Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => Nicholas II => Topic started by: Clemence on August 20, 2009, 11:45:33 AM

Title: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Clemence on August 20, 2009, 11:45:33 AM
do you know if there was ever a thought of Nicholas marry a russian? I never understood why his parents seemed determined to choose him a bride from abroad?
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Sarushka on August 20, 2009, 11:55:04 AM
How many Russian brides of eligible rank were not only available, but also not too closely related to Nicholas in the first place?
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: violetta on August 20, 2009, 01:01:46 PM
First of all, the heir to the throne was supposed to marry a princess of the equal rank i.e. of the royal blood and coming from one of the ruling houses.  No Russian lady would correspond to these requirements. Even if a girl had come from the most prominenet and wealthy aristocratic famil her rank would have been lower. She was only one of the nobility. when i think aout a possible Russian bride the only Russian girl would have been one of the Oldenburg or Leuchtenburg princesses as they were dscendants of the representatives of the 2 two ruling houses. But I`m not sure that at the beginning of the 1890-s there were any eligible princesses in the Oldenburg or Leuchtenburg families. In fact, GD Olga Alexandrovna did marry Pyotr Oldenburgskiy.
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Clemence on August 20, 2009, 03:26:17 PM
so there was never a possibility for a future zar to marry a russian? It seems so strange, when in the british royals it's the opposite ...

Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: nena on August 20, 2009, 03:45:34 PM
Simply because he fell in love with Princess Alix of Hesse.  ;-)
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Forum Admin on August 20, 2009, 03:51:23 PM
There were NO Russian young women of equal Noble rank to Nicholas Alexanrovich, other than his immediate cousins.  The rules were quite strict about the Emperor's wife being of equal birth.

From the "Statesman's Handbook" 1896, printed by the Russian Imperial court:

Thus the principal condition of belonging to the Imperial House is lawful marriage. In order to be lawful these marriages require the observance of certain special conditions, different from those set down for ordinary subjects. Namely it is indispensable, firstly, to have the sanction of the reigning Emperor; secondly, that the persons about to be married should be equally high born and thirdly, a person of the male sex, with the possible right of succeeding to the throne may marry a person of another faith, only on condition that she embrace the orthodox faith.
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Yelena Aleksandrovna on August 21, 2009, 12:28:49 PM
All your answers have been very interesting, specially the last one. But, how did Nicholas or better to say
why did Nicholas choosed Alix? There were other Princesses in Europe that would be an excellent option for
Nicholas to become his wife and the next Tsarina of Russia, well, to choose other person without blood diseases
or better prepared to be an Empress. Advanced thank you for your answer :-)
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: violetta on August 21, 2009, 01:28:12 PM
nikolay` s parents wanted him to marry Helene d`Orleans due to the fact that Russia and France established a military union that eventually led to the establishment of the Antanta. Marriage between the representatives of the 2 countries would have made the ond betwen the 2 countries stronger. but neither nikolaty nor his prospective bride felt like entering this union.nikolay was in love with alix, and Helene d`Orleans was catholic and didn`t want to change her faith. as far as I remember, wilhem II wanted his " cousin Nicky" tp marry his sister.but neither nikolay nor his family were willing to make this Prussian princess a member of the Romanov family
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Tina Laroche on August 21, 2009, 02:20:49 PM
But, how did Nicholas or better to say why did Nicholas choosed Alix?

Probably because he was in love with her...
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: violetta on August 21, 2009, 03:53:02 PM
he was definitely in love with alix but there weren`t many eligible brides at that time.in fact, i hve n impression that AIII and MF didn`t bother to find a more suitable bride for their son. MF disliked Alix, her husbnd wasn`t fond of her,either. MF considered her to be unsuitable to carry out her duties as an Empress. so why the Imperial couple didn`t try to find a more suitable person than Alix of Hesse? Why were they so irresponsibl when the future of the Empire was at stake?
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: imperial angel on August 22, 2009, 12:08:19 AM
I think their main candidate for marriage was Helene of Orleans. I think they did try to push that. I am sure they wanted Nicholas to be happy with regards to a marriage partner given that their own marriage was a happy one although arranged  at first.
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Ally Kumari on August 22, 2009, 01:55:36 AM
so why the Imperial couple didn`t try to find a more suitable person than Alix of Hesse? Why were they so irresponsibl when the future of the Empire was at stake?

They did. But Nicholas decided to wait uintil they change their oppinion. He wanted to ask for Alix long before 1894. Whne his father didn´t allow this, Nicholas obeyed him, but the pig-headed sort he was, refused to marry anybody else.

As has been mentioned his parents would love him to marry Helen d´orleans, but also sugessted Margaret of Prussia. When her name was mentioned, Nicholas resolutely refused saying he would rather become a monk than to marry her.
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Grand Duchess Valeria on August 23, 2009, 03:32:51 PM
Ok, not in first grade, as it was not allowed by the orthodox church, but theoretically he could married a cousin from the romanov site, couldn't he? (I remember there was none of his age at that time) But they would have been of equal rank.
 
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Yelena Aleksandrovna on August 25, 2009, 12:40:16 PM
Nicholas must loved Alix very much, she wasn't the ideal person to become the next Empress of
Russia, the other Princess that you mentioned would be a better option for Nicholas, perhaps the
religion would be a problem if she didn't want to became orthodox. But one thing, perhaps if he would
married with Helene he wouldn't be happy, but in that time the majority of the kings or emperors
just got married for make political alliences.
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Grand Duchess Valeria on August 25, 2009, 02:02:07 PM
If the lot or god or whatever decided in an other way...maybe there had been an empress elena of russia :) and no OTMAA :-)
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: DanlScott on October 13, 2009, 10:39:59 PM
GV, to answer your question directly, yes he could have married a Romanov princess as long as she wasn't his first cousin.  His bride had four criteria to meet: 1) she had to be of equal rank (royal); 2) she had to be Russian Orthodox; 3) she couldn't be a first cousin (this was a church rule - although GD Cyril and Ducky violated this when they were married); and 4) had to have the consent of the Tsar.  Thus, Grand Duke Alexander married Grand Duchess Xenia, and Grand Duchess Olga married Peter of Oldenburg.  However, the other thing to consider was the prestige of the bride.  Rarely were royal matches of the time love matches, and it wouldn't have been considered much of a match for the heir to the Russian Empire to marry some backwater princess from the bottom of the royal social ladder.  Although not from  major country, the hessian royal family was illustrious and well connected.  And, although his parents didn't approve of her, Alexander III knew his time was running out and his son was ill prepared to rule.  He figured if Nnicholas married the woman (Alix0 he loved, it would have some comfort for him.

BTW, many would disagree with me, but the marriage rules above concerned only Romanov grand dukes and princes, not the Tsar.  Alexander II married his mistress, a non-royal Russian aristocrat, and there is anecdotal evidence he was considering making her empress and their children grand dukes and grand duchesses.  As autocrat, he had supreme power; who could stop him?
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Kalafrana on October 14, 2009, 09:16:58 AM
'It seems so strange, when in the british royals it's the opposite ...'

In fact, the practice of British royalties marrying British people is very recent. Queen Victoria's daughter Princess Louise (1848-1939) married John Campbell, Marquess of Lorne, later Duke of Argyll, in 1871, but this was the first marriage between a royal person and a British 'commoner' since the future James II married Anne Hyde in 1660. When the future George VI married in 1923, he was the first prince to marry a British commoner since 1660. By then times had changed, there were far fewer reigning families left, and in the climate of the early 1920s it would have been politically quite difficult for an heir to the throne to marry a German. George V therefore encouraged his children to marry members of the British aristocracy, as all but one of them (the Duke of Kent) did.

James II only married Anne Hyde because he had made her pregnant, and when she miscarried he tried to get the marriage annulled on the basis that the wedding had taken place in secret.
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Alex Milleros on November 22, 2009, 12:37:48 PM
I might be wrong, but I think the equal marriage requirement had the objective of avoiding other Russian Noble families to struggle for power. Thus, members of the Imperial Family would have to enter into marriages with foreign royals. If I am correct, it was Emperor Alexander I who included this specific requirement in the Laws previously sanctioned by his father, Emperor Paul Petrovich.

As it was stated in a previous post, maybe Alexander III's unexpected illness helped the Sovereigns to accept Princess Alix of Hesse as his son's bride. However, I doubt they felt Alix would have just a few months to learn the language and some knowledge of Orthodoxy and the Russian customs before becoming Empress.

I apologize if my English is not good enough.

Alex
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: violetta on November 22, 2009, 01:13:24 PM
I might be wrong, but I think the equal marriage requirement had the objective of avoiding other Russian Noble families to struggle for power. Thus, members of the Imperial Family would have to enter into marriages with foreign royals. If I am correct, it was Emperor Alexander I who included this specific requirement in the Laws previously sanctioned by his father, Emperor Paul Petrovich.

As it was stated in a previous post, maybe Alexander III's unexpected illness helped the Sovereigns to accept Princess Alix of Hesse as his son's bride. However, I doubt they felt Alix would have just a few months to learn the language and some knowledge of Orthodoxy and the Russian customs before becoming Empress.

I apologize if my English is not good enough.

Alex


as far as i remember, the idea of NOT marrying a russian originated at the time of peter 1. he thought that the families of the bride/groom would fight for the influence in court and goverment institutions that`s why his son alexey married charlotte braunschweig wulfenbuttel. also, marriage to a foreign prince/princess would strength the international position of russia and confirm its bonds with other european countries.

as for alix von hesse, no one obviously expected that she would become the russian empress so quickly, completely unprepared. maria feodorovna had been married to alexander 3 for 13 years before she became the empress.
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Alex Milleros on November 22, 2009, 02:27:24 PM
What I meant is that it became LAW during the reign of Alexander I. As far as I know, there was no such a legal requirement for equal marriages before the Pauline Laws. Peter II was engaged first to Maria Menshikova and then to Princess Catherine Dolgorukova, so I am assuming that marriages to Russian Nobles were considered dynastic even after the death of Peter I and before Emperor Paul's Fundamental Law.
As I said, no one expected Alix would become Empress within a year of her engagement. I was just replying the original post where they asked why Nicholas' parents would accept an unprepared Princess as the future consort.

Alex
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Kalafrana on November 23, 2009, 03:00:58 AM
Peter II was in an unusual position because he died at 14 and those exercisng power on his behalf were trying to make Russia more 'Muscovite'. Catherine Dolgorukaya was the daughter of one of his regents and the marriage was a way of continuing her father's influence after Peter was adult. I think, though I'm not certain, that the Menshikov marriage project was similar. Of course, Peter died of smallpox before marrying.

Ann
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: mcdnab on November 23, 2009, 02:25:46 PM
My understanding was that Helene of Orleans was not particularly willing either. She'd fallen in love with Nicholas' cousin Prince Albert Victor (Eddie) Duke of Clarence - and it had gone so far that even Victoria (ever a sucker for a bit of romance) was willing to overlook the obvious disadvantages (Helene being French, the daughter of a mere pretender to the throne and Roman Catholic). She had apparently said she would be willing to convert in order that Eddie could retain his right to the throne but both her father and the Pope explicitly forbade it. In the end it fizzled (and it has to be said that Eddie seems to have been a bit more fickle in that regard). Hardly appropriate for her father to permit a conversion to Orthodoxy when he'd forbidden a conversion to anglicanism.
Ironically - Eddie's first choice was Princess Alix of Hesse,then Helene d'Orleans and a suggestion from "granny" that he marry Princess Margaret of Prussia - all of course suggested wive's for Nicholas. Eddie settled in the end for the family's preferred choice Princess May of Teck.
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Nicolas Peucelle on December 26, 2009, 07:17:24 AM
To answer well here, I suggest that we first have to define what is "a russian?. Looking at the birthplaces of a lot of the family ancestors of Nicholas II it is obvious that they were not often born on russian soil (of the respective periods). Peter the Great who can be considered by all possible definitions a russian (even if his mother was not a typical russian neither with her partly Tatar ancestry). Let's agree that if Peter the Great is not a russian, than what is Russian Monarchy anyhow? Peter bascialy made his Russia by bringing into positions of influence foreigners. He went even so far to basicaly eliminating his first russian born wife and their commun descendance. To replace them with a woman he discovered in the baltics and that woman was not russian and neither of nobility by birth at all. She was a simple maid and Peter who was a "real russian" Tsar made of her what he had decided. He made her his official wife and later crowned Empress of Russia after a few years and he also changed the rules of succession for her so that the daughter this couple had together may follow the father on the Throne of Russia some day. (since all their sons died unfortunately before Peter died himself). So Catherine (I "the first")will be a crowned "foreigner" on the Throne of Russia without any nobility in her ancestry.(But her husbands Peter aura was outweighting everything, to be his wife and having been raised by him was simply enough). The fact that his wife and Empress was a bron foreigner and communer was not a problem for Peter the Great and he is one of the most efficent russian leaders in history. When you check the following weddings of any of the Tsarinas or Tsars to come after Catherine I, you will discover that "Nobody" was from Russia. I mean russian slavic blood lines. There is maybe a possibility that the Tsar Paul I was fathered by the lover of Catherine II the Great named "Saltykov" and not by her husband Peter who was a descendant of Peter the Great through his mother Elizabeth of Rusia, the daughter of Catherine I and Peter the Great. In any case the lover Saltykov can be considered a real russian by bloodline, too. (Today DNA testing may allow to verify all this). The definition of what is a Russian is therefore not so easy when to be applied to a Tsar family member. Because for royalists this family "is Holy Russia" , but has (nearly) no biological roots in the population which we call the russian people. There was a famus writer "Maxim Gorki" who sympathized with the revolutionaries. He took a glass of red wine and mixed it with water as many times as he quoted "non russian" spouses or husbands.. starting with the red wine glass representing "Peter the Great". When he filled the last glass with the more and more dliluted mixture of water and wine to represent the Tsarevitch Alexej..Gorki showed.. to his friends that the water was not even pink any more.. just plain transpareent water.. and he commented.. this is how much our Tsareveitch is russian today. Tsardom is a religious belief and his position is never a matter of passport of cause, neither.
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Nicolas Peucelle on December 26, 2009, 08:04:25 AM
Sorry I do not know how to edit my former comment, so here is my update with more text:
To answer well here, I suggest that we first have to define what is "a russian?. Looking at the birthplaces of a lot of the family ancestors of Nicholas II it is obvious that they were not often born on russian soil (of the respective periods). Peter the Great who can be considered by all possible definitions a russian (even if his mother was not a typical russian neither with her partly Tatar ancestry). Let's agree that if Peter the Great is not a russian, than what is Russian Monarchy anyhow? Peter bascialy made his Russia by bringing into positions of influence foreigners. He went even so far to basicaly eliminating his first russian born wife and their commun descendance. To replace them with a woman he discovered in the baltics and that woman was not russian and neither of nobility by birth at all. She was a simple maid and Peter who was a "real russian" Tsar made of her what he had decided. He made her his official wife and later crowned Empress of Russia after a few years and he also changed the rules of succession for her so that the daughter this couple had together may follow the father on the Throne of Russia some day. (since all their sons died unfortunately before Peter died himself). So Catherine (I "the first")will be a crowned "foreigner" on the Throne of Russia without any nobility in her ancestry.(But her husbands Peter The Great Imperial Aura was outweighting everything, to be his wife and having been raised to the Throne by him was simply enough). The fact that his wife and Empress was a born foreigner and communer was not a problem for Peter the Great and he is one of the most efficent and truely allmighty russian leaders in history. When you check the following weddings of any of the Tsarinas or Tsars to come after Catherine I, you will discover that (officialy)"Nobody" was from Russia. I mean russian slavic blood lines. There is maybe a possibility that the Tsar Paul I was (inofficialy) fathered by the lover of Catherine II the Great named "Saltykov" and not by her husband Peter  who was a descendant of Peter the Great through his mother Elizabeth of Russia, the daughter of Catherine I and Peter the Great. In any case the lover Saltykov can be considered a real russian by bloodline, too. (Today DNA testing may allow to verify all this). The definition of what is a Russian is therefore not so easy when to be applied to a Tsar family member. Because for royalists this family "is Holy Russia" itself , but has (nearly) no biological roots in the population which we call the russian people. There was a famus writer "Maxim Gorki" who sympathized with the revolutionaries. He took a glass of red wine and mixed it with water as many times as he quoted "non russian" spouses or husbands.. starting with the red wine glass representing "Peter the Great". When he filled the last glass with the more and more dliluted mixture of water and wine to represent the Tsarevitch Alexej..Gorki showed.. to his friends that the water was not even pink any more.. just plain transparent water.. and he commented.. this is how much our Tsarevitch is russian today. Tsardom is first a religious belief and his position is never a matter of passport of cause, neither. More the Tsar was really powerful, like Peter the Great was truely allmighty, the decisions of the Tsar were the law. What he thought to be good was good for Russia and if he decides to make a foreign housekeeping maid become the Empress of Russia, than this is the right wise choice of the man who was sent by God on earth to reign over Russia which he considered to be backward without his reforms and massive import of foreign staff and their intelligence and manners . The Tsar Alexander II who was a very interesting good man had choosen a "real russian" mistress, who soon after became mother of several loved children. These children had a russian bloodline rooting directly in the russian population through their mother, and their father was simply.. the Tsar!. Alexander II was about to change dynastic rules in favor of these "new" family members, but the Social Revelutionary terrorists killed him with a bomb. His russian  (second) wife had to leave russia with her children and Alexander III, the son of Alexander II and the (late) official Tsarina took his functions as head of state putting things back to "normal". Another non "foreign but russian" spouse of a Tsar is the wife of Mikhail Aleksandrovich Romanov (Brother of Nicholas II). It is a bit less known today that this Mikhail  was a Tsar, too (the last Tsar 1918...and that he had legaly married the russian woman he loved. No matter for him that she was a communer, twice divorced and mother of a daughter and still not married with him when their first commun son was born. This good Lady will be named later: Comtesse Natalia Sergueïevna Chremetievskaïa, comtesse Brassova. Despite the 19th century dynastic rules of the Romanovs concerning the qualities such a partner had to present, the brother of Tsar Nicholas II imposed his vision of family and love on the Romanov Family and the Tsar who will later legitimize the son of his "rebel brother". I hope these informations will add some aspects about the question of "russian" partners of Tsars and Tsarinas.
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Robert_Hall on December 26, 2009, 12:40:13 PM
Nicho;as, to edit your post, go back after you have posted it and  click "modify". This must be done  within a certain time frame...30 mins. I think.
 As for marriiage; there were 2 other issues invloved.  One,  The Emperor or usually the heir had to marry equally.  As no Russian subject could be equal to a member of the IF,  he would have to  find a bride from the European courts.  Also, it was common practice for all  royal families not to marry a subject, as this would raise them above the other subjects, causing  resentment and invite partisan politivs. They could and did marry morgatically, but their childdren  could not be heirs in the line of succession.
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Nicolas Peucelle on December 27, 2009, 08:47:27 AM
Thank you for reading my comment. I wish to add here something more: The question of "Ebenbuerdigkeit" or Equality concerning brides of Royals is I suppose even a bit more complicated: You mention that in Russia "nobody can be equal to the Tsar Family" and therefore cannot be married to them. But I was reading that till the times of Peter the Great Childhood, or lets say till the times when his own father (a "pure russian bloodlined Tsar") where looking for brides, that the rule was completely different than what you explain: Any healthy woman could become a spouse to the Tsar and a kind of "public" announcement was done so that families may send their daughters to the jury in Moscow. Please check on this. This ressembles a bit the "ferry tale" way.. but it was really the law than. Of cause there were girls getting punished for having dared to show up.. because hostile other parties succeeded to "prove" bad intentions of bride candidates who "should have known ahead of time" that they were not suitable.. even a provocation.. to dare to show up.. and therefore eligible to harsh punishment... (p.ex. a girl not being a virgin could not just show up and than play the innocent one.. she would get punished etc..). But the rule was different and you will confirmme this because you know a lot I noticed on the forum. Now coming to the "equality" of Tsar Peters The Great Days... he has by his first "russian style made up children to children wedding" a fully russian wife by ancestry and birthplace. Here again we have confimration that Tsardom was able to regenerate itself without import of foreign females. Especially as a routine measure. Now what is Peter doing with this "traditional wedded wife" ? You know he got rid of her and obliged her to "marry Jesus" which was the legalway to divorce a woman in those days.. if that woman decides to chose Jesus and a Monastery. Peter had her dropped off in a Monastery and he was free to have a new wife. That one he found some time later in present day "Latvia or Estonia and she was from Lithunania".. I think. Probably she spoke also German? Anyhow.. it was in fact this "Maid" working for a protestant german tongue Protestant Priest who was the first "imported" bride to a russian Tsar in newer times. (Not to mention here the era of the vikings etc.) This counterdicts now completely what you wrote about "russians not being equal and high enough". Because that precise woman who even governed all by herself at the end, was not equal with anybody according to your criterials of "equalness". Sure is that she was not part of any former Boyard clan.. this can fit your arguments. So we may.. I say we may.. consider the "fashion" this new urge to "import" foreigners as the result of only Peters The Great first time in history choice to do so through this completely "abnormal" event of having a most basic communer and even not russian to become his wife and later also a crowned head of his state with his full consent during his life time. And it will be this kind of "newcomer" in the russian monarchy who will in fact avoid the choice of "real" russians as a perpetuation (except if Saltykov is father of PaulI). What can be the reason than? You write.. to avoid problems and rivalry. Very possible. It looks that when we use this argument that Tsardom had to stay out of "russian" society in ordert to remain on top of that crowd not being able to get allong as a functioning society? It is very possible that this policy was good for the old Russia since a lot of "foreigners" felt more attracted by a regime where "multinational" values could be shared and germans, svedes, french and british families could participate as part of the Imperial "team". This all will of cause add to the perception of the nobility as a cast of foreigners and artificial "add-ons", who are not like the russian people at all any more. But than we come to the point.. what is Old Russia than? Can it be just "russian" without all these "foreigners"? (Peter the Great said "NO"). Now to finish a few notes about the "equivalence" among the houses in western europe: For the Hohenzollern it was good enough that there was an ancestry having governed something.. so even if your family had hundreds of cousins, mostly unemployed.. and no territories under their control, the eligibility to become a bride was defined by the fact that the candidate bride family once had someone governing something like a kind of little state. So that made a woman "equivalent" to a Tsar in the 19th century.. but than we need to knwo that there have been a lot of descendants of former other Tsar families in Old Rssia and not just of the Romanovs(and not just first degree cousins). Other than Romanov Families who governed long before areas, more vast than what some of these western families were able to demonstrate in their family histories. So there must be still something else which made the choice of the 18th 19th centuries Tsars and Tsarinas favor the foreigners. I think it is also about feeling more comfortable among themselves.. since the Tsars were somehow "foreigners" in their own Empire? Thank you for more infos.
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Nicolas Peucelle on December 27, 2009, 09:57:34 AM
BTW, many would disagree with me, but the marriage rules above concerned only Romanov grand dukes and princes, not the Tsar.  Alexander II married his mistress, a non-royal Russian aristocrat, and there is anecdotal evidence he was considering making her empress and their children grand dukes and grand duchesses.  As autocrat, he had supreme power; who could stop him?
[/quote]                                   ......I quoted this here before..but how can I make this look "blue" ????
..........................................
My reply:
Yes Sir I also consider that Alexander II was about to modify the laws in his favor. It is worth a deeper study. In fact I suspect that the terrorist bomb attack on this very interesting man modified terribly the destiny of the "world". It is a fact that Alexander II had signed the document providing further freedom to some of his subjects the day he was killed. It was his son Alexander III who apparently throw that document which was not yet transmitted to the ministers straight in the fire. Alexander II because of his personal understanding what life is about and humans as "weak not always perfect beings" seems to have been very much enclined to modify his Empire into something more modern. This would have included a reform of the Romanov Family rules, as you mention. It is really a terrible pitty that these social revolutionary terrorists who killed the Tsar Alexander II ignored how much "revolutionary" was in fact this Tsar building up an entire second familly inside his Palace... He was acting free as he wished in his most private sphere, first somehow hidden, and than more open ( p.ex. wedding with his former mistress and mother of his children) and how can be doubted that a man leading such a struggle in his own home would remain hostile to similar aspirations of other people in his Empire? The killing of Alexander II lead to a "reactionary" normalization which maybe his son Alexander III was able to lead as a winner (as Autocrat).. but when we see the psychological portrait of his son NicholasII, we may understand that for such a person the Empire left behind by an Alexander III was just too "hard" to manage.  Therefore the death of the "reformer" Tsar Alexander II may be considered as one of  the key event in recent history. (And showing that terrorist plots involving few actors can derail the path of world history)
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: mcdnab on December 30, 2009, 10:57:59 AM
The idea of equal marriage is a largely central european (germanic one) that was exported to the rest of Europe throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Almost every reigning royal house and some former ones have abandoned the house or parliamentary rules that they abided by with some notable exceptions in the cases of those families that have retained the idea it has led in many cases to division, unseemly court cases and disputed dynastic claims. However many of the surviving monarchies still need either the monarch or their respective Parliaments or both to approve a Royal Marriage (if the descendants are to remain in the succession) and some have requirements relating to the religion of the monarch and their descendants.
Russia under Paul I adopted Germanic Salic law and introduced equal marriage largely driven by his personal dislike of his mother and probably his determination to exert control over his children and to avoid the political chaos that had followed the deaths of almost every one of his predecessors going right back to the 17th century (and further) - had the law been in force in 1613 every single Romanov would have been regarded as having married unequally with the exception of Paul and his father (Peter III) and his grandmother Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna (whose mother, Catherine I, was a commoner). However it's been a disaster for the family in the 20th and 21st Centuries.
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Alixz on January 02, 2010, 09:34:15 PM
I have always agreed with those who say that if Paul I could make the law,then anyone after him could break it.

How weak all the following Tsars look as they were unable to change what Paul I put into law.  Even Alexander I who was said to be wise and strong left his successor in a bad way but not letting the public know that Constantine was giving up his right of secession in favor of Nicholas I.

Bring of the Decemberists.
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Alixz on January 02, 2010, 09:44:02 PM
So I have a question in the realm of "what if"?

How far back would you go to change history and prevent the murder of Nicholas and his family?  Should we go to the murder of Peter III and the accession of Catharine? Or would the elimination of Paul I do it?

Perhaps the proper ascension of Grand Duke Constantine instead 1925 instead of his brother Nicholas I?

How about preventing the assassination of Alexander II just when he was getting ready to give the county a kind of Duma?

Could anyone have prevented the death of Nixa thus leading to Dagmar marrying Nixa instead of Alexander III?

What about preventing Nicholas II (should we have even gotten that far) from marrying Alix von Hesse?

And then if we did get that far, we could have "black ops" Lenin and Rasputin at a very young age to prevent them from interfering in the lives of Nicholas and the Imperial family we actually got.  A sniper at 1/2 a mile would have gotten rid of either Lenin or Rasputin before they had a chance to leave their mark on the world.

Finally a little plasma (an outgrowth of later science) would have kept Alexis alive and given him a chance to rule in his own right.

Thoughts anyone?
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Terence on January 03, 2010, 02:09:17 AM
I have always agreed with those who say that if Paul I could make the law,then anyone after him could break it.

How weak all the following Tsars look as they were unable to change what Paul I put into law.  Even Alexander I who was said to be wise and strong left his successor in a bad way but not letting the public know that Constantine was giving up his right of secession in favor of Nicholas I.

Bring of the Decemberists.

Alixz you pose something interesting to me at the moment, so I'll comment on this and then follow up on your next post.

I find it idiotic that the Pauline Law, put in force by one Emperor couldn't be changed by another Emperor.  Sounds like a real lack of imagination/stuck in tradition on the part of the Russian Imperial house.

While we have to place ourselves in another time and mindset I simply don't get that it you are the ruler of IMPERIAL RUSSIA you can't change the tea ritual.  These people seem crippled by their environment and upbringing.

To your next post...I think the one that was making a change that could have really made a difference was Alexander II.  His death at the hands of terrorists, was the last chance for reform in Russia IMO.  His son's rejection of the reforms he had just signed, the way Alexander III and Maria then raised Nicholas II, the poor guy had no chance.

All speculation, but nobody gave N II any decent education, other than retroactive.  IMO You can blame Alex III and then the widow Maria, as much as the son they neglected to educate.

Actually the terrorists who murdered Alexander II killed a reformer.  But maybe they wanted that mild reform to fail and the evil that erupted in 1917 to erupt and the terror and murder to follow.

Just thoughts,
T
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: mcdnab on January 04, 2010, 02:32:04 PM
The Romanov dynasty had changed the rules on a couple of occassions - Alexander III for example limited the Grand Ducal rank to the children and grandchildren of a Tsar. The overriding rule was that succeeding Tsars took an oath to defend the preserve the Pauline Laws. It became more difficult to make changes after they were incorporated into the Fundamental laws of the Russian Empire by the first post 1905 Duma.
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: royalboy202 on March 01, 2010, 12:39:07 AM


This is a list of some of the woman who were around the same age as Nicholas and woud have been of equal rank at the time excluding caltholic Princess's.  I think his father would have liked for his son to marry one of the Montenegro Princess's.



Princess Alexandra Therese Marie of Anhalt (Dessau 4 Apr 1868-Schwetzingen 26 Aug 1958)
Princess Sibylle Margaretha Christa Thyra Hedwig Catharina of Hesse-Kassel  (Schloß Panker 3 Jun 1877-Wiesbaden 11 Feb 1953)
Princess Bertha Luise of   of Hesse-Philippsthal-Barchfeld (Burgsteinfurt 25 Oct 1874-Detmold 19 Feb 1919)
Princess Feodore Adelheid Helene Luise Karoline Gustave Pauline Alice Jenny of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (Primkenau 3 Jul 1874-Oberasbach 21 Jun 1910)
Duchess Elisabeth Alexandrine Mathilde Auguste of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (Ludwigslust 10 Aug 1869- Schaumburg 3 Sep 1955)
Duchess Friederike Wilhelmine Elisabeth Alexandrine Auguste Marianne Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (Schloß Bellevue 7 Nov 1868-Partenkirchen 20 Dec 1944)
Duchess Victoria Marie Auguste Luise Antoinette Karoline Leopoldine of Mecklenburg-Strelitez (Neustrelitz 8 May 1878-Oberkassel 14 Oct 1948)
Princess Jelena (Elena) of Montenegro(Cetinje 8 Jan 1873-Montpellier 28 Nov 1952)
Princess Anna of Montenegro(Cetinje 18 Aug 1874-Montreux 22 Apr 1971)
Duchess Sophie Charlotte of Oldenburg (Oldenburg 2 Feb 1879-Westerstede 29 Mar 1964)
Princess Bathildis Marie Leopoldine Anna Auguste of Schaumburg-Lippe (Ratiboritz 21 May 1873-Arolsen 6 Apr 1962)
Princess Friederike Adelheid Marie Luise Hilda Eugenie of Schaumburg-Lippe (Ratiboritz 22 Sep 1875-Ballenstedt 27 Jan 1971
Princess Alexandra Karoline Marie Ida Henriette Juliane of Shaumburg-Lippe (Ratiboritz 9 Jun 1879-Linz am Rhein 5 Jan 1949)
Princess Luise Elisabeth Hermine Erika Pauline of Waldeck (Arolsen 6 Sep 1873-Elmshausen 23 Nov 1961)
Duchelss Elsa Mathilde Marie of Wurttemberg (Stuttgart 1 Mar 1876-Pfaffstädt 27 May 1936)
Duchess Olga Alexandrine Marie of Wurttemberg (Stuttgart 1 Mar 1876-Ludwigsburg 21 Oct 1932)
Princess Alix of Hesse-Darmstadt
Princess Margaret of Prussia





Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Grand Duchess Valeria on March 01, 2010, 01:50:00 AM
Anyone of them as beautiful as Alix??? :)

Thanks for this interesting list, royalboy!
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Sergei Witte on March 04, 2010, 02:49:00 PM
, the way Alexander III and Maria then raised Nicholas II, the poor guy had no chance.

All speculation, but nobody gave N II any decent education, other than retroactive.  IMO You can blame Alex III and then the widow Maria, as much as the son they neglected to educate.


I don't agree. Nicholas was well educated on history, languages etc. (the theoretical stuff). He only had no political experience. This was because Alexander III died relative unexpectedly early. Would he have become older he would surely have given his son the chance to become more experienced. This is why he eventually was made Chairman of the Transsiberia Railroad Committee. It was only too late to give him enough experience. You can't blame his elders for the mistakes that Nicholas made later on, supposedly caused by lacking education. Political talent was not given to him unfortunately.
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Constantinople on April 09, 2010, 08:59:20 AM
in the period prior to 1905,  Nicholas probably could have changed any law he wanted to, including all or part of the Pauline laws of succession but he didnt have the will or a malleable enough administrative intelligence to do that.  From 1905, he was powerless to do anything and his power eroded consistently until the revolution when the last vestiges vanished.
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Alixz on April 10, 2010, 03:39:55 AM


This is a list of some of the woman who were around the same age as Nicholas and would have been of equal rank at the time excluding Catholic Princess's.  I think his father would have liked for his son to marry one of the Montenegro Princess's.



Princess Alexandra Therese Marie of Anhalt (Dessau 4 Apr 1868-Schwetzingen 26 Aug 1958)
Princess Sibylle Margaretha Christa Thyra Hedwig Catharina of Hesse-Kassel  (Schloß Panker 3 Jun 1877-Wiesbaden 11 Feb 1953)
Princess Bertha Luise of   of Hesse-Philippsthal-Barchfeld (Burgsteinfurt 25 Oct 1874-Detmold 19 Feb 1919)
Princess Feodore Adelheid Helene Luise Karoline Gustave Pauline Alice Jenny of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (Primkenau 3 Jul 1874-Oberasbach 21 Jun 1910)
Duchess Elisabeth Alexandrine Mathilde Auguste of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (Ludwigslust 10 Aug 1869- Schaumburg 3 Sep 1955)
Duchess Friederike Wilhelmine Elisabeth Alexandrine Auguste Marianne Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (Schloß Bellevue 7 Nov 1868-Partenkirchen 20 Dec 1944)
Duchess Victoria Marie Auguste Luise Antoinette Karoline Leopoldine of Mecklenburg-Strelitez (Neustrelitz 8 May 1878-Oberkassel 14 Oct 1948)
Princess Jelena (Elena) of Montenegro(Cetinje 8 Jan 1873-Montpellier 28 Nov 1952)
Princess Anna of Montenegro(Cetinje 18 Aug 1874-Montreux 22 Apr 1971)
Duchess Sophie Charlotte of Oldenburg (Oldenburg 2 Feb 1879-Westerstede 29 Mar 1964)
Princess Bathildis Marie Leopoldine Anna Auguste of Schaumburg-Lippe (Ratiboritz 21 May 1873-Arolsen 6 Apr 1962)
Princess Friederike Adelheid Marie Luise Hilda Eugenie of Schaumburg-Lippe (Ratiboritz 22 Sep 1875-Ballenstedt 27 Jan 1971
Princess Alexandra Karoline Marie Ida Henriette Juliane of Shaumburg-Lippe (Ratiboritz 9 Jun 1879-Linz am Rhein 5 Jan 1949)
Princess Luise Elisabeth Hermine Erika Pauline of Waldeck (Arolsen 6 Sep 1873-Elmshausen 23 Nov 1961)
Duchelss Elsa Mathilde Marie of Wurttemberg (Stuttgart 1 Mar 1876-Pfaffstädt 27 May 1936)
Duchess Olga Alexandrine Marie of Wurttemberg (Stuttgart 1 Mar 1876-Ludwigsburg 21 Oct 1932)
Princess Alix of Hesse-Darmstadt
Princess Margaret of Prussia     

This is an impressive list.  Thank you for all the work that must have gone into making it.

As to beauty - we used to have a saying where I worked long ago - "pretty will get you in the door, but it won't sustain you after you get in unless you have the brains to go with it".

Alix - may have been beautiful - although I have never seen it in her morose expressions - but a consort who knew her place and her job would have been a better choice.  And one who did not carry hemophilia would have been a bonus!   :-)
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Kalafrana on April 11, 2010, 05:49:26 AM
Ah, it's not just me - I have never found Alexandra beautiful either.

Ann
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Alixz on April 11, 2010, 09:28:42 AM
Of the four Hessian sisters, Victoria, Ella, Irene and Alix, I think that Ella was probably the most attractive.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and so it is hard to judge or to see why these four were considered the "most beautiful princesses" in Europe at the time.

We never see Alix smile and so perhaps that brought life to her eyes and her face and made her "beautiful".

However, to my eye, Victoria and Irene were homely.


C'est la vie!
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Kalafrana on April 11, 2010, 12:08:04 PM
Some people just do not photograph well - my mother was one (my father is just the opposite and looks better in photographs than in life!)

I've probably made it obvious on various threads that I'm not very interested in people's looks (and, in particular, with the idea that beauty excuses all kinds of character flaws).

Ann
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Grand Duchess Valeria on April 12, 2010, 11:21:40 AM
Who was Nicholas interested in, besides Alix? Are there some ladies on the list?
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Robert_Hall on April 12, 2010, 11:31:56 AM
As I have explained before, it was a longstanding rule the the Emperor and heir not marryione of their own subjects to be Empress. This dated back to Peter the Great and the bloody family feuds  vieing   for power and influence. Alex. II did indeed marry his mistress, but   the successionhad already been secured by the traditional marriage.
 This rule  applied to many European monarchies over time.  I do not think it still applies  to any now though.
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Grand Duchess Valeria on April 12, 2010, 11:44:07 AM
Yes but I don't want to mention if he was allowed to marry, I just wanted to know, if there was any woman who he was interested in. For example I believe that he liked Helene of Orleans for example (and was of course not allowed to marry her). Was there another lady he wanted to marry?
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Robert_Hall on April 12, 2010, 11:57:37 AM
I was responding to the topic of this thread, not  who he might or might not have been interested in.
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Grand Duchess Valeria on April 12, 2010, 12:06:52 PM
Ah ok, sorry :D Maybe someone could answer my question? Would be great ;)
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Kalafrana on April 13, 2010, 03:24:14 AM
'We have had a poster give us a great list of those young ladies who were available at the time.  Maybe we should delve into whom the young ladies did marry and why.'

That would be most interesting.

Ann
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: mcdnab on April 13, 2010, 02:15:14 PM
He wasn't interested in Helene of Orleans - his mother was. The Empress Marie thought a match would tighten ties between Russia and the French Republic by Nicholas marrying the pretenders daughter. Nicholas notes in his diary how uninterested he was in the idea. He was committed to Alix for a long time and I think his parents eventually caved in, possibly because of Alexander III's failing health, or because it became apparent that he wouldn't change his mind.
I've never really quite understood Marie and Alexander's antipathy to the idea. Alexander's mother had been a Princess of Hesse, Marie's mother belonged to the Hesse Cassell family. They'd only met Alix on a few occassions. It may be rather that Marie like many of her family preffered to be the instigator of a match and to keep treating her grown up children as children. It may also have been the growing anti prussian element within the court largely led and encouraged by the Empress and that would I think have done for most of the brides on the putative list. Also the Montenegrin Princesses who'd married into the imperial family were not universally popular either.
The first cousin issue ruled out in your list I assume the Edinburgh girls and the Danish and Greek cousins.

Yes but I don't want to mention if he was allowed to marry, I just wanted to know, if there was any woman who he was interested in. For example I believe that he liked Helene of Orleans for example (and was of course not allowed to marry her). Was there another lady he wanted to marry?
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Kalafrana on April 14, 2010, 03:29:52 AM
I wonder whether Nicholas's parents were concerned that Alexandra would prove a haemophilia carrier.

Ann
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Grand Duchess Valeria on April 14, 2010, 03:35:04 AM
And I wonder why his parents didn't let him abdicate. I remeber he was saying this if he would be not allowed to marry Alix. A & M had two other sons, one of them was the favourite...
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Constantinople on April 14, 2010, 04:18:12 AM
Probably they werent even thinking about hemophilia and I think that they were locked into Pauline laws.  I think that if Grand Duchess Olga had inherited the throne there wouldnt have been a revolution.  But Alexander and Marie were completely correct about Alix.
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Kalafrana on April 14, 2010, 04:38:41 AM
Bear in mind that Georgy already had TB before his father's death and Mikhail was still a boy.

Ann
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Grand Duchess Valeria on April 14, 2010, 04:43:31 AM
Bear in mind that Georgy already had TB before his father's death and Mikhail was still a boy.

Ann

Good argument, thank you!
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Alixz on April 15, 2010, 11:02:16 AM
Michael Alexandrovich was 16 when his father died.

Too young to rule without a regency.

But I think that Nicholas's threat to abdicate if he could not marry Alix was just a threat.  He would have done his duty if he had been forced into a marriage that suited his parents and his country.

After all, Alexander III and Marie were not "soul mates" when Nixa died and yet they grew to love and cherish each other and had a very happy marriage.  And, yes, they were right about Alix being unsuitable, but I wonder if they were right for the right reasons or was it just that both were anti German.

I have a question that never occurred to me before.  If someone inherits the throne with a regency, is there a coronation?  Or does that come when the new monarch attains his majority?
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Kalafrana on April 15, 2010, 12:31:37 PM
There will be a coronation, but if the monarch succeeds before adolescence, it will be delayed until he is adolescent. The Russian example I can think of is Peter II, who was 14 when he died just before his coronation. The last English monarch to succeed under age was Edward VI, who was nine. He was certainly crowned before he died at 15. Edward V, aged 12, was about to be crowned when he was deposed (his uncle, Richard III, was crowned instead). Henry VI, who succeeded at nine months, was crowned at ten.

So, if Mikhail had succeeded Alexander III in 1894, he would quite realistically have been crowned once official mourning was over. If Alexei had succeeded in 1917, then they might realistically have waited a couple of years for a coronation, but not necessarily until he was adult.

Ann
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Svetabel on December 06, 2011, 02:00:07 PM


This is a list of some of the woman who were around the same age as Nicholas and woud have been of equal rank at the time excluding caltholic Princess's.  I think his father would have liked for his son to marry one of the Montenegro Princess's.



Princess Alexandra Therese Marie of Anhalt (Dessau 4 Apr 1868-Schwetzingen 26 Aug 1958)
Princess Sibylle Margaretha Christa Thyra Hedwig Catharina of Hesse-Kassel  (Schloß Panker 3 Jun 1877-Wiesbaden 11 Feb 1953)
Princess Bertha Luise of   of Hesse-Philippsthal-Barchfeld (Burgsteinfurt 25 Oct 1874-Detmold 19 Feb 1919)
Princess Feodore Adelheid Helene Luise Karoline Gustave Pauline Alice Jenny of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (Primkenau 3 Jul 1874-Oberasbach 21 Jun 1910)
Duchess Elisabeth Alexandrine Mathilde Auguste of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (Ludwigslust 10 Aug 1869- Schaumburg 3 Sep 1955)
Duchess Friederike Wilhelmine Elisabeth Alexandrine Auguste Marianne Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (Schloß Bellevue 7 Nov 1868-Partenkirchen 20 Dec 1944)
Duchess Victoria Marie Auguste Luise Antoinette Karoline Leopoldine of Mecklenburg-Strelitez (Neustrelitz 8 May 1878-Oberkassel 14 Oct 1948)
Princess Jelena (Elena) of Montenegro(Cetinje 8 Jan 1873-Montpellier 28 Nov 1952)
Princess Anna of Montenegro(Cetinje 18 Aug 1874-Montreux 22 Apr 1971)
Duchess Sophie Charlotte of Oldenburg (Oldenburg 2 Feb 1879-Westerstede 29 Mar 1964)
Princess Bathildis Marie Leopoldine Anna Auguste of Schaumburg-Lippe (Ratiboritz 21 May 1873-Arolsen 6 Apr 1962)
Princess Friederike Adelheid Marie Luise Hilda Eugenie of Schaumburg-Lippe (Ratiboritz 22 Sep 1875-Ballenstedt 27 Jan 1971
Princess Alexandra Karoline Marie Ida Henriette Juliane of Shaumburg-Lippe (Ratiboritz 9 Jun 1879-Linz am Rhein 5 Jan 1949)
Princess Luise Elisabeth Hermine Erika Pauline of Waldeck (Arolsen 6 Sep 1873-Elmshausen 23 Nov 1961)
Duchelss Elsa Mathilde Marie of Wurttemberg (Stuttgart 1 Mar 1876-Pfaffstädt 27 May 1936)
Duchess Olga Alexandrine Marie of Wurttemberg (Stuttgart 1 Mar 1876-Ludwigsburg 21 Oct 1932)
Princess Alix of Hesse-Darmstadt
Princess Margaret of Prussia







And Princess Marie of Greece (1876-1940)...actually according to a letter of Queen Olga of Greece to Empress Maria Fedorovna, 2 ladies had a secret hope Nicholas would marry Marie. In the day of Nicholas-Alix engagement there was an earthquake in Greece and Queen Olga sadly wrote to the Empress that for  Greece it was a symbolic lament about broken dreams [marriage of Nicholas and Marie].
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: TimM on December 06, 2011, 04:11:32 PM
Nicky married Alix because he loved her, end of story.  Marie may not have been too thrilled about it, but it was her son's choice, and she had to accept it.
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Selencia on December 16, 2011, 10:42:50 PM
Marie knew and saw that Alexandra would not be a good Empress, its sad that she didn't stick to her guns as well as her husband. Though it is up in the air whether marrying a different woman would have prevented the disaster that occurred; though hemophilia wouldn't have come into play.
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: TimM on December 16, 2011, 11:36:51 PM
Quote
though hemophilia wouldn't have come into play

That wasn't a given, it was a roll of the dice.  Not all of QV's descendents had it (Kaiser Wilhem II, for example).
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Kalafrana on December 17, 2011, 05:41:03 AM
There would have been no danger of haemophilia unless Nicholas had married another descendant of Queen Victoria.

Ann
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: TimM on December 20, 2011, 05:12:59 PM
As I said, it was a genetic roll of the dice.
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Archduchess Zelia on December 21, 2011, 06:23:03 PM
I have a strange feeling that the Dowager Empress was so possessive of her son (and especially after Alexander III's death) that she would have disliked any wife of his (maybe with the exception of cousin like, for instance, Princess Maria of Greece). One of the reasons why I've always been interested in Nicky and Alix, is the fact that they actually married for love, which was a rare thing back then.
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: CountessKate on December 22, 2011, 08:12:16 AM
I have a strange feeling that the Dowager Empress was so possessive of her son (and especially after Alexander III's death) that she would have disliked any wife of his (maybe with the exception of cousin like, for instance, Princess Maria of Greece). One of the reasons why I've always been interested in Nicky and Alix, is the fact that they actually married for love, which was a rare thing back then.

Queen Alexandra's great possesiveness towards her children is probably true of her sister Marie as well, and any daughter-in-law would probably have had difficulties - Queen Mary had a very trying time of it once Alexandra realised she wasn't going to be the first consideration of her dearest Georgie, and Mary was generally approved of in advance.  Whatever the Empress may have believed, I don't think Marie of Greece or even Helene of Orleans would really have stayed quite as popular with their mother-in-law unless they were prepared to be very self-effacing indeed. 

Marrying for love amongst heirs to the throne was unusual, but not completely unknown - Franz Josef of Austria married for love, as did Wilhelm II of Germany - and indeed, the Prussian royal family, with the exception of his parents, were strongly hostile to the latter's proposed bride and it took a great deal of effort for them to accept the match. 
Title: Re: why not marrying a russian?
Post by: Alixz on December 22, 2011, 02:12:27 PM
I was never certain that Kaiser Wilhelm married for love.  The Kaserian was unkindly called ""the cow" by a lot of the relatives and remember that Wilhelm had been rebuffed by Princess Ella of Hesse when they were younger.

Because she was from Schleswig Holstein, I always that it was a sort of "binding up the conquered countries" sort of match.  Maybe I am wrong, but I never remember reading of any great love story about Wilhelm and Donna.