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Messages - LisaDavidson

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2566
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.

2567
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.

2568
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.

2569
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.

2570
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.

2571
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.

2572
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.

2573
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

2574
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.

2575
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.

2576
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.

2577
Imperial Succession and the Throne / Re: Who is the rightful heir?
« on: March 07, 2004, 08:19:29 PM »
Rob: I responded to this contention on another thread. Those who are saying that the line is excluded due to Maria Pavlovna's late conversion are unfamiliar with the Fundamental Law.

All of the Romanovs in exile with the exception of the Nicholievichi recognized Kirill as the legitimate heir once it was certain that Michael, Nicholas, and Alexis were dead. Maria Feodorovna also was apparently unfamiliar with the Law and felt her opinion on this mattered in a legal sense. It didn't.

2578
Rob - with all due respect, Spidirovitch may have been a Russian, but he apparently was not familiar with the Fundamental Law of the Russian Empire. Kirill's succession rights were never in question - as evidenced by his appearence in court circulars as a member of the dynasty until they stopped being published.

Maria Pavlovna was permitted by her father in law to continue practicing her religion because at the time, the male line of Alexander III appeared very strong with 3 living sons, and it seemed unlikely her children would ever succeed to the throne.

However, due to George Alexandrovich's early death and the family's failure to marry off Michael properly, and most importantly, Alexandra's birthing so many daughters, by the time a sickly Alexis was born - with no more children coming - all of this changed. It was at this time that Maria P converted, but it wasn't to gain her three sons the succession rights they already had. Rather, it was a smart political move on her part to ensure when her sons did become heirs, there would be no questions as to her religion. Of course, I don't think even she envisioned the situation that elevated them to that status.


2579
Imperial Succession and the Throne / Re: Who is the rightful heir?
« on: March 07, 2004, 07:04:06 PM »
It really depends on who you talk to. The "heirs" most discussed are George and Nicholas Romanovich.

The later is the head of the RFA, and considers himself head of the family as opposed to the dynasty, which he believes ended with Michael's manifesto in 1917. The RFA has an orderly succession which will eventually go to the sons of Andrei Andreivich, who presently live in Northern California. None of these sons as yet has sons and none lives in Russia or has plans to move there.

George's viability as heir depends on three important factors. First, the strength of his claim depends upon his making an "equal marriage". If he fails to make one or if he does not marry at all, his claim will be pretty worthless. Second, since his claim is the most traditional, he must have sons to have a viable claim because he has no siblings. Third, he must establish a presence in Russia, which I understand he currently cannot afford to do. If George meets these, he has the best chance of everyone.

I personally favor the Ilyinskys. They have been asked back twice by the Russian people. Grand Duke Dmitry was asked back after the Revolution and refused. His son Paul Ilyinsky was asked back in the 1990's and refused. Paul has two sons, neither of whom currently has a son, but the Ilyinsky claim is strong for several reasons.

One, Dmitri Pavlovich (b. 1954) is now the senior male heir of the line of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov. Second, there are numerous Ilyinskys, not just one. Third, they are the only branch of the family that has maintained excellent relations with all other branches of the family since the Revolution. They have refused to participate in the family squabbles. Fourth, they are well established in America and do not need to be claimants in order to fill otherwise empty lives.

Just my not so humble opinion!

2580
The Final Chapter / Re: New DNA article...
« on: March 07, 2004, 06:27:37 PM »
I have also shared this information on the atr newsgroup, but for those who don't subscribe, I have the following:

Around the same time as the Yekaterinburg remains were being tested and before the Duke of Edinburgh blood sample, an American family collected a blood sample from Katherine De Silva, who is also a descendant as are Prince Philip and Empress Alexandra, of Princess Alice of Hesse. Katherine DS's mtDNA was sequenced at Brown University. It exactly matched the reputed mtDNA of Alexandra and her 3 daughters AND it exactly matched Philip's AND exactly matched the other samples submitted in Gill and Ivanov's tests. According to scientists I know, these repeated results strengthen the identification of Alexandra and her daughters and likely mean the finger is not Elizabeth's.

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