Author Topic: Grand Duke Ludwig IV  (Read 108346 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Hector

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 79
    • View Profile
Re: Grand Duke Ludwig IV
« Reply #120 on: August 30, 2012, 06:45:38 PM »
This is a letter from Queen Sophie of the Netherlands to her friend Lady Malet

The Hague, November 8, 1860

I passed and spent a few hours at Darmstadt, and the Grand Duchess is always kind and open for me. I ask her if the Prince (who was returned to his Russian duties) would marry the English princess. She said “Yes, but not yet. It was postponed.” I got from others, Scharff(?) among them, that the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess were extremely adverse to the marriage and had declared they had no[i/] palaces to give them, but the Prince’s parents (mother especially) were set on it. The boy himself would prefer another – I must say that Darmstadt in the winter appeared to me something awful and the idea of an English princess doomed to live there something very near Puratory, if not worse. I did no see the Princess Charles, mother to the boy, she had a swollen face.

Offline Eric_Lowe

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 17014
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Grand Duke Ludwig IV
« Reply #121 on: August 31, 2012, 09:23:01 AM »
Yes. Had Alice married into Holland, her life might be much happier.

Offline CountessKate

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1089
    • View Profile
Re: Grand Duke Ludwig IV
« Reply #122 on: August 31, 2012, 10:44:17 AM »
Yes. Had Alice married into Holland, her life might be much happier.

I have to say that I'm not convinced that Alice would have been happier in a family where her parents-in-law had a wretched, angry relationship, where her father-in-law was openly promiscuous and where it is extremely unlikely that her husband would have been allowed any useful role in relation to the state while his father was alive.  She would have probably had to take sides with either the king or the queen, and thus earn the enmity of the other, and since her husband's reaction to disappointment seemed to take the form of dissipation, it is possible that she would have had to either endure or ignore that as well.  Queen Sophie had set her heart on the English marriage, and was very disappointed and annoyed that this didn't come to fruition.  She was naturally keen to listen to anything which would demonstrate that Princess Alice would have difficulties in a non-Dutch marriage, though her information that "the boy himself would prefer another" didn't come from him or his relatives and suggests she was picking up rather spiteful gossip.  Alice had her disappointments in her marriage, but I think the idea that if she married William of Orange she would have been happier, is hard to swallow.

Offline grandduchessella

  • Global Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 13061
  • Getting Ready to Move to Europe :D
    • View Profile
    • Facebook page
Re: Grand Duke Ludwig IV
« Reply #123 on: August 31, 2012, 11:07:49 AM »
And the hemophilia may have still followed. The Netherlands situation didn't seem very promising in terms of happiness at Court either.
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
Come visit on Pinterest--http://pinterest.com/lawrbk/

Offline Eric_Lowe

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 17014
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Grand Duke Ludwig IV
« Reply #124 on: August 31, 2012, 11:13:55 AM »
I think Noel Gerald who wrote her bio is in the opinion that Alice would have an easier time in Holland than backwater Darmstadt. She was trained to be a liberal and free thinker by her father and Hesse is not much on that. Even her marriage to Ludwig failed in the intellectual level.

Offline Hector

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 79
    • View Profile
Re: Grand Duke Ludwig IV
« Reply #125 on: August 31, 2012, 11:50:22 AM »
I also find it kind of neat the only two daughters of Queen Victoria to live abroad were from marriages arranged during Prince Albert's lifetime and wondered if he had lived, would the others have been more likely to also marry abroad. It was Prince Albert who initially favored Princess Alice marrying the heir of the Dutch throne so just wondering if he didn't want his daughters married to more highly placed royals and living outside Britain compared to what happened after he died when Queen Victoria made all her remaining daughters marry lowly placed royals (although Princess Louise married a Scottish peer) and live nearby her. It's that weird thing of Queen Victoria both taking no comfort in her children and somewhat loathing them, but also what them to remain close to her.

I also wonder if Belgian King Leopold I didn't have some influence in preventing a marriage between Princess Alice and the Prince of Orange since he was pretty at odds with the Dutch Royal Family over his new kingdom although the Prince of Orange probably did a lot to discredit himself.

Also King William III of the Netherlands was kind of eager to abdicate from the start of his reign so having a daughter-in-law from one of the most power monarchies with a secure succession (although hemophilia might have had an effect in that being not quite so sucure) would have made it easier for King William III to abdicate although don't have to get ahead of myself with too many "what if" scenarios.

Offline Eric_Lowe

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 17014
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Grand Duke Ludwig IV
« Reply #126 on: August 31, 2012, 12:56:53 PM »
I don't think Holland was forced upon her as it was also a natural ally of Great Britain and a marriage market for Princesses of Great Britain. She would have more to enjoy in Holland than in Darmstadt. Although the disease issue would be the same, she would most certainly have more money and a less need to beg for monetary help from her mother.

Offline Paul

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 225
  • born a century too late
    • View Profile
Re: Grand Duke Ludwig IV
« Reply #127 on: September 01, 2012, 01:47:01 AM »
Also: she and her sister Victoria would've been spared the strained family blow-back resulting from the Seven Weeks War.
The only real possession you'll ever have is your character.
Tom Wolfe
US author & journalist (1931 - )

Offline Eric_Lowe

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 17014
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Grand Duke Ludwig IV
« Reply #128 on: September 01, 2012, 11:30:39 AM »
It was a tragedy that the Orange boy's scandal took him out of the running for the hand of Alice.

Offline CountessKate

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1089
    • View Profile
Re: Grand Duke Ludwig IV
« Reply #129 on: September 02, 2012, 02:31:17 AM »
Quote
I also wonder if Belgian King Leopold I didn't have some influence in preventing a marriage between Princess Alice and the Prince of Orange since he was pretty at odds with the Dutch Royal Family over his new kingdom although the Prince of Orange probably did a lot to discredit himself.

I don’t think King Leopold needed to move in the matter since the Prince of Orange certainly didn’t seem to help himself in the plans for the marriage, suggesting his heart wasn’t really in the matter.  It kicked off with a flurry of correspondence between Queen Victoria and her eldest daughter in 1859 when the “P. of O.” was being considered for Alice, although the Queen and Prince Albert thought her too young for an engagement.  Writing from Baden, where she was staying with her sister-in-law, the Crown Princess of Prussia wrote that "I am shocked at hearing that the Prince of Orange has been leading a bad life here, gambling and drinking and what not, but I hope and trust that it is not so bad as people say.  Queen Victoria responded a little later that "You must not tell her [Alice] anything about the Prince of Orange's procedings (of which I hear sad confirmation)..." and later still, "I fear that the reports about the young O. are not at all exaggerated as I have heard them from people who saw and knew the proceedings at B[aden].-and I fear he is in bad hands and has no example before him."  Victoria then wrote that "You know, dear Mama, I am not one to excuse such wickedness.....Therefore you know that I am not excusing the behaviour of the P. of O. only think him rather hardly judged." 

It was therefore to the Queen’s “great annoyance” that the Prince of Orange “announced himself for the middle of next month! [January 1860] Papa found it necessary to speak to Alice and without saying too much, just to tell her, that he had not had very favourable reports of him, and that we feared that he was in bad hands........I conclude he can have no matrimonial projects at present, leading the life he does at present.”  The Queen was warned by her friend Countess Blucher, “never to leave Bertie a moment alone with the Prince of Orange” and was shown a letter from Queen Sophie that the Prince “does not think of marriage; he is too young, and it would be a misfortune for himself and the wife he might choose”.  Despite all this, the “P. of O.” initially made a good impression especially since he “does not talk readily of his own accord – but he pays great attention to what is said (I mean when Papa talks at breakfast etc. about politics and military matters......Poor young man he is much to be pitied...”  However, towards the end of the visit, “We had a large dinner for the Prince of Orange last night – who was very dull – and positively rude to Alice, which is really very wrong; she feels it just as she ought, and it has settled her feelings about him – which never were favourable, I think.  I fear that nothing good will come out of him, which I am sorry for.”

However, by 1861, the Prince of Orange did not appear to have changed his ways and had fallen very low in Queen Victoria’s estimation, as she wrote to her daughter that “I am vexed to hear people defend that odious Prince of Orange – for they may try to bring him over – and propose him for Lenchen, and whatever other parents may do and think – we never will give one of our girls to a man who has led a life like that young man has done!”  In 1862 Lady Augusta Bruce, who had a soft spot for the Prince of Orange and was a great favourite with all the royal princesses and princes, wrote that “I believe the Q[ueen] is quite justified in being so hostile to the idea of a marriage with the P. of Orange.  It is a great pity but....it really can not be thought of.” 

Clearly the Prince of Orange could not pull himself together to reform himself sufficiently and make an effort to win over either Alice’s parents or Alice herself, and while it is a pity that essentially Alice intellectually outgrew the respectable young prince of Darmstadt she eventually married, it’s not surprising that neither she nor her parents were keen to be associated with a young man or a court involved in “, gambling and drinking and what not” from whom it appeared “nothing good will come out”.

Offline Eric_Lowe

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 17014
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Grand Duke Ludwig IV
« Reply #130 on: September 02, 2012, 09:27:40 AM »
Yes. I agree that the Prince of Orange did not deserve Alice, she was too good for him. What I am talking about is the location between Holland and Hesse. Alice might have less trouble pushing her social reforms in Darmstadt than in the Hague and avoid the German wars.

Offline Thomas_Hesse

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 683
    • View Profile
Re: Grand Duke Ludwig IV
« Reply #131 on: September 03, 2012, 01:39:05 AM »
Yes. I agree that the Prince of Orange did not deserve Alice, she was too good for him. What I am talking about is the location between Holland and Hesse. Alice might have less trouble pushing her social reforms in Darmstadt than in the Hague and avoid the German wars.

Comparing a nation like The Netherlands with a State like Hesse seems odd and rather unfair. The Hesses were obviously considered "good enough" to receive a Russian Tsar's daughter into their family and also good enough to marry off four of their own princesses to St. Petersburg (including two Empresses).

Had she been married into a greater court with less "problems", perhaps she would never have felt the strong need to help to guide and to improve that ruled her short life.
I also think that Noel does the whole thing no justice as far as Darmstadt, Louis and his family were concerned: he hardly writes anything about the city or their characters and to this day there are no biographies on them nor has anyone done any research on the huge amount of papers in the archives...
It is always easy to create the picture of the modern intelligent etc Princess to be caught in the trap of a stiff narrow little court.

I also think that - on the other hand - with her father Prince Albert it was just the other way round. He "improved" his position a lot by marrying the Queen of England but it was a most unnatural position for both of them for he - being "the man" - was not allowed at first to achieve much in both the private and the political sector. I think that the Prince Consort's vast improvements and "workaholism" are due to his desire to compensate this strange position he held. Had he married a German princess perhaps he would have led a very ordinary life...
Meine Kaiserin

Offline CountessKate

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1089
    • View Profile
Re: Grand Duke Ludwig IV
« Reply #132 on: September 03, 2012, 03:51:28 AM »
Yes. I agree that the Prince of Orange did not deserve Alice, she was too good for him. What I am talking about is the location between Holland and Hesse. Alice might have less trouble pushing her social reforms in Darmstadt than in the Hague and avoid the German wars.

Comparing a nation like The Netherlands with a State like Hesse seems odd and rather unfair. The Hesses were obviously considered "good enough" to receive a Russian Tsar's daughter into their family and also good enough to marry off four of their own princesses to St. Petersburg (including two Empresses).

Had she been married into a greater court with less "problems", perhaps she would never have felt the strong need to help to guide and to improve that ruled her short life.
I also think that Noel does the whole thing no justice as far as Darmstadt, Louis and his family were concerned: he hardly writes anything about the city or their characters and to this day there are no biographies on them nor has anyone done any research on the huge amount of papers in the archives...
It is always easy to create the picture of the modern intelligent etc Princess to be caught in the trap of a stiff narrow little court.

I also think that - on the other hand - with her father Prince Albert it was just the other way round. He "improved" his position a lot by marrying the Queen of England but it was a most unnatural position for both of them for he - being "the man" - was not allowed at first to achieve much in both the private and the political sector. I think that the Prince Consort's vast improvements and "workaholism" are due to his desire to compensate this strange position he held. Had he married a German princess perhaps he would have led a very ordinary life...

I agree that Louis of Darmstadt doesn't really get a fair deal from historians.  I've actually thought that Alice's work in Darmstadt was probably enhanced by the freedom she was given by her husband to work for the hospitals during the wars (which actually seemed to have been an impetus for her to develop much of her work for good causes generally), to improve living conditions for the poor and for those with mental health problems, and for womens' emancipation and welfare - which many husbands/sovereigns of the time (and certainly Louis' uncle the Grand Duke of Hesse-Darmstadt) would simply not have allowed.  It could be perceived that he was being weak in giving Alice her way, but he actively supported her work after her death and indeed made his eldest daughter president of the "Alice-Frauenverein" - the womens' association for nursing - when she was nineteen.  One could therefore argue that on a smaller stage than a national one, and with a partner who at least looked up to her rather than the reverse, she achieved more in Darmstadt than she may have done if she had been married to a Crown Prince.

Offline Eric_Lowe

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 17014
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Grand Duke Ludwig IV
« Reply #133 on: September 03, 2012, 01:23:46 PM »
Yes. But it also put a great deal of strain on Alice, whose health had never been robust like Vicky or Bertie. I agree she achieved much, but in a more modern state like Holland, her gifts might been better enhanced. To be fair to Noel, I have been to Darmstadt, there is not much to be seen. Quite a lot was built in fact during the era of her son and daughter. Also much has been destroyed in the war (The neu Palais for example).

Offline Ilana

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 730
  • I love any info on VMH
    • View Profile
    • Queen Victoria's Granddaughters
Re: Grand Duke Ludwig IV
« Reply #134 on: September 04, 2012, 10:20:08 AM »
I must disagree... I think there is loads to be seen in Darmstadt... I've visited that wonderful place twice and was in royal hog heaven!!!!  (Just to be crude about it.)
So long and thanks for all the fish