Author Topic: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna  (Read 123071 times)

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Offline brnbg aka: liljones1968

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Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« on: October 05, 2004, 05:05:26 PM »
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HIH mme the grand duchess Konstantin the elder of Russia
        Aleksandra Iosifovna
« Last Edit: April 23, 2009, 12:39:55 PM by Svetabel »
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like the passengers in his car."

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Offline Lisa

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2004, 07:34:28 AM »
In mourning, 1892

Offline Martyn

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2004, 07:41:47 AM »
Brian, that is a great picture of AI kneeling on the prie-dieu.  What better way to show off one's bustle?!
That is a wonderful outfit that she is wearing.  I have yet to see a photo of her where she looked anything less than elegant; these 1870's fashions are hard to wear and don't look good on everyone (as we have seen elsewhere) - AI looks very much as though she is wearing the dress and not the other way round, as is often the case.
Brian, is that a Winterhalter portrait of her?  Also, that first picture of her in court dress is quite wonderful.  Do you know what the stones are in her necklace, earrings and brooches?
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline brnbg aka: liljones1968

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2004, 10:44:36 AM »
Quote
Also, that first picture of her in court dress is quite wonderful.  Do you know what the stones are in her necklace, earrings and brooches?



i don't know about the first one (i think they might be sapphires, but who knows?)..... if you mean the lower one, vincent meylan states in his book QUEEN'S JEWELS:
"the old grand duchess Alexandra" was "covered emeralds and diamonds".  

since there wasn't a reference section to speak of, i've no idea where he got his info.   but it seems likely, since her daughter, queen Olga, had a very nice collection of emeralds that look awfully similar (some of which are still in the posession of the Greek royal family).




« Last Edit: April 23, 2009, 12:40:31 PM by Svetabel »
"when i die, i hope i go like my grandfather --
peacefully in my sleep; not screaming & in terror,
like the passengers in his car."

-- anonymous
.

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2004, 10:51:19 AM »
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Offline Martyn

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2004, 11:02:26 AM »
Sorry Brian, I meant the first photo, the half length shot.  I have seen various descriptions of her jewellery for the Coronation (the second photo), some of which say that, excepting the tiara which was composed of diamonds, the principal stones of the rest of her jewellery were either sapphires or emeralds; no one seems to be quite sure which.
You are right about Olga's jewels and we have discussed those elsewhere; her emeralds were legendary.  I would have thought that it might have been sensible for her jewels to be comprised of different stones to that of AI in order to avoid comparison.  However it is more than likely that AI had several major parures of different stones, as did Miechen, Maria Alexandrovna and others.
In the half length, the stones look very dark, which might lead one to suppose that they were sapphires.  Sapphires, I think, would have been more interesting with her silver Coronation court dress as well.  What do you think?
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline brnbg aka: liljones1968

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2004, 11:23:05 AM »
Quote
How exactly is she related to NAOTMAA, or at least OTMAA?


a cousin by marriage.    she was born HH the princess Alexandra of Saxe-Altenburg.     she married Konstantin Nikolaevich, a brother of Aleksandr II.    she was henceforth known as Aleksandra Iosifovna; she was also referred to as the grand duchess Konstantin.    

her son, Konstantin Konstantinovich, married her relative (a niece, i think) princess Elisabeth of Saxe-Altenburg (who took the name Elizaveta Mavrikievna) was also referred to as the grand duchess Konstantin....so Aleksandra Iosifovna was referred to as the grand duchess Konstantin the elder, so as to differentiate her from her daughter-in-law.


NIKOLAI I[/i]
|
|
|––1) ALEKSANDR II NIKOLAEVICH
|                      |
|                      ALEKSANDR III ALEKSANDROVICH
|                                       |
|                                      NIKOLAI II ALEKSANDROVICH
|                                                        |
|                                                      OTMA
|
|
|––2) KONSTANTIN NIKOLAEVICH
               m. Alexandra of Saxe-Altenburg
                 (aka: Aleksandra Iosifovna)



i hope that helps.  :)
"when i die, i hope i go like my grandfather --
peacefully in my sleep; not screaming & in terror,
like the passengers in his car."

-- anonymous
.

Offline Jane

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2004, 01:05:52 PM »
Michelle,

Aleksandra Iosifovna was a fascinating figure (like so many in her branch of the family).  After her marriage to Konstantin Nikolaievich (m. 1848, I think), she was initially seen as a bit flighty and a bit of a prankster, but eventually she grew into one of the most senior, respected, and dutiful members of the dynasty.  She and her husband, the old Admiral-General, raised their children in a very artistic, musical houselhold.  As noted, one of her sons was the famous "KR," and he clearly not only continued this trend, but perfected it.

Her oldest son, Nicholas Konstantinovich, was exiled after stealing certain jewels belonging to his mother and showering them on, shall we say, ladies not of the same social caliber as he.  For this "insanity" (amongst others) he was officially stripped of all rank, his name was removed from the rolls of the family, and he became a non-person, in the eyes of the Imperial family.  He died in Tashkent in 1918, after a colorful life involving romantic scandals, policemen's daughters, and two sons (in fact his granddaughter remained alive in Russia until 1998, I believe it was, as a famous motorcyclist and semi-KGB agent).

I hope that these photos will spark your interest in the Konstantinovichi.   :) They really are so interesting, I find them the most intriguing branch of Romanovs.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Jane »

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2004, 02:23:59 PM »
A couple of points of clarification:

AI was not a cousin of OTMAA's. As Alexander II's sister in law, she was their several times great aunt. She was an aunt to Alexander II's children, and was a great aunt to Nicholas II, so I believe a great-great aunt to OTMAA. Not a cousin. (as I am not a geneologist, I may or may not have the number of greats correct).

Second, Nikolai Konstantinovich was exiled to Tashkent. He was not stripped of his rank, nor of his income. I have seen no proof that he was removed from the list of dynasts. If there is such proof, I would be interested in seeing it.


Offline Jane

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2004, 02:59:30 PM »
OK, Lisa.  I just read it this weekend, so I'll do what I can to cough up the cite for you.  Perhaps the author was speaking with an overly dramatic tone, but that's what she said.  I'll report back.  And if I misquoted, well, then I'll still report back.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Jane »

Offline Michelle

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2004, 03:49:32 PM »
So AI was related by  blood to OTMAA?

Offline Jane

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2004, 04:40:59 PM »
Quote
So AI was related by  blood to OTMAA?


Actually I think still think it's by marriage, but with the labrynthine and convoluted web of blood relationships between royal personages, who knows?  I'll leave that to the genealogists.

Besides, whether by marriage or by blood, it's all family, isn't it?  :)

Offline Jane

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2004, 11:09:15 AM »
OK, I found the cite we were talking about earlier.  Charlotte Zeepvat, The Camera and the Tsars, page 105.

For those who do not have the book, here is the paragraph, in full:

One of the first to rebel was Nikolai Konstantinovich.  Ignoring his mother's attempts to find him a suitable bride, Nikolai lavished his fortune on his mistress and his art collection.  By 1874 he was stealing from the family: when this emerged he was declared insane, stripped of his rank and placed under supervision--but wherever he was taken, trouble followed.  In 1874 and in 1876 a woman who should not have even come near him became pregnant by him; in 1878, in Orenburg, he married another woman in secret, and all the time he preached revolution.  Officially he ceased to exist and, in the summer of 1881, Alexander III sent him into exile in Tashkent.  In 1895, though still living with his wife, he bought a sixteen-year-old Cossack girl and started a family with her,  In 1900 he contracted a bigamous marriage with a schoolgirl which was quickly annulled.  Visiting him in 1904, his sister Olga said 'he has completely lost any moral sense of what can be done and what can be demanded.' But there was another side to Nikolai.  He took a serious interest in Central Asia, organising scientific expeditions and publishing his findings.  In Tashkent he launched irrigation schemes and other beneficial projects.  He welcomed the Revolution, and when he died of pulmonary disease in April 1918, local Bolsheviks arranged a grand funeral for him in Tashkent Cathedral.

Whew!  A lot of typing.  Reviewing my post, I will admit that Zeepvat did not say N.K.'s name was removed from the rolls of the family, that was my take on it; but she does say he was stripped of his rank and officially ceased to exist.  Perhaps I am just taking too literal a reading of her?

Regardless, he certainly seems to have been one of the more colorful Konstantinovichi.

Best,

Jane
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Jane »

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2004, 12:14:48 PM »
Jane - I am in basic agreement with your analysis.

I think right after the theft that there was a sense of NK's "non personhood" which I don't believe was formalized in any way because of course the family would not have wanted gossip. From what I understand, NK lived a relatively happy life in exile in Tashkent.

Nicholas retained his grand ducal rank and income. His marriage to N. Dryer was recognized as a morganatic one and his children styled as Princes Iskander.

I also agree there was a chance his mother was related to OTMAA, but due to her marriage, she was certainly family to them. I don't understand some people's concern with a blood tie, but only because ultimtately, we are all related by blood - we are all cousins.

Offline brnbg aka: liljones1968

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2004, 11:54:30 PM »
Martyn wrote:
Quote
Also, that first picture of her in court dress is quite wonderful.  Do you know what the stones are in her necklace, earrings and brooches?


well, first i quoted from from mr. meylan's book QUEEN'S JEWELS, in which he states they were emeralds.....  but i still had thought they were sapphires.   now i know why... in charlotte zeepvat's book ROMANOV AUTUMN, she states:
"But even in old age alexandra was magnificent.  at the 1896 coronation 'All eyes were upon her, as she stood in the front row of princesses in her court dress of solid cloth of silver, with a magnifient diamond tiara and a parure of sapphires three inches in diameter."  
  ms. zeepvat lists Buxhoeveden, BEFORE THE STORM p. 153 as her source for the information/passage.    i, personally tend to believe
ms. zeepvat's version (she, at least, referenced an eyewitness.  and with no bibliography or reference list or chapter notes, i'd consider the info in mr. meylan's book suspect....or at least in need of verification.)

i realize i've just contradicted myself having said in a prior post that i thought emeralds were likely when seen in relation to her daughter, queen olga of the hellenes, collection.    so, now, i have to say:
i have NO idea!  ;D

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by brnbg »
"when i die, i hope i go like my grandfather --
peacefully in my sleep; not screaming & in terror,
like the passengers in his car."

-- anonymous
.