Author Topic: The Nikolaivichi  (Read 109506 times)

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Agneschen

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Re: The Nikolaivichi
« Reply #30 on: November 29, 2004, 05:16:47 PM »
Jelena and her elder sisters were all educated at the Smolny institute in St Petersburg. Rumours about an eventual marriage between the princess and tsarevich Nikolai were quick to spread (a match which King Nikola of Montenegro would probably have favoured) after he was reported to have opened the 1888 Smolny college ball with her. Unfortunately in 1890, during a ball at the Yussupovs, prince Arsen Karadjordjevich and a Finnish aristocrat called Mannerheim fought a duel because of her and the latter was badly injured. Princess Jelena was hastily removed to Montenegro by her family who feared for her reputation.

Agneschen

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Re: The Nikolaivichi
« Reply #31 on: November 29, 2004, 05:36:18 PM »
The family group grandduchessella just posted was taken on the occasion of the commemoration of the proclamation of the kingdom of Montenegro in 1910.

back row : GD Piotr Nikolaievich of Russia, Franzjos Battenberg, princess Vjera, princess Ksenija, Kronprinz Danilo, prince Mirko, prince Petar.

middle row : Milica-Jutta (wife of Kronprinz Danilo), princess Ana, princess Jelena, queen Milena, king Nikola, princess Milica, king Vittorio-Emanuele III of Italy, princess Natalija (wife of prince Mirko).

seated : Jelena of Serbia, Marina Petrovna (daughter of Milica and GD Piotr), Aleksandar of Serbia.

Offline Olga

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Re: The Nikolaivichi
« Reply #32 on: November 30, 2004, 12:07:22 AM »
What was so wrong with them?

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: The Nikolaivichi
« Reply #33 on: November 30, 2004, 12:49:19 AM »
You mean in relation to the Black Plague, Black Devil and assorted comments? I don't know if their personalities were off-putting but there were a good number at Court who both feared and/or resented the influence the had over the young Czarina. They were responsible for introducing Alexandra to the world of mystics. Stana was also disliked for her divorcing a Romanov cousin and marrying her sister's brother-in-law--that was seen as a big 'no-no' in addition to causing family dissension as the Leuchtenberg cousins were popular with many family members. There may also have been some problems with class and background--the Montengran royal houses (and the Balkan ones in general) were looked down as rather grubby. I think Nicholas I of Montenegro was referred to as a goatherder.
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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Offline Svetabel

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Re: The Nikolaivichi
« Reply #34 on: November 30, 2004, 05:42:37 AM »
 Stana in 1899



Militza and Stana - little girls


Offline Svetabel

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Re: The Nikolaivichi
« Reply #35 on: November 30, 2004, 08:13:55 AM »
As for mysticism of Grand Duchess Militza there was an amazing story told by Felix Yusupov.One day he was walking along a road (somewhere in the Crimea estates of Romanovs) and saw Militza driving by her carriage.She was in a company of famous Monsier Philippe:certain french charlatan who called himself Doctor Philippe (Militza had introduced him to Nicholas and Alexandra ).Felix greeted Militza and her fellow-traveller courteously but they didn`t pay attention looking through him.Being in a puzzle Felix would asked Militza some days after about such unpolite treatment of him.And Militza answered very seriously:"You COULD NOT see me as I was with Monsier Philippe.He is invisible when he wears his hat and all the people by his side are invisible too." Yussupov was shocked.

Doctor Philippe had treated of epilepsy son of Militza  (Roman )and Militza had a great implicit belief in Monsier.

Offline Olga

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Re: The Nikolaivichi
« Reply #36 on: November 30, 2004, 08:16:25 AM »
Hmmmm. A person fully in control of their faculties.

Offline Martyn

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Re: The Nikolaivichi
« Reply #37 on: December 02, 2004, 02:57:40 PM »
The Montenegrins are generally criticised for their interst in the occult and for their patronage of M. Philippe and Rasputin.  At that time, it was eminently fashionable to dabble in spiritualism and mysticism - they simply followed a fashionable trend, nothing more sinister.
There was a certain degree of snobbery applied to the origins of these princesses; the fact remains that they were cultured and educated women, who for the most part acquitted themselves well in their roles as members of the Imperial House.
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Offline Johnny

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Re: The Nikolaivichi
« Reply #38 on: December 02, 2004, 04:20:45 PM »
I, too, do not find the Montenegrin princesses to be so terrible. In fact they were much more educated than many of the Romanovs' men and women alike. Militsa could even read and speak Persian which she had learned in order to be able to read the ancient Persian mystics like Roumi, Hafiz and Saadi in the original. The reason why they were often called the "black sisters" has often been attributed to their black hair and black character. I don't think that is the main reason. Montenegro in Russian is Chornagor which like the Spanish Montenegro means Black Mountain (chorniy meaning black, and gor meaning mountain. So it is a play with words. Now that they also had black hair suited this word-play even better.
At the end, they were much smarter than N & A to see the true nature of Rasputin and dismiss him completely. They also saw the danger of the looming revolution which again N & A didn't see. In fact I would have loved to meet the two sisters, especially Militsa.
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Offline felix

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Re: The Nikolaivichi
« Reply #39 on: December 02, 2004, 07:45:32 PM »
I agree, they were some of the most interesting members of the IF. More information on these women would be great. I guess they were  alone. no allies in the family.  And Militsa's childern. What happened to Marina's art work?  Olga Alexandrovnva's can stil be found. I read that Miliitsa's jewels were in a french bank in St.Petersburg . I wonder if she got them out?  F.

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: The Nikolaivichi
« Reply #40 on: December 02, 2004, 10:31:29 PM »
re: Militza

Princess Militsa, born in 1866 in Montenegro, studied in Russia in the Smolny Institute, where she acquired a vast education, spoke five languages, knew Persian, and was deeply versed in the history of Orthodoxy. (Since Stana was also educated there, much if not all, could probably also be said of her). After leaving Russia aboard ship, the family settled in France where GD Peter died in 1931 at Cap d'Antibes.  In her widowhood, she resided with her family often in Italy where her sister Elena was Queen. In September 1943 Italy was about to drop out of the war and the family hurriedly left the Villa Marlia near Lucca and returned to Rome, escorted by a Carabinieri car or two. On September 8th, 1943, the day of the armistice they were in Villa Savoia, the Roman residence of the King & Queen of Italy, as their apartments in nearby Via Panama were still shut-up for the summer, and some time was needed to put the house in order. Soon however, the King and Queen had to depart Italy after abdication. The situation now very unstable, they left with whatever luggage that was at Villa Savoia. They went into hiding for 3/4 year since, under the German occupation, the whole family risked being deported. Militza was especially in jeopardy as the sister of the Queen and sought shelter in a building belonging to the Holy See. The 'Sacré Coeur' nunnery, on top of the 'Spanish Steps'  (been there!) was her first refuge in Rome, but after a few months she had to seek refuge inside the walls of Vatican City itself. In this she was aided by an Austrian-born  German officer , Count Ferdinand Thun-Hohenstein, who organised the transfer at great risk to himself. The rest of her family were given protection under the Swiss flag, in a large house on Via Pinciana, rented at the time by Jacques de Rham, a Swiss citizen. After the war ended, Grand Duchess Militza accompanied the Italian Royal Family into exile in Alexandria, Egypt and died there in 1951.

I've always thought there was a great deal of snobbery regarding the Montenegrins as their monarchy wasn't as old or royal enough in the eyes of many. Yet these princesses were better educated than some of those in more established houses.
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: The Nikolaivichi
« Reply #41 on: December 02, 2004, 10:54:06 PM »
From the Flight of the Romanovs

Because the Nikolaevichi were so distant from the imperial succession it was considered politically unimportant whom they married. Peter's family arranged thier marriage. His family was chiefly concerned with his health as his lungs were weak and their was a history in his family of tuberculosis. A 'big healthy girl from the mountains' was judged an good wife for this quiet Romanov whose main interest was Middle Eastern architecture.

Nikolasha had conducted a rather 'heated' romance with Stana whom he eventually married. Both of these women held a lot of sway over their husbands. Nikoasha, violently anti-foreign, would nonetheless converse with Stana in French. The two closre sisters, married to two close brothers, corresonded incessantly on topics ranging from family news to social gossip to poltics written in a mixture of French, Russian and Serbo-Croatian.

As Alexandra was not not liked and the Montengrins were the only grand duchesses who 'kowtowed' to her, they quickly became friends. As MF's influence over her son began to wane and Alexandra's grew, so did that of her intimates. Acting as energetic lobbyists for Montenegro, they began to use their connections to gain monetarily for their homeland. This seems to have been more political in nature rather than for any personal financial gain (though they did achieve that as well). Nonetheless, they became rather notorious and Sergei Witte (usually quick with a sharp cut-down) could only resignedly noted in his memoirs that 'haven't they created trouble for Russia, indeed'.

Not unusual in St Petersburg society, they enjoyed experimenting with the occult, including ouija boards and holding seances. They believed that the truth could be found in 'simple folk'. Nikolasha, at least, shared this fascination in mysticism and this grew under the influence of his wife.

The Italian King, after the Revolution and along with George V, had offered transport out of the Crimea. M&S took advantage of the British offer to send word to their father (in exile in FRance) as well as message of thanks to the King of Italy. They chose, however, to remain in Russia.
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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Offline Teddy

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Re: The Nikolaivichi
« Reply #42 on: December 03, 2004, 10:27:27 AM »
Joann and Helena Petrovna get married. Helena was also a relative of Stana and Militsa. Did they have many contact with there niece? And were they responsible of the match between Joann and Helena?

By other words, did the Nicolavitsj family and Joann and Helena get along with eachother?

Offline felix

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Re: The Nikolaivichi
« Reply #43 on: December 03, 2004, 11:12:23 AM »
T. I bet they had something in it,  I don't  have anymore info on it. but bet theres lots of people out there who know. F

Offline felix

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Re: The Nikolaivichi
« Reply #44 on: December 03, 2004, 11:19:47 AM »
T. Missed the end of you note. But they must have gotten along since Prince Oleg wanted to marry  Princess  Nadezhda Petrovna. Only his death in the war ended this. F.