Author Topic: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship  (Read 45074 times)

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Offline ashanti01

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Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2004, 12:22:06 PM »
 Based on his comments made in his book, I would have to say that he was very attached to Ella. Felix had always claimed that he viewed Ella as a second mother.

Offline Martyn

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Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2004, 05:32:10 PM »
Well can anyone make an educated guess as to whom Felix's mother might be referring to?
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Offline Janet_W.

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Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2004, 06:03:17 PM »
To me, it does seem that Zenaida is referring to Ella. Perhaps their friendship had weakened over the years, or maybe Ella had been getting on Zenaida's nerves in recent months.

While it is true that Ella was busy with her good works, she also spent time with various family members, and since she was close to Felix she might well have considered Irina something of a surrogate daughter, or perhaps a social equal.

I believe something is mentioned within the OTMA correspondence here on this website about their Aunt Ella sitting in a chair, fast asleep and snoring. (But now that I've mentioned it, I'll need to check for it . . . oh dear!  :-X ) Again, my point in mentioning this is that while we see Ella as something of an icon, Ella would have been seen by various family members as who she was to them-- i.e., an older aunt, a shirttail relation who showed up at inopportune times, etc.  I think it's also entirely possible that Zenaida rather resented Felix's treating Ella as a sort of surrogate mother, and therefore vented this resentment to her only surviving son via the letter. Also, since Ella was tremendously respected for having taken the veil after her husband's assassination and devoting herself to good works, perhaps at that point Zenaida was expressing some peevish envy by using the "celebrated sister" remark.

Just my "take," however . . . will be interested in other theories!

Offline Joanna

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Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2004, 10:05:21 PM »
Quote
I really do not believe that the 'celebrated sister' is Ella.


I am also of the opinion that Zenaida was not referring to Ella. Her letter was written from the Crimea in December 1916 and Ella was in Moscow during this period. It would be more likely someone who was in either Zenaida's or Irina's entourage or in the Yalta area during these months. Some had left St. Petersburg for the south either for rest or accompanying the medical trains. I am wondering if the clue would be in Irina's letters where she may have named one who was with her frequently in the Crimea.

Joanna

Offline Annie

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Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2004, 12:43:15 AM »
I was thinking about that, never heard of Ella being in the Crimea at that time. I only posted it the way it was, I guess the person who translated it is the one who thought it was Ella and put her name there. I don't know.

Offline Martyn

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Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2004, 07:14:06 AM »
Quote
I was thinking about that, never heard of Ella being in the Crimea at that time. I only posted it the way it was, I guess the person who translated it is the one who thought it was Ella and put her name there. I don't know.


It isn't entirely clear that Zenaida is referring to visiting Irina in the Crimea or indeed that she is talking about something recent.  To me it seems like she is discussing a general state of affairs as opposed to a specific incident in a specific location.
I think that Janet's suggestions seem to make the most sense; I do think that only Ella seems to fit the bill
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Offline Johnny

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Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2004, 05:26:00 PM »
Quote

It isn't entirely clear that Zenaida is referring to visiting Irina in the Crimea or indeed that she is talking about something recent.  To me it seems like she is discussing a general state of affairs as opposed to a specific incident in a specific location.
I think that Janet's suggestions seem to make the most sense; I do think that only Ella seems to fit the bill

When I first read that letter on another thread I was not convinced that it referred to Ella. Now I am sure it did not. Given the date of the letter it's right around the time Rasputin got killed. Irina and her in-laws were in the Crimea. Ella certainly wasn't. Whoever this celebrated sister of mercy might be it seems she had turned into a nuisance in Crimea. Also a relatively new situation because Felix seems to be rather unaware of it. In fact Zinaida says that Felix will see how annoying this woman has become when he goes to Crimea. We know that he never makes it to the Crimea. Ella, on the other hand, was on pillgrimage when Rasputin got killed. She wasn't anywhere near that area.
There is also a big difference between a nun and a sister of mercy. It was probably another society woman who following Alexandra had become a nurse. Becoming a nun would not have irritated Zinaida. That was a very respectful thing to do. Becoming a nurse, however, was shunned upon by society people who thought that there were enough women in Russia to become nurses and a society woman could be more helpful if she did charity works or sponsored hospitals. (That's on reason why Alexandra was so much disliked.) So the operatic siter of mercy costume most probably refers to this rich woman who was probably wearing a rather immodest nurse uniform. Ella was certainly a member of the family before Zinaida had become one. Ella was Irina's aunt, knew her since she was born, was married to Irina's great uncle Serge and Nicholas and Xenia being brother and sister, she was also related to Irina's parents as a sister-in-law. So I don't think Zinaida would have objected to her calling Irina "Tata". BTW, lounging in an armchair is such a normal thing to do that just because Zinaida mentions that this sister was lounging in an armchair and OTMA mention that Ella was doing a similar thing doesn't prove that it is the same person.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Johnny »
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Offline BobAtchison

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Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2004, 05:34:12 PM »
We posted that letter on the site several years ago - I was contacted by someone in the know - who showed me the facts and convinced me this reference wasn't to our Ella.  The editor of the book from the 1920's I found these in assumed it was the Grand Duchess, when it wasn't...

Offline Martyn

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Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2004, 05:34:58 PM »
Well okay, that sounds fairly convincing.  But does anyone have any idea who it might be if it isn't Ella?
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

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Offline Johnny

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Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2004, 05:54:28 PM »
Quote
Well okay, that sounds fairly convincing.  But does anyone have any idea who it might be if it isn't Ella?

I just went back and read Felix's and Zinayida's letters from around that date, including her Dec. 16th letter in its entirety. It seems both Irina and her Baby were ill and staying at another villa, while Zinayida was sating on some other property, but visiting Irina constantly, hence her saying "everytime I visit Irina...." We have to remember that the correspondence was originally in French, so the "celebrated sister [of mercy]" can probably be best translated as the "famous nurse" which can easily refer to a locally rather well known nurse that they hired to take care of Irina and the baby.
Actually after reading those letters again I am almost convinved theat's the case. In fact based on these premises all of Zinayida's comments about the nurse now make sense.
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Offline Annie

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Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2004, 07:28:04 PM »
They wrote to each other in French and not Russian? Why? Could it have been to thwart the 'censors' they keep mentioning in their books? Surely their correspondance was usually in Russian?

Offline Joanna

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Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2004, 09:29:07 PM »
One name that Zenaida may be referring to is Rita Khitrovo. She was a nursing sister and was known as a friend of the Imperial Family with access to their intimate private life. That may explain Zenaida's comment '...she poses most impudently as a member of the family...'  She was in the Crimea area possibly accompanying one of Alexandra's medical/sanitary trains and had joined the Imperial Family when they visited Evpatoria on May 16, 1916. As she had to travel to Tobolsk on her own initiative, she very likely had been in the Crimea when the revolution began. By the autumn of 1916, Zenaida was in opposition to Alexandra and seeing Rita constantly with Irina may have triggered this expressive dislike of one who was an intimate not only of GD Olga but of Alexandra also.

Joanna

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2004, 10:48:37 PM »
Wow, this is all very interesting, and I rescind my original premise!  :-X

Joanna, your theory interests me; it might well have been Rita. Or, perhaps Johnny's theory is the correct one. Whatever the case, it's fun to try putting together these missing puzzle pieces!

Offline Martyn

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Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2004, 07:42:25 AM »
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One name that Zenaida may be referring to is Rita Khitrovo. She was a nursing sister and was known as a friend of the Imperial Family with access to their intimate private life. That may explain Zenaida's comment '...she poses most impudently as a member of the family...'  She was in the Crimea area possibly accompanying one of Alexandra's medical/sanitary trains and had joined the Imperial Family when they visited Evpatoria on May 16, 1916. As she had to travel to Tobolsk on her own initiative, she very likely had been in the Crimea when the revolution began. By the autumn of 1916, Zenaida was in opposition to Alexandra and seeing Rita constantly with Irina may have triggered this expressive dislike of one who was an intimate not only of GD Olga but of Alexandra also.

Joanna


Now that is an interesting suggestion.  But then everything makes sense to me, however it is explained.  I didn't really understand the 'poses most impudentlyas a member fo the family' remark if she was referring to Ella; she was a member of Irina's family, after all.
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: The Yusupovs and the Romanovs' relationship
« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2004, 10:25:25 AM »
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They wrote to each other in French and not Russian? Why? Could it have been to thwart the 'censors' they keep mentioning in their books? Surely their correspondance was usually in Russian?
 

The official language of the Russian aristocracy and the court was French so it makes sense that they wrote in French....