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Messages - Grandoffsky

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Nicholas II / Re: Infant Brother Alexander
« on: March 09, 2018, 01:22:28 PM »
Besides George there was also little Alexander who died when he was not yet a year old.

Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna / Re: Books on Grand Duchess Elizabeth
« on: February 27, 2018, 04:41:17 PM »
I think we should wait a little and the book will be at some bookstores. I believe it can be found now at the bookshop of Novospasyskiy Monastery.
Only I have some doubts about really any new facts or something like that in the book...

Oh, OK, thank you for this information. I guess we'll just really have to wait and see.

I also believe I've come across a few quotes from the book in different vkontakte groups, mainly from correspondence of other representatives of the Society that deal with the Grand Ducal couple and their work for the Society.

Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna / Re: Books on Grand Duchess Elizabeth
« on: February 27, 2018, 05:31:09 AM »

I was wondering if anyone has had a chance to have a look at this book «ЛЕТОПИСЬ ЖИЗНИ Великого князя Сергия Александровича и Великой княгини Елисаветы Феодоровны Романовых»

From the description it's quite impossible to understand whether it is a book only about Grand Duchess's and Grand Duke's work for the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (which I would also find very interesting) or is it about the Grand Ducal couple in general?

I also don't seem to be able to find where the book could be purchased (and if it is possible to order it from abroad).

I would be very thankful for any information.

Having Fun! / Re: Whom would you cast for an "Ella" movie
« on: February 18, 2018, 11:18:07 AM »
Ah! It’s especially at times like this I wish I knew Russian! Did the director reveal who they will be portraying?

Thanks for the updates! :)

He didn't say who exactly these actors will be portraying, only that Merzlikin will represent the new Soviet, atheistic Russia, while Mikhailov - the old Tsarist Orthodox Russia.

This leads me to think that Mikhailov might be portraying GD Sergei, though I'm not sure.

I think this is the first time I'm hearing of her. Who was she exactly? Just a friend? The surname does sound familiar, though. I think I may have seen it in Zinaida Yusupova's correspondence...

She's the one who found the peach in her bed, I believe that's also where you might have seen the name. :)
If I remember correctly, she was the lady-in-waiting for the Empress, then Alexandra Georgievna and along the line got friendly with the Grand Ducal couple. However, I am not an expert on these matters.

Thank you both so much! Much appreciated! If anymore come to mind, please let me know. :)

And you may come across Masha which usually refers to Maria Alexandrovna Vassilchikova (though I believe that technically she was not Ella's lady-in-waiting).

So sorry to be reviving an old thread, but would anyone be able to confirm the nicknames of Ella's ladies-in-waiting? I know a couple (eg. Ekaterina Kozlianinova - Kitty and Princess Lyudmila Lobanova - Fafka), but with such an abundance of names, I can sometimes get confused...

Also, Maria Petrovna Troubetskaya was Maroussia

Having Fun! / Re: Romanov story
« on: February 06, 2018, 03:29:29 PM »
I just wanted to say that sometimes it is worth remembering that fiction is fiction for a reason - it gives the author more freedom of what they choose to write and in how much detail they are willing to go. While we may each have our own tastes in what we like or not, it is up to the author to decide how much information they are willing to share at each point. And threre are many different styles and voices in which one can write that don't all ask for complete historical or even practical credibility in all things. But that, of course, is just my philological opinion.

Meanwhile, infanta, good job and keep it going!

The Imperial Family / Re: Imp. Family/Romanov's Family's Pets Links List
« on: February 04, 2018, 11:38:08 AM »
GD Sergei Alexandrovich’s diary 27 July 1877: “Mama let him [GD Paul] have a poodle – he’s delighted and smoked a little.”

source: Великий Князь Сергей Александрович Романов. Биографические материалы. Книга 2. 1877-1880

The Imperial Family / Re: Looking for help with Picture(s) and/or Captions
« on: February 02, 2018, 03:23:44 AM »
1903 year, the time of Prince Andrei of Greece wedding. Darmstadt

Thank You, that's what I thought!

The caption on the bottom picture could give the date as 1895, but it isn't complete. It might be 1896, 1898 or 1903, but not 1905, since Sergei was killed on 17 February 1905.
The bottom one says Grand Duke Serge of Russia (in German) anf gives his death date, so it's not when or where it was taken.
But I think you are right that they were taken outside Russia most probably in early 1900s. I know there are several versions of the picture of the Hessian sisters.

Could they have been taken in Darmstadt during the wedding of Princess Alice of Battenberg and Prince Andrew of Greece? I'm just thinking when all four sisters, Nicholas and GD Sergei were abroad together.

Does anyone know when, where and on what occasion these photos were taken? It seems they are shot at the same time.

Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna / Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« on: January 26, 2018, 12:29:50 PM »

When he returns to St. Petersburg, there are already rumours, some of them so nasty, he writes to Paul that he "can’t even repeat".

On New Year’s Eve he writes to Paul that it has been a “Good Year”.

GD Sergei leaves for Darmstadt for the official  engagement and on 19th Feb 1884 he writes to Maria Feodorovna from Darmstadt : “I’m happy and content here – with all my soul I’m thanking God for my happiness, hoping to be worthy of such great joy. Dmitry Serg[eevich Arsenev (his tutor)] will tell You everything – he’s enchanted by dear Ella – it has to be said that it’s hard not to be! [..] I have to say that on one of the groups [photographs that he sent] I have a little dumb expression. They say it’s because of the happiness – I really hope it’s not true!!!”

He’s very sad that Paul’s not with him, but writes a very lovely letter to him on 22 Feb 1884:
“[..] We went right to the Neues Palais, where was the happiness of meeting Ella. I forgot to tell that Shpunia [Sergei’s dog] is with me.
You know how much I miss you, my dear! I would love to share these happy moments with you. I’ll tell you more – if you were here with me right now, I would be even happier. That you and Olya [Olga Konstantinovna] almost won’t see me as a groom leave me in a little despair. Ella gave me a ring with a sapphire and two diamonds that I wear with the rings of Maman and Olga. I found a complete spring here -  the leaves are opening, as well as spring flowers and the air is warm. In a word – the air is heavenly. Everything is going great. Ella, if possible, is even more beautiful. We’re sitting together a lot; in the mornings she’s in my room and I’m teaching her a little bit of Russian. “God save the Tsar” [the anthem] among other things. We’re already walking alone through all Darmstadt and yesterday we two paid a visit to old Trota [an old lady in waiting, very loved by Empress Maria Alexandrovna]; I’m always very emotional visiting her, because those are the same rooms, where dear Maman lived in her childhood, and on one of the windows Mama has even written her name in 1835. We went to photographer with Ella. I’ll send you the photographs, they’re quite funny and nice. [..]
I dare to continue my letter after dear Ella wrote a couple of lines to you [there was a page in English written by Ella (unfortunately, I do not have this letter)]. [..] I got the idea to invite him [commander of Preobrazhenski regiment, prince Nikolai Obolenski] here, he was very moved by it and arrived immediately and was completely charmed by Ella. [..]”

There were dinners and dances (where he danced with Ella a lot, but thought the way they waltz in Germany is awful.) etc.

In the end of March he writes to Paul from St. Petersburg: “I was hoping to go to Darmstadt for the wedding of Ludwig [Battenberg and Irene of Hesse], but yesterday I got the message about the death of Leopold, the son of the Queen, and, it’s likely that all the plans are destroyed. Right now I don’t know what’s going to happen and when I’ll go there. I’m very sorry. Ella and her sisters loved this uncle very much.”

Two days later he writes again: “Ella writes to me wonderful letters every day, and once even a small letter in Russian, which she wrote all by herself. Of course, it’s very funny and with mistakes, but still amazing. Now I’ve found her a Russian teacher, who will go to her.”

He still goes to Darmstadt several times before the wedding. On 28th March, but he couldn’t stay for the Battenberg wedding (which was on 18th of April), because GD Konstantin was getting married on 15th and he had to be back in Russia for it. At this time he also meets Queen Victoria for the first time, who finds him “Very tall and gentleman-like, though very thin and delicate.” He writes about this to Konstantin: “It was very nice and peaceful in Darmstadt. I finally met the Queen – what a face – but with me very friendly.”

He returns for a few days to Darmstadt again on 9th -14th May.

And then he sends a train decorated with white flowers that would take Ella and all her family to St. Petersburg.

Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna / Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« on: January 26, 2018, 12:25:39 PM »
I’ve decided to write a bit on GD Sergei and GDss Ella’s engagement as seen from Sergei’s POW (sources taken from GD Sergei’s 4 Volume biography in Russian).
I have sort of swiped over Queen Victoria’s side of the whole engagement, but quite superficially. I’m still waiting for my book of QV’s letters to Victoria of Hesse (which I’ll hopefully get in February). So if you know more on that side of the story, I would be very happy to hear it. And sorry for my English, it's not my first language (and neither is Russian), so I’m trying to translate as well as I can.

The first time I could find Sergei write anything about Ella is in a letter to GD Konstantin on 3 Nov 1882, where he says that he's paid a visit to GD Louis of Hesse: “his daughters are really beautiful. There are rumours that I’m getting married, but they should not be believed and in truth we are still very far from it”. The next mention I can find is from 8 Feb 1883 when he writes to GD Konstantin regarding Konstantin's engagement and says he thinks he himself "wouldn't be worthy of such happiness, even though the happiness was so close and so possible. But I'm not losing hope - everything is in the hands of God. Hope and patience."

The beginning of 1883 is also time when there is a lot of gossip about GD Sergei in St. Petersburg and he writes quite desperate letters to GD Konstantin trying to understand the causes. Konstantin replies that he knows Sergei too well to believe the gossip and concludes that because of how their elder brothers acted before, they can’t do anything without being criticised now.

In summer he tells about his wish to marry Ella to his tutor and friend Arseniev. Arseniev and GD Paul exchange letters on the subject, bet Sergei doesn’t tell Paul himself. At this time Ella is in England with Queen Victoria.

On 26th August he writes to GD Konstantin that all his plans need to be postponed and that he would explain this when they meet in person. (I guess this is about the time when Ella returned from Queen Victoria, who had made her promise that she would never marry a Russian). So here’s the question – was there a first proposal that Ella turned down or wasn’t there? To me it seems that there was not an official proposal, but that there may have been some sort of discussion on the subject, since Queen Victoria is so very vexed about the possibility that Ella could marry a Russian. As I understand, he had asked to come to Darmstadt some time in September 1883, but puts it off all the time. He travels around Europe in a rather foul and philosophical mood and manages to have a couple of fights with Paul via letters (Paul is getting sort of jealous, repeating that Sergei doesn’t need him in his life anymore). They sort it out as soon as they meet in person when Sergei unexpectedly visits Paul on his birthday.

It's interesting that he only really speaks to GD Paul about his marriage on 5th Nov 1883, right before he leaves for Darmstadt for the engagement, even though by the time Paul knew all about Sergei's plans from other sources. But they have a very cordial discussion in the night that leaves them both very emotional.

The next day Sergei is already in Darmstadt. He also didn't want anyone to know that he was there, because he didn't want any kind of gossip. He asked Paul to send telegrams in his name (so they wouldn’t know that he sends them from Darmstadt). He has a very nice and long chat with GD Louis of Hesse while playing billiard and everything is arranged; 5th November becomes the date of their unofficial engagement, which they later celebrate each year, giving each other little gifts.

He also writes to his brother Alexander III and asks him not to tell anyone, because the wedding would only be in summer (because they feared that Russian winter would be too harsh for Ella in the beginning) and therefore until then there would be an awful lot of gossiping otherwise. For now he only tells his very closest - his siblings and  a couple other of the closest people. He stays in Darmstadt until 19th of November, quite disappointed that Louis leaves for a hunt (which, according to custom, means he can't see Ella) and that Vicky (Queen Victoria’s daughter) is coming to visit, though they do end up being mutually very friendly.

Sergei writes to Konstantin from Darmstadt without telling anything, and GD Konst. replies “I don’t understand your behaviour concerning Darmstadt. All the world is talking about your engagement. What are you doing there if you don’t count on it and why don’t you write to me about your plans?” However, the next week Sergei meets GD Konstantin and his fiancee in Altenburg, so I guess he told him in person.

Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna / Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« on: January 25, 2018, 09:25:14 AM »
In the 4 Volume there are no GDss Elizaveta's letters.

Well, as I see, there are the letters from 1892, which is at least something :)

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