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Messages - Kalafrana

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Having Fun! / Re: What's the weather like at your place?
« on: April 18, 2018, 04:06:09 AM »
At last the sun is shining in Devon, and I am about to go out in a T-shirt for the first time this year.



'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.'

Wilhelm's parents had certainly endeavoured to bring him up properly. If you read Rohl, his mother showered him with advice by letter, literally from everything from how to clean his teeth onwards. No doubt he reacted against it to some extent, but seducing a 13-year-old cousin would be a step too far.

And what about Queen Victoria's reaction? We only have to think of her horror at the Prince of Wales's episode with Nellie Cliften(sp.?). Wilhelm was her eldest grandson, a future Emperor. Keeping him on the straight and narrow was a most serious business.

I agree entirely with Bambi that we need to know more about the provenance of these letters.


Wilhelm's grandfather may have warned him off Ella, but nevertheless a seduction is inherently unlikely, given Ella's age if nothing else. The mores of the time were completely against it, and there is no suggestion that Wilhelm was in disgrace, which he most certainly would have been.

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.


Imperial Transportation / Re: Cars
« on: April 17, 2018, 05:24:11 AM »
Moscow-Novgorod-St Petersburg in 19 days!


The Imperial Family / Re: Royal matches for OTMA
« on: April 12, 2018, 06:00:02 AM »
Frederik IX seems to have been a decent man, so could have been a good match for one of the younger daughters. However, marriageable age for men was higher than for women - typically 25-30 - so such a marriage would not be a serious proposition until well into the 1920s.

In any event, Nicholas does not seem to have visited his Danish cousins much after his marriage, so did the girls actually know Frederik? I'm happy to be corrected on this one, but Nicholas's visits to Denmark seem to have come to an end with his marriage.


Having Fun! / Re: What's the weather like at your place?
« on: April 12, 2018, 05:47:53 AM »
We have had a long and dreary winter here in England, and spring is just trying to emerge. The cherry tree on the verge outside my house is in blossom, leaves are starting to appear on the trees, and it is gradually getting warmer and brighter. all much later than usual, however.

The Hohenzollern / Re: German Royal Palaces, Castles and Homes
« on: April 10, 2018, 04:57:59 AM »
According to the guided tours in Potsdam, Alexandra's husband Nicholas I provided her brother Friedrich Wilhelm IV with materials for his building projects.


The Final Chapter / Re: People Being 'Horrified' by OTMAA's Murders?
« on: April 09, 2018, 04:27:56 AM »
According to Princess Marie Louise, she was asked by George V some time in August 1918 to visit VMH to inform her of the murders, the newspapers having agreed to hold back the news until the following day. I imagine the major British newspapers would also have treated the matter with restrained shock.

We should bear in mind that the First World War was still raging, and the first instalment of the spanish Flu epidemic reached Britain in July 1917, so susceptibility to shock was probably more blunted than it would be now. To draw a parallel, over the last week or so, the news here has reported a succession of knife attacks on teenagers in North London. My reaction, and I suspect that of many others, is, 'Oh no, not another one,' and wondering what the causes are.

Palaces in St. Petersburg / Re: Private rooms of the Winter Palace
« on: March 19, 2018, 04:22:59 AM »
Like  no spare room I've seen before!


According to Princess Paley, the car used to transport Lenin from the Finland Station when he arrived there from the sealed train had previously belonged to Grand Duke Paul. However, she doesn't say what make it was.


I should have said that I didn't think Alexandra would have had much opportunity to be 'mean' to Mary, rather than the other way round, by reason of the age gap if nothing else.

As to family views of Alexandra, Princess Marie Louise, who was the same age, was fond of her, but clearly thought her misguided.


I think it is only fair to mention that Lady Colin Campbell (the title comes from a very brief marriage - barely a year - to the younger brother of the then Duke of Argyll) is primarily known in this country for peddling scandalous titbits in the guise of biography. One of her dubious claims concerns the Queen Mother's maternity. According to her, the Countess of Strathmore was desperate for another child (after having eight!), but couldn't have any more, and the Earl duly produced the Queen Mother (and later her youngest brother) with the family's French governess.

It would be worth having a look at James Pope-Hennessey's biography of Queen Mary to see whether the Tecks spent much time at Darmstadt, but I rather think not. Queen Victoria was certainly fond of her cousin Princess Mary Adelaide, and Alexandra and Queen Mary presumably met from time to time in England as girls, but I doubt that Mary had much opportunity to be 'mean' to Alexandra. First, five years is a big age difference, and, second, I suspected that Alexandra was distinctly cossetted at Victoria's court. Maybe Mary once called her a spoilt brat, brat I can't imagine anything more than that.


The book does strongly suggest that Loscheck did not tell the whole truth.

Loscheck claimed to have heard two shoots some time after he met Rudolf shortly after six, but rigor mortis showed that Mary had already been dead for several hours before the bodies were found. So the first shot was fired some time during the night. How was it that Loscheck did not hear it (a revolver shot in the same building is quite enough to wake someone up), or, if he heard it, did not get up to investigate?


A very big question!!!

Without Lenin's example, it is entirely possible that the German governmental structure would not have collapsed in the way it did in November 1918. Bear in mind that it was not only the Kaiser's monarchy which disappeared, but every other monarchy in the country. By no means all the other rulers were regarded as personally culpable in the same way as the Kaiser. The Crown Prince fled to Holland at the same time as the Kaiser, but was not granted political asylum beforehand and so was interned by the Dutch for a period. He did not return to Germany until 1923.

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: The "suitability" of royal wives
« on: February 13, 2018, 02:54:35 AM »
The irony is that Margaret of Prussia subsequently had no fewer than six healthy sons, including two sets of twins.

Helene also had two healthy sons, though the elder died at 44, apparently from a combination of TB and malaria.


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