Author Topic: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita  (Read 169822 times)

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Offline HRHLaurie1894

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Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« on: April 27, 2004, 05:19:33 PM »
Where did you find out the date of the little brothers birth???  Was he named and where was he buried???  Would the archived hold such information???  Sorry for all the questions - but this is the first I have heard of a stillborn son.  How different life would have been for little Elizabeth if he had lived - she would have had a playmate and someone else to share her short childhood with.

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2004, 07:00:53 PM »
I have read about that stillborn baby son...will try to remember the name of the book I read about it in...I am thinking that stillborn children are not baptized, hence not given a name as a livebirth child would be...example: when John and Jacqueline Kennedy's stillborn daughter was buried, there was no first name on the tombstone, even though they had picked out the name "Arabella" for the baby before the birth. Melissa K.

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2004, 11:29:57 PM »
Found some interesting quotes (one from Ernie the other from Dowager Empress Marie):

Subject:  Grand Duke of Hesse, 10 November 1901
Now that I am calmer I see the absolute impossibility of going on leading a life which was killing her & driving me nearly mad. For to keep up your spirits & a laughing face while ruin is staring you in the eyes & misery is tearing your heart to pieces is a struggle which is fruitless. I only tried for her sake. If I had not loved her so, I would have given it up long ago... My last years have been a living hell to me... You have been a sister to me like there are few—God bless you for all your love.

Subject:  Maria Fyodorovna to Nicholas II, 5 November 1901
Copenhagen, 5th November, 1901.
My dear darling Nicky,
Thank you with all my heart for your dear letter from Skernevitse, which, as always, I was so glad to receive although its contents were so terribly sad. All you told me about Erni and Ducky has been *such a shock* to me that I could not *sleep* the whole night. It is simply awful: how dreadful to think of their future and that of the poor little child! I am also *extremely* sorry for poor Alix, knowing well how dear Erni is to her and how sad and painful in every respect all this must be to her. Yesterday I too had a letter from Aunt Marie, who is in despair, of course, but says that they have misunderstood each other for a long time and divorce was the only solution. But I myself entirely agree with you when you say that even the loss of a dear person is better than the general disgrace of a divorce!
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2004, 09:54:23 AM »
I just thought they were some interesting perspectives on the divorce and, in the case of MF, of someone not directly involved. We've rarely heard of E's feelings on the matter, while much has been said of VM's. That's all.
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Offline bookworm8571

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2004, 07:01:35 PM »
"I only tried for her sake. If I had not loved her so ..."

Who did he mean by "her?" My guess is his daughter Elizabeth.

And how horrible for Nicholas and his mother to say it would be better if Ernest and Victoria Melita had DIED than to get a divorce.

Offline bookworm8571

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2004, 01:15:54 PM »
No, I'm not interested in a "fight," but a debate, yes. I could see the letter referring to Elizabeth as well as to Ducky. The "her" could be ambiguous. It would have made sense for him to love his daughter so much he'd stay in a bad marriage. Nothing I've read about them suggests he was "in love" with Ducky in any romantic sense.

And I can't imagine wishing anyone I love dead instead of divorced. It's just incomprehensible.

Offline JM

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2004, 02:05:11 PM »
I think it is quite cold to say you would rather have someone dead than have them participate in a divorce.

Offline Louise

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2004, 02:28:42 PM »
Yes it is very cold to wish someone dead than divorced, but we have to put in context the time/era that this divorce took place.

People back then truly believed the teachings of the bible and the churches's beliefs on divorce. One did not simply divorce, and here is the contridication. You could take a lover/mistress and have their children and live a lie of a marriage, but no divorce. Alas, sad but true I fear.

Poor Ducky and Ernie for having been forced into the marriage in the first place.

Louise

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Offline JM

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2004, 02:39:28 PM »
I agree Louise, the times were completely different and I'm certain such comments wouldn't be too uncommon. I've read comments like this before and I'm never surprised.

Unfortunately I sometimes don't consider everything when I post. But believe me, I do understand.


Offline Ilana

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2004, 05:58:47 PM »
They weren't forced to marry.  Pressured in a certain way, but not forced....
So long and thanks for all the fish

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2004, 10:09:24 AM »
Quote
Grandduchess..don't worry: I also wanted to try it, but....well >:(

Do it like me: Just think: "They were not happy together. What shell I do with a photo of two people who thanked God for their divorce?"  ;D


Hah! That's a good way to look at it Thomas! :D
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Offline Martyn

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2004, 08:21:11 AM »
Grandduchessella, commiserations on not getting the photo - I know how passionate you are about them.
Ilana, you say that they were not forced to marry, simply pressured....I rather think that the kind of pressure that could be exerted by Queen Victoria and the Duchess of Saxe-Coburg is not to be underestimated.
We know that, as a result of Ducky's marriage and Q.Victoria's arrangement of the match, her sister Missy was rushed to the altar with Ferdinand of Rumania depite the strong attachment that she felt for her cousin George (which was reciprocated).  This was largely due to her mother's antipathy to an English marriage and partly to spite Q.Victoria; at no time were Missy's inclinations part of the arrangement.
One might consider this  to be pressure; I don't imagine for one moment that Ernie and Ducky had the slightest say in whether they should marry.
'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 Ilana

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2004, 04:19:47 PM »
Can't agree.  Queen Victoria deeply deplored Ella and Alix's marriages to Russians but had to give way as this was what the girls wanted.  Also, the Queen didn't care much for Henry of Prussia and complained bitterly that Irene had pretty much gotten engaged behind her back and that she had to read it in the newspapers.

Queen Victoria and Princess Alice talked about marriage a great deal in their letters to one another and both agreed that a princess should not  get married for the sake of it, and Alice, in particular wanted her children to marry where they wanted.

Ernie had no particular inclination whatsoever at that point, and was used to listenning to the women in his family.  I really think it was a pressure he could have resisted had he been so inclined.
So long and thanks for all the fish

Offline Martyn

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2004, 03:50:04 AM »
Thomas, what a wonderful photo of Ducky and Ernie - apparently Ducky hated her teeth which is possibly why she always looks a bit miserable in most of her photos.  Their marriage, according to John van der Kiste's biography of Ducky was very much the result of the wishes of Q.Victoria and the Duke of Edinburgh and followed hot on the heels of Missy's union with Ferdinand of Rumania.  As they had both wished very much wished for Missy to marry George, they were extremely keen for Ducky to marry Ernie, despite the wishes of Maria Alexandrovna, Ducky's mother.  The latter, apparently,  hoped that an available Russian Grand Duke might be found for Ducky - maybe one that was not too closely related to her.
I don't honestly think that either Ducky or Ernie stood a chance; their initial attraction, whatever may have caused it, had evidently waned on Ernie's part as this was Ducky's mother's principal argument against the match.
That they both found a measure of personal happiness with other people is a positive result from a situation that caused a lot of grief and heartache at the time; I think that Ducky must have been quite gutsy to contemplate the divorce, as it could have put her beyond the pale forever.  The stigma attached to divorced women at that time, even if they were the innocent party certainly did not affect men in the same way;does anyone think that royal women were exempt from this?
'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 Ilana

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2004, 11:46:44 AM »
Perhaps we should agree to disagree on this issue.  Anyhow, of course you're right about the stigma of divorce... and royal ladies were never immune to anything of which there was a sniff of scandal.
So long and thanks for all the fish