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Messages - Alexa

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The Myth and Legends of Survivors / Re: Did any of the Romanovs survive?
« on: August 30, 2004, 08:57:39 AM »
I have been reading this discussion board for a few days now, and decided to become a member. I find this particular thread to be extremely interesting. I have a question though. Can anyone go into detail and explain to me why there is such a debate over whether the missing Grand Duchess is Anastasia or Marie? Why do the Americans lean towards one and the Russians another?

A good place to read about this in depth is The Romanovs: The Final Chapter by Robert Massie.  It's an excellent book; one of my favorites.

To sum it up in layman terms, the Russians superimposed pictures of the IF over the skulls found outside Ekaterinberg.  By doing so, they were able to identify each of the skulls.  This technique shows one of the skulls being Anastasia's; the the missing GD is Marie.

Dr. Maples, who led the US team, went by (if I remember correctly) the spinal column of the skeletons.  I can't remember the exact details, so if I'm wrong, someone please correct me.  The vertabrae in the spinal column fill in with bone as people age into adulthood.  By the time we're adults this process is complete.  Of the skeletons identified as the GD's, Mapeles says all three had reached that point.  AN, being the youngest, would not have, thus is the missing GD.

Personally, I think it must be hard to tell AN from MN from the bones since they were both so close in age, but then again, who am I?  Certainly no expert, that's for sure.


Tsarevich Alexei Nicholaievich / Re: Alexei and Hemophilia
« on: August 24, 2004, 09:16:59 AM »
Granted, I haven't read the article in question yet, but from personal experience, I recommend that anything writtin in a magazine be looked at with quesitoning eyes.  

A few months ago I had an article published in a well respected magazine as a side bar to another article about the same person I wrote about.  My (and my co-author's) article was more narrow in subject, so being a side bar made perfect sense.  However, the other article was historically questionable.  The author wrote as fact what my co-author and I (through information that was easy to find) had declared as dubious at least a year earlier.  And yet this information was printed as fact.  So please, remember what our grade shcool teachers taught us -- never believe everything you read.  And take it one step further -- just becuase it's in a pretigious or well respected magazine doesn't mean the information is accurate or true.


If you remember the name of the book, try  The site links into numerous used book stores.  I've found a ton of books that are out of print, or just really hard to find.


The Myth and Legends of Survivors / Re: Why Anastasia ??
« on: August 23, 2004, 01:59:19 PM »
The GDs heads were shaved because,in an era without antibiotics,a condition such as measles could cause a high fever. This had been known to cause hair to fall out.  So to avoid this (a serious one for any young royal obliged to wear heavy crowns or tiaras) their heads were shaved in february/march just prior to the Abdication.

this topic has been discussed in some detail on other threads


Then why does Pierre Gilliard say their heads were shaved in June?

Also for the debate on why the heads would have been shaved in June, and not sooner, is it possible that their hair was falling out slowly, over time, due to the medication they were give?  I've heard the laudanum was used for measles, and being opium based, I'm wondering what kind of effect this would have on patients?  Even so, I've never read that the children were give this.  I'm just speculating.

The Myth and Legends of Survivors / Re: Why Anastasia ??
« on: August 23, 2004, 09:52:26 AM »
I think that photo with all their hats off and their bald heads was taken in March, because it was right after they were confined to working in the garden of the Alexander Palace (or, at least that's what the captions on some of those pictures said!) But it DOES look like the weather would be warmer, and if it was summer, that just confuses things for us even more...I doubt their heads would continue to be shaven, because they wanted their hair back!

I'm no expert on Russian weather (nor what the weather was like in 1917), but I always thought Russia in March would be snot-freezing cold.  Unless they were having an unusually warm spring, or an warm spell, I just don't see it being so warm in St. P.'s that girls would be wearing summer clothes.

It could be that the photo was mislabled if it's been assumed for the past 10 years or so that their heads were shaved in Feb or March.  The editors labeling the pics might have just assumed they were taken in March due to the lack of hair.


The Myth and Legends of Survivors / Re: Why Anastasia ??
« on: August 23, 2004, 09:26:15 AM »

Throwing in my 2 cents....

Regarding Tatianan's illness with Typhoid, her hair could have been cut short becuase it would have been easier for those caring for her to handle.  My great-aunt had a long illness back in the 20's and all her long, beautiful hair was cut short in the flapper style for that exact reason.

As for when the girls had their heads shaved after the measles, I've always thought it strange that the pictures of them where their bald heads were exposed were obviously taken in the summer.  If their heads had been shave in February or March, then they would not have been clean-shaven bald as they were during the summer.  Remember that photo of Olga, and I think Marie and Anastasia where they removed their hats for the picture?  The one where Olga has the michievious grin?  That was obviously taken in the summer.  I'm not sure why they would have waited several months to shave their heads, but it makes sense when looking at the photos from those months.


On they have some of Anastasia's section up now. I think this pic of OTMA is so funny with the face Anastasia is making.
But my question is this. The baby on the end that the sailor is holding, is that Alexei dressed all frilly like that???

I can't say for sure, but I'd bet money that it is Alexis.


The Myth and Legends of Survivors / Re: Anna Anderson and Anastasia
« on: August 18, 2004, 11:28:55 AM »
Hi, I think that your argument is most interesting, but I don't agree with you, but not because of DNA, although that is pretty irrefutible. As a portrait painter, I look at people closely all the time, and have also had many commissions for posthumous portraits. In comparing photos of the two, especially those of Anastasia in her last years, they seem so unalike to me, particularly in one feature, the mouth, which changes in shape very little from birth to death. Anastasia's mouth was rather small, Anna's generous, with a broader countenance. I haven't looked for awhile, but am now working on commissioned portraits of the four girls, and will investigate more slowly. I do think that when something is long believed, it can be almost impossible to believe that it "tain't so"

I've often said (and firmly believe) that the thing that most differentiates AA from AN is the lips.  The lips of these two women are just so different, that I can't see them being one and the same.

Also, I'd be very intersted in what else you see when you do your portrait.  An artist's eye can see so much more than the average person.


It's like my aunt who did not have any birth certificate but her 12 brothers and sisters did, this being the US in the 1920's-30's. It didn't make her any less family.

I think that type of stuff was more common than what one thinks.  My dad, the 4th of 6 children, didn't realize he didn't have a birth certificate until he applied to move to the US.  As such, he didn't have a birth certificate issued until he was over 30 years old.  His other siblings all had birth certificates though.


Wow, how interesting that your grandfather was her neighbor. Did he tell you any interesting anecdotes you'd care to share with us?  ;) There's not a lot of first hand info floating around since they all passed so long ago.

My grandfather died when I was still a small child, and since he didn't speak English well, and I didn't speak Polish well (and have since forgotton everything I did know), we didn't really talk.  

My father used to visit my grandfather in that neighborhood, and I've tried to get stories from him.  All he says is that she was just like everybody else who lived there.  She wasn't paid any more or any less attention to than the next person.  My grandfather was far from a fan of Imprerial Russia (he was in the Tsarist Army in WWI and blamed the Tsar for much), so he didn't really have anything to do with her.

However, I think knowing that she was just like any other joe-schmo on the block speaks volumes on her.  No pretension, no expectations of being treated differently.  She was just any other Russian or Polish emigre who ended up in Toronto.

Next time I talk to my dad (probably this weekend) I'll see if I can get anything else from him.


SOmething has always baffled me. Why did Xenia get a cushy Grace and Favor mansion on the grounds of Windsor while Olga was left to her own> I know Olga was something of an individualist, but it seems pretty heartless of the British royal family to let her spend her dying days in a crummy apartment above a Toronto barbershop. She must have offended someone somewhere!

Her life in Toronto wasn't that bad.  Maybe not the grand life of Imperial Russia, but not bad either.  My grandfather was her neighbor while she lived over the butcher shop, and it was a nice neighborhood filled with neighborhood people (you know, the kind the keep an eye out for each otherand help each other out).  So I don't think it's fair to assume that just becuase she lived over a butcher shop means her life was any worse off than Xenia's.  Besides, I've always had the impression that Olga was a lot more independent than other members of her family; a free spirit so to speak.  After years and years of being told what to do, she finally broke free and did what she felt was best for her.  I think this is why she moved to Canada regardless of what others may have thought -- it was what was best for her and her family.


Alexa, the use of "corset" is a mis-translation of the original documents.  The original documents use the specific word "camisole" and not corset.  As for supporting the weight, that is why they used two camisoles together, and the jewels were quilted between the two, in dozens of little pouches.  We have the testimony of one of the maids who helped do this work as to exactly what they did.

Ah, well now that makes perfect sense.  Thanks for letting me know.


They jewells were not concealed inside the corsets, but in some kind of camisoles(underwear, but do not know the english word) that wore over the corsets and under their blouses.

Also the corsetsīshape changed many times in those years. Some corsets would not cover the chest and would cover the hips. Others would only cover the waist... The fragments of the corsets found by Sokolov were not very long so i donīt think they used the kind of corset that covers the hips...

I had always read/heard that the jewel's were in the corsets.  I can't see corset covers/camisoles, that were made of finers materials, supporting the weight of the jewels.  However, a corset, being made of a tougher material, would.  But I'm open to being wrong.

As for the style of corset, well, I'm not expert, but I have looked through Sears catalogues from the 1910's and 1920's, and all the corsets I saw were long, almost girldle like.  I doubt the boning would have come down over the hips on these, but instead would have stopped just below the waist.  Afterall, it was the boning that helped keep everything sucked in (ouch!) and not the material.


Just to play devil's advocate again, corsets didn't just cover the chest area.  They went down over the hips as well.  Isn't it possible then that the jewel's covered the lower parts of their bodies as well?


The Myth and Legends of Survivors / Re: Why Anastasia ??
« on: August 12, 2004, 05:02:06 PM »
I'm pretty sure it was taken in Tsarskoe Selo, in the garden.

So did I.  If I remember right, there's a series of photos of the girls working in the garden at Tsarkoe Selo, and this is part of that series.


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