Author Topic: Alix's Engagement and Wedding  (Read 121316 times)

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Offline Katharina

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Alix's Engagement and Wedding
« on: March 09, 2004, 09:19:55 AM »
Why do you think did Alix finally accept Nicky's proposal? Ella's and Nicky's argument's weren't new, were they? Why did she finally give in - a few hours after her brother's wedding? Was it because she at last realized what it meant to be the odd one out?
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 08:25:01 AM by Alixz »

Offline Jackswife

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Re: Alix's Engagement and Wedding
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2004, 04:12:05 PM »
 It seems to me N&A were *truly* a love match, so I guess Alix realized that a marriage to someone she loved, would be far better than a marriage just for political purposes and/or prestige. I believe Kaiser Wilhelm had hotly pursued her for a time, so perhaps she feared another such unwelcome suitor if she turned down Nicholas! ;) I'm  sure Ella also had an influence on her decision.

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Alix's Engagement and Wedding
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2004, 12:56:24 PM »
Only Alexandra could really answer this question. She was a very complicated person, but surely her love for Nicholas was a major reason for accepting his proposal. Unfortunately, their timing was such that they completely eclipsed the bridal couple.

Offline Ilana

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Re: Alix's Engagement and Wedding
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2004, 11:44:29 AM »
I have no backing for this... however, I've heard the jealousy between Ducky and Alix was highly exaggerated.  I'll see if I can find out more.

Also, "Willy" had a great deal to do with convincing Alix to accept Nicholas.  
So long and thanks for all the fish

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Alix's Engagement and Wedding
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2004, 10:31:41 PM »
Undoubtedly there has been some exaggeration, but both women were too temperamental to easily get along, and Ducky seemed to resent Ernie's closeness to Alix.  Nicholas himself hints that Alix was pushed toward accepting his proposal by the change of circumstance in Darmstadt, writing that Ernie’s marriage “was the final drop in her cup of suffering and hesitation.”  The implication is that aside from her other reasons for accepting, Alix found the idea of returning to Darmstadt to live with Ernie and Ducky unacceptable, and this pushed her toward the proposal.

Greg King

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Alix's Engagement and Wedding
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2004, 01:14:30 PM »
(part I)
TROUSSEAU OF AN EMPRESS
Some of the Pretty Things Provided for Alix.

Princess Alix Victoria Helena Louise Beatrice of Hesse, Czarina of Russia, is the youngest living child of the late Grand Duke Louis of Hesse and is sister to the present Grand Duke. Her mother was the Princess Alice, second daughter of Queen Victoria, and she is, therefore, a grandchild of the Queen of England. Her three elder sisters, the Princesses Victoria, Elizabeth and Irene, are married to Prince Louise of Battenberg, the Grand Duke Sergius of Russia and Prince Henry of Prussia, respectively. It will be seen that the Hesse family is closely linked with the Russian imperial house, for the late Czar’s mother was Princess Marie of Hesse, while her nephew and his son have both sought their brides in the same quarter.

One of the most imposing and important items in the marriage basket of Alix of Hesse is the numerous and varied styles of the specially made stockings prepared for her Royal Highness by a Nottingham manufacturer. The Princess has evidently a neat taste in all things pertaining to her footgear, and many of the designs chosen are her own original efforts. Her royal grandmamma gave the young Empress most of her lingerie, which is, therefore, nearly all of English manufacture.

There are many pairs of very fine silken hose in pale pink, pale blue, a silvery tone of gray and most delicate French gray and green to be worn with evening dresses. These are all embroidered in fine little raised sprays, with pale colorings in silk, either contrasting in hue or admirably harmonizing with the stockings themselves. For ordinary day wear there are liberal numbers of black spun silk, thick and durable, and having a very pretty light open-work design up the center of the foot. Many are of fine black silk, for indoor wear with smart afternoon dresses, and they are embroidered in a small Paislay design, and some in wild flower sprays, called respectively "chintz" and "Dolly Varden." It is interesting to know that these are all of English make and that the embroidery has been wrought by the nimble fingers of Nottingham cottagers. There are some pairs of a design in broken lines of bright color crossing a black ground, such as red and bronze lines on a similar somber background. These are decidedly original and most becoming to a pretty foot. Many pairs in silver gray have lines and dots through them of paler gray, looking by contrast almost white. Others are black, embroidered in pale color, such as clover, periwinkle, anthurium and gloxinia, all designed to match dresses with which they will eventually be worn.

Of all, the very prettiest are of black sink, the foot in stripes of exquisitely fine real black lace work, with narrow stripes of the silk between, and the lace delicately caught up over the silk with the effect of a fine embroidery. In the same style are some having the lace work less fine and yet nigh cobweb-like in texture, with a slightly raised silk embroidery over where the lacework unites with the stockings. The Royal Stuarttarian also figures among the trousseau stockings, for the Queen gives to all members of her family on their marriage at least one dress in velvet of this design. There are also ribbed open-work black and white stockings in a woven tiny meshed stripe called Grecian, though made in Nottingham, that are very fascinating. Each pair has the cipher "A," surmounted by a princess’ crown, embroidered in red as marking. There is also a quantity of Nottingham silk and woolen underwear of a light, warm, durable and exquisitely soft kind, marked again with the princess’ cipher and crown.

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

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Re: Alix's Engagement and Wedding
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2004, 01:14:53 PM »
Part II
It is interesting to know that the Czarina has many gloves in glace kid, with plane stitching matching the kid, and that her favorite colors are yellow, grays and tans. For indoor wear are a goodly selection of suede gloves, in lovely light tint, prettily and aptly called champagne shades, as well as many white, gray, fawn and tan colorings. There are some pairs of English buckskin gloves made in England, and beautifully soft, pliable and durable, as well as some antelope skin, which are specially suitable for riding and driving. Then there are gloves of English make from Russian leather, the skins having been prepared in the Crimea. Veils are also a small but varied portion of the outfit, and some of these have been specially made to fit the hats and bonnets to be worn by the Princess. These are in black, white and gray, and have the mesh very finely oven and the spots small, sometimes single. A new veil, made in Nottingham, is also included, and looks like point d’Alencon bordering and springs, applied on a fine Brussels net ground, in an ivory-white coloring, very becoming to the complexion.

Among other pretty items provided for this fortunate young Princess are little dainty twilled morning jackets, having finely tucked Vandyke collars, trimmed with lace, and some having pointed sailor collars, with lace insertion. These are in very pale colors. Some silk and satin broche blouses are also very charming, trimmed in various pretty ways with velvet or lace. One, having black Spanish lace over the yoke and on the sleeves to the elbow, is particularly good style, as is a tea-gown in twilled silk, with insertion and trimming of ecru lace. The colors are chiefly those which the Princess likes best – soft pinks and delicate grays.

The gowns provided for the royal trousseau were most of them made in Paris or in St. Petersburg. It is one of the ancient traditions of Russia that a bride, being brought from a foreign land to wed a son of the imperial house, shall be stripped at the frontier of all her alien outfit and dressed forthwith in Russian garments from head to heel. This "law" is not carried out in its entirety nowadays, but a goodly portion of the bride’s trousseau must of necessity be of Slavonic origin.

The Call, San Francisco, Tuesday Morning, November 27, 1894.
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Re: Alix's Engagement and Wedding
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2004, 01:36:32 PM »
Beautiful...delightful..."the stuff of dreams".
Grandduchessella, what a lovely article...thanks.

Sunny

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Alix's Engagement and Wedding
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2004, 09:16:36 PM »
You're very welcome.  :)  I enjoyed the "daily" aspect of the article. We always hear of the jewels, etc... and the magnificence of the Romanovs. While this was certainly the stuff dreams are made of, it was still somehow more intimate and personal, I thought.
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Offline DOMOVOII

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Re: Alix's Engagement and Wedding
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2004, 11:24:54 AM »
A lovely article indeed, though what it reminded me of was a piece in an English Newspaper (probably the Times though not certain, so don't quote me) regarding the costume of the would be Empress on her last visit to England before her marriage.
To english tastes of the day the choices of colour and weight of "costume", so much silk and satin,were seen as frivolous and commented on the maintenance thereof. A comparison was made between Alix and Pss Toria, who preferred more stout fabrics in more work-a-day colours, browns, navy blue etc,  for her walking costumes and day dresses.

Incidentally, referring to another  thread,  Ladies of the era would change their clothes at least three times a day and  any activities besides the normal, such as tennis, walking cycling and such, had there own "costume", meaning a ensemble for an occasion. For instance, cycling costumes, would have a fuller skirt, and a close fitting bodice or jacket, so to enable healthful movement.

In answer to Helen's question, Alexandra's nightwear was made in fine cotton lawn, and similar crisp, fabrics, with beautiful,needlework and  English, Honiton lace, another influence of Granny's.  It's interesting to see that although fond of "feminine" fabrics such as silk and satin for her outer wear, she didn't like to sleep in them.

I wouldn't imagine there would be many photographs of Alexandra's night attire as the Victorian's attitude towards a ladies bed wear, would have been "Unmentionable!" I hope to be roved wrong though, if any one can, I'll gladly eat my words!

Before posting, I wonder what significance the colour's Alexandra preferred, had on her contemporaries. All her favourites are official colours for half mourning. The period from six months after the death of a relative depending on the connection, some times more than 6 mths.Did people think she was in mourning? Who would project that image when they aren't?
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Offline Joanna

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Re: Alix's Engagement and Wedding
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2004, 11:53:09 AM »
Many thanks grandduchessella and DOMOVOII !!!

There are some photographs of Alexandra on the balcony at Peterhof in her "morning jackets" what we call today robes. I had always assumed that what was under and sort of peeking out from her sitting positions was her nightgown. And her hair is unbound. Also there is one photo of her sitting in the chair in the Mauve Room where her hair is loosely tied and she wears a robe.

Joanna

Offline jfkhaos

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Re: Alix's Engagement and Wedding
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2004, 12:31:55 PM »
In response to DOMOVOII's question about Alexandra wearing mourning colors, I have my own theory on this which may or may not be logical.

Since Alexandra was surrounded by death from an early age and had such a vast family where death was a common occurrence, and also because she was partially raised by Queen Victoria, she may have just adapted her taste to these colors so that she would not have to chnage her wardrobe so much...it may be far fetched but it's possible!

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: Alix's Engagement and Wedding
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2004, 01:54:52 PM »
Although mauve can be a very cheerful color.  And, looking at the recreations of Alix's boudoir--and even the black and white photos--I think most of us will agree that it had, overall, a very light-hearted look to it.

I remember reading a novel, some years ago, featuring a protagonist who knew Stolypin's family, and that she heard a number of people gossiping about the "infamous" mauve boudoir being so dank and depressing. But as several of Alix's friends have pointed out, it actually had the attitude of a very comfortable and pleasant place to be.

I'm sure Alix had a wonderful sense of color and used it accordingly, both in her dress and her surroundings. Plus mauve is the type of color that can be, according to its intensity and amount of red or blue, very "all-purpose" . . . and certainly a favorite of late Victorian/early Edwardian times, much as peach was a favorite a few years ago, and earth tones/Middle Eastern color schemes now dominate in many home furnishing stores.

;)




Offline DOMOVOII

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Re: Alix's Engagement and Wedding
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2004, 03:13:12 PM »
What I suppose I am trying to get at is, would AF have been seen as tempting fate by adopting the rituals of mourning. I refer to the supposed quote of Pss Marie-Louise, who warned Alix,with regard her melancholy, saying that "One day the good Lord will give you something to worry about!".

Did other  people share this view?
A stand can be taken against an army of men, but no stand can be made against an invasion of an idea          V Hugo

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: Alix's Engagement and Wedding
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2004, 06:53:03 PM »
As we know, Alix was inclined to be serious and introspective. And certainly she couldn't be blamed for being a bit melancholy now and then since she had lost her mother and younger sister when a small child. Her grandmother, Queen Victoria, is almost synonymous with "mourning worship," and so I think Alix's sensitive nature was a natural for this sort of thing and therefore she greatly appealed to the Queen.

Marie-Louise prefaced her comment by saying that her remark was frank in the way that cousins often talk amongst themselves, and I am inclinded to think that many others in the family likewise regarded Alix as something of a bluestocking and perhaps a bit too obsessive about some matters. Yet we know she could also be great fun and enjoyed her friendships . . . this is the duality of personality!  

As for attitudes outside the family, I've read that the people of Darmstadt didn't particularly like Alix; perhaps she was a victim of what today we would call "bad press"? If anyone can provide any insight on this, that would be great.

Her Aunt Vicky seems to have had some reservations about Alix, but Aunt Vicky was a very opinionated person.

In retrospect Marie-Louise's comment has a double-edge, since her own marriage was a sham and dissolved after her husband was discovered in a "compromising position" with another man; Marie-Louise, in fact, seems to have been in the dark about much of this. She never remarried, never had children, and although Marie-Louise did live out her years in comfort and in the "bosom" of her English relatives, hers was still a solitary life.  Alix, on the other hand, married the love of her life and became the mother of five beautiful children. So despite all of Alix's ill-fortune, I believe Marie-Louise lived out her own particular tragedy . . . safe and sterile. And many of Queen Victoria's other grandchildren also lived out lives of tragedy . . . it's just that Alix's life stands out because of the political turmoil in Russia, because hers was a love story rather than an arranged marriage, because her children were particularly attractive, because her son--Russia's hope--was a hemophiliac, and because the story had such a tragic and brutal end. In retrospect, cousins such as Marie of Romania could look back and point to all sorts of harbingers of ill luck . . . but what happened to Marie and Romania was hardly a picnic, either.