Author Topic: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna  (Read 121716 times)

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Offline Greg_King

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2004, 01:02:08 AM »
Actually Buxhoeveden was not at the coronation in 1896.  The account in "Before the Storm" is second-hand, as told to Sophie by her father.

Greg King

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2004, 01:36:06 AM »
Brian - I do love Charlotte Z's writing, but in this case I think her source is not the most reliable or necessarily the best. NK was emphatically not "striken from the rolls" this is at best an over dramatization of a family black sheep situation.

Nikolai K was never stripped of his grand ducal rank. He was always an HIH. It's not a matter of believing - this isn't a seance <g> - there is simply no evidence to support the "striken from the rolls" statement. As a Russian Grand Duke, Nikolai received payments from the Treasury. His morganatic marriage was recognized by the Tsar and his legitimate children made part of the Hereditary Nobility by Imperial Ukase,

He was, of course, a black sheep, so he was not welcome to be anywhere but Tashkent.

I don't know why writers have overstated the situation with Nikolai K., but I suppose it makes for a better story that way.

Offline brnbg aka: liljones1968

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2004, 03:03:16 AM »
i removed the post because, once again, the information i had (which i thought was correct) wasn't correct.   (i'm wondering if i should just refrain from posting anything but pictures).
but i'd MUCH rather know the accurate information.   so thanks very much for the corrections :)

anyway,
i stand corrected.    
"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
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Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2004, 11:50:07 AM »
Brian: there is a great deal of incorrect information out there about the Romanovs. I have quoted many writers, for example, who say that Nikolai K was murderded by the Bolsheviks. I did this on a royalty news group and a writer was kind enough to send me source materials that showed he died of pneumonia.

At first I was embarrassed, but I was assured that all of us make mistakes. I still make mistakes. Or, there may be material about which I know nothing. That's why I asked about the source. Because maybe things aren't how I think they are.

I most definitely encourage you to continue posting, and more than pictures, because it's the only way we can all learn. I am defimitely interested in learning something new today - and I hope, so are you!

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2004, 12:27:57 PM »
Quote
i removed the post because, once again, the information i had (which i thought was correct) wasn't correct.   (i'm wondering if i should just refrain from posting anything but pictures).
but i'd MUCH rather know the accurate information.   so thanks very much for the corrections :)

anyway,
i stand corrected.    


Please keeping posting more than pictures (though those are great!). I've been corrected a ton of times--if people didn't correct our mistakes we wouldn't ever know the real answers. (And I've had to remove a couple of embarassingly wrong posts before too!)  :)
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Offline Martyn

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2004, 04:58:03 PM »
Brian thank you so much for your information about the jewels; I tend to favour the idea that they were sapphires.  Believe me as well, some days I think that my middle name is 'wrong' and that I have it tattooed on my forehead - and not just when I am posting here.
The discussion is the thing and your posts and pictures are really interesting.
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2004, 11:53:14 PM »
While my computer time is limited until I heal up, I've at least had time to read some of my royal books. I came across this interesting passage from QV to Vicky 6 Nov 1861 (just a month before Albert died):
'Tomorrow evening before dinner we expect the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess Constantine and their little girl--who stay till Saturday 9th.' I'm presuming she's referring to Olga here. On Nov 15, she writes (and I'd never heard this before): 'I have already told you I like 'Sanny' [GDss Alexandra] very much; I think her very sensible, speaking so sensibly about the injudicious education of the Russian Princes and of the Russian mode of life and the perpetual bustle which she hates--and says kills her. She says she was so happy here. I found her a very pleasant companion and very gemutlich and friendly--and Papa also likes her very much. And the child [Olga] is a great darling and excessively clever. He [Contantine] was very amiable too.' I love how QV dismisses him with a toss-off line! It figures she likes AI if they could Russia-bash togteher.  :) Interestingly, a memoir (by whom I can't remember) writes of AI as a young woman as being rather flighty and superficial.
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Offline brnbg aka: liljones1968

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2004, 01:23:00 AM »

grandduchessella --
the first thing i have to ask is what are you "healing up" from?   i hope all is well, regardless....(and nothing too serious or painful, i hope).   but i won't be offended if you choose not to say, especially since you don't know me from adam AND this is a public forum,
in any case, i wish you well & a swift "heal-up" ;)


as for AI... taking the various & varied accounts of her into consideration, she seems to have had, within her personality, opposite extremes (like most of us).   serious yet flighty; frivolous yet relatively concsious of the world in which she lived; you get the idea.    iin other words, it's very possible all of the accounts are true (or, at least, essentially true).    speaking for myself, i can guarantee that if you were to poll 20 people i know well, you'd probably get, at least, 15 EXTREMELY different accounts of what i'm like (it's likely that 5 or so would be somewhat similar in their essential details).    

she seems to have been one of the more complicated members of the imperial family.  

my FAVORITE account of her is from charlotte z's ROMANOV AUTUMN, and paints very vivid picture indeed.

AI's husband, the gd Konstantin had suffered a series of strokes and was left unable to communicate and unable to care for himself.
   "Dependent now, the grand prince (konstantin) was cared for by his wife, who gained a sort of revenge for his unfaithfulness."    AI kept him away from his mistress & his children by her, and she had forbid anyone from helping him to get there. (his mistress & their children lived near to pavlovsk in a house he'd bought for them.).
    one day, after yet another thwarted attempt to visit his mistress, "the grand prince grabbed his wife's hair and beat her with his stick before anyone could intervene.  it must have been a miserable situation for them both."

that image is just SO vivid (to me, anyway).    i love it.     sort of like being fascinated by a car accident, y'know?    ;D
"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
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Offline pushkina

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2004, 05:21:42 AM »
Quote
grandduchessella --
the first thing i have to ask is what are you "healing up" from?   i hope all is well, regardless....(and nothing too serious or painful, i hope).   but i won't be offended if you choose not to say, especially since you don't know me from adam AND this is a public forum,
in any case, i wish you well & a swift "heal-up" ;)



from me too!


as for AI... taking the various & varied accounts of her into consideration, she seems to have had, within her personality, opposite extremes (like most of us).   serious yet flighty; frivolous yet relatively concsious of the world in which she lived; you get the idea.    iin other words, it's very possible all of the accounts are true (or, at least, essentially true).    speaking for myself, i can guarantee that if you were to poll 20 people i know well, you'd probably get, at least, 15 EXTREMELY different accounts of what i'm like (it's likely that 5 or so would be somewhat similar in their essential details).    

she seems to have been one of the more complicated members of the imperial family.  

Quote
my FAVORITE account of her is from charlotte z's ROMANOV AUTUMN, and paints very vivid picture indeed. <snip>

     one day, after yet another thwarted attempt to visit his mistress, "the grand prince grabbed his wife's hair and beat her with his stick before anyone could intervene.  it must have been a miserable situation for them both."

that image is just SO vivid (to me, anyway).    i love it.     sort of like being fascinated by a car accident, y'know?    ;D


that magnificent woman beaten with a stick?  so very hard to believe...and yet, how many women who later grow into great self-respect and gravity, are abused by lesser husbands.

wow.  i still can't imagine anyone even crossing her will, much less beating her with a stick!
outrageous, alarming, courageous, charming.

Offline brnbg aka: liljones1968

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2004, 08:10:01 AM »
Quote
 
that magnificent woman beaten with a stick?  so very hard to believe...and yet, how many women who later grow into great self-respect and gravity, are abused by lesser husbands.
 
wow.  i still can't imagine anyone even crossing her will, much less beating her with a stick!



i agree, but you must remember to keep the situation in context:  a very imperious man (and a romanov to-boot!) used to having his wishes respected, and an equally imperious woman, also used to getting her way, but with the added aspect of resentment on account of her husband's extra-marital affairs.   now add to that mixture these extra ingredients:

---they had, for-all-intents-&-purposes, been living seperate lives....he spent most of his time with his mistress/es, and she had retreated into her children & society.   she was (probably & very naturally) hurt & resentful, which probably grew over time.

---that imperious man, used to getting his way, was left dependent upon others for everything.  once he was incapacitated by his strokes, AI stepped-in to care for her husband...in all likelihood, because it was expected of her; it was, very simply, what a wife did under those circumstances.    prior to his strokes, he had installed his secondary family in house on the pavlovsk estate.   AI could do nothing about it; she could complain to everyone, but ultimately, Konstantin was free to whatever he wished, and AI, as his wife, was expected to respect his decision & wishes and bow to her husband's will.     hence, their seperate lives.    
       one of the effects from the strokes left him unable to communicate with those around him, at least in the verbal sense;  so, from that point on, AI was pretty-much in charge;  she gave the orders.    eventually, i'm sure, he learned how to make himself understood to a certain extent.    
        another result of the strokes was impaired mobility.   he could, eventually, move around with the help of a walking-stick or something similar....but, for the most part, he still had to use a bathchair (the ancestor of the wheelchair), which required someone else to push it (they were way too big to be propelled by the user).   therefore, he could not go anywhere, at all[/i], without someone's help.    
         now imagine yourself in his cicumstances, essentially helpless, with little choice but to be dependent on a person that you have caused pain, resentment & humiliation.    all the while knowing that someone who still loves you is very, VERY close-at-hand, but everyone around you has been expressly forbidden to help you achieve that which want more than anything else.     mind you, AI's behavior is not unexpected.   i think the average person would not be able to resist the temptation of indulging in a weeee bit of revenge, under those circumstances.

        i'd imagine konstantin's frustration was maddening.    and AI's resentment must have been bordering on hate after a while... the strictures of society, as well as the general rules of propriety, required that she care for a man who not only had a second family, but practically flaunted the fact.    he compounded her humiliation by moving them onto the property that he shared with her (AI) & their own children (the Konstantinovichii).  

i can see both sides & i can understand both sides....it must have been awful for them both.      i think it's plausible that Konstantin's frustration & rage built-up until it blew.    think about it, a basically paralyzed man reaching out across the vast expanse of pain to grab a woman he once loved by her hair; then that basically paralyzed man found the strength (AND muscle-control) to wield his walking stick
and beat her about the head & shoulders.

THAT is rage.    but AI can't really be blamed for trying to make herself feel a bit better by serving-up a little spite.

"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
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Offline pushkina

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2004, 09:52:41 AM »
Quote
<snip>

i can see both sides & i can understand both sides....it must have been awful for them both.      i think it's plausible that Konstantin's frustration & rage built-up until it blew.    think about it, a basically paralyzed man reaching out across the vast expanse of pain to grab a woman he once loved by her hair; then that basically paralyzed man found the strength (AND muscle-control) to wield his walking stick
and beat her about the head & shoulders.

THAT is rage.    but AI can't really be blamed for trying to make herself feel a bit better by serving-up a little spite.



you are absolutely right.  i get it.   but still,   that great picture of her in her coronation finery,  drenched in dignity, what a great teaching tool for those who work with battered women.  the message would/could be that great dignity (and peace of self) is possible even after an  attack by someone so close.
outrageous, alarming, courageous, charming.

Offline Martyn

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2004, 11:42:26 AM »
Brian, you have clarified that episode very well.  I vividly remember reading that passage in 'Romanov Autumn' and almost finding it comical the way in which it was written.
What I should have done is substitute the words 'abused physically' for 'beaten' - 'beaten' somehow conjures up an old fashioned world of folk tale in which it was accepted that a man could beat his wife (and children).  This is not to say that Konstantin thought that he did not have the right to hit his wife; he probably had done so on previous occasions but not in front of the servants, as in this instance.
Your telling of this situation Brian, actually brought home that this was a violent attack, in public, and explained all the pain, humiliation and rage involved - much better than Charlotte Zeepvatt does in this instance.
GDElla, I hope that your arm gets better soon (love the idea of making hubby type - my other half can't spell, let alone type!)
'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 #27 on: October 22, 2004, 01:15:20 PM »
AI may have been a mass of contradictions (but then, who isn't?), but i think it says much about her inner-strength that, in spite of everything, she never lost her dignity,...nor did she lose the regal bearing that she'd always had.   regardless of the flaws within her personality & even in her character, she never seems to have lost her sense of self, and likewise, never forgot her place within the world occupied....she knew she was important.   she was always aware that she had duties; that each of the roles she played required different things of her.    mother, daughter, wife, sister, grandmother, Romanov grand duchess.... each role she occupiedhad it's own requirements & she knew what they were.     i bet that's part of what helped her get through the various trials that Life placed in her way.   doing right by the various roles she played may have been sort of like the glue that helped keep her together...(i'm guessing, of course.  i could be completely mistaken about her personality, character etc.   she reminds me of my great grandmother, so i guess i'm projecting)...       i think the fact that the younger generations continued to refer to her with a certain sense of awe is very telling.    


i've said it before, and i'll say it again, :), AI is probably my favorite member of the IF.    she's both a flawed human-being AND a perfect example of the role she played as well as being a role-model for those playing similar parts.

she's a most fascinating personality.
« 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
.

Offline Martyn

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #28 on: October 23, 2004, 10:55:27 AM »
Brian I share your enthusiasm for AI; I think that she was a complex woman who had an excellent grasp of her place in the scheme of things.
That amazing photo from the Coronation in which she sits at the centre of the Grand Duchesses really defines her role in the history of the Romanovs - the ultimate Grand Duchess, loved, respected and admired.
'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 grandduchessella

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Re: Grand Duke Konstantin N. and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna
« Reply #29 on: November 15, 2004, 07:32:46 PM »
There's a photo of AI wearing the emeralds that you later see on Queen Olga and her Greek descendants. I think they're also the ones AI wore to the coronation. (Also pictures of them--it's a 5 generation thing). The site's in German but I'd never seen the AI photo before--she's middle-aged here I believe.

http://www.royal-magazin.de/griechenland/greece-emeralds-1.htm
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