Author Topic: Attempts of European royal families to save the Imperial family?  (Read 34582 times)

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Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Attempts of European royal families to save the Imperial family?
« Reply #75 on: June 03, 2016, 05:17:05 PM »
reply #64 typo it should be Paris commune in 1871 not 1817

Offline Andrei Beanov

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Re: Attempts of European royal families to save the Imperial family?
« Reply #76 on: July 22, 2016, 03:15:08 AM »
There was an early offer from George V via the Ambassador which was rejected by Nicholas whilst they were still under house arrest at AP.
If you read the families letters it seems they were their own worst enemies in regards to being rescued.
The letter from Ernst to Alix is interesting as is her response.

The bottom line is --- they could have been rescued IF they hadn't been so stubborn................but after they moved from Tobolsk to Yekaturinburg it was nigh on impossible.


Offline Horock

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Re: Attempts of European royal families to save the Imperial family?
« Reply #77 on: July 24, 2016, 02:03:43 PM »
Britain and Spain in 1917 did not compare. 

Britain was involved in a world war which cost it 1700 casualties per day. A war that was ruinous for its finances and which might have been lost.  The government had had to contend with an uprising in Ireland in the previous year and in 1917 had seen parts of the French Army mutiny and revolution in Russia.

Why should it have involved itself with the internal politics of Russia -whose government was committed to continuing the war?

Offline NicolasG

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Re: Attempts of European royal families to save the Imperial family?
« Reply #78 on: July 30, 2016, 08:08:14 AM »
There was an early offer from George V via the Ambassador which was rejected by Nicholas whilst they were still under house arrest at AP.
If you read the families letters it seems they were their own worst enemies in regards to being rescued.
The letter from Ernst to Alix is interesting as is her response.

The bottom line is --- they could have been rescued IF they hadn't been so stubborn................but after they moved from Tobolsk to Yekaturinburg it was nigh on impossible.


It would be easier for everyone if you provided a link or quoted the relevant paragraphs when you mention a letter.

HOWEVER, that's what I have to say about it.

1. General Kornilov told Alix on March 21 1917 that they were being taken to Murmansk, and from there to Britain in a British warship. Alix did not seem to have opposed the idea, on the contrary she felt relieved to hear it.

"On the morning of March 21, General Kornilov returned to the palace. His mission this time was to place Alexandra Fedorovna under arrest. The Empress, dressed in her white nurse's uniform, received him in the green drawing room. Apprised of his mission, she stood icily silent and did not hold out her hand to receive him. Kornilov carefully explained that the arrest was purely precautionary, designed to safeguard her and her children from the excesses of the Soviet and the revolutionary soldiery. Her husband, he said, had been arrested at Mogilev and would be returned to Tsarkoe Selo the following day. As soon as the children's health permitted, he declared, the Provisional Government intended to send the entire family to Murmansk, where a British cruiser would be waiting to take them to England. Kornilov's reassuring words overcame Alexandra's reserve. Half an hour later, an aide returned to find the Empress and the General sitting together at a small table. She was weeping and there were tears in his eyes. When she rose to say goodbye, she held out both her hands."

Nicholas and Alexandra, Robert K. Massie

2. As regards any entry in the diary or comment that Alix could have made after the revolution about they wanting to stay in Russia, come what may, it cannot be taken as face-value. There's no way that she wanted that their children be exposed to the risk and the humiliations of hostile revolutionary guards instead of being free in Britain. Acceptance of God's will, resignation, feel of duty etc... may have coloured her comments but if they have been explained the risks and offered the choice they would have never refused to go to Britain or to any other country where they could be safe, or at least, to send their children there.

Offline NicolasG

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Re: Attempts of European royal families to save the Imperial family?
« Reply #79 on: July 30, 2016, 08:48:26 AM »
Britain and Spain in 1917 did not compare.  

Britain was involved in a world war which cost it 1700 casualties per day. A war that was ruinous for its finances and which might have been lost.  The government had had to contend with an uprising in Ireland in the previous year and in 1917 had seen parts of the French Army mutiny and revolution in Russia.

Why should it have involved itself with the internal politics of Russia -whose government was committed to continuing the war?


OK. How woud have the offer of asylum to the Imperial family affected the war effort? Would have the trade unions started a strike at the munitions industry? Maybe the coal miners? A general mutiny in the army? Or would a revolutionary mob have stormed Westminster Palace and the House of Parliament?

The answer is: in no way. There would have been some angry articles in the radical press, maybe some small meetings or demonstrations and everything would have been forgotten in two weeks, once the Imperial Family settled for a quiet family life away from public attention.

Britain was involved in a world war, Spain was a neutral country. True. But the risk of revolution was much higher in Spain than in Britain. Alfonso XIII, the Spanish king, had survived three assesination attempts by 1917 (when he was 30). Canalejas, the Prime Minister, had been murdered by an anarchist in 1912. Dato, another prime minister, would be murdered in 1921 (How many PM were murdered in Britain during the XX century?). There had been a mutiny in Barcelona in 1909 which left more than 100 casualties. There was a revolutionary general strike in Spain in August 1917, organised by the Socialist Party. Anarchist violence and murders were almost a daily occurence...

Whereas in Britain all was quiet on the labour front. There was a special intelligence service headed by Basil Thompson of the Special Branch of Scotland Yard, who made weekly reports to the Cabinet on the labour situation throughout the country. Lloyd George, the British Prime Minister, was no friend of Nicholas II. He could have vetoed the asylum of the Imperial Family if he thought that their coming to Britain supposed a risk for the safety of the country. He didn't. It was the King (a constitutional King, as some here have remarked) who overruled the decision of his Prime Minister. The Easter Rising had nothing to do with revolutionary socialism, as neither the mutiny in France had (which had not yet happenned, so it could not have influence George V's decision). Nor did George V or his secretary, Lord Stramfordham, claim that there was an imminent risk if the Imperial Family were admitted to the UK: "all sort of difficulties", "it will be akward for Our Royal Family", "compromise the position of the King and the Queen", "serious embarassment".

George V was not thinking in terms of revolution and mutiny. As Kenneth Rose, George V's biographer, wrote: "The King feared for his popularity". And that's the reason he abandoned the Russian Imperial Family to their fate.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2016, 08:51:51 AM by NicolasG »

Offline TimM

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Re: Attempts of European royal families to save the Imperial family?
« Reply #80 on: August 02, 2016, 07:33:01 AM »
Quote
It was the King (a constitutional King, as some here have remarked) who overruled the decision of his Prime Minister.

The King had no power to effect Government decisions.  Couldn't the British Government have just pushed ahead anyway? 
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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Attempts of European royal families to save the Imperial family?
« Reply #81 on: August 02, 2016, 11:19:19 AM »
The Government could have done, but there was a strong sense at that time that they should avoid embarrassing the King, as can be seen in the whole saga of the Titles Deprivation Act.

Ultimately, the Government had other priorities at a time when the war was going badly for the Allies.

Ann

Offline Ellie

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Re: Attempts of European royal families to save the Imperial family?
« Reply #82 on: August 03, 2016, 02:19:36 AM »
It's MHO that one of the foremost duties of a consititutional monarch, as George V was, is to set a moral example to his nation. It is thus also my opinion that George V, by refusing to give aid to his kin,  initiated the British Royal family's descent to its present insignificance.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 02:30:21 AM by Ellie »

Offline TimM

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Re: Attempts of European royal families to save the Imperial family?
« Reply #83 on: August 03, 2016, 07:02:07 AM »
I guess that, in hindsight, no one at the time knew what would happen to NAOTMAA.  At that point, the Bolsheviks had not yet taken power.
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Offline NicolasG

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Re: Attempts of European royal families to save the Imperial family?
« Reply #84 on: August 04, 2016, 07:46:25 AM »
The King HAD power to affect the government decisions.

In theory, Lloyd George might have ignored the letters he got from the King's secretary, Lord Stamfordham. In practice, he wouldn't. Lloyd George had been Prime Minister for less than three months, heading a coallition of liberals (his party) and conservatives. He had expressed clearly his dislike of Russian autocracy, but he didn't have strong feelings against Nicholas Romanov as a private person. If the King had not intervened, he would not have rejected the Russian Provisional Government request to offer asylum to the Imperial Family.

The King was the Commander in Chief of the Army. He was the one who appointed Prime Ministers. He created peers that could delay (before the reform of 1911, veto) in the House of Lords any legislation passed in the House of Commons. In 1917 choosing a path of direct confrontation with the King was political suicide. A king had not been overthrown in Britain since 1689. On the other hand, the fall of a government was not uncommon.

Offline NicolasG

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Re: Attempts of European royal families to save the Imperial family?
« Reply #85 on: August 04, 2016, 08:10:34 AM »
I guess that, in hindsight, no one at the time knew what would happen to NAOTMAA.  At that point, the Bolsheviks had not yet taken power.

No one at the time knew what would happen if we mean Ekaterinburg and the murder in Ipatiev House. Everyone with a little of information knew that situation in Russia was very dangerous for the Imperial Family.

Milyukov, the Foreign Affairs Minister in the Provisional Government, knew it and that's the reason he asked the British to grant the Imperial Family asylum.

In 1905-1906 the revolution had provoked much bloodshed in the Russian Empire (including the assesination of Grand Duke Sergey Alexandrovich, Nicholas II's uncle) before being supressed. In March 1917 sailors had massacred their officers in the naval base of Kronstadt, just 20 miles from Petrograd.

And there's the precedent of the French revolution. A distant observer, Léon Bloy, a French writer, wrote in his diary:

"18 March 1917 - The tsar Michael proclaims full popular soverignty. Popular sovereignty in Russia! In 1789, the Terror (in France) came after three years. The Russians will go much faster."

And "20 May 1917 - Some Kerensky, War Minister in Russia, has proclaimed that "The fatherland is in danger", a form which was to be expected, being their revolution a copy of ours. Yesterday it was 1789; today, it is 1792; without Valmy and Jemmapes, tomorrow will be 1793."
« Last Edit: August 04, 2016, 08:16:22 AM by NicolasG »

Offline Horock

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Re: Attempts of European royal families to save the Imperial family?
« Reply #86 on: August 04, 2016, 02:42:59 PM »
Britain incurred an average of 1,700 casualties per day during the First World War. Dealing with the war the British government's first priority.  Nicholas Romanov and his family were foreign nationals living in a country that was pledged to carry on with the war on the side of Britain and France.  His abdication made no difference to Russia's commitment to the war and seems to have been well received by most of the British Press with even the right-wing Daily Mail welcoming that event.  Where was the incentive for the British government risk bringing the Romanovs to Britain at that time?

Any request by the Romanov family for asylum in Britain should have been assessed alongside other requests for asylum by foreign nationals such as Belgian refugees and so on. Had they arrived in Britain then hopefully they would have been housed by their relatives and financed any costs that their time in Britain incurred from their personal financial assets or by paid employment.  There were plenty of jobs that needed doing at time. No British lives should have been risked in any rescue attempt.

The sad fate of the Romanovs was down to the Russian people, their government(s) and the former Tsar.  The British government was not to blame, nor was King George Fifth.

Offline NicolasG

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Re: Attempts of European royal families to save the Imperial family?
« Reply #87 on: August 06, 2016, 06:22:56 AM »
Britain incurred an average of 1,700 casualties per day during the First World War. Dealing with the war the British government's first priority.  Nicholas Romanov and his family were foreign nationals living in a country that was pledged to carry on with the war on the side of Britain and France.  His abdication made no difference to Russia's commitment to the war and seems to have been well received by most of the British Press with even the right-wing Daily Mail welcoming that event.  Where was the incentive for the British government risk bringing the Romanovs to Britain at that time?

Any request by the Romanov family for asylum in Britain should have been assessed alongside other requests for asylum by foreign nationals such as Belgian refugees and so on. Had they arrived in Britain then hopefully they would have been housed by their relatives and financed any costs that their time in Britain incurred from their personal financial assets or by paid employment.  There were plenty of jobs that needed doing at time. No British lives should have been risked in any rescue attempt.

The sad fate of the Romanovs was down to the Russian people, their government(s) and the former Tsar.  The British government was not to blame, nor was King George Fifth.


You have already posted that or something similar previously. A much more possitive contribution to the debate would be to try to answer the question I made:

"In which way would have the asylum of the Imperial Family in Britain affected the British war effort?" Lloyd George, the British Prime Minister, thought it wouldn't and therefore he initially accepted the Russian request.

Now, I am going to reply to some of the points of your post.

1. Obligation.

First, King George V was Nicholas' first cousin, he addressed him in his letters as "Nicky". Now he and his family were in a very dangerous situation. That's moral obligation.

Secondly, the request to offer asylum to the Imperial Family came from Milyukov, the Foreign Affairs Minister in the Russian Provisional Government, an ally. If the British were to reject it, they should provide a much better reason that "the King will suffer embarassment".

2. Money.

Not a very elegant matter to discuss, specially taking into account that the modest requirements of the Imperial Family in exile would not have exceeded the household budget of an upper-middle class British family. But anyway, Lord Stamfordham, George V's secretary, raised it. The Russians (that is, the Russian Provisional Government), probably thinking that there was something in Napoleon's dictum that "Britain is a nation of shopkeepers", replied that they would cover the expenses of the Imperial Family in Britain.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2016, 06:26:19 AM by NicolasG »

Offline TimM

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Re: Attempts of European royal families to save the Imperial family?
« Reply #88 on: August 06, 2016, 07:10:53 AM »
I honestly don't see an issue here.  Yes, some left wing papers might whine, but that would be about it.  Lloyd George had nothing to worry about.  I wonder if, has his party had a majority in Parliament, and therefore safe from no confidence votes, would he have gone ahead with it.

We'll never know, of course.
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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Attempts of European royal families to save the Imperial family?
« Reply #89 on: August 06, 2016, 07:58:39 AM »
We also need to consider the practicalities of getting the Romanovs to Britain.

The best route in my view would either have been by Royal Navy warship from Murmansk, or by train to Norway via Finland and Sweden, followed by passage by warship. Either of these would have avoided the invidious issue of relying on a safe conduct through the Baltic - very unpopular with the British public. Alternatively, train to Persia, where there were both British and Russian troops. The family could then have seen out the war well out of the way in India or Egypt.

Were any of the Scandinavian governments ever approached to provide asylum? Haakon VII of Norway and Christian X of Denmark were both Nicholas's first cousins, all three countries were neutral, and far easier to get to than Britain.

Ann