Author Topic: The Imperial Family and servants - everyday life  (Read 35355 times)

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Offline hikaru

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Re: The Imperial Family and servants - everyday life
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2007, 05:03:01 AM »
As far as I understand, there were  a dynasties of the Servants in the Winter Palace.
The dynasties started since Peter the Great's time.

Offline Lemur

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Re: The Imperial Family and servants - everyday life
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2007, 09:32:15 AM »
Were the live in servants mainly like slaves, getting room and board for their services but no cash?

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Re: The Imperial Family and servants - everyday life
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2007, 09:36:37 AM »
Oh no, they got paid cash, as well as their room and board, plus a stipend for life upon retirement.

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: The Imperial Family and servants - everyday life
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2007, 10:14:41 AM »
Charlotte Zeepvat's book From Cradle to Crown discusses a bit some of the salaries and stipends received by various nurses, governess, etc...I don't know if they're considered servants they way footmen are but they were paid employees.

Jane Lyon, nurse to the future Nicholas I, in 1803 received a gratuity when she left of 2,000 silver roubles and an annual pension of 600. Much loved, she lived out her widowhood in a suite of rooms at the Anichkov Palace. Decades later, Eugenia Christie was head nuse to the future Alexander II and his sisters. She received a gratuity of 2,000 roubles and a 900 roubles pension.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2007, 10:19:05 AM by grandduchessella »
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Offline hikaru

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Re: The Imperial Family and servants - everyday life
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2007, 01:32:31 AM »
And their children had got a wonderful expensive education (engineers, doctors etc) paid by Imperial Family.

Offline Prince_Christopher

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Re: The Imperial Family and servants - everyday life
« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2007, 08:07:07 PM »
I think it must have been fairly a fairly adventurous life.  Being the maid or valet or other close personal servant to a royal person must have provided status among the middle classes whom most of the servants came from.  In addition to meals, clothing, living in palaces, and great gifts, one got to travel and meet other royals and famous people of the day.  When the royals took a trip or vacation, which for some was quite often, it must have been a similar situation for the servants involved.  Can you imagine writing home to relatives about all the places you visited and exalted personalities you met?  I've always thought that I would have liked to have been a secretary or perhaps a tutor to the children.  ::)
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Offline hikaru

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Re: The Imperial Family and servants - everyday life
« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2007, 11:38:59 PM »
A lot of them could not write, I suppose :)

Offline Prince_Christopher

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Re: The Imperial Family and servants - everyday life
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2007, 06:53:38 AM »
Of course you are right.  I suppose there must have been classes of servants as well, from the lowly laundresses and scullery maids and chamber pot attendants on up.  Those kinds of positions probably involved more drudgery than adventure.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2007, 07:12:00 AM by Prince_Christopher »
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Re: The Imperial Family and servants - everyday life
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2007, 09:03:52 AM »
I think it must have been fairly a fairly adventurous life.  Being the maid or valet or other close personal servant to a royal person must have provided status among the middle classes whom most of the servants came from.  In addition to meals, clothing, living in palaces, and great gifts, one got to travel and meet other royals and famous people of the day.  When the royals took a trip or vacation, which for some was quite often, it must have been a similar situation for the servants involved.  Can you imagine writing home to relatives about all the places you visited and exalted personalities you met?  I've always thought that I would have liked to have been a secretary or perhaps a tutor to the children.  ::)

Actually, most of the servants stayed at the one Palace where they were assigned.  The only ones who travelled with the IF would have been the personal maids and valets and the children's tutors.  There was a huge amount of work to do when the IF had left the Alexander Palace, for example.  The absence of the family was the only time that maintenance work could be done, so upholstery had to be redone, carpets replaced, paint, polish, etc etc etc.  Meticulous notes had to be taken so that after a room was cleared out for maintenance work, every single item down to pencils in drawers had to be replaced EXACTLY where it was so that when the IF returned the room looked like nothing had ever happened. 

Offline Sarushka

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Re: The Imperial Family and servants - everyday life
« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2007, 08:04:10 AM »
There was a huge amount of work to do when the IF had left the Alexander Palace, for example.  The absence of the family was the only time that maintenance work could be done, so upholstery had to be redone, carpets replaced, paint, polish, etc etc etc.  Meticulous notes had to be taken so that after a room was cleared out for maintenance work, every single item down to pencils in drawers had to be replaced EXACTLY where it was so that when the IF returned the room looked like nothing had ever happened. 

Fascinating. Where did you pick up that info?
THE LOST CROWN: A Novel of Romanov Russia -- now in paperback!
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Re: The Imperial Family and servants - everyday life
« Reply #25 on: April 27, 2007, 09:25:38 AM »
Sarah, puhleeezzzz   :D

From the great guru kahuna of all things re: Alexander Palace. Bob of course...where else?? He learned it from Kotchumov and it was confirmed to him by Romanov descendents he knows.


Offline Sarushka

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Re: The Imperial Family and servants - everyday life
« Reply #26 on: April 27, 2007, 09:37:31 AM »
Well, Mr. Smartypants, I sorta figured that, but you know how far an assumption can take you around this place!  ;)
THE LOST CROWN: A Novel of Romanov Russia -- now in paperback!
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Re: The Imperial Family and servants - everyday life
« Reply #27 on: April 27, 2007, 09:42:35 AM »
I was just teasing you Sarah...not being "smarty"...LOL

Actually though, it makes total sense. Can you imagine the scene otherwise? "Pardon the mess Your Imperial Majesty while we re paint your office today. We'll try to stay out of your way...." or "Forgive me My Empress but your Mauve couch is off the upholster this week for new fabric, hope that won't be inconvenient...."

Offline Sarushka

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Re: The Imperial Family and servants - everyday life
« Reply #28 on: April 27, 2007, 06:01:12 PM »
I was just teasing you Sarah...not being "smarty"...LOL

I thought so -- hence the smartypants retort.  ;D
THE LOST CROWN: A Novel of Romanov Russia -- now in paperback!
"A dramatic, powerful narrative and a masterful grasp of life in this vanished world." ~Greg King

Nicole123

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Re: The Imperial Family and servants - everyday life
« Reply #29 on: October 07, 2007, 07:32:13 PM »
I've heard of Alexei being a bit bossy to his servants. Do you think the other members of the Romanov family were bossy to them as well?