Author Topic: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion  (Read 60051 times)

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Offline Jackswife

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #30 on: July 02, 2005, 08:22:06 AM »
 These are all very interesting discussions. I have always believed that Marie felt Alix wasn't "good enough" for Nicholas, and she also felt (rightly so, as it turned out) that Alix was ill-suited for the position of Empress. If Nicholas had chosen someone more outgoing and sociable for his wife it would have made a great difference in the course of Russian history, I imagine.  With Alexander III and Marie, it was a more or less arranged marriage at first that led to genuine love over time, where as with Nicholas and Alexandra it was a love match from the start. Nicholas didn't choose someone whom he knew  would make the perfect  Tsarina ; he married the love of his life for better for worse, and I think Marie was completely baffled by this.

Offline Jackswife

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #31 on: July 02, 2005, 03:53:36 PM »
 I think such a comment about Ernie and Ducky seems to sound very harsh and cruel, but at the time it fits in perfectly with the standards of the day among royals. Status, position, and morals (at least in the outward show) meant everything to that era, and Marie knew as well as any other royal lady what the expectations were of what was considered  "proper" behavior. It was the same with her own daughter Olga who chose to leave her very unsatisfying first marriage to marry a "commoner" (with whom she was evidently quite happy). To Marie, such an idea was unthinkable. I'm not defending Marie's remarks, I'm just saying that for the times in which she lived, it was probably a fairly typical sentiment among royal families to avoid any kind of scandalous behaviors.

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #32 on: July 03, 2005, 12:04:21 PM »
She was agreeing with something Nicholas had raised first.

NII to MF: "In a case like this even the loss of a dear person is better than the general disgrace of a divorce."

MF to NII: "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."

So if MF is spiteful, I guess NII is too.  :-/
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Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #33 on: July 04, 2005, 09:54:47 AM »
Marie loved court life, parties, balls, gala dinners and the like.  She loved being the center of attention and fashion.  She also had a number of years to learn her job before being Empress, which Alix never had.  Marie's mother-in-law retreated from court life as her health worstened and the scandal of Alexander II's affair with Catherine  developed.  Marie stepped into the gap, still as the wife of the Tsarevich.  I am sure Marie made many mistakes along the way but those have been forgotten or overlooked with the passage of time.  In any case her husband had to restrain Marie's party nature.  Alexander III stayed away from the Alexander Palace during the 'season' because the palace was too close to the 'smart set' of Tsarskoe Selo and his wife was always entertaining or going to parties there.  He took his wife and family to Gatchina where the social life was dead and their were no invitations to be declined.

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #34 on: July 04, 2005, 10:33:19 AM »
Could any daughter-in-law gotten along with the Dowager Empress? She didn't care for Alix, a person totally opposite her in character. But would she have gotten along any better with someone who was her mirror image? That would have been a terrifically competitive situation in a very different way than it was with Alix.




Offline Sarai

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #35 on: July 09, 2005, 03:30:49 PM »
Quote
Could any daughter-in-law gotten along with the Dowager Empress? She didn't care for Alix, a person totally opposite her in character. But would she have gotten along any better with someone who was her mirror image? That would have been a terrifically competitive situation in a very different way than it was with Alix.


At first I was inclined to say that she would get along better with a DIL who was more outgoing, but you raise a good point that they may have been too competitive with each other. It seems to me that it would have been very difficult to be her DIL in any case, as Marie still wanted to be the center of attention after the premature death of her husband and her early retirement to Dowager Empress status. She also was a possessive mother and perhaps the type that thought no woman would ever have been good enough for her little boy.

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #36 on: July 11, 2005, 10:32:19 PM »
As a daugher in law (my mother in law was a wonderful, generous woman who treated me and my husband as a special unit from the day of our marriage until the day she died) and as a mother in law myself, I really think that anyone would of had a very difficult time with Marie...perhaps someone not quite as charming, not quite as social, not quite as fashionable...a step just below so Marie would not feel threatened...but she seems a classic "Queen Bee" to me, even though I have much sympathy for her personal situation in the various situations she found herself in throughout her life. One thing about her that I do NOT understand is her coldness toward her grandchildren from GD Olga's second marriage. And I say that as a grandmama who cannot imagine being cold toward a grandchild, period.

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #37 on: July 12, 2005, 05:30:32 PM »
I think as long as the DIL was properly deferential (and not resentful over it) there could've been a good enough relationship. Alix, despite some of her carping, had a pretty good relationship with QM. She writes to her very fondly and was especially appreciative of how QM always took her deafness into account. QA, like MF, didn't want to give up many of her Queenly symbols--certain jewels, moving out of one of the homes (not Sandringham which was left to her for her lifetime), etc....QM accepted it gracefully and didn't put up a fuss. Alix got her nose put out of joint early and didn't seem to take MF's extreme grief over AIII into consideration. Not only did MF love her position, but there were reminders of the life she'd led with her husband. Alix seemed to pull NII between the two of them whereas QM, even if she didn't like it, accepted that QA needed GV both as a rock after her widowhood but also going back to Eddy's death as her only surviving son.
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Offline Alexander_II

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #38 on: August 03, 2005, 09:09:48 AM »
The French philosopher Rousseau once penned a famous phrase, "A young woman nourishes her complexion in the same fashion as an older woman nourishes her brain".  The moral of the phrase is twofold.  Firstly, that youth and beauty allow a woman certain privileges and indiscretion however, once her youth has gone if she hasn't developed and sharpened her intelligence she will quickly vanish into oblivion.  The second moral significance of the phrase is that young women should be respectful and wary of older women because if you attempt to outplay them, they will use their intelligence in a subtle but direct fashion to eventually destroy your reputation.

In Russian there is also a saying which translates into the following, "A man can have many wives but he has only one mother".  It is partly this view which gave the Dowager Empress in Russia precedence over the reigning Empress.  The Dowager Empress had assumably earned the respect of her subjects whilst the young Empress had yet to earn it and part of the test was the way in which she tactfully displayed and acknowledged the accomplishments of the formers glory.  This was no different in the French court.  The mistress of the king ruled the court however, women like the Marquise de Pompadour were respected for her tact and recognition of the queens function and position whilst self glorifed attention seekers like the Comtesse Du Barry were tolerated but not well liked.

The Empress Alexandra was an excellent mother but we must understand that this was not seen as a virtuous attribute of an empress or for that matter any career minded woman in todays society.  My great great grandmother was a socialite.  She claims to have loved her children but only had luncheon with them each day and thereafter visited them in the nursery in the evenings to show herself in all her finery before hitting the St Petersburg social life.  My great grandmother said she was a doll we could never touch because she was frightened one of the children could crease her skirts.  This regrettably was the fate of many children born to prominent parents but considered quite the norm at the time.  It is interesting to note that the Empresses inclination to withdraw from society into an intimate family circle was often associated to the dowdy characteristics and behaviour of her grandmother, Queen Victoria who during her reign did much to damage the image of the English monarchy after the death of her husband, Prince Albert, purely by making herself inassessible to her subjects.    
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Alexander_II »

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #39 on: August 21, 2005, 10:32:35 PM »
There is a quote that includes, "a pause in the day's occupation, that is known as the children's hour." ( I think it is from a poem entitled The Children's Hour)

In society homes, children were indeed seen and not heard and were allotted one hour each day in the early evening to be presented to their parents.

Normally this hour would be at tea time and the children would be washed a dressed and then sent to spend time sitting quietly with their parents.

As to the ill will between Marie and Alix,

I think that both Marie and Alix just forgot where they came from.  Neither had an auspicious beginning and the prospects of both were not all that good.  Both took the role of Autocrat to heart even though both got to that position as a long shot.

But, in another thread, some mentioned that Alix even slighted her grandmother QV in precedence after her marriage, so why would she be content to let Marie (someone she didn't even like) shine?





Offline joye

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #40 on: August 02, 2006, 01:04:02 AM »
I was surprised to read how MF treated her sister, Queen Alexandra  during her widowhood.  She was always urging her to take precedence over Queen Mary.An explanation of this is that in Russia, she had precendence over Alix, the ruling Tsar's wife.I admire Dagmar, but would have thought she would have been more insightful regarding her daughter Olga'a  first marriage.,,  I seem  to remember reading she asked the question about Sandro, Xenias's husband, about whether he was gay, but apparently

did not

 about Olga's 1st husband. And to let your daughter suffer for 13years is off in my way of thinking. She did her royal duty, but her family paid a price.

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Offline joye

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #41 on: August 02, 2006, 01:07:35 AM »
I was surprised to read how MF treated her sister, Queen Alexandra  during her widowhood.  She was always urging her to take precedence over Queen Mary.An explanation of this is that in Russia, she had precendence over Alix, the ruling Tsar's wife.I admire Dagmar, but would have thought she would have been more insightful regarding her daughter Olga'a  first marriage.,,  I seem  to remember reading she asked the question about Sandro, Xenias's husband, about whether he was gay, but apparently

did not

 about Olga's 1st husband. And to let your daughter suffer for 13years is off in my way of thinking. She did her royal duty, but her family paid a price.

Signed HRH
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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #42 on: August 02, 2006, 03:25:04 AM »
Well...I think Vicky (Empress Frederick) nailed the situation in her letter to Sophie saying that Alicky was ambitious and thought herself to be so clever and important that she will be hard to controll. With a husband like Nicky, her ambition went to her head without check. Dagmar wasn't that into politics, but felt herself to be the carrier of her husband's torch. She felt Nicky wasn't the one to fill Sasha's shoes (she was proved right of course...sadly). That was the reason she pushed herself forward, which made her directly against Alicky.

Offline Caleb

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #43 on: August 19, 2006, 03:13:36 PM »
I do think that Minnie was too overprotective of her children & that may have accounted for Nicholas's weakness. I also think that she seemed to be more bossy & less polite to family than Queen Alexandra.

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #44 on: August 20, 2006, 08:31:09 PM »
Well..I think Minny loved her family and her children felt their love. However she tried to do it all and became over protective, so Nicky end up being a "mama's boy". To be fair, Minny did all was required of her as a Russian Empress and did her best to keep the peace within the troublesome Romanov family. That cannot be an easy task (she was the only popular member of the Imperial Family within the court AND among the common people).  ;)