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Messages - LisaDavidson

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2566
The Alexander Palace / Re: WWII damage and use of the palace
« on: March 21, 2004, 02:11:22 PM »
Antonio: Thank you for sharing about your grandfather's war experiences. I would love to hear more about them and any letters he may have left.

I have a similar situation in my family. My great-great grandfather was a German named Wilhelm Heinrich Schilling v. Canstatt who came to the US in the mid 19th century. While farming in Virginia, Will was conscripted into the Confederate Army as company clerk for Stonewall Jackson. This because he was fluent in a handful of languages. With the general's death, he ended up in a POW camp commanded by his cousin - also an SVC!

At any rate, Will certainly did not want to fight in that war, but he was unable to avoid conscription and he, too, had a family to support - and a pregant wife to worry about.

Many times ordinary people are forced into situations not of their own making - which is probably the case with your grandfather. I am glad he was able to appreciate the beauty he saw at Gatchina and Tsarskoe Selo.

2567
Yes, I have read the book. I don't think the evidence that has emerged since 1976 supports the claim that Alexandra and her daughters were not executed with their family and retainers. It seems that in many respects, the statements of their murderders were in many ways correct, though likely not all the truth.

2568
If you want to read the book, don't pay retail or borrow it from a library or a friend. It's not a very good book.

McNeal was not interested in anything but her own idea of what may have happened - and certainly not the truth.

2569
Imperial Succession and the Throne / Re: Who is the rightful heir?
« on: March 20, 2004, 11:27:42 PM »
Xenia Alexandrovna still has living grandchildren. Michael Andrievich lives in Australia - he has no children. His brother, Andrei Andreivich, lives in Northern California and has sons and at least one grandchild. Their half sister Olga I believe lives in the UK.

Their cousin Michael Feodorovitch lives in France, Nikita's two sons live in the New York area, and two other of Xenia's granddaughters are also still alive.

2570
The short answer is that Olga married a commoner and was treated a bit more poorly than her sister Xenia. There were other reasons, of course. Olga had a husband with whom she was living - Xenia was separated from Sandro by the time they went into exile. Olga had two young sons - Xenia's children were grown. I could go on. Point is, they were at different points of their lives when the Revolution came, so the differences in their lives afterwards is not so strange.

In terms of where Olga died, she was not as destitute as the description sounds. Both sisters had modest means in exile, but they were hardly poor.

2571
Galina: I don't know who was the instigator in the Michael & Natalia romance. Even if she seduced him, he was still responsible for the end result - the inappropriate relationship. IOW, he could have refused her advances, if that was the case.

As far as her family goes, I'm not sure if there was anyone beyond Pauline Grey alive by the time Natalia died. And there, I doubt she would have known the circumstances her grandmother was in at the time.

2572
A couple of points here:

Even thought Michael fought for his son to not have Wulfert as his legal father, his son George Brassov was never a dynast. The documents that had Michael listed as his father could in no way have made him a dynast.

Natalia's status as a divorcee was not what made her unacceptable as a partner. You need look no farther than the wife of Nicholas Nicolievich (Jr.). His wife, Anastasia of Montenegro, was the former wife of the Duke of Leuchtenberg, but her second marriage to Nicholasha was dynastic, and she was an Imperial Grand Duchess, albiet by marriage.

Natalia was unacceptable as a wife for Michael for two reasons. First, and most importantly, she was not of royal descent, as required for an Imperial Grand Duke by the Fundamental Law of the Russian Empire. Second, and more subtly, Michael's affair with Natalia was an abuse of power that Nicholas and Alexandra correctly took exception to.

Michael was commander of the regiment of which Lt. Wulfurt was a member. To seduce, then have a child by, and then to marry the wife of an officer who owes you loyalty is surely a tremendous breach of trust, not to mention, an abuse of power. In contemporary terms, it would be like a CEO hitting on the wife of one of his executives. It would be inappropriate now, and it was inappropriate then. Yet, one hears few words in sympathy for Lt. Wulfert, Natalia's quickly discarded 2nd husband.

Finally, Natalia was never Empress. Her husband deferred the crown (not refused it, and also did not abdicate) out of belief in democratic principles.

2573
Rasputin / Re: Rasputin's prediction
« on: March 14, 2004, 06:21:37 PM »
It indeed first appeared in something written after Rasputin's death by one of his supporters. I believe it also first appeared after the murder of the Imperial Family.

2574
Imperial Russian History / Re: World War I
« on: March 14, 2004, 06:19:56 PM »
I think it would be grossly unfair to assign blame or credit to Nicholas II for the outbreak of WWI. The "Guns of August" does a brilliant job of showing how misundertandings of the actions and motives of others led to the outbreak of war. Nicholas II was just one piece of the puzzle.

2575
The Final Chapter / Re: The final destination?
« on: March 14, 2004, 06:04:55 PM »
Josh:

This topic was very thoroughly covered in "Fate of the Romanovs". Moscow was indeed the intended destination for Nicholas, Alexandra, and Marie. However the Ural Regional Soviet was able to divert them to Yekaterinburg. The short answer to all of this is that Moscow was in a comparatively weak position at the time and was in no position to argue with the regional Soviet.

2576
Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Alix's Engagement and Wedding
« on: March 13, 2004, 12:56:24 PM »
Only Alexandra could really answer this question. She was a very complicated person, but surely her love for Nicholas was a major reason for accepting his proposal. Unfortunately, their timing was such that they completely eclipsed the bridal couple.

2577
The Imperial Family / Re: Exhibitions
« on: March 13, 2004, 12:41:01 PM »
The detailed info on the exhibit's premiere in Santa Fe is too long to post according to the rules on this board. However, if you want me to forward the email I have on this to you, just drop me an email.

Lisa

2578
Rulers Prior to Nicholas II / Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« on: March 13, 2004, 12:31:52 PM »
Janet - this does not sound like Paul. While a troubled man, he was not particularly egotistical. It sounds to me more like a quote by Louis XIV, but I've heard the quote (not referring to Russia) before, just not sure of who said it.

2579
I don't know that any of the girls were named after or in honor of someone. And, I don't speak Russian, but here goes:

Anastasia - most likely in honor of Anastasia of Montenegro, who along with her sister Militza, were friends of Alexandra's early in her marriage.

Marie - most likely in honor of the Dowager Empress, although the last Hesse-Darmstadt Romanov bride (before Alexandra) was also Marie.

Tatiana - no idea

Olga - most likely because it was/is a very popular traditional Russian girl's name. Also in honor of Queen Olga of Greece and Nicholas' sister.

2580
If anyone is interested in Maria F., I urge them to take the time to read "Little Mother of Russia" by my friend Coryne Hall. Coryne did literally decades of research and it really shows in her book.

As an Empress, MF had some strong and weak points. She excelled at being a leader in society, but failed to locate and support suitable mates for her children. So, while she was lovely to have at a party, she married her youngest daughter off to a man who had no interest in women. She could dance all night, but her youngest son received so little help from her in locating a wife that he had a number of improper relationships, the last of which resulted in a scandalous morganatic marriage.

Both MF and her sister had difficulties in dealing with their offspring as adults. But, they themselves came from a very happy family that had more success as a group than perhaps any group of royals ever.

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