Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna => Topic started by: Gypsy on July 18, 2004, 08:37:04 AM

Title: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Gypsy on July 18, 2004, 08:37:04 AM
What do you have on the relationship between Elizabeth and Wilhelm? Were they ever close to getting married, or did she dislike him all along? Did they speak over the years, and how serious were his attempts to get her out of Russia in the last days? Any info appreciated.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Forum Admin on July 18, 2004, 10:00:29 AM
There is a short book about her life on the Alexander Palace mainpage, which recounts Wilhelm sending the Swedish Ambassador with a message to her to leave Moscow.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Gypsy on July 18, 2004, 10:08:13 AM
Thanks, and I have a question about the main page. All I can do is click on the stories at the bottom of the page, is there a way I can access the rest of the site from the main page? I found this board through clicking on a google search. I can't get the main page to reach anything other than the books listed at the bottom.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on July 19, 2004, 11:52:28 AM
Quote
What do you have on the relationship between Elizabeth and Wilhelm? Were they ever close to getting married, or did she dislike him all along? Did they speak over the years, and how serious were his attempts to get her out of Russia in the last days? Any info appreciated.


Well, based on published info such as letters between QV and Wilhelm's mother Vicky, it does seem marriage was considered.......on Wilhelm's side at least. When he was a college student at Bonn, he apparently spent a lot of time in Darmstadt. He developed a strong attachment to Ella (who wouldn't?) and spent a good period of his college time writing her love poems. He tended to annoy his cousins with his constantly changing moods, but Ella could supposedly quiet him with a word or look and he would sit silently when she spoke. He supposedly went out of his way to avoid her after her marriage and helped spread some of the gossip about Serge. Reportedly, he had a photo of her on his desk the rest of his life and certainly when the revolution came he did his best to try and save her. I've always found it a romantic story, showing as it did a gentler side to KW and perhaps she could've proved a stabilizing influence on him, moreso than his future wife, Dona, who worshipped him with a "cowlike" devotion. I don't think Ella would've put up with some of his stuff and certainly would've made a good Empress. Her sister Irene helped Wilhelm's brother Henry in his behavior and attitudes, esp towards his mother, perhaps Ella could've done the same. BTW, Gilbert's Royal Digest's next issue contains a story on the doomed romance between the two.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: bookworm on July 22, 2004, 10:39:10 PM
All of the Hessian children supposedly disliked William because he ordered them around and made them sit and listen to him read the Bible during his visits. The biography I read of his mother made him sound like an extremely unstable boy even from the first. I don't think Ella ever considered marrying him.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on July 22, 2004, 10:49:28 PM
No, she apparently did not, though he surely did. I don't think either Vicky or Alice really supported the match though Vicky may have favored it more. I still think it could've been a successful match if "made" to do it. It certainly would've been for him, and I don't know if her life would've been more difficult either way. I"m just a sucker for unrequited love, I guess.  :)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Annie on July 23, 2004, 08:43:25 AM
Nice picture, sad story. I wonder how things might have turned out of they had married? Would she have carried hemophilia into the Hohenzollern house, and how would this have affected things? Could the sisters have shared Rasputin? Ella did not like Rasputin and denied his 'holiness' and did not believe in him at all, despite her having become a nun and seeing how her nephew was cured. Would she have fallen into the emotional trap like Alix if she had a son like Alexei? Would there still have been a World War 1 if the families had been closer? All the ifs, we'll never know.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: bookworm on July 23, 2004, 08:45:27 AM
Grand Duke Sergei vs. Kaiser Wilhelm? Is there a third theoretical option? LOL. Poor Ella. What I admire about Ella is that she truly did become a saint. She transcended the circumstances of her birth. She went into the slums of Russia. How many lives did she save in Russia? How many lives did she transform? She forgave her husband's murderer. She was murdered, but supposedly died in an exemplary way. If she'd been William's wife, she might not have become that. I think she lived the life that God meant her to live.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Annie on July 23, 2004, 08:52:40 AM
Yes, she did a lot of good in Russia, and she is a saint and that's what she was meant to be. I'm just somebody who can't quit speculating on 'ifs' that don't matter :P
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Ilana on July 23, 2004, 05:04:52 PM
Another prince mentioned for Ella was Fritz of Baden, but she was never really interested in anyone else.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on July 23, 2004, 10:05:42 PM
I like 'ifs' too and it's tempting to think of the influence for the good that Ella might've had on Wilhelm and thus subsequent world events. If she had tamed some of W's bellicosity and changed alliances, who knows how world history might've changed? (A stretch I know but fun to speculate). Changing the dynamics of the world might've been an even greater legacy.

QV was very upset at Ella's refusal to consider "good, stable" Fritz of Baden (though apparently Ella considered it somewhat as QV complained about Ella's dithering over it--considering Fritz, rejecting Serge, rejecting Fritz, considering Serge....). She wasn't nearly as furious as Empress Augusta of Germany though who was grandmother to BOTH Wilhelm and Fritz and was furious over Ella's "snubbing" of her grandsons and snubbed the Hessian princesses at gatherings.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on September 01, 2004, 08:03:06 PM
As I am such a sucker for this doomed romance, I couldn't wait to get the new issue of Gilbert's Royal Digest since they were doing an article on it. They had some quotes from letters the Kaiser wrote which are so touching (and more candid than one might have thought):
1875: Wilhelm wrote to his mother how 'very much grown' Ella was and how she is'my special pet'...she 'is exceedingly beautiful; in fact she is the most beautiful girl, I ever saw.'.....'I think that if God grants that I may live till then I shall make her my bride once if you allow it.'
1879: when Ella injured her foot and was confined to a sofa, Willy sat and her foot and read to her
1884: for wedding at Darmstadt of VMH he wrote about 'his very mixed feelings...' about being in Darmstadt and how 'the thought of those many happy days spent in peaceful friendship and love..meant that I was unable to devote myself completely to the loud rejoicing by the many young people present.'...he 'bade farewell to the dear rooms [of the Neue Palais]...for the close circle was gathered together yesterday for the last time and has been torn asunder for ever more!' [perhaps because of Ella's impending marriage 2 mos later]...'I left with a heavy heart'.
1905: VMH noted that Willy [who met her at Berlin station while she was en route to Russia to comfort Ella following Serge's murder] 'had shown grave concern for Elizabeth'
1910: Ella visited Darmstadt and Willy, unable to resist the temptation, made an unexpected visit to the family reunion

These were some details I hadn't heard before. I've always been one of those who pined over the 'what might have been' aspect. I believe (and no one try to change my mind it won't work!  ;) ) that Ella could've been such a good influence on W and he couldn't have been a worse husband than Serge. If only she could've seen past the bombast, I think she really could've brought out the good qualities he had (and I think he had a LOT that could've been nurtured by the right wife) and helped tamp down his bad ones. And her life might've been so different (I know, I know, fate probably worked it the way it was supposed to) but she may have had even more good as German Empress. Dona, blah. Vicky's life might've been so much better too if Ella could've worked the magic that Irene did on Henry. Just so poignant, the thought of Wilhelm keeping that picture on his desk his whole life.  :'(
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Martyn on September 02, 2004, 10:08:16 AM
What an incurable romantic you are Grandduchessella.  The plain fact is that Ella had no feelings for Willy and probably knew enough of the experiences of her aunt to have a good grasp of what life would be like in Berlin and Potsdam.
Do you really think that Ella would have been able to make a difference to W?  So much damage was done to him in his formative years by Hinzpeter and Vicky herself that I doubt that anyone could have changed him.  Henry is a different matter and whilst Irene was able to achieve a certain rapprochement with him and Vicky, she herself came into conflict with the latter over Ducky and Ernie's divorce (Vicky, always a fan of Ducky, decided that she was the injured party and came down firmly on her side).
Having said that we know that there is a thin line between love and hate and that Ella aroused strong emotions in Wilhelm; that he showed concern for her when her life was in real danger and that he tried to help is to his credit.
As for Dona, well, I think that Queen Victoria was right in the way that she summed her up - "foolish" and "poor little insignificant Princess" were the terms that she used to describe her.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on September 02, 2004, 12:43:46 PM
Quote
What an incurable romantic you are Grandduchessella.  The plain fact is that Ella had no feelings for Willy and probably knew enough of the experiences of her aunt to have a good grasp of what life would be like in Berlin and Potsdam.
Do you really think that Ella would have been able to make a difference to W?  So much damage was done to him in his formative years by Hinzpeter and Vicky herself that I doubt that anyone could have changed him.  Henry is a different matter and whilst Irene was able to achieve a certain rapprochement with him and Vicky, she herself came into conflict with the latter over Ducky and Ernie's divorce (Vicky, always a fan of Ducky, decided that she was the injured party and came down firmly on her side).
Having said that we know that there is a thin line between love and hate and that Ella aroused strong emotions in Wilhelm; that he showed concern for her when her life was in real danger and that he tried to help is to his credit.
As for Dona, well, I think that Queen Victoria was right in the way that she summed her up - "foolish" and "poor little insignificant Princess" were the terms that she used to describe her.


I know, I am an incurable romanitc.  :)  I know that Ella had no feelings towards William, I just WISH she had. And I do think she could've helped undo some of the damage. I think he was still young enough and her personality was strong enough. At the very least, she would've been better than 'Dona' who stroked his ego, let him run all over her, had 'calf-like' devotion to him, etc...He loved her in his way, I guess, but she was the WORST wife someone like him should've had. And didn't I tell you not to try and disabuse me of my romantic notions?  ;)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: jehan on September 02, 2004, 09:26:54 PM
And not to throw cold water on it all, but HAD they married- how would it have ended up if she and Willie had been unable to have children- we don't know whose"fault" it was that she and Sergei had no children, after all- it wasn't neccessarily Sergei's.  Or perhaps worse- how would Willie have reacted had haemophilia come into the German royal line, as it would have had a good chance of doing?  Better that things turned out the way they did, I think!
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Martyn on September 03, 2004, 03:41:50 AM
I stand reproved Grandduchessella.  Your romantic notions will be respected totally from now on.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Angie_H on September 03, 2004, 05:40:44 AM
Does anyone have pics of Wilhelm and Ella together?
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: elisa_1872 on September 03, 2004, 03:50:05 PM
Hi Angie!

Hmm.. the only ones i can think of that show them both
are the famous Coburg group photographs in 1894, with Ella at the very top, and the Kaiser on the bottom left.

PS) I do remember in "Royalty in Photographs" a caption
"This picture is interesting in that it was one of the few pictures that Prince Wilhelm took.. with Princess Ella.."
It was photographed by Voigt, and appears to be a gathering in Germany, as there are the Kaiserin Friedrich, German dukes, etc. But it appears to have been commissioned by Wilhelm, as i've peered and can't make him out in the photo.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: princessalice on September 03, 2004, 05:25:42 PM
as the Empress Frederick is one of my favorites, I always feel badly when folks put so much blame on her for the way Wilhelm II turned out.  i believe much of one's basic personality is born with them, of course, childhood and the way you are treated by the world does have some say in it, too.  but, i think, all things considered, Vicky did her best by all her children.  Wilhelm was so controlled by his grandfather, and later, of course, as  puppet of Bismark, that I don't think Vicky or Fritz had much of a chance with him anyway....Vicky was so young and most of the court was against her efforts.  of course, she was not perfect, but i think she has always gotten the bad end from everyone....
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on September 03, 2004, 06:48:03 PM
Quote
Hi Angie!

Hmm.. the only ones i can think of that show them both
are the famous Coburg group photographs in 1894, with Ella at the very top, and the Kaiser on the bottom left.

PS) I do remember in "Royalty in Photographs" a caption
"This picture is interesting in that it was one of the few pictures that Prince Wilhelm took.. with Princess Ella.."
It was photographed by Voigt, and appears to be a gathering in Germany, as there are the Kaiserin Friedrich, German dukes, etc. But it appears to have been commissioned by Wilhelm, as i've peered and can't make him out in the photo.


Well, there's Tuxen painting of QV's Jubilee--they're not too far apart there. There's also a photo of Henry & Irene's wedding and I'm pretty sure it's Ella standing right next to William. (It's posted in different thread--maybe under the Empress Frederick one?) I was lucky enough to find this photo in a sketch form and then later in photo form.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v441/grandduchessella/germangroup.jpg)
The women are from left: VMH, Louise Duchess of Connaught, Ella, Irene, Moretta & Vicky. I don't know all the men, but Duke of Connaught is directly behind Louise, William I is in front, Bernard of Saxe-Meiningen behind him (Charly's husband), William is back row center, Louis is last one in dorrway with Fritz and then Alfred Duke of Edinburgh/Coburg.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: elisa_1872 on September 04, 2004, 10:05:02 AM
Oh wonderful Grandduchessella! Your memory is more than ten times better :D
I too took a look at the photo of the wedding, and always thought that could be Ella in the right side of the picture, it looks so like her, especially the court dress photos.
Thanks again!
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Martyn on September 06, 2004, 09:35:42 AM
What a fantastic photo!  That really is marvellous.  Great to see VMH  dressed up for the occasion.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Angie_H on September 06, 2004, 09:49:11 AM
I'm re-reading Greg's book on Alexandra and they mention in there how when they visited with their cousins Wilhelm was the least liked. I'm just surprised with the way they did take pics back then that they didn't take one of the cousins together when they were younger
Angie
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on September 06, 2004, 03:07:29 PM
Quote
I'm re-reading Greg's book on Alexandra and they mention in there how when they visited with their cousins Wilhelm was the least liked. I'm just surprised with the way they did take pics back then that they didn't take one of the cousins together when they were younger
Angie


Considering how unliked he was I'm not!  ;)  Actually though, I wonder how many pictures might be out there. Vicky & Alice were very close but I don't know how much William might have visisted en famille since he was off to school & military training at a relatively young age. More photos tended to be done when groups met up--probably because they were such a hassle back then.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: gem_10 on September 07, 2004, 09:44:26 AM
Like grandduchessella I've been thinking about the doomed romance between Ella and Willy especially when I consider how sweet and caring Willy when it comes to Ella. Ella would've been a better wife for Willy than Dona and Willy would've been a better husband than Sergei. He was romantic and capable of showing affections to Ella. Ella deserves a loving and affectionate husband. Sergei loved her in his own way but I don't like the way he treated her (he treated her as a child). Willy, i think, will never treat Ella that way. He adores her so much and I think if he had been her husband, he would've worship her like a goddess! :) I also believe that Ella can change Wilhelm's attitude. It's rather sad to think that she had no influence on Sergei. But then if Ella married Wilhelm and became Empress of Germany, of course her destiny would be different. There will be no "Great Matushka" who will help the poor and the sick in Russia. There will be no Martha and Mary Convent and of course, Ella will not die a martyr's death. There will be no St. Elizabeth to remember and venerate. So even I deeply regret the failed romance between Ella and Wily, it is still best that things happen the way they are.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: ashanti01 on September 28, 2004, 09:03:50 PM
I had Ella married Willy, things would have been very different in the long run

Did Willy ever mention Ella or his feeling for her to anyone or in letters?
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: HerrKaiser on October 28, 2004, 09:41:42 AM
Ella truly was a perfect match for W. With sisters as wives of the two great European empires, a greater effort would have been in place to ensure compromise and peace. W was like a spoiled child who needed some strength at his side...who he chose. He was rebellious against his parents, but not those who he picked as his inner circle. In fact, he was quite accomodating and yeilding. Such a union would likely have furthered the popularity of the German royal family which was almost completely shouldered by Princess Cecilie. A mother-in-law/daughter-in-law combination of Cecilie and Ella would have been awesome (assuming W and Ella's son would have picked Cecilie!). The English royals would have been most pleased.
And, Ella was not the reason she and Sergei were childless. Sergei was most assuredly gay and, hence, not very likely to have spent much "romance" time poor Ella.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Namarolf on October 28, 2004, 12:22:03 PM
Is there any document (diaries, letters, etc.) to confirm that the lack of children was due to Sergey and not to Ella? As far as I know, there is still no proof about Sergey's alleged homosexuality. Anyway, being a homosexual doesn't mean you can't be a father... We know for sure that K. R. was a homosexual, and yet he had a big loving family and was a much better father and husband than his own dad ever was.

Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Robert_Hall on October 28, 2004, 01:42:16 PM
Although it is my personal opinion that Serge was probably gay, I agree it would have had nothing to do with his ability to father children.
However, the sad reality was [as still is in many cases] that any problem with propagation seemed to have been blamed on the woman, whether valid or not. Chauvanistic and unfair, but sadly true.
In such stud farms as the royal families, this would have been overly stressed, I am sure.
Cheers,
Robert
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: HerrKaiser on October 28, 2004, 02:13:23 PM
Yes, of course, tons of homosexuals married and had children, royal and commoner, then and now. "Proof" of Sergei's interests are, as with most pre-1970's lifestyles, are well locked up in a closet. Hearsay among people who I know who were global travellers and elitists during the 20's and 30's have said "everyone" knew about Sergei. Empirically, Ella became more and more committed to her faith and religion, a common result of a spouse who is not the target of the other's affection. From all accounts of how they lived, their relationship was greatly platonic. Ella wanted to be near her sister, and probably considered marriage and all that went with it, secondary.
All that being said, she and W would have made a smashing couple. He with his pomp and lofiness and her with her subtley serene and intense beauty and manner. Semi opposites that could have created a massively impressive court. Had Ella been the Kaiserin, she very likely would have picked up the agenda of Vicky. She very much loved Vicky, and any children would have had a better relationship with their grandmother.
By the by, W is also not without rumors of being gay. In his case, he clearly met the challenge of producing a large family.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Robert_Hall on October 28, 2004, 02:27:43 PM
W's "gayness" has been discussed elsewhere on this board, to generally bemused reaction I will say. I often think of him as a "motorcycle butch accountant" type. Too pompous for my taste & circle.
But, I do wonder if Ella could have tamed his ego a bit? Fascinating hypothetical scenario.  I do like very much the imagining Cecelie & whatever son she & W. may have produced in this fantasy.
Another thing though, her "charge" GD Marie seems to have had a rather harsh opinion of her. I winder if this would have been the case if she indeed did have children of her own?
Cheers,
Robert
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Jane on October 28, 2004, 02:34:38 PM
Quote
Ella wanted to be near her sister, and probably considered marriage and all that went with it, secondary


Perhaps I am I misunderstanding you, HerrKaiser, but Ella was the first to marry into the Russian Imperial familly, in 1884.  She had a full ten years in Russia before her sister married the Tsarevich.  I doubt proximity to siblings really factored into Ella's decision, considering she had no way of predicting Alix and Nicky's marriage a decade after hers.

Having said that, it is interesting to speculate whether Ella would have had a beneficial and soothing impact on Kaiser Wilhelm, had she been receptive to his romantic advances.  Her presence didn't seem to do much to improve Sergei's PR and reputation.


Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: ashanti01 on October 28, 2004, 03:16:47 PM
I don't know what Serge's feeling were towards Ella. He seemed protective of her and loved to shower with jewlery, but it seemed almost like a father & daughter relationship.

Willy seemed to have truely cared for Ella and even kept a photo of her at his desk throughout his life. This fact alone states he always cared for her. I think she might have had a positive influence on him.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on October 28, 2004, 03:25:56 PM
Quote
I don't know what Serge's feeling were towards Ella. He seemed protective of her and loved to shower with jewlery, but it seemed almost like a father & daughter relationship.

Willy seemed to have truely cared for Ella and even kept a photo of her at his desk throughout his life. This fact alone states he always cared for her. I think she might have had a positive influence on him.


He also spent a good deal of time at the University at Bonn writing quite sappy poetry to her. I would love to get a look at that! He was the only one who quieted him down too during family get-togethers. He was content to sit at her feet and listen to her speak and when she was laid up with a hurt ankle sat and read to her.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: ashanti01 on October 28, 2004, 05:44:49 PM
Like I had said, I think had she accepted Willy's offer things may have turned out differently for her and she might even have had children
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: gem_10 on November 01, 2004, 07:58:34 PM
Quote

He also spent a good deal of time at the University at Bonn writing quite sappy poetry to her. I would love to get a look at that! He was the only one who quieted him down too during family get-togethers. He was content to sit at her feet and listen to her speak and when she was laid up with a hurt ankle sat and read to her.


Oh I want to see William's poems for Ella. I think he's such a romantic person! :)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on November 01, 2004, 10:45:42 PM
I wish I'd ever seen an example--I would think he burned it. Every bio referencing his infatuation with her mentions the poems though but since I don't have the books in front of me, I wonder who the source is. Maybe it was discussed between QV and Vicky? I think this is probably the only really romantic thing I've heard of him doing--part of why I find the relationship so bittersweet. Shows a much different facet to his character than the oft-diffident way his relationship with Dona is often portrayed.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on November 01, 2004, 10:50:29 PM
Quote
Like I had said, I think had she accepted Willy's offer things may have turned out differently for her and she might even have had children


Things would've been much different, no doubt. Everything has a ripple effect on everything else so who's to say which life would've been better/worse. I can't help but think they both would've been better off, but would those who benefited by Ella's goodness once she established the convent? Or would she have had an equal effect through charitable organizations in Germany? If the problem was with Serge, I think it's a safe bet she would've had children--William obviously didn't have any trouble! If the problem was with her, who knows what the effect would've been on Germany. The next in line would've been Henry and, unless Ella's marriage changed his fate, his eldest son was a hemophiliac. But, as I said, the 'butterfly effect' as its known (that a butterly flapping its wings here can cause a typhoon in Japan or something like that--basically that every actions can affect seemingly unrelated actions) could've changed Henry eventually marrying Irene and, almost certainly, Alix marrying Nicholas.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: BaronessSophie on November 06, 2004, 07:14:51 PM
Oh, how different things would have been for sure! Perhaps World War I would never have occured!
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: felix on January 06, 2005, 08:44:11 AM
Did Ella and William ever reconcile ?
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: bluetoria on January 06, 2005, 09:00:28 AM
I doubt she changed her opinion of him but they were 'on the same side' when it came to Alix marrying Nicky...and were sitting in the same roomat the time of their engagement in Coburg. Also the Kaiser expressed sympathy for Ella at the time of Serge's death and went to great lengths to get her out of Russia during the revolution....though she declined his invitation.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on January 23, 2005, 12:54:15 AM
I isolated this picture of who I think is Ella standing next to Wilhelm at Henry & Irene's wedding.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v282/ellahesse/hessebattenberg/File1333willyella.jpg)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: bluetoria on January 23, 2005, 04:51:04 AM
Quote
I isolated this picture of who I think is Ella standing next to Wilhelm at Henry & Irene's wedding.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v282/ellahesse/hessebattenberg/File1333willyella.jpg)


Wow! That was clever!  :) It does look like Ella (& in it she looks like Alix!)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: PrinceEddy1864 on January 23, 2005, 09:27:39 AM
I always thought that was Alix standing next to Willy, but that was only because it just looked like her. It makes more sence that it would be Ella, as Alix would have only been like 16 at the time of Irene's wedding. So I too think it is Ella.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on January 23, 2005, 11:41:23 AM
Was Alix a bridesmaid for Irene? I don't know about Prussian or Hessian customs.

I feel bad for Wilhelm--having loved Ella so much and having to stand there while Henry marries his own Hessian princess.  :(
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: felix on January 24, 2005, 08:57:27 AM
G.D. E. The photo is great ! Cant tell you how much I enjoyed it. F.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on January 24, 2005, 09:32:15 AM
Thanks! This is the only other one I've been able to find of them standing anywhere near each other (circa 1882)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v282/ellahesse/hessebattenberg/File1868ellaandwilhelmalbum.jpg)

full photo (many German royalties I don't know)
women from left: Victoria Milford-Haven, duchess of Connaught, Ella, Irene (behind man), Moretta and Vicky

men include: Duke of Connaught (behind wife), Crown Prince Carlos of Portugal (blond man next to Ella), Wilhelm I (next to Carlos), Willy, GD Louis, Fritz and Affie (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v282/ellahesse/hessebattenberg/File1868calbum.jpg)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: HerrKaiser on January 26, 2005, 01:47:22 PM
You are the source of all sources!  :) Thanks GDella. Even young Wilhelm looks good here and Vicky and Fritz a stunning couple.
At the time of the photo at Henry's wedding, both Ella and Wilhelm were probably slighty uncomfortable about their feelings. Who wouldn't be? I suspect part of Ella's "dislike" of him was in part an overcompensation in order to shield any sense of romantic feelings she might have held at one time.
By the by, is there any evidence that Wilhelms cousins  ever saw him without a shirt and viewed his deformed arm? Did Ella or anyone ever comment?
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: bluetoria on January 26, 2005, 04:45:07 PM
Quote
I suspect part of Ella's "dislike" of him was in part an overcompensation in order to shield any sense of romantic feelings she might have held at one time.


Surely not!  :) I thought Victoria said that Ella thought him 'absolutely horrid'...even as a little boy she was never that fond of him, was she?
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: TJ Jones on May 31, 2005, 09:49:45 PM
How would a remarriage of a royal lady been seen? I would have liked to see Ella remarry a penniless German prince. Did this thought of remarriage ever cross her mind? She was still relatively young and, beautifull when Sergie was killed. I don't have a lot of information on Ella but I understand that many people here do. Where can I find references to her personal life?
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Georgiy on June 01, 2005, 04:18:52 PM
However, had she wished to remarry, she would have been able to in the Orthodox Church, being a widow. Remarriage is also allowed for divorced people (though at the discretion of the Bishop so in some jurisdictions it is easier than others), but in all, one can only be married 3 times - and that would be highly unusual. Marriage in the Orthodox Church should be considered as being married for life, and is a sacred ceremony - a sacrement of the Church, not something to be entered into lightly.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on October 27, 2005, 08:22:33 PM
from over on the Vicky & Dona thread on the Hohenzollerns--I'm moving it so we can discuss without diverting the V/D discussion

Quote
Given how sour Vicky and Dona's relationship turned later, I find it ironic that Vicky was the one who pushed Willy towards marrying her in the first place. Of course Willy had his heart set on Ella, and when Vicky found out, she wrote 'I am not to have the dream realised in which I often indulged and which had become the wish of my heart.' --in regards to Dona!  ::)

Years later, when Willy's own grandson was facing the prospect of having to choose duty over love, Willy wrote to him, 'You will no doubt well know that only few soverigns in the world are lucky enough to be able to marry the object of their first love. For example, in my youth exactly the same thing happened to me, when my parents refused to allow me to marry my cousin Ella of Hesse--a relationship which my grandmother Kaiserin Augusta especially fostered and which I had begged my parents from the bottom of my heart to permit. My heart bleeding, I obeyed the severe command of duty.'

Apparently Vicky felt Willy and Ella were 'too closely related' and the fear that Haemophilia would be passed down to a potential Kaiser of Germany was always at the back of her mind. However, none of these arguments came up when Heinrich married Irene--so go figure. I suppose by that time it wasn't likely that any of H and I's sons would inherit the throne...


Quote
Apparently Vicky would get annoyed as she felt that Alice was encourging Willy towards Ella. Alice herself seemed quite pleased about Willy's feelings, writing letters proudly boasting that Willy wished to marry Ella...  This leads me to believe Ella couldn't have disliked Willy that much (at the time anyway)...because why would Alice say and do things to embarass her daughter, and make her feel uncomfortable? (And at one point Vicky was sure that it was Victoria that Willy wanted to marry! Could you imagine!  ;D) Also, since Vicky seemed to have no problem cutting Willy down with remarks about no woman wanting him with his disabled arm, when he became too full of himself--I couldn't imagine her having a problem with speaking plainly about Ella simply not wanting to marry him!


Quote

Another quote I thought would be of interest:

Willy to Vicky in 1875 (when Ella was only 11)

'Cousins look very nice, Victoria full of mirth, had a very good complexion; Ella--who is my special pet--is much grown and is exceedingly beautiful, in fact she is the most beautiful girl I ever saw. She is more quiet than Victoria ( ;D) but still very intelligent. She and I both love eachother warmly... I think that if God grants that I may live till then I shall make her my bride once you allow it.'

Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Caleb on October 28, 2005, 11:06:47 AM
I read that not many of the relatives particularly like Wilhelm. In Charlotte Zeepvat's book "The Camera & the Tsars" the kaiser is described as "an inconvientent relative"...but the alliances (and family ties) forced them to be at least cordial with the kaiser.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 30, 2005, 08:22:44 AM
On the picture taken on the marriage of Prince Heinrich and Princess Irene. I don't think it was Ella standing next to Wilhelm, but his own sister Princess Charlotte.

The cousins do look like each other. I match that picture with another taken on Friedrichhof of the brothers and sisters of the Kaiser Whilhelm II, and came to that conclusion. No I think Ella would have been standing on the other side of the alter, with Victoria, Alix and their father, Grand Duke Ludwig.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: bluetoria on October 30, 2005, 08:42:27 AM
Have you noticed on the very famous picture of all the relatives taken at Coburg in 1894, how the Kaiser appears to be looking up at Ella who is standing a long way from him? Or is that my imagination?  :-/
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 30, 2005, 08:55:00 AM
Yes I agree that Wilhelm is looking at the direction of Ella, but as you say it was a long distance away from him, so he could have been looking at any of his cousins standing in that direction. Anyhow he could well be stealing a glance at Ella, whose photo (next to another of his fixation, his Aunt Alix) was put in his study.

Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 30, 2005, 09:02:24 AM
On the subject of Ella & Wilhelm, it was a non-starter.

Ella was not in love with him and most likely wouldn't have married him. If she had, I think he would have been more intimated by her than Dona. Ella would have had the power to dabble in politics had she been more ambitious (a situation which would have had the envy of Vicky, who was denied her all her life). And yet I think Wilhelm may have turned up a better man had he married Ella, who would not have put up with the nonsense Dona had to endure.

I know too many "could have's"...
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: gem_10 on November 01, 2005, 12:59:31 AM
I believe Ella would have become a good Empress had she married Willy, and the whole German Empire will not crumble like that. Willy's aggresiveness resulted World War I and I don't think Ella would have tolerated Willy's aggressiveness. She had a great deal of influence over him when they were young and he loves her so much. I think his love for her is enough so that he will listen to her advices. NOt only that, Ella's personality perfectly balances that of Willy's and she could have turned him into a very good man  ;D . By the way, I didn't know that Vicky is against the idea of Willy marrying Ella. She didn't like Ella, did she?
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Alicky1872 on November 01, 2005, 03:56:09 AM
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I believe Ella would have become a good Empress had she married Willy, and the whole German Empire will not crumble like that. Willy's aggresiveness resulted World War I and I don't think Ella would have tolerated Willy's aggressiveness. She had a great deal of influence over him when they were young and he loves her so much. I think his love for her is enough so that he will listen to her advices. NOt only that, Ella's personality perfectly balances that of Willy's and she could have turned him into a very good man  ;D . By the way, I didn't know that Vicky is against the idea of Willy marrying Ella. She didn't like Ella, did she?


I have to agree with what you've just said, Lunarmaiden, in regards to Willy being a changed man, if he had been allowed to marry his Ella! He wrote about her so tenderly, you have to stop for a second and think...'Is this Kaiser Wilhelm II, the All Highest talking?'  ;D On the subject of Vicky and Ella...from what I could gather, I don't think she disliked Ella personally, she seemed to admire Victoria more (and probably would have enjoyed having her as a daughter in law, just think of what their conversations would be like!) but all I've read leads me to believe it was the idea of Willy marrying his first cousin that Vicky disliked, not Ella herself.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on November 01, 2005, 07:56:14 AM
I don't know if WW1 would've been prevented--there were so many factors in so many different nations. However, I think that Wilhelm's character definitely would've developed differently and, with her strong personality and the more liberal tendencies from the Hessian court, may have helped steer Wilhelm away from some of the conservative influences. Then again, Ella absorbed some of Serge's conservative views and proved fairly submissive to him and his personality. The difference could've lain in the fact that Wilhem positively adored her (writing by his own account very sappy poetry to her while a student at Bonn) while Serge's feelings--and their true relationship-- still remain somewhat of a mystery.

Another interesting aspects lies in the fact that if Ella had married Wilhem, would Alix have married Nicholas? They not only met through her visits to Ella but she was the conduit between them during the painful years of indecision. I don't think that Alix would've married Eddy--Ella and her other siblings weren't keen on it--but she may have ended up reigning in a small duchy in Germany and had a much more peaceful life.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 01, 2005, 10:20:59 AM
No I don't think Ella could have changed the course of histroy. However I truly believe that Wilhelm will be a much moderate person than the one that was spoiled by Dona's affection. Ella with her beauty and influence, could have created to more harmonous household (which her sister Irene did achieve at a lesser level).She could have taken another beautiful woman's mantle, Queen Louise of Prussia. With her beauty she could have conquered Willy and the old kaiser (who was in love with Empress Sisi and liked Alix of Denmark a lot).
and her tact could have work wonders with old Augusta and Vicky. She could have captured all hearts in Berlin just as she did in Russia. However that was not meant to be.

Another senario would also be true, had Ella produced children with haemophelia. Would Willy be as wonderfully as Nicky or as selfish as Alfonso XIII. I tend to think the latter...

Yes. Vicky has no qualms about Ella as a daughter-in-law. She main concern was the connection was too close. Also she deemed Ella too girlishly moody and not natural enough. She wrote to her daughter Sophie openly saying that she prefer the natualness of the Wales girls and Ducky to Alix and Ella.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on April 03, 2006, 11:44:43 AM
Changing the course of history would have been hard for one woman, especially given all the issues involved. But I do think that if Ella had married the Kaiser, they would have made a very interesting couple, to say the least. They were both interesting, dynamic people, and they might be remebered fondly as one of the great royal couples had they surmpunted their individual differences and been united. It woudl have been hard to be united if their son or sons proved to have hemophilia. I myself don't think Ella was a carrier, but we will never know. I don't think the Kaiser would have much liked hemophiliac sons, of cpurse, and this might have created issues. Ella would never have married him, though, as all powers were against it, ( thus, no pressure), and she never cared for him personally at all, in fact disliked him.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on May 02, 2006, 11:50:25 AM
It's possible, although a long shot to say that. Of course, anyone can understand why Ella did not marry Wilhelm. He was a mix of bad and good qualities as we all are, but he was horribly pompous, and aware of his own worth. The only type of woman who could really have stood him was a quiet mouse type like Dona, although she wasn't as a good a wife that way. Ella can't be blamed for avoiding him. But he did really care for her, and even had she had hemophiliac sons, I don't think that would have changed. I think the infertility issue, or lack of romance issue was with Sergei, not Ella. Ella might have been able to bring out the Kaiser's better qualities. I don't think their marriage would have been a disaster, although I am not sure if it would have changed history either. I think it might have made Wilhem a better person, and given Ella a chance at a more normal life than being Sergei's wife.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: TzarinaAlex on May 07, 2006, 11:38:32 AM



    Had Willy and Ella married I think she would have tried have done her best to keep WWI from happening. Willy would not have been a overbearing preening clost homosexual that he was. Dona accepted the fact (and probaly knew ) he was a closet homosexual, but being as plain as she was being Empress of Germany was far better than being a dowdy princess from Augustenburg. As to Ella she would have dealt  Willy with far better since GD Sergi was a gay and a control freak he kept her like a doll. Willy would have given her passion and she would have finished the work of Vicky. My opinion is that Sergi made Ella a cold personality, Willy would have challenged her and given her purpose in her charitable work in reforming Germany.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eddie_uk on May 07, 2006, 01:29:36 PM
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    Had Willy and Ella married I think she would have tried have done her best to keep WWI from happening. Willy would not have been a overbearing preening clost homosexual that he was. Dona accepted the fact (and probaly knew ) he was a closet homosexual, but being as plain as she was being Empress of Germany was far better than being a dowdy princess from Augustenburg..

Hello :) Do we have facts to support these statements? Although I do not know a great deal about Willy, though enough to know he treated his mother disgracefully, I have not heard of him being a possible homosexual.

Thank you :)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on May 07, 2006, 03:23:15 PM
I don't think was...although he was hooked at one point to BDSM. He asked a prostitute to tie him up...The woman later blackmailed him. Bismark helped him out of that (from John Rohl's books on Wihelm). What a choice for Ella, either Willy or Serge...No wonder she wanted to become a nun... :(
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: lilavanderhorn on May 07, 2006, 05:14:25 PM
I do not think William was gay.  He was a man's man.  He had to be ultra macho to prove himself.  That does not make him homosexual.  I read in Greg King's latest book that he was well aware of Sergei's affairs with young men.  Of course he and everyone else.  I got the impression that he made fun of it in an "I told you so way."   Then he sort of bad mouthed poor Ella after she became a nun.  I was at B&N reading the book, so I skimmed through very fast, so I might not have gotten that right.  Interestingly enough, he got married not too long after Dona's death.  Wasn't there a standard mourning period?  He certainly moved fast.  Here is a link to some videos of him and his (I assume) new wife.
http://www.huisdoorn.nl/test/index2.html
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on May 07, 2006, 05:47:28 PM
It seems the genesis of the stories regarding any homosexuality come from the fact that his closest friend, Philip Eulenburg (sp), was 'outed' in a very public way during the Kaiser's reign. Plus, he seemed to associate almost entirely with men, having very little to do with women.

As for his remarriage, he seems to have not been able to cope well with being on his own.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: nelly on May 07, 2006, 07:03:40 PM
Quote
It seems the genesis of the stories regarding any homosexuality come from the fact that his closest friend, Philip Eulenburg (sp), was 'outed' in a very public way during the Kaiser's reign. Plus, he seemed to associate almost entirely with men, having very little to do with women.

As for his remarriage, he seems to have not been able to cope well with being on his own.


I rather think he was a repressed homosexual.  Certainly the horseplay he and his buddies engaged in was rather strange ::) ::)  The intense macho act also points that way.  Judging by the letters he wrote his mother in his teens, there was something unbalanced there, also.  It does seem that his visits to Dona's bedroom aside, he was rather a mess sexually.

What a choice for Ella--Serge vs Willie :-/
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on May 08, 2006, 08:47:32 AM
I think Wilhelm was a mess in general, although I think he was straight. He was a man's man, and that can be misinterpreted. If Ella had married him, she would no doubt have had a difficult marriage as with Sergei. Wilhelm was a bit warmer though. Ella deserved better than either of these men, really.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on May 08, 2006, 05:47:38 PM
I think Ella would have had a happier life had she married Fritz of Baden, A nephew of Empress Augusta. Both Serge and Willy had major problems in their sexual lives, and could be a bit unbalanced. However both Willy and Serge were powerful and rich. Although I believe Ella married Serge because she felt sorry for him and wanted to protect him...
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on May 08, 2006, 09:19:23 PM
That's true--Frtiz often gets overlooked in the 'who should Ella have married' scenario. He was QV's choice and the Empress Augusta was for it as well. I think Ella would've had a contented life in Baden--there were a good number of opportunities for charity work along the lines that she was familiar with in Darmstadt. I haven't read much about him, apart from the letters to/from QV, but he seems to have been a decent fellow and Baden was a pretty liberal environment it seems.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on May 09, 2006, 09:15:26 AM
Yes, for a woman like Ella, neither of the men we are talking about ( Sergei of Russia, or Kaiser Wilhelm) are to be wished on anyone. Perhaps she would have been happier with this German Prince.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on May 09, 2006, 01:24:13 PM
Anyone have any photos and information on Fritz of Baden ?
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on May 09, 2006, 06:21:34 PM
Friedrich II, Grand Duke of Baden
b.1857; abdicated Nov 1918; d. 1928
m. 1885 Hilda of Nassau, Princess of Luxemburg (sister of GD Wilhelm)

They had no children, so the succession went to his nephew, Prince Max of Baden (he of the broken engagement to GDss Helen Vladimirovna).

He was the son of GD Frederick and Pss Louise of Prussia. Louise was the only daughter of Kaiser Wilhelm I. This made her Fritz's sister (and Vicky's sister-in-law) and only paternal aunt to Kaiser Wilhelm II. (I wonder what Wilhelm's reaction would've been if Ella had married his 1st cousin and lived nearby!)

He had a sister, Victoria (1862-1930) who married Gustav V of Sweden. Their eldest son married (1) Margaret of Connaught and (2) Louse Battenberg (by then Lady Louise Mountbatten).  There was a brother, Ludwig, who died at 20 mos.

Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on May 09, 2006, 06:43:39 PM
(http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f282/vickyandfritz/germany/Foto00343630291606.jpg)

(http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f282/vickyandfritz/germany/c6407.jpg)

(http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f282/vickyandfritz/germany/1075542934778_1075957063815_Baden1.jpg)

Re: the fallout from the attempted matchmaking:

QV to VMH 1 Jan 1883: ' Do tell me what you think abt Ella & Fritz of Baden? He is excellent? & I hear from all sides did his work admirably & with great selbst standigkeit. [independence] Ella shd not marry for a year or 2--but it wd be a vy nice & comfortable position for her.'


Vicky to QV 6 Mar 1883: 'You will have heard that there was some little disagreeableness here--between Louis [GD of Hesse] and the Baden family. I will not touch upon it because it is no business of mine. I only think that they were a little hard on Louis, and I felt very sorry for him.

QV to VMH 7 March 1883: 'How very unfortunate it is of Ella to refuse good Fritz of Baden so good & steady, and with such a safe, happy position, & for a Russian. I do deeply regret it. Ella's health will never stand the climate wh. killed your poor Aunt & has ruined the health of almost all the German Psses. who went there...You told me, only quite lately darling child, that you thought Ella cared for no one? What does this all mean? It will give poor Papa much trouble & annoyance but I am doing all I can to make it smooth with all the Empress who is badly annoyed. ' [Footnote: The German Empress was indeed upset at Ella's refuseal of the hand of Fritz of Baden and 'cut her dead' at a ball soon after the news became known. 'The Empress seems very angry--she and the Badens had made sure of it--unwisely'.]

QV to Vicky: 14 Mar 1883: 'Your account of the affair about Ella is just mine who know all from Louis who deeply regrets it. But it is most unjust to accuse Louis of want of openness. The only chance was to wait--instead of which Louise and Fritz [Sr] hurried it on, and Louis could not in justice to his child help telling her that others had wished to marry her--when she declared she would not accept poor Fritz of B. junior. Perhaps he did not make himself agreeable or make his wishes very evident? A russian marriage would be very painful to me and it is not wished by Louis, anyhow none is to be wished for at present. I can't do anything about Irene. I am sure that would not either be likely.'

QV to VMH 21 Oct 1883: 'I own, I think Irene is right when, quite naively, a propos of Ella's not taking Fritz of B wh. I said I regretted as I thought she wld not easily find so good a person--(tho' I never blamed her refusing him if she did not care for him)--she said, 'Oh! I tink she wld be happy with anybody!' Pray don't let poor Irene hear this. I said to Papa...that whatever I felt I did not intend to follow the example of certain people's behavior with respect to F of BW when Ella refused him.'

After the Fritz Baden plans fell through, and it seemed that Serge was making inroads, QV for awhile pinned her hopes to a potential match with Carl of Sweden (who later married Ingeborg of Denmark and was the father of Queen Astrid of Belgium and CPss Martha of Norway) but it doesn't seem this went beyond a preliminary discussion.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on May 09, 2006, 06:47:15 PM
Fritz with his eventual wife Hilda of Nassau

(http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f282/vickyandfritz/germany/GrandDukeFrederickIIofBaden1.jpg)

(http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f282/vickyandfritz/germany/Baden1.jpg)

(http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f282/vickyandfritz/germany/d3791.jpg)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on May 09, 2006, 08:20:25 PM
I wonder about Fritz of Baden (apart from Vicky and Queen Victoria), are there any reports about his character. I think he is less complicated and needy as both Willy and Serge seemed to be.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: TampaBay on May 10, 2006, 06:13:52 AM
Quote
Friedrich II, Grand Duke of Baden

They had no children, so the succession went to his nephew, Prince Max of Baden (he of the broken engagement to GDss Helen Vladimirovna).



Did not QV want Alicky to marry Max of Baden at one time?

TampaBay
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: TampaBay on May 10, 2006, 06:15:30 AM
Quote
I wonder about Fritz of Baden (apart from Vicky and Queen Victoria), are there any reports about his character. I think he is less complicated and needy as both Willy and Serge seemed to be.

He must have been smart and well educated because he was the last Imperial Chancelor of Germany.

TampaBay
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on May 10, 2006, 08:53:56 AM
That was his cousin, Prince Max of Baden.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on May 10, 2006, 08:55:59 AM
It's defintely an interesting possibility that she may have married him ( the Baden prince). I am not sure she would have wished to stay in Germany though, and be separated from all her royal relatives by World War I, and be on the loosing side. She was always a woman who had common sense, and I feel she would not have wanted to be grouped with such individuals as the man she might have married, the Kaiser. Of course, had she married him, perhaps so much woudn't have happened that was bad.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on May 10, 2006, 08:56:51 AM
The Baden royal family was pretty well-educated it seems. Both GDs Friedrich were closely involved in the University of Heidelburg--Jr even attended there and was involved in student organizations. As the GD, both men served as provost (or a position like that) of the University and were instrumental in making it a very prestigious university. There's even an inscription in the Library about GD Friedrich but I'm not sure which one. They were also pretty enlightened and greatly concerned about the welfare of their Jewish citizens, in stark contrast to many European royal families.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on May 10, 2006, 09:03:36 AM
Quote
It's defintely an interesting possibility that she may have married him ( the Baden prince). I am not sure she would have wished to stay in Germany though, and be separated from all her royal relatives by World War I, and be on the loosing side. She was always a woman who had common sense, and I feel she would not have wanted to be grouped with such individuals as the man she might have married, the Kaiser. Of course, had she married him, perhaps so much woudn't have happened that was bad.

Of course if you don't love somebody, you don't love them, but looking at in of the face--temperaments, situation, etc...it would seem to have been a good match. WW1 was 30 years off so she would've had all those decades to live peacefully in Germany. She also would've at least been with Irene & Ernie (she was his favorite sister). She would've been very near to Darmstadt--just a couple of hours--which would've been a plus. She also could've done charity work straight off rather than having to wait until the last decade of her life to make it a substantial part of her life. The Baden family was very involved in their Grand Duchy and Ella could've been a Baden version of Alice. Of couse, GDss Louise lived until at least 1910 (I'm not sure of her exact date of death but she was at King Manuel of Portugal's wedding) so it would've been a shared duty but nonetheless. She also would've been able to get over to see QV fairly frequently which would've pleased both of them as she would've also seen her sister Victoria more often as well. And considering Alix probably wouldn't have crossed paths with Nicholas since there was no Ella to visit in Russia, there's a large chance that she would've married a German princeling as well--if she hadn't caved and married Eddy--so she actually would've had more of her siblings around her during WW1. All hypothetical of course but it does seem it would've been a calm and contented path had Ella's heart been engaged in that direction.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on May 10, 2006, 09:14:47 AM
This might have been a beneficial course. Her life would definetly been more more simple and happy than other wise. She might have been more in her element, and it would have been better for her before World War I, although I am not so sure about after. Ella was someone who might have been happier leading a normal normal existence than she did in Russia.. But then, her match with Sergei was something of a love match.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on May 13, 2006, 03:51:55 AM
I guess it wasn't a traditonal love match. Ella's love for Serge came with a bit of feeling sorry for him (wishing to take care of him), admiring his intelligence and his stories of a far-away enchanted land called Russia. His riches was another added attraction, but I think Serge soulful and artistic nature greatly attrached Ella as well. I agree that had Ella married into Baden, all their lives could indeed have turned out much happier... :(
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on May 18, 2006, 03:48:03 PM
That is true- Baden might have been a better place for her. She had some happiness with Sergei. It was not as bad as some Royal marriages turned out. I'm not sure their royal relatives ever thought they were  that happy though. It's hard to judge how much good the marriage of Sergei and Ella had, particularly from retrospect.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on May 18, 2006, 06:49:27 PM
Well...Had she marry Fritz, Ella might have a more balanced life, some children and less dependent on religion as a means of escape as she later did. However yes, Ella will have less jewels, less parties to go and of an importance in society.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: TampaBay on May 19, 2006, 06:13:37 AM
Quote
I guess it wasn't a traditonal love match. Ella's love for Serge came with a bit of feeling sorry for him (wishing to take care of him), admiring his intelligence and his stories of a far-away enchanted land called Russia. His riches was another added attraction, but I think Serge soulful and artistic nature greatly attrached Ella as well. I agree that had Ella married into Baden, all their lives could indeed have turned out much happier... :(


Was Elaa really that unhappy prior to Serge's death?

TampaBay
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on May 19, 2006, 10:53:47 AM
Well...I think Ella was content with her life by that stage, however she was a woman unfulfilled (no children of her own and a life of restictions). The details of Serge's life must have reached her ears, but as a proud woman herself, she couldn't resign herself to believe it. The pitying looks and whispers must be hard for her to bear. The increase of her interest in religion seemed a natural outlet for her. Ella still loved Serge in her own way, but tension in the marrige was noted.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on May 19, 2006, 12:08:26 PM
Some tension did exist, very true. And Ellla was reasonably satisfied, but I don't she ever found what she was looking for at the time the marriage started. She may have had all the perks of being the wife of a grand duke, but these may have meant little to her as time went by. She wanted to be fulfilled in a deeper way, one that might have happened had she made a marriage elsewhere. So her marriage wasn't completely unhappy, but it wasn't really fulfilling.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on May 19, 2006, 09:38:53 PM
Yes...although it was be jarring of Ella's pride to have all these relatives speculating about her marriage. Pitying glances shot at her direction with gossiping at every turn during the social events. The real reson why she was unable to have a baby, and Serge's alleged homosexual tendencies and minions. On top of that, to accept a pair of children into her life, who were daily reminders of what she cannot have. I can relate why it was hard for Ella to be warm towards them. Yet when Serge died, she opened herself again for a new life and never looked back. That is why all of us wonder if Ella had picked Willy or Fritz, would she had been so drawn to religion ? My speculation is that most likely not... :-?
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on May 24, 2006, 05:17:29 PM
Well, I am not sure if she would have turned to religion, although that was perhaps something that was just inherent in her. She most likely did find it hard, the attitudes of relatives. She knew they didn't view her marriage as happy nor did it seem so to outsiders, even if she found happiness in it, a little bit. It was not traditional happiness, nor a traditional marriage. She had to turn to something following the death of her husband, and the removal of any meaning she had. But perhaps she was one of those spiritual people anyway, no matter who she married, although married to the Baden Prince she might never have gotten the chance to express too much interest in Religion, at all.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on May 24, 2006, 09:59:20 PM
Yes I agree, although had she married Fritz or Willy, she might have some children to take her mind off religion a bit. However having said that, Ella was the moxt spiritual of Alice's daughters. Alice herself was attracted to the deeper meaning of life in her later years, and so was Ella's niece Alice (VMF's daughter). So I think the chances are she would be involved in some way, but not all the way as she dod as a nun... :-?
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: CatherineNY on May 25, 2006, 12:09:23 PM
Perhaps I'm letting myself be influenced by Maria Pavlovna's account of Ella, but I have the sense that she had a cold side, very much enjoyed the worldly side of being married to a Grand Duke, and might well have been frustrated at the court of Baden. She was not particularly warm towards Maria and her brother, and she may not have been a very warm mother. I certainly acknowledge her holiness and her courage at the end of her life, but that is a different matter from assuming she would have been happy as the wife of Fritz of Baden, with a big family, rather than what she got with Serge.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on May 25, 2006, 12:32:41 PM
Yes I agree you must be. As VMH once said about Alix to Ella "If only you can look into her soul !" Ella was a sensative girl and was attracted to the needy side of Serge. He always had a haunted side. Around the time of his marriage he said he wanted to get marry early since he was convinced he was going to die young (perhaps looking at what happen to his father had scarred him). Ella felt protective of him as she saw how much he suffered at being made fun of by his brothers because he had to wear a corset for his back. Ella was very warm to children in general and both Greek Minny and Felix Yussopov remembered the kindness she shown them. It should be also noted that Dimitri did not seem to hold any grudges against Ella and they seemed to get on fine. Greek Minny said of her niece Marie of being spolit and selfish at times, perhaps Ella reacted to that. However one must agree that the feelings of a childless woman faced with two children, who were loved by her husband in every way. It must be a mockery to someone as proud as Ella. However after Serge went, Ella repented her jealousy and apologized to Marie (she wrote that in her memoirs). When Ella fixed Marie with Prince Wilhelm of Sweden. She told her to think carefully before going her answer. Marie changed her mind but was warned by the trouble maker Irene (hardly Ella's fault). It was that marriage that guarentee her future. When Marie got broke and needed help it was the Swedish Royal Family that came to her resure. A finally blessing from Ella... :P
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on May 25, 2006, 02:12:35 PM
Ella also gave her a number of her jewels when she entered the convent--including her wonderful emerald kokoshnik tiara--which Marie was later able to sell when she needed money. The two also had a bit of a rapprochment when Marie was older and perhaps things were less painful--Marie was awfully attached to her father and rather resentful of Serge and Ella. A very complex relationship.

Ella was also a bit of a mother to her brother Ernie. It is often assumed that Alix was his favorite but based on writings, including his memoirs, it seems he was most devoted to Ella, even naming his only daughter after her. Perhaps it is a coincidence but in many family photos the two (Ernie and Ella) are often nearby each other.

It seems that the only younger person that Ella had serious problems with was Marie, though perhaps she also did better with boys than girls--her main admirers seem to have been of the opposite sex--Felix, Dmitri, Ernie, Alexander Mikhailovich.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on May 25, 2006, 09:28:10 PM
Yes, however you must remember that both Serge and Ella were very let down by Paul marrying his mistress. So the seperation was necessary by his exile. Indeed Ella was a favourite of Ernie, but she was part parent and part sibling (VMH was almost a part and Alicky entirely a sibling). Very sensative himself, it would be natural for him to be close to Ella who was of the same temperment.

I don't she only favoured boys, both Greek Minny and Missy were fans of Ella. As these two girls represent two different styles (tomboyish and girly). You can see Ella's appeal is quite across the board.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: TampaBay on May 26, 2006, 06:12:06 AM
Missy was a big fan of Ella too!

TampaBay
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eddie_uk on May 26, 2006, 07:14:45 AM
Hi :) are Ernies memoirs published? Would love to read what he wrote about Ella and Alix!!
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on May 26, 2006, 11:05:44 AM
Unfortunately not... :( Although his letters to the Kaiser I heard were in Darmstadt.  ::)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: HerrKaiser on September 16, 2006, 02:47:32 PM
when did Willy and Ella actually see each other for the last time? Did Willy attend the services for her assasinated husband? thanks.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Helen on September 16, 2006, 03:34:29 PM
Hi :) are Ernies memoirs published? Would love to read what he wrote about Ella and Alix!!
Yes, they are:  Erinnertes by Ernst Ludwig, Grossherzog von Hessen und bei Rhein; Eduard Roether Verlag, 1983 [in German].
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on September 16, 2006, 03:42:37 PM
when did Willy and Ella actually see each other for the last time? Did Willy attend the services for her assasinated husband? thanks.

I'm not sure when they last met. He didn't attend the services for Serge. I think Henry might've represented him but I'm not sure.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: HerrKaiser on September 16, 2006, 05:19:29 PM
. Just so poignant, the thought of Wilhelm keeping that picture on his desk his whole life.  :'(

I am thinking that with all the negative attitudes about Dona, it seems to me a normal compensation to be overly "lovely" and subservient attitude towards her husband when she had his "love" for Ella shoved in her face their whole married life.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 16, 2006, 07:48:07 PM
The same as Kaiserin Augusta had to see Elise Radziwill's portrait on WilhelmI's deask.  :(
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: ilyala on September 18, 2006, 02:03:57 AM
it really makes me feel sorry for dona... and augusta...
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 18, 2006, 03:23:22 AM
Well..They were both second choices... to begin with.  :(
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on September 18, 2006, 12:27:23 PM
Ella was very complex, amd not easily understood. She ws perhaps a contradiction in some ways. But she woudn't have been happy as the wife of Wilhelm, either way. And I am not sure he would have been happy in the end either, had they married.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 18, 2006, 09:02:19 PM
I agree...Ella would felt the constrainst in Berlin.  :(
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on September 20, 2006, 08:34:25 AM
Yes, the flamboyant Russian court was more were she belonged. ;)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: HerrKaiser on September 20, 2006, 10:00:51 PM
why do you say that, Imperial angel? interesting, I thought things flambouyant were not Ella's style. Wasn't she discouraged by the Court's social requirements? thanks!
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 20, 2006, 11:08:59 PM
Well...Ella had a flamboyant nature (changing clothes and jewels during a party was one of them). Like a ture daughter of eve , she was fussy about how she looked. The Prussian court was very striffling and I do not see Ella enjoying life under Old Fog Horn (meaning Empress Augusta, that nickname was used by Sisi and others...) and Vicky.  :(
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on September 21, 2006, 10:21:04 AM
Yes, I agree. Obviously, later in life Ella was anything but flamboyant. But in her youth, she liked those sort of things. She had a more serious nature later that makes us only think of that, and not of her youth. She wasn't prim Prussian royalty, at all, so she woudn't have been happy married into the Prussian royal family.She wanted to express herself more.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 21, 2006, 11:32:44 AM
Indeed ! Her Aunt Louise (later Duchess of Argyll) took a visit to Berlin, and dismissed the idea of a Prussian Prince as a husband out of her mind. Ella (like her Aunt Louise) was artistic and would have been hard to live in a place where beauty was not appreciated.  ;)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on September 21, 2006, 12:10:21 PM
That is exactly what I meant when I wrote flamboyant!
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: HerrKaiser on September 21, 2006, 02:49:42 PM
in a place where beauty was not appreciated.  ;)

 :o
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: bell_the_cat on September 21, 2006, 04:38:17 PM
in a place where beauty was not appreciated.  ;)

 :o

 :o :o
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on September 21, 2006, 06:44:55 PM
Well, Ella was young and might have adjusted if she'd married Wilhelm originally--she was just a teenager. She had been brought up in simplicity--QV even worried that the wealth and grandeur of the Romanovs would spoil her. I wouldn't say that 'beautiful things' weren't appreciated at the Prussian Court. Vicky was very artistic and that seemed to be one of the few things she wasn't criticized for. Wilhelm even sketched a bit, I believe, and he designed jewelry for Dona. If he designed some for Dona (not very attractive pieces IMO) just imagine the inspiration the lovely Ella would've provided. Besides, whose to say that Ella didn't turn to more frivolous pursuits due to any unhappiness in her marriage? That's one of the theories that have been out there.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 21, 2006, 09:00:41 PM
Agreed...However Ella had been bought out to think for herself. The experience of Vicky at the hands of Bismark and the Junker class had been seen by Ella. In fact when Ella's mother died, Kaisein Augusta said it was a 'good" thing since she had become such an aethist. Interestingly Augusta was in favour of Ella marrying Wilhelm or Fritz of Baden, when both of these projects failed to materialze she cut both Ella and VMH out dead.  ???
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on September 22, 2006, 09:09:09 AM
Well, if her marriage hadn't been happy, she might have turned to more frivolous pursuits. Certainly, in her youth she was more so inclined. It is true that her marriage to Wilhelm, had it happened, woudn't have been happy. She just had a personality and wish to express herself that, I am sure, found better expression at the Russian court than it ever would have at the very staid Prussian court.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: ilyala on September 22, 2006, 09:30:58 AM
i don't think ella was ever very frivolous, just like her sisters weren't... through education and personality they were more inclined towards seriousness.  an unhappy marriage with serge drove her to religiousness, not trivial pursuits.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on September 22, 2006, 10:08:23 AM
Right. But in her youth, she had a taste for gowns and jewels. I am not saying she was ever frivolous, but perhaps I meant that she was interested in more worldly things than she would be later, when she was young. But of course she was young and beautiful; and most likely the loveliest of the Hessian sisters. I think underneath, she always had a serious nature though, you are correct.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 22, 2006, 12:30:12 PM
In her youth, Ella was a fun-loving and sociable woman who won all hearts. Later her spiritual side began to take over as she matured.  ;)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on September 25, 2006, 08:34:04 AM
That is true, exactly. :)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 25, 2006, 10:58:19 AM
Also moving was Willy's love for Ella, trying to save his first love from the tide of chaos...although unsuccessfully.  :(
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on September 25, 2006, 11:39:36 AM
It is moving, although I am not sure Ella was ever inclined to think so.In fact, we know she never did think so. She found him annoying more than anything else or pompous. And he was, in fact that is how most of his relatives regarded him. Underneath, the Kaiser was human, but he put most sensible people off, so they could never see that.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eddie_uk on September 25, 2006, 12:56:30 PM
I wonder if Ella ever knew how badly Willy behaved when Ella's mother died. Apparently he behaved very indifferently and Vicky was appalled!
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on September 25, 2006, 01:12:24 PM
She might have, but wasn't she very young then? She was also sent away, I think? They didn't want her to get the illness, so she wasn't around. It seems she might have heard of it, but she disliked Wilhelm for other reasons as well.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Ilana on September 25, 2006, 02:35:38 PM
She was sent away to her grandparents.

Willy was responsible, according to Ernie, for the some of the really vile rumors about Serge.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 25, 2006, 08:29:01 PM
Poor Willy was jealous of course, but some of the rumours did caught on because Serge's strange behavior too. It was of great regret that both Serge & Willy were not like everybody else. Perhaps if she had married Fritz of Baden, she would have had a mopre normal life ?  ???
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on September 26, 2006, 10:35:44 AM
Well, she might have had, but would that have been truly her? I think Sergei and Ella's marriage, and unique personalities, and the fact they were both very private people started the rumours. There were not answers to the questions, so people speculated, which Ella didn't like. But you can sympathize with her. I don't think the rumours about Sergei and Ella, and especially their marriage needed much help.  :(
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 26, 2006, 10:59:18 AM
Well...Sergei public personna as governor of Moscow was mar by his incapabilities and cruelty, both aspect unlikely to endear him to others. That is the fire that started the smoke. Ella on the other hand was known for her kindness and fun. People draw their own conclusions.  :(
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on September 26, 2006, 11:31:14 AM
Right, Sergei's public nature was hard to understand. And Ella did seem a great contrast to him. I think there was more to Sergei than just his public nature though.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 26, 2006, 07:00:24 PM
Not only that...his encouragement of Ella to dance in public with other men also seemed strange for a jealous husband. Yet he forbid her to read "Anna Karinina "... ???
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on September 27, 2006, 08:51:11 AM
Perhaps he was a contradiction.. some people are. That would explain the difference between his public and private natures, for one. I really can't explain him, not that anyone can.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 27, 2006, 10:46:55 AM
Something about Serge is no altogather right, that is why when it was suggested that he was a repressed homosexual, it gathered momentum as they thought they finally figure out what was wrong with him... ???
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on September 27, 2006, 11:59:48 AM
It is very hard to know; this is why there was/is so much speculation about their marriage. Ella never liked it, but anyone married to Grand Duke Sergei would have had to put up with it, this speculation. He would have gotten it anyway, whoever he married or didn't marry. Ella was sometimes hard to understand, but would have gotten less speculation if she hadn't been married to him.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 27, 2006, 10:46:10 PM
Well at least Ella was easier to approach, Serge was hard to approach AND hard to understand. VMH seemed to like him though... ???
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on September 28, 2006, 10:53:58 AM
You are right about Sergei, he did nothing to make people think he was much different than rumour, which was rather unfortunate. Ella did present a better image: she was compasionate and reasonable, if you got to know her and looked past the rumours. I think they were both complicated, but in different ways. I think some people did think somewhat well of Sergei, but he was difficult. Both of them prefered to remain engimas, perhaps?
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 28, 2006, 12:12:38 PM
Ella wasn't but Sergei certainly was...an egnima.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on September 28, 2006, 12:17:46 PM
He was an enigma, but I think Ella wasn't in real life, but sort of became that way, because she would not let people know much about her, or her life. So, in that way, she is an enigma, because she chose to let herself be seen as one, even if she really wasn't one.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 28, 2006, 12:25:43 PM
Well lets get back to Willy and Ella... ;)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on October 02, 2006, 12:23:58 PM
ah yes, and think if they had married, the stuff we could debate about them! They would have been an odd couple as well, just like Ella and Sergei.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 02, 2006, 09:52:33 PM
No...I think Ella would be more assured of herself than poor Dona.  :(
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on October 03, 2006, 11:18:34 AM
Well, yes, Ella was more assured of herself than Dona. But with Kaiser Wilhelm's eccentricity, and Ella being a rather private person (which Kaiser Wilhelm was not), they might have made a strange couple. Both of them were in some ways enigmas, and I think they would have made at least a much debated couple in history if not beyond that.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 03, 2006, 08:27:58 PM
I think both Ella and Willy had a vain side. Ella would still be the belle in the ball, while Willy will have his soilders and parades.  ;)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on October 04, 2006, 08:38:30 AM
That could well be true. Only, Kaiser Wilhelm was always, to the end of his life vain. If there is one thing you know about him, it is that. He never really changed although he was in exile. It is kind of funny to read some of the stories about him and how full of himself he was. His royal relatives defintely thought it was, at times, a bit amusing although it was also overbearing. It reminds me of someone I knew, although not very well. He would come into room, and be '' I am ( insert name)'' like he was in charge of everything, and we didn't know who he was, although we did. He wasn't in charge of anything, but thought he was..oh well. ;) In short, I would say pompous. As for Ella, she was defintely very selfless later on. In youth, she was more vain, yes, but she lost it as she got older-and it was never as bad as the Kaiser-of course, what was? ;)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 04, 2006, 11:52:09 AM
True...If Ella had married Willy, she might not have developed her softer side...???
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on October 04, 2006, 05:01:54 PM
She might not have developed her deeper side through what she experienced, and through being married to Sergei and becoming interested in Orthodoxy.She might not have been as understanding as she was.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 04, 2006, 08:45:36 PM
Yes she could have been more practical...However I think she would have been more kind to Vicky.  ;)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on October 05, 2006, 10:51:11 AM
Yes, she would have been much kinder to her. At that point, what Vicky badly needed was kindness. The Prussian court was such a difficult one, it seemed to just ruin personalities. But then again, perhaps they were ruined already.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 05, 2006, 10:02:40 PM
Yes... Had Ella and Irene both marry the Prussian Princes. I think the English influrence would have been much stronger. Perhaps even Moretta may have beern allowed to marry Sandro with Ella's help.  ???
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on October 06, 2006, 09:02:34 AM
Perhaps. Ella had a way of being able to make things happen that were difficult to happen otherwise by her understanding and relation to people. The Prussian court wanted no English influence, though. Even with Ella and Irene, that would never have been enough. The Prussian court was simply too hard to fix that way. ;)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Ilana on October 06, 2006, 12:17:20 PM
Vicky was one of the Aunts that helped raise the Darmstadt children after the death of Alice.  I think there's no doubt Ella would have been kinder to Vicky. 

Possibly without the Serge tragedy and the conversion, she might not have explored her spiritual side, however, Ella expressed a wish early on that she wanted to become a nun.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on October 06, 2006, 12:31:49 PM
Yes, I think that spiritual side of her, that understanding was always there. It just took the right circumstances and events to bring it out.. She can be seen as more frivolous when she was younger, interested in clothes, balls and parties. But it was always there, even then, and who's to say that it would not have come out anyway? Ella was too much spritiual, understanding, thoughtful to be fond of trivial things for long, no matter what. But her suffering only enhanced her.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 06, 2006, 10:22:19 PM
Ella had a deep spiritual side that helped her ease into Orthodoxy.  ;)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on October 09, 2006, 08:44:00 AM
She did. Many German princesses who married into the Russian Imperial Family didn't have that. They either never converted or they did eventually, but never embraced it as much as Ella did. It came naturally to her, even though in her youth she might have gone different directions with her life.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 09, 2006, 09:30:04 PM
Yes...Although like Alicky, people like Dagmar thought she went over the top with the nun thing... ???
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on October 10, 2006, 11:35:59 AM
They did.. but it wasn't what people thought that counted. It was the reasons why she did it, all noble reasons, I might add.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 11, 2006, 03:54:19 AM
Yes...Had Ella had children it would be different, but Serge's death actually freed her into going full speed into Orthodoxy.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on October 11, 2006, 08:51:24 AM
It did. Before, as the wife a grand duke, she could not just become a nun. After, she had more options. Had she had children,that might not have happened, as she would have had to be there for her children. As it turned out, she found her true self after her husband's death.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 12, 2006, 04:11:46 AM
I guess Ella was way ahead in that spitually...His death escarlate her decision into being a nun.  :o
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on October 12, 2006, 10:55:23 AM
It did, and she found through that what she might otherwise not have got a chance to do. Sometimes the good comes out of bad, I guess. ;)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 13, 2006, 02:59:38 AM
Yes...Her road to sainthood. I wonder what did Willy said, when he heard about Ella's death.  ???
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on October 13, 2006, 09:15:07 AM
I am sure there is a a source on that somewhere. He may well have thought of the might have beens of the whole thing. There were so many. He was someone who loved to have a tough exterior even though he may not always have been that way. He undoubtedly loved Ella in youth, and he tried to save her from death after the Revolution. Such was not to be, but could he ever seriously have believed that she would take him up on it?
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 15, 2006, 09:05:04 PM
He was convinced that nobody wanted to die willingly. Willy must be distressed as he clearly saw the winds of war engulfing his relations in ways he cannot control. I don't know if he still have Ella's photo in Doorn ? Maybe somebody can tell me ?  ???
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on October 16, 2006, 12:06:44 PM
I can see him still having her photo then.. ;) I think Ella did die willingly, but she also carefully considered what she was doing. It was no blind choice. Perhaps the Kaiser never realized the strength of feeling against him, due to the war?
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 16, 2006, 08:26:47 PM
I don't think Ella was against him, she may be really touched that he remembered her even after all this time (after her marriage he made an attempt to avoid alone with her).  ???
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on October 17, 2006, 08:12:24 AM
I think, though Ella did regard the Kaiser as a war enemy did she not? She was very understanding, but I am not sure she liked him to begin with, and after the war, I can't see her liking him except in a personal sense. But the thing is, she never liked him in a personal sense that we know of, beyond that of cousin for cousin. She certainly didn't wish to marry him, and was not happy when she was courted by him.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 18, 2006, 04:57:28 AM
Yes...he followed her everywhere...she was quite annoyed by that. :(
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on October 18, 2006, 08:23:34 AM
Indeed, when he was trying to court her, Ella found him very annoying. I think she always did find the Kaiser annoying though.. and so did all his other relations. Ella may well have suffered in particular though, as the object of his affections. :P
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: PrinceEddy1864 on October 18, 2006, 11:45:14 AM
Yes from childhood Ella had found Willy more than just annoying but over bearing and over controling as well. Willy liked to dictate what activities everyone would do and had to be at the center of conversations. However it was said that Ella was about the only person Willy would even remotely shut up around. When Ella spoke Willy listened. I get the impression that he just hung on her every word.

Kinda sweet I think. (in a way :))
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on October 18, 2006, 12:04:23 PM
Yes, it was kind of sweet that Ella could reduce the Kaiser to this. He obviously felt around her the way he never felt arund anyone else, including the woman he eventually married. But it seems Ella had an effect on most people that could be quite profound,if you will. Ella could make you feel understood, I believe. She never liked the Kaiser's attentions though; and he was quite bad on the outside, and rarely showed any of his good qualities ( which were few enough).
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: lori_c on October 18, 2006, 01:28:53 PM
Even though Willie's bombastic nature made him unpopular within the Royal Family (and indeed with everyone else)  I find it touching that he was the onlyone to try to negotiate the IF release to Germany including and especially Ella.  Despite everything, he was truly concerned about their welfare.  It sort of contributes to his "redemption" so to speak.

And though i wouldn't dare to pass judgement on a man like King George V who had to decide between his country and his family feelings, it does have to be noted that he washed his hands of the IF early on.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on October 18, 2006, 05:41:18 PM
Really, you can't pass judgement on George V. He did what he could, I think. The whole sitiuation was very complex. Anyway, the Kaiser was portayed as some sort of monster in war propaganda, and in his personal life, he alienated many people, not least his relatives. But he was human underneath that, although he was difficult, I think. He did care for them in the way of relatives, although they had been enemies during war time. But they could not have accepted his help.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on October 18, 2006, 09:25:59 PM
Well, not to let this get off-topic on the rescue attempts (or lack thereof) but I would note that WII wasn't alone--Alfonso XIII did what he could to help secure their release.

Anyway, WII once admitted (to his grandson, I believe) that he spent much of his time at the university writing love poems to Ella. John Rohl's bio (vol 1) deals with the William/Ella situation in an interesting way. It's always seen from Ella's point of view--he loved her, she rejected him. The Rohl book (and I don't have it in front of me) shows the relationship from the Prussian side and how it might have been Vicky more than Ella who put the kabosh on it for fear of the hemophilia threat--she had a report commissioned to ascertain the chances of it passing into the family and the effect of being relations, etc....If anyone can get this book (and it's very expensive) it is well-worth it. It's about 900 pages and only goes up to 1888! It also goes into great depth about his romance, engagement and marriage to Dona.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 18, 2006, 11:33:19 PM
I got both Rohl books (Willy 1&2). Worth every penny I paid.  ;D

Yes I think Ella would have more influence on Willy than Dona ever would. Had she been Kaiserin, then it would be quite possible that she would do everything she humanly can to avoid Germany going to war with England (ironically that was exactly what Bismark wanted as well : to avoid war with England & Russia).  :(
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on October 19, 2006, 10:57:56 AM
Sounds like an interesting book! I think that you are right, that Ella may have had more influence with the Kaiser, if only because she obviously had so much influence over him when he tried to court her. Dona and most other women in that day and age would simply have followed whatever the Kaiser would have wanted given his dominating personality. Ella may not have. It is interesting that it wasn't Ella but Vicky who particularly did not wish this marriage to happen. But it seems Ella wasn't all that enuthiastic either... ;)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 22, 2006, 08:20:23 PM
Vicky was intelligent enough to know that ties too close create complications in the next generation (which happened to Heinrich & Irene's children). In Rohl 's book. Vicky was quoted was saying that is the "only'' reason that prevented her from welcoming Alice's daughter into the family. I also however got the feeling that she was subconsiously afraid of Ella having too much influrence over Willy ( Ironically Vicky's mother-in-law liked Ella so much as that she turned Willy down, intriduced her nephew Fritz of baden as a subsitute for her grandson).  ::)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on October 22, 2006, 10:52:54 PM
Fritz was Augusta's grandson as well, not her nephew. He was her daughter Louise's son. Augusta was extremely put out that Ella didn't see fit to accept the suits of either of her grandsons and was quite nasty about it to the Hesse family.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 23, 2006, 02:55:02 AM
Indeed...According to VMH she actually cut both her & Ella dead when they next met in Berlin.  :(
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eddie_uk on October 23, 2006, 11:39:30 AM
Augusta was rather guastly and spiteful. I've not read a good thing about her. So mean after Princess Alice died too. My sympathies, as ever, lay with Vicky!!
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on October 23, 2006, 04:02:30 PM
I'm not a fan but I have read some good things. She was very intelligent--probably, like Vicky, too intelligent for the position she was put in. Also like Vicky, she was disliked at Court for her brains and her more liberal tendencies--she seems to have been the one that Fritz took after in this respect. Queen Victoria was a very good friend of hers. I think that she was embittered by her treatment and, unlike Vicky, she didn't have the love and support of a devoted husband. Wilhelm had wanted to marry Elise Radziwill and never got over her. He made no attempt to forge a successful, harmonious union with Augusta--it was a cold, loveless match. It seems to have shrivelled her soul quite a bit. I find her more of a pathetic figure of wasted potential rather than one I dislike.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 23, 2006, 09:52:31 PM
True, however Augusta never warmed towards Vicky, even though they shared ideas about liberalism in Prussia. She was mean to Vicky although she was suppose to be her mother's friend. After Fritz's death, she went to Willy's camp and desert her daughter-in-law in her greatest need. A cold and culculating woman.  >:(
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: ashanti01 on January 16, 2007, 12:12:09 AM
I was re-reading some of my Romanov books and as I read through them I couldn't help but wonder if there were a few admires among the young Romanov men who had "crushes" on Ella at one point or another. She was a very stunning person to look upon and one can only wonder what it must been like to know her when she first arrived in Russia.

Sandro called her one of the "mad devotions of his youth" in his book. Rumors that Grand Duke Paul had a crush on Ella for a brief time have been commented on in the past on the board.

Maybe it's just me, but is it possible that Nicholas II may have had a bit of a crush on Ella? Reading some his early dairy entries could suggest it however considering the time it was written, maybe he was just being a very affectionate nephew? It wouldn't seem too far fetched to me but then again there could have been other admirers I have yet to hear about.

Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on January 16, 2007, 11:25:35 AM
 I am sure that there were many young men who did admire Ella among the Romanovs, did you have some ideas on who might have? She was more approachable than her sister Alexandra, who the Romanovs and the court never really liked, despite her great beauty. She was simply cold. By contrast, Ella radiated warmth, and was much more approachable than her sister, and was just as beautiful as her if not more so. I don't think Nicholas ever admired Ella though, because he had his eyes on Alexandra since he was very young. Another youthful crush of his was Toria of Wales, another cousin. I have never read of Ella as being mentioned. Ella when she first arrived in Russia hadn't really found herself yet, but she was still indeed a great beauty, and maybe seemed to the Romanovs to have more in common with them than later, after Sergei's death. But, I think Ella fitted in well.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Olishka~ Pincess on January 16, 2007, 05:51:42 PM
     It could be possible that grand dukes in the Russia feel in love with Ella. During the 1870's-1890's when she was young in her teenage years and adult years. She is a true beauty I like her heart it is caring and sweet. I like Ella so much. I think she was the most beautiful girl out of the other three Hesse sisters Victoria,Irene and Alix.  I do not think Nicholas realy feel in love with her but he like her as a freind and family member but not loved like Alix and their five children were. She was four years older than him and she is his aunt. I think Nicholas would have stayed deeply in love with Alix since her liked her so much. But I know for a fact that Ella disliked the fake holy man Rasputin she knew he was fake. As she got older in 1905 to 1918 she began Holy Orders as a nun. I do not think she was concerned about marriage and falling in love but just devotion, detication, respect, religous, and charity since she was a Eastern Orthodox nun.  :)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on January 17, 2007, 12:43:12 PM
She was indeed the most admired of Princesses who married in, in my opinion. Many of the other Princesses were plain, and dull. They did not captivate. But, Ella with her beauty both inside and outside was captivating, and she was an easy Princess to admire. She could have married anyone, but she chose to marry Sergei, perhaps not the most glittering match, yet he was a Romanov. She did have some concern for marriage and love, because when she was younger, she was not as into some of those things you mentioned as she later was. But, her idea of marriage and love weren't the conventional ideas of many princesses. She was one of the more appealing princesses in Europe when she was young.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Olishka~ Pincess on January 17, 2007, 06:00:06 PM
 I totally agree with you imperial angel most princesses in Europe back then did look dull and plain. But I think that Ella, Alice of the United Kingdom( second daughter of Queen Victoria) Alix and her daughters are the prettiest princesses I seen yet for Europe. But I think that Ella and her neice Maria are the beauties of Europe during that time. But today Queen Elizabeth II in her early adulthood years looked plain instead of being a beauty. Princess Diana does not look like a beauty in my opinion she is just normal plain and dull looking. She do not look or dress like a royal. To me she looks like a normal person. I think she is tomboy. ;D
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 17, 2007, 08:04:00 PM
Yes...Ella was definitely a beauty that broke a lot of hearts (chief among them was Kaiser Bill).  ;)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on January 18, 2007, 08:38:40 AM
Could someone post a list of all her admirers? ( though, that might be quite a list). I think you are right about her and the Kaiser, he certainly is her most well known admirer. Ella was just the sweetest princess of that era, and I think many of the rumours of her marriage begun because people could not see beyond her outside as a beautiful, fairytale princess, to what she was inside, and what she wanted out of a marriage.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 18, 2007, 08:55:02 PM
Indeed ! After Serge's death, it was rumoured that there are some interested to marry her... ???
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on January 22, 2007, 05:36:36 PM
If you know more about that, please post. I do know that she herself had no interest, and that the thought never crossed her mind. She did become rather fond of Prince Nicholas of Greece during her marriage, but I think she always happier with Sergei than more ordinary men.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 22, 2007, 08:08:21 PM
Yes...Ella herself did not look at that option at all...although there were those who would have married her in a second. It was the church for her after Serge... :(
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on January 23, 2007, 04:55:47 PM
That certainly was an avenue she never looked into, that of remarriage. I think her brief flirtation with Prince Nicholas of Greece was something that was her more human side, although married to a man like him she would never have been happy. She was judged to be unhappy married to Sergei, but married to someone like Nicholas of Greece, she would have just felt like a traditional royal wife, and she would never have felt fulfilled. Most of admirers when she was young took her to be a traditional kind of princess without seeing she might never have been happy with any of them.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 23, 2007, 07:30:39 PM
To be honest...I don't think there was anybody that she liked among the suitors. Also as a middle-aged childless woman, the only things she can offer was beauty, tacy and companionship. Ella would not be one to settle for second best. Anyhow the church was something she had looked for a while even before Serge's death.  ???
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on January 24, 2007, 12:53:17 PM
Correct. I wonder though, how much interest she had in her earlier suiters? She seemed to only have eyes for Sergei, but she surely knew it was her duty to marry, but if not Sergei, it would have been hard to find someone else who really was the kind of husband she required and wanted.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 24, 2007, 08:06:14 PM
Without Serge it might be either Willy or Fritz of Baden... ???
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on January 24, 2007, 10:09:20 PM
Those were the 2 who've always been mentioned. Ella focused on Serge early on--without that prior attachment, who knows who might've emerged. Rohl's bio on Wilhelm puts a different spin on the Wilhelm/Ella relationship, while who knows what 'Fritz' Baden's feelings were. Ella was still pretty young when she married--20?--so there was time for other potential suitors to have emerged had she wished. With her looks and connections she would've been quite the royal catch.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 25, 2007, 03:45:46 AM
Yes...Although in terms of wealth, few can compare with a Russian Grand Duke (not that it was ever Ella's consideration).
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: imperial angel on January 25, 2007, 09:46:49 AM
Yes, she did come from a not very wealthy royal family. When she was young, she enjoyed that wealth in Russia, but as she got older she got increasingly removed from it. By the end, it didn't matter at all. As for her admirers, she would have had many more, agreed, but I am not sure she might have cared for them. I can't see her in Germany as the wife of some Prince anyway. In general, she most likely had more admirers than she admired them.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 25, 2007, 08:38:55 PM
Yes...Although there are quite a few unmarried Russian Grand Dukes (especially from the Konstantinovitch branch) who might have liked to marry her.  ::)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: gem_10 on July 23, 2007, 10:33:25 PM
I wonder who were those Konstantinovich grand dukes...Any idea?  :)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 23, 2007, 10:36:29 PM
Sorry I mean the Caucacus Grand Dukes (brothers of Grand Duchess Xenia's husband). Quite a few of them remain unmarried.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: gem_10 on July 23, 2007, 11:06:32 PM
Sandro was one of Ella's 'avid' admirers.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: ashanti01 on July 24, 2007, 02:31:00 AM
Sorry I mean the Caucacus Grand Dukes (brothers of Grand Duchess Xenia's husband). Quite a few of them remain unmarried.

Yes, I do recall reading somewhere that one of the Grand Dukes had thought of proposing to her however was discouraged not only by other family members but Ella as well. I'll have to look that up.

Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: ashanti01 on July 24, 2007, 10:48:33 AM
She could have remarried but she didn't want to.  :-\ I'm sure there were still several men out there who would have loved to have made Ella thier bride. One could imagine how different things would have been for her had she remarried, althought I doubt she would have remarried outside of Russia.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Geniebeanie on January 27, 2009, 09:35:19 AM
He was in love with her, what if she had married him and brought hemophilia in the german royal line.   It is a really interesting thought.  I do not think he would have been as suportive as Nicholas was to Alexandra.  She could have been a carrier as well as her sister.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 27, 2009, 10:03:31 AM
Yes or maybe no. VMH was not a carrier nor was the two daughters of Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain (who was a carrier herself through her mother Princess Beatrice). It is more like a lottery of the DNA components that determine if they are carriers or not. For example Alice of Athlone was a carrier even though her mother did not have the faulted DNA. It came from her father Prince Leopold (who himself was a victim).
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Russka Princess on January 27, 2009, 10:54:22 AM
i think Ella would be very sad.. she wouldnt be lonley , because Irene would be close to her.

But her Life would be safe..
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Paola on January 27, 2009, 11:07:07 AM
Or perhaps she wouldn't have children like she with Serge. And without children, the heir would be Waldemar,  the hemophilic son of her sister Irene.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 27, 2009, 11:27:43 AM
I think the possibility of Ella having children with Willy would be great. Serge seemed a bit strange in the sexual department...too devout to religion and the closet gay thing. Willy was more straight forward in that department.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Paola on January 27, 2009, 11:49:37 AM
But it could be that  Ella was infertile. No one knows why Ella and Serge didn't have children. If because of her or his problems. If it was Ellas then Willie would be without heir.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 27, 2009, 12:15:06 PM
I don't think Ella was infetrile, the indication that almost all her siblings had children. I tend to believe the fault liesin the complexicity of Serge's sexuality which is still ambious. Another thread supported the Greg King's claim that he sexually molested his nephew Dimitri...
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Paola on January 27, 2009, 12:19:12 PM
Well, never we will know for sure. I heard it will be released soon a biography on Serge. Maybe there will be some answers to our questions about his private life.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 27, 2009, 12:23:13 PM
Sorry guys...I don't think he included his sexual life there. More religious, books and his relationship with his family I think. Ella would not have allowed that kind of information to remain...
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Paola on January 27, 2009, 12:31:35 PM
Serge's cousin, Konstantin was also well know for his sexual behaviours to men but he fathered many children. I have the impression that Serge liked children and if he could have he would have. that's why sometimes I think it could be that it was Ella's problem. Ella was less maternal according to her niece Maria Pavlovna.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 27, 2009, 01:58:05 PM
Well...Konstantin was a kinder and less tortured person than Serge. Serge had a cruel streak that was kind of scarry. I think Felix Yussopov was not far off the mark when he said Serge liked touching him, while he always brush it off. Konstantin wasn't acussed of molesting boys...
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Vecchiolarry on January 27, 2009, 04:13:34 PM
Hello Everyone,

There is a new book out now called, "The Russian Riddle" by Tamar Anolic, about Serge Alexandrovich.
You can order a copy from Arturo Beeche at Eurohistory for $38.00 USD....

Larry
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 27, 2009, 05:46:32 PM
I will definitely get it...soon.

Well I think Ella would have more political power than Dona because Willy did loved her (and remain so as her photograph remained on his desk), and may have checked his vanity in away that Dona couldn't have.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Grand Duchess Valeria on April 17, 2009, 04:02:35 AM
Just imagine Nicky felt in love with Ella and not with Alix...and married her. What would have been different? I mean the two sisters were very different, would Maria Fy. more approach her than her sister? And what about the society, the russian people and her children (of course if not she was infertile)? And do you think she was more beautiful than her sister Alix? Guess she had a better taste than her... :)
Sorry if this was posted before, didn't find it here  ;)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Russka Princess on April 17, 2009, 01:33:04 PM
well Ella was stronger and not so    hysterical  about things. I think Ella would be a much better tsarina  then Alix. i belive Victoria and Irene would  be better tsarinas than Alix.  They was not so faint with their helth like Alix.  The russian poeple would love Ella.. i think so, becuase they loved her when she was a nun.

Mabe Ella would be happyer to be a tsarina then when she was married with serge. I dont want make Alix down, but when i look was her sisters more stronger and taffer than she.

queen victoria always wanted that Alix will be the next queen of great britan.. i think the people in England would loved her as her queen.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Grand Duchess Valeria on April 18, 2009, 04:33:48 AM
I think the same. Would like to know how the russian history would have developed if Ella had been empress. (and how her and Nickys children would have looked like :) ) She was not thast fatalistic like her sister but I think a little bit more beautiful because she looked not som depressed and hard, more sympathic and lovely.... (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/58/Elisabethhessedarmstadt.jpg)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Russka Princess on April 18, 2009, 08:13:05 AM
yeah ella would be a great tsarina.. but i wonder how the names would have their children ??



But i think if Victoria,Ella, Irene and Alix would marry who the queen told them. Than the girls would be very unhappy..

i mean when the Girls woud be forced to marry another princes than they would be very sad

the queen would wanted  that:

Victoria would marry...(idont know, but the queen was not very happy with Louis)

Ella would marry ( which prince wanted the queen for Ella ??)

Irene would marry  Victor (or how was his name ?? the queen wanted marry that she marry a another prince)

Alix would marry Eddy..( if she didnt fight for the love for Nicky, she would forced to marry Eddy. Mabe she wouldnt be killed but she would never happy without Nicky...)

I thank God that the Girs fightet for their "prince´s Charmings" like Louis, Serge, Henry and Nicky.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Olga Maria on April 19, 2009, 09:32:11 PM
Ella, from the start enchanted the Russian masses because of her beauty and down-to earth soul. A good aura can be seen from the first time you're ever going to see her (I think so). And you are right about what you've said on the second post, Naty !
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Svetabel on December 30, 2010, 02:36:16 AM
Don't remember if it had been mentioned before here, but Ella had  a chance to enchant Prince Waldemar of Denmark, brother of Empress Maria Fedorovna.
In her letter to MF in 1885 year she said that she was not polite with Waldemar becouse of his behaviour as she had fallen in love before (into Sergei) and that's why she was cool with the Prince. She was very glad that he at last found a bride, Marie of Orleans.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 30, 2010, 10:21:22 AM
Judging from his later marriage, I think Ella might have made a good escape. Waldermar of Denmark later formed a close relationship with his nephew Prince George of Greece. Marie of Orleans was regulated to second place (as well as Marie Bonaparte noted as well). It seems like less than perfect men are attracted to Ella. Willy (needy and need of a lot of love), Serge (another needy person who was cold and unable to gravitate love) and now Waldermar. I don't know much about Fritz of Baden's personality though, another of possible choices to Ella.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: DssofBelem on September 30, 2012, 01:46:03 PM
I don't know much about Fritz of Baden's personality though, another of possible choices to Ella.

I read (in Wikipedia, so I can't have sure about the information, they appoint in the end of the article a book named The Grand Dukes of Baden) that he was shy and not scholarly but a good military (but liberal in his reign- Vicky would be happy!). They were friends but I think that the marriage would turn to be unhappy.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 30, 2012, 02:41:37 PM
I don't think Ella had a good choices of marriage partners. :-( I think Fritz sound the most normal and less complicated, but Ella seem to like challenges of difficult men.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: perdita on November 09, 2012, 04:01:08 AM
Well...Konstantin was a kinder and less tortured person than Serge. Serge had a cruel streak that was kind of scarry. I think Felix Yussopov was not far off the mark when he said Serge liked touching him, while he always brush it off. Konstantin wasn't acussed of molesting boys...

Yussopov didn't say Serge liked touching him.  The reverse was true.  Serge didn't like Yussopov touching him.

There exists no credible evidence Serge molested boys.

King's conjecturing & second hand sources aren't proof.

Rumor: "A statement or report not authenticated."

There were many more royals, members of the aristocracy, and staff who claimed first hand that they liked or respected Serge--than there are who profess admiration or liking for cold blooded murderer (& very weird) Yussopov.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 09, 2012, 01:23:56 PM
No. Yussopov did not like Serge touching him and hated that he made him sing.

Think there is more info on Serge being gay or closeted gay from some Russian sources. It claims Serge like Jewish boys.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: perdita on November 09, 2012, 03:32:44 PM
No. Yussopov did not like Serge touching him and hated that he made him sing.

Think there is more info on Serge being gay or closeted gay from some Russian sources. It claims Serge like Jewish boys.

Yussopov wrote that Serge did not like it when he touched him.

Provide the quotation where Yussopov said that he didn't like Serge touching him. (Even if true, not exactly proof that Serge was a pedophile.)

In fact, Yussopov wrote that he did not like Serge "starring" at him. According to Marie of Rumania, "our chosen favorite" Serge had menacing pinpoint eyes like a cat.

During his lifetime did Yussopov ever claim that Serge molested him or anyone elese? There was very little that Rasputin's killer would not blab for cash.

Russian sources conjecturing Serge was gay or closeted isn't proof.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Kalafrana on November 10, 2012, 02:33:29 AM
'In fact, Yussopov wrote that he did not like Serge "starring" at him. According to Marie of Rumania, "our chosen favorite" Serge had menacing pinpoint eyes like a cat.'

Quite a number of photos of Serge which have been posted on the Forum show an intense and rather unpleasant stare. It's not simply the photography of the day - other subjects don't!

Ann
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 10, 2012, 08:06:44 AM
The fact is Serge was not really likable.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: perdita on November 10, 2012, 08:19:21 AM
No. Yussopov did not like Serge touching him and hated that he made him sing.

Think there is more info on Serge being gay or closeted gay from some Russian sources. It claims Serge like Jewish boys.

Is there ANYTHING pre & post revolution "Russian sources" haven't said?  (NET)

Hyperbole, mass hysteria, and rumors run amuck were Tsarist Russia's stock in trade.

Especially targeted for unfettered annihilation were unpopular public figures. (Empress Alexandra & Grand Duke Serge).


Had Yussopov written that he didn't like Serge touching him, the question is, why did Yussopov keep touching Serge?

Yussopov wrote that Serge did not like it when he touched him.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Kalafrana on November 10, 2012, 08:27:16 AM
'Yussopov wrote that Serge did not like it when he touched him.'

It would be interesting to know what kind of touching Yussupov was talking about.

Some people, both male and female, seem unable to keep their hands to themselves when talking to someone else. Being very non-tactile myself, it's something I notice and don't like at all.

Maybe Serge was like me in that respect.

Ann


Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: perdita on November 10, 2012, 09:03:45 AM
The fact is Serge was not really likable.

If Serge were not really likeable then why did so many who knew him really like him?

The fact is a myriad of relations, friends, & staff professed to "like" "love" "trust" or "respect" the Grand Duke Serge.

Were they all insipid, disreputable, or blindsided by HIS incandescent charm?

i.e.,

Grand Duchess Elizabeth.

KR--& the Konstaninovich family.

Alexander 111 (Appointed Serge Governor of Moscow. Major honor.)

Grand Duke Paul.

Marie Alexandrovna.

Victoria of Battenerg & Ernest of Hesse.

Marie of Rumania--& sisters.

Grand Duke Kyril & Victoria Melita.

Princess Alexandra of Greece.

Princess Marie of Greece. (Outspoken "Minnie" of Greece said she "liked" Serge & described him always a "true friend".)

Zinaida Yusupov.

Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Countess Kleinmichel & daughters.

Countess Tolstoy. Leo Tolstoy.

The Pope.

General Laiming.

Etc.


Marie Pavlovna: "Those few who knew him well were deeply devoted to him..."

Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: aleksandr pavlovich on November 10, 2012, 09:16:51 AM
'Yussopov wrote that Serge did not like it when he touched him.'

It would be interesting to know what kind of touching Yussupov was talking about.

Some people, both male and female, seem unable to keep their hands to themselves when talking to someone else. Being very non-tactile myself, it's something I notice and don't like at all.

Maybe Serge was like me in that respect.

Ann





   It has been quite a while since I read Prince Yussupov's  "Lost Splendour,"  but I seem to recall (and I will gladly stand corrected) that Yussupov was childishly fascinated by the "stays" that the Grand Duke seemingly wore in his (tailored/fitted) uniform jacket, and thus began to touch the apparent slightly visual impression/s of them through the fabric, much to the irritation of the Grand Duke.                           Regards,  AP.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: perdita on November 10, 2012, 09:49:51 AM
'Yussopov wrote that Serge did not like it when he touched him.'

It would be interesting to know what kind of touching Yussupov was talking about.

Some people, both male and female, seem unable to keep their hands to themselves when talking to someone else. Being very non-tactile myself, it's something I notice and don't like at all.

Maybe Serge was like me in that respect.

Ann





   It has been quite a while since I read Prince Yussupov's  "Lost Splendour,"  but I seem to recall (and I will gladly stand corrected) that Yussupov was childishly fascinated by the "stays" that the Grand Duke seemingly wore in his (tailored/fitted) uniform jacket, and thus began to touch the apparent slightly visual impression/s of them through the fabric, much to the irritation of the Grand Duke.                           Regards,  AP.

Had Yussupov an aversion to being "touched" by the Grand Duke Serge then a fascination with tinkering with his stays was a non sequitur.  

From loopy Yussupov's perspective not a good idea.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Kalafrana on November 10, 2012, 10:17:27 AM
'It has been quite a while since I read Prince Yussupov's  "Lost Splendour,"  but I seem to recall (and I will gladly stand corrected) that Yussupov was childishly fascinated by the "stays" that the Grand Duke seemingly wore in his (tailored/fitted) uniform jacket, and thus began to touch the apparent slightly visual impression/s of them through the fabric, much to the irritation of the Grand Duke.'

Ah yes, I remember that now. When I read it I was not at all surprised that the Grand Duke would be irritated by this spoilt and cheeky little so-and-so trying to find his stays!

Ann
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 10, 2012, 02:26:40 PM
Not surprising since Serge had to tolerate his brothers making fun of his corsets growing up. Felix is not doing something out of the ordinary. Also it seems like Serge was very sensitive to wearing corsets and that does prevent casual attachments as it would be shocking to to him undress his corsets,,,
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Kalafrana on November 11, 2012, 03:46:59 AM
Serge's brothers making fun of the corsets was one thing, and something Serge had to put up with. But an outrageously spoilt small boy who was not even a relation was quite another. It would be very surprising if Serge had been happy about it!

Clearly, the matter does not tell us anything about Serge's sexual orientation.

Ann
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Svetabel on November 11, 2012, 01:01:58 PM
Please stay in topic. This discussion about GD Sergei's orientation is really getting annoying, we had a good stodge of it in every possible topic related to Grand Duke and his wife.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Robert_Hall on November 11, 2012, 01:20:52 PM
Annoying is putting it mildly. Someone is obsessed with the sex lives of dead GranDukes and is showing more than a prurient interst with speculation, gossip and plain wishfull thinking. IMO. the topic should be closed, it is disgusting with all the unproven undocumented accusations.  This is showing more of one poster's sexuality, or lack of, than any dead grand Duke's.
  Another thing Louis XVI & MA were not infertile. The delay was a medical impediment, once easily taken care of, the had 3 children together,. More idle gossip. That situation is well documented in many sources.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 11, 2012, 01:39:34 PM
I think it is part of the mystery of the dynamics of that marriage. The speculation did not begin here. It was evident even in those days. Queen Victoria was concerned enough to question her granddaughter about it. Ella herself tried to explain the situation, but not to everybody's satisfaction. Most would agree that Ella had picked for her husband who was very complicated.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Svetabel on November 11, 2012, 02:04:36 PM
I think it is part of the mystery of the dynamics of that marriage. The speculation did not begin here. It was evident even in those days. Queen Victoria was concerned enough to question her granddaughter about it. Ella herself tried to explain the situation, but not to everybody's satisfaction. Most would agree that Ella had picked for her husband who was very complicated.

Eric, just stop here, it's enough. I asked for staying in topic. Some more on sex life of Grand Duke and the topic will be closed. And your posts will be deleted.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Robert_Hall on November 11, 2012, 04:18:52 PM
QV was essentially against ALL Romanov marriages. She felt they considered themselves "superior" to her family, both men and women. I can see why, the S-C-G s were a rather provincial lot compared to the lavish court of  the Romanovs. Verging on the Byzantine.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 11, 2012, 05:29:36 PM
I think that is the reason this topic is about what kind of husband Ella could have chosen if she didn't choose Serge. I don't think apart from Wilhelm & Fritz of Baden, there is much other choice in her age group. John Rohl's book on Wilhelm indicated that it was he who broke with Ella. I think she never did gave him any encouragement. Was Fritz of Baden the other suitor for Alicky as well ?
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: DssofBelem on November 27, 2012, 09:13:03 AM
Was Fritz of Baden the other suitor for Alicky as well ?

Probably no. Kind of, he married when Alicky was... 13. But I heard of Max of Baden as a suitor for her. He was born in 1867 and was heir to the Grand Duchy as Fritz of Baden was childless. But there's another tread on him and on Alix's suitors. Back to topic.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 27, 2012, 02:05:05 PM
Yes. That was Max not Fritz. Fritz was the nephew of Empress Augusta, who hoped that Ella would pick him or Willy. She gave Ella the cold shoulder when she turned both of them down. Although in John Rohl's extensive study on Willy, it was he who turned Ella down.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on November 27, 2012, 04:17:30 PM
It was interesting to read of Crown Princess Victoria's commissioned report regarding a possible marriage between Ella and Wilhelm. She was right to have concerns over the possibility of hemophilia. I guess it was considered a safe enough risk to allow Henry to marry Irene for love since, by 1888, Wilhelm had several sons. The German court seemed more on top of the idea of possible dynastic considerations to marrying a princess with a hemophilia risk.

I've only read about Wilhelm and Fritz Baden for Ella's hand, pre-marriage. However, a newspaper reported a rumor of a possible 'remarriage' for the widowed Grand Duchess to Grand Duke Nicholas N. It was reported in 1906, after her mourning period but before his marriage in April 1907. That paper tried to marry the 'unhappily' previously married Grand Duchess off rather quickly!
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 28, 2012, 12:50:52 AM
I think Vicky knew the risk as Willy was the heir to the throne. The Hohenzollern dodged a bullet with "the cow from Holstein" as Bismark put it. Ella did not appear to be quite moved by the loss of dynastic alliance. She was already in love with Serge I think.

Yes. Odd to think Ella would wed another Romanov ! 
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Olga Maria on October 23, 2013, 08:51:37 PM
Weren't there other (rejected) suitors aside from Willy and Fritz of Baden?

I don't know every male member of royal/princely/noble families of EUrope but I assume there were a lot of eligible contemporaries from those families who QV might have suggested to be Ella's future husband or had directly courted her.
It would be interesting to know if there were others because it surprises me only 3 men (Serge & the 2 above) venture for her heart, or were in a way attempted to be paired up with her.

And...

As I was reading the posts that talk about Willy here, I eventually felt pity for him. So for this unrequited love, I want to know if there were any diary entries &/or letter excerpts of Ella or Willy, or other's reminiscences that reveal Ella's reaction/s on Willy courting her.
It may be easily assumed she felt annoyed of how persistent he was, but I also think she might have felt frightened, indifferent, or maybe touched of his efforts.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on October 23, 2013, 11:15:09 PM
From everything I've read, she wasn't too keen on it. I think there were a couple of other names floated by Wilhelm and Fritz were the most notable. She was engaged fairly early (around 19) and married at 20 so many prospects were probably just in the 'casually mentioned' stage.

Two other admirers included Lord Charles Montagu, the second son of the 7th Duke of Manchester, and Henry Wilson, later a distinguished soldier. Montagu's mother was the famous German-born 'Double Duchess' (of Manchester and then Devonshire) Countess Luise Friederike Auguste von Alten. His brother-in-law was the Duke of Hamilton (descended like 'good Fritz' from the Badens--Hamilton's mother was Princess Marie of Baden) and his sister-in-law was the famously welathy Consuelo Iznaga. Henry Wilson, like his early crush Ella, would meet a violent end--assassinated by the IRA in 1922. Interestingly, one of his military assignments took him to Russia on the eve of the Russian Revolution where he met the Tsar and toured some of the larger cities, worried about the food shortages. He's buried in St Paul's Cathedral.

Even Wilhelm's feelings have been somewhat exaggerated, I think. He certainly had all the passion of an early love but he also moved on pretty quickly, no matter what he later said. And Ella WAS only 14 at the time--much like George V's early love of his cousin Marie of Edinburgh. In August 1878, Wilhelm switched his affections to Dona and in May 1879, Wilhelm, in a letter to his Aunt Augusta flatly denied he'd ever been interested in Ella. Letters also seem to indicate the Hessians were much more in favor of this match than previously speculated whereas Vicky was dead-set against it because of the closeness of their relationship (and commissioned a study about the possibility of first cousin relationships bringing hemophilia into the family--something that would play out with Henry & Irene though their closeness didn't cause the disease). Alice, Fritz and the Prussian grandparents were pro-Ella/Willy while Vicky and his Aunt Helena (also aunt to Dona) were pro-Dona. One more thing for the family to squabble over!
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Kalafrana on October 24, 2013, 03:54:02 AM
Ella

Where did you get the link between Ella and Henry Wilson? It happens that I've just been reading a biography of him which makes no mention of Ella - or, indeed, any love interest apart from the lady he married in 1892. Given that they were both born in 1864, there was very little time for anything to happen before Ella married (and at that stage Wilson was failing the Sandhurst entry exam multiple time and getting into the regular army via the militia). I think his interest would have to have come after they were both married.

Ann
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on October 24, 2013, 08:46:52 AM
Hugo Mager's bio on Ella. I had written this way back in 2004 (!!). (Boy does time fly!)

"Hugo Mager's bio of Ella:
p.63: '...a dazzling beauty. A chance combination of the genes of her ancestors had produced a face with features of exceptional purity, and a tall, elegant figure. Photographs of the time rarely did her justice. They showed a well-proportioned face, but could not depict her fairish hair or that she had 'eyes of a grey-blue, on one of which was a spot of brown, and the effect of her glance was unusual'. The strained expression caused by the long exposure meant that they never showed the charm of her smile. No princess in Europe was said to be more beautiful. Those who saw her recorded their impression in phrases that sound almost hyperbolic...Henry Wilson, a young Englishman then in Darmstadt, later a distinguished soldier, wrote simply: 'She was the most beautiful creature of God that I've ever seen.' ""

It wasn't any romance--just that he was an admirer. As I said, I think there was such a limited period of time between her coming of age and becoming engaged to Serge that I think there were very few actual real possible suitors. Plus, Montagu and Wilson would've never been actually considered.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 24, 2013, 12:29:02 PM
I don't think Ella wanted another man after Serge. She was in a way liberated.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Olga Maria on October 25, 2013, 01:25:03 AM
Many thanks for the complete reply GrandduchessElla!

Quote
Quoted from grandduchessella:From everything I've read, she wasn't too keen on it. I think there were a couple of other names floated by Wilhelm and Fritz were the most notable. She was engaged fairly early (around 19) and married at 20 so many prospects were probably just in the 'casually mentioned' stage.
I thought she had other reactions regarding Willy's courting. Anyway, it's understandable why ^^
A pity the others' names wouldn't ever be known. I'm interested what families almost 'had' or were fancied to 'gain' Ella.
And Serge was very lucky he only had a few to compete with.

Those two new names of admirers are interesting. Because Ann has already done the part of asking how Wilson came to admire Ella and you've already answered it (many thanks for it!), I would want to ask the same for Lord Charles Montagu.
When did he express his admiration for her? Do you also have a picture of him?

Quote
He certainly had all the passion of an early love but he also moved on pretty quickly, no matter what he later said.
I read something between the lines of Willy's action: perhaps it was for the sake of his ambition and pride.
No one knows maybe a drama behind the scenes occurred where he was 'threatened' to lose his being heir if he kept on insisting on marrying Ella. Ambition and love could coexist, however for him, unfortunately they could not, given the circumstances thought of (which you've said). So when he was pressed to choose between the two, he chose the former. The German empire crown was more important for him, and that's totally a reflection of the Willy known.

As for pride, it seems to me because of that, he successfully made himself and others believe that he was in love w/ Dona, and had completely moved on from Ella, showing the "crisis" with her was something trivial. Therefore, he was not seen as a loser - the brand he wouldn't ever bear being attached to his name.
But I think deep inside, he was truly hurt, and he just hid it to himself. As a consequence, he had to nurse his sad heart on his own. Without someone to confide to, I think it was likely he never recovered from the heartbreak, later revealed by his keeping a picture of her, and attempting to get her out of Russia with all his might. If he had not been in love with her, he would not have done those things, imo.

I think you heard of real life stories like that? I did hear such, and given Willy's later actions [aside from the two above, also the intentional avoidance of Ella whenever she went to Berlin (from Meriel Buchanan's bio of Ella)], I can't help but think Willy's story can be classified as one of those.
It is a product of my imagination but I'd like to say it here.

It's also interesting Fritz and the Prussian grandparents were pro-Ella. I thought they were on the same side as their Crown Princess Vicky. It's also clear Helena also had the same concern (hemophilia) as her sister Vicky. I wonder if they told Alice about that.
But then in the end, Vicky won.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Kalafrana on October 25, 2013, 06:14:52 AM
Henry Wilson (actually Anglo-Irish, not English, spent a short period around 1882-84 in Darmstadt learning German, in between cramming for Sandhurst. Presumably that was when he became an admirer of Ella, but I think it was admiration from a distance. Although quite a social climber, his background was relatively modest and I doubt he would have reason to meet her. I'm guessing too that the passage quoted comes from Wilson's diary at the time of her death.

Ann
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 25, 2013, 09:52:58 AM
I believe that Willy DID love her and had Ella married him, it would be a constraint on his pride. That is the opposite of Dona, who wasn't sure about her position and try to be what Willy wanted (like being rude to Vicky...etc). Ella would have more power had she chosen to marry Willy, but it was not personal ambition but being helpful to a flawed human being like Serge that appealed to her. I read that she once wrote that she wanted to help him (Serge). I also think Ella cleverly knew that her aunt Vicky was not supportive of her to marry Willy and her life under Bismark wasn't one that she would like for herself. Instead her glamorous but less scrutinized life in St Petersburg was much better than having to beg for leave from the Kaiser like her Aunt Vicky in every turn. Having said that, Ella with her charm, wit and beauty would have an easier time with Kaiser Wilhelm I, who admired beauties (including her late mother Princess Alice). 
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Olga Maria on October 27, 2013, 02:33:08 AM
Quote
Quoted from Kalafrana:
Henry Wilson (actually Anglo-Irish, not English, spent a short period around 1882-84 in Darmstadt learning German, in between cramming for Sandhurst. Presumably that

was when he became an admirer of Ella, but I think it was admiration from a distance. Although quite a social climber, his background was relatively modest and I doubt

he would have reason to meet her. I'm guessing too that the passage quoted comes from Wilson's diary at the time of her death.
Ann
Thank you for this info Ann! I concluded from what you said that Ella never met him, and that he knew it was impossible for him to ask for her hand in marriage,  especially because she was QV's granddaughter and at that time most royals were adamant toward royal-commoner marriages, be it a princess of a reigning crowned head or a minor princess like Ella was.

Quote
Quoted from Eric Lowe:I believe that Willy DID love her and had Ella married him, it would be a constraint on his pride. That is the opposite of Dona, who wasn't sure about her position and try to be what Willy wanted (like being rude to Vicky...etc).

LOL, he would resent to be known as a controlled husband.It's likely he thought had he married Ella, he would have to give in to her wishes ex. [Willy, I hope you would consider Mama's (Vicky) suggestions.] He wanted to be in control, as proven by what you said regarding him to Dona. You are also right with that Ella being aware that Vicky was against her. Plus, I think she was also on Vicky's side. Aside from that reason of living life under Bismarck and finding Willy too proud, she obviously didn't believe she had that 'power' to make Willy amiable.
I wonder if it crossed Vicky's mind that Ella being Willy's wife could have solved her long time problem of making Willy treat her and Fritz respectfully?

Quote
but it was not personal ambition but being helpful to a flawed human being like Serge that appealed to her. I read that she once wrote that she wanted to help him (Serge).
Hmm, this leads me to think had Serge's parents not died at the same year (and in not distressing situations, too), would she still have married him?
From what you said, I think she married him because of empathy which that time she thought as love when it actually was not. We know Serge had a first proposal to her which she declined. Only after his parents died that she felt the need to take care of him, so when he proposed the 2nd time, she finally accepted. That is why I thought she only felt empathy for him when she became his betrothed. The good thing was as time went by, real love replaced that empathy.

Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Janet Ashton on October 27, 2013, 05:35:48 AM
Henry Wilson (actually Anglo-Irish, not English, spent a short period around 1882-84 in Darmstadt learning German, in between cramming for Sandhurst. Presumably that was when he became an admirer of Ella, but I think it was admiration from a distance. Although quite a social climber, his background was relatively modest and I doubt he would have reason to meet her. I'm guessing too that the passage quoted comes from Wilson's diary at the time of her death.

Ann

I think he *did* meet her, actually, or was at least at the same events. Later in life (1916) he met Alexandra in Russia and - or so he claimed - spent some time talking to her about Darmstadt days and people they both recalled. I think it was Sir Henry who also wrote that he remembered Princess Alix as a spoilt and lazy young girl who never took part in tennis with the others! ;-) It may have been, though, that she already had sciatica and that was what he saw.

I think the British community in Darmstadt may well have been quite close-knit and thus he was at least invited along to some less formal social events that the Grand Duke's family were at, including tennis parties.

Modified to say: did he not visit Darmstadt again later? Because if Aix was 10 to 12 years old when he was there, none of the above would work and we'd have to assume he was lying.....;-)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Kalafrana on October 27, 2013, 01:48:40 PM
Now back at home and able to look up the Wilson book (Keith Jeffery: Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson; a political soldier). Wilson was in Darmstadt in 1883 when he and Ella were both 19 and Alexandra 11. According to Jeffery, he spent more time playing tennis than learning German.

Jeffrey's sources are the 2-volume biography of Wilson published in 1927, which draws heavily on his diaries, and Meriel Buchanan's 1956 volume, Victorian Gallery. He notes that Nicholas talked to all the members of the 1917 mission when he met them at Tsarskoye Selo, and was 'most affable', according to Wilson's diary, but there is no mention of either Ella or Alexandra.

Ann
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Janet Ashton on October 27, 2013, 04:57:04 PM
Now back at home and able to look up the Wilson book (Keith Jeffery: Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson; a political soldier). Wilson was in Darmstadt in 1883 when he and Ella were both 19 and Alexandra 11. According to Jeffery, he spent more time playing tennis than learning German.

Jeffrey's sources are the 2-volume biography of Wilson published in 1927, which draws heavily on his diaries, and Meriel Buchanan's 1956 volume, Victorian Gallery. He notes that Nicholas talked to all the members of the 1917 mission when he met them at Tsarskoye Selo, and was 'most affable', according to Wilson's diary, but there is no mention of either Ella or Alexandra.

Ann

I've found the account of the meeting with Alexandra as well. It also took place very early in 1917, and comes from Noble Frankland's book about Nicholas ("Imperial Tragedy") and is written in the first person, so the ultimate source is probably Wilson's diary. Wilson recalled tennis parties "36 years ago", which places them at 1881 - this has to be an error, especially as he says Alexandra was present at them "and recalled many names I'd forgotten."

My curiosity is piqued now, so I will look up that two-volume set of Wilson's life and diaries this week. Where I read his negative view of Alexandra as a young girl I can't recall now, but with luck it will be in the book.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 28, 2013, 12:01:16 AM
I think Ella would have become a bridge between Willy & Vicky like what her sister Irene did with her husband Henry & Vicky. Ella was a beauty and she was the only object of love that he known before his marriage to Dona. Yet he continue to have her photo and those of his Aunt Alix (Alexandra of Denmark) proved his continued love for her. Indeed Ella could have been a political force to reckoned with had she chose that path. Willy would have the done the same for Ella what Serge did for him. What is more important is that had Ella not married into Russia, then there would not have been a Nicky-Alicky Romance.

Yes. I agree it was Ella's mother instincts that to help Serge that made her fall for him. In a queer way, Alicky felt the same for Nicky too.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Kalafrana on October 28, 2013, 04:50:32 AM
The 2-volume book on Wilson is C.E. Callwell: The Life and Diaries of Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson , 1927.

Of course, Alexandra could have been watching the tennis parties.

Ann
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 28, 2013, 11:14:53 AM
Tennis parties ?
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Kalafrana on October 28, 2013, 12:41:34 PM
See Msge 264.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 28, 2013, 07:39:14 PM
So back to Ella. I think she could have remarried had she chose to.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Olga Maria on October 29, 2013, 02:31:56 AM


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I think Ella would have become a bridge between Willy & Vicky like what her sister Irene did with her husband Henry & Vicky.
Hmm, so Ella could have been a solution. But the possibility of being a hemophilia carrier outweighed that advantage so for Vicky, it was still a no.

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What is more important is that had Ella not married into Russia, then there would not have been a Nicky-Alicky Romance.
Indeed, this could have been the biggest consequence which thankfully didn't happen (w/out Nicky & Alix, I wouldn't have met them).

LOL, I sound like I am pro-Willy Ella, right? Actually I'm pro-Serge & Ella (I think Serge is the one who needs to have  a wife like Ella). But I am a fan of this story of Willy's unrequited love for her.

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Yes. I agree it was Ella's mother instincts that to help Serge that made her fall for him. In a queer way, Alicky felt the same for Nicky too.
I noticed this, too - I think they were taught to have that instinct in relating with others. Both sisters have shown that to all people they think who need help.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Janet Ashton on October 29, 2013, 08:07:05 AM
The 2-volume book on Wilson is C.E. Callwell: The Life and Diaries of Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson , 1927.

Of course, Alexandra could have been watching the tennis parties.

Ann

Have now got the book here. He does indeed say that he reminded Alexnadra of the "tennis parties" explicitly, and says that "I used to play tennis with her and her sisters". So even at 11 A. was taking part with the older ones - assume these would then have been fairly informal gatherings. No mention of her being spoiled or lazy!

The editor Callwell adds in the introduction that Wilson "spent many hours which should have been devoted to study" with the young princeses. He doesn't quote the phrase about Ella being the most beautiful creature of God which Mager quotes in his bio, so don't know where that came from, but he does say that Wilson was "great friends" with "the little girl" Princess Alix, as he had a fondness for children.

I could probably track more info down about his feelings for Ella if I went looking in the fairly numerous books which feature Henry Wilson, but it's a bit of a distraction - at least we have established that he did seem to know her, despite their different backgrounds. Calwell says it was "through introductions."
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Kalafrana on October 29, 2013, 09:04:04 AM
The Jeffery biography concentrates on Wilson's military career, and passes over his time in Darmstadt in one sentence. It does say that Wilson liked children and was good with them, though he and his wife didn't produce any.

Wilson crops up in a lot of books about high command in the First World War, and was a controversial figure then and now. He had a far from unjustified reputation as an intriguer.

Ann
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 29, 2013, 10:55:11 AM
In retrospect I don't think Ella made a much better match with Serge than Willy. Both men are flawed and her life would not have been true bliss (unlike Alicky's). Indeed I think Ella would have been a splendid Kaiserin with her beauty, charm and kindness. As big a jewel as Alix of Wales & Sisi of Austria. But she did have more freedom in St Petersburg than she would have than Postdam. Her Aunt Louise (Duchess of Argyle) flinched when she visited her sister Vicky and threw cold water at any hint of a marriage with a Prussian Prince.

The desire to help goes back to their mother Alice, who always tried to be helpful
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Olga Maria on October 30, 2013, 04:37:10 AM
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I don't think Ella made a much better match with Serge than Willy. Both men are flawed and her life would not have been true bliss (unlike Alicky's).
Hmm, I can't say for sure what Ella's married life had been, given the fact we won't ever know what Serge & Ella's everyday life was when there was just the 2 of them together; things which they don't need to write in their diaries or in letters to others. Serge's attitudes to other people even after being married still stayed 'terrifying', but we don't know what he was when he & Ella were alone. He might be like Alix to Nicky - only with him she became 'Sunny'.
Ella could have found happiness with him which only both of them could understand. Perhaps, Ella has had her own definition of a 'blissful marriage'.

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But she did have more freedom in St Petersburg than she would have than Postdam. Her Aunt Louise (Duchess of Argyle) flinched when she visited her sister Vicky and threw cold water at any hint of a marriage with a Prussian Prince.
Yes, I think she considered this, too. In the previous posts, the Prussian Court had been described as very serious.
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The desire to help goes back to their mother Alice, who always tried to be helpful
You are absolutely right : )

Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 31, 2013, 12:11:01 AM
well...I think Serge kept Ella on a tight leach in terms of spending...even though he was pretty rich. Not to mention him censoring her reading material. So her kind of bliss might be different. I could not see Alicky being controlled by Nicky in the same way.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Olga Maria on October 31, 2013, 03:33:32 AM
You're right, Alix wouldn't be controlled by Nicky in that way.
LOL, I think it's good that Serge limited Ella's spending. I think it 's a way of not making her spoiled. If I were Serge, I would think over-spending is too unwise, considering there were lots of poor people (however, lol, he spent much money for her jewels!)
As for the reading materials, for sure Ella felt bad about it.  But I think she forgot about that restriction later on, and didn't let it affect her happiness with Serge (just an opinion, though).

Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 31, 2013, 11:02:04 PM
Well...Half of Ella's spending was of course on her clothes and half on charity. She was pretty balanced that way. :-)
I think Ella admired Serge's spirituality & intellect more than anything else. In those two things Willy came out short.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Olga Maria on November 01, 2013, 01:29:28 AM
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Well...Half of Ella's spending was of course on her clothes and half on charity. She was pretty balanced that way. :-)
Ah so that's how she spent. I instantly thought with overspending, it meant she was spending more for luxuries for herself. Thank you very much for informing me  : )

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I think Ella admired Serge's spirituality & intellect more than anything else. In those two things Willy came out short.
Very well said!

Hmm, btw, are there photos of Willy's early visits to Wolfsgarten? I don't know anything. It would be nice to see one!

Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 01, 2013, 10:46:25 AM
Ella was very much into her appearance and clothes, but she was always generous in her charity work. That was one of the reasons why she was popular while Serge was hated.

I have to say that I haven't seen those pictures. But love to find out about it more. Apart from Willy & Serge, there was also a prince of Baden that asked for her hand.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Olga Maria on November 03, 2013, 02:20:19 AM
Happy Birthday to our Beloved Grand Duchess!

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Ella was very much into her appearance and clothes, but she was always generous in her charity work. That was one of the reasons why she was popular while Serge was hated.
You're right... hmm, I wonder if Serge has given to charity in secret. Seems possible.
Did Ella have income as a Grand Duchess? (It was not Serge who gave her money to give to charity, right?)
Because if Ella wasn't earning something while Serge was still alive, then it means Serge was the one who gave Ella money for that.
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I have to say that I haven't seen those pictures. But love to find out about it more. Apart from Willy & Serge, there was also a prince of Baden that asked for her hand.
: (  Sad that there is really nothing. Seems like they didn't want to keep a remembrance of their cousin Willy's visits ~
Yes I know the poor Fritz of Baden. He indeed was a good man. Had Ella loved and chosen him, she could have been happiest with him.

Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Svetabel on November 03, 2013, 08:18:40 AM
Happy Birthday to our Beloved Grand Duchess!

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Ella was very much into her appearance and clothes, but she was always generous in her charity work. That was one of the reasons why she was popular while Serge was hated.
You're right... hmm, I wonder if Serge has given to charity in secret. Seems possible.
Did Ella have income as a Grand Duchess? (It was not Serge who gave her money to give to charity, right?)
Because if Ella wasn't earning something while Serge was still alive, then it means Serge was the one who gave Ella money for that.
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I have to say that I haven't seen those pictures. But love to find out about it more. Apart from Willy & Serge, there was also a prince of Baden that asked for her hand.
: (  Sad that there is really nothing. Seems like they didn't want to keep a remembrance of their cousin Willy's visits ~
Yes I know the poor Fritz of Baden. He indeed was a good man. Had Ella loved and chosen him, she could have been happiest with him.



"The poor Fritz of Baden" was homosexual. So how could she have been happiest with him?

And please don't forget the title of the topic, any other questions should be discussed in the proper topic. Thanks.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Превед on November 03, 2013, 09:38:08 AM
"The poor Fritz of Baden" was homosexual. So how could she have been happiest with him?

Gosh, so both Victoria of Baden and Ella of Hesse had a gay/bi brother and were married to gay/bi men! What a strange bond!
And consider that they both grew up in the Upper Rhenian Plain, on opposite sides of über-romantic Heidelberg, the cradle of the most famous spouse of a gay royal: Liselotte, the Princess Palatine aka Madame, the Duchess of Orléans.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 03, 2013, 10:01:09 AM
The strange thing is that all three suitors had a bit of gay stint on them. Willy was very close to his friend who was gay and later involved in a big scandal. Serge was long rumored to be gay and now Fritz of Baden. It does not seem that in choosing any of the above would bring her absolute wedded bliss. I think Serge was one of the better choices.

Some people speculate that Ella could remarry after the death of Serge. If she did pursue that, who would be in the age group or wealth to marry her ?
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Превед on November 03, 2013, 10:16:50 AM
The strange thing is that all three suitors had a bit of gay stint on them. Willy was very close to his friend who was gay and later involved in a big scandal. Serge was long rumored to be gay and now Fritz of Baden.

Oh my God, true! Gay men need extra beautiful, super-feminine women like Ella in order to be able to do their dynastic duty? (I.e. the opposite of Liselotte of the Palatinate!) Notice how the bi Grand Duke Konstantin was quite smitten with Ella. (http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=14552.msg422763#msg422763)
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on November 03, 2013, 01:32:43 PM
As was Felix Y.

As for post-widowhood suitors, I've mentioned before that a newspaper printed the obviously false rumor that Ella was engaged to Grand Duke Nicholas N (Nikolasha). I don't know whether they had any kind of special bond or if the paper just picked an eligible Grand Duke to name.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 05, 2013, 01:38:02 PM
Indeed. Ella seemed to be a magnet for sexually frustrated men. Beginning with her brother Ernie, who also idolized her right up to Konstantin (KK). I think her femininity appealed to them as a safe mother confessor (as in the case of Felix Yussopov) and her style and beauty appealed to the aesthetic in gay men especially.

As for Nicholasha, wasn't he married to one of the "Black Pearls" from Montenegro.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on November 13, 2013, 08:37:19 AM
There was apparently something with Prince Charles (Carl) of Sweden. Queen Victoria wrote to Ella's sister Victoria in 1883:

"I shall certainly not say a word to Ella about Prince Charles of Sweden, but I must say I rejoice that she has acted as she has done about Serge, for I own I dreaded this marriage very much for her.... Uncle Leopold will be delighted – but I won’t mention Charles of Sweden to him."

So perhaps there were rumblings or overtures somewhere along the line?

Charles would go on to marry Princess Ingeborg of Denmark and be the father of 4--including Queen Astrid of Belgium and Crown Princess Martha of Norway. His descendants currently sit on those thrones.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Vecchiolarry on November 13, 2013, 10:23:14 AM
Hi,

The Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholievich married Anastasia of Montenegro in 1907.  So, he would have been elegible in 1905/1906;  but he was 'courting' "Stana" at that time - she divorced her husband in 1906....

Larry
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 13, 2013, 10:23:46 AM
Interesting...Maybe her life would be less eventful had she married Prince Carl of Sweden.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Olga Maria on November 14, 2013, 08:56:12 PM
There was apparently something with Prince Charles (Carl) of Sweden. Queen Victoria wrote to Ella's sister Victoria in 1883:

"I shall certainly not say a word to Ella about Prince Charles of Sweden, but I must say I rejoice that she has acted as she has done about Serge, for I own I dreaded this marriage very much for her.... Uncle Leopold will be delighted – but I won’t mention Charles of Sweden to him."

So perhaps there were rumblings or overtures somewhere along the line?

Charles would go on to marry Princess Ingeborg of Denmark and be the father of 4--including Queen Astrid of Belgium and Crown Princess Martha of Norway. His descendants currently sit on those thrones.


Thank you soo much for sharing that info, grandduchessella!
I wonder why QV was afraid of marrying Ella off to Sweden when she allowed Margaret of Connaught to marry the crown prince of Sweden then ~ Perhaps because Carl is not a big catch?

Carl of Sweden seems to be a good man. He was a good father and husband. And may I add another country ruled by his descendants - Luxembourg, through his granddaughter Grand Duchess Josephine Charlotte : )

Hmm, but I hope we see more info about Carl's wanting to marry Ella. He declared an interest for her in 1883, a year before Ella got married!

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Quoted from Svetabel :"The poor Fritz of Baden" was homosexual. So how could she have been happiest with him?

I'm sorry I didn't know this. Thank you for informing me. I thought he was a real man because of his achievements ~ but then, no one can predict what a man really is : (

Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 14, 2013, 11:30:31 PM
Well...Ella's own brother Ernie was long rumored to be gay (as his wife Ducky said no stable boy is safe in the house), but he and Onor did have a rather harmonious life together. So maybe Fritz maybe able to do that too. Another of history's "what if"s.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: grandduchessella on November 15, 2013, 01:23:42 PM
There was apparently something with Prince Charles (Carl) of Sweden. Queen Victoria wrote to Ella's sister Victoria in 1883:

"I shall certainly not say a word to Ella about Prince Charles of Sweden, but I must say I rejoice that she has acted as she has done about Serge, for I own I dreaded this marriage very much for her.... Uncle Leopold will be delighted – but I won’t mention Charles of Sweden to him."

So perhaps there were rumblings or overtures somewhere along the line?

Charles would go on to marry Princess Ingeborg of Denmark and be the father of 4--including Queen Astrid of Belgium and Crown Princess Martha of Norway. His descendants currently sit on those thrones.


Thank you soo much for sharing that info, grandduchessella!
I wonder why QV was afraid of marrying Ella off to Sweden when she allowed Margaret of Connaught to marry the crown prince of Sweden then ~ Perhaps because Carl is not a big catch?

Carl of Sweden seems to be a good man. He was a good father and husband. And may I add another country ruled by his descendants - Luxembourg, through his granddaughter Grand Duchess Josephine Charlotte : )

Hmm, but I hope we see more info about Carl's wanting to marry Ella. He declared an interest for her in 1883, a year before Ella got married!

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Quoted from Svetabel :"The poor Fritz of Baden" was homosexual. So how could she have been happiest with him?

I'm sorry I didn't know this. Thank you for informing me. I thought he was a real man because of his achievements ~ but then, no one can predict what a man really is : (



Queen Victoria didn't have anything against the marriage from what I can tell but rather that she just wasn't going to push it on Ella at that point. Obviously, her remark was in reply to something Victoria had said--maybe about not pressuring her after she had apparently rebuffed Serge. QV did not that Leopold (Albany) would be happy with the idea.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 16, 2013, 10:41:58 AM
That was strange that QV did not push for Carl since she was horrified that Ella was going to the "horrid" Russians.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Olga Maria on November 18, 2013, 03:14:54 AM
So thats' it! Many thank grandduchessella!
Uncle Leopold who has been a second father to his nieces and nephew really did join in planning for their marriages, too. It means he cared a lot for them.
And whatever his reason his, it's sad we won't know. (or is it known?)

Yes Eric that is something to wonder about, too -
It amuses me Carl asked for Ella's hand after Serge did his first proposal ~ if Ella also knew of Carl's intention, she surely had felt bad rejecting two men in a row.
 
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 18, 2013, 03:57:11 PM
I still think she should have married Willy. She had his affections and could make a difference in Berlin that "the cow from Holstein" (Bismark's words), who only flattered his vanity and made him even more insufferable than ever.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Bambi on November 22, 2017, 08:38:36 PM
Hi guys! So sorry to be reviving an old thread, but I didn't think it would be worth a thread of its own - would anyone happen to know much about Ella and Prince Nicholas of Greece? If I recall correctly, a couple of biographers have implied that she felt an attraction to him and her letters to him certainly demonstrate that there was a type of attachment and tenderness between the two, or at least definitely on her part. Would anyone happen to know more?
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Svetabel on November 23, 2017, 06:10:08 AM
Hi guys! So sorry to be reviving an old thread, but I didn't think it would be worth a thread of its own - would anyone happen to know much about Ella and Prince Nicholas of Greece? If I recall correctly, a couple of biographers have implied that she felt an attraction to him and her letters to him certainly demonstrate that there was a type of attachment and tenderness between the two, or at least definitely on her part. Would anyone happen to know more?

Only C. Warwick in his bio on Grand Duchess mentions her correspondence with Nicholas of Greece and make a suggestion that was an innocent flirt of Elizaveta Fedorovna. No more info on this has never been published.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: LisaDavidson on November 23, 2017, 01:14:24 PM
Even if Grand Duchess Elizabeth and Prince Nicholas of Greece had been madly in love, which they were not, there was no possibility of a marriage between them.

Ella married Serge in 1884, when Nicholas of Greece was 12 years old, far too early to marry. Ella remained married to the Grand Duke until his death in 1905. Prior to this, Nicholas had married Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna in 1902, and they remained married until Nicholas' death in 1938.

So, they were both never available at the same time.
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Bambi on November 23, 2017, 05:24:46 PM
Yes, I also think that a union between them would have been practically impossible. Neither or both of them were unavailable by the time they met. Also, Nicholas was eight years younger than Ella, making him the same age as her youngest sister, Alix. Had a union been possible, I think the fact that Ella was several years his senior would have been disapproved.

I know that Christopher Warwick touched upon the subject briefly where he included some excerpts of her letters to Nicholas and said that "Sergei's nature must have lacked flirtatiousness and romance, that of which she found, albeit fleetingly, with Nicholas of Greece, having an unexpected effect on and arousing feelings in Ella which took her by surprise." Hugo Mager also apparently touched upon the subject but I personally have never read his book. Joseph Howard Tyson in Fifty-Seven Years of Russian Madness also said she grew particularly fond of him as he amused her with his repartee, antics and humourous drawings and that there was an innocent attraction between the two, both he and Warwick stating that it was arguably the closest Ella would ever come to being unfaithful.

I also doubt that either one was in love with the other, but the excerpts she wrote to him were very tender. It may not have been an extramarital, passionate love affair but to me, personally, it is suggestive that, while she did truly love her husband, there may have been something severely lacking in her relationship with Sergei.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone had the full transcripts of her correspondence with Nicholas? Or any pictures of the two together? Although I understand this may be unlikely given that they only spent a short amount of time together...
Title: Re: Grand Duchess and other possible suitors - what if..
Post by: Bambi on November 28, 2017, 04:51:21 AM
I just managed to dig up my copy of Christopher Warwick's Ella: Princess, Saint & Martyr, which I thought I may have accidentally misplaced somewhere, but fortunately have not. I just wanted to include the excerpts from Ella's letters to Nicholas of Greece, in case anyone would be interested.  :)

Nicky dear, Poor Cordelia is very sad without her Papa* & longs to be at Ilinskoye & begin the happy time over again, especially saying goodbye was a nasty moment & she was so stiff & calm to keep back her tears - really I miss you awfully each step on the staircase makes me think that after all you are not gone but will come up and have some nice drawing together... You wont forget your photos, do send me two as one I shall cut & put into your sweet little frame it is on my table also the blue mushroom, little birdie & lovely picture of Christ - I shall have it framed & take it always with me & hang or stand it near my bed. It was a nice time wasn't it, & you wont quite forget your old friend... I drunk off a glass of champagne to your health ... only Cordelia thought of you.

*By saying 'Cordelia', Ella is referring to herself and Nicholas of Greece as her 'Papa' - Nicholas portrayed King Lear and Ella his daughter Cordelia as part of a Shakespearian tableau vivant.

...I was longing for a few lines... Petasha* brought your letter... She is my little postman & the servants enjoy sending her to me with the letters... I don't think there will be charades, without you more than half of the fun is gone... It was too amusing then & never will get as good. My letter is getting too long. I will bore you like when driving you - you remember, was I naughty to teaze you, of course it was selfish of me...

*Petasha was Ella's fox terrier.

...Call me an ungrateful beast - but don't forget that Cordelia seemed cold & unloving & yet she adored her father Lear - see how Shakespearian I am how well I know to turn my phrases & make laziness seem poetical & pardonable... Thanks darling for your kind loving wishes. God bless you dear boy saying such affectionate things to your new friend but old cousin. You will give me news from time to time wont you and not forget me.