Author Topic: Natalia Alekseevna, 1st wife of Emperor Pavel I  (Read 43856 times)

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Offline CountessKate

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Re: Natalia Alekseevna, 1st wife of Emperor Pavel I
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2007, 06:54:32 AM »
Parents were often pretty brutal to their children when dynasties were at stake.  Joseph II was forced to marry again by his parents, very much against his will, when his first wife Isabel of Parma died in childbirth - he had no sons, and his brothers at time were unmarried, so the Habsburgs were dangerously short of heirs.  The same happened in the case of the Dauphin Louis, son of Louis XV, when his first wife died - no time was lost in searching out a second bride, though the Dauphin had been extremely attached to his wife and was not at all keen to marry again.  The Romanovs were even closer to extinction when Natalia died, and Catherine couldn't allow Paul to grieve - she had to get the next generation established as quickly as possible, for her own sake just as much as the dynasty's.  She probably thought she was helping Paul, in detaching him from his first wife by portraying her in a bad light and allowing him to move on - Catherine was always insensitive where Paul was concerned.  The Dauphin and Paul were lucky in their second wives, who made a success of their respective marriages, so no doubt Louis XV and Catherine considered themselves to have been right to insist on their sons' remarriages. 

Offline ivanushka

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Re: Natalia Alekseevna, 1st wife of Emperor Pavel I
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2007, 09:12:11 AM »
You're right, Countess Kate.  Survival of the dynasty above everything.  Another example of this was the Empress Maria Theresa who wanted to marry one of her daughters to Ferdinand of Naples.  Two daughters (I believe) were engaged to Ferdinand but both died before a marriage could take place so it was a third daughter, Caroline, who ended up going to Italy. 

This would be particularly true for Catherine the Great: Paul was her only child, his health had not been particularly robust as a child and as she had no actual right through blood to be on the throne herself she must have been desperate for him to give her some grandchildren as fast as possible.  It was only in 1780, when she had two grandsons, that she allowed Ivan VI's brothers and sisters to leave Kholmogory and go to Denmark.  Until then she had kept them in reserve in case she had to find another heir.

I doubt that she has had a "lover" as (besides that this is no fact at all, but just - as often - rumor) she had not given birth to a child yet and nobody would have dared to have an affair with the heir's consort.

Thomas - I found your post very interesting.  In particular I had no idea that her mother was determined not to force any of her daughters to stay in Russia against their will.  That was a very modern attitude - particularly as the benefits to Hesse in an alliance with the Romanovs would be so great. 







Offline Thomas_Hesse

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Re: Natalia Alekseevna, 1st wife of Emperor Pavel I
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2007, 02:40:28 PM »
It also quite clear that Ekaterina II - when realizing that Natalia was unable to give birth to the child and that it would be almost impossible to save her life - took no interest any longer in her and began to search in mind for the next consort for Pavel: Sophie Dorothea, princess of Württemberg who was to become Marija Feodorovna
Meine Kaiserin

Offline Duke of New Jersey

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Re: Natalia Alekseevna, 1st wife of Emperor Pavel I
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2007, 03:45:50 PM »
Well Catherine the Great did want grandchildren more than her contemptories.  I guess (as ivanushka) said her claim to the throne was resting on Paul and his children.  If Paul had died without children she would have more likely than not been forced off the throne.

-Duke of NJ

Offline ivanushka

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Re: Natalia Alekseevna, 1st wife of Emperor Pavel I
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2007, 06:59:12 AM »
Exactly, Duke of NJ.  It's iinteresting to speculate on what would have happened had Paul died without issue.  It's difficult to see what Catherine could have done in such an event.  She could have brought one of Ivan VI's brothers out of confinement but it's doubtful that he would have made a good or popular choice.  Another option would have been to legitimise her son by Grigori Orlov, Alexis Bobrinksy, but I suspect that would have been even less popular!

Offline Mandie, the Gothic Empress

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Re: Natalia Alekseevna, 1st wife of Emperor Pavel I
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2007, 07:45:12 AM »

Dear Discussion Group,

I started this thread in order to collect the portraits of Pss Wilhelmine of Hesse, first wife of Tsar Paul I. as Grand Duchess NATALIA ALEXEIEVNA.

Please, help me to find pictures and it would be also great to read some informations about her.

Thanks in advance,

Synnadene

I don't much of Natalia, only that she was Paul's first wife and some rumors she had a lover. Dies in childbrith, the child a stillborn son.    :-\

look on "Imperial Family" and go to "Portraits I-II" theres a lot of Natalia pics there.  :)

Offline gem_10

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Re: Natalia Alekseevna, 1st wife of Emperor Pavel I
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2007, 08:37:12 PM »
I'm always interested about Natalia Alexeievna. For me, she was more like a tragic figure, a victim of circumstances. She was always mentioned in books about Catherine the Great and Paul. In those books they always claim that Natalia didn't like to study the Russian language and that she took Paul's best friend as her lover. I'm not sure if all of these claims are true since Catherine didn't seem to like Natalia and she might have tried to paint her daughter-in-law's character in a bad way.  :-\ It was also said that Natalia was ambitious but very pretty and charming. Paul was head-over-heels for her, and her death almost made him insane.
 

Offline lori_c

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Re: Natalia Alekseevna, 1st wife of Emperor Pavel I
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2007, 01:23:08 PM »
Just out of curiosity, can somebody tell me how she is related ancestrally to AF?

Offline Yseult

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Re: Natalia Alekseevna, 1st wife of Emperor Pavel I
« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2007, 03:50:04 PM »
Just out of curiosity, can somebody tell me how she is related ancestrally to AF?

Of course. She was one sister of landgrave Ludwig X, later grand duke Ludwig I of Hesse-Darmstadt. Ludwig I was the father of Ludwig II, who married Wilhelmine of Baden and had several children including Ludwig III, prince Karl of Hesse and tsarevna Marķa Alexandrovna. So, Natalia was the aunt of Ludwig II, father of the paternal grand-father of Alix.

Offline lori_c

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Re: Natalia Alekseevna, 1st wife of Emperor Pavel I
« Reply #24 on: September 28, 2007, 01:08:12 PM »
WOW!  Thanks so much.  The Hessian lineage is quite confusing to me because it overlaps so much in almost every family.

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Natalia Alekseevna, 1st wife of Emperor Pavel I
« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2007, 05:20:23 AM »
The alleged lover of Natalia Alexeievna was Count Andrei Razumovski (b.1752), the nephew of Alexis Razoumovski, Empress Elizabeth's 'Night Emperor'.  He had been in command of one of the three ships which had been sent to convey the Princess to Russia and had formed part of the junior court surrounding the Grand Ducal couple.  Catherine had already tried, in a rather clumsy way, to separate him from Paul and Natalia as she was intensely suspicious of any courtiers who attached themselves to her son rather than to herself, but without success.  Paul  "protested and declared that he would never allow a friend to be taken away from him".  When Natalia died, however, Catherine seized her correspondence - expecting to find conspiratorial material - but instead found whatever she used to accuse Razumovski of being Natalia's lover.  Razumovski protested his innocence, which of course was not believed, but at this point in time it's difficult to know what exactly the correspondence consisted of and how Catherine used it.  Would Razumovski have taken the line he did if the evidence had been clearly compromising?  At any event, Paul believed it and would not see him, and Catherine sent Razumovski into at Reval, later appointing him Russian Minister at Naples.  In 1799, he was allowed back into Russia, so Paul obviously forgave him (or hadn't really believed him to be guilty in the longer term but had gone along with Catherine in his first grief and sense of betrayal).  Under Alexander I, Razumovski had a very distinguished diplomatic career in Copenhagen, Stockholm and most importantly, in Vienna.  In Vienna he married a Lobkowicz and was a patron of Beethoven, commissioning three string quartets from him (Razumovski played the violincello); he stayed on in Vienna after his diplomatic appointment had finished, and built a neoclassical palace in Vienna which alas burnt down after a ball in 1814.  It was rebuilt, with a loan from Alexander I, but Razumovski was shattered and lived in seclusion in Vienna until his death in 1836.

« Last Edit: February 10, 2011, 05:51:46 AM by Svetabel »

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Natalia Alekseevna, 1st wife of Emperor Pavel I
« Reply #26 on: November 10, 2007, 05:48:22 AM »
In fact I was incorrect in my genealogy; Razumovski married Maria Elizabeth of Thun-Hohenstein, whose mother Maria Wilhelmine of Thun-Hohenstein, was a Grande Dame of the Vienna nobility, and the Thun-Hohenstein palace was a centre of music and high society. Maria Wilhelmine von Thun had already been a patron of Mozart, and Hayden frequented her salon.  Razumovski's sister-in-law Maria Christine married Prince Karl von Lichnowsky, another patron of Beethoven.  So at least Beethoven got some benefit from the sad little drama at the Russian court.

Offline ivanushka

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Re: Natalia Alekseevna, 1st wife of Emperor Pavel I
« Reply #27 on: November 19, 2007, 06:20:45 PM »
Apparently Paul's second wife, Maria Feodorovna of Wurtemburg was engaged to Natalia's brother (the future Louis X of Hesse) at the time of Natalia's death.  As she had been Catherine the Great's favourite choice for a wife for Paul (only excluded the first time because she was too young), the engagement was promptly broken and Maria married Paul instead.  It was a small world in royal circles!

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Natalia Alekseevna, 1st wife of Emperor Pavel I
« Reply #28 on: November 26, 2007, 11:29:20 AM »
Quote
It was a small world in royal circles!

Well, actually it was.  Catholics were out due to the difficulties with religious conversion, and the young woman had to meet stringent criteria of  health, fecundity, heredity (royal birth and not too many raving lunatics among the ancestry); good looks were not so important but obvious ugliness should be avoided as the Grand Duke might not then feel inclined to carry out his conjugal duties; good manners, some general indications of being submissive to the will of the Empress and not likely to cause a fuss or domineer over the Grand Duke to the point where he might be encouraged to challenge Catherine were extremely important, especially after Natalia had apparently done just that.  Since Sophia Dorothea had already been vetted, and speed was of the essence, it was much easier to bribe Ludwig of Hesse to give up his fiancee than to put in hand another exhaustive and exhausting search.  Catherine wrote "I am infatuated with this charming Princess, but literally infatuated. She is precisely what one would have wished: the figure of a nymph, a lily and rose complexion, the loveliest skin in the world, tall and well built; she is grateful; sweetness, kindnesses and innocence are reflected in her face" which was very similar to what she had written about Natalia, and her opinion of Paul's second wife lasted just as long as her opinion of his first.

Offline Alexandrina-Sofia

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Re: Natalia Alekseevna, 1st wife of Emperor Pavel I
« Reply #29 on: December 20, 2008, 02:28:07 AM »
Natalia Alexeievna, 1773 by P.E. Falconet