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Messages - bookworm857158367

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Balkan Royal Families / Re: Princess Ileana of Romania,her life and family
« on: February 10, 2010, 07:15:04 PM »

I wonder where Hannah Pakula got the information that Ileana is genetically Ferdinand's daughter. From a DNA test?

She read carefully the correspondence between Queen Marie and Barbo Stirbey and came to conlcusion that Ileana more likley wasn't Stirbey's daughter.

I'm still skeptical. Perhaps Stirbey was more invested in the idea of a son instead of a daughter since he had no legitimate sons and had four daughters. That could account for his being more emotional in the letters about Mircea. It could also be that Marie wasn't sure which man fathered Ileana and thought it was probably Ferdinand. There was no DNA testing available in those days. Looking at the pictures I'd say she was probably Stirbey's.

Balkan Royal Families / Re: Princess Ileana of Romania,her life and family
« on: February 09, 2010, 02:57:36 PM »
Hannah Pakulaís book about the Queen Marie cites that Stirbey is not Ileanaís father. However, I agree with you Katenka, Ileana does resemble Stirbey in a certain degree. When Janet said that a daughter of Stirbey was mistaken as Ileana (a new information for me, thank you very much, Janet) , I begin to suspect that Stirbey was Ileanaís biological father (but Iím open to accepting the possibility that itís just a coincidence). If itís still okay to take a sample of DNA from Ileana (or from her son Dominic) and from her nephew Michael and have it tested, probably, weíll know the truth.

Based on what I know about genetics I'd doubt Ferdinand was the father of either Ileana or Mircea. Ferdinand looks like he had blond to light brown hair and fair skin and Marie was also very blonde and blue eyed. It'd be highly unlikely for parents with those genetic traits to produce anything except blond, blue-eyed children like the first four children. Ileana had dark hair and blue eyes and Mircea was dark-haired and dark-eyed. Those two look like full siblings in the pictures of them together. And, given that Marie had a number of affairs, I suppose it's possible she didn't really know who the father of some of her children were. Maybe there was a chance that Ileana was Ferdinand's. But it looks to me like she was probably Stirbey's daughter given her resemblance to him and apparently to Stirbey's legitimate daughter, her probable half-sister.

Dmitri, if you have evidence that Heinrich Kleinbenzetl was a complete liar, I'd certainly be interested in seeing it. Most of your posts seem to be based soley on your own opinion. Have you read books or magazine articles that indicate, for instance, that he benefited financially from testifying for Anna Anderson? Was he convicted of fraud or some other serious crime? What was written about him at the time of the trial? According to Kurth's book, he gave a good accounting of himself at the trial and they provied through records that he did, in fact, do what he said he did and lived where he said he did on July 17, 1918.

Several guards said one or two of the girls -- one of them specifically Anastasia -- survived the initial attack and were alive when they started to carry out the bodies. According to King's book, there was a span of time when a few of the guards who had not been involved in the actual killings were left alone with the boides while Yurovksy collected the loot that the murderers had pilfered from the Romanovs and threatened to kill anyone who didn't hand it over. There were also several reports that trains were stopped and searched for an escaped Grand Duchess Anastasia around the same time period. Of course that was also around the same time that Maria Rasputin's husband was collecting money from royalists to pay for various "Anastasias" to flee the country. There were apparently several girls he hired as impostors to defraud the people in the Romanov circle. On the  other hand, it's interesting that the government was searching for a Romanov at all when all of them were supposedly dead. There are also two missing boides from the mass grave. They've searched the forest around Ekaterinburg for going on 20 years and haven't turned up the remains of Anastasia or Alexei or of a burn site.

There's simply no evidence that Anastasia and Alexei died that night or that they didn't. There's plenty of circumstantial evidence that the Red Guards were worried about something or other. Kleinbenzetl might have been a big fat liar, but at least he was in the right place at the right time to see what he claimed he saw.

The Windsors / Re: Edward and Sophie, Earl and Countess of Wessex
« on: July 02, 2007, 12:21:48 PM »
That's nice for them. I wonder if they used fertility treatments, given her age and past difficulties? Hopefully everything will go well and the pregnancy and delivery will be uneventful. It would be nice if they had a son to carry on the title of Duke of Edinburgh.

I think Ducky actually was naturally shy, according to her sister's memoirs, and painfully sensitive. The difference between her and Alix is that Alix's family tended to indulge her shyness and Ducky's mother taught her coping skills ruthlessly. Ducky learned how to talk to people and deal with the public. Ducky had a double helping of Romanov pride and arrogance on top of a natural inability to abide lies and liars and pretense of any kind. I think those character traits go a long way towards explaining her scandalous marriage and occasionally awkward behavior.

The Windsors / Re: Kate Middleton
« on: March 08, 2007, 06:59:49 AM »
My guess is that they are very aware of the dangers of Prince William or Kate Middleton getting married too young, before they've had a fair opportunity to establish their careers or live something resembling a normal life. The moment they "take her into the fold" her choices will be severely limited and she may well come to resent it, increasing the likelihood of a nasty public divorce or breakup. None of them want to go through that again, probably least of all Prince William after seeing his own parents' marriage. They're wise to take it very slow.

The Windsors / Re: Kate Middleton
« on: March 08, 2007, 06:44:37 AM »
I suspect Princess Theodora of Greece AND Prince William would have a good laugh at the thought and probably thank their lucky stars that they were born at a time when they had some choices about who to marry and what to do for a career. A lot of those cousin-marriages that were popular in the 1800s weren't terribly successful.

The Windsors / Re: Kate Middleton
« on: March 08, 2007, 06:22:57 AM »
Yep. I'd say you're pretty young.

Royalty are PEOPLE, some of them interesting and extraordinary because they've managed to rise above constrained circumstances or have absorbed the concept of "To whom much is given, much is expected" into their bones. More of them are ordinary people born into extraordinary circumstances. Some are hedonistic layabouts who do nothing but seek out a life of selfish pleasure. Given what I know about Prince Eddy, I'd say he was a cross between the second and third categories. He was not very bright, he was likely disabled, AND he was only excited about the pleasures of the flesh and fashion. That doesn't make him Jack the Ripper, but it doesn't make him someone to worship either.

Royalty are symbols. The system itself may be something to admire or be nostalgic about. I'd say that the PEOPLE inside that system are to be pitied, despite the compensations of wealth and prestige, because it's got to be a lousy way to live a life.

And no, Prince Eddy was not worth more than my ancestors or yours or Kate Middleton's or any other intelligent, hard-working ordinary man or woman who contributed to society and was kind to other people. I continue to find your opinion snobbish and hope that you really don't view royalty in that way.

The Windsors / Re: Kate Middleton
« on: March 07, 2007, 07:35:26 PM »
There's something mighty snobbish about saying a coal miner's granddaughter "isn't good enough" for Prince William. My ancestors were largely farmers, farm laborers, ranchers, police officers and grade school teachers with an Irish priest thrown in to keep it interesting. Every one of them was worth several of, say, a Prince Eddy, who spent most of his time on wine, women, and song and didn't have a brain in his head. Since Kate Middleton's parents are millionaires, I would venture to say that her ancestors were worth several of Prince Eddy as well. People are worthy of respect because of what they do and how they behave themselves, not because of who their ancestors are, even when you're a member of a royal family.

I suspect you're still pretty young, but comments like that remind me how glad I am to be an American.

I stumbled across a Web site that claims Alexei was left in command of the bridge when his father and the captain were gone from the Standardt at the outbreak of World War I and that he ordered them to fire on a strange ship that was approaching the Standardt. They fired on the rear of the ship before they realized that it was his grandmother's yacht, The Polar Star. He would have been 9 1/2 or 10 at the time. Is this story even remotely possible? Were the Imperial Family on their cruise when the war broke out?

The same site claims that Alexei was furious with his father when he visited a hospital in 1915 and discovered a ward full of maimed soldiers, one of them a year older than he was. I'm curious about whether this has been reported anywhere in any of the reference texts. I've certainly never heard it before.

Here's the link:

Regarding the fashions of the four grand duchesses -- they were in captivity for the last two years of their lives and before that they were involved in the war effort to a far greater extent than Irina was. I remember some of the later photos of Olga and Tatiana and both of them had hairstyles and dresses in 1916 that looked fairly up to date but I doubt they were thinking of their social lives or fashion to the extent that Irina probably was.

I think Irina loved Felix at this point in time and he probably loved her in his fashion. There are letters quoted in the Rasputin File where it sounds like she was very much in on plans for the murder of Rasputin and then backed out when she got scared, so Felix had to do it alone. This is a direct quote: "Please don't be angry with me, please don't be angry. I love you terribly. I can't live without you ... I don't know what's wrong with me." Then she warns him not to do anything crazy, because she can tell he's wildly excited and about to do something impulsive, just from the tone of the letter.  In his memoirs, Felix writes that she didn't have the female artifice that put him off relationships with women because she had so many brothers. He could talk to her like a man friend.  Irina was shy, yet she was raised in a wealthy, socially cosmopolitan environment. She probably knew about her parents' affairs, that her mother and father weren't happy with one another, maybe knew about her brothers' intimacies. She wasn't shocked when Felix told her he liked to dress as a woman and had been with men, at least according to Felix's account.  Maybe Irina looked and acted boyish enough to attract Felix. Irina probably liked his money, being able to remain in Russia, and maybe appreciated having a husband who wouldn't put a lot of demands on her physically. I think they were at the very least close, intimate friends.

A bit of trivia: Alexandra was called "Lina" in the family and her brother Nicholas was "Nixa." She died of meningitis at age seven and it devastated her mother so much that she broke down in tears discussing it even twenty years after the event. When their second daughter Marie was born, she was badly spoiled because they had wanted another daughter so much. From the portrait, at least, it appears that Alexandra would have grown up to be far prettier than her sister Marie, the Duchess of Edinburgh.

According to Margaret Eagar's book, the family avoided using the name Alexandra for its daughters after the death of the little grand duchess and of Grand Duchess Alexandra Georgievna. That's probably why none of Nicholas and Alexandra's four daughters were named Alexandra as well, even though avoiding the name doesn't appear to have given them any added luck.

Maria Nicholaievna / Re: Marie in kimono photo and Romanov fashion trends?
« on: December 05, 2006, 07:05:59 PM »
I used the kimono photo and the photo of Marie in the hat in a Wikipedia article about Marie. I thought they were likely in the public domain. Does anyone know for sure? If they aren't, I probably ought to have them deleted.

The Windsors / Re: Lord Nicholas Windsor & family
« on: October 03, 2006, 02:40:17 PM »
They appear to define the word "pretentious." I recently discovered one of my many times great-grandfathers had some sort of a title in France. By this family's logic, I could resume his name and my brother could start calling himself a marquis because our ancestor was one circa 1680. Never mind that the rest of our ancestors were farmers, peasants, teachers and the like.

She was quite a bit taller than Olga in that last picture, even though she was less than a year older. It looks like she would have inherited her mother's height. You can see the beginnings of gangliness. Ducky always towered over her older sister in the childhood photos too.

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