Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => The Yussupovs => Topic started by: grandduchessella on June 22, 2004, 10:37:00 PM

Title: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: grandduchessella on June 22, 2004, 10:37:00 PM
From his memoirs, one knows that Felix Y. was a huge admirer of Ella--his mother did not seem to be. Does anyone know the source of this animosity (reflected in the following letter)? Did it go back to days "competing" as a society darling or was it only after she entered the convent or was this merely a bit of pique? I think ZY's attitude towards Ella calling Irina by name is ridiculous BTW--she was a fairly close relation after all and Irina was NOT a grand duchess, unlike Ella herself so rank shouldn't enter into it.

ZY to FY c1916
I do not like the celebrated "sister" [the Grand Duchess Elizaveta Feodorovna Romanov]. In my opinion, she poses most impudently as a member of the family. She calls Irina by her Christian name, and evcn "Tata"! I strongly object to her behaviour. When I visit Irina I constantly find her there, lounging in a chair, without in the least understanding that her presence does not interest me. She sports a kind of operatic costume of a Sister of Mercy, and generally spoils the whole atmosphere by her presence. Irina seems to accept it all as inevitable, whereas I simply cannot stand it. You will see for yourself soon, when you come home.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Annie on November 29, 2004, 04:25:17 PM
Any pics of them together?
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Annie on December 18, 2004, 07:28:28 PM
How about a thread to discuss the friendship of these two ladies, and their alliance against Rasputin that led to them both being disowned by Alexandra? Also, how their relationship may have changed after Ella became a nun, after she had been Zenaida's party girl friend. There were negative comments later on that made me think she was fed up with her though I'm sure they remained friends. Any pics of them together would be more than welcome!
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: ashanti01 on December 20, 2004, 02:02:38 AM
I have often read that both Zenaida and Ella were pretty much two of the top social girls before they both lost very important men in their lives.
Zenaida lost her eldest son Nicholas and Ella lost her husband Sergei.
Its pretty clear that they were both never the same after these events in thier lives, Zenaida mourned her son and Ella in turn became a nun. However, even then they were considered pretty close friends.
Therefore I was very suprised to learn that towards the end they were not as close as I had thought.

I have yet to see a clear a photo of these two together, so I too would welcome any pictures out there.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Martyn on December 20, 2004, 05:35:06 PM
I am pretty sure that this apparent 'rift' between Zenaida and Ella has been explored in another thread; would someone please just refresh memory as to the cause of it, and the evidence that supports this theory?
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Annie on December 21, 2004, 09:31:39 AM
I never heard of a 'rift', just this letter dated Dec 11, 1916 written from Zenaida in the Crimea to Felix in St. Petersburg:

in part:

I do not like the celebrated "sister" [the Grand Duchess Elizaveta Feodorovna Romanov]. In my opinion, she poses most impudently as a member of the family. She calls Irina by her Christian name, and evcn "Tata"! I strongly object to her behaviour. When I visit Irina I constantly find her there, lounging in a chair, without in the least understanding that her presence does not interest me. She sports a kind of operatic costume of a Sister of Mercy, and generally spoils the whole atmosphere by her presence. Irina seems to accept it all as inevitable, whereas I simply cannot stand it. You will see for yourself soon, when you come home. In the meantime,

I send you my best love,

MAMMA


This shows me that contrary to everything I've read before, including Felix's book, Ella and Zenaida were not always on the best of terms. It's my guess that Zenaida was a bit annoyed with Ella's 'sister' act and wanted the 'old' or 'fun' Ella back. I doubt Zenaida had the nerve to say this to Ella's face, and if anything else happened between them I don't know of it. But this does show another side of things. They were still united in the anti-Rasputin movement and I assume were at least somewhat friends to the end.

Still hoping for pics of them together! Brian?
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Martyn on December 21, 2004, 01:13:19 PM
That is the passage that I think has been quoted in another thread.  Annie, thanks for reminding us.
It is perfectly possible for even the best of friends to have disagreements and fall-outs; this may well be an example of that.
The Rasputin issue must have been important enough to put aside petty grievances and unite for a serious issue, don't you think?
That passage 'Irina seems to accept it all as inevitable' seems to suggest that Irina shared Zenaida's feelings about Ella......
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Valmont on December 21, 2004, 02:03:46 PM
I wrote about this "distance" between them in another thread. I think it was Zenaida Yussupova's and it was a comment for Greg King whom had just written Zenaida's Biography for the site. I am working from memory here, but  I think he mentioned they were friends even to the last days of Ella, that is when I brought up this letter...

Best
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Martyn on December 21, 2004, 02:39:33 PM
The letter is very disparaging.  I don't really understand the comment 'she poses most impudently as a member of the family'.  Would Ella not be considered a relative of Irina's?
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: LisaDavidson on December 21, 2004, 03:35:10 PM
Only distantly. Ella was a relative by marriage to Irina in that Irina's parents were inlaws to Nicholas and Alexandra, and Ella was Alexandra's sister. I think what Z was saying is that she tried to seem like a member of their family - not the Romanovs. Ella was clearly part of both the Hessian and Russian royal families. However, it's important to remember that the Yussouovs considered themselves superior to the Romanovs, hence Zenaida's annoyance.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Teddy on December 21, 2004, 03:56:46 PM
Still she was a great-aunt of Irina. So family.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Martyn on December 21, 2004, 05:14:11 PM
Quote
Only distantly. Ella was a relative by marriage to Irina in that Irina's parents were inlaws to Nicholas and Alexandra, and Ella was Alexandra's sister. I think what Z was saying is that she tried to seem like a member of their family - not the Romanovs. Ella was clearly part of both the Hessian and Russian royal families. However, it's important to remember that the Yussouovs considered themselves superior to the Romanovs, hence Zenaida's annoyance.


Thank you Lisa.  Of course, I had forgotten about the Yussupov's sense of superiority over the Romanovs.  And yes, I see now that Zenaida meant that Ella was posturing as a member of the Yussupov family as oposed to the Romanov family......How dense I am, late at night....
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: bluetoria on December 29, 2004, 06:11:08 AM
I really do not believe that the 'celebrated sister' is Ella. By then many women were wearing 'sisters of mercy' uniforms - i.e. were nurses - and the fact that Zenaida objects to her calling Irina by her Christian name seems to suggest it cannot be Ella she is describing. Moreover, would Ella really be lounging in a chair at the Youssupovs when she was so preoccupied with all her war/charity/religious work?
Incidentally, Zenaida was one of the first people at Ella's side after Serge's assasination...a good friend.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Martyn on December 29, 2004, 08:44:04 AM
Quote
I really do not believe that the 'celebrated sister' is Ella. By then many women were wearing 'sisters of mercy' uniforms - i.e. were nurses - and the fact that Zenaida objects to her calling Irina by her Christian name seems to suggest it cannot be Ella she is describing. Moreover, would Ella really be lounging in a chair at the Youssupovs when she was so preoccupied with all her war/charity/religious work?
Incidentally, Zenaida was one of the first people at Ella's side after Serge's assasination...a good friend.


But does not the 'a kind of operatic costume of a Sister of Mercy' comment refer to a nun's habit?   I am assumimg that this is what was meant, as opposed to a nurse's uniform?
Also, Segei was assasianted in 1905, this letter was written in 1916 - so many things can happen in eleven years, and some friendships do not stand the test of time, however strong initially.....
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: bluetoria on December 29, 2004, 11:25:45 AM
I think the sisters of mercy was a term used to describe nurses rather than nuns. I was just adding the bit about Zenaida being there after Serge's death as an aside rather than to say they remain friends. But I really don't think this can refer to Ella...and Felix was particularly close to her wasn't he?
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: ashanti01 on December 29, 2004, 12:22:06 PM
 Based on his comments made in his book, I would have to say that he was very attached to Ella. Felix had always claimed that he viewed Ella as a second mother.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Martyn on December 29, 2004, 05:32:10 PM
Well can anyone make an educated guess as to whom Felix's mother might be referring to?
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Janet_W. on December 29, 2004, 06:03:17 PM
To me, it does seem that Zenaida is referring to Ella. Perhaps their friendship had weakened over the years, or maybe Ella had been getting on Zenaida's nerves in recent months.

While it is true that Ella was busy with her good works, she also spent time with various family members, and since she was close to Felix she might well have considered Irina something of a surrogate daughter, or perhaps a social equal.

I believe something is mentioned within the OTMA correspondence here on this website about their Aunt Ella sitting in a chair, fast asleep and snoring. (But now that I've mentioned it, I'll need to check for it . . . oh dear!  :-X ) Again, my point in mentioning this is that while we see Ella as something of an icon, Ella would have been seen by various family members as who she was to them-- i.e., an older aunt, a shirttail relation who showed up at inopportune times, etc.  I think it's also entirely possible that Zenaida rather resented Felix's treating Ella as a sort of surrogate mother, and therefore vented this resentment to her only surviving son via the letter. Also, since Ella was tremendously respected for having taken the veil after her husband's assassination and devoting herself to good works, perhaps at that point Zenaida was expressing some peevish envy by using the "celebrated sister" remark.

Just my "take," however . . . will be interested in other theories!
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Joanna on December 29, 2004, 10:05:21 PM
Quote
I really do not believe that the 'celebrated sister' is Ella.


I am also of the opinion that Zenaida was not referring to Ella. Her letter was written from the Crimea in December 1916 and Ella was in Moscow during this period. It would be more likely someone who was in either Zenaida's or Irina's entourage or in the Yalta area during these months. Some had left St. Petersburg for the south either for rest or accompanying the medical trains. I am wondering if the clue would be in Irina's letters where she may have named one who was with her frequently in the Crimea.

Joanna
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Annie on December 30, 2004, 12:43:15 AM
I was thinking about that, never heard of Ella being in the Crimea at that time. I only posted it the way it was, I guess the person who translated it is the one who thought it was Ella and put her name there. I don't know.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Martyn on December 30, 2004, 07:14:06 AM
Quote
I was thinking about that, never heard of Ella being in the Crimea at that time. I only posted it the way it was, I guess the person who translated it is the one who thought it was Ella and put her name there. I don't know.


It isn't entirely clear that Zenaida is referring to visiting Irina in the Crimea or indeed that she is talking about something recent.  To me it seems like she is discussing a general state of affairs as opposed to a specific incident in a specific location.
I think that Janet's suggestions seem to make the most sense; I do think that only Ella seems to fit the bill
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Johnny on December 30, 2004, 05:26:00 PM
Quote

It isn't entirely clear that Zenaida is referring to visiting Irina in the Crimea or indeed that she is talking about something recent.  To me it seems like she is discussing a general state of affairs as opposed to a specific incident in a specific location.
I think that Janet's suggestions seem to make the most sense; I do think that only Ella seems to fit the bill

When I first read that letter on another thread I was not convinced that it referred to Ella. Now I am sure it did not. Given the date of the letter it's right around the time Rasputin got killed. Irina and her in-laws were in the Crimea. Ella certainly wasn't. Whoever this celebrated sister of mercy might be it seems she had turned into a nuisance in Crimea. Also a relatively new situation because Felix seems to be rather unaware of it. In fact Zinaida says that Felix will see how annoying this woman has become when he goes to Crimea. We know that he never makes it to the Crimea. Ella, on the other hand, was on pillgrimage when Rasputin got killed. She wasn't anywhere near that area.
There is also a big difference between a nun and a sister of mercy. It was probably another society woman who following Alexandra had become a nurse. Becoming a nun would not have irritated Zinaida. That was a very respectful thing to do. Becoming a nurse, however, was shunned upon by society people who thought that there were enough women in Russia to become nurses and a society woman could be more helpful if she did charity works or sponsored hospitals. (That's on reason why Alexandra was so much disliked.) So the operatic siter of mercy costume most probably refers to this rich woman who was probably wearing a rather immodest nurse uniform. Ella was certainly a member of the family before Zinaida had become one. Ella was Irina's aunt, knew her since she was born, was married to Irina's great uncle Serge and Nicholas and Xenia being brother and sister, she was also related to Irina's parents as a sister-in-law. So I don't think Zinaida would have objected to her calling Irina "Tata". BTW, lounging in an armchair is such a normal thing to do that just because Zinaida mentions that this sister was lounging in an armchair and OTMA mention that Ella was doing a similar thing doesn't prove that it is the same person.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: BobAtchison on December 30, 2004, 05:34:12 PM
We posted that letter on the site several years ago - I was contacted by someone in the know - who showed me the facts and convinced me this reference wasn't to our Ella.  The editor of the book from the 1920's I found these in assumed it was the Grand Duchess, when it wasn't...
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Martyn on December 30, 2004, 05:34:58 PM
Well okay, that sounds fairly convincing.  But does anyone have any idea who it might be if it isn't Ella?
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Johnny on December 30, 2004, 05:54:28 PM
Quote
Well okay, that sounds fairly convincing.  But does anyone have any idea who it might be if it isn't Ella?

I just went back and read Felix's and Zinayida's letters from around that date, including her Dec. 16th letter in its entirety. It seems both Irina and her Baby were ill and staying at another villa, while Zinayida was sating on some other property, but visiting Irina constantly, hence her saying "everytime I visit Irina...." We have to remember that the correspondence was originally in French, so the "celebrated sister [of mercy]" can probably be best translated as the "famous nurse" which can easily refer to a locally rather well known nurse that they hired to take care of Irina and the baby.
Actually after reading those letters again I am almost convinved theat's the case. In fact based on these premises all of Zinayida's comments about the nurse now make sense.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Annie on December 30, 2004, 07:28:04 PM
They wrote to each other in French and not Russian? Why? Could it have been to thwart the 'censors' they keep mentioning in their books? Surely their correspondance was usually in Russian?
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Joanna on December 30, 2004, 09:29:07 PM
One name that Zenaida may be referring to is Rita Khitrovo. She was a nursing sister and was known as a friend of the Imperial Family with access to their intimate private life. That may explain Zenaida's comment '...she poses most impudently as a member of the family...'  She was in the Crimea area possibly accompanying one of Alexandra's medical/sanitary trains and had joined the Imperial Family when they visited Evpatoria on May 16, 1916. As she had to travel to Tobolsk on her own initiative, she very likely had been in the Crimea when the revolution began. By the autumn of 1916, Zenaida was in opposition to Alexandra and seeing Rita constantly with Irina may have triggered this expressive dislike of one who was an intimate not only of GD Olga but of Alexandra also.

Joanna
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Janet_W. on December 30, 2004, 10:48:37 PM
Wow, this is all very interesting, and I rescind my original premise!  :-X

Joanna, your theory interests me; it might well have been Rita. Or, perhaps Johnny's theory is the correct one. Whatever the case, it's fun to try putting together these missing puzzle pieces!
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Martyn on December 31, 2004, 07:42:25 AM
Quote
One name that Zenaida may be referring to is Rita Khitrovo. She was a nursing sister and was known as a friend of the Imperial Family with access to their intimate private life. That may explain Zenaida's comment '...she poses most impudently as a member of the family...'  She was in the Crimea area possibly accompanying one of Alexandra's medical/sanitary trains and had joined the Imperial Family when they visited Evpatoria on May 16, 1916. As she had to travel to Tobolsk on her own initiative, she very likely had been in the Crimea when the revolution began. By the autumn of 1916, Zenaida was in opposition to Alexandra and seeing Rita constantly with Irina may have triggered this expressive dislike of one who was an intimate not only of GD Olga but of Alexandra also.

Joanna


Now that is an interesting suggestion.  But then everything makes sense to me, however it is explained.  I didn't really understand the 'poses most impudentlyas a member fo the family' remark if she was referring to Ella; she was a member of Irina's family, after all.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Helen_Azar on December 31, 2004, 10:25:25 AM
Quote
They wrote to each other in French and not Russian? Why? Could it have been to thwart the 'censors' they keep mentioning in their books? Surely their correspondance was usually in Russian?
 

The official language of the Russian aristocracy and the court was French so it makes sense that they wrote in French....
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Helen_Azar on December 31, 2004, 10:33:21 AM
Quote
I do not like the celebrated "sister" [the Grand Duchess Elizaveta Feodorovna Romanov]. In my opinion, she poses most impudently as a member of the family. She calls Irina by her Christian name, and evcn "Tata"! I strongly object to her behaviour. When I visit Irina I constantly find her there, lounging in a chair, without in the least understanding that her presence does not interest me. She sports a kind of operatic costume of a Sister of Mercy, and generally spoils the whole atmosphere by her presence. Irina seems to accept it all as inevitable, whereas I simply cannot stand it. You will see for yourself soon, when you come home. In the meantime,

I send you my best love,

MAMMA




IMHO this letter is probably talking about someone other than Ella. In Russian, the term "sister" actually refers to a "nurse", not a "nun", so Zinaida may have been using it in that context. Did Ella ever become a Sister of Mercy during the war, i.e. a nurse, like Alix and her two nieces Olga and Tatiana and Olga Alexandrovna and Marie Pavlovna the Younger? If not, then most likely she is not the culprit here. Since no specific name is mentioned, "the celebrated sister" could be almost anyone who was performaing duties of a war nurse at the time, and who wore a nurse's uniform.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Annie on December 31, 2004, 11:38:46 AM
Quote
 

The official language of the Russian aristocracy and the court was French so it makes sense that they wrote in French....


I know they knew French, but Felix had mentioned before in his books that he disliked the practice of Russians speaking to each other in foreign languages instead of Russian and that he and his brother annoyed 'old ladies' by answering them in Russian when asked a question in French. Because of that it makes me wonder why he'd write to his own mother in a language other than Russian, unless it was to sneak things by the censors (which they had mentioned in some of the letters)

Also, on the subject of 'no specific names' being mentioned, there is a reason for that too. Zenaida wrote to Felix and Anna Rodzianko in a 'code' where terms or silly nicknames were used to describe a person they didn't want anyone to know who they were talking about. Rasputin was 'the book', N and A were 'aunt and uncle', Nikolasha was 'Luck', and more. But in other letters Ella was referred to as 'aunt's sister' so again she may not have been the person mentioned. Whomever it was, they must have felt there was reason to avoid putting her name, and probably assumed the other would know who they were talking about anyway.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Helen_Azar on December 31, 2004, 11:46:55 AM
Quote

Because of that it makes me wonder why he'd write to his own mother in a language other than Russian, unless it was to sneak things by the censors (which they had mentioned in some of the letters)

That's a good point, so maybe this was the reason.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Johnny on December 31, 2004, 02:16:18 PM
Quote
They wrote to each other in French and not Russian? Why? Could it have been to thwart the 'censors' they keep mentioning in their books? Surely their correspondance was usually in Russian?

Not them. Felix actually mentions in his memoirs that when he was a kid he would annoy all his mother's guests, who although being Russian weren't very fluent in it and prefered speaking French, by speaking Russian to them. But, I am almost certain that their correspondence was in French, just like many upper class people of the time.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Annie on January 03, 2005, 09:19:11 AM
I can't believe there are NO pics of them together, not even at Tsarskoe Selo:( What about Felix and Irina's wedding? Did the IF attend, I'm not sure. I know they got married on MF's territory and at the time they were firmly in the pro-MF anti-Alix camp so that might have had something to do with it?
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Kätlin on January 03, 2005, 09:52:40 AM
I have hears that Nicholas, Olga and Tatiana (don't know about the other girls) attended the wedding, but I've never seen any pictures of it.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: ashanti01 on January 03, 2005, 11:13:35 AM
I have never seen any photos of two families together. Would be intresting to see a photo of Felix with the Imperial Family
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Zenaida1861 on February 03, 2005, 04:21:55 PM
Yes, I would like that! Aren't there any of Zenaida and Ella and Alix? Is there a chance some still may exist that shows Zenaida with KR or Sandro?
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: ashanti01 on February 03, 2005, 04:33:26 PM
I have yet to find any photos of the Yussupovs and Romanovs together...

I'm starting to wonder if any have survived or if they may be buried under some dust in storage.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: otmafan on February 03, 2005, 05:25:24 PM
Here's Nicky and the girls at the Yussupov's palace.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v400/otmafan/atyussopov.jpg)
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Annie on February 03, 2005, 07:15:51 PM
Are there any Yussoupovs there?
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 03, 2005, 09:05:14 PM
Quote
Here's Nicky and the girls at the Yussupov's palace.
 

Which palace is it?
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: otmafan on February 03, 2005, 09:27:53 PM
Quote
Are there any Yussoupovs there?


Nope. I couldn't find any. That's the closest I could find. Sorry.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: ashanti01 on February 03, 2005, 09:51:54 PM
I cannot believe how hard it is to find a picture of these two families together!!

I mean if they knew each other were close friends, saw each other at social functions, family events and no pictures???

Forgive me, I'm just at a lost trying to locate a photo of any Romanov and with the Yussupovs.

Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: otmafan on February 10, 2005, 05:55:19 PM
I was looking on previous threads and found a picture Brian posted. I think Alexandra is on the right hand side. Is that her or someone else?

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v400/otmafan/weird2.jpg)
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: ashanti01 on February 10, 2005, 06:03:56 PM
I think that is suppose to be Ella...but I cant be sure the face is covered in shadows but the outline does resemble both Alix and Ella.

But then again the woman does have a fuller figure like Alix had in her later years...I have to say Alix but I could be wrong
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Annie on February 10, 2005, 09:28:21 PM
Interesting find! I wonder which one it is? I would guess Ella since she and Zenaida were friends, but we can't know for sure. Who is the little boy in the sailor suit? Is this one of the famous mushroom hunts that Felix, Dmitri, Anna Vyrubova and others participated in? I'd love to see a group pic of all of them as kids! KR's kids and Sophie Buxeovedon were also their playmates.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Annie on May 31, 2005, 07:08:33 AM
I think that once Ella became a nun, she and Zenaida were less friendly. Zenaida had lost her party girl friend. But they were still together much later, working against Rasputin, both getting shunned by Alix.

I too was upset to see that 'celebrated sister' comment, but on one of the threads here, it's been so long I forgot, we discussed this and someone came to the conclusion that Ella is NOT the 'sister' being discussed in this letter, as she was in Moscow at the time. I hope it wasn't her!
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: ashanti01 on May 31, 2005, 12:27:03 PM

If Zinaida lost her "party" friend in 1905, it may have caused a short distance between them but not for long. In 1908 when Zenaida's oldest son and heir Nicholas died, she too withdrew from the social scene. I believe I read Ella even came to stay with the fragile Zinaida who was suffering from a nervous break down. I could be wrong, but I'm positive I read that in G. King's book " The Man who Killed Rasputin."

Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: dp5486 on March 04, 2006, 05:11:01 PM
Is it true that the Dowager Empress's Dr. Kostrisky brought a letter to Felix's mother from Alexandra stating that she should have listened to her?

I read it in Felix's memoirs and it did not seem like something Alexandra would have done.

Thanks!
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: ConstanceMarie on March 06, 2006, 06:06:29 PM
Quote
Is it true that the Dowager Empress's Dr. Kostrisky brought a letter to Felix's mother from Alexandra stating that she should have listened to her?

I read it in Felix's memoirs and it did not seem like something Alexandra would have done.

Thanks!


I don't know the doctor, but there was a story that the Yussupovs had the same family dentist as the IF and when he went to treat them in Tobolsk, he came back to say that the Tsar, not Alexandra, had said to 'tell Princess Yussupov she was right'. (presumably about Rasputin) and that if they had listened to her things might have turned out better.

And to Grandduchessella, Zenaida and Ella were great friends from the time Ella moved to Russia. They were very close, even best friends, and this is how Felix became close to her and considered her a second mother. If they had a rift later I think they worked it out.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: dp5486 on March 06, 2006, 07:02:37 PM
Thank you for that info. Dr. Kostrisky must have been very talented to have taken care of both the Dowager Empress and the Yussupov family.

It just seemed to me that Alexandra wouldn't say something like that and I guess I was right.

Thanks again!
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Valmont on March 08, 2006, 07:16:56 PM
I think the reference in the letter was not ment for Ella.. This feud was discussed in another thraed.. It think it was Zenaida's ... Anyway... they did  had a feud for a while, but they remained friends for the rest of their lives...It was Zenaida who help Ella in her convertion to Orthodoxy and it was Ella who was with Zenaida when her son Nicholas died under the hand of Marina de Hayden's husband.. Both women were best friends in their time of splendour and glamour... Both  women  suffer great loses in their lives... and both women remained friends... until the end..

Arturo
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: mitia on June 10, 2006, 11:59:41 AM
It is indeed both stunning and puzzling that no photos exist ( as far as I know ) with NAOTMAA and the Youssoupoffs as there must have been a time when their relationship was not that " icy " ( I mean in the late 1890s early 1900s ). But it seems they would only met on unavoidable official occasions  ( and this far before the banishment of Felix after his invlovment in Raspoutine's murder. Is there any explanation to this state of things ?

This situation makes the match of Felix and Irina totally non-understandable to me. In his memoires, Felix says that the Tsar attended the wedding. Is this true ? Moreover, how could the Dowager Empress ever support such an unequal union ( even if we all know that MF was a dreadful match maker ) which was after all a morganatic marriage between a Princess of Blood Imperial and a russian count ? What or who convinced the Tsar to allow Felix to be styled " Prince Youssoupoff " after his marriage , though " Prince Felix the elder " was still alive ? Or was it just to avoid any kind of humiliation to Irina who was stepping down from Princess of Russia to plain countess whose husband's name was only in the third part of the almanach of Gotha ?

I have always found the whole thing so weird, totally beyond my understanding. If anybody can help by giving some explanations or point of view, thanks ever so much !
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Morecambrian on June 11, 2006, 05:49:05 AM
THERE ARE PICTURES IN JACQUES FERRANDS BOOK ON THE YOUSSOUPOFF FAMILY.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: imperial angel on August 22, 2006, 05:43:18 PM
That is interesting, for sure. I have never seen that book, is it rather rare? The Romanovs amd Yussupovs sometimes did not have much to do with each other, for whatever reason. The marriage of Irina amd Prince Felix was approved of from an official standpoint anyway. Irina, allthough she was the Tsar's niece was only a a more minor member of the Romanov Dynasty through her father. This perhaps influenced the approval of the marriage. As well, Irina had no succession rights as a female, so her descendants would not be members of the Romanov dynasty. A Grand Duke/Prince would never have been allowed to marry a Yusupov, but a Princess could.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: ashdean on August 23, 2006, 08:40:17 AM
If you read a Fatal Passion you will read of Nicholas walking with his daughters from Livadia to Koriez to wish Zenaida Y  Happy Birthday ...
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: imperial angel on August 23, 2006, 08:50:27 AM
Yes, I read that book awhile ago and I must not remember that that was in it. I think the popular conception is that they had an icy relationship, but that was not always the case. Naturally, there would be photos of them together since they were from the same circles, however they were getting along.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: mitia on October 13, 2006, 06:58:43 AM
As far as I can remember what Felix Felixovitch tells in the 2 volumes of his memoirs ( which I red a long time ago ) about Alexandra Feodorovna, it always sounds negative, unfair, I dare say badly mannered for someone reputadly belonging to the highest russian aristocracy.
 For example, if once again I remember well and from memory " the Empress had inherited this appalling taste for cheap british middle class pieces of furnitures " or " Contrarily to her wonderful sister Ella, the Empress never understood the genuine meaning of our Orthodox faith and She thought of herself as a deeply religious person whereas to speak the truth She was unable to go or think further than to the very surface of Orthodoxy "  etc...
Why does not Felix say OUR EMPRESS first of all ? Who does he think he is to judge someone else 's tastes ? Is his own taste for everything lavishly gilded or decorated a genuine example of BON GOUT or CLASSE ( meaning here touch of class ) ?

IMO the Romanov / Youssoupoff relationship must have become icy as soon as Felix decided NOT to take part in whatever way in WWI whereas most of the other Grand Dukes, Princes or members of high russian aristocracy were involved in the army, fights etc...This must have been  judged in these days as a total lack of patriotism. Same thing for Felix non involvement in the White Army later on to defend the Tsar or the utmost political principle of Tsarism.

Does anyone know why Felix refused to be involved in fighting for his Motherland, his Emperor and his political ideology in both cases ?
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: ashdean on October 13, 2006, 08:47:44 AM
Felix it must be remembered hated Alexandra..To him & indeed a large swathe of the nobility she was the catalyst for the downfall of Tsardom and with it their world with all  its trappings & splendours...Also Alexandra had banished his mother from court..& Zenaida, the beautiful,gracious spoiled darling of Russia's haute monde despite her withdrawl from society felt this very much....and her son even more...coupled with Ella's snub he cannot but be scathing of Alexandra in any shape or form...
Felix did not participate in the war effort for more than one reason..Firstly despite his (paternal)military heritage he was a never a soldier, that world was abhorrent to him..secondly he was naturally indolent and used the war effort ( converting varied family homes into hospitals etc) as a cover.The law allowing only sons exemption aided him for quite a while but by the later part of 1916...to keep up appearances Felix had had to enrol in a military training school....
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: imperial angel on October 13, 2006, 09:02:40 AM
The reasons why Prince Felix did not participate in World War I are indeed what the poster above said. He was not naturally the soldier type, and he got by as long as he could without a concession to appearances. I guess he was lucky after his brother's death in that duel, that left him the only son. He could not have managed to a be very competent soldier had he been forced to be one. It wasn't his thing.

Alexandra was indeed hated by the aristocracy, and they had a very bad conception of her. She never put out herself out there and particpated in society as the Dowager Empress had done so well, and continued to do. Alexandra did not realize the level of alienation that she was causing. Of course, the aristocracy could have been more understanding, but that wasn't their nature. They took rumour as truth, and thought they were more sophisticated than Alexandra.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Valmont on October 13, 2006, 03:53:52 PM
As far as I can remember what Felix Felixovitch tells in the 2 volumes of his memoirs ( which I red a long time ago ) about Alexandra Feodorovna, it always sounds negative, unfair, I dare say badly mannered for someone reputadly belonging to the highest russian aristocracy.
 For example, if once again I remember well and from memory " the Empress had inherited this appalling taste for cheap british middle class pieces of furnitures " or " Contrarily to her wonderful sister Ella, the Empress never understood the genuine meaning of our Orthodox faith and She thought of herself as a deeply religious person whereas to speak the truth She was unable to go or think further than to the very surface of Orthodoxy "  etc...
Why does not Felix say OUR EMPRESS first of all ? Who does he think he is to judge someone else 's tastes ? Is his own taste for everything lavishly gilded or decorated a genuine example of BON GOUT or CLASSE ( meaning here touch of class ) ?

IMO the Romanov / Youssoupoff relationship must have become icy as soon as Felix decided NOT to take part in whatever way in WWI whereas most of the other Grand Dukes, Princes or members of high russian aristocracy were involved in the army, fights etc...This must have been  judged in these days as a total lack of patriotism. Same thing for Felix non involvement in the White Army later on to defend the Tsar or the utmost political principle of Tsarism.

Does anyone know why Felix refused to be involved in fighting for his Motherland, his Emperor and his political ideology in both cases ?

In my own personal opinion, I think that today we know a lot more of the personal thoughts and motivations of Alexandra, but we did not have a chance to deal with her (for obvious reasons). On the other hand, the aristocracy of that time, who (I do not want to use the word "hate") " dislike" her, had a chance to know and deal with her. We must not forget that they had (besides rumors and gosips) first hand impressions (at least from  the people who actually knew her) and they dislike her anyway. (I am not saying EVERYBODY dislike her  and  I am not taking sides with either band, but somehow I get the impression that dealing with the empress must not have been an easy task.. and left people with a bad aftertaste, Otherwise, Russian aristocracy would have felt  differently from what they felt.  Lets face it, maybe she was not  ready for the role life set her to play... and never learn to play either... Now, going back to the subject, we must remember that everything Felix wrote was done after the destruction of the Old Russia and he shared the feelings of the surviving aristocracy (plus his own exagerations on the subject), so I would not pay much attention to his Memoirs. On the same hand, Zenaide, as same as her father, was a prominent menber of the "OLD Court"  which meant she was a firend of the Dowager Empress (another point why the Romanov / Yussupov might have been kind of cold)..

Arturo Vega Llausás
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: imperial angel on October 16, 2006, 11:54:15 AM
It was hard to deal with Alexandra if you were the Russian aristocracy; she was never much of a public person,and she made her disdain for them and they way they conducted themselves rather apparent. She, in personality and lifestyle, lived a life far removed from that of the aristocracy. They also only had rumours of her to go on, often enough, and they used these in not so great ways. She of course, did not give them that many first hand impressions. She did not think she needed to. But she was a great person to know in more private settings. As for Felix, undoubtedly his opinions were of that of his generation and class in regards to her. They may have been personal, but they were influenced by those two things.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Annie on July 15, 2007, 09:23:03 AM
Here's one originally posted by Georgiy(sp?). It's of Felix and Maria and Anastasia Nicholaievna.

http://s17.photobucket.com/albums/b74/clockworkgirl21/Maria%20and%20Anastasia/?action=view&current=picture_010.jpg&refPage=&imgAnch=imgAnch5

Thanks! So we do know that Felix saw Anastasia and knew her well enough to know that AA wasn't her when he met her. It is disappointing there don't seem to be any pictures of them posed with the IF. Why?
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Olishka~ Pincess on July 15, 2007, 10:11:16 AM
Here's one originally posted by Georgiy(sp?). It's of Felix and Maria and Anastasia Nicholaievna.

http://s17.photobucket.com/albums/b74/clockworkgirl21/Maria%20and%20Anastasia/?action=view&current=picture_010.jpg&refPage=&imgAnch=imgAnch5

Thanks! So we do know that Felix saw Anastasia and knew her well enough to know that AA wasn't her when he met her. It is disappointing there don't seem to be any pictures of them posed with the IF. Why?

No I do not think Felix new Anastasia good enough like Olga Alexandrovna, Xenia or Irina Yussupov did.
(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Anastasia/anastasiairina.jpg)
Here is a picture I have of Anastasia and Irena.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Annie on July 15, 2007, 10:20:17 AM
I don't think he knew her well, but since he had an eye for detail (you can tell this by reading his descriptions in his book) he could tell AA wasn't Anastasia (especially since she could not speak to him in Russian, English or French even though he tried) Irina never met AA but Felix did. He probably got to know Anastasia a lot better after marrying Irina, since she was OTMA's first cousin. But I don't want to drag all that AA mess over here, sorry! BTW by Xenia you mean the Tsar's sister, right?
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Olishka~ Pincess on July 15, 2007, 06:58:05 PM
I don't think he knew her well, but since he had an eye for detail (you can tell this by reading his descriptions in his book) he could tell AA wasn't Anastasia (especially since she could not speak to him in Russian, English or French even though he tried) Irina never met AA but Felix did. He probably got to know Anastasia a lot better after marrying Irina, since she was OTMA's first cousin. But I don't want to drag all that AA mess over here, sorry! BTW by Xenia you mean the Tsar's sister, right?
Yes I am talking about Xenia the tsar's Nicholas sister.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: ashanti01 on July 16, 2007, 01:20:04 PM
There are at least two pictures of Zenaida Yussupov with Grand Duchess Ella and a few with Grand Duke Serge. One picture was recently posted with Zenaida, Bebe, GD Xenia and Irina. I'm sure there are more pic's hidden somewhere.
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: ashanti01 on July 16, 2007, 01:35:56 PM
(http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a388/ashanti01/youssoupov/zenaidaxeniabebeirina-1.jpg)
Zenaida, Xenia, Bebe and Irina. Pic posted by Svetabel in the Zenaida thread.

(http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a388/ashanti01/youssoupov/romanovsergeyusupovazenaida-8.jpg)
Zenaida and Grand Duke Serge

(http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a388/ashanti01/youssoupov/romanovaelizavetafeodorovna1.jpg)
Zenaida and Ella

Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: Annie on July 17, 2007, 10:16:36 AM
Great shot of her and Ella! Thanks!
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: ashanti01 on March 11, 2011, 11:23:27 PM
Dowager Empress Maria & Prince Felix Sr.

(http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a388/ashanti01/2.jpg)
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: ashanti01 on March 12, 2011, 12:12:42 AM
(http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a388/ashanti01/youssoupov/ellasergecountfelixsr001-1.jpg)
Felix Sr, Grand Duke Sergei and Grand Duchess Elizabeth with group
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: ashanti01 on March 12, 2011, 12:15:56 AM
(http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a388/ashanti01/youssoupov/znicholas.jpg)
Princess Zenaida Yusupova and Nicholas II
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: burger queen on July 06, 2011, 06:43:50 PM
To answer the original question : the relationships, here are some clues...


In Olga's letter to her father, 5 march 1915 :

Quote
Оттуда заехала к Ирине за Татьяной. Она и тетя Ксения сидели у нее в гостях, а Феликс, "сущий штатский", одет во все коричневое, ходил по комнате, рылся в разных шкафах с журналами и в сущности ничего не делал; весьма неприятное впечатление производит, мужчина в такое время лодырничает.

I'm french so me and Google translation will try to do our best for translation :) :
"From there, I went to Irina to meet Tatiana. She and aunt Xenia were invited and Felix, " a real civilian", dressed in brown, walked around the room, rummaging through racks of various magazines and in fact did not do anything, very unpleasant impression, a lazy man in these difficult times."

Tatiana's letter to father, 9 march :
Quote
Странно подумать, что у Ирины дочь родилась, скучно, что ее назвали тоже Ирина - правда?
It is strange to think that Irina has a daughter, boring that it was named Irina, right?

Olga's letter, 21 june :
Quote
Ирина и Феликс пили у нас вчера чай. Они говорили, что Андрюша ходит пажом со шпорами - и весьма конфузился первое время. А сегодня у нас будет Костя. Он уезжает на днях в полк.
Irina and Felix drank tea with us yesterday. They said that Andriusha goes pazhom with spurs - and he was very embarrassed at first. And today we will have Kostya. He goes on these days in the regiment.

From Maria's diary, 14 august 1916 :
Quote
Пили чай 4 с Мамой, Ириной и Феликсом [Юсуповым].
At 4, we drank tea with Mama, Irina and Felix [Yusupov].


After reading these extracts, I feel very strange when I watch this video and listen in french Irina and Felix; there's something so contemporary, so close and so far in the same time ... :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-Xdv-Yv0m8&feature=related
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: LauraO on August 22, 2011, 12:40:12 PM
Anyone know what the other three sisters, Tatiana, Marie and Anastaisa thought of Felix? I've read the quote from Olga about him being a "real civilian" before, but does anyone know what tma thought , first impressions of him etc, and the same for Alix and Nicholas? what did they first think initially?
Title: Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
Post by: ashanti01 on April 09, 2016, 09:31:59 PM
(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/c0/e4/3b/c0e43b4071240cfef1b099fe5a22d7ab.jpg)
Princess Zenaida and Grand Duchess Elizabeth in the center. Prince Felix and Grand Duke Serge in the backrow. Young Nicholas and Felix are next to the Grand Duchess.