Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => Having Fun! => Topic started by: Kalafrana on August 30, 2012, 12:46:52 PM

Title: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: Kalafrana on August 30, 2012, 12:46:52 PM
Some weeks ago someone remarked that no contemporary seemed to have a good word for Alexander of Battenberg (Carisbrooke).

This has set me thinking. Who are those nice pleasant royal persons whom all their relations liked for their general decency, kind hearts, devotion to their countries etc etc? In order to screen out those whom nobody could bring themselves to criticise for posterity because they died in childhood, I shall set a requirement that the person must have lived to at least the age of 21, and the views are those of contemporaries.

To kick off, in no particular order:

Haakon VII of Norway
Arthur Duke of Connaught
Princess Marie Louise

We could also suggest Heinrich of Prussia and Ernest of Hesse (relations seem to have viewed him as more sinned against than sinning in relation to his break-up with Victoria Melita, which is surprising in view of contemporary attitudes to homosexuality and the rumours about stable boys).

Everyone seems to have liked and admired Max of Baden, though Alexandra Feodorovna didn't want to marry him.

Alexander of Athlone was another popular fellow of sterling character.

More please!

And perhaps we need someone to join Alexander of Battenberg on the unpopular list. This might be difficult - even the Kaiser could claim to be liked by Alice of Athlone and Empress Zita (and maybe Marie Louise).

Ann
Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: historyfan on August 30, 2012, 08:02:24 PM
I'm going to nominate Grand Duchess Alexandra Georgievna, wife of Grand Duke Pavel, mother of Dmitri Pavlovich and Maria Pavlovna the younger.

I haven't read a negative word about her. It seems like her husband loved her, her children missed her, and the family seemed only sympathetic.
Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: Kalafrana on August 31, 2012, 01:23:03 AM
I'm not going to argue seriously against Alexandra, but the cynic in me says that she was only 21 when she died, and an attractive young girl, so unlikely that any one would criticise her posthumously. Of course, even Marie Pavlonva was only 16 months old when she died, so could not remember her, though she and Dimitri would be aware of the gap in their lives (my father was four when his much older half-brother died from TB, and barely remembers him but has a definite sense of a gap in his life).

I have a nice vision of Marie Louise as a slightly dotty aunt-type, whom everybody smiled about but admired for all her hard work for charity and turned to when there were problems (it was she whom George V asked to break the news of Ekaterinburg to VMH).

Ann
Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: Janet Ashton on August 31, 2012, 05:48:24 PM

I have a nice vision of Marie Louise as a slightly dotty aunt-type, whom everybody smiled about but admired for all her hard work for charity and turned to when there were problems (it was she whom George V asked to break the news of Ekaterinburg to VMH).

Ann

I think he turned to her because she had grown up with the Hessians - particularly Alix, but she would have seen Victoria as almost a big sister, and knew how to talk to her.
Leopold Mountbatten's hilarious little ditty has bad words for Marie Louise: he calls her "mad and dirty, and damned hard to please". At a recent lecture, Hugo Vickers was heard to recount how everyone felt sorry for the old lady because she was staggering up the aisle at the present Queen's coronation - but he added that this had little to do with age and much to do with drink...:-)

Her sister (Helena Victoria), on the other hand....I don't think I've read anything nasty of her. Leopold calls her:
".... the only princess
Who is loved by us all and a downright success."

Link again to Leo's lovely work, on Marlene's blog: -

http://royalmusingsblogspotcom.blogspot.co.uk/2009/05/leos-alphabet.html

[I think it was me who posted that no-one had a good word for Alexander Battenberg/Mountbatten: look at what his brother says of him....]
Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: Janet Ashton on August 31, 2012, 05:52:01 PM



And perhaps we need someone to join Alexander of Battenberg on the unpopular list.

Alexandra of Edinburgh? Widely seen as a whiner and drip, esp. by her own mother....her sister Bee was not hugely liked either, though Leopold M. DID like HER, apparently!
Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: Ortipo on September 01, 2012, 09:28:52 AM
Stepping into the wayback machine here ---

Germanicus Caesar
Agrippina The Elder
Antonia The Younger
Titus Flavius Caesar
Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: Stardust on September 01, 2012, 03:32:11 PM


Alexandra of Edinburgh? Widely seen as a whiner and drip, esp. by her own mother....her sister Bee was not hugely liked either, though Leopold M. DID like HER, apparently!
[/quote]


Why wasn't Baby Bea liked?
Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: Kalafrana on September 02, 2012, 11:27:50 AM
Leo's Alphabet is great fun, but either he was very sharp-tongued or most of his relations were unlikeable, unless he was simply having fun.

George V wasn't overwhelmed with Helena Victoria's looks. She was known as 'Snipe' because of her nose, and when his marriage was under consideration it was sugggested he might marry her. He wrote to a relatiion saying that 'the Christians' are pressing the case of 'their lovely Snipe.

Ortipo - I am impressed you can go back that far.

Of course, once someone is dead, especially if young and good-looking, suddenly his faults disappear. Henry II's eldest son Henry the Young King (in whom I certainly don't find much to like, and who died while in rebelllion against his father) was greatly mourned in his day, and inspired a poem by Bertrand de Born which moves me to tears.

Ann
Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: Ortipo on September 04, 2012, 03:28:06 PM

Ortipo - I am impressed you can go back that far.


Tacitus and Suetonius wrote about the 1st century emperors and their families after they were dead and they assailed them mercilessly;  these are the only 4 people that come to mind that the biographers didn't endlessly slag. 

also

One could add pretty much all of the kings from the various Anglo/Saxon Chronicles to the list of nothing-bad-to-say but the Chronicles are too vague and one can draw nil regarding the character of the kings therein.
Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: Kalafrana on September 04, 2012, 03:53:51 PM
You are quite right about the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle - it doesn't even slag off AEthelred the Unready!  :D

Getting nearer to the present, untimely death always helps one's reputation. No one seems to have had a bad word to say for either Henry of Battenberg or his youngest son Maurice. Henry seems to have been a very decent fellow, and put up with a lot from Queen Victoria. Marie Louise was clearly very fond of Maurice and thought highly of him.

Ann
Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: Rodney_G. on September 04, 2012, 05:04:40 PM
I think GD Tatiana Nikilaievna would easily fall in this category. Except for a few who thought her a bit 'haughty' (and even then not to her overall detriment) she was and is admired for her sense of service and responsibility, as well as  for her beauty  of course,  which tends to create a favorable impression. And yes, her untimely death also freezes warm remembrances in place. But justly so for TN.
Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: Kalafrana on September 05, 2012, 02:40:40 AM
Ah, Rodney, I was about to say, remember the rules. But Tatiana WAS 21 when she died, so just squeezes in!

Maurice was killed at 23, so he gets in.

Ann
Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: edubs31 on September 05, 2012, 11:36:54 AM
I'm guessing we are basing this list off of those who knew certain individuals well, correct? We can't be talking about people in general because otherwise we'd have to rephrase the question as to "which royals were the most popular" and/or "which royals were the least disliked".

Clearly there had to be any number of Russians who hated Tatiana Nikolaevna simply because she was the Tsar's daughter. The privileged royal who ought to be eliminated along with the entire Tsarist regime (and sadly that's almost exactly what ended up happening).

I almost feel to have been truly well liked by all you had to be someone kind, quiet and not really in the public eye. The more famous you get the higher number of detractors you are going to have no matter how good a person you are. Out of the names listed so far (I'll keep it to 18th-20th century royalty) how would we rank them in terms of overall 'approval ratings'.

Haakon VII of Norway
Arthur Duke of Connaught
Princess Marie Louise
Heinrich of Prussia
GD Ernest of Hesse
Max of Baden
Alexander of Athlone
GD Alexandra Georgievna
Tatiana Nikolaevna

Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: Kalafrana on September 05, 2012, 11:49:19 AM

'I almost feel to have been truly well liked by all you had to be someone kind, quiet and not really in the public eye. The more famous you get the higher number of detractors you are going to have no matter how good a person you are.'

Erik

I think you are probably right on this one, but I suppose it is easier in a way to focus on those who were liked by those who knew them, rather what the public thought of them.

My personal prejudices being what they are, I would like to exclude women who were admired mainly for their looks, and 'adorable' children, and focus on those who were liked and admired for their characters. For example, the Duke of Connaught is virtually a forgotten figure now, but relations referred to him frequently, and they all seem to have liked him. Even the Kaiser described him as his favourite uncle!

Ann
Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: Stardust on September 06, 2012, 01:51:15 PM
How about princess Irina yusupova she was very quite and was not in public until she got married, but even then she was still kind of shy.
Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: GrandDuchessIsabelle on September 06, 2012, 02:42:04 PM
I nominate Lady Jane Grey, Anne of Cleves and Henry (Liko) of Battenberg.
Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: Kalafrana on September 07, 2012, 03:16:05 AM
I'd certainly agree with Anne of Cleves. Even Henry VIII seems to have liked her (alone of his discarded wives) even though he didn't fancy her!

Not sure about Lady Jane Grey, however.

How about Queen Charlotte, consort of George III, and Queen Adelaide, who managed to be on excellent terms with her husband's numerous FitzClarence brood?

Ann
Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: GrandDuchessIsabelle on September 07, 2012, 04:38:51 PM
I'm terribly fond of Queen Adelaide, so I agree with you there, Kakafrana. Ella (junior) of Hesse and Irene of Prussia?
Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: Jen_94 on September 07, 2012, 06:48:01 PM
I think so about Ella of Hesse (junior) too. I think she was well liked!
Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: Dru on September 07, 2012, 07:35:04 PM
I'm terribly fond of Queen Adelaide, so I agree with you there, Kakafrana. Ella (junior) of Hesse and Irene of Prussia?

I'm rather fond of Queen Adelaide as well, but I don't believe the Duchess of Kent liked her very much  ::)
Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: historyfan on September 07, 2012, 08:33:10 PM
Queen Adelaide is a good candidate!
Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: Duchess Hydrangea on September 07, 2012, 09:46:00 PM
Tatiana Konstantinovna, though not much is known about her I guess
Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: Kalafrana on September 09, 2012, 02:55:51 PM
I knew someone would mention Ella (junior), but she was eight when she died, so outside the rules.

Irene of Hesse and Heinrich of Prussia seem to have been well-liked by all their contemporaries (though Eric Lowe clearly doesn't like Irene!)

I'd not thought of Tatiana Konstantinovna, but she seems a good candidate. We could add her uncle Dimitri Konstantinovich (while no one has a GOOD word to say for Nikolai Konstantinovich). Apart from Nikolai, the Konstantinovichi seem to have been very pleasant people and well liked by everyone.

How about Gustav VI of Sweden and both the Connaught daughters? The only thing that could possibly be considered a bad word was Alice of Athlone's description of Patricia's paintings as 'Modern, very modern.'

Ann
Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: Kalafrana on September 10, 2012, 01:23:45 AM
One of the reasons I like Queen Adelaide is that she wasn't beautiful, and therefore people liked and admired her entirely for her character.

Ann
Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: Kalafrana on September 12, 2012, 03:41:44 PM
Two more royal ladies, this time from the medieval period.

Philippa of Hainault, wife of Edward III, seems to have been a kind and pleasant lady, and I've yet to hear a bad word about Edward I's first Queen, Eleanor of Castile.

Ann
Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: GrandDuchessIsabelle on September 15, 2012, 04:05:28 PM
Agree with Eleanor whole heartedly. Even my Grandfather who is very skeptical about female rulers thinks she's an excellent role model even for young girls. He had me do a project on her when I was younger.
How about Maria of Portugal, Isabella of Castille's daughter?
Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: Kalafrana on September 16, 2012, 06:30:43 AM
Isabelle

I don't know much about Maria of Portugal. Could you enlighten me?

Are you sure you've got Eleanor of Castile, rather than Eleanor of Aquitaine, whom plenty of people had a bad word for?

Too many Eleanors in the medieval period. We also had Eleanor of Provence, wife of Henry III, who brought with her a horde of grasping relations.

Ann
Title: Re: Time for Another List - Royalty Nobody had a Bad Word For
Post by: Kalafrana on November 20, 2015, 12:20:56 PM
I'm tempted to add both Christian Victor and Albert of Schleswig-Holstein, who seem to have been liked by everybody.

Albert managed the difficult feat of being liked by both the Kaiser and the Empress Frederick (he often joined her house parties after she was widowed).

Ann