Author Topic: The Imperial children "sad,sheltered" life?  (Read 92514 times)

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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: The Imperial children "sad,sheltered" life?
« Reply #285 on: July 25, 2013, 11:40:35 AM »
I think the one who had the sad life was Alexei. Fancy a lively boy being forbidden to ride a bike, and having to go round on a child seat with Derevenko.

Oh, and being called Baby when he was almost 14!

Ann

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Re: The Imperial children "sad,sheltered" life?
« Reply #286 on: July 25, 2013, 12:48:51 PM »
Spirdiovitch writes about Alexei having a group of boys as friends who would come to Livadia where they played out in the woods, supervised by Derevenko.

Offline edubs31

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Re: The Imperial children "sad,sheltered" life?
« Reply #287 on: July 25, 2013, 01:01:56 PM »
Spirdiovitch writes about Alexei having a group of boys as friends who would come to Livadia where they played out in the woods, supervised by Derevenko.

I've read about this too. But perhaps to Ann's point I think some of what was sadly lacking in Alexei's life as opposed to most other boys was a sense of spontaneity. The idea that he could never do, or go, or play with exactly as/where/who he wished.

I never got the "Baby" thing either. It seems almost an insult as he grew older and it's hard to imagine he would have been called such a name if he hadn't spent so much of his life as an invalid. I'm surprised he didn't reject being called this (perhaps he did from time to time?), especially for someone who desperately wanted to be one of the boys. Imagine inspecting troops at the front with his father one week, and then laid up in bed suffering through an attack while Mama and company call you "Baby" the next. Must have been maddening!

Fortunately he was never deprived of love and affection in his all too short existence, and perhaps that was enough to make him a generally happy boy. I certainly hope so. Nothing breaks my heart more while thinking of them as a whole in Ekaterinburg and when the shots began firing in the Ipatiev basement than Alexei; weakened, confused, terrified, and heartbroken...
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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: The Imperial children "sad,sheltered" life?
« Reply #288 on: July 25, 2013, 02:53:44 PM »
I find it hard to imagine Alexei not objecting to being called Baby. It is literally infantilising and mollycoddling, and, as Erik says, Alexei desperately wanted to be a normal boy. I persuaded my parents to stop using my infant nickname long before I reached 13!

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Re: The Imperial children "sad,sheltered" life?
« Reply #289 on: July 25, 2013, 03:13:17 PM »
Well, any child born with Haemophilia in 1905 would have been forced to lead a similar life, at least if born into a family with the means to have servants to look after him. Certainly he probably was able to lead a more enjoyable and "adventerous" life than most other young boys because of his position.  Don't forget that Alexei was able to travel extensively, to Germany, England, the Crimea, Moscow, etc etc.  He had his own Regiment and had the run of the Yacht as a playground. He met with many different people. The thread is about the IF children have "sad, sheltered lives" and I just don't see Alexei's life as at all 'sad' nor was he more sheltered because of his "status" as a "Royal".  The true sadness of his life is his illness and the young age at which his life was taken from him.

Offline edubs31

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Re: The Imperial children "sad,sheltered" life?
« Reply #290 on: July 25, 2013, 05:02:59 PM »
Well, any child born with Haemophilia in 1905 would have been forced to lead a similar life, at least if born into a family with the means to have servants to look after him. Certainly he probably was able to lead a more enjoyable and "adventerous" life than most other young boys because of his position.  Don't forget that Alexei was able to travel extensively, to Germany, England, the Crimea, Moscow, etc etc.  He had his own Regiment and had the run of the Yacht as a playground. He met with many different people. The thread is about the IF children have "sad, sheltered lives" and I just don't see Alexei's life as at all 'sad' nor was he more sheltered because of his "status" as a "Royal".  The true sadness of his life is his illness and the young age at which his life was taken from him.


This is very true. Alexei has a rather exciting life compared to typical boys his age from, say, normal middle class Russian families. He also had any number of enriching experiences. Of course it's hard to say how fulfilling that was for him. Having relatable experiences with boys his age could have been much more valuable to him than lavish regal receptions and men in uniform basically kissing his royal behind everywhere he went. And as you point out dying before the age of fourteen and suffering up to that point through an often painful disease forces one to further reassess the true quality of his life (which certainly lacked "quantity").

His sisters naturally grew up in very similar conditions and while it sounds like they may have had a few friends I'm skeptical as to whether any of those could be considered "close" friendships. But they did have each other, which is more than Alexei can claim being the only son. They also didn't suffer through a debilitating disease. Another thing to consider is that OTMA (less so Anastasia) got to enjoy at least some attention from the opposite sex. We hear cute stories of crushes and innocent flirtations between OTM and male officers all the time. Both Olga and Tatiana even seem to have been in love on more than one occasion.

But it wasn't like Alexei had this opportunity around women. Sure he was younger, but even still the same opportunity wouldn't have been afforded to him in their immediate circle as was for his sisters. In a word, his life was bizarre. Harder to find a more unique experience, including his death, in all of world history.
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Offline Sarushka

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Re: The Imperial children "sad,sheltered" life?
« Reply #291 on: July 25, 2013, 08:24:29 PM »
In comparing Aleksei's 1916 diary with Olga's 1913 diary, I was struck by how much more opportunity Aleksei had to interact with other children his own age. It seems playmates were sought out for Aleksei, while OTMA were expected to rely on each other for the majority of their companionship.
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