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Messages - DNAgenie

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The Imperial Family / Re: The Romanovs as artists
« on: Yesterday at 05:01:55 PM »
Sorry about that. I am not a subscriber but I can see it. The article came up in my local news feed.

The Imperial Family / The Romanovs as artists
« on: July 21, 2018, 10:13:29 AM »
Here is an interesting article about the modern Romanov family as artists, painters, cartoonists, etc. It does not refer to the photography of Nicholas II and his family but that could be covered by this topic as well.

The Final Chapter / Re: One Hundred Years On
« on: July 18, 2018, 11:23:38 AM »
There is a comprehensive article about the current Russian attitudes to the Romanov deaths in The Moscow Times of July 19 2018.

See .

The Final Chapter / Re: One Hundred Years On
« on: July 18, 2018, 10:48:04 AM »
The Bolsheviks were violent, bloodthirsty criminals, and murdering innocent young women, and sickly boy, who probably would not have lived to see his 25th birthday, hammers that home.
You can certainly apply that description to the Urals Bolshevik committee, but it is too sweeping a statement to apply to the Russian Bolshevik Government.

The Moscow Bolshevik government had wanted to put Nicholas II on trial for his crimes against the Russian people, but that turned out to be impossible because of the military situation, as the White Russian armies approached Yekaterinburg. So they sanctioned the Tsar's  execution. Just that. They announced his death in a press release as soon as they received confirmation from the Urals Soviet.

But they discovered that the Urals lot had gone ahead and massacred the whole family, so the coverup began. No more official information was released beyond the message that the rest of the family was in a safe place. Moscow was forced to approve the assassinations retrospectively, as, after all, what else could they do? The Urals Bolsheviks were a loose cannon and Russia has paid a price for that ever since.

The Final Chapter / Re: People Being 'Horrified' by OTMAA's Murders?
« on: July 12, 2018, 07:32:35 PM »
If individuals in Britain, France and Germany were asked in 1918 something like 'Do you think that the murder of the Romanovs was a terrible crime?', then probably 99 out of 100 would have answered yes.

You are forgetting that in 1918 no-one knew anything about the murder of the Romanovs. The death of Nicholas and Alexei had been announced by the Russian Government but at that stage the rest of the family was reported to be in a place of safety.

That question was not relevant until the mid-1920s, at the earliest, and it can only be answered in hindsight.

In 1918 many European royal families had lost their thrones, and there was little public sympathy for their plight. The world was trying to recover from a calamitous World War and most of the royals were seen as having caused that war. Seen in that context, the death of some members of a particular royal family would not have been seen as a terrible crime, but as retribution.

You would probably get a different answer today, as modern readers are suitably horrified by the manner of the Romanov deaths. But in 1918? No.

The Final Chapter / Re: One Hundred Years On
« on: July 09, 2018, 07:10:23 PM »
One week to go. It will be interesting to see what happens in Russia, quite apart from official recognition of the event.

The Final Chapter / Re: People Being 'Horrified' by OTMAA's Murders?
« on: July 07, 2018, 06:06:07 PM »
There is an interesting article about British newspaper reports on the reign of Nicholas II at . "It was in Yekaterinburg, in July 1918, that the Romanov family was murdered by the Bolsheviks. The reports afterwards were conflicting and rumours circulated about the tragic fate of the family.

 ‘Fate of the Romanovs’, Edinburgh Evening News – Saturday 06 July 1918

‘Romanov mystery’, Aberdeen Press and Journal – Tuesday 09 July 1918

‘The last journey of the ex-czar’, Sheffield Evening Telegraph – Monday 05 August 1918

‘Fate of the Romanovs’, The Scotsman – Thursday 05 December 1918"

Palaces in Moscow / Re: Grand Kremlin Palace
« on: June 10, 2018, 07:48:46 PM »
I may have been misled by the use of the term 'quarterings'. There's a nice representation of the Russian Imperial Arms in 1883 at You can see descriptions of the various charges by hovering the cursor over them.

Palaces in Moscow / Re: Grand Kremlin Palace
« on: June 09, 2018, 07:29:06 PM »
Quarterings on a coat of arms represent marriages, so the quarterings referred to here would represent the arms of the individual families whose women married into the Romanov royal line, not countries within the Russian Empire.

The Final Chapter / William Lincoln archive
« on: May 10, 2018, 06:13:30 PM »
Yesterday I watched an episode of the 2017 BBC program, Antiques Roadshow, in which the final item featured a Romanov family photograph album which had apparently been given to an Englishman, William Lincoln, in Ekaterinburg, by one of the maids to the Romanov family.  She had said to him: "I want you to keep this for me. If I am found with it, I will be shot."

There was also an extensive series of letters written by William Lincoln from Ekaterinburg to his family in England in 1918, during and after the imprisonment of the Romanovs. The AR expert accepted the authenticity of the archive and estimated its value at auction at perhaps 65,000 pounds. He expected a publisher to pay that sort of money for the archive, which had been held in private hands for nearly a hundred years.

See reply 53 above.

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.

Royal princes could set their sights much higher than that. They were more likely to seduce members of their own households (or those of their relatives) or the aristocracy, and it was not unknown for them to extend their attentions to female relatives. These episodes rarely reached the general public but they happened, and research in old family records reveals a number of these.

Properly brought-up young men frequently developed romantic feelings for their younger cousins, and quite often married them in later life, but seduce them they did not. A premature and bungled proposal seems much more likely.

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.

This is certainly interesting, but seducing and impregnating a 13-year-old first cousin is still, I think, something which would lead to serious repercussions.

By 1878 Wilhelm I, whatever his previous misdeeds, was a monarch who had the dignity and reputation of his dynasty to maintain. I cannot see any contemporary ruler simply leaving his grandson enjoying a comfortable university existence in these circumstances.

Wilhelm I did indeed react to his grandson's behavior.  He ordered Willie to get married ASAP to a suitable royal princess, and so Willie dutifully "fell in love" with Dona, and married her.

I have been reading John Rohl's book on Young William. It is meticulously researched, but Rohl is not privy to the details of the Willie/Ella episode. In fact he is very puzzled as to why Willie switched his affections from Ella to Dona so dramatically. The only reason he can come up with is that Willie was warned off Ella because of the chance of her inheriting the haemophilia taint. In my opinion this is a very far-fetched and 21st century interpretation. if you read that section of the book while keeping in mind the likelihood of Willie actually seducing Ella, the whole situation becomes much clearer and all the actions of the principals can be explained.

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: The "suitability" of royal wives
« on: February 21, 2018, 06:52:39 PM »
This thread represents a very blinkered view of 'suitability' in a royal bride.  It has come down to a critique, in hindsight, of why Alexandra's personality made her unsuitable for the position of Tsarina. In my view the reason why she was unsuitable was not because of her personality, but because she was extremely unlucky.

Two major factors determined why Alexandra did not appear to be suitable, and they are evident only in hindsight. Firstly she did not produce a male heir early in her marriage. It took ten years of her time as Tsarina, giving birth to four girls in succession before Alexei was born. Secondly when she did have a boy, the child was unlucky enough to inherit her haemophilia gene, and that was only a 50-50 chance. Those two factors put an enormous emotional strain on the Tsarina, as they would have done to any royal bride.

Just think what her life would have been like if her first-born child had been Alexei, born healthy. In all aspects except his illness he was a son to be proud of, so she would have had the chance to become the darling of Russian society, and with no need to produce a child every two years until she had born a boy. She would probably have had two more children (allowing for 'the heir and the spare' and perhaps one other) and they might have been Olga and Tatiana, but the pressure to produce a boy would have been removed, and she would have had no need to rely on Rasputin for more than casual religious guidance. No problem.

Actually there was a third reason why she was unlucky, which was to follow in the footsteps of her socially outgoing,extremely popular and comparatively young mother-in-law. If Maria Feodorovna had been other than what she was, Alexandra would have had a much easier time of it in Russian society.

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