows with love and tenderness for you, my adored Angel, and I can only think of the moment when I will be with you and our dear children again-- I must get back to my work, and after Divine Service I shall go to make my visits. Luckily it is not so cold.-- I embrace you from all my soul and am happy that you are mine, and I
Yours forever,
May God not forsake us, and bless us!

St. Petersburg, December 12 [24], 1876 at noon
Extremely worried not to have received your letters, which is my daily bread, and because you let R. [General Ryleev] know that you had fallen sick. In the name of Heaven, give me news of your health so that I should know what has happened to you, and if I can still hope to see you in our nest [the Galernaya apartment] or whether I can go to your place at about 4 o'clock. Please take pity on me, and do not forget that all my life is in you.


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« on: September 18, 2004, 06:11:53 PM »
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December 9 [21], [1878] at three-quarters past 11 in the evening [St. Petersburg]
The good moments we spent together have left me the sweetest impression. The dear children's humor was particularly sparkling, and they were enchanted to find their old toys again. You saw how dear Pupussia suddenly came to me and kissed me, with both his arms around my neck, and Oly of course had to imitate  him. Their tenderness is my joy. May God keep them safely for us, as well as dear baby [Katia Jr.], and may  He not forsake us in the future.-- I confess that I have some misgivings about the fatigues of tomorrow, and
above all the Archbishop's Mass which will follow the christening. I love you, my dear Angel, and kiss you
tenderly. I hope that at last you will spend a better night.

December 10 [22], [1878] at three-quarters past 9 in the morning
Good morning, dear Angel of my soul, I slept well and everything in me overflows with love and  tenderness for you. Today it is exactly a year since my return from the war, the result of which was the birth of our dear baby, exactly 9 months less a day, afterwards. Oh, oh, oh-- did you see? May God keep her for us, as well as our two dear eldest, and continue to watch over us. I have to get back to my work. I embrace you tenderly and am happy that you are mine, and I
Yours forever

January 8 [20], 1879 at three-quarters past 11 in the evening
I am still all saturated with our delicious bingerles of a little while ago. It was so good I wanted to cry out,  and I slept so particularly well afterwards. The children's appetites were very good and their humor sparkling as always, but dear Pupussia [their son George] was afraid I would make fun of his Hussar costume with the short pants. It's priceless how sensitive he is, and along with that the nice thing about the child is that he is real. May God develop in him all his good qualities and keep him for us, as well as his sisters, and may He not forsake us in the future. I love you, dear Angel, and kiss you tenderly.

January 9 [21], [1879]
at 10 in the morning
Good morning, dear Angel of my soul, I slept very well and everything in me overflows with love and tenderness for you…. It is time to go to work. I embrace you tenderly, and am happy that you are mine, and I
Yours forever

January 10 [22], [1879]at 10 in the morning
Good morning, dear Angel of my soul, I slept well. General Ryleev told me the children had slept calmly. God grant they feel better. The cold is decreasing, and there is no wind at present. It is time to get to work. I embrace you and am happy that you are mine, and I
Yours forever
May God not forsake us, and bestow His Blessings on us!

Alexander II's mistress, Catherine (Katia)Dolgorukova, to Alexander. It is worth noting that far more of his letters to her survive than hers to him, and his tend to be longer.
May 7 [19], [1880] at 11 o'clock in the morning
Good morning, dear angel, I love you and everything in me is overflowing terribly. I slept well, and am only waiting for the moment of seeing you again. May God bless you and come to our aid. I love you. Yours forever

Catherine remained devoted to AII spending most of her time taking care of him and (unusually among imperial mistresses)not seeking power for herself or her family. Catherine was ecstatic about their marriage, and here are reproduced three letters she wrote to the Tsar--the first two on July 5th, 1880, the day before the wedding, and the third on the 6th, their wedding day.
[1st letter]
... Thank you again for all you have done for me during these 14 years of happiness. I want to express my gratitude to you in the last letter you will receive from me before we become husband and wife before God and all men...
[2nd letter]
You must understand what will take place in me at the moment of being pronounced your wife, and what a joy it is to become the wife of the man you have madly loved for 14 years, and this gives us our only happiness on this earth!... I love you, I am madly in love with you.
[3rd letter]
At last the long-awaited day is here, and I hope that in a few hours God will bestow His blessings on us and will preserve us. Thank you once again for everything, and do not forget that nobody in this world is as
beloved as you are. Oh, how happy I will be in a few hours, you will become my protector in the eyes of the law, and nobody will be able to separate us, and we shall be one forever, as we have been for 14 years. I love you. Yours forever. I am waiting for you to come and be kissed...

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« on: September 18, 2004, 06:12:18 PM »
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Alexander II to his son, the future Alexander III, detailing the provisions he wished to be made Katia.
Dearest Sasha,
In case of my death I confide to you my wife and children of mine [by Katia]... My wife received no inheritance whatsoever and therefore, all that she owns now is her own, with her relatives having no rights or claims to it in any shape or form. For security's sake she has willed everything to me...My wife's capital, until our marriage will be officially proclaimed, is in my name... All objects, which she gave me, must after my death be returned to her. I wish that in this case [of my death] the living quarters in the Winter Palace should be reserved for her and her children... these are my last wishes, which, I am certain,  will be fulfilled by you conscientiously. God bless you for all your care! Don't forget and pray for the soul of your sincere and tenderly loving Papa.
Alexander

Alexander II to his sister, Queen Olga of Wurttemberg on his decision to marry his mistress Katia Dolgorukova soon after the death of his first wife.
October 20 [November 1, new-style] 1880.
... I would never have married [Katia Dolgorukova] before a year of mourning if not for the dangerous time we live in and for the hazardous attempts I expose myself to daily which can actually and suddenly end my life. Therefore, I am anxious as soon as possible to secure the future  of the object, which lived for me during the past fourteen years as well  as for three of our children-- happiness. Despite her youthfulness,  Kniazhna Ekaterina Dolgorukova preferred to refuse all the pleasures and gaieties of society which means so much to a young woman of her age in order to devote her entire life to love and care for me. Therefore, she has a full right for my love, esteem, and my thankfulness. She literally saw no one except her only sister, and she never mixed herself in anything, despite many temptations. People had even shamelessly used her name without her even knowing it or getting her permission. She only lives for me and spent all her time in educating her own children. I can assure our family [meaning the imperial family] that Ekaterina [Katia] understands perfectly her position as a morganatic spouse and will never present demands contrary to my wishes as head of the family and a  monarch. I only wish that the other members of [the imperial] family will remember it and not force me to remind them about it.

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« on: September 18, 2004, 06:14:09 PM »
grandduchessella Offline
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Quote
Alexander III did try to be nice to her after his fathers death, but I think at some point he started to push her away as it was very known Empress Marie did not like her. I think she felt resentful of her because she believed Catherine has stolen Alexander's love from his wife.
If you have read Little Mother of Russia, it states Marie felt very attached to her husbands mother who protected and cared for her when she first arrived to Russia.

How old was she when the affair started? I heard she was sixteen and Alexander II was at least in his forties?


Yes, she was 16, he 47. I think that he had been friends with her parents and when they were killed, assumed guardianship of her and her siblings. He sent Katya and her sisters to the prestigious Smolny Institute for their learning. She grew into a beauty and the Tsar became infatuated with her. I don't know if the physical relationship started at 16 or not--I thought I remember her putting off AII because of marital/age/situation concerns.
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« on: September 18, 2004, 07:37:47 PM »
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It seems to me that Alexander II lived a rather "fast" life from beginning to end during his adult life - yes/no? I say this from all that has been written about court life before & during his reign - indeed, court life altogether through the ages of the Romanov era seemed to rather "fast & loose".

Examples are given in Hessian Tapestry of the behaviour of just about all members - male & female - in the immediate imperial family -Alexander II was tsarevitch when his brother-in-law (Louis? of Hesse) & Maria Feodorovna's younger brother was reprimanded over & over again for his scandalous behaviour, involving many young women who became pregnant and had to be married off in a hurry. Anyhow, as it is clearly suggested in this particular book, Alexander II had several dalliances himself in his early married life.

So, I raise the question again - & please forgive me for repeatedly asking, but I'm still not clear on the true moral order of court life under any of the tsars. I think according to our middle-class standards it was pretty immoral, where as for the aristocracy it was expected that a husband & even a wife would have at least one if not a handful of lovers. Am I wrong in thinking this??

Also, what is perhaps intriguing, if not touching with Alexander II is that given the numerous women he had during his lifetime, he sought out one person to end his days with as man & wife (who in the end was Ekaterina - I believe he pursued her sister first & then turned on the younger after the elder rebuffed him). Now - was this because he was tired of seeing a string of women one after the other, or was it because he was lonely due to the deterioration of his marital relations with his wife Marie? And if the latter, what was the reason for the breakdown in their marriage?Huh?

Masha
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« on: September 18, 2004, 09:51:55 PM »
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Alexander II Nikolaevich Romanov + Yekaterina Mikhailovna Dolgorukaya, Princess Yurievskaya

Married 18 Jul 1880, Tsarskoe Selo

Georgi Alexandrovich, Prince Yurievsky 1872 - 1913
Olga Alexandrovna, Princess Yurievskaya 1874 - 1925
Boris Alexandrovich, Prince Yurievsky 1876 - 1876
Yekaterina Alexandrovna, Princess Yurievskaya 1878 - 1959
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by olga » Logged
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« on: September 19, 2004, 12:27:03 AM »
grandduchessella Offline
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It seems to me that Alexander II lived a rather "fast" life from beginning to end during his adult life - yes/no? I say this from all that has been written about court life before & during his reign - indeed, court life altogether through the ages of the Romanov era seemed to rather "fast & loose".

Examples are given in Hessian Tapestry of the behaviour of just about all members - male & female - in the immediate imperial family -Alexander II was tsarevitch when his brother-in-law (Louis? of Hesse) & Maria Feodorovna's younger brother was reprimanded over & over again for his scandalous behaviour, involving many young women who became pregnant and had to be married off in a hurry. Anyhow, as it is clearly suggested in this particular book, Alexander II had several dalliances himself in his early married life.

So, I raise the question again - & please forgive me for repeatedly asking, but I'm still not clear on the true moral order of court life under any of the tsars. I think according to our middle-class standards it was pretty immoral, where as for the aristocracy it was expected that a husband & even a wife would have at least one if not a handful of lovers. Am I wrong in thinking this??

Also, what is perhaps intriguing, if not touching with Alexander II is that given the numerous women he had during his lifetime, he sought out one person to end his days with as man & wife (who in the end was Ekaterina - I believe he pursued her sister first & then turned on the younger after the elder rebuffed him). Now - was this because he was tired of seeing a string of women one after the other, or was it because he was lonely due to the deterioration of his marital relations with his wife Marie? And if the latter, what was the reason for the breakdown in their marriage?Huh?

Masha


I don't know, I could be mistaken, but I thought AII was faithful for a good while into his marriage. I had never heard of early dalliances. He had picked MA and married her for love, despite the rumors around her purported parentage. It seemed that the marriage only started to break down when she was absent so long due to ill health and the fact that she (like Alix) was terribly ill-at-ease at Court. They had children even late into their marriage (not necessarily indicative of faithfulness but shoes they were still intimate long past the need for heirs and with a big gap between the older and 2-3 youngest children).
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« on: September 19, 2004, 04:46:37 PM »
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Hello all -
I cannot find a picture of Princess Dolgorukaya in any of the books I have on the Romanovs (and so many of you seem to have a library-full!).  

Would anybody on the board that might have a picture of this well-loved mistress/wife of Alexander II please post it?  I'd appreciate it very much.

Thank you so much!
Janet R.
Roll Eyes
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« on: September 19, 2004, 05:29:19 PM »
ashanti01 Offline
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I have believe I once did see a picture of Catherine, but I can't remember where...
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« on: September 19, 2004, 10:44:08 PM »
Belochka Offline
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Hello all -
I cannot find a picture of Princess Dolgorukaya in any of the books I have on the Romanovs  Roll Eyes


Hi Janet,

Here are a few references which contain photographs of Katya:

1. Katya - Wife before God by Alexandre Tarsaidze 1970 (the most obvious one!). There are a number of photographs of her in her youth, as a Smolyanka, with her family and as an elderly lady in exile. Finally there are images of her grave in Nice.

2. Nikolai II by A. Bokhanov, 1992 (In Russian) pp 74 - 5. There is a 2 page article about her, which contains two photographs of her, one with Alexander II and their children, and the second one is of Katya holding a sleeping dog. Both were taken in 1868.

3.  Nikolai II by A. Bokhanov, 2000 (In Russian) pp 16 - 7. There are two images (one photo + drawing) which show her two years earlier, in 1866, around the time when their romance commenced.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by Belochka » Logged



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