Author Topic: Anna Feodorovna  (Read 42237 times)

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Offline Marc

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Re: Anna Feodorovna
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2005, 11:38:15 AM »

Offline Marc

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Re: Anna Feodorovna
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2005, 11:40:35 AM »
Portrait of Grand Duchess Anna Feodorovna!
« Last Edit: December 27, 2010, 02:29:47 AM by Svetabel »

Offline gem_10

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Re: Anna Feodorovna
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2007, 08:55:51 AM »
I'm reviving this old thread.  :)

I'm always interested with Anna Feodorovna. What was her relationship with the other members of the Imperial Family? She and Elizabeth Alexeievna have the same age and they were married almost at the same time. Plus, their husbands were closed to each other, so I wonder if the two women get along with each other well.

Anyone has an opinion?

Offline ivanushka

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Re: Anna Feodorovna
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2007, 07:20:52 PM »
I've often wondered that too (whether Anna and Elizabeth were close).  I'd imagine that would have been, bearing in mind that both were a similar age, both were German and both had come from minor states to the grand and intimidating Russian court.  I'd also imagine that Elizabeth would have wanted a friend as originally her sister Frederika (the future wife of Gustavus IV of Sweden) had come with her to St Petersburg as a possible wife for Constantine but for some reason (perhaps her youth as she was only about 12) she was sent back to Baden.  Elizabeth must have been lonely without her.

Offline gem_10

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Re: Anna Feodorovna
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2007, 07:54:49 PM »
I agree with you ivanushka. They must've been intimidated with the Russian court and the intrigues surrounding it. Elizabeth was very beautiful but shy and reserved by nature. And it was said that Anna, while not exactly stunningly beautiful like her sister-in-law, was pretty and full of life. But do you have any info or idea what kind of personality Anna has?

I'm also looking for her portraits when she was still a grand duchess but I've only seen 2 so far: the one by Le Brun and the one from the Hermitage.

Anyone can kindly post?

Offline ivanushka

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Re: Anna Feodorovna
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2007, 08:52:02 AM »
I think the description "pretty and full of life" is very accurate.  That is certainly the impression one gets when looking at the Le Brun portrait.

I don't know much about her character but I would imagine that she was a stronger personality than her sister in law, Elizabeth.  Anna's mother (a very minor German princess who married a very minor German prince!) was, by all accounts, an intensely ambitious woman who was determined that her children would marry as well as possible.  One of Anna's sisters married a son of George III and was the mother of Queen Victoria while one of her brothers firstly married George IV's only daughter, Charlotte, and, then after she died, ended up as King of Belgium. 

Anna's mother must have been thrilled that her daughter had married the son of a Tsar but according to Wikipedia Anna returned to Coburg after only a few years of marriage because she found Constantine so unpleasant.  It must have taken guts to do that as mother must have been livid!!!

Her life after leaving Russia was colourful too.  You get the impression of a likeable and confident woman who enjoyed life and was probably fun to be around.

Offline gem_10

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Re: Anna Feodorovna
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2007, 09:46:19 PM »
I very much agree that Anna had a stronger personality than Elizabeth. Her Coburg relatives have strong personality too (e.g. Victoria of kent). But the way she was treated by Konstantin must have hurt her so much. And I imagine no one in the imperial family actually sympathized with her (except maybe Elizabeth).

It seems that Anna's sad life in Russia made a deep impression on Queen Victoria. She came to strongly dislike Russia and the imperial family.  :)

Offline Svetabel

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Re: Anna Feodorovna
« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2007, 12:27:30 AM »

Offline ivanushka

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Re: Anna Feodorovna
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2007, 08:49:11 AM »
I very much agree that Anna had a stronger personality than Elizabeth. Her Coburg relatives have strong personality too (e.g. Victoria of kent). But the way she was treated by Konstantin must have hurt her so much. And I imagine no one in the imperial family actually sympathized with her (except maybe Elizabeth).

It seems that Anna's sad life in Russia made a deep impression on Queen Victoria. She came to strongly dislike Russia and the imperial family.  :)

Yes, I'd read that Queen Victoria didn't like Russia, though I hadn't made the connection with Anna being her aunt.  It's ironic, isn't it, that one of Queen Victoria's favourite grandchildren ended up as the last Tsarina!

In a book called Royal Babylon, Karl Shaw says that Anna's brother Ernst (the future Duke of Coburg and father of Prince Albert) and Constantine were good friends and that it was said that they used to amuse themselves by kicking hussars to death and firing live rats from cannons in the Marble Palace.  Certainly Constantine seems a very unpleasant person and he may well have been physically abusive to his wife.

Apparently Bismarck referred to the Saxe Coburg family as the stud farm of Europe.  Another of Anna's brothers was the father of a future King consort of Portugal, and one of his grandsons managed to get himself elected as King of Bulgaria!!!

Offline dmitri

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Re: Anna Feodorovna
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2007, 12:32:34 PM »
I guess it takes all sorts to make up a family. Check out Leopold II of Belgium. He was not the most pleasant Coburg first cousin of Queen Victoria. He treated his long suffering wife very poorly.

Offline gem_10

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Re: Anna Feodorovna
« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2007, 12:40:52 AM »

Certainly Constantine seems a very unpleasant person and he may well have been physically abusive to his wife.



That is very likely. Constantine was known for his cruelty and not-so-good personality. But I'm surprised that he was kind and caring towards his sister-in-law, Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna, who is unhappily married to his brother Mikhail.

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Anna Feodorovna
« Reply #26 on: September 10, 2007, 05:15:03 AM »
In 'Romanov relations', the letters between Anna Pavlovna of the Netherlands and her brothers, there is the occasional letter from Constantine who sounded actually quite nice.  He certainly sympathised with Elena Pavlovna as Ivanushka says, and he was very fond of his second wife and their child, from his letters, and there was never any suggestion that he was horrible to them.  However, he was married very young and it sounds as if he could be a bit of a bully, so his relations with his first wife clearly suffered from his immaturity (and, in fairness, hers also).  The fact that they didn't have any children probably made it less of a problem to separate.  It is interesting that a lot of pressure was put on Elena Pavlovna to stay with the odious Michael, but comparatively little seems to have been put on Julie, at least once Paul died. 

Offline gem_10

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Re: Anna Feodorovna
« Reply #27 on: September 10, 2007, 06:10:47 AM »
I imagine that Constantine became 'nicer' as he grows older. He was very young when he was married to Juliane. To top it all, it was an aranged marriage and at that time, Constantine might still be enjoying his happy-go-lucky life as an unmarried young man. He must've hated it to be tied down in a loveless marriage.

Constantine indeed loved his second wife. He was more than willing to give up his right on the throne just to marry her.  ;) He likes Elena Pavlovna because of her strong personality and tries to help her with her relationship with Mikhail (at least in the beginning of their married life).  :)

Offline ivanushka

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Re: Anna Feodorovna
« Reply #28 on: September 10, 2007, 11:01:37 AM »
In 'Romanov relations', the letters between Anna Pavlovna of the Netherlands and her brothers, there is the occasional letter from Constantine who sounded actually quite nice.  He certainly sympathised with Elena Pavlovna as Ivanushka says, and he was very fond of his second wife and their child, from his letters, and there was never any suggestion that he was horrible to them.  However, he was married very young and it sounds as if he could be a bit of a bully, so his relations with his first wife clearly suffered from his immaturity (and, in fairness, hers also).  The fact that they didn't have any children probably made it less of a problem to separate.  It is interesting that a lot of pressure was put on Elena Pavlovna to stay with the odious Michael, but comparatively little seems to have been put on Julie, at least once Paul died. 

Do you know who published "Romanov Relations"?  It sounds like a fascinating book and one that I'd enjoy reading.

It was said that of all Tsar Paul's son, Constantine was most like him both in looks and in personality.  I've heard that though Paul could be difficult to put it mildly, he was always an affectionate father to his younger children.  I imagine his relationship with his two eldest sons must have been soured by the fact that they were both taken out of the care of him and his wife and raised by Catherine the Great.  I would imagine that like his father, Constantine did have a nice side and, as gem suggests, this became more to the fore as he matured. 

It must have been quite difficult for Constantine being the younger brother to Alexander who was very much the golden boy of the family.  Though I think that both brothers were very close Constantine must have felt overshadowed by Alexander and this could have contributed to his less acceptable behavior when younger.

Sorry, getting off point here.  I know this is a thread about Anna!  I just find the whole Romanov family relationships issue fascinating!

Offline gem_10

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Re: Anna Feodorovna
« Reply #29 on: September 10, 2007, 08:04:10 PM »
They are indeed fascinating ivanushka! Especially the family of Paul I. I'm always interested with their relationship with each other and also with that of their in-laws (eg. daughter-in-laws and son-in-laws). Not so many was written about them, and this only makes them more fascinating.

Anyways, back to Anna Feodorovna.  :)