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Royal princes were not properly brought up. They sowed their wild oats in all directions and usually got away with it. As in this case.

My impression is that their "hunting grounds" usually were limited to actresses, dancers, singers etc. of the stage. It's extremely rare to find the one night stands with peasant girls, tavern waitresses, maids and common prostitutes that popular imagination often conjures up. These were the victims of the (lower) nobility and bourgeoisie in the 19th century.

Nicholas II / Re: Tercentenary Route
« on: Yesterday at 03:56:41 AM »
Hello! I'm new here and I hope that I'm doing this properly! I was wondering if anyone knew the route that Nicholas II and his family took during the Romanov Tercentenary celebrations. I know they visited the Ipatiev Monastery, but I don't know much else about where they went.
Thank you!

The route was St. Petersburg - Vladimir - Suzdal - Nizhniy Novgorod - Kostroma (site of the Ipatiev Monastery) - Yaroslavl - Rostov - Pereslavl and Moscow.
See and Wikipedia: Путешествие императорской семьи в мае 1913 года

Having Fun! / Re: Romanov novel project
« on: March 07, 2018, 03:15:39 PM »
I know that I am asking a lot, but I very much need help (still stuck on the first page, for God's sake), and will accept anything that anyone has to offer, thank you.

Any particular reason why it's taking place in Belgium involving an Australian? What if the Romanovs Holstein-Gottops were returned to their native Schleswig-Holstein and found themselves on an Autobahn rest stop just outside Gottorp (Schleswig), Kiel or Rohlfshagen (estate of Peter III's father - between two Autobahnen) - or outside Oldenburg (on the Autobahn towards Belgium). If you place them in Schleswig-Holstein and read German you can base the shady character on a punker out of Lütjenburg native Rocko Schamoni's punk novel Dorfpunks.

The thing is, if you place your characters in very random settings and situations you have to have a very strong and compelling story. If you don't have that you can use more or less well-known settings and historical connections to make your story engaging, as a sort of "historical travelogue".

Empress Maria's amusing letters about food to Emperor Alexander III of Schloss Rumpenheim in Germany!

Old photographs and aerial views of Schloss Rumpenheim in Germany


There is something rather Atlantic about the exterior look of Rumpenheim, especially Dutch (e.g. Soestdijk Palace) or Colonial American. Rumpenheim, originally a part of the County of Hanau, was the only Hesse-Cassel possession south of the river Main, which is a kind of German Mason-Dixon line. When Prussia annexed all of Hesse-Cassel north of the Main, territorial sovereignty of Rumpenheim was ceded to Hesse-Darmstadt.

The word the Danes use in their epitaphs of him [the late Prince Henrik of Denmark] is sjov*, as in en sjov mand, a fun / funny man.
* Pronounced [ɕɒwˀ], with a Russian-style shcha (щ - voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative), then a typically Danish and English semi-diphtongized vowel and a glottal stop (Danish stød, also typical of Cockney, Estuary and Australian English) at the end.

The same sound [[ɕ] is the first one in the name of Xí Jìnpíng [ɕǐ tɕîn.pʰǐŋ], the president of China who is about to make himself dictator for life and virtual emperor. Strange then, that his name is rendered Си Цзиньпин in Russian instead of Щи Цзиньпин. Is it because it's disrespectful to call the Chinese president щи, shchi, cabbage soup?

Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia / Re: Upcoming Books 2018
« on: February 24, 2018, 02:17:16 PM »
The Romanov Empress : A Novel of Tsarina Maria Feodorovna

Let's hope the novel is better than the stupid, used-up title indicates. "The Baltic Empress" would have been much more fitting for a Glücksburg princess who grew up and ended her days by the Sound (entrance of the Baltic), reigned in St. Petersburg (innermost part of the Baltic) and holidayed on the Finnish coast, but I guess the title is chosen to trap American readers who don't know the difference between the Baltic, the Bosphorus, the Bay of Biscay and the Barents Sea.

Balkan Royal Families / Re: Tzar Ferdinand of Bulgaria and his family
« on: February 18, 2018, 06:28:44 AM »
Hochzeitsreigen op. 453 (waltz for Maria Luisa)

A Reigen (round dance) in name only, apparently. Type "Reigen" into YouTube and you get an Austrian medieval dance troupe dancing to the Pippi Longstocking song :-): BTW I think Pippi claiming her father was "the gay tsar of Bulgaria" would have worked just as good in these PC times as the original "negro king in the South Seas".

Having Fun! / Re: Whom would you cast for an "Ella" movie
« on: February 18, 2018, 05:17:52 AM »
Ah! It’s especially at times like this I wish I knew Russian! Did the director reveal who they will be portraying?

You get a good translation with Google Translate:

О чем-то мы спорили. Например, как преподнести тему ее отношения к Распутину. Там была нравственная дилемма. С одной стороны, она простила убийц мужа, но при этом считала, что убийство Распутина оправданно. И из-за этого у нее произошла ссора с сестрой, императрицей Александрой Федоровной.
We argued about something. For example, how to present the topic of her relationship to Rasputin. There was a moral dilemma. On the one hand, she forgave her husband's murderers, but at the same time she believed that Rasputin's murder was justified. And because of this, she had a quarrel with her sister, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna.


- Вы не житие снимаете…

Алексей Барыкин: Да, совершенно верно. Мы делаем историю живого человека. И естественно, что он в чем-то несовершенен. И так ее добродетели настолько очевидны. Хотя не исключено, что тему Распутина я не буду поднимать.
You are not filming a vita / hagiography.....

Alexei Barykin: Yes, that's right. We make a story of a living person. And it is natural that she is in something imperfect. And so her virtues are so obvious. Although it is possible that I will not raise the topic of Rasputin.

- Когда изучали материалы, что вас поразило?

Алексей Барыкин: Было несколько открытий. Само по себе интересно царское окружение, семья великих князей. И впервые я серьезно столкнулся с дискуссией о муже Елизаветы Федоровны, Сергее Александровиче.

С одной стороны, это человек, которого много лет историки представляли исчадием ада. И тут вдруг противоположная точка зрения, что это был святейший человек, который строил храмы и причащался трижды в неделю. И тоже много фактов приводят, это подтверждающих. Он основал Палестинское общество. Столько храмов им было построено на Святой земле!
- When you studied the materials, what amazed you?

Alexei Barykin: There were several discoveries. In itself, the royal environment, the family of the grand dukes, is interesting. And for the first time I was seriously confronted with a discussion about the husband of Elizabeth Feodorovna, Sergey Alexandrovich.

On the one hand, this is a person who for many years historians have been represented as the descent of hell. And then suddenly the opposite view that it was the most holy man who built the temples and communed three times a week. And too many facts lead, it confirming. He founded the Palestinian Society. So many churches they were built in the Holy Land!

Nothing wrong with a movie with a strong religious focus, but it sounds like it's gonna be very tame and un-controversial, being filmed in tight co-operation with the church hierarchy and avoiding all problematic issues.

The Danish Royal Family / Re: Queen Margarethe II & Prince Henrik
« on: February 14, 2018, 05:16:09 AM »
Prince Henrik died shortly before midnight on Tuesday the 13th of February, 83 years old, at Fredensborg Palace. The funeral will take place in the palace chapel of Christiansborg Palace on Tuesday the 20th of February, where his closed coffin will be on lit de parade during the weekend and on Monday. In accordance with his wishes he will not be buried in Roskilde Cathedral's royal necropolis, where his wife eventually will be buried, but half of his ashes will be scattered in Danish waters and the other half buried in an urn in the gardens of Fredensborg Palace.

The word the Danes use in their epitaphs of him is sjov*, as in en sjov mand, a fun / funny man.
* Pronounced [ɕɒwˀ], with a Russian-style shcha (щ - voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative), then a typically Danish and English semi-diphtongized vowel and a glottal stop (Danish stød, also typical of Cockney, Estuary and Australian English) at the end.

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: The "suitability" of royal wives
« on: February 12, 2018, 04:47:48 AM »
You can see it as an extension of the hereditary principle: Why should the criteria for a monarch's spouse and monarch's mother be qualifications-based when the office of monarch itself wasn't?

And the reality of a media monarchy where PR played an important role was relatively new in AF's time. Direct, personal relationships with the court nobility had always played an important role, also for the consorts. But consorts who were too adept at this (e.g. Catherine the Great) were seen as a potential threat to their husbands (often in favour of their sons, though) and the whole patriarchical order of society.

Active Christian faith and piety was perhaps the staple universal criterion of suitability in a wider context of Christian Europe, because it ensured:
- selflessness and self-sacrifice
- loyalty to the status quo
- pre-marital chastity and marital fidelity
- charitability that would endear the spouse and the monarchy to the population
- focus on the welfare of subjects of all estates and classes and not just the narrow court circles

I'm excited about the news about a Norwegian TV series about Crown Princess Märtha's exile in the US during WW2, including her close relationship with President Roosevelt!

Filming will start this autumn and the series will air on NRK in 2020. The production tema has spent six years researching whether Märtha had an affair with Roosevelt. She was anyways the person he spent the most time with / upon during the entire WW2!

The series is called "Alt for Norge" - All / everything for Norway (the mottos of her father-in-law, her husband and her son). I'm very much looking forward to a series featuring a relationship between a Norwegian royal and a patrician Knickerbocker!

Having Fun! / Re: Romanov story
« on: February 10, 2018, 08:07:19 AM »
Don't forget that Czech and Russian are mutually intelligible on the same level as English and German and English and French, so there will be many similar words, even though they don't understand each other's sentences. Especially basic nouns which have to do with nature and stuff in a forest setting (osa / osʲ = axe etc.).
See this post about romantic inter-Slavic intelligibility:

Having Fun! / Re: Romanov story
« on: February 09, 2018, 06:41:18 PM »
The book "Woodcraft" by EH Kreps written in 1919 is on both the Guttenberg press and for those who want to know about building a log cabin, fire starting ect.

100 years later we have bushcraft Youtube videos for that purpose!

Watching someone build something from scratch with their bare hands is also quite nice for meditation :-) (Check out this guy, he is a Stone Age god:

You can almost never determine Jewish origins from a surname. While some names are "often" associated with Jewish families,  the same names were also used by non Jews. I've been doing Jewish genealogical research for years now.

Of course it depends on the name. But when a Russian (or Frenchman, American etc.) has a German-sounding name there are usually either German or Jewish ancestors lurking in the background. Of course the family might have converted from Judaism. Some names are equally common among Germans and Jews, like Schwartz, Weiss, Braun etc. Some ornamental surnames like Zederbaum / Tsiderbaum are uniquely Jewish, while other, similar ornamental surnames, like Cedergren (Cedar Branch) or Cederlöf (Cedar Leaf) are typical of Swedes (and thus also Finland Swedes), another culture where ornamental surnames are common. They might even share the surname in different forms: Weinberg / Vaynberg (Jewish) and Wiinberg (Swedish), both meaning "wine hill / vineyard". Odd freaks of genealogy can of course happen, but my impression from a lot of historical reading and occassional genealogical digging is that you usually can tell pretty well, at least from the ornamental or geographical (Berlin, Warschauer, Frankfurter, Kissinger, Weil etc. - typically Jewish) surnames. Occupational surnames (Schneider, Schindler, Wagner etc.) and descriptive names (Schwartz, Braun, Weiss etc.) are trickier.

Having Fun! / Re: Swole corps des pages - literally
« on: February 06, 2018, 11:29:52 AM »
More yummy corps des pages, or rather cute air cadets, in a homoerotic hommage parody that evidently has caused a national outrage and then a massive support wave in Russia (read the text below video):

The massive show of support (among them tankers dancing their own hommage: is a sign that Russia's young are not OK with Putin's use of homophobia as a political tool.

Liberal Novaya Gazeta headlines the news with rewriting the Russian pop song Танцуй, пока молодой, мальчик - Dance while you are young, boy as Танцуй, пока молодой, летчик -  Dance while you are young, airman.

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