Author Topic: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness  (Read 135892 times)

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Offline Ilana

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #30 on: January 14, 2005, 05:40:42 PM »
It becomes even more curious because I've read somewhere that one of the reasons that Ella went to J'Lem with Serge was to pray for children.  It drives me crazy that I can't remember where I read this!
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bluetoria

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #31 on: January 14, 2005, 05:46:55 PM »
I'm sure she would have gone to Jerusalem anyway! With regard to infertility, if the problem were on her part, she would have no need to make any secret of it. Her Aunt Louise made no secret of her problems and went to spas to seek a solution. Look at the lengths Alix went to to conceive a son. Ella grew up in a household that was relatively open-minded by the standards of the day (think of Princess Alice's willingness to study & discuss gynaecology with all & sundry, which made QV reluctant to let her younger daughters visit Darmstadt for fear of what they may hear!). Ella's absolute silence on the subject suggests to me that the marriage...for whatever reason...remained unconsummated.

Offline Martyn

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2005, 12:49:43 PM »
Quote
I thought I read somewhere that Serge had made an offer to Ella that she could find a "husband" for her needs.  This was an offer also made to GD Olga Alexandrovna by her first husband, Oldenburg.


Good grief, that would be a bit cynical wouldn't it?  Doesn't really fit in with the religious element of his character....Can you remember where you read that Dennis?
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Offline Dennis

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #33 on: January 15, 2005, 04:43:56 PM »
Martyn,

I've done some searching and here are the quotes, all from the same book, you may even have read it.

The Flight of the Romanovs: a family saga

by John Curtis Pery and Constantine Pleshakov

Basic Books, 1999

"The one side of Sergei that did not meet (his brother) Alexander's standard of conservatism and morality was his homosexual promiscuity.  Sergei was as close to overt in his sexual behavior as a man of his position could be in Russia in the 1880s."  Page 41

"However, the couple's life was shaped by Sergei's generally well-known although never discussed sexual orientation.  The couple slept in the same bed but remained childless.  Sergei Alexandrovich alledgedly propsed to his wfe more than once that she should choose a 'husband' among her entourage."  Page 43

"Olga was long unhappily married and sexually frustrated; her husband, Prince Peter of Oldenburg, a minor Romanov offshoot, had no interest in women and in fact the marriage, Olga said, was never even consummated...Peter proved to be tolerant of his wife, allowing her in 1903 to bring into their home a tall young fair-haired army officer named Nicholas Kulikovsky...and the two lived together under Oldenburg's roof for thirteen years."  Pages 129 - 130.

Any one else have information?

Dennis

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #34 on: January 15, 2005, 07:51:32 PM »
Quote

...it is interesting that the Church feels the need to try to explain it.

Maybe the church was afraid of opening up a can of worms about Sergei's homosexuality...so they felt they needed to explain this in other ways... ? They didn't have to provide an explanation at all really, so it is kind of weird that they would come up with that one.  ???

Dennis, I have read about all the stuff you quoted above as well...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by helenazar »

Offline Martyn

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #35 on: January 16, 2005, 05:39:27 AM »
Thanks Dennis, very illuminating.  Odd that the Church should even wish to raise the issue, as Helen suggests, as it can only invite controversy surely?
'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

bluetoria

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2005, 06:15:19 AM »
How could anyone know that Serge would suggest such a thing? It smacks to me of someone else's wishful thinking...who first said it? Perhaps someone who was jealous of Serge? He would hardly tell anyone else that he advised her to find a lover as that would surely reflect on his own virility (or lack of it) which wouldn't be something he'd brag about. Besides, he was, at the same time, allegedly so possessive of her that he would hardly let her out of his sight, read her letters, restricted her reading...so then he turns round & offers to provide her with a lover... ??? not very likely, really.
I have doubts about his homosexuality...latent or otherwise, because, as someone has already said, that wouldn't stop him fathering children. Perhaps he was impotent or perhaps there was some psychological barrier which we cannot understand.

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2005, 10:30:32 AM »
Quote

I have doubts about his homosexuality, that wouldn't stop him fathering children. Perhaps he was impotent or perhaps there was some psychological barrier which we cannot understand.

Yes, anything is possible I suppose.
But maybe the church thought it was because of him being homosexual hence they got defensive.  ???

bluetoria

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #38 on: January 16, 2005, 01:42:33 PM »
I don't really think it's to do with the Church. I think it all comes from the gossips at the time who disliked Serge, pitied Ella and really didn't understand...any better than we do...what made their marriage work (beyond MP's description of Ella yielding to Serge in all decisions affecting their lives.)
The Grand Duchess's life was made more miserable by the gossips than by Serge. Her nature seems to be such that she could deal with him, whatever he was like, but the gossip was surely excruciatingly embarrassing and hurtful :( Poor Ella!

Offline Martyn

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #39 on: January 17, 2005, 04:30:22 AM »
We shouldn't really forget that his sexual inclinations may simply have prevented him from consummating the marriage.  There are plenty of married men form that era who were married and successfully fathered offspring; such a course of action may not simply have been possible for Serge.  While he may have loved Ella very much, she simply may not have aroused in him the necessary passion to enjoy a physical union with her.
'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 ashanti01

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #40 on: January 17, 2005, 01:29:56 PM »
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We shouldn't really forget that his sexual inclinations may simply have prevented him from consummating the marriage.  There are plenty of married men form that era who were married and successfully fathered offspring; such a course of action may not simply have been possible for Serge.  While he may have loved Ella very much, she simply may not have aroused in him the necessary passion to enjoy a physical union with her.



That is very true. Look at KR, he was homosexual but had a very large family.
Princess Zinaida Yussupova's husband Felix was rumored to be have been homosexual, and he had children.

Can it just be, they didn't have children due to medical issues?

Offline Sarai

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #41 on: January 17, 2005, 01:36:49 PM »
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We shouldn't really forget that his sexual inclinations may simply have prevented him from consummating the marriage.  There are plenty of married men form that era who were married and successfully fathered offspring; such a course of action may not simply have been possible for Serge.  While he may have loved Ella very much, she simply may not have aroused in him the necessary passion to enjoy a physical union with her.


Martyn,
That is of course a good point. While it is a possibility that one of them suffered a fertility problem, it could just also be as simple as that Serge wasn't sexually attracted to Ella. Just because a gay man can physically have children doesn't mean he will. Strange though, because Serge seemed to love children and always related well to little children. He was tender and almost maternal to his adopted children Maria and Dmitry, so one would think he would have wanted his own children.

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #42 on: January 17, 2005, 02:05:08 PM »
Quote

While it is a possibility that one of them suffered a fertility problem, it could just also be as simple as that Serge wasn't sexually attracted to Ella. Just because a gay man can physically have children doesn't mean he will. Strange though, because Serge seemed to love children and always related well to little children. He was tender and almost maternal to his adopted children Maria and Dmitry, so one would think he would have wanted his own children.
  Yes, this is exactly right. But just because he liked children and wanted to have his own, it doesn't mean that it would make it easier for him to go against his nature. Some gay men can do it and others can't, Sergei may just have been among the latter.

Offline Martyn

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #43 on: January 17, 2005, 02:50:12 PM »
We are never going to know for sure, are we?  Dennis' evidence is interesting but we could really do with knowing where the original source material came from that was quoted in 'Flight of the Romanovs'.
As a point of interest, there are many men who are attracted to women in an emotional and intellectual way that can amount to romantic love, whilst remaining physically disinterested.  I do think that having no children of their own, for whatever reason, was a terrible shame for them.....
'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

bluetoria

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Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
« Reply #44 on: January 17, 2005, 02:56:55 PM »
I agree. A terrible shame :(