Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => Tsarevich Alexei Nicholaievich => Topic started by: Teddy on November 20, 2004, 04:54:59 AM

Title: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: Teddy on November 20, 2004, 04:54:59 AM
Of the Wedding of Nicholas and Alexandra there are no pictures taken, but were there pictures taken of the Christening of Alexei in 1904?

Or was that also against the rules of the Ortohodox church?

And who have pictures of the guest who attended the service? I know KR, and his daughter Tatiana went, also Maria Pavlovna jr., Irina, Marina, Elena, Johan, Gavril, Ella, Sandro etc, etc.
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: Olga on November 20, 2004, 05:22:25 AM
Wouldn't it have been too solemn an occasion to be photographed?
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: Angie_H on November 20, 2004, 11:43:31 AM
There were no photographs but alot of drawings made of them
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v391/booboogbs/TatianasBaptism.jpg)
Tatiana's Baptism
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: Mandie, the Gothic Empress on November 20, 2004, 03:21:17 PM
I'm not really sure, but if i'm wrong sorry.

I read in the book "Nicholas and Alexandra" by Robert K.Massie ...that the parents of  the Child are not allowed to be there? or something? i'm not Russian Orthodox, so i'm not sure. :-/
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: Lanie on November 20, 2004, 03:27:45 PM
The parents weren't there, no.  The drawing is from a French magazine (I've seen it on ebay!), definitely just a fanciful drawing.
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: Mandie, the Gothic Empress on November 20, 2004, 03:32:18 PM
Besides that, I went to the Nicholas and Alexandra show in newark twice. it was really cool!!!

I wasn't allowed to take pictures,but i got the book on the exbit.

(http://photobucket.com/albums/v477/MMPC/alexei1904grown.jpg)

It pretter in person,...injoy.
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: LisaDavidson on November 21, 2004, 12:52:02 AM
I believe there is a photo of the carriage taking Alexei to his christening in "Under Three Tsars" ?
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: Teddy on November 21, 2004, 05:54:52 AM
Are there no pictures of the Russian Ladies in Court Dress on this occasion?
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: anna on November 21, 2004, 06:11:16 AM
Quote
Yes, according to Romanov tradition, the parents were not "allowed" to be at the ceremony. I seem to remember one memoir saying that the heir was brought in on a cushion tied round the neck of one of the maid of honours who was rather old, and that Nicholas and Alexandra were especially anxious that she should not drop him.


Yes, the heir was brought in to the font by the Robes Mistress Princess Galitzine, the cushion was secured to her shoulder with a broad gold band and to prevent her from slipping on the waxed floor, she wore rubber shoes. The Grand Marshal of the court held the mantle of the heir.
I've read somewhere that every soldier in the Russian army, was decleared to be Alexei's godparent.

Anna
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: Madal on November 21, 2004, 07:08:15 AM
Do yo know who were Alexei's godparents???
And OTMA's???
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: Teddy on November 21, 2004, 08:20:01 AM
I know that Kaiser Wilhelm was I Godparent. There is even a letter of the Kaiser tot Nicky, to express his thanks and special wishes for the Heir.

And also for the Heir, the Dowager Empress and the Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovitsj.
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: Daniel Briere on November 21, 2004, 09:28:43 AM
Teddy is right. In his diary, the Emperor wrote that his son’s principal godmother was Empress Maria Feodorovna and principal godfather was Grand Duke Alexis Alexandrovich. Alexis also had a number of other godfathers, including these foreign relatives: his great-grandfather King Christian IX of Denmark, King Edward VII of Great-Britain, Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany. None of them were actually present though and the following stood in for them: Prince Christian of Denmark (Maria Feodorovna’s nephew), Prince Louis of Battenberg and Prince Henry of Prussia. As Russia was at War with Japan, Nicholas II also named all the soldiers and officers of the Russian Army and Navy as honorary godfathers.

It was the first time young Olga and Tatiana, along with their cousin Irina Alexandrovna,  were present at an official ceremony. For the occasion they wore a small Court dress and kokoshnik.
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: Georgiy on November 21, 2004, 01:49:17 PM
You are not supposed to take photos inside an Orthodox Church without the blessing of the Priest. These days cameras and flashbulbs don't make much if any noise, but in the old days, the flash made an explosion - very distracting in a religious ceremony (as are camera flashes going off these days but at least they aren't noisy.) Maybe it was a Romanov tradition for the parents not to be present. Or it could be that they were baptised within 40 days of birth, in which case, the mother can not go inside the Church. Anyway, during Baptism, it is the Godparents who hold the baby - before the actual immersion in water the Godfather, after the immersion the Godmother. The Godparents have a great spiritual responsibility, and the spiritual relationship extends through (I think) about seven generations, meaning that getting married to someone to whom you are spiritually related to is as big a "no -no" as marrying a close relative.
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: Lanie on November 21, 2004, 02:28:28 PM
I think Irene of Prussia (Alix's sister) was one of Anastasia's godparents.  Olga Nikolaevna I've read was also among her little brother's godmothers!  
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: ptitchka on November 21, 2004, 04:06:12 PM
In 'Romanov Autumn' by Charlotte Zeepvat one reads a few anecdotes about the baptism of the Tsarevich-Martyr that perhaps may serve as verbal pictures.  I believe it was Oleg Konstantinovich that filled in a lot of the detail, how pretty the little girls looked in their child-sized court dresses and how the young boys liked wearing their little uniforms (I believe if I have remembered this right that this was the first official appearance of many of these children just as it certainly was for Alexei Nikolaevich!).  Oleg Konstantinovich got to sit with the baby Heir a while.    Ms. Zeepvat quotes the boy's diary about Alexei: 'He's very sweet; the whole time he played with his fingers.'

It is Miss Eager, the Grand Duchesses' governess, that recorded in her memoirs, also quoted by Ms. Zeepvat, that St. John of Kronstadt himself - by then a reknowned priest and confessor well loved and revered by many - gave the sermon at the Tsarevich's baptism.  (He reposed four years later.)   The nurse related that at one point during the sacrament the baby boy looked as if he, too,  were saintly.  When the priest applied the holy oil to Alexei for the first time, the child raised his little hand as if to give a blessing.  A good omen for the future, she thought!

(May I say that I highly recommend Ms. Zeepvat's wonderful book to all who have not read it already.  She writes with great tact and insight even about the touchier areas concerning the extended Imperial Family.)
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: Sergio on November 21, 2004, 04:51:23 PM

The christening was a stunning display of the wealth and power of the Romanovs.
On August 23, 1904 the heir was baptised. Marie Pavlovna noted:
"We accompanied my uncle and aunt to Peterhof to attend the little Tsarevich's baptism. A gilded coach followed by a cavalary troop bore the newly born son to the church. He was accompanied by his nurse and the Mistress of Robes.
Since dawn regiments had been drawn up along the route the cortege would take, with it's numerous gala carriages drawn by horses with plumes.
At eleven o' clock in the morning the Imperial family and the court were ready, the men in their full-dress uniforms, the ladies adorned with jewels in gowns of gold and silver cloth with long trains.
The Emperor, the Grand Dukes and Duchesses, the ambassadors, and the high dignitaries formed in procession; they reached the palace church by crossing halls filled with guests. The little Tsarevich was carried at the head of the procession on a cushion of silver cloth by the Mistress of Robes.
The church glistened with light. At the entrance numerous members of the clergy, presided over by the Archbishop of St. Petersburg, greeted the Emperor.
The religious service ended, the child was brought back to the house with the same ceremonial. Felicitations and a banquet brought the day to an end.
In honor of the Army, then fighting on the distant plains of Manchuria, all the combatants were inscribed as godfathers to the young prince."
Then, to the horror of his parents, he started bleeding from the navel. But there would not be another occurance for years.


From: http://www.geocities.com/grandanor1/alexei1.html
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: Sarai on November 22, 2004, 10:45:58 AM
Quote
You are not supposed to take photos inside an Orthodox Church without the blessing of the Priest. These days cameras and flashbulbs don't make much if any noise, but in the old days, the flash made an explosion - very distracting in a religious ceremony (as are camera flashes going off these days but at least they aren't noisy.) Maybe it was a Romanov tradition for the parents not to be present. Or it could be that they were baptised within 40 days of birth, in which case, the mother can not go inside the Church. Anyway, during Baptism, it is the Godparents who hold the baby - before the actual immersion in water the Godfather, after the immersion the Godmother. The Godparents have a great spiritual responsibility, and the spiritual relationship extends through (I think) about seven generations, meaning that getting married to someone to whom you are spiritually related to is as big a "no -no" as marrying a close relative.


Thank you for this explanation. It certainly makes sense that photography in those days would cause a great distraction, especially because of the flash explosion, and this could not be allowed in such a solemn ceremony.

Alexei's christening was definitely within 40 days of his birth, which in accordance to your statement, explains why the mother was not allowed inside the church. I'm curious - is there a reason behind this tradition? Anyway, this would explain why Alexandra was not allowed inside, but if the father is allowed, then perhaps Nicholas simply wished to stay with his wife or was following family tradition.
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: Georgiy on November 22, 2004, 02:00:46 PM
Hi Sarai,
The tradition still holds that the mother doesn't enter Church until 40 days after giving birth, then she is "Churched". Part of it is I guess that she still might have bleeding for a while after the birth, and also it gives her time to rest, recover from giving birth, and to be with her newborn. it is a tradition that goes right back to the beginnings of the Church, and also back to Jewish times. (For example the Virgin Mary taking Christ to the temple where he was met by Simon who said "Let now Thy servant depart O Lord....")
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: anna on November 22, 2004, 02:38:37 PM
Quote
Alexei's christening was definitely within 40 days of his birth, which in accordance to your statement, explains why the mother was not allowed inside the church. I'm curious - is there a reason behind this tradition? Anyway, this would explain why Alexandra was not allowed inside, but if the father is allowed, then perhaps Nicholas simply wished to stay with his wife or was following family tradition.


I know the Arabic-culture has this same tradition of 40 days after a woman has given birth to a child. She's unclean - the same when having her period- man and wife are supposed not to sleep together until after 40 days her body is recovered. During those days she wears the original caftan without a strap around her waist, because the body musn't be tighten up. When the 40 days are over, usualy family members give a little party to celebrate everything went well. The mother than wears a new white (pure) caftan with a broad strap.This is according to regular tradition in Morocco.

Perhaps this could be also a reason why the mother isn't allowed to attend a church service.-this case a christening-in a non muslim culture.

Anna
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: anna on November 22, 2004, 03:01:45 PM
Georgiy,

See how far back traditions can go in different cultures and come to the same point. I wish people nowadays were more aware of that and see the similarities between different religions and cultures. Maybe than we could tolerate each other more.

Anna
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: Georgiy on November 23, 2004, 01:41:17 PM
Anna,
That is an excellent point. I think esp. in the west after WW1 there has been such a cultural upheaval, that many don't know their own cultures' traditions, and/or don't care.
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: Sarai on November 24, 2004, 07:30:54 AM
Quote
I know the Arabic-culture has this same tradition of 40 days after a woman has given birth to a child. She's unclean - the same when having her period- man and wife are supposed not to sleep together until after 40 days her body is recovered.


This is along the lines of what I was thinking was a probable reason - that the woman was considered "unclean" during that time.
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: Robert_Hall on November 26, 2004, 01:15:29 PM
Speaking of the Dowager Empress, isn't today her birthday ? [1847]
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: Sarai on November 26, 2004, 02:10:01 PM
Quote
Speaking of the Dowager Empress, isn't today her birthday ? [1847]


Yes, it is!
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: Lisa on November 27, 2004, 05:55:48 AM
Extracts from the French newspaper L'Illustration, 3 sept. 1904, n° 3210, p. 157:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v393/lyzotchka/n32101904.jpg)

p. 158-59:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v393/lyzotchka/1904.jpg)

p. 160:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v393/lyzotchka/p.jpg)
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: Dennis on November 29, 2004, 12:26:36 AM
Speaking of christenings, a beautiful little baby girl was baptized in our church yesterday morning and given the name Alexandra Anastasia.

I made a point of asking the mother if there was any historical significance to her name and she said no, but that several people had pointed out to her that these names were those of the last Tsarina of Russia and her youngest daughter.

It was very interesting to hear those names pronounced several times during the (Lutheran)baptismal ceremony.
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: Olga on November 29, 2004, 02:24:13 AM
Quote
It was very interesting to hear those names pronounced several times during the (Lutheran)baptismal ceremony.


Ana-STAY-zha?  >:( Grrrrr..........
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: Dennis on November 29, 2004, 12:02:08 PM
Well,  the Pastor probably didn't pronounce the name as it would be correctly pronounced in Russia, but he pronounced it more like Ana -staa- sia, more like "ah" without the long a as is "stay."  What is the actual correct pronounciation?  I scanned the thread on pronounciation, but her name isn't there.
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: Dashkova on November 29, 2004, 12:22:43 PM
Quote
Well,  the Pastor probably didn't pronounce the name as it would be correctly pronounced in Russia, but he pronounced it more like Ana -staa- sia, more like "ah" without the long a as is "stay."  What is the actual correct pronounciation?  I scanned the thread on pronounciation, but her name isn't there.


Ahna-stah-SEE-ya is the traditional Russian pronunciation.
Title: Re: christening of Alexei 1904
Post by: Dennis on November 29, 2004, 03:49:26 PM
Thanks for your help!