Author Topic: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness  (Read 127426 times)

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Offline grandduchessella

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GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« on: August 11, 2004, 09:05:00 AM »
There are so many rumors about this. While they slept in the same beds all their married life, some say the marriage was unconsummated. Others blame Serge. Some say it was just the same tragedy that other couples suffered. Others put forward the theory you mentioned about Serge treating her as a possession rather than a wife. In her letters, Ella doesn't ever say WHY there were no children, but people have commented on how 'sad' it was.
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Offline Sarai

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2004, 10:44:38 AM »
That's a good question, Thomas. I was wondering this myself while looking through the "Ella's Character" thread, where people commented on Ella's childlessness as a possible reason that she resented G.D. Paul's children. I can imagine that it must have hurt her deeply not to have had any children of her own, given the nurturing and maternal side of her personality that would have longed for them.

I have seen this question dismissed as that the couple's childlessness was simply due to Serge's homosexuality, but of course this may not explain it completely, as other men in the family who were reputedly gay fathered children. Although, perhaps since he had taken in his brother's children, he was able to pour all of his fatherly affection unto them instead of having to sire his own children, which he may have been averse to do. They would have been his substitute children. This could also have been a reason for Ella's resentment of those kids, seeing them as a reason why her husband did not need to have any children with her. In essence, he got children without having to do anything, which may have left him happy but not her, understandably. These are all my own opinions, though. It could also very well be that Serge truly did want his own offspring, but one of them had an infertility problem.

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2004, 11:52:09 AM »
Dmitri was born in Sept 1891 so they had a little over 7 years. Plus, I don't know how long before they assumed custody of Marie & Dmitri after Paul's marriage, though the children still seemed to spend more time with Ella & Serge even before then. Bottom line, still enough time to have had children prior to this.
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Offline Annie

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2004, 11:54:09 AM »
They were married in 1884 (the wedding Nicholas and Alexandra met at) and took in the children to some degree starting in 1891 after the death of Paul's wife Alexandra of Greece at the birth of Dmitri. They had them off and on all along, but were given 'custody' in 1902 when Paul and his new woman were exiled for awhile. At that time Dmitri was 11 and Marie 12. So, yes, they did have between 1884 and 1891 to have kids. It is possible one of them was infertile, and it could also be because of Sergei's (alleged but mostly accepted as fact) homosexuality. Another, less likely factor is that perhaps Ella feared having hemophiliac children or carriers.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Annie »

Offline Louise

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2004, 12:07:03 PM »
I never thought that Sergei's supposed gayness had anything to do with the couple not having children. I assume like alot of couples it was infertility.

It is nice that they did have Dimitri and Marie to raise and nuture.

I wonder if GD Ella and Marie were just two people that didn't mesh. I mean there are some people in my family that I"m not all that fond of and as hard as it is to believe, some are not all that enamored with me.  ;)

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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2004, 01:36:09 PM »
Quote
I never thought that Sergei's supposed gayness had anything to do with the couple not having children. I assume like alot of couples it was infertility.

It is nice that they did have Dimitri and Marie to raise and nuture.

I wonder if GD Ella and Marie were just two people that didn't mesh. I mean there are some people in my family that I"m not all that fond of and as hard as it is to believe, some are not all that enamored with me.  ;)

Louise


It is funny when you think you're a nice person and then find out some people don't like you. It's like, what's wrong with them?  :) I think you're exactly right re: Ella & Marie. She says pretty much that when she speaks of their different temperaments and how, as Marie & Ella both aged they were able to achieve more harmony in their relationship. They were VERY different characters.
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Offline Janet_W.

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2004, 02:04:05 PM »
It's so difficult, from this distance, to come to a reasonable conclusion about their situation. We also need to be careful not to impose our own sensibilities . . . while at the same time acknowledging the possibility of situations which, at the time,were not discussed in "polite" society.  

My own thoughts--warning! amateur psychologist at work!  8) --are that Serge had definite issues in his ability to relate to people at any level, and very probably to women in a sexual context. Still, he couldn't resist marrying the person who was proclaimed the most beautiful of all European princesses . . . and, of course, he had the financial means to keep her in style. And Ella--without the typical compensation of children--easily slipped into the role of fashion maven . . . an object of great physical beauty. Then, the gradual responsibility of two ready-made children--who came to them first due to tragedy, and later due to scandal. Marie and Dmitri were approaching adolesence just as they became fulltime wards of Serge and Ella--also not an easy situation--plus, to see these children bring out tenderness in her husband, when she herself was considered barren . . . well, this is not exactly what Ella had hoped for, I am sure!

She and Serge may have slept in the same bed, but from all that I have read about him, I cannot imagine him being a loving, approachable sexual partner. And she, in turn, seems to have exchanged her role as the proud fashion goddess to that of religious icon . . . long before she became one.

An enigma, to be sure.

Offline Sarai

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2004, 03:18:50 PM »
OK, if the theory that the couple remained childless because Paul's children fulfilled Sergei's desire for fatherhood is not so valid, given the fact that they didn't appear in the picture for seven years after their marriage, then there are two other possibilities, same as those mentioned before. The most straightforward is that one or both of them had fertility problems, something which we may never be able to prove. The second, more theoretical "amateur psychologist" one is that, if the cause of their childlessness wasn't physical, then it could've been due to Sergei not having relations with Ella (due to his apparent natural sexual aversion to women or due to the rather strange reason given by G.D. Alexander that she was just too precious to touch). Therefore, they may have resigned themselves to being childless (due to his selfish reasons) until along came Paul's children. And then suddenly he had the children he wanted but may have been unwilling to conceive, so they continued without children of their own.

I agree that Sergei was seemingly not very capable of being a loving and intimate partner outside of the marriage bed, much less in it. He was still expected to marry and maintain the facade of a normal marriage, but within that marriage's exterior shell things were very different. I don't know much about Sergei, and thus I wonder if he ever had a female lover(s) before he got married, if he showed any sexual interest in women at all, in short - if he was turned off by all women or just by the one he had to marry? Because it would seem odd to me that, if he did have prior lovers, he would have had relations with women while he was single but then didn't want to with his own wife (then again, those other relations could just have been something he didn't really enjoy and what it took for him to discover he was gay). Disclaimer: Remember, this is all my conjecture! ;)

Offline RomanovFan

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2005, 04:42:04 PM »
Would they have been killed too? What would their titles have been? And why didn't Ella and Serge have children in the first place?
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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2005, 05:03:00 PM »
There are other threads about why they didn't have children (cf. Ella & Serge's courtship etc.), but I would imagine if they had children, Ella's life would have been entirely different and perhaps she would have left Russia during the Revolution - her strong sense of responsibility etc.

Offline ashanti01

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2005, 01:39:54 AM »
Why didn't Ella and Serge have children? There has been much talk about this issue in the past which basically comes back to the same theories.

1. Sergei was homosexual ( I think that even if he was a homesexual he still could have children, look at KR how many children did have? Many)

2. Possible health issues. In a letter Tsar Alexander III wrote to his wife, Minnie, he wrote how sad it was that Sergei and Ella would never be able to enjoy the privilage of being parents, or something to that effect. Basically, the Tsar knew something we do not.

We will probably never really know why they did not have children,

I would have to think that if Ella did have children, she would have been more motivated after Sergei's death to continue on and be strong in a different way.
It would have changed her path completly as more than likely she probably would not have risked the safety of her children to the revolution, and would have accepted the Kaiser's help.

One must also think, if she was a mother would she more understanding of Alix's dependance on Rasputin.

Also, if she did have children, what if she had a hemophiliac son, would she like her sister Alix have been a supporter of Rasputin?

Many different things to ponder with one still twist of fate.

Offline Martyn

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2005, 09:07:36 AM »
Quote
Would they have been killed too? What would their titles have been? And why didn't Ella and Serge have children in the first place?


In reply to your original question, it would have been entirely likely that they would have been at the same amount of risk as every other member of the Romanov family at that time.
That so many did manage to escape is nothing short of miraculous.
Would their titles have been Prince or Princess as  oposed to Grand Duke/Duchess?
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Offline crazy_wing

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2005, 09:17:10 AM »
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Would their titles have been Prince or Princess as  oposed to Grand Duke/Duchess?


Their titles would be Grand Dukes/Duchesses b/c they would be grandchildren of a Tsar.  The children from his brother Paul's 1st marriage were also titled as GD.

If Ella did have children, they would've probably already married before the fall of the empire or even before the revolution started.  

Offline Martyn

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2005, 09:26:10 AM »
Quote

Their titles would be Grand Dukes/Duchesses b/c they would be grandchildren of a Tsar.  The children from his brother Paul's 1st marriage were also titled as GD.

If Ella did have children, they would've probably already married before the fall of the empire or even before the revolution started.  

Of course, you are absolutely right.  My brain is failing.  If they had produced offspring the chances are that they would be full grown and married as Ella and Serge had been married in June 1884.
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Offline Svetabel

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2005, 05:20:40 AM »
Quote
Why didn't Ella and Serge have children? There has been much talk about this issue in the past which basically comes back to the same theories.

1. Sergei was homosexual ( I think that even if he was a homesexual he still could have children, look at KR how many children did have? Many)

2. Possible health issues. In a letter Tsar Alexander III wrote to his wife, Minnie, he wrote how sad it was that Sergei and Ella would never be able to enjoy the privilage of being parents, or something to that effect. Basically, the Tsar knew something we do not.

We will probably never really know why they did not have children,

.


Well,I recently have looked through one of the Hagiographies on Holy Martyr Grand Duchess Elizaveta (not an amazing reading!) and  came on such an explanation why Sergei and Ella never had children: as if
before their wedding they had agreed to live like sister and brother...becouse they had the same  spiritual demands and spiritual relationship was much important than physiology...
I think one can easily understand why The Orthodox Church make such statements..
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by svetabel »