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Topic: Alexandra as Empress and Mother  (Read 59997 times)
Reply #270
« on: July 29, 2009, 10:00:13 PM »
Grand Princess Shandroise Offline
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Exactly, Alixz. Last night, I was reading Buxhoeveden's memoirs and she mentioned that the Empress disliked the idea of marrying her children to commoners to respect their father's status.

You're also right, jehan. I now realized my mistake ",) Everything/everyone changes and nobody from us knows what would have become of Anastasia had not the massacre happened.
All of us, even the closest ones to the family, could ever know for 100% who the real Anastasia was.
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Reply #271
« on: July 29, 2009, 10:40:26 PM »
aleksandr pavlovich
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Quote of Post # 270 : "All of us, even the closest ones to the family could ever know for 100 percent  who the real Anastasia was."   IMO, quite right, indeed; we never will.  And the same goes for the rest of that family. Present-day speculation, projection, wishful-thinking, delusions of reincarnation, "sisterly" dreams/"reveries," et al. can NEVER substitute for whatever the actual truth would have been.  Why ruminate about it endlessly?  Seek the closest common denominator from potentially the most accurate sources and discard 95 percent of that ; THEN you MAY be closer in your "understanding of who (fill in the blank) was."   AP
« Last Edit: July 29, 2009, 10:51:06 PM by aleksandr pavlovich » Logged
Reply #272
« on: July 30, 2009, 06:44:48 AM »
imperial angel Offline
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I do feel though that it is easier to make more accurate statements and/or speculations about Alexandra than it is about OTMA since we have more historical evidence about Alexandra and what she was like than we do about 0TMA, since they died so young.
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Reply #273
« on: July 30, 2009, 11:56:51 AM »
aleksandr pavlovich
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 Concerning/and quoting from  Post # 272 :    " ....we have more historical evidence about Alexandra...."   One would think so,  "imperial angel," but see the topic "Alexandra and her education," specifically Post # 1, 05/22/09, referencing Heidelberg University.  High profile professional writer-historians seemingly cannot totally agree on such -----one would suppose-----an eminently documentable fact as to whether she had a degree (in Psychology yet!) from that educational institution, OR EVEN ATTENDED.  In the stream of history, this is comparable to "yesterday's facts."   Best regards,  AP
« Last Edit: July 30, 2009, 12:07:43 PM by aleksandr pavlovich » Logged
Reply #274
« on: August 12, 2009, 04:50:21 AM »
Grand Princess Shandroise Offline
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Echoing Vyrubova:
The Empress simply would not allow them to associate with the sons and daughters of the nobility. She wanted to keep them sweet and clean minded and good, and she knew that very few of the children of high society in Russia were fit companions for them. The daughters of our nobility are mostly frivolous, selfish, empty-headed girls, and as for the sons, they are too often debauched in early boyhood. You can imagine that the Empress's poor opinion of them and her refusal to allow her children to know them aroused great resentment. People always think their own children perfect, you know."
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Reply #275
« on: August 31, 2009, 01:46:48 PM »
PAVLOV Offline
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I found the contents of a letter written by Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria to her daughter Marie Antoinette, which I think applies directly to Alexandra :

" I am glad to hear that you are going to take up again all the official receptions of Versailles. I know how empty and dull that kind of thing is, but, believe me, if it is not observed, the inconveniences that result from its neglect, are far more important than the small annoyance that it causes"

Perhaps Alexandra should have read this letter and its prophetic contents, got off her mauve chaise, and performed the minimum requirements of being Empress of Russia.   She could perhaps have spared herself, her family, her henpecked husband and her country the "annoyance" that followed.
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Reply #276
« on: October 02, 2009, 04:38:37 AM »
CountessKate Offline
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I found the contents of a letter written by Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria to her daughter Marie Antoinette, which I think applies directly to Alexandra :

" I am glad to hear that you are going to take up again all the official receptions of Versailles. I know how empty and dull that kind of thing is, but, believe me, if it is not observed, the inconveniences that result from its neglect, are far more important than the small annoyance that it causes"

Perhaps Alexandra should have read this letter and its prophetic contents, got off her mauve chaise, and performed the minimum requirements of being Empress of Russia.   She could perhaps have spared herself, her family, her henpecked husband and her country the "annoyance" that followed.

I think Grand Princess Shandroise's quotations from Sophie Buxhoeveden and Anna Vyrubova illustrate the problem Alexandra had in disentangling 'society' in its wider sense from the narrow sense of 'high society' and her inability to distinguish between the proper functions of royalty in being the centre and showcase of the court and the need to lead a morally exemplary life.  All royalty depends on a high public profile for validation, and this is especially important when the royalty in question has such a political role;  and of course one of the ways of achieving this validation is to attend the balls, receptions, and other functions of 'high' society.   However, while it's true that Maria Theresa's advice to Marie Antoinette was the sort of advice which would well have applied to Alexandra, it's not as if Maria Theresa was around to give it to her.  Instead she had Queen Victoria, who considered 'society' morally bankrupt, who had a long period of seclusion herself after the death of the Prince Consort, and who considered the Russian court as particularly decadent and improper.  Alexandra was not likely to get any advice about "get off your couch and get dancing" from her, and of course Queen Victoria died before Alexandra's isolation from the court developed to the extent it did.  But if Alexandra reflected back on the dear departed, she wouldn't have a hard time convincing herself that Grandmamma would have approved of her keeping aloof from the wicked Russian court and patronising simple peasants like Father Grigory who represented the 'real' Russia.  And indeed, Queen Victoria had had her own simple peasant, John Brown, and there were similar wicked slanders about her relationship with him - and the throne had not fallen and Queen Victoria had a triumphant conclusion to her reign, full of years and glory.  So I think we can all see the prophetic nature of the advice given to Marie Antoinette in the clarity of hindsight, but I don't think it was at all obvious to Alexandra.
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Reply #277
« on: October 02, 2009, 10:05:27 AM »
Thomas_Hesse Offline
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I found the contents of a letter written by Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria to her daughter Marie Antoinette, which I think applies directly to Alexandra :

" I am glad to hear that you are going to take up again all the official receptions of Versailles. I know how empty and dull that kind of thing is, but, believe me, if it is not observed, the inconveniences that result from its neglect, are far more important than the small annoyance that it causes"

Perhaps Alexandra should have read this letter and its prophetic contents, got off her mauve chaise, and performed the minimum requirements of being Empress of Russia.   She could perhaps have spared herself, her family, her henpecked husband and her country the "annoyance" that followed.

To compare an 18th century reception with a 20th century one......... is rather difficult.

By the way - once again I see how uninformed you are stating that the Empress spent her days sitting in her apartments. Rarely a letter not mentioning different tasks and works.
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Meine Kaiserin
Reply #278
« on: October 03, 2009, 05:08:36 AM »
Imperial_Grounds Offline
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Well, Alexandra was a really good mother, I am sure of that, but over-protective for sure. You can't blame her for that. After all I think it is quite normal with Alexei's illness and her fear for his life. Also she feared that her children would get 'corrupted' by the minds of Russian Nobbility. Alexandra's way of life after all was different from theirs.

As for Alexandra as Empress of Russia, she indeed did not like official receptions and so on but that was only due to her shyness and this prevented her for communicating pleasently with many people. Alexandra wanted to get to know people, and at Court people always would put masks on and be so formal that she must have felt uneasy about it. Yet one cannot say she was a bad Empress. She was not right for the official role in Court perhaps but she truly did care about the people whom she got to know in her role as Empress. This did show during the war when she became a nurse and got to know some of her patients, these men had often quite different ideas about the Empress and were amazed by how comforting and nice she really was. There is one thing that really got to me a while ago: Alexandra had a patient and the young man was sure to die. She kept him company and talked with him, comforted him and also she was heartbroken when the young man died. Also she and her family are said to have spent much of their fortunes on good works and war effort. This shows Alexandra as an Empress who really cared about the people, but who was strongly misunderstood, yet on political grounds she and Nicky both wanted to hold on to authocracy while many asked for a constitutional monarchy If they would have granted this, they would have been spared such a tragic fate, also she listened to much to Rasputin's advices on the replacement of Ministers and so on, this made her a weak ruler. Yet, she was a caring but misunderstood woman, and thus she was seen as the evil Empress while she was completely different.
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Reply #279
« on: July 08, 2011, 07:26:31 AM »
Clemence Offline
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I found the contents of a letter written by Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria to her daughter Marie Antoinette, which I think applies directly to Alexandra :

" I am glad to hear that you are going to take up again all the official receptions of Versailles. I know how empty and dull that kind of thing is, but, believe me, if it is not observed, the inconveniences that result from its neglect, are far more important than the small annoyance that it causes"

Perhaps Alexandra should have read this letter and its prophetic contents, got off her mauve chaise, and performed the minimum requirements of being Empress of Russia.   She could perhaps have spared herself, her family, her henpecked husband and her country the "annoyance" that followed.

just like marie antoinette has, perhaps?

while I was trying to find some info on victorian royal children and how they were supposed to grow up, you know, getting up early, simple meals, hard beds, strict tutors, I was wondering why on earth did they believe back then it was so important to be so hard on them. after all, those childrem were to become filthy rich and important elegant adults. was it after some religious view or somewhat else I cannot say but in todays western world, where parents feel they cannot pamper their children enough, sure having baths in frosen water seems rather odd ...
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Reply #280
« on: July 08, 2011, 12:16:27 PM »
Alixz
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I agree with Clemence - it has always seemed odd to me that the children of Imperial Russia were expected to eschew comfort and pampering in youth yet grew up to handle the largest fortunes in the 19th century.

I have never understood hard camp beds and cold morning baths. Perhaps parents thought that these things would build character, but to me it was a waste of time.

I believe it actually gave the children a false picture of the world they would inherit.

I also don't remember reading that Alexandra used a hard camp bed or took cold morning baths during her youth or most especially as Empress while she was instructing her daughters to do just that.

I know that the Duchy of Darmstadt was not rich and they child grew up on those eternal "baked apples and porridge" (whatever).

Even though Nicholas grew up on the hard bed cold bath theory, I am sure that it wasn't comfortable or likable and I am surprised that he didn't make changes or at least instruct Alexandra to make them in the nursery.
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Reply #281
« on: July 09, 2011, 07:28:08 AM »
Condecontessa Offline
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The book "A Gathered Radiance" by McLees on p. 18 mentions the Hesse children having beds of simple army cots.
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Reply #282
« on: July 09, 2011, 08:49:43 AM »
Sarushka Offline
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I've often wondered just how "hard" and "cold" those beds and baths really were -- especially by OTMAA's time. I wouldn't be surprised if we've imagined much more severe extremes than the reality.
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Reply #283
« on: July 10, 2011, 04:13:26 AM »
Kalafrana Offline
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Military beds are not actually uncomfortable, at least when you're used to them! I grew up with Royal Air Force beds which had very firm mattresses - you were pretty much on the bed rather than in it. The result - I like firm mattresses, and every time I have to buy one I'm bouncing around the beds in the shop trying to find one that's nice and firm! Soft ones, ugh - and give me backache.

Cold baths are another matter, however.

Ann

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Reply #284
« on: July 10, 2011, 05:31:02 AM »
Clemence Offline
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infact, I was not thinking of hygienic habits, like hard beds or wide open windows, but of cold baths and the idea of not spoiling children which seems a bit weird to me today. how could you avoid to spoil kids that had teachers and lesson at home, nannies and servants in all their lives? who knows how much the idea of spoiling a child changed through time ...
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