Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => Alexandra Feodorovna => Topic started by: Sarai on March 09, 2004, 12:37:31 PM

Title: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarai on March 09, 2004, 12:37:31 PM
I have read that Nicholas II did not like to hear his wife sing. Now, I assume this only applied to non-religious singing, as I am sure he approved of singing hymns and singing in church, having recalled accounts I have read of them engaging in this as a family. But as far as his aversion to hearing Alexandra sing outside of church, I have wondered why that was, especially since the Empress was said to have had a lovely singing voice. In her memoirs, Anna Vyrubova states that "The Empress was gifted with a lovely contralto voice" and yet, whenever she sang, she was compelled to do it in another room, away from her husband, so as "not to disturb the Emperor, who, for some strange reason, did not like to hear his wife sing." So Anna also found it strange. I also seem to recall reading elsewhere that Nicholas would even leave the room if he heard Alexandra singing. Why was he so uncomfortable with this? Did he perhaps think it was improper for an Empress to engage in this activity? Or perhaps he just felt awkward, as I have noticed people often do when hearing others sing?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Lisa on April 06, 2004, 12:59:25 PM
I think that like many blondes, the hair of Alix has dark with time:when she was a child, she was "golden-blond", then they became darker ("blond venetian" or "red-golden",then auburn)... It is only my opinion, but if not I am not explained this mystery!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: pers on April 07, 2004, 08:11:18 AM
I am curious about Alexandra's eating habits.  Most writers say that she cared little about food and hardly ate anything.  According to Sidney Gibbes, she ate so little that he wondered how she kept alive from what she ate!
Nowhere in her last diary do I see any reference to breakfast and she seems to be very particular at writing down details about the time lunch and dinner was served and where she took it.
E. M. Almedingen says in her book that during the last year at Tsarskoe Seelo, she lived on boiled vegetables, coffee and lettuce during that summer.
Anyone came accross something interesting or know where one can get more information.
I am sure the diary for 1916 that Penny Wilson translated might have a lot of information.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: BobAtchison on April 07, 2004, 09:41:42 AM
Alexandra had a favorite breakfast drink called Hoully-Guolly which was made of eggs.  Their breakfasts generally were buffets and there would have been many things to pick from.  Because she rose later than Nicholas, they did not always have breakfast together.

The buffet was generally served in the Pallisander Room.

Most of the items were standard.  There were a large number of breads and such.  Alexandra strictly followed all of the fasts of the church calendar except when she was pregnant or ill.  Other exceptions were made for gala dinners or celebrations.  Of course in Yekaterinburg she was forced to break her fasts because she couldn't get the proper food.

Not wanting to draw attention to herself - or to embarass others who were not as observent as she, during fasts Alexandra would often be served the same thing that others received, but she would only eat the vegetables.

Each day baskets of goodies were prepared for the Imperial rooms.  These had cookies, biscuits, fruit, etc.  There were also bottles of water juices and other things.  There was a different basket in the morning and another in the evening.

Bob
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: pers on April 07, 2004, 10:28:57 AM
Bob,
What on earth is that type of egg drink?  I have never heard of it!
I also saw that in Greg King's book reference was made to the Mouchanow book author who alleged that her favourite breakfast was the typical bacon and eggs.
Also she seems to have eaten a lot of pasta, not so?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Arleen on April 07, 2004, 10:46:51 AM
Bob, I wish that you would work on a BOOK!  Your knowledge just makes everything REAL and COME ALIVE.  I adore all of the tid bits that you know that the rest of us don't!!  The goodies baskets for the rooms.....where on earth did you get it, I've never heard of that. Obviously Alexandra ate WELL she was never thin.....to me she is so beautiful, sort of like a madonna...forever beautiful.      ..Arleen
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: David Newell on April 07, 2004, 11:31:27 AM
I do believe AF was very fond of Vermicelli a type of small pasta tube, its called elbow marcaroni here in the UK. But I wonder wether this was plain or served with a cheese sauce or just a boullion. She certainly seems to have cared little for food. I have read she just picked at her food, but asBob says this may have been during fasts. She certainly had a lot of dental work done, a bridge and seems to have suffered with her teeth. She did like english biscuits, (cookies) perhaps she had a sweet tooth. I have wondered if she was almost vegetarian, fits with the times as it was becoming popular.

David Newell
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: tian79 on April 08, 2004, 04:05:36 AM
From Anna Virubova's later memoirs

The Empress was a vegetarian, but ate eggs, cheese and butter, sometimes she would drink a glass of wine mixed with water. Usually she drank milk like the children.



Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: pers on April 08, 2004, 07:52:40 AM
Alexandra seems to have followed a somewhat similar diet then to her sister Grand Duchess Elizabeth, as Elizabeth ate dairy products and eggs but no meat.  It must have been VERY hard on them during the fasting periods of the Orthodox Church as we are not to eat any dairy products or eggs, along with the ban on fish, olive oil, wine and meat.  The only exception is feast days (e.g. Palm Sunday) during the fasting periods when fish, wine and olive oil are allowed.  At least in their time fish was eaten on fast days!  Remember that fast days account for more than half of the 365 days per year!

Vermicelli to my understanding is a pasta similar to "angel hair" here in the USA.  E. M. Almedingen mentions in her book that Alexandra was fond of  "kalach" bread.

I read somewhere that she took "cafe au lait" in the morning while still at Tsarskoe Selo.  Alexandra also mentions "coco" = cocoa and "macaroni tart" besides the vermicelli in her 1918 diary.

Penny and Greg,
Don't you have more information on this as the two of you seem to have tons of information besides your published books?

Bob,
That egg drink still puzzles me...  Is it like egg nog?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: BobAtchison on April 08, 2004, 12:41:40 PM
Pers:

I was told all about the egg drink a few years ago and Nick and I just spoke about it.  It was a whipped raw egg drink with vanilla.

That nasty, false "Real Empress" threw lots of us off regarding Alix's eating habits by the mention of bacon.  It didn't jive with what was written elsewhere.

Alix's special diet is not mentioned very often - so I don't think she made a big deal of it.  Also, I don't read she was offered special dishes - except for fasting food.  Lots of people saw Alix eat and few comment.

Sometimes these descriptions of the eating and drinking habits of Nicholas and his wife don't jive with the court records.

Bob
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Katherine Alexandra Marie on April 08, 2004, 01:00:55 PM
Yet some of her photos show what Carrolly Erickson calls a 'matronly' figure. Given what appears to have been HIM's  pronounced depressive tendency, appetite fluctuation and hence weight variation are symptoms of that disorder.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Janet Whitcomb on April 08, 2004, 02:04:34 PM
She does appear somewhat "matronly" in her later years, but I think that's more a result of childbearing and limited physical activity rather than diet. Most slender young women (a fairly comparable example: Grace Kelly) have a tendency to add some extra pounds once they enter middle age.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alex on April 16, 2004, 09:08:17 AM
Ladies, I have it on good authority that the scent once specifically created for the last Empress of Russia is still readily available today.  It's called in Russian, Krasnaya Moskva which means Red Moscow.  The perfume was recreated in the Soviet area but the scents originality was kept until recently a secret.  I suggest you buy the concentrated form.

If you chose to lay a flower on what is arguably Empress Alexandra's resting place in the St Peter & Paul's fortress in St Petersburg, be sure to place a lilac on her tomb.  This greatly misunderstood woman was not only very fond of the flower but also adored its fragrance and colour.  In Russian, a lilac is called, "ciren".
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: HRHLaurie1894 on April 19, 2004, 05:41:45 PM
That egg drink sounds absolutely awful - a raw egg - I am surprised she didn't get samonella!!!   I agree - there would not be too many takers for that cookbook!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: JM on April 19, 2004, 06:19:45 PM
My Grandfather ate a raw egg every day for breakfeast before he retired. It does sound rather nasty but I don't think it's bad for you. Perhaps it's an acquired taste ;).
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarai on April 20, 2004, 12:33:02 PM
I have read varying reports as to which were her favourite flowers, however I had not read about the cowslips before. Some say that she preferred lilies of the valley, a preference which served as the inspiration for the Faberge Lilies of the Valley egg. I have also read that she adored lilacs, both for their scent and their lovely colour, which was her favourite. She certainly loved fragrant flowers in any case, and her rooms must have always smelled wonderful.

As an aside, I recall reading that her daughter Maria particularly liked sweetpeas.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarai on April 22, 2004, 03:14:30 PM
This "hope chest" is mentioned in the Pallisander Room article on the AP main page. It states:

"Alexandra kept a memory chest filled with her personal treasures in the right corner of this room by the doorway to the corridor. In it she kept her children's baby clothes - as well as her own tiny infant things from Darmstadt - and mementos from Grandmother Victoria. Many of these are now at Pavlovsk. Here she stored the letters she wrote to the Queen which were returned to her by Edward VII on the death of Victoria in 1901. Alongside them were her diaries and the love letters Nicholas had written her during their courtship."

I too am interested in knowing the fate of these precious items. I am glad to know that some of them are preserved at Pavlovsk, but I wonder which ones (i.e. letters, baby clothes) and which ones disappeared or were destroyed before they could be saved?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: nerdycool on April 27, 2004, 02:43:10 PM
It was just her personal preference, I guess. I love Tchaikovsky, and am appalled by someone not liking his music. But then I remember that there are some kinds of classical music that I do not like... like opera, and really modern-sounding stuff, so I cannot hold it against her if she doesn't like some music.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Forum Admin on April 27, 2004, 02:48:35 PM
According to Anya Viroubova, the Empress took singing lessons from "Professor Iretzka who taught at the Conservatory" and that her voice was deep, and she sang well.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarai on April 27, 2004, 03:23:10 PM
Since the topic of music and Alix's singing has been revived again, it reminds me of a thread that I started back in March under the Imperial Family subject heading, entitled "Alexandra's singing." It talks about Nicholas's strange aversion to hearing his wife sing, despite the opinion of her contemporaries that she had a lovely singing voice. Perhaps someone now can reply to the questions in my post; just search for it.

PS - Don't forget those older posts! :) I suspect most people may just look at the newer posts, but there are plenty of interesting older threads on here that have gone unanswered and perhaps new members may have information to contribute to them that wasn't available when the topic was first posted.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Janet Whitcomb on April 27, 2004, 04:36:26 PM
Re: Swan Lake, maybe she simply didn't like the presentation? Or had a rotten headache that day?!

Re: Nicholas not liking to hear her sing . . . well, we all have our personal aversions, don't we?!  

Re: Not forgetting older posts . . . excellent suggestion, Sarai!

Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: HRHLaurie1894 on April 27, 2004, 05:08:11 PM
Maybe it was that performance of "Swan Lake" that she hated - perhaps the orchestra was not very good.  I thought N & A went to the opening of the "Nutcracker" in 1894??  I have not read that she disliked it.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: NAAOTMA on April 28, 2004, 12:11:09 AM
Does anyone know if Alix or Nicholas liked the opera "The Pearlfishers"? When I heard it I thought they would like at least the famous bit sung by the baritone male lead-just a guess on my part. Melissa K.

P.S. Perhaps Nicholas only liked it if she sang just for him. Sometimes husbands are like that!

P.S. So true about older posts-something I posted as a question in early March was wonderfully answered just last week.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Ikea von Smorgasbord on April 28, 2004, 10:07:47 AM
What about egg-nog? It has raw eggs, or am I totally wrong here...? I also think that there are cocktails or drinks that are based on raw eggs.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: borgia on April 30, 2004, 11:12:17 PM
In the film,NICHOLAS & ALEXANDRA,near its end,the couple are speaking of their life together.Nicholas tells Alix that hes enjoyed her talent for piano,but,"Ive Never  Thought Of Your  Singing Voice"
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Elizabeth Foley on May 04, 2004, 12:06:01 PM
when I was  a little girl I remember my Mother always giving me a drink of hot milk, sugar and a beaten-up egg in, I cant remember what the taste was like, but I must have liked it.   Elizabeth
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarai on May 27, 2004, 03:25:50 PM
With regards to favourite perfumes, I always thought it charming that OTMA's favourites were all inspired by different flowers. Olga's was Rose Thé, Tatiana's was Jasmin de Corse, Maria's was Lilas, and Anastasia's was Violette - rose, jasmine, lilac, and violet, how lovely! These were all Coty perfumes. Coty made a fragrance called La Rose Jacqueminot which first appeared in 1904. I'm not sure if this was the same as Olga's Rose Thé. I have seen a reference to Rose Thé first appearing in 1935, but of course that would be wrong, as it would have been past Olga's time. Tatiana's favourite first appeared in 1906. With regards to Maria's favourite, Coty made two fragrances under the Lilas name in the early 1900's - Lilas Blanc in 1910 and Lilas Pourpre in 1914, the former probably being the one in question since it is the earlier one. Likewise, they made two Violettes, La Violette Pourpre in 1906 and La Violette Ambrée in 1914, and, likewise, I suspect Anastasia's favourite was the former.

In The Real Tsarista, Lili Dehn mentions that Alexandra preferred Atkinson's White Rose, calling it "clean" and "infinitely sweet." However, Floris has a White Rose fragrance which it claims was Alexandra's favourite, and given this particular perfume's history, I believe that to be the correct one. I thought that perhaps Floris acquired Atkinson's White Rose, but then realized that Floris's version had been around since 1800, so Lili must have been confused with this Atkinson. Also, she mentioned that Alix's favourite eau-de-toilette was Verveine, which was by Guerlain. I believe this was the one which first appeared in 1890 called Eau de Verveine.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarai on May 27, 2004, 03:32:42 PM
With regards to Alix's favourite flowers, I found this interesting passage in Lili Dehn's The Real Tsarista: "Apropos of her fondness for lilac and lilies of the valley, I may mention that the Empress loved all flowers, her especial favourites being lilies, magnolias, wistaria, rhododendrons, freesias and violets."
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sunny on May 28, 2004, 07:33:27 AM
What a lovely thread...have read that she also liked hydrangeas.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: pers on May 28, 2004, 08:20:18 AM
Penny and Greg,
Do you have more details on this topic since you have done so much research?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: BobAtchison on May 28, 2004, 09:01:39 AM
What Elizabeth describes is it - a morning eggnog -ike drink with sugar and eggs.

Bob
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Greg_King on May 28, 2004, 09:23:55 AM
Alexandra's diary that we have is for 1917, not 1916, but it records absolutely nothing about meals except for some comments on food in Tobolsk.

Voikov talks about her morning "protein" drink, as he calls it; from everything I can gather, it sound almost identical to the family recipe we have for home-made ice ceam-eggs, sugar, milk, though then condensed milk and vanilla.  Still, I can drink glasses of the stuff before it makes its way into the freezer (raw eggs and all) as it's so good, so I don't imagine that what Alix drank was in any way too very different or difficult to down.

Greg King
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarai on May 28, 2004, 02:08:48 PM
I've read that, at least up to the early years of his reign, Nicholas often went to concerts, operas, and ballets several times a week. So I imagine that Alix would have gone as well. Nicholas's favourite ballet was The Hunchback Horse, which is based on a Russian fairy tale. You can read the story that this ballet is based on here: http://www.uniqueboxshop.com/ivandhumpon.html
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sunny on May 30, 2004, 08:58:04 AM
After trying to find out if Atkinson still made White Rose, perhaps as is sometimes done, under a "modern" name :-( this thread has made my day :-) Many thanks for the information on Floris.

Sunny
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Guinastasia on May 30, 2004, 02:51:24 PM
A professor of mine from Russia mentioned a drink like that-raw egg with sugar.  He called it "mogul" or something like that.  (Sounds like "Muggle!")

Since Alix suffered from a lot of stress and anxiety (and probably depression related to her situation with Alexei), I would imagine she would eat very little.  Trust me-nothing spoils one's appetite like depression.  

I also read that Nicholas had the children eat caviar toast for breakfast every morning, and that their cook used to fix it with slices of bananas.  True?

And what about Noodles Romanov?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sunny on May 30, 2004, 03:24:11 PM
Melissa,
 
What a charming image...scent has such a lovely capacity to connect you to people, places, times etc.
Many, many thanks for the information.  
I grow roses, and The Alexandra Rose is one of my favorites. David Austin introduced it about 1992, and it reminds me of Alexandra Feodorovna. Through the course of the day it's petals change from blush to almost white,
while maintaining a center that looks like a flame.
Sunny

Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Forum Admin on May 30, 2004, 05:19:22 PM
We probably would put in an Alexandra rose too, but sadly Texas summers seem to be just too hot for David Austin roses.... :'(
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Forum Admin on May 30, 2004, 05:35:53 PM
Melissa,
You are obviously a fan of Jane Austen!  :P Sadly, our property here has no place with afternoon shade, so the less heat tolerant varieties just fry in summer.
Good luck with your "Alexandra". Send us pictures when it blooms!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sunny on May 30, 2004, 07:25:04 PM
Rob, Alexandra does well from zones 5 to 9. I'm not sure but I think Texas is zones 7 through 9.
Melissa, Alexandra can be hard to obtain. I had to order her one year, for the next years delivery. Check your source for this beauty, might be that for January, she is best ordered now. Aside from being so lovely, she is disease resistant, and easy to care for, giving you loads, and loads of blossoms.

Sunny
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: masha on May 30, 2004, 10:57:08 PM
I recall reading somewhere that the smell of food from the Tsarskoy Tselo kitchens made her sick when passed by her window - so much so that an underground tunnel was built connecting the kitchens to the palace. Not sure if this was during her child bearing years or after, though.

Masha
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: David_Newell on May 31, 2004, 06:17:09 AM
Egg filp I know and was given it by my relatives the Russell sisters (two aged spinsters who's fiances were killed in the Great War and never married). It was lovely.  Now strawberries, before the advent of the huge supermarket chains when we lived by the seasons, strawberry time was adelight and a great treat. I can still rememeber going to the Russell's to pick the strawberries from the kitchen garden. It was idyllic, picking the strawberries and then waiting for tea when they would be served with thick pouring cream, it was all part of the long sunny summer days.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Merrique on May 31, 2004, 08:00:40 AM
I am wanting to start a flower garden and the Alexandra rose sounds like a lovely addition.I've never had much luck grown plant in the past but it seems my green thumb has finally started working.My youngest daughter gave me a beautiful plant for mothers day and I'm pround to say i haven't killed it yet. ;D
It's doing quite well so I think I try growning some other things and this rose is just too lovely.I'll have to see if I can find it.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Louise on May 31, 2004, 10:28:51 AM
Thanks for the info on the Alexandra rose. I'll have to check into that and see if it's in Canada. You may want to look out for the Anastasia rose. I have seen it a few times in Calgary, but I have not picked it up--yet. :)

Louise
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Lisa Marie on June 01, 2004, 12:17:24 PM
Hello, I'm new here and I'm so grateful to have found this discussion forum and to find so many like-minded (and differently minded) individuals who all love the Romanovs.

I was wondering if one could actually obtain any of the perfumes that the Tsarina and her daughters used. Any links?

Thanks!
Lisa Marie
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarai on June 01, 2004, 12:50:01 PM
Quote
I was wondering if one could actually obtain any of the perfumes that the Tsarina and her daughters used. Any links?

Dear Lisa Marie,
Welcome to the forum! As you can read from the very first post in this thread, Alexandra's favourite perfume, White Rose,


I doubt that any of the Grand Duchesses' favourite perfumes, which I mentioned above, are still available anywhere, but at least you can get the Tsarina's.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Greg_King on June 01, 2004, 11:33:37 PM
In one of the early issues of "Atlantis" one writer did a huge amount of research on the issue of perfumes used by the Imperial Family-I can't recall details unfortunately, but I think she even contacted all of the suppliers for information and was able to find out more information than I'd seen before.  She collects old perfume bottles, which is what inspired her to research the subject.  Maybe Penny can post a short paraphrase of some of what she found, if the issue is still in the computer and not lost.

Greg King
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Penny_Wilson on June 02, 2004, 11:06:37 AM
Quote
In one of the early issues of "Atlantis" one writer did a huge amount of research on the issue of perfumes used by the Imperial Family-I can't recall details unfortunately, but I think she even contacted all of the suppliers for information and was able to find out more information than I'd seen before.  She collects old perfume bottles, which is what inspired her to research the subject.  Maybe Penny can post a short paraphrase of some of what she found, if the issue is still in the computer and not lost.


I remember the article -- it was by DeeAnn Hoff.  It was a very cool article, tracing the history of all the "Imperial scents," and containing photographs of the bottles.  I particularly remember "Nord," which came in a glacier-shaped bottle with a polar bear.

Unfortunately, the article must have appeared in the first volume of Atlantis, which is not yet on my computer.  When we got a new computer/printer system, all our Atlantis issues to that point had to be upgraded to fit the new system.  So I'm slowly (very slowly!) working backwards through the issues, and I have just loaded volume two, issues 1-4, onto my computer for upgrading.  But I'll root around and see what I can find, though it may take some time.

For those of you scent-hounds who live in the Pacific Northwest, DeeAnn found a perfumerie in Portland that re-creates "ancient" scents, including the Imperial ones.  I can't remember the name of the shop, but there can't be all that many perfumeries in Portland!

Penny
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarai on June 02, 2004, 11:55:56 AM
Quote
For those of you scent-hounds who live in the Pacific Northwest, DeeAnn found a perfumerie in Portland that re-creates "ancient" scents, including the Imperial ones.  I can't remember the name of the shop, but there can't be all that many perfumeries in Portland!


Penny,
I suspect the shop you are referring to is called "The Perfume House." It is located in Portland and bills itself as "the world's largest collection of real fragrances." On their website, they say that they have rare and collectable perfumes, including a private reserve of some the rarest fragrances anywhere. I didn't find anything on the website with regards to Imperial fragrances, but I'm sure if one makes an inquiry they may be able to help, as they seem very knowledgeable. Here is the link: http://www.theperfumehouse.com
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Douglas on June 02, 2004, 12:04:31 PM
Just for our Imperial records,  a perfume called White Rose is not really available from FLORIS of London, Beverly Hills, etc.

FLORIS stopped making White Rose perfume in 1940.

But they do offer  White Rose - Eaude Toilette Spray, 3.4 oz. for $65.00

Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: rskkiya on June 15, 2004, 09:09:20 PM
This question may be off topic, but I was curious about this and I hope all Alix fans can help me...

All the descriptions that I have read about Alix mention her blond hair...yet the photos that I have seen show a woman with lots of rich dark brown or chestnut hair? Did "blond" have a different, more "victorian" definition or did the photos degenerate?
Sorry if this is too silly a question...
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Olga on June 16, 2004, 03:53:12 AM
People who have light coloured hair when they are young sometimes find that their hair gets darker as they get older. When I was young my hair was a reddish brown but now it's a darkish brown.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: rskkiya on June 16, 2004, 09:17:09 AM
Thanks for the clarification.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Ilana on June 16, 2004, 12:00:28 PM
Okay, I guess we can ignore that remark.

About hair color... all the pics I've seen of Alix do not show her as a blond.  The only really blond looking girl of the 4 sisters is Victoria.  Her hair shows up the lightest in pics.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarai on June 16, 2004, 06:45:16 PM
I have seen some pictures of Alix that show her as what I would consider to be a blonde, although I agree that her hair seemed mostly dark as an adult. The pictures of her as a blonde are mostly from her childhood. For instance, in Love, Power, & Tragedy, there are a couple of pictures where she looks about age 12 where she appears blondish to me, one on pg. 58 and another on pg. 62.

There is also this family photo with Queen Victoria taken when she was 7 years old where she also looks rather blonde:
http://www.picrare.com/Royalty_Digest/Volume07/vol07no002iss0074front.htm

Finally, one of the few adult pictures of her where she looks quite blonde can be found in Love, Power, & Tragedy on pg. 207.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: rskkiya on June 16, 2004, 07:14:26 PM
Sarai ,
Thanks for recommending those books. I'm off to my local lending library to fetch them now!

Dazvidanya !
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarai on June 17, 2004, 07:42:22 AM
Quote
Sarai ,
Thanks for recommending those books. I'm off to my local lending library to fetch them now!


The book's complete title is actually The Romanovs: Love, Power, and Tragedy published by Leppi Publications, ISBN #095216440-1. Hope that helps you find it. It really is one of the best Romanov picture books out there!

Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: grandduchessella on June 29, 2004, 10:58:29 AM
I remember in Nicholas & Alexandra by the Massies that it was considered red-gold and some photos seem to bear this out (even in black and white). It may have darkened as she got older or just looked that way in the photos, plus I'm sure she could've been getting some grey in there. Must paintings of her depict reddish or reddish-gold hair. And if it's not reddish-gold don't tell me--ever since I read N&A that was the color hair I wanted!  :D
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: nerdycool on June 29, 2004, 04:36:48 PM
Hormones may have something to do with it too, if indeed her hair became darker after she had Olga. My sister-in-law had blonde hair before she had my nephew, but while she was pregnant, her hair gradually darkened into a light to medium brown. But then again, she's the only one I know of whose hair changed during pregnancy. Just a thought.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Dasha on June 29, 2004, 10:11:10 PM
In Life And Death Of Nikolai II by Edward Rodzinskii, Alicky's hair is described as red with golden highlights.  Her photographs certainly say otherwise.  However, since they are black and white, it is very hard to tell.  It was stated that her hair got tints of grey after Alexei's illness in Spala in 1912.  I hope that this is helpfull.  I'm sorry for not being able to give more info.

Dasha
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: BattleAngel on July 20, 2004, 04:03:14 PM
Now this is making me want to start a yearly Imperial Ball where all the ladies can wear their perfume and we can fill the ballroom with Alexandra Roses.
Now, wherever can I find a cut-rate tiara??? ???
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Lisa on August 05, 2004, 07:59:28 AM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v393/lyzotchka/BRACELETS.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Martyn on August 05, 2004, 08:31:48 AM
The wearing of several bracelets on one wrist was very fashionable at the end of the 19th century.
Alix was not alone in following this fashion as there are many photos of her aunt Alix of Wales similarly bedecked.  The latter was possessed of a singular snake bracelet that wound around her arm; one of her relatives ( I forget which) described the slightly frightening fascination of this particular jewel.
Alix and her daughters, I believe, wore bracelets that they could not remove, as when their valuables were listed and secured by Yurovsky in the Ipatiev house, they retained these only.  Alix had been given hers by her uncle Leopold in Darmstadt many years earlier and I think that they held special sentimental significance for her.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Forum Admin on August 05, 2004, 09:27:41 AM
The plain solid gold bracelet you can see in most of the pictures is the one from her Uncle Leopold. It had no clasp, and she wore it constantly to the point where she could not take it off anymore.  The Bolsheviks had to cut it off her wrist.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: DOMOVOII on August 05, 2004, 11:53:30 AM
AF's taste in many things has been seen as questionable. Soon after her accesion, members of court remarked on the number of jewels she wore, (most of them!!) as un gout parvenu ( in the taste of an upstart!).

Many people criticised the railings she had made around the Winter Palace, the IF suites were furnished in a middle class english fashion, her taste of "art", interiors etc-- wholly personal, was seen as pedestrian.

She was an Empress, that didn't neccessarily mean she had impeccable taste, unfortunate for AF really, succeeding an Empress famed for her flair and style.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Antonio_P.Caballer on August 05, 2004, 12:38:48 PM
The comment about the "gout de parvenu" comes from Maria Pavlovna. Well, i love her palace on the Neva, but i´ve always thought it has a "new rich" look ( or "parvenu" look, as she would say).

Also that comment she did concerning Alexandra´s using the state jewels all at the same time. In fact, the Empress cared little for those heavy jewels, using them only when it was required. On the contrary, the always reported as wonderfully elegant Empress Maria, had a quite childish attitude trying to keep those jewels at any cost even when she ought, by law, to hand them over to the reigning Empress.

Anything Alexandra did or did not was criticized. About interior decoration, well, the contemporary values on a work of art are very superfluos and in Petersburg it rested too much on what was or was not "in vogue". Many aristocrats said the Maple room was awful, and the art nouveau was not considered of any value until quite recently (especially so in Russia).

Grand duke Alexander Mijailovich private rooms, as well as those of his family in Ai- Todor were all decorated in the same english style, not to say the private rooms of Felix and Irina in the Koreiz palace, all too in english style. And those, i must say, far less beautiful and luxurios than Alexandra´s rooms.  

Were they criticized?



Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: DOMOVOII on August 05, 2004, 02:27:49 PM
It's alway refreshing to hear something new, I was unaware of the creditation for the quote, might have known GDss MP would be in there, forthright and to the point!

Not that I disagree with anything but I'd like to see what other opinions are on a couple of points, MF's reluctance to part with her jewels.... Wasn't that more a symbol of her intent to maintain her figure in society, rather than childishness.

As for opinions on contemporary taste, they can be seen as fatuous, but they also offer an insight into the character of the Empress, inasmuch as decorating her life with the dissatisfaction she felt society and the Beau Monde with chintzes and Gillows furniture.
Perhaps it is emblematic of her mothering nature, ostensibly creating a comfortable nest for her family, but it also shows the distance she created between the Imperial Family and the rest of society. A gap that widened too far IMHO.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Antonio_P.Caballer on August 05, 2004, 02:41:47 PM
Quote
Not that I disagree with anything but I'd like to see what other opinions are on a couple of points, MF's reluctance to part with her jewels.... Wasn't that more a symbol of her intent to maintain her figure in society, rather than childishness..


I totally agree with you Domovoi, it was an intent to mantain her status. However i see childishness on that intent. Just think how quick she was in giving Alexandra the jewels when the latter got tired and said she did not care at all for the jewels and would not ever wear them in the future. Fearing the scandal it would cause Maria handed them over at once...
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Janet_W. on August 05, 2004, 02:42:32 PM
After awhile, a situation such as Alexandra's simply becomes no-win--a "darned if you do, darned if you don't." (I am censoring those verbs before the website does!)  :D

Everyone deserves a chance to make their own sanctuary. Alexandra made unfortunate blunders in a number of areas, but she deserved to be given a break re: the decoration of her own living quarters, for God's sake.

And although it was definitely a shock for Marie to have lost her husband at such a relatively young age, she should have had the personal grace to have ceded the jewelry to Alexandra, rather than providing further fuel for St. P gossips.   >:(

As I've mentioned before, Nicholas had his hands full just trying to play referee between his mother and his wife.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Louise on August 05, 2004, 03:58:39 PM
With regard to the braclets, it just goes to show that the Tsarina probably enjoyed fads that were popular back then. It almost like the cloth braclets the kids wear today, that Arvil Lavgine has made popular.

I think its rather sentimental that she would keep the braclet her uncle gave her. As for her tastes, to each their own. I know my taste in how I decorate my house is alot different that my sister's or how my mother had our childhood home. Times change, fashion changes, and one should have their home to suit their own tastes. The Tsarina had her personal space the way she and her husband liked it.

Janet, your absolutely right when you say that Alexandra was darned if she did and darned if she didn't. As much I as adore the Dowager Empress, I don't think there was much Alexandra could have done to please her.

The court took direction from the Dowager Empress and  how she treated and perceived the young bride, was watched and acted on by the rest of the court.

Is the ring she is wearing her wedding and engagement ring?

Louise
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sunny on August 05, 2004, 06:33:57 PM
Antonio and Janet, beautifully stated...Since when is the wearing of bracelets "tasteless"  :) Can be interesting, and a statement of personal style filled with meaning. Beautiful chintz is, well,  beautiful.

Sunny
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Louise on August 05, 2004, 06:37:52 PM
Sunny, I think Alexandra got a bad rap from people. I admire the way she dressed, how she looked and I like the braclets. The problem with society is that the Empress didn't dress to impress them, she dress to what was comfortable and looked good on her. More power to her.

Louise
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Martyn on August 06, 2004, 03:46:16 AM
To go back to the original point, I do think that Alix had a complicated atitude to jewellery.
I think that she was very personally attached to some pieces, particularly bracelets, rings and her pearls - this attitude may have come down to her via her mother form Queen Victoria, who attached huge importance to portrait bracelets, jewels containing hair etc, some of which had little intrinsic monetary value but enormous sentimental importance.  Queen Victoria was actually buried with some of these jewels....
I'm sure that other princesses kept jewel books in which they listed gifts and acquisitions, but I also think that this had special meaning for Alix; she kept a record of these jewels and also kept a record of when she passed them on to her daughters.
With regard to the State jewels, Alix rightly saw them as the necessary props to being Empress; I'm pretty sure that she preferred smaller and lighter parures but recognised her need to wear these jewels as part of the essential panoply of an Empress.
Dagmar probably felt the same and saw the jewels, which she truly loved for their beauty, history and value, as her right.  After all, thanks to Tsar Paul, the Russian court laboured with the anomaly that the Dowager Empress took precedence over the Empress; the battle over the State jewels could have been an element of this.
It has to be said that Dagmar caused problems in England after the death of Edward VII, as she tried to push Alexandra into a similar situation with regard to precedence (with no success).
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: KatieAnn on August 10, 2004, 10:11:28 AM
I've read loads about Alexandra being a skilled needlewoman, but has anyone seen anything she ever stitched?  I also know that the Grand Duchesses sewed as well and as I'm an avid cross stitch/embroiderer I'd love to see pictures of any items they completed that I could maybe attempt to copy.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Forum Admin on August 10, 2004, 10:32:13 AM
This pillow was sold at Sotheby's in April 2001, it is believed to have been done by Alexandra herself, either in whole or in part.  It is the only needlework I have seen that even remotely was probably done by her, with any certainty.
(http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/forumimages/alixpillow.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Ammie on August 10, 2004, 02:44:03 PM
Hi Katieann, I too would love to see some of Alexandra & the girls handiwork.  I think I read on AP that Alexandra also taught Alexei how to knit.  Which is pretty neat. Being an avid crocheter I would love to see their work.

Ammie
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Merrique on August 10, 2004, 08:35:40 PM
WOW!I am very impressed.I knew Alix was a very experienced needlewoman but I had no idea she made such beautiful things.I too would love to see some more of her work. ::)
I think I read somewhere that Alix used to make things like this and give them as gifts to family and such but they didn't appreciate them,they liked things that were more expensive instead.If this is true it's rather sad.If Alix had given something like this pillow to me I would have felt very honored that she took the time to make something for me.It's a shame they didn't feel the smae way. :(
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Thomas_A. on August 11, 2004, 05:28:36 AM
In the book "Alix an Gretchen" is a picture showing two little frocks with embroidery.
The Tsarina had made them especially for her friend Margarethe von Fabrice/Pfuhlstein's children Alexander (her Godson) and Marie Luise.
The family still keeps them!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: KatieAnn on August 11, 2004, 05:39:54 AM
Thanks to everyone.  I've been stitching for a while, but I don't think I've reached the skill level where I could attempt Alix's cushion.  It's stunning and so intricate.  As I said in another thread I was following, I think I'll have to give up work and spend my days stitching and reading Royal biographies!  My sewing's an absorbing hobby and a great de-stresser.  I spend an hour or so stitching when I get home from work and I can feel myself unwinding and calming down.  Alix loved to stitch whilst on board the Standart and while I can't stretch to a luxury yacht, it's a great thing to do if your flying.  I've even got a special thread cutter now so that I can cut threads without using scissors!  Again, thanks everyone for your comments - and keep the photos coming if you find any.  Kathleen
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: BattleAngel on August 11, 2004, 09:41:40 AM
What a talented lady.
Alix grows more and more amazing to me every day.

Mary
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alexa on August 11, 2004, 09:58:48 AM
Quote
I wanted to know something in addition to Alix hairstyle.

Before her marriage she wore her fringe combed into the forehead.
But soon afterwards she had a new coiffure: No fringe at all but some little curls on either side of the temples. It appears in the photos shortly after Alix became Alexandra.

Was this her OWN will or was her old style considered "undeserving" for an Empress and had to be changed in consequence?


Just my personal opinion on this one, but I think the hairstyle changed just because she was starting a new life, so why not have a new look?  Lots of people do it.  Or maybe she was just tired of the fringe and decided on a slightly new look?  I know when I start a new job, I love getting a new hairstyle, even it's it's a sublte change -- new job, new life, new look.

Alexa
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Lisa on August 11, 2004, 10:28:14 AM
Alix's airstyle:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v393/lyzotchka/airstyle.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarai on August 11, 2004, 10:48:26 AM
I have seen pictures of her wearing her hair in the style of the first picture in the middle row, with the hair parted in the middle and drawn into two "buns" on either side. I find this a rather curious style, and personally I like it the least of all her hairstyles. I don't think she wore it very often like this, though.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Lisa on August 11, 2004, 10:54:44 AM
Quote
I have seen pictures of her wearing her hair in the style of the first picture in the middle row, with the hair parted in the middle and drawn into two "buns" on either side. I find this a rather curious style, and personally I like it the least of all her hairstyles. I don't think she wore it very often like this, though.


:PI think the same! :P But Alix wore this airstyle between (about) 1910-1913... :-X :-/
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: chris on August 11, 2004, 11:58:23 AM
I read that Alix wanted to start a sewing circle, however, the ladies scoffed at her,  they thought it was beneath them.  I suppose these ladies were more interested in gossip and whatever the new gadgets of the time was, and didn't feel like doing something considered old ladyish.  I think most women learned to do this type of handiwork, however, the fancy society ones didn't bother with it, they had their embrioderers to do it for them or they went to a store to buy something readymade.  It is similar to today.  I have a grandmother who can create beautiful things, all kinds of tapestries, crochets, etc.  It is a lost art.  I can't even hold a crochet hook.  Alix didn't like her girls to be idle, and what better way to have them stay busy than to do needlework.  She was not interested in "this and that party," and quiet family time was spent creating things.  It's no surprise Alexis picked up on it, with all these women in the house, what's a boy to do?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Annie on August 11, 2004, 12:05:26 PM
On the color: same thing you all said, red with golden highlights, probably got darker auburn as she got older.

on the 'fringe'- I remember reading in the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder that bangs became a fad in the 1880's. The mothers were not happy with the girls cutting bangs into their hair, but it was the fashion. So since Alix was growing up and into her teenage years in the 1880's, she had the 'look' of the day, which was bangs. She wore these into the 1890's, and perhaps later grew them out as they went out of style, or she wanted to look older.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: KatieAnn on August 12, 2004, 06:18:40 AM
Chris - a tiny bit of advice if I may!  Go see your Grandmother and ask her to show you how to crochet, stitch, knit, embroider or whatever she can.  Believe me you will bless her for it.  My Grandmother, now sadly deceased, taught all of us (3 girls and 1 boy) how to knit and sew.  I am USELESS with a sewing machine (my elder sister is brilliant), but I do embroider and cross stitch well.  My brother is a lovely knitter (though he doesn't do it very often) and my younger sister can crochet practically anything from a coffee coaster to a dress!  All this is thanks to Granny's influence.  Like Alix, she disliked seeing anyone with idle hands and taught us all.  And, as for the Ladies who wouldn't join the sewing circle Alix wanted to start, maybe those poor unfortunates didn't know how to sew.  Or, more likely, they were just too darned lazy. Gossip to them was life blood - Alix wasn't interested and would probably have been quite shocked at the shennanigans of St. Petersburg society.

So, go on, give yourself an absorbing hobby - I promise you, you'll get hooked!!  Best wishes - Kathleen
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sunny on August 12, 2004, 07:13:51 AM
katieann, what wonderful advice. Sad that the many forms of needlework are in decline. My mother was taught to knit at the age of 5, as were many young people at the time (England in the 1930's). When my sons attended a Waldorf school, part of the curriculum was knitting, and crocheting useful items. They even made their own needles. Re: males and knitting, Richard Rutt, the former Bishop of Leicester wrote a wonderful book on the history of knitting, and does beautiful work himself, and in the "The knitters of the Dales" , there is quite a lot about men and knitting...Guess you can tell this is a favorite subject  :)
The rhythms created in the repetitions of the needle ( or needles) is soothing, and I'm not surprised that AF always had such work close at hand.



Sunny
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Ammie on August 12, 2004, 09:25:40 AM
Actually knitting is making a big comeback!  A lot of celebrities knit.  I taught myself to crochet a few years back & would love to learn to cross stitch.  Speaking of males & needlepoint Rosie Greer (football player) does needlepoint and has had a book out about it.   ;)

Ammie
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sunny on August 12, 2004, 10:14:56 AM
Ammie, do you remember when Rosie, and Artie Johnson were, at the same time, making quite a "splash" with their needlepoint?  :)

Sunny
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Joanna on August 12, 2004, 02:37:29 PM
Further to Alex's post of the Empress' Bouquet, there is an interesting short history of the perfumery industry in Russia of the last 160 years. A. Rallet & Co. had the title Purveyor of the Imperial Court. After the revolution Ernest Beaux created Chanel No. 5! It would be very interesting to know if the palace records still exist in their archives.



Joanna
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sunny on August 12, 2004, 03:03:21 PM
Joanna and Alex,  Krasnaya Moskva, is an unusual scent.
I don't find it particularly floral (which is what I expected). Tried to find out if the formula is the original, but have not received an answer. Because of it's price and scent, I tend to think it is not the original.

Sunny
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Joanna on August 12, 2004, 03:14:03 PM
Hi Sunny,

Are you in contact with the former A. Rallet & Co.? Do you have a name and web site for it today as all I see in the article is Svoboda factory? I would be very interested in their archives c1910's!

Many thanks
Joanna
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sunny on August 12, 2004, 03:26:22 PM
Hi Joanna,  

The person who I obtained the scent from is Russian, and has business contacts in the world of Russian scent etc.  I've yet to hear anything back from them. Sorry not to be more helpful.

Sunny
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: pushkina on August 12, 2004, 05:58:19 PM
my grandmother also insisted i learn to sew by hand, knit and embroider. in fact, i remember the summer i first read N&A, she and i had a terrible row as she wanted me to finish embroidering a quilt with her and i just wanted to be left alone to read and dream of petersburg!  but reading that they girls too had to do handiwork made me feel (for a minute) that i was being raised properly, as a princess.

i am SURE that my daughter will not be able to be conivnced.  she'll probably be too modern.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: pushkina on August 12, 2004, 06:02:58 PM
a question for the FA---

how much did the pillow go for on auction?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Antonio_P.Caballer on August 12, 2004, 06:53:53 PM
Quote
This pillow was sold at Sotheby's in April 2001, it is believed to have been done by Alexandra herself, either in whole or in part.  It is the only needlework I have seen that even remotely was probably done by her, with any certainty.
(http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/forumimages/alixpillow.jpg)


I´ve seen this pillow for sale in a page named romanovrussia.com or something similar. There was a link to that page in Paul Girbert´s royalty books. The page is full of Romanov memorabilia for sale. They also have a wonderful photo of Alexey that was sold at ebay. I suppose they won it and now are sending it for several hundreds dollars more. The pillow is really wonderful.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: livadia on August 12, 2004, 07:49:30 PM
This is kind of a late aside on an aside (LOL), but...

<< Coty made a fragrance called La Rose Jacqueminot which first appeared in 1904. I'm not sure if this was the same as Olga's Rose Thé. I have seen a reference to Rose Thé first appearing in 1935, but of course that would be wrong, as it would have been past Olga's time. >>

I was surprised to see a reference to Jacqueminot roses.  I guess they're one of those oldskool thornless varieties that were big at the turn of the century, but now...you can't find them anywhere.  It's Alpha Omicron Pi's official flower (my sorority, founded the year Tatiana Nikolaievna was born), so it would thrill the crud out of me if  Olga or any of the girls actually used a Jaqueminot-inspired scent.  
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: pushkina on August 12, 2004, 10:37:09 PM
a couple of things:

eau de toilette has more alcohol in it (but not as much as cologne) so that it is more stable. perfume has the highest amounts of elements of scent (15 to 50% worth). next comes eau de parfum (7-15% worth) then eau de toilette (1-7%). originally, eau de T was a morning splash to help one wake up. i find that i use e de t daily with sometimes a drop of P in a layering to make it all last longer.

my grandmother used to use white rose. she had apre-war stash.  i had no idea that it was alix's scent.

and about krasnaya moskva being a copy of alix's scent; i had an old beau who brought me some (during soviet times) and it smelled like sewer water!  based on that, i find it hard to fathom that the two are related.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Antonio_P.Caballer on August 13, 2004, 02:27:38 AM
This is the link for the page i said.

http://www.russian-antique.com/Romanov-Coronation/107/Russian-ALEXANDRA-FEODOROVNA-s-own-pillow.html

The pillow has been sold. It cost 6500 $.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: KatieAnn on August 13, 2004, 03:46:28 AM
Cross stitch is SO simple to do it's unreal!  If you can count, you can sew.  Embroidery is a little more time consuming I find as the stitches are more intricate.  The pillow that Alix embroidered is a stunner and I'd love to do something like that, but I'm not nearly talented enough.  However, I'll keep the photo to remind me of what CAN be achieved with time and patience.

Sunny - my Grandmother was born on exactly the same day as Grand Duchess Marie and although she died 20 years ago we all still remember her fondly.  As well as teaching us all sewing skills, she taught us how to cook too.  I can still remember the smells emanating from her kitchen; or the sound her knitting needles made - so evocative at times it's heart stopping.  My Mum still has the shawl Granny knitted for my elder sister's christening in 1955 (and used for all of us and and our children too.)  It's single ply Shetland wool that's as fine as a hairnet, cream in colour and completely circular.  A real family heirloom.  We also still have the christening gown she made and embroidered too.  Maybe it's time to resurrect these skills in schools?  Even cooking in school is dying out - at least in the UK where I live!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sunny on August 13, 2004, 06:15:16 AM
Pushkina,  "it smelled like sewer water!" lol !
I get the sense that it is entirely a product of synthetics.
Whatever the "Empress's Bouquet" originally smelled like, can't imagine it was like the present version. After wearing it for an hour, there are no floral notes, only a scent like dark honey.....honey that has gone off.

Perhaps that is why my request for information on it, has gone unanswered.  :)

Sunny
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sunny on August 13, 2004, 08:10:23 AM
Katieann, thanks for sharing the lovely memories of your grandmother. Anymore, many children sit back and expect to be entertained. If handwork became a part of school curriculums (especially for the very young) imo the results would be beneficial. They would have the pleasure brought from creating something with their own hands, patience would be learned, and perhaps less time would be spent in front of video games, and televisions.

My passions are needlepoint, and knitting. Alix's gorgeous work has created a desire to learn embroidery  :)

Sunny
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Louise on August 20, 2004, 03:05:29 PM
This is a rose I have seen in Calgary, and plan to have it in my own garden next year.

http://www.helpmefind.com/rose/pl.php?n=219

Louise
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: BobAtchison on August 21, 2004, 10:42:31 AM
Alexandra loved the secnt of the rose - as you all know she used rose scented oil in her ikon lamps in the bedroom.

Is the origin of the white rose scent in the Alba roses?  These would have been the most fragrant of the white roses available.  Isn't Alba lighter and sweeter than the Damask?

I have no idea what was used as the basis for these scents then.  I would think they used more natural elements then.  Attar of Roses - at least the attar from Bulgaria's Valley of the Roses comes from Damask roses - I think they primarlity use a rose called Kasinlik or something like that.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Joanna on August 21, 2004, 08:52:54 PM
Quote
In Elisabeth Heresch's book "Alexandra - Tragik und Ende der letzten Zarin" is a photograph of a site from Alix' diet-book - handwritten and in german - with many delicious recipes for gruel, buckwheat, gravel and so on
  :-X


Hi Thomas,

Is the diet-book from Alix' years in Darmstadt c late 1880's - early 1890's? I am curious if she was on a diet then and if that was the beginning of her lack of interest in food and her vegetarianism. Does Elisabeth Heresch write details of Alix daily habits from the Darmstadt years? Although there are today biographies of Alexandra in English, they concentrate, obviously due to publishers request of book length, on her years in Russia and there are scarce or replicated stories of her impressionable late teens and early twenties.

Also is it possible to scan the diet-book page of course with the provisio of copyright and source?

Many thanks
Joanna
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: BobAtchison on August 25, 2004, 09:42:27 AM
Thomas - could you please tell us more????

Can we BEG for a translation?

Bob
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: BobAtchison on August 25, 2004, 09:51:54 AM
I am wondering if Alix could still smell the rose-oil scent from the ikon lamps in her bedroom after having it burning continuously for so many years.

I use rose-scented candles in my bedroom ikon lamp and I can't detect the scent anymore...

I have tried to convert to rose-scented oil using olive oil but I haven't gotten the use of floating and suspended rope wicks down right.  I am also making my own oil and don't know if there is a special receipe.

If anyone can help I'd appreciate it.

On another note - a few years ago I went my desk (a copy of the Karelian birch desk of Alexander I) and took out the cds and slides I had of pictures Kuchumov gave me of the Alexander Palace and there was a very strong scent of roses from the cabinet in the desk and the cases containing the images.  It lasted for several days and I have never been able to figure out where it came from.  I let several people check it out so it wasn't just me...

Bob
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: jfkhaos on October 07, 2004, 07:31:23 PM
Did the Empress Alexandra augment her collection of jewels with any bequests from relatives, such as during the times of the deaths of Queen Victoria, the Empress Frederick, etc?  Did any of the Empress' jewelry come to her from her mother, Princess Alice?  Thanks in advance! ;D
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Martyn on October 15, 2004, 05:09:50 PM
I don't know about bequests that Alix  may have received from other relatives;it is quite possible that she may have received something from her Grandmother Queen Victoria in 1901. As she was by then Empress, and presumably in possession of a collection that would have outshone that of the English Queen, it would probably have been something of a more sentimental nature.  Also Queen Victoria had many relatives to remember with a bequest.
Alix did keep a jewel book which listed mostly jewels that she had been given before her marriage and which she updated until the IF went into exile.  I think that this book still exists somewhere and that maybe Nick Nicholson may have seen it - I'm not sure.  
Alix was very attached to some bracelets that she had been given at Darmstadt by her Uncle Leopold and which she could not take off - even when she was obliged to give up her jewels in the Ipatiev house she retained these for this very reason; I think that she set great store by jewels that had this kind of sentimental attachment.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: HerrKaiser on October 21, 2004, 09:20:29 AM
Is it in fact true that the jewelry, both coronation and those used on othe occassions, owned by Alexandra and the Romanov royal family was more extensive, grand, and worth much more than any other royal House?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: elisa_1872 on October 21, 2004, 12:06:19 PM
Many thanks for this topic on Alexandra's jewels! :)

In a Lifelong Passion, a letter to Queen Victoria from Alix thanks her for "the pretty ring" - wonder which one it was! - she writes "the lovely ring i wore for the wedding.. and when i look at it i think of the beloved giver.." at one time i read, Alix gave Queen Victoria a pair of earrings for her birthday. It would be great to find out more about the jewels given by Queen Victoria to her Hessian grandchildren, in her lifetime. But as to bequests im not sure. This is fascinating Martyn about the jewel book of Alix' - do you or anyone know more about it? Is it similar to the jewel album of Nicholas, with drawings and descriptions?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Martyn on October 22, 2004, 04:02:17 AM
Elisa, I have seen a page from Alix's jewel book reproduced in several books but can't remember off the top of my head which ones.  It is usually the last page which has an entry about a bracelet set with an emerald that she had been given and which she had passed on to Marie.
I think that this has been discussed in an earlier thread and I am pretty sure that Nick Nicholson said that he had actually seen this book.  MY memory being what it is, I can't remember the thread and have not been able to find it again.....
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Erichek on November 14, 2004, 02:22:53 PM
Would the company of Alexandra, whether Empress of Russia or not, have been of any fun?
Looking at Anna Vyrubova's pictures, which do show Alexandra almost always from pensive to depressed, and this combined with her mental illnesses, physical challenges and dominating character, I wonder out loud what could have made spending an hour with Alexandra interesting, if even pleasurable...

Any thoughts any one?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: grandduchessella on November 14, 2004, 02:37:07 PM
Quote
Would the company of Alexandra, whether Empress of Russia or not, have been of any fun?
Looking at Anna Vyrubova's pictures, which do show Alexandra almost always from pensive to depressed, and this combined with her mental illnesses, physical challenges and dominating character, I wonder out loud what could have made spending an hour with Alexandra interesting, if even pleasurable...

Any thoughts any one?


I guess it would depend on what one considered fun. If someone was content to be pretty stationary, maybe talking or doing needlework it could be enjoyable. If someone was more active it mightn't be so much since Alexandra's poor health precluded most physical activities that the rest of her family enjoyed (the water, walks, playing in the snow, etc....) I don't know how interesting Alexandra's conversation was but that would be a factor as well. Anna V. doesn't seem like the brightest bulb and was probably content to just sit with the Empress without demanding too much. If you were someone like Empress Frederick who was very intellectual and quick or someone vivacious and gossipy like other members of the family, it may have been a chore.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Robert_Hall on November 14, 2004, 02:45:50 PM
Did she also like having a reader ? I would suppose what was being read would also determine if it was any "fun".
I do not get the impression, although could be totally wrong, that she enjoyed old-fashioned "gossiping". There was certainly enough to gossip about though.
Also, music perhaps?
Best,
Robert
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Elisabeth on November 14, 2004, 03:23:42 PM
From what I gather, Alexandra loved music. I read once that Wagner's entire Ring Cycle was performed at Tsarskoe Selo every year. (I don't know much about opera - but is that actually possible? isn't each of these operas a huge production?)  
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Robert_Hall on November 14, 2004, 03:38:02 PM
It could be done "in concert", without staging. Pretty long to sit through, though.  Probably over a few days, not in one sitting !
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Grand_Duke_Alexei on November 14, 2004, 03:40:36 PM
I think that Alexandra would be fun to an extent.  I mean after a while knitting and talking would get kind of tiresome and you would want to walk or something, but I do bet that she could have put up a good conversation considering all of the important business that always surrounded her.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Robert_Hall on November 14, 2004, 04:18:14 PM
The reason I mentioned a reader is that one of her ladies had the title "reader". Whether she actually read or not [while Alex. as doing needlework"] I could only guees. It is an old court title, could easily just been tradition with no function.
Best,
Robert
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: rskkiya on November 14, 2004, 05:15:52 PM
   I always thought that Ms. Schneider's role would have been a bit like  a personal secretary --once Alixandra understood the alphabet and basic skills of reading Russian - no easy task for an adult- Ms S would be able to aid her with her personal corespondence.
I might well be wrong about this, though...

  Actually I don't think that by modern standards Alix would have been much fun to talk to... after all a century separates her interests and most of ours, and beyond "the weather" and "her children" what else would there be to duscuss?  Certainly not politics books, or movies!

rskkiya
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: grandduchessella on November 14, 2004, 09:34:44 PM
Quote
She read a lot of books on philosophy and theology. Some people will find that dull, others won't - a matter of taste. Personally, I wouldn't mind a talk with her about such topics. : We know she "nearly died of laughter" on several occasions. We also know she had pillow-fights with her children and went around the room barking to find a dog that had hidden under a sofa. ;D That doesn't sound like a dull dog to me.She also took physical exercise. During her first years in Russia, she went for walks with Nicky almost daily. Of course, those walks were shorter when she was pregnant. I can't find the letter right now, but she wrote about her riding and playing lawn-tennis to Margarethe von Fabrice at a time when there were already rumours about her poor health.


I guess it would be a matter of taste re: conversation. Many people like discussing politics, literature, etc...but others would find her a bit of a 'stick' I imagine. Same way with pillow fights--it's more childish than what one would think of grown-ups doing (though she of course did it w/her kids which makes her fun to them!). It's more comical than witty. With the physical activities she was more active when younger, but so many of the pictures we see of her when she was still fairly young (30s) she's seated, being pushed in a chair, reclining in her boudoir, etc...It seems that probably isolated her more as well as she rarely rode or played tennis, etc...I don't know as I would've found her 'fun' but not knowing much about what she'd converse about I could be mistaken. I think Miechen would've been more fun even if in a nastier way (ala Alice Roosevelt Longworth and her 'if you don't have anything nice to say....come sit next to me' pillow).
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Annie on November 15, 2004, 01:53:31 PM
If you are a rowdy or party person I'm sure you woudn't find her any fun. I would have liked her because I'm a worrywart and depressed over things too, and I also don't like parties and crowds. She would have been my type of friend. But I see how many could label her as 'no fun.'
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Val289 on November 15, 2004, 04:27:44 PM
Quote
If you are a rowdy or party person I'm sure you woudn't find her any fun.


I think Annie really hits the nail on the head with this one.  Certainly, it depends on what type of person YOU are, as to whether or not one could consider Alexandra any fun.  Personally, she sounds like she'd be a rather interesting person to talk to.  As far as physical activites go, though, she would be rather limited in what was available for her to do.  Although I can't profess to 'know' Alexandra, I do think she would be the type of person that I could be friends with. I'm not a rowdy party gal and have little patience for large social gatherings, so I think we'd have that in common among other things.  
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Annie on November 15, 2004, 04:30:38 PM
Thanks Val! You're right too. Also she didn't enjoy hiking or tennis like Nicholas did, so she was not the outdoorsy person either besides not being a party girl.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Janet_W. on November 15, 2004, 05:12:30 PM
I think I would find Alexandra tremendous fun during her "teenage" years, young adulthood, and also the early years of her marriage, when she still had justifiable hopes of becoming the mother of a healthy heir to the throne.

Like Alexandra, I was never much for parties or large gatherings . . . I prefer to keep things initimate. I also like having a few close friends rather than numerous associates. And Alexandra did have a mischievious side to her, which she shared with those closest to her and which later evidenced itself with her children. The pillow fights have been mentioned, but also remember that when she and the girls were searching for one of their little dogs, she started "woofing" as if talking to the dog in his own language!

Alexandra enjoyed reading--not always authors to my taste, but perhaps I would have enjoyed them had I lived during that time. And she wanted to make a difference, which I can also appreciate. I think we would have had great discussions . . . perhaps not "fun" for some, but certainly for others!

Finally, check out certain photos and you will see that she did have a sense of the absurd and could join in the hijinks with others. No, she wasn't the proverbial "life of the party"--that would have been Mathilde K's forte-- but certainly in the company of those she loved and trusted, Alexandra could be enjoyable company.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: ISteinke on November 15, 2004, 07:08:24 PM
Regardless of how "fun" she would have been-
    With her wide range and depth of reading, and her deeply held Christian faith and metaphysical knowledge, as well as her tremendous ability as a pianist, she would have been a thoroughly "inspiring" person, or at least someone that you could really learn from.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Dasha on November 16, 2004, 02:37:46 PM
I think I would have found Alix to be a pretty good company.  I'm not a party goer, and get very shy very quick in social situations.  I love discussing books, and finding out new things.  In my opinion, if one enjoys a quiet activity, Alix would be no problem.

However, I would think that Alix had a pretty good sense of humour, and that can be seen in her engagement correspondence with Nikolai.  I think she would have been a pretty sharp conversationalist, as well as serious.  

I really hope I made sense.

Dasha
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Merrique on November 16, 2004, 03:13:34 PM
I think Alix would have been very fun,in her own way.Like it has already been said before,it depends on the type of person you are and what your idea of fun is.
I would very much enjoy sitting down with her and having a chat,or maybe having her to teach me to sew the way she did.
There are just so many interesting things about this woman that I think she would be really fun to be around.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Robert_Hall on November 16, 2004, 03:23:02 PM
I do not think those balls & "parties" were suppose to necessarily be "fun". They were state functions, family gatherings of importance, a time & place to gather information, idea etc. It was part of her duty to participate, if only to support her husband.
These sort of "functions" still go on and I doubt that any of the hosts think of them as anything but a chore, part of the job.
In that she apparently failed yet again. It would have been better if she could have shown her more human side to a larger amount of people.
IMO.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Denise on November 16, 2004, 03:28:34 PM
I think to those who knew Alix well she was a lot of fun.  That sense of the absurd she had could easily have been misunderstood by those who didn't understand her.  She was able to be herself with her family.  I certainly would have liked the opportunity to know her, as I think she would have been a fascinating conversationalist.

Denise
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Dasha on November 16, 2004, 07:18:28 PM
Quote
Perfectly!

About her sense of humour: I've read somewhere that she was driving in a sledge or carriage once when the horse bolted and she fell out of it onto the road or shoulder. She didn't get angry, but was just helpless with laughter.

I must confess that this sounds very familiar to me. I reacted more or less in the same way when I drove my car into a ditch once. ;D

Somehow I think that the humour of Mr. Bean and Monty Python would have been the kind of humour she would have liked. She seems to have had an eye for the absurd in "ordinary" situations.


I agree with you Helen regarding Alix enjoying Monty Python or Mr. Bean type of comedy.  I think she found laughter in everyday things, such as the fact that her hair took forever to wash and dry.  She made a reference to that in one of her letters to Nikolai in 1894.  The "barking like a dog" story made me laugh, and I think it's great that she was able to let go once in a while and just laugh.

OK, enough of my ramblings.

Dasha    
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Douglas on November 16, 2004, 08:54:06 PM
Alexandra seems to me to be deeply aware of her position as the wife of the Tsar and the mother of  five royal children.

She seems a lot like the current Queen of England.  Very conservative and very loyal to her husband [the Tsar] and his affairs of state.  

I am sure she would love to talk about my children and her children and make comments about each one.  She seemed to be very interested in other people's children and their lives.  

Her family was the most important thing in her life.  This would also include her brother Ernst.  She was very fond of him and concerned about his welfare.

If you were into those things any conversation with her would be very interesting.  

She seemed to reserve her fun times for her most intimate family and her husband.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Janet_W. on November 16, 2004, 09:55:32 PM
Regarding Alexandra's sense of humor, there's an anecdote about a plate of . . . sturgeon, I think? . . . being served in a formal setting, and the poor attendant, being new and of course nervous, dumped the whole thing into Alexandra's lap! She reacted with uproarious laughter . . . and someone help me here, but didn't it happen a second time as well? (Though once would be enough, poor fellow!)  :D

More than one person who knew her has mentioned that, in an informal setting, Alexandra was a very enjoyable person to be around. Of course she had her stressful times, but for those who enjoyed a genuine rather than frivolous personality, Alexandra was probably a wonderful companion.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Helen_Azar on December 16, 2004, 04:19:22 PM
Quote
when I was  a little girl I remember my Mother always giving me a drink of hot milk, sugar and a beaten-up egg in, I cant remember what the taste was like, but I must have liked it.   Elizabeth


I think I know what you guys are talking about, a drink made out of an egg, milk, sugar and vanilla, it's called "Gogol-Mogol" in Russian (I think)... I have had it as a kid and always thought it was kind of nasty because of the raw eggs  :P

Helen
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Helen_Azar on December 16, 2004, 04:22:12 PM
Quote
Alix didn't like fish, so I doubt whether she ate any if she had an opportunity to get her stomach filled with something else.

I wonder whether she liked coffee, not the café-au-lait thing but espresso. Does anyone know?


In Buxhoveden's book, she said that Alexandra used to drink coffee for medicinal purposes  ???  She said that in Tobolsk, there was shortage of coffee for the IF, so the only one who got to drink it was AF, because it was medicinal for her.... She didn't say if AF liked it or not, or whether it was espresso type or au lait.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarai on January 14, 2005, 11:37:56 AM

I wonder why keeping hair was so popular back then? I can understand maybe keeping a lock of a child's hair for nostalgic reasons, but even adults did it too. I think nowadays a lot of people would find that kind of "creepy," for lack of a better word, especially when keeping the hair of someone who was deceased. But back then people carried their loved one's hair in lockets and boxes and even sent it to each other in the mail! Was it just basically for sentimental reasons, i.e. to feel closer to a person by having an actual piece of that person, or was it also considered good luck?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: hissunnywife on January 20, 2005, 03:08:38 AM
Purification of body, mind, intellect and ego starts in any person who intensifies and devotes himself/herself to spiritual life, be it in seclusion or while living in society.

Body reacts to this purification by removing the intake of some 'heavy' products, such as meat. Hence, Ella and Alix were no exception, since they were on spiritual path from early childhood, so there was plenty of time to develop vegetarian habits. Not out of fashion, but spontaneously as a result of spiritually lead life.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: ChristineM on January 20, 2005, 05:46:06 AM
The Chief Curator at Tsarskoe Selo told me that every morning Alexandra Feodorovna drank tea.   This was specially blended for her.   I think it was probably the same blend as used by her grandmother Queen Victoria - a precise mixture of Indian and China leaves.  Alexandra's tea was probably imported from England.

Just as Catherine II before her, drank her tea very black and very hot, so Alexandra preferred her tea, very strong and very hot.

She commissioned a number of special 'tete a tete' suites comprising two cups and saucers, a cream jug and sugar bowl on a matching tray.   Some of these still exist and one, or more, well be in the Nicholas and Alexandra exhibition.  

One is made of lilac glass, another depicts monasteries Nicholas and Alexandra visited and yet another has scenes from the environs of Tsarskoe Selo.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: ChristineM on January 20, 2005, 06:27:03 PM
The above posting should read Catherine the Great drank her COFFEE very black and very hot...................

Sorry,

tsaria
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Olga on January 21, 2005, 03:32:21 AM
Ekaterina Alexeevna had for coffee five cups to one pound of beans.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: La_Mashka on March 15, 2005, 04:26:50 PM
It doesnt really seem like she liked to talk a lot.

Form what I gather, what she was seeking in Anya and others was COMPANY... not someone to actually talk to...

So I think she was a very quiet person, at least after becoming a mother....
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: bluetoria on March 15, 2005, 04:45:08 PM
I'm not sure. I kind of think that when someone knew her well she might have been much more fun than we hear of. Nicky was so devoted to her & if she were just a wet blanket he wouldn't have seen much in her, would he? When they were first engaged she sounds just like any other young person of her age. Even before that, when she visited Ella in Russia, she joined in all the games - hide & seek etc. etc.
When she first arrived in Russia as Tsarina, I think she was too intimidated by the whole culture, which was so different from all she had known, to shine at any balls or parties (& there was the language barrier too) but at home I bet she was different.
Douglas mentioned her being like the present Queen who appears not to be fun but if you have seen the footage of her at the races she is making everyone laugh (and they say she's an excellent mimic & I have read some really funny things she has said) I imagine that perhaps alone with her family or with friends she could trust Alix may have been like that too.
In later years of course, all her joie de vivre evaporated in her anxieties for Alexei, for Nicky & for the country & her increasing paranoia would have - I think - made her a very difficult companion (unless you were ill, of course, and then she seems to really shine among sick people or people in need).
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alexandra on March 19, 2005, 09:18:55 PM
In some of the pictures of Alix, I wonder if she might be wearing what was then termed a 'false fringe' - a hairpiece to create the impression of a fringe or bangs without actually cutting the hair. It began to be popular in the 1880s, and I believe that both Minnie and her sister Alexandra, Princess of Wales, made use of them. Certainly the latter did so at her coronation as Queen of England - she gave directions that the Holy Oil was to soak it all the way to her scalp, and the Archbishop of Canterbury was so liberal in his application that it ran right down the poor Queen's face! The early pictures of Alix look to me as if they are a 'real' fringe, however - and one, in which her hair looks quite dark and she is smiling, almost suggests a wig. I don;t know if she ever lost her hair to illness (as did Tatiana when she had typhoid, and all the children in 1917 after measles).
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alexandra on March 19, 2005, 09:54:53 PM
I wish I knew more about how to post pictures on this site!  :-[  I've been reading about the Romanovs all my life, but only recently began to learn how to work with a computer...I have been able to find picture after picture of AF smiling or laughing outright, but I have not been able to post any, and I find this most frustrating. These photos are simply beautiful, and they do show all shades of emotion - including an impishly mischievous twinkle just like Anastasia's. She knew how to have fun, all right - if you have Peter Kurth's _Tsar_, you will find the shot of her hurtling downhill on a sled, giving every evidence of enjoying herself immensely.
I would have loved to talk with her...and sometimes I do, in my prayers ...
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Dasha on March 19, 2005, 10:13:01 PM
Quote
I wish I knew more about how to post pictures on this site!  :-[  I've been reading about the Romanovs all my life, but only recently began to learn how to work with a computer...I have been able to find picture after picture of AF smiling or laughing outright, but I have not been able to post any, and I find this most frustrating. These photos are simply beautiful, and they do show all shades of emotion - including an impishly mischievous twinkle just like Anastasia's. She knew how to have fun, all right - if you have Peter Kurth's _Tsar_, you will find the shot of her hurtling downhill on a sled, giving every evidence of enjoying herself immensely.
I would have loved to talk with her...and sometimes I do, in my prayers ...

If you want to post pictures, you need to get a photobucket account.  It's free and it allows you to post pictures on this site.  However, if you want, feel free to email me the images and I can upload them to my photobucket and then post them for you here.  Please don't hesitate to send me a private message if you need any help.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alexandra on March 22, 2005, 05:00:08 PM
Thank you, Dasha! No wonder I love this site and these boards - so many courteous and kind people! I didn't  know about the photobucket account, so I shall see about setting one up, and thanks again. :)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: RomanovFan on March 22, 2005, 07:11:11 PM
Are there any pics of Alix with her hair down? All of the ones I've seen, her hair is always pinned up in a barrette or hat.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Dasha on March 22, 2005, 08:37:33 PM
Quote
Are there any pics of Alix with her hair down? All of the ones I've seen, her hair is always pinned up in a barrette or hat.

Hi Leslie,

The only pictures of Alix with her hair down that I'm aware of are the ones from her childhood.  If you want, I'll try to look for them and post them for you.  Feel free to PM me if you want me to do that.  However, please give me untill maybe next week, because this week is midterms.  
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Dasha on March 22, 2005, 08:39:01 PM
Quote
Thank you, Dasha! No wonder I love this site and these boards - so many courteous and kind people! I didn't  know about the photobucket account, so I shall see about setting one up, and thanks again. :)

You're quite welcome.  Always happy to help  :).
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: ashanti01 on March 23, 2005, 05:32:17 PM
Quote
Alix's airstyle:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v393/lyzotchka/airstyle.jpg)


Looking at these photos I realize just pretty Alix was but how badly she aged. The first photo shows how pretty she was and then the photo right under it looks like she is 60+. ( I also dislike that hairstyle in that picture)
Her hair looked the best in the first two picutres.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: koloagirl on March 25, 2005, 09:53:10 PM
 :)

I think that the way Alexandra "aged" shows without a doubt the stress that she was put under constantly day by day, both by her fear for Alexei and the situation in her country.  :-/

I like to think that if she had married some obscure English lord that she might have maintained some of that youthful loveliness that is so apparent in earlier pictures.

I also think that the hairstyle shown in the second row...the one with the "puffs" on either side of her head...has to be the least attractive of any hairstyle I've ever seen of her.  I'm sure it was quite en vogue at the time, but it looks just horrendous now!  :-X

Being just about Alix's age when she was murdered, I have a lot of sympathy for her poor face - I think we all would age poorly if subjected to the stresses that she had in her life, both real and imagined.  :)

But I really do pity her and admire her for such a strong love all her life.  I'm very glad that she had that!  :D

Janet R.
 :)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alexandra on March 26, 2005, 07:50:16 PM
Many of the pictures which do not show Alix to her advantage are those taken in strong sunlight, on the Standardt, for instance, or the one which shows her seated, dressed en promenade, during the period when Nicholas was at Stavka and she was at home. In the latter (which you can see in Kurth's book, _Tsar_), she looks indomitable but exhausted, and the sun is pouring onto her head from above and to the side. As most of us have experienced, this kind of lighting makes anybody look as if she had just been helped from a deathbed. Photos of the younger Alix appear to me to have been posed indoor shots, for the most part - not all of them, but many. I suppose to obtain a comparable notion of her looks in middle age, we ought to consider the official tercentenary photos - there, she looks middle-aged, but not at all bad.
But I agree - the 'Minnie Mouse ears' hairdo is pretty awful ... I wonder what inspired it?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: David_Newell on March 29, 2005, 07:05:43 AM
I think when you knew AF and that she felt comfy with you she was a lot of fun. There is that story of AF saying to Lilli Dehn that she thought the new hobble skirts silly, she said "Now Lilli run, and lets see how much ground you can cover" I think that shows a sense of humor!!

David Newell, London
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: David_Newell on March 29, 2005, 07:08:00 AM
Oh yes I forgot, AF and her cartoons, she could be quite cutting with those and she was awonderfull mimic, she used to have her ladies in fits. Yes there are lots of piccies of AF smiling.

David Newell, London
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: La_Mashka on March 30, 2005, 05:58:43 PM
what foods were allowed during fasting?

Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: La_Mashka on March 30, 2005, 06:02:16 PM
What about retouching??

Can we really trust "official pictures"

As for not aging gracefully... stress, diet, illness... all of that takes a toll...

Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: hikaru on March 30, 2005, 11:28:39 PM
Egg's drink name is "Gogoly -Mogoly"
(Gogoly is the name of the famous Russian writer).
Maybe it means "odd mix" (Gogoly wrote a lot of fantastic and entertaining comedy stories and his look was odd - especially his big long nose)
This dessert was the famous and loved dessert for a  lot of generations of Russian , soviet, Russian children.
and not only children.
A lot of my friends make it from time to time at home.
(Personally I can not eat eggs, so I do not make it)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on March 31, 2005, 04:03:47 PM
Quote
what foods were allowed during fasting?


When fasting we abstain from all animal products, and usually oil as well. (Olive oil is definately out, but some days vegetable oils can be used).

Basically it is a vegan diet. No meat, no fish, no eggs, no dairy products. The Roman Church also used to follow the same fasting rules, that is why you have pancakes on Shrove Tuesday before Lent, to use up all the eggs and milk. We have a whole week like that before Lent called cheesefare week, as we ease ourselves into Lent. There is a fastfree week (so we can have whatever we want even on Wednesday and Friday), then there is a normal week with the usual Wednesday and Friday fast, with the Sunday following being the last day for meat, monday being the start of cheesefare week (lots of yummy blini!), with Forgiveness Vespers on the Sunday evening, starting Great Lent - 6 weeks, and then a special fast for the 7th Week (Passion Week).

There are three other fasts: the Nativity Fast for the 40 days leading up to Christmas, the Apostles Fast from the end of the week after Pentecost to the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, and the Dormition Fast, being the two weeks before the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary). Every Wednesday and Friday is a fasting day (except for about 4 fast-free weeks). There are a couple of extra fating days, for example the Commemoration of the beheading of St John the Forerunner (Baptist). All up fasting days are around about half the year, if not more. It is done to purify ourselves, to cleanse our hearts and souls, and to help us to pray more and more deeply - it is never seen as some kind of punishment.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: hikaru on April 01, 2005, 07:28:51 AM
According to the text of the Vyrubova's interrogation by
special committee, " Vyrubova took the singing lessons together with Alexandra from M-me Iretskaya, professor of the St.-Petersurg conservatoire".
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: La_Mashka on April 01, 2005, 11:08:12 AM
Wow! :o

thank you for all that incredible information on fasting...

And thanks for taking the time to write all about it.

It seems like you do have a hard time, having to be on a vegan diet.  Do you have enough variety of vegetables and fruits?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: hikaru on April 01, 2005, 11:10:48 AM
Children , pregnant women , travellers and ill persons have the right not to follow the fasting.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: rskkiya on April 01, 2005, 11:15:15 AM
Quote
Egg's drink name is "Gogoly -Mogoly"
(Gogoly is the name of the famous russian writer).
Maybe it means "odd mix" (Gogoly wrote a lot of fantastic and entairtaining comedy stories and his look was odd - especially his big long nose)


    DO YOU MEAN THE WRITER NIKOLAI GOGOL? The author of DEAD SOULS and THE INSPECTOR GENERAL?
    Have you read any of these works? I don't know if I would call them "comic" but that's a matter of opinion.  

rskkiya
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: hikaru on April 01, 2005, 12:31:44 PM

To rsskiya:

Do not be so serious!
I have read Gogoly for many many times.
The Inspector General ( Revizor in russian) is 100% comedy as well as the heroes of the Dead Souls - they are all comedian persons.
Gogoly himself  estimated Revizor as comedy.
Of course , being comical ones, the both books have the deep content.
Did you understand my poor English?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarai on April 03, 2005, 02:22:04 PM
Quote
Oh yes I forgot, AF and her cartoons, she could be quite cutting with those and she was awonderfull mimic, she used to have her ladies in fits.


I had never read that Alexandra was involved in creating caricatures before, except in a 1902 article from "The Lady's Realm" recently reprinted in "Gilbert's Royal Digest." The article is called "The Hobbies of the Queens of Europe" and it says about Alexandra:

"Her hobby may be said to be caricaturing and collecting caricatures - a taste not without its dangers, especially when indulged by one in so high a station as that of Her Majesty. The Empress is a very clever mimic, and she has the ready talent of catching a likeness and transmitting it to paper, so that even those who are most caricatured cannot but laugh at the good natured way in which their peculiarities are taken off. It is not everyone who is allowed to peep into the portfolio of the Tsarina. The Tsar finds this talent of his wife an unfailing amusement; and he himself is not exempted, for the Empress has done many a funny sketch of her lord and master, and has managed to hit off certain characteristics of his in a very clever manner."

When I first read this, I thought it to be false, as to me it seemed so out of character to imagine Alexandra sitting there drawing funny caricatures of people, including her husband. But now I read about it again on this forum. Does anyone know if this was true or not? If it was true, then this is just another example that she knew how to have fun, and her talent for mimicry certainly rubbed off on her youngest daughter!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on April 03, 2005, 04:58:53 PM
It's not too hard being on a vegan diet - there's lots of fruits, vegetables and pluses out there! Actually, I usually feel much healthier during the fasts, and I'm pretty much vegetarian anyway, but not eating dairy seems to have a good affect on my constitution! (I do like cheese and yogurt and eggs though!)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alexandra on April 04, 2005, 10:46:30 AM
I agree, Georgiy. I am lacto-vegetarian, and sometimes vegan. But my Priest told me - in Lent!! - I ought not to fast, although he did relent a bit when I told him I eat lots and lots of pasta. I think it was because I was having surgery that spring.

When Buxhoeveden says that AF drank coffee for medicinal purposes, I wonder if that was a delicate way of saying it works for some people as a laxative? We know that Nicholas II had terrible problems with haemorrhoids and presumably constipation, but did the Tsaritsa also suffer from this difficulty? In France, coffee is also sometimes used as an enema in order to treat the same difficulty.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on April 04, 2005, 04:37:19 PM
I had no idea coffee acted that way!  :o :o
Prunes, yes, but coffee? I suspect she used it more as a stimulant, but who knows?

Alexandra, are you Orthodox or Catholic? Of course if one is having surgery or is ill, with the Priest's blessing one doesn't have to fast, or can have a modified fast. As has been written before, little children, pregnant and lactating mothers are also exempt.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: bluetoria on April 04, 2005, 05:31:37 PM
Quote
From Anna Virubova's later memoirs

The Empress was a vegetarian, but ate eggs, cheese and butter, sometimes she would drink a glass of wine mixed with water. Usually she drank milk like the children.



Was there a particular reason why Alexandra became a vegetarian? And when did she decide this?
In her early life she cannot have been - & I don't imagine it would go down to well with Queen Victoria who was so VERY fond of food that when she suffered continually from indigestion her doctor had to prescribe for her a sort of early 'Complan' or substitute for ordinary food.   (QV being QV had the 'Complan'-type thing AND her meal!)

Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alexandra on April 04, 2005, 09:57:04 PM
Hi, Georgiy - I am Catholic, but the sort who is pretty ecumenical and who takes an interest in everybody's religion. The particular Lent about which I was speaking, my kindly Italian priest - who never thought I ate enough anyway - quite definitely wanted to exempt me from the Fast. He wanted me to eat all that pasta, and when I assured him I did, that was all right.

Yes, coffee can and does have 'that' effect. Its stimulant properties, plus the fact that it draws fluids toward it (its celebrated diuresis) can be quite helpful. It's very slightly irritating to the mucosa, and all taken together can be very helpful for the condition in question, delivered either way. With which, moving right along ...  let us draw a curtain over the next scene of the Comedie Cafe ...  ;D
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Laura Mabee on April 05, 2005, 01:20:40 PM
You would think a loving husband such as Nicky would have supported Alix's singing weither he liked it or not
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on April 05, 2005, 04:01:46 PM
The things you learn on this board!

It would be interesting as Bluetoria asks, to find out when Alexandra became vegetarian. I understand she was always picky about food. Maybe it happened after she became Orthodox. I'm sure "Granny" wouldn't have approved!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: La_Mashka on April 06, 2005, 10:37:33 AM
Ok.... this is only my theory, and my way of seeing things, which might be completetly off.

I believe in a way Aleksandra was an extremist... meaing she was either white or black in her decisions...
which would lead to taking the fasts quite seriously, just as she did everything else she was interested in (her family, her prayers, etc...)  and maybe thats the reason why she became a vegan.

But, as I said, this is only an opinion...
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on April 06, 2005, 04:19:10 PM
I can sort-of relate to that! If I'm interested in something it gets my full attention, to the neglect of other things, even things which may actually be of more importance... :-/
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: moonlight_tsarina on April 09, 2005, 12:21:46 AM
Hi RomanovFan!


 Now that Romanovfan mentioned it, I have never ever seen any pics of Alix with her hair down, even as a child she had it pulled back or in a bow!


Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Lanie on April 10, 2005, 01:40:32 PM
From Elisa. :)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v171/LanieD/scan0001.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on April 10, 2005, 05:00:45 PM
I've never seen that photo before - what book is it from?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Laura Mabee on April 10, 2005, 07:32:17 PM
I've never seen that one either. Yale I assume?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Lanie on April 10, 2005, 07:33:10 PM
I posted it for Elisa, so perhaps she could tell us. I'm sure it's from some book or other, she has such a wonderful collection! ;D
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: moonlight_tsarina on April 10, 2005, 07:54:56 PM
Quote
Relatively loose? Sorry, I don't get to see any hair in this picture, just a tiara.


Oops!! Sorry, I copied the wrong picture!
Here's the correct one:
http://img150.echo.cx/img150/1084/alix040ne.jpg
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: moonlight_tsarina on April 10, 2005, 07:59:51 PM
Perhaps Nicholas's curt reply about her singing was only in jest.

???
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Lass on April 12, 2005, 10:15:51 AM
Quote
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v393/lyzotchka/airstyle.jpg)

In the middle photo, Alix looks so like Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: aleksandra on April 12, 2005, 03:33:56 PM
I was just wondering about alix's books what she liked as good books.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on April 12, 2005, 04:01:24 PM
I know as a young woman she read very 'heavy' intellectual books, apparantly had a copy of Origin of Species, and as a married woman enjoyed Florence Barclay's novels - these are novels that combine romance and have a religious outlook. I quite enjoy Mrs Barclay's books too! They are a nice, light relaxing read. Particular favourites of the Empress seem to be "Through the Postern Gate" (especially - the Tsar seems to ahve liked it too), and "The Rosary". I must say I liked Postern Gate the least of all of the Barclay books...
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: aleksandra on April 12, 2005, 04:09:37 PM
thank you.But I really meant a list of all books?
Like at age 5 to 47. all of the books.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on April 12, 2005, 04:15:32 PM
I think that would end up being a huge, several page long list - I understand she enjoyed reading.

I should have also mentioned the Bible, of course, and Lives of Saints, and various spiritual works.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on April 12, 2005, 04:23:41 PM
I've put up the ones I know off-hand, maybe someone else knows of a few more. I am sure there is a thread on books they read somewhere, buried deep, deep, deep down in the "Imperial Family" pages though.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: hikaru on April 13, 2005, 12:21:05 AM
J.Miller : "Home Management or ideal family life" - she liked to read this book at the end of 19th century and made a lot of notes from this book. (Maybe this is a German book)

She was a doctor of philosophy , so she liked very much Decart etc.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Lanie on April 13, 2005, 12:30:28 AM
Quote
J.Miller : "Home Management or ideal family life" - she liked to read this book at the end of 19th century and made a lot of notes from this book. (Maybe this is a German book)

She was a doctor of philosophy , so she liked very much Decart etc.


Alix did not have any sort of degree.  This is just rumor that's still spread around.  Supposedly it was from Heidelberg Univ, but she never did get any university degree.

Alix read the florid novels of the time and enjoyed Marie Corelli's stuff.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: hikaru on April 13, 2005, 12:42:31 AM
Thank you . I did not know about the degree.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: hikaru on April 13, 2005, 12:48:33 AM
She also read a lot of Russian fairly tales learning Russian.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: hikaru on April 13, 2005, 01:33:13 PM
I have found out that Alix gave the following books to the children as the present (from this we could see what kind of books she liked) :

to Olga
Krasnitsky A. " White General" ( Russian book about famous General Skobelev - hero of Russian - Turkey War of 1777-1778 years)
Caldecotte R. "Caldecott's collection of pictures and songs (London, New York, 1895)
Lear Ed. "Nonsense songs" (London, New York)

to Tatiana
Benois A.N. "ABC in pictures" (Russian book. Very famous. We use it till now, this book was made , financing by the State)
Aldin Cecil  "A Gay Dog/The story of foolish Year pictured by Cecil Aldin (London, 1905)

to Marie
Adelborg Ot. "Clean Peter and children of Grubbylea "(London.1901)

to Alexei
Karazin N. N. "My Fairy Tales" (Russian book, I never heard about it)
Kruglov A.V. "From the golden time of childhood" (Russian)

To all children:
Tochter - Album .
Unterhaltungen im hauslichen  Kreise zur Bildung des Verstaneds und Gemutes (1893)

It seems that Anastasia have inherited  almost all children books from the sisters.

Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on April 13, 2005, 04:15:39 PM
She also read the works of the Church Fathers - now these are great tomes, and volumes and volumes of writings. St John the Damascene, St John Chrysostom, St Basil the Great, and scores of others. Reading these can help one understand the Orthodox Faith.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Lanie on April 13, 2005, 04:43:22 PM
Alix gave Olga works of poetry, like Tennyson, so I'd imagine Alix enjoyed those sorts of books as well (Olga certainly did!).
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: hikaru on April 14, 2005, 11:45:28 AM
Nicholas very liked to read to the family the following books in the evening: Gogoly, Pushkin, Lermontov, Averchenko .
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: rskkiya on April 14, 2005, 07:02:07 PM
      Alixandra also seemed to enjoy the rather light and sentimental works of Florence Barkley - books such as "The Rosary" and "Through the Postern Gates" were read by both she and Nicholas. They were  basicly  Victorian 'shmaltze' .

rskkiya
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on April 14, 2005, 07:06:24 PM
Yes, I mentioned those. I guess she needed some light reading too. Maybe they are schmalz, but they were certainly extraordinarily popular in their time. They are quite nice books, and the first editions have beautiful covers (as did most Edwardian books).
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: rskkiya on April 15, 2005, 08:21:31 PM
Georgiy
I am sorry - I didn't see your earlier post.
Having old copies of these books - I must say that they are pretty much typical of their era (I used to collect old books and ephemera. )

rskkiya
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on April 17, 2005, 04:26:30 PM
Agreed ;D.
I quite like old books, and have quite a few. I especially like old books about travel and exploration - they show what the world was like before it was McDonaldised!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Helen_Azar on April 17, 2005, 04:36:17 PM
Quote
I especially like old books about travel and exploration


Didn't QV write a book on her travels, or am I confusing it with someone else?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on April 17, 2005, 05:21:32 PM
Not sure. It could be interesting if she did. I know there's a fictional book of her travelling all over the place - mainly pictures I think - I've never really looked at it or read it, but remember seeing pictures of her in her heavy black dress sitting under palm trees in some tropical session.

I don't know if QV herself was a good writer or not - it could be her travelogues would be a dry read (if they exist), but still the historical interest would make them worth reading I guess.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alexandra on April 17, 2005, 07:23:52 PM
QV wrote and illustrated her _Leaves from a Journal of Our Life in the Highlands_.  As the name suggests, it had to do with the British Royal Family's stays at their beloved Balmoral, then newly renovated by the Prince Consort. QV was very surprised - and touched - that so many of her people wanted to read it; it became a 'best-seller' in its way. I think she published a second one as well... I could check, but it is spring=cleaning time round here and the place is a worse Hodge-Podge Lodge than usual ...  ;)
Anyway, I should  be very surprised indeed if Alexandra hadn't read it, and if she hadn't copies of it in her own library. And yes, QV was quite a good writer. She has a sharp eye for description, which includes some sketches of many people, including herself, that go well beyond the basics. I have really enjoyed reading her diaries, and  would recommend them unhesitatingly to anyone with an interest in this period and its personalities.

On the same topic of Alexandra's reading material, does anybody know what newspapers and magazines she read? And what the book was that Olga N. told her she was reading in order to see if it was suitable for her?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Helen_Azar on April 18, 2005, 08:40:35 AM
Quote
Queen Victoria also wrote a subsequent book to her first "Journal" - "More Leaves from a Journal of a Life in the Highlands", which features many excursions that she took in and around the Balmoral estate. The Queen writes in such a lively and endearing style, I greatly enjoyed reading these books. In this second book, she records so touchingly the death of her beloved daughter Alice, and mentions Alix' little sister May, in the chapter which has an engraving of the memorial cross the Queen had put up to Princess Alice's memory at Balmoral.


I actually own a copy of this second journal (I think it is a 1890's copy), found it in a used book store a few years ago. I didn't read the whole thing yet, just some parts of it. Although the sequal wasn't as popular as the original, I thought it was interesting, especially for those who are into the Victorian period. And yes, it does include some of her own sketches. I wish I could get the first journal too.

But I am thinking of something else, I seem to vaguely remember that Victoria may have written a travelogue- type book about her travels (maybe to Australia?). Has she ever gone to Australia?  But maybe I am thinking of  the fictional book that Georgiy mentioned, I have no idea!

Sorry to digress from the topic.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Helen_Azar on April 18, 2005, 12:14:20 PM
 
Quote
...there is a whole book by the present Duchess of York called "Travels with Queen Victoria" which is wonderful, as it includes many of the Queen's own sketches and watercolours, but also diary extracts. It covers the state visit to Paris, has beautiful chapters on Coburg, Potsdam and Darmstadt, and follows her travels as far as Italy.


Thanks, Elisa. This is the book I was thinking of, by the Duchess of York about QV's travels! I remembered now  :D. For some reason I got confused and thought that she herself wrote it  :-/.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: bluetoria on April 18, 2005, 01:24:37 PM
There is another really good book: "Victoria Travels" by David Duff.
And there is one by - I've forgotten who by  :-/ I'll look for it later - "Queen Victoria & The Discovery of the Riviera."
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on April 18, 2005, 06:23:05 PM
Helen, I think the Australia trip must have been in that fictional book. I don't think any reigning sovereign made their way down this way until Elizabeth II, though Edward VIII came as Prince of Wales, and so did George VI when he was still a Prince too. I don't know about Australia, but I imagine if they had made their way all around the world to get to Australia, another 2,000 kilometres or so to the east wouldn't have been too far out of the way!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alexandra on April 26, 2005, 08:53:14 PM
Two things: somewhere, I have a picture of Alix, also at Livadia and also, if I recall correctly, in 1909. Also set en famille, she is even more 'en deshabille,' since she is shown as if awakening from a nap with two of her daughters. Their hair is also down. I'll see if I can find it and then post the link, since I don't know how to post photos directly and haven't a photobucket account yet.

The second thing: what possibility might there have beem of any of the IF using henna? It was very popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Since, among its many properties, it conditions the hair splendidly and some report increased growth, health, and thickness, I wondered if it might have been put discreetly into play when the GDs lost their hair to illness? Or just to lend an auburn hue, esp. to Tatiana's hair? On a blonde, it would have created a reddish-gold ... so maybe Alix might have used it too? Just a thought ... if someone (Griff... are you there??) has information, please post!! TIA!

All I know about their cosmetics comes from Maria Pavlovna Jr., i.e. that Ella didn;t use them, and only made her own creams.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Lisa on April 27, 2005, 04:24:43 AM
I also love this one, taken at Livadia at autumn 1913
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v248/lyzotchka1/automnelivadia2.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Speedycat on May 11, 2005, 01:51:47 PM
katieann, I am new to this discussion board and I was just about to open a new thread regarding Alexandra's needlework and then I find this.....oh, it has really touched my heart!  It's as if you can read my mind and put it down in your very elequent words.  My Italian grandparents ran a sewing shop for men's and women's clothing starting in the early 1920's.  This was the trade they brought with them from Italy to the US.  They called it a "trade" I call it a gift from God!!  I learned to make doll clothes from my grandfather Pasqual from the scraps of satin, lace and velvet leftover from his shop.  He would carefully inspect my work every Sunday afternoon when we had family dinners at their house.  This was long after he retired and had had several debilitating strokes.  Although his hands could not longer do his fine work, his mind was still sharp and he gave me expert advice.  I still make doll clothes and try to design them after the clothing I see in royal photographs of the Victorian and Edwardian Era.  Thanks for sharing your stories here.

P.S.  I am also an avid cross-stitcher, knitter, quilter and crocheter!!  Would love to chat anytime. ;)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: borgia on May 12, 2005, 08:55:52 PM
Ill bet that Alexandra would have fun on the internet-"FIVE MINUTES MORE NICKY-IM ONLINE WITH  MY GANG FROM THE ALEXANDER  PALACE TIME MACHINE!" ;)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: lexi4 on May 12, 2005, 09:31:49 PM
I always thought that it would be difficult to be around Alexandra because of the depression and mental problems. In her photos, she rarely looked happy, rarely smiled. I always wondered if what really fueled the relationship of Nicholas and Alexandra was co-dependancy.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: hikaru on May 12, 2005, 09:51:13 PM
Maybe she likes caricatures because Nicholas loved satirical(humour) magazines a lot.
He had a big collection of the lasts.
Maybe he liked the stories and she liked the pictures?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: bluetoria on May 14, 2005, 06:42:27 AM
Quote
I always thought that it would be difficult to be around Alexandra because of the depression and mental problems. In her photos, she rarely looked happy, rarely smiled. I always wondered if what really fueled the relationship of Nicholas and Alexandra was co-dependancy.


Hardly any of the Victorians smiled on photos though, did they? On one occasion someone caught Queen Victoria smiling & she liked the photo but the rest of the family were aghast that she allowed it to be published.  :-/  We have old family photos of my great grandparents & they look so solemn but apparently they were not at all - so we can't judge Alix by the photos.

Also I think that earlier in their marriage - before the mounting pressures of of Alexei's illness, the war etc. etc. Alix & Nicholas did laugh a lot together. Some of their letters recalling their 'courtship' show that they really enjoyed 'fun' & each other's company. I think there was far, far more to it than co-dependency.  
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Mgmstl on May 17, 2005, 09:16:10 PM
Quote

Hardly any of the Victorians smiled on photos though, did they? On one occasion someone caught Queen Victoria smiling & she liked the photo but the rest of the family were aghast that she allowed it to be published.  :-/  We have old family photos of my great grandparents & they look so solemn but apparently they were not at all - so we can't judge Alix by the photos.

Also I think that earlier in their marriage - before the mounting pressures of of Alexei's illness, the war etc. etc. Alix & Nicholas did laugh a lot together. Some of their letters recalling their 'courtship' show that they really enjoyed 'fun' & each other's company. I think there was far, far more to it than co-dependency.  



When I started studying the Romanov's I thought of AF as extremely beautiful, my opinions on her have changed, she had a hard mouth, just a hard look about her mouth, as rather a disagreeable person would.  Also her nose is not attractive.  While I have heard her spoken of as QV's most beautiful granddaughter, I find her cold, when I look at her, even Ella looked kinder, much more gentler in her photos.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: lexi4 on May 17, 2005, 10:28:50 PM
I do too Michael, just never had the nerve to say it.  I think she was pretty crazed, really. Her relationship with Rasputin was far from healthy, probably co-dependant. I think her marriage was also co-dependant. I am going to get so slaughtered for saying these things. But I agree with you, I don't see anything "beautiful" about her. I have read that she was more comfortable in small groups or in a one on one relationship. But beyond Anna, she really never  developed any relationships in Russia.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Mgmstl on May 17, 2005, 11:38:01 PM
Quote
I do too Michael, just never had the nerve to say it.  I think she was pretty crazed, really. Her relationship with Rasputin was far from healthy, probably co-dependant. I think her marriage was also co-dependant. I am going to get so slaughtered for saying these things. But I agree with you, I don't see anything "beautiful" about her. I have read that she was more comfortable in small groups or in a one on one relationship. But beyond Anna, she really never  developed any relationships in Russia.



Are you going to get slaughtered for agreeing with me, or for expressing your opinion? Don't worry we'll weather the storm.  
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: lexi4 on May 18, 2005, 01:35:16 PM
Good question Micheal and I don't know the answer. I don't think Alix ever got over her mother's early death. I can relate to this I was about the same age as Alix was when my own mother died. It took years to learn to live with that. Back there, there weren't many options for help with something like that and I doubt that there was much knowledge about the impact that can have on a young child. I think she carried it with her all her life hence she always has a sad far away look.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: duchella on May 18, 2005, 04:48:19 PM
I have always wondered about the origin of royal nicknames.  AF's as a child was Sunny.  The first thing that comes to my mind is a cheerful personality and an optimistic outlook.  N called her Sunny in some of his early letters didn't he?  

Obviously AF's demeanor changed, especially after Alexei was born, but really, she was out of her element from the beginning of her marriage.  She dealt with a lot of stress and sadness during her adult life and no doubt that changed her.

IMO  it just goes to prove the depth of affection between AF & NII that he loved her, warts & all, perhaps he never saw them, because she wasn't that way with him.  The letters they wrote to each other when he was at Stavka are syrupy with childish comments of their love for each other.  Maybe their relationship was sunny (except for Alexei)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Tasha_R on May 19, 2005, 11:14:44 AM
RE: Now this is making me want to start a yearly Imperial Ball where all the ladies can wear their perfume and we can fill the ballroom with Alexandra Roses.
Now, wherever can I find a cut-rate tiara  

What a lovely idea!  Perhaps this will help:
http://countalexander.com/
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: bluetoria on May 19, 2005, 11:48:46 AM
Duchella, I totally agree with you. Whatever else may be said about Alexandra, nothing can detract from the fact that she & Nicholas were totally devoted to one another & their love for each other was such that I would say they (unlike the majority of people) actually succeeded in remaining 'in love' with each other even after being married for years.

Their letters (even towards the end, when they were interspersed with all the anxieties about the war & Alix's frantic pleas on behalf of 'Our Friend') show that they deeply loved each other. I do not consider it anymore co-dependent than any other relationship between 2 people. Rather I would describe it as mutually supportive - which is, after all, the basis of the majority of successful relationships, is it not?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: rskkiya on May 19, 2005, 12:36:09 PM
Quote
I always thought that it would be difficult to be around Alexandra because of the depression and mental problems. In her photos, she rarely looked happy, rarely smiled. I always wondered if what really fueled the relationship of Nicholas and Alexandra was co-dependancy.

Hello Lexi4 and Michael G
    I agree, Alix seemed to have suffered from some serious emotional problems and her reclusive behaviour and obsession with making lists of 'Friends' and 'Enemies' certainly did not help.
    Regarding her appearence -- people tended not to smile in vintage photos - also I can't make any judgement about Alix's looks.
    I think that she aged rather badly from some photos (although, in all honestly very few people look good in photos taken in direct sunlight --I Know THAT for sure!- (BE AFRAID OF MY SUMMER SNAPS :D heheheh) but then again she had FIVE children and suffered from various health problems (some real and some pychosomatic) plus a world of worry!
    Would she hve been FUN? Maybe to her select friends, but not by 21st century standards...
rskkiya
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Jane on May 19, 2005, 02:28:02 PM
I think Alexandra was, by nature, a melancholy soul, even from from childhood.  Remember the antecdote about how her cousin Marie Louise (Helena Schleswig-Holstein's's daughter) teased Alix when they were little girls about how Alix always played at being sad, and wondered what would Alix do when the "Almighty sent her some real crushing sorrows?"  I agree with those who believe that in her younger years, if one was a loved and trusted confidante, that Alexandra probably was capable of being light-hearted.  In all that I have read about her, she's never struck me as a type capable of any frivolity.  The death of her mother at so young an age, the death of her two siblings, her father's disastrous ten-minute marriage to Madame Kolemine, all these things probably reinforced Alix's solemn nature.  

By the same token, we probably all agree that her marriage to Nicholas was, at least in the early years, full of spiritual and physical passion.  I tend to think that anyone capable of that depth of emotion certainly is capable of being "fun" because it requires, to some extent, some willingness to allow inhibitions to slip.  

However, Alexandra was under tremendous pressure to conceive an heir.  After Alexei's birth, I tend to think that worry for his health, however understandable the impulses of a loving parent, drove Alexandra to the brink.  As she grew older, I do think she became more paranoid and suspicious about any perceived infringement on "Baby's legacy."  She was so tragically unsuited to the position of Empress of Russia. I find myself kind of admiring her grit and reserve during the period of the IF's imprisonment.  

Was she fun?  Who knows.  I certainly don't see myself as having anything in common with her.  
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: BobAtchison on May 27, 2005, 09:22:41 AM
Let's don't forget about her pillow fights with her daughters and them all collapsing in peels of laughter and all inside jokes in the family...

Alix was taught to look solemn in her pictures - it was the style of the time when she was a girl.  Smiles were out and Victoria definitely frowned on them.

Bob
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: lexi4 on May 27, 2005, 06:07:17 PM
Good point Bob. I can't recall seeing Victoria ever photographed with a smile on her face. Glad you mentioned the pillow fights, I had forgotten about that.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Lisa on May 28, 2005, 03:57:56 AM
It's quite rare, but it exists: Her Majesty the Queen Victoria smiling!

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v248/lyzotchka1/vic4.jpg)



and her grand-daughter Her Majesty the Empress of all the Russias smiling in summer 1914:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v248/lyzotchka1/27.jpg)


well, I must aggree these pics are NOT official photos...
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: bluetoria on May 28, 2005, 06:15:04 AM
Thanks for posting these, Lisa!  :) I love the one of QV smiling - apparently Princess Beatrice was quite annoyed about it & thought it shouldn't be published because it wasn't 'regal' enough but QV didn't care!!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: etonexile on May 28, 2005, 08:30:47 AM
One of my favy QV stories is when HM was having lunch with an elderly Admiral who's family she had known since childhood. The dear Queen asked about the state of health of the gentleman's sister...Being rather deaf...he thought she was refering to his former ship..."Oh,she's in a bad shape,M'am...I fear we shall have to roll her on her side and scrape her bottom..."...HM looked stunded at first...and then buried her face in her napkin...laughing until she shook...the poor man couldn't figure out what had happened....
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: bluetoria on May 28, 2005, 08:40:26 AM
 ;D ;D

I also like the story from Marie Mallett of QV in Cimiez wherethe Comtesse de Grange presented her with an ostrich egg on which:

"...the doubtful Comtesse had scrawled her name, "Just as if she laid it herself!" remarked the Queen naively. Then added, 'Why cannot we have ostrich eggs at Windsor? We have an ostrich.'
'Yes, mama, a male one,' was Princess Beatrice's reply."
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: BobAtchison on May 28, 2005, 09:15:56 AM
Pamela Cantacuzene (a close friend of Greg King's), read me a letter from Princess Julia Cantacuzene where she relates a visit she made to Alexandra in the Alexander Palace.  Julia wrote that Alexandra walked up to her with a big smile and a huge hug as she entered the room.  Julia remarked that Alexandra was very different in person that she was reputed to be.  She could be warm and open with friends.

Bob
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: lexi4 on May 28, 2005, 11:43:58 AM
Thank you for posting the smiling pictures. They are great and I love the little stories. Thank you.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: hikaru on May 29, 2005, 07:07:43 AM
I have read in the memoirs of the Director of Imperial Theaters Mr. Telyakovsky that the Alix liked very much
opperettas by Offenbach : "Perikola", "Orpheus". She specially asked to play "Hofman stories" at the Hermitage theater.
Maybe she liked to sing opperette's songs too.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Belochka on May 29, 2005, 08:23:57 AM
Quote
According to the text of the Vyrubova's interrogation by
special committee, " Vyrubova took the singing lessons together with Alexandra from M-me Iretskaya, professor of the St.-Petersurg conservatoire".


I wonder whether Vyrubova's memoir misquoted yet another surname? Her book stated the teacher's name was Mme. Tretskaia. [ see p 28]  ???
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: ChristineM on May 29, 2005, 08:26:02 AM
Nicholas and Alexandra were husband and wife - it would take a very unusual husband and wife not to have any thing - large or small - irritate in their relationship.  

I find Nicholas vocalising this little irritation quite endearing.  They were no different from any other couple - apart from being an Emperor and and Empress!

tsaria
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: hikaru on May 29, 2005, 08:38:36 AM
The name of the m-me Iretskaya came not from the memoirs but from the text of her interrogation which took place after the revolution.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: hikaru on May 29, 2005, 08:39:27 AM
Maybe her memoirs are not her ones?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Belochka on May 29, 2005, 08:53:02 AM
I doubt that Vyrubova personally wrote her memoirs. As with most of these books they were ghost written.

The name of the teacher must have been lost in translation into English.

I would anticipate that the P.G. interrogation document would be the most accurate.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Finelly on June 16, 2005, 10:46:35 PM
My guess is that with everyone other than her closest family and confidants, Alix was dull, dull, dull.  She had tremendous social anxiety and regular anxiety and depression as well, was extremely self-conscious and awkward.
With those she felt comfortable, she was probably much warmer and funny.  However, she had that streak of melodramatic spirituality which viewed suffering as a good thing, so it was normal for her to give the impression of being sad.
As for her relationship with nicky, it was physically passionate until the end.  Her letters to him and his to hers during the war have LOTS of references to sex.  I do not believe she bored him!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: aleksandra on June 22, 2005, 07:49:29 PM
Jokes or anything that goes with this topic,I dont know many jokes that alix said or did to people. Laughing was a rare thing for her to do .
Please post them.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: J_Zhivago on June 24, 2005, 11:41:12 PM
In the later years Alexandra is often in a wheelchair and is often referred to as an invalid.  Does anyone know what sort of actual physical ailment she was suffering from?

Regarding happy/smiling Alexandra pictures:  I've seen an adorable one with Alix & Nicky kissing on one side, and Xenia & her husband embracing or smooching on the other.  N's sister Olga is in the center with her arms out looking happy.  It's from the early years--probably 1894.  I can't remember where I've seen it, but it's quite adorable.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: lexi4 on June 25, 2005, 12:24:35 AM
I would love to see those pictures J_Zhivago mentioned if anyone has them. I think Alexandra could do pretty well on a one on one or in a small group. I seem to rememner something about how she warmed the hearts of some of the guards. Can't remember any more than that, but I believe it was in one of Massie's books. I'll have to check.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: aleksandra on June 25, 2005, 12:36:10 AM
Can we make a list of everything that alexandra liked to have fun.
Just a thought.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Finelly on June 25, 2005, 10:45:22 AM
Actually, she liked to DANCE!  On board the Standart, they would have little dances and she and Nicholas would participate.  
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: NAAOTMA on June 25, 2005, 06:29:36 PM
She liked to play piano duets, she liked to ride (sidesaddle) at least in the early years of her marriage, she liked to have the family pets and their offspring around her...anyone who can enjoy the antics of kittens and puppies has some humor and joy in life...and she had an interest in photography, shared with other members of the IF that would have provided fun for herself and for her family.  Everyone in the family seems to have had fun preparing for Christmas for those who worked in the Imperial Household as well as themselves.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: bluetoria on June 26, 2005, 10:20:15 AM
When she cameto visit Ella before her marriage, she enjoyed ice skating & played 'hide & seek' in Serge's Palace!  :D
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Finelly on June 26, 2005, 12:48:55 PM
Some invalids keep their entire families hostage and don't let them go out and have fun.  Alexandra, despite her nerves and back problems, always made sure the family went on vacations.  This is a credit to her.  I note especially that although she was protective of Alexei, she did allow him to play.  

It seems to me that it would be fun to have a mother who organized picnics, boating outings, dances on board, beach time, etc, even if she couldnt' participate in all of them!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarai on June 26, 2005, 02:00:20 PM
Quote
Regarding happy/smiling Alexandra pictures:  I've seen an adorable one with Alix & Nicky kissing on one side, and Xenia & her husband embracing or smooching on the other.  N's sister Olga is in the center with her arms out looking happy.  It's from the early years--probably 1894.  I can't remember where I've seen it, but it's quite adorable.


You can see that picture on this thread:
http://hydrogen.pallasweb.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=family;action=display;num=1092534593
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: J_Zhivago on June 26, 2005, 09:57:30 PM
Yes, thanks Sarai!  That's the picture I was talking about.  I just found it in a book this afternoon.  Don't they all look wonderfully happy?  And clearly, Nicky thought Alix was "fun."
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Margarita Markovna on June 30, 2005, 10:10:30 AM
Once she had a pillowfight with her daughters and jumped in the pillows and fell through  ;D
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Meesha on July 09, 2005, 09:38:08 PM
Hi..

I was just listening to the sound clip of Nicky's voice (so strange to be hearing him for the first time...). And I was wondering if there are any sound bits for Alexandra?


Thanks, everyone!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Margarita Markovna on July 10, 2005, 04:22:44 PM
Where is the one for Nicky?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: jackie3 on July 11, 2005, 11:44:44 PM
I think it was discussed on a previous thread that sound recordings were made of Alix and the children (perhaps for the Empress Marie) but they are now lost/disappeared.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Forum Admin on July 12, 2005, 09:42:38 AM
Bob says that he has evidence that Edison sound recordings were made of the IF but they have never surfaced.  Several sources write that Alexandra had a high voice, singing soprano.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: RealAnastasia on July 24, 2005, 07:57:40 PM
I think I have the answer about this question of "Alix  colour hair". I read that Lili Denh and Anna Virubova depicted her as a blonde woman with some redish shade in her hair. Besides, in old photos, a dark blond hair would look dark. It would look more "blond" if the pic was took out, in the sun. This is the reason to see OTMAA sometimes with fair blond hair, and sometimes with really dark hair. Only people who had really light blond hair ( almost white) would appear in old black and white photos as really blonds.
Generally, babies when blonds, have very light blond hair, and it's for that you'll may notice there are really blonds in old photos. But when they grow up, their hair goes darker and it's look almost black in photos, when it is actually a dark blond hair.
Hope I could help you in some way...


RealAnastasia.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Baby Tsarevich on August 04, 2005, 06:49:21 PM
Alix breast fed her children herself, she wanted to be a real and normal mother as much as possible

~Anastacia~
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Margarita Markovna on August 04, 2005, 08:25:50 PM
That's so sweet.  ;D
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Laura Mabee on August 04, 2005, 11:12:02 PM
Really? I had heard that she got a wet nurse  :-/
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Finelly on August 05, 2005, 12:02:16 AM
Her mother, Princess Alice, also breast fed, much to the utter dismay and horror of QVictoria.....
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Baby Tsarevich on August 05, 2005, 02:53:42 AM
I think it's kind of apalling to employ someone to breast-feed a child! :P
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Mashka-Morgan on August 05, 2005, 03:08:41 AM
 :)
I agree with you, Baby-Tsarevitch. And I find their mothering standards remarkable, especially for their era.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Speedycat on August 05, 2005, 08:14:16 AM
Quote
I never knew she was disgusted about that! I never heard that story...hmmm interesting!


Of yes...QV refered to them behaving like cows (can't remember the exact quote).  She also was quite annoyed that they discussed the "facts of life", even though by then they were adult women with children.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: grandduchess_42 on August 05, 2005, 08:15:18 AM
Quote
:)
I agree with you, Baby-Tsarevitch. And I find their mothering standards remarkable, especially for their era.


same here. but i admire alix, for not doing what her grand mother wanted. and tryed to be a normal mother.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Mashka-Morgan on August 05, 2005, 11:05:40 PM
Even if QV had those unfortunate beliefs, I don't think she could have found any other fault in Alix's excellence as a mother.  She seems to have been excellent both in the standards of her own time as well as ours!
I think her devotion and necessary efforts as a mother of a sick child eventually ruined her health and led to a terrible depression (concerning her son); but that is of course for another topic!
M-M
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: clockworkgirl21 on August 06, 2005, 07:20:41 AM
Blond moment here...no offense to blonds...but what is a wet nurse?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: bluetoria on August 06, 2005, 07:33:28 AM
Quote
Blond moment here...no offense to blonds...but what is a wet nurse?


A woman who is employed to breast feed someone else's baby.

Queen Victoria named a cow in the royal dairy 'Alice' when she heard that Alice was breast-feeding Ella. I think QV's digust was not so much snobbery as her whole dislike of any bodily functions - and babies. She was equally repulsed by pregnancy & childbirth.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: clockworkgirl21 on August 06, 2005, 08:01:49 AM
Oh, wow. I guess VQ would have hired someone to carry the baby and then give birth, too, if she could?  ::)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Speedycat on August 06, 2005, 08:04:09 AM
Quote

A woman who is employed to breast feed someone else's baby.

Queen Victoria named a cow in the royal dairy 'Alice' when she heard that Alice was breast-feeding Ella. I think QV's digust was not so much snobbery as her whole dislike of any bodily functions - and babies. She was equally repulsed by pregnancy & childbirth.


Yes, she called it "the darker side" of married life and was upset that her first pregnancy occurred so soon after her marriage and ruined her private time with her beloved Albert.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Finelly on August 06, 2005, 10:56:57 AM
On November 12, 1895, N wrote to QV:

"...she finds such pleasure in nursing the sweet baby herself.  I consider it the most natural thing in the world...."

Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Laura Mabee on August 06, 2005, 11:10:52 AM
Thanks Finelly. If I had my copy of "Lifelong Passion" I would try and find the letter I read from (I think Xenia) to Alix about breastfeeding.  But Alas, its packed up for my moving day. Thank you though, I appreciate the letter. I now believe Alix did nurse the children herself.  :)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Finelly on August 06, 2005, 11:47:27 AM
Well, I have my copy right here!  I just looked, basically scanning, so I may have missed an actual letter from X to A, but here's what I found:

Xenia, diary - 5 November, Tsarskoe Selo:  Alix started feeding herself.  During dinner, the wet-=nurse's son started to TAKE HER BREAST, and we all took turns to go in and watch the spectacle.  The wet-nurse stood next to her, looking very satisfied.  (what? Did the wet nurse's son nurse from Alix?)

So now I am confused.  At first, I thought perhaps Alix used a wet nurse for nights or something, so she could get a good night's sleep.  But according to Greg King's book, she refused nighttime help and kept the baby with her all night long.......
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Laura Mabee on August 06, 2005, 01:22:14 PM
Thanks Finelly!
That wasn't the quote I was looking for, but it does bring some new light onto this. Why was there a wet-nurse there if Alix did all the breast feeding herself?

The letter I am talking about, was I believe from Xenia (I could be completely wrong) making fun on Alix for breastfeeding. Something along the lines of "Her Old Hen, being like a cow" ... I really need to find that book...
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: grandduchess_42 on August 06, 2005, 01:35:17 PM
Quote
... whereas Nicholas thought it the most natural thing to do.


i wonder if nicholas did think it was natural?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: grandduchess_42 on August 06, 2005, 02:33:00 PM
Quote
I cannot find a reference to a hen and cow, but I did find one to a goat. ;D
On 14/26 November 1895, Nicholas wrote a letter to his brother Georgiy: "... You are surely aware that Alix is herself feeding our dear little daughter, and has turned herself into a veritable 'goat'. ..."



NICKY he said that... he said that his wife is a goat?! that can't be possible!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Robby on August 06, 2005, 03:01:26 PM
Emmy, i don't think he meant that negative, but i think more as a 'joke', i mean, i wouldn't call my wife a 'goat', and i know Nicholas wouldn't say something like that, because it is a Joke!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Finelly on August 06, 2005, 03:02:52 PM
Not only is it possible, but it is a fact.

Even the IF had a sense of humor!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: clockworkgirl21 on August 06, 2005, 05:57:19 PM
I remember reading that Aleksandra tried to nurse Olga, and Olga refused to eat, so Aleksandra handed her over to the wet nurse for a try. It ended up Aleksandra feeding the wet nurse's son, and the wet nurse feeding Olga.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on August 07, 2005, 08:51:42 AM
Alix fed her children for the first 3-4 months by her own breast, but a wet-nurse was employed because she didn't produce enough milk on her own.
(I think this info comes from G.D. Olga Alexandrovna's memoirs, but I'm not certain.)

As for the cow/goat remarks -- my grandpa (a farmer) told my grandma she was a "good heifer" when she was nursing my mother and uncles. In some contexts I suppose that could be taken as a tremendous insult, but Grandma got a kick out of it and still tells that story every now and then. (You know, every time breasts come up in a conversation... ;))
Sm
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: grandduchess_42 on August 07, 2005, 11:10:30 AM
Quote
Alix fed her children for the first 3-4 months by her own breast, but a wet-nurse was employed because she didn't produce enough milk on her own.
(I think this info comes from G.D. Olga Alexandrovna's memoirs, but I'm not certain.)

As for the cow/goat remarks -- my grandpa (a farmer) told my grandma she was a "good heifer" when she was nursing my mother and uncles. In some contexts I suppose that could be taken as a tremendous insult, but Grandma got a kick out of it and still tells that story every now and then. (You know, every time breasts come up in a conversation... ;))
Sm


so the wet nurse fed one of alix's children. like with a bottle or breast feeding?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Robby on August 07, 2005, 11:25:00 AM
Breast feeding
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: noblepupil on August 08, 2005, 11:53:21 PM
I have to say in the diary of Nicky.  Alix could not breast feed Olga.  Cause she wouldn't take to the breast of Alix.  They had to hire a wet nurse.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on August 09, 2005, 10:10:31 AM
Yes, noblepupil, but was that the case during Olga's entire infancy, or is this an isolated incident in Nicholas's diary? I was under the impression that the empress fed all of her children herself, supplemented by the wet-nurse. On Nov 5, Xenia records the baby/breast-swap between Alix and the nurse, but in his letters of the 12th and 14th, Nicholas mentions how much Alix is enjoying nursing the child herself.

Honestly, the things we get wrapped up in... ::) ;)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on August 09, 2005, 04:16:21 PM
And sometimes, after-all it takes mother and baby a little while to get used to the arrangement.

I suspect with the term 'goat', they meant a nanny-goat.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on August 10, 2005, 08:51:56 AM
Quote
Several sources write that Alexandra had a high voice, singing soprano.
Posted by: grandduchess_42


Really? I'm quite sure either Lili Dehn or Anna Vyrubova wrote that she sang contralto! I'll do some checking and see if I'm delusional or what...
Sm
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on August 10, 2005, 09:02:55 AM
From Memories of the Russian Court, Chapter 3, by Anna Vyrubova:

"The Empress was gifted with a lovely contralto voice, which, had she been born in other circumstances, might easily have given her a professional standing. My voice being a high soprano we sang many duets."
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: grandduchess_42 on August 16, 2005, 09:28:35 AM
Quote
I have read somewhere that Vicky also breast-fed her nephew Frittie (Alice's little boy) for some reason


really? i didn't know that thanks for posting.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Helene on August 16, 2005, 11:10:10 PM
This is a picture of Alexandra who nurses Olga, extract from a french newspaper ( and around the godmothers)  :) :

(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a13/Angevine/pj26408121895.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: grandduchess_42 on August 17, 2005, 11:10:00 AM
never seen that picture... thank you for posting.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Ortino on August 17, 2005, 11:15:26 AM
Quote
This is a picture of Alexandra who nurses Olga, extract from a french newspaper ( and around the godmothers)  


I'm surprised they would feature in a public newspaper an image of such a questionable nature back then. It doesn't seem to fit the Victorian style of modesty and propriety. Perhaps though the French had different ideals when it came to these?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Baby Tsarevich on August 17, 2005, 12:57:44 PM
Why would they put that in a news paper?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: grandduchess_42 on August 17, 2005, 01:23:05 PM
don't know... maby the french is more open to private matters.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: grandduchess_42 on August 18, 2005, 06:59:18 AM
Quote
I don't think Alexandra would have been too pleased with that illustration and could you imagine what QV would of thought of it

o i know... QV would have gone ballistic!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Ikea von Smorgasbord on August 21, 2005, 09:10:34 AM
Quote
I wondered if anyone knew any information in addition to Alix' hairstyles - noteably how they were achieved, especially those like the picture in the first row on the right, that Lisa has posted here. I heard that the hair was "coiled" upon the head, but i would love to know details  :). Does anyone know also about her hairdressers?


Interesting topic! It´s always great fun to read this extra info you only find on this board. :)

I just wanted to comment on the "Mickey Mouse-ears": very popular around 1912 - and perhaps not the best look on AF (MHO)... It suited well with tiaras and the oversized hats. Do you all remember Mrs de Witt-Bukater (Frances Fisher) in the Titanic movie? The same hairstyle! And it´s not bad at all on her.
I found a couple of links to websites with instructions for making various edwardian coffures. Take a look!

http://frazzledfrau.tripod.com/titanic/hair.htm

http://intimelyfashion.com/hair/main.html

PS: The fascination with collecting hair is a typical victorian hobby: it was popular to make bracelets and rings of hair and exchange with a sister or best friend. A young lady might have a ring made of her hair and give it to her fiancé as a precous keep-sake.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: CountessKate on August 21, 2005, 12:51:20 PM
I think colouring the hair with henna was something respectable Victorian and Edwardian women simply did not do, like putting on makeup - it was the sort of thing which marked a woman as being 'fast' and certainly not a gentlewoman.  Besides which, hair dye wasn't very subtle at that time so everyone could see what you'd done!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alicky1872 on August 22, 2005, 04:38:10 PM
I'd never seen that print before either...very strange. And it must have been drawn by a man, because any woman who's ever breast fed a baby knows that the position 'Baby Olga' is in would be the most awkward in the world!  ::)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Helen_Azar on September 03, 2005, 03:08:20 PM
Back to the original question as to what sort of books Alexandra read.

This summer I had a very unique opportunity to work with the imperial book collection at the Catherine Palace. These books are originally from the AP library and all have the TS Imperial stamps on them.

I had the chance to look at and examine several books that belonged to Alexandra, so I am going to try to describe them.

The first one was "Alice" in German, the biography of Alix's mother. Inside, there is an inscription, in Alix's childhood handwriting (I think) that says "Alix von Hessen 1884, Darmstadt". This is obviously a book that she brought with her from home.

Another book was 'The Secret Garden", in English, where I didn't see any inscriptions.  

Another was a book in Russian called "Nachertaniye Khristianskogo Nravouchenya Episkopa Feofana" .  This is a book of a religious nature, published in 1895. Inside the inscription said, in Russian "T.S. March 1906" Inside the front cover are Alix's initials "AF" (in Russian letters) written by her hand in a very unique way - 'A' kind of intertwined with the 'F'.

And finally, IMO, the most interesting book I saw was "Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam with Illustrations by Edmund Dulac", in English. Inside, the inscription in pencil said:

For my darling Alix
Xmas 1912
fr. Nicky


This book was obviously a Christmas gift from Nicholas to Alexandra.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Ortino on September 03, 2005, 03:44:40 PM
How unbelievably lucky you were Helen_A to have the chance to see and work with these! ;D I find it interesting that she had a copy of her mother's biography and the Rubaiyat, which is something I never would have thought of her owning. Were books the only items you had the opportunity to work with?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Helen_Azar on September 03, 2005, 03:57:08 PM
Quote
Were books the only items you had the opportunity to work with?


Yes. I would liked very much to have worked with photographs and/or letters, but that was another department  ;).
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: AnnK on September 27, 2005, 11:42:22 PM
Hello All!
There was a short article in the Boston Globe about the artifact collection at Harvard's Countway Medical Library this week. Imagine my surprise when it highlighted one of the first "X-Rays" ever done...both Nicholas & Alexandra's hands in 1898! (Along with the story of how and why the X-Rays were taken!) Facinating!

This is of her right hand...could the rings be her wedding & engagement rings?

Here is the URL:
http://countway.med.harvard.edu/rarebooks/exhibits/stones/stones4.html
Regards, Ann
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on September 28, 2005, 08:04:46 AM
Thanks, Ann!

We've looked before for shots of Alix's wedding ring. Could this be it? It's on her right hand, in the Orthodox tradition...
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: AnnK on September 28, 2005, 11:07:20 AM
Hi!

I completely think that this is her wedding ring! That was the first thing I got excited about when I saw this published in the Globe! I remember that her Engagement ring was a Pink Pearl and diamonds (can someone confirm that in case my memory has failed me?)...so it would stand to reason that that is what we are seeing in the Radiograph.

Let me know what you think?!

Regards, Ann
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: strom on September 28, 2005, 01:57:11 PM
A fascinating remainder of the Imperial couple.  Thanks so much!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Belochka on September 29, 2005, 02:33:26 AM
Quote
This is of her right hand...could the rings be her wedding & engagement rings?


It is Russian Orthodox custom to wear a wedding ring on the right hand.

Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on September 29, 2005, 08:07:48 AM
Yes, Alix's ring was a pink pearl -- sure looks like a candidate to me!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: mitia on September 29, 2005, 02:54:45 PM
I think that some one mentionned that Alexandra F would use Guerlain Eau de Verveine as an eau de toilette. As far as I can remember, Guerlain has been producing this particular Eau de Verveine for the last 45 years ( and probably longer since one my mother's friend had a perfume shop in Paris from 1917 to 1954 and I can remember her talking about Eau de Verveine as something very soft which would suit anybody ) and it is still available all over the world. I am just wondering if the present Eau de Verveine by Guerlain really has the same scent than the one AF would like to use ?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: RealAnastasia on September 29, 2005, 07:49:15 PM
I'm very found of floral scents, much more than modern perfumes (I'm quite old fashiones). ..And even if my tastes are almost 100% similar to Olga's ones (my favorite OTMA is Olga) my favorite scent is more close to Tatiana's one: "Jazmin". I know she liked "Jazmin de Corse", and I always wanted to know how it smelled....Anyone knows it? I also liked very much lila's scent (Maria's favorite scent) and Violette (Anastasia's one)

Dear Bob: I'm very found of aromotherapy, and always use oils scents in water , along with incense sticks in my room. But I always use different scents in oil and in sticks, for I love to smell different beatiful scents. My favorite ones are fruits and flowers, not exotic scents as patchouly, incense etc but rose, jazmine, Queen of Night, Lila, Violette, lemon, coconut, vanilla etc.

RealAnastasia.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Helen_Azar on September 30, 2005, 06:42:09 AM
Quote
...the scent once specifically created for the last Empress of Russia is still readily available today.  It's called in Russian, Krasnaya Moskva which means Red Moscow.  The perfume was recreated in the Soviet area but the scents originality was kept until recently a secret.  


This is true, I heard it from a very reliable source too.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alicky1872 on September 30, 2005, 06:42:20 PM
This is fascinating, AnnK! So those must be the bracelets Alix was never able to remove, a childhood present from her Uncle Leopold... Is it the Russian custom that men don't wear wedding rings?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: AnnK on October 01, 2005, 10:37:22 PM
Mrs. Eddy,
I was wondering the same thing about the bracelets! Funny you should have thought that too. I also was wondering about Nicholas wearing a wedding ring. Perhaps someone else would know if he ever had one from Alexandra?
Regards, Ann
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on October 02, 2005, 02:52:44 PM
We Orthodox men also wear our wedding rings on our right ring-finger. Maybe he took his off for the x-ray.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: ChristineM on October 02, 2005, 03:23:40 PM
Its the lack of ring on Nicholas' finger which puzzles me.   Alix presented him with a gold ring with a large pale blue sapphire which he never again removed from his finger.

This apart, the x-ray of the right hand seems to fit the description, certainly of Alix's engagement ring.

tsaria
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alicky1872 on October 02, 2005, 05:39:32 PM
The more I look at this, the more I'm wondering...could it be Nicky's LEFT hand, with his palm facing up?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on October 02, 2005, 05:55:02 PM
Could be. That or he did take the ring off on this occassion.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on October 02, 2005, 06:23:06 PM
Quote
The more I look at this, the more I'm wondering...could it be Nicky's LEFT hand, with his palm facing up?


Shouldn't we be able to deduce something from the arm bones? The difference in size between the ulna and radius ought to tell us something. (Where oh where are my high school anatomy notes??)

On the not-so-technical side, the cufflink looks to me as if it's rightside up, which would indicate it's Nicky's right hand.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: AnnK on October 02, 2005, 08:41:45 PM
Hello All,

My guess is Nicholas did take off his ring for the picture!

The radius & ulna (bones of the arm) are in the correct position for this to be the the "top" of the right arm/hand. Also, the cufflink is in the correct postion to close the the cuff on the outer side of the wrist.

Here is a closer look at Alexandra's Rings. I got it as large as I could and still retain some integrity what we are seeing. Looks like two rings...is one the pearl engagement ring? (Looks a bit small?)

(http://home.comcast.net/~akillio1/AMK_Files/alexandras_rings.jpg)


Regards, Ann
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on October 02, 2005, 08:51:19 PM
Quote
(Looks a bit small?)


Actually, relative to the size of her hand, I'd say it's rather large! It nearly covers the entire space between the first two joints of her finger. (That's a full inch on my hand, but I've got long fingers).
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: ChristineM on October 03, 2005, 02:19:17 PM
Yes, I think Nicholas must have removed the ring - although the Bolsheviks were unable to remove it after his murder.

Nicholas probably removed the ring fearful the new technology of taking pictures inside the body = x-ray, may have harmed the stone.

tsaria
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on October 03, 2005, 03:01:59 PM
That could well be the reason! Of course at the time the xray was taken, it could have been easier to remove the ring, whereas by the time of Ekaterinburg, 20 years after the xray, he might have gained enough weight that it was impossible to move the ring.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Silja on October 09, 2005, 10:26:47 AM
Quote

We've looked before for shots of Alix's wedding ring. Could this be it? It's on her right hand, in the Orthodox tradition...


Not necessarily (only) in the Orthodox tradition. In Germany, too, you wear your wedding ring on the right hand.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: aleksandra on October 15, 2005, 08:58:30 PM
I'm just woundering what her handwrithing looks like?
I've never seen it before.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on October 16, 2005, 09:53:01 AM
These are the programs Alix wrote out for the plays the family performed during the winter in Tobolsk.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/PackingUp.jpg
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/CrystalGazer.jpg
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on October 16, 2005, 10:45:28 AM
Alix's last diary entry:
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Alixslastentry.jpg
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on October 16, 2005, 08:08:40 PM
Quote
i can't read it... but yeah.


Yekaterinburg
3/16 July
Irina's 23rd B.D.
11 degrees  TUESDAY

Grey morning, later lovely sunshine. Baby has a slight cold. All went out 1/2 hour in the morning, Olga & I arranged our medicines.
3:00. Tatiana read Spir. Readings. They went out, Tatiana stayed with me & we read: Bk. of the Pr. Amos and Pr. Obediah. Tatted. Every morning the Command. comes to our rooms, at last after a week brought eggs again for Baby.
8:00. Supper.
Suddenly Lyonka Sednyov was fetched to go & see his Uncle & flew off - wonder whether its true & we shall see the boy back again!
Played bezique with Nicholas.
10:30. to bed. 15 degrees.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: grandduchess_42 on October 17, 2005, 07:23:25 AM
thank you  
i do wonder what happened to leonka.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Ortino on October 17, 2005, 03:28:32 PM
Quote
thank you  :o

i do wonder what happened to leonka.


He survived and died of typhus in 1929.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: clockworkgirl21 on October 17, 2005, 08:26:42 PM
That's so sad. They only had hours left to live, and knew nothing about it. It seemed the day went by very normally.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on October 17, 2005, 08:30:05 PM
Quote

He survived and died of typhus in 1929.


No kidding? I thought he just sort of disappeared from history...
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Russian_Duchess_#5 on December 05, 2005, 01:37:50 PM
Alexandra's 'Gogoly-Mogoly' was featured in the new movie Pride and Prejudice.
Mrs. Benett (the mother of the 3 or 4 sisters)was making herself a bizarre concoction of milk and beaten raw egg.  :P
She was performing it at the table with much disgust in her face... :-X
She did remind me of Alix :-/

Sofi ;)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: aleksandra on December 05, 2005, 04:24:25 PM
Can any one make a list of Food AF ate?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: RealAnastasia on December 05, 2005, 06:44:10 PM
Nicholas was "very Russian" to eat. He loved "Kasha" , "Cabbage Soup", "Pork with hot Radish"  and "Borsh". He liked very much the very simple Russian peasant dishes. However, he didn't like caviar very much, since  , he had had a severe indigestion with it.  

The Imperial family had a French Chef, Cubat who tryed to coock especial delicate French-style dishes for their masters, but since Nicholas liked Russian meals and Alexandra didn't pay too much attention to food, borning herself to eat whatever thing they put in front of, her, he had not a so great succes.  ;D

I do not know exactly what kind of meals OTMAA liked. I'm only know that Alexei liked "Blinis" very much, but that's all.

My source is Robert K. Massie, "Nicholas and Alexandra".

RealAnastasia.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Russian_Duchess_#5 on December 05, 2005, 09:28:02 PM
On the subject of Blinis, I always wondered, are they served as a dessert or as entrees or sides?
I know that they are buttery, but think that there are variations like potato blini and such.
And are blintzes (like crepes filled with cottage or cream cheese and rolled with a sweet fruit sauce, at least in IHOP) blini?
I always wondered.


Sofi :)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: lovy on December 22, 2005, 05:02:22 PM
i hear that alexandra liked to read romance novels by her favourite author, marie corelli. but she also liked non-fiction like 'the origin of the species' or whatever its called, by charles dickens.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: koloagirl on December 22, 2005, 11:42:18 PM
 :)

Err.....make that "Origin of the Species" by Charles Darwin.

Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Tsarina_Liz on January 11, 2006, 02:20:27 PM
On a more serious note, Alexandra's tendency to be a finicky and light eater could have been a sign of a mild eating disorder.  People who feel they have little control in their lives and people who feel overwhelmed by the world often become anorexic or bulemic because food and their intake of it are things they have complete control over.  

Now I'm not saying that Alexandra suffered from anorexia or bulemia, but she may have been suffering from control issues and that manifested itself in her eating habits.  Also, like someone mentioned earlier, depression could have driven her from food and made her even more listless and pinched looking.  
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on January 11, 2006, 02:38:45 PM
Possibly. But also, around half of the year is spent as 'fasting' days, with abstinence from animal products, and not eating huge amounts.  It could well be that this style of eating filtered through into her everyday habits. I know a lot of (Orthodox laypeople) who don't eat meat often (monastics fast from meat at all times).  Certainly by her latter years she was vegetarian for the most part. Abstinance from animal products does help in prayer. Whether her vegtarianism was a form of fasting or for some other reasons though I don't know, but it would be interesting (if all but impossible) to find out.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alixz on January 11, 2006, 05:58:56 PM
What happened to Thomas and his reply?

I was thrown off following the posting chain and realized that his posts are missing.

Alix's diet sounds strange and complicated, but she did have a "matronly" figure before middle age.

I always have remarked on the thickness of her upper arms (when they were visable) and wondered why everyone always said she was slender.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Tsarina_Liz on January 11, 2006, 06:15:11 PM
Quote
Possibly. But also, around half of the year is spent as 'fasting' days, with abstinence from animal products, and not eating huge amounts.  It could well be that this style of eating filtered through into her everyday habits. I know a lot of (Orthodox laypeople) who don't eat meat often (monastics fast from meat at all times).  Certainly by her latter years she was vegetarian for the most part. Abstinance from animal products does help in prayer. Whether her vegtarianism was a form of fasting or for some other reasons though I don't know, but it would be interesting (if all but impossible) to find out.


Wow.  Half a year spent fasting.  Really?  Would she have observed everyone of the fast days?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on January 11, 2006, 07:04:50 PM
A lot of Orthodox do, especially in the Russian Church, but I have also heard that the Romanovs would fast (for example) during Great Lent in the First Week, the middle week and the last week. How accurate that is I don't know. To me it seems strange - you either fast in Lent or you don't rather than some on again off again thing. Maybe the Empress was more 'strict' with herself than the rest of the family was. I don't know. Normally, one would fast every Wednesday and Friday of every week of the year (with a few exceptions of Fast free weeks after Christmas and Easter. There is also a fast free week associated with Pentecost.) On top of that there is the seven weeks or so of Great Lent, 40 Days of the Christmas Fast (before Christmas), the two weeks of the Dormition Fast (before the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos Mary) and the variable-length of the Apostles fast which starts a week after Pentecost and finishes on the Feast of SS Peter and Paul so every year it is of a different length. If it's an early Easter it is quite long. If a late Easter then very short!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: aleksandra on January 11, 2006, 08:42:59 PM
I was just wondering,why would alix do that to her self?
I also wanted to have what dates did she fast? when a child/ teenager/ wife/ mother?
thank you
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on January 11, 2006, 08:44:19 PM
Quote
Abstinance from animal products does help in prayer.

This is very interesting. Can you explain?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on January 11, 2006, 09:53:06 PM
See the following for info on Orthodox Christian fasting:

www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/fasting_ext.htm

and

www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/pr_fasting.aspx

This last one especially has several links to a wealth of information.

Here is some info from that page:

Fasting and Science by Constantine Cavarnos, (The Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies): this is the best short work I have read on the subject. Dr. Cavarnos knows this subject well. In his famous Anchored in God he writes (pp. 29-30):

Fasting takes into account both the quantity and the quality of food. The idea is to eat a smaller amount of food during a fasting day; to abstain from fats and oils, as these tend to fatten the body and thereby to arouse lust and make one physically and spiritually lazy; to abstain from meat, fish, and products of animal origin, as these tend to excite carnal desire; and also to abstain from mere delicacies, as the consumption of these is a form of self-indulgence. St. John Climacus (c. 525-605) says: "Satiety of food is a begetter of unchastity." He also says, "Let us cut down fatty and greasy foods that inflame carnal desire, and foods that sweeten and tickle the larynx" (The Ladder, Migne PG 88, 864, 865).

The practice of fasting is not regarded as an end in itself, as something having instrinsic value, but only as a means, as a necessary condition for the spiritual life. It belongs to the category of what the Eastern, Byzantine Fathers call "bodily virtues," among which are prostrations, standing, and vigils. Referring to these, St. John Damascene (c. 676-c. 754) says that they "are rather instruments for the virtues; they are necessary, in one practices them with humility and spiritual knowledge. For without them neither do the virtues of the soul come into being, but in themselves they are of no benefit, any more than plants without fruit" (Philokalia, 2, 17). And St. Gregory the Sinaite (1289-1360), speaking specifically of fasting, observes: "Constant fasting whithers lust and gives birth to self-restraint" (Philokalia, 2, 272); while Callistos and Ignatios Xanthopoulos remark: "Fasting and self-restraint are the first virtue, the mother, root, source and foundation of all good" (Philokalia, 2, 370).

Other food for thought, from the wise Nicephorus Theotokis:

"When we fast, we search the earth and sea up and down:  the earth in order to collect seeds, produce, fruit, spices, and every other kind of growing edible; the sea to find shellfish, mollusks, snails, sea-urchins, and anything edible therein.  We prepare dry foods, salted foods, pickled foods, and sweet foods, and from these ingredients we concoct many and motley dishes, seasoned with oil, wine, sweeteners, and spices.  Then we fill the table even more than when we are eating meat.  Moreover, since these foods stimulate the appetite, we eat and drink beyond moderation.  And after that we imagine that we are fasting....

"And whoever taught those who fast in this way that such a variety and such quantities of food constitute a fast?  Where did they read or hear that anyone who simply avoids meats or fish is fasting, even if he eats a great amount and different kinds of food?  Fasting is one thing, great variety in food another; fasting is one thing, eating great amounts of food another." [Fasting and Science,  18-19]

 
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Grace on January 12, 2006, 01:10:01 AM
Do what to herself, Aleksandra?

Could you explain a little more what you wish to be discussed in this thread?  

There is already one titled "Alexandra's eating habits"...
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Azarias on January 12, 2006, 01:51:31 AM
Fasting is an important part of things for the Orthodox Christian. Man lives as a dual being both physical and spiritual. For our non Orthodox readers I would also like to add a few comments.

The above articles and regulations are "the standard" as set down. They are the model and goal of fasting. But the church also sees that these things are to be strived for and not just rules to be obeyed empty of the spirit while concentrating purely on the physical.

Much less can be expected of children, the elderly and the infirm. Others have alergies and other such conditions that make such rigourous fastings not only difficult but dangerous. These things are never meant to be a "straight jacket."

Fasting for fasting's sake only accomplishes little. Some believe that it is okay to stay away from meat while devouring a large soy burger, or the 1001 dairy substitutes our modern world provides.They followed the letter of the law without ever understanding the spirit of the law.

Better to do as much as one can seriously handle than to fall into legalistic stricture for it's own sake. Spiritual fasting is just as important if not at times moreso. We are also told not to make a big show of it either or else once again - the benefit is lost!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on January 12, 2006, 02:54:13 AM
Well said Azarias!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alixz on January 12, 2006, 06:01:01 AM
So as I understand it, fasting is not abstaining from eating all together.

It is eating differently from other days.  Not starving oneself as we in the west understand fasting.

Why olive oil?  It is derived from a vegetable and not a meat oil.

Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alixz on January 12, 2006, 06:03:21 AM
If you are refering to "fasting"  I think that it doesn't mean complete abstention from food, but a change in the eating habits.

See the other thread.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: leushino on January 12, 2006, 09:11:21 AM
The truth is... many (if not most) Orthodox practise some form of abstention (although it falls under the heading of fasting). Some monks actually fast... that is... they completely avoid consuming ALL forms of food for periods of time. Alexandra had converted to the Orthodox Church and thus she would abstain from certain (not all) foods during so-called "fast" days (i.e. Wednesdays and Fridays of most [not all] weeks) and during the four Lenten seasons. So... no animal with a backbone would be consumed... no dairy... no oil... no wine. Now... again... in truth very few Orthodox actually follow such strict fasting guidelines. In fact, almost all the Orthodox with whom I'm familiar (including my own family) do not completely follow the fasting regulations. These tend to be more strictly adhered to by zealous converts, monks, some priests and a few cradles. I suspect the Romanovs were like this... probably skipping Wednesday fasts and fasting from meat on Fridays. As for dairy and the rest... well... one is "supposed to" receive guidance from one's spiritual father/counselor in this regard.. but again... it doesn't generally happen other than with converts. Most establish fasting guidelines with which they are reasonably comfortable and assured that they can fulfill them. AND we are NOT supposed to talk about this nor are we to judge those who do not fast or who fast only in very limited ways.

I'm betting Alexandra held to this sort of fasting guideline... a sort of relaxed one... but then again... who can say?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on January 12, 2006, 02:58:04 PM
That's right. I think in the west, fasting came to have negative connotations and eventually fell out of use.

As for olive oil: I have heard a couple of theories. The first is that it is a luxury. (Generally speaking on most fast days we should try and avoid oils of any sort any way...) The other reason I have heard is that in the old days, olive oil was stored in sheep's stomachs, hence the non-fastingness of it. For some reason even though we don't store it in animal stomachs anymore, the 'ban' remains. I suppose it is a mix of both.
To be honest, while I avoid cooking food in oils during a fast, it is hard to find ready made food, eg bread that doesn't contain some sort of oil. As Azarias has mentioned, it is the spirit rather than the letter. I think it would be crazy, not to mention pharisaical to examine every single item in the shopping cart's ingrediant list, but I don't think it is wrong to check if in doubt. I've come across several brands of bread that contain dairy, when I had thought they were Lenten.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Tania+ on January 12, 2006, 03:01:04 PM
Hello Alixz,

I think I saw somewhere in the last year or so, a book written by a [greek] lady, on the 'gifts of the olive tree, as well olive oil, etc.'. Wish I could remember the name of the book. :( so sorry. But, the olive is a wonderful product, and throughout church history, measured for all its health offerings.

Happy New Year !

Tatiana


Quote
So as I understand it, fasting is not abstaining from eating all toether.

It is eating differently from other days.  Not starving oneself as we in the west understand fasting.

Why olive oil?  It is derived from a vegetable and not a meat oil.


Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Azarias on January 12, 2006, 03:01:06 PM
As I tried to point out above, there needs to be a balance between things spiritual and things physical. The Orthodox respect the body and the life that animates it as a gift of God and at the same time belonging to Him. It would be destructive, even disrespectful to starve the body.

You are correct that olive oil is vegetable not animal. It is also seen as a fat. Fats make the palate happy and give satisfaction. They also can slow us down. So it is something to be done in moderation. It also flavors the food and can give pleasure, at times to be avoided.

Olive oil is seen more a gift than a necessity.

Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on January 12, 2006, 03:07:41 PM
That is what I suspect - at least up until her later years when she didn't eat meat at all it seems. Whether she was fasting or not though I don't though. I can not profess to know how others approach fasting, but like I have mentioned elsewhere, most people I know from my parish, mostly cradle-Orthodox from Russia seem to follow the guidelines fairly strictly. But it is not about what food one eats or doesn't - that is merely a means to an end - it is what goes on in one's heart and inner self that is important during lenten periods. Too often people follow the rule but miss the point
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Grace on January 12, 2006, 03:09:23 PM
Quote
Alix's diet sounds strange and complicated, but she did have a "matronly" figure before middle age.

I always have remarked on the thickness of her upper arms (when they were visable) and wondered why everyone always said she was slender.


I have always wondered that too.  Alexandra was never seriously overweight, but I would not have described her as "slender" either.  She seemed to have a normal figure, particularly for a lady who has borne five children.  She must have had a reasonable diet, or she would have been thin.  

If, in the last year of her life, she existed on "boiled vegetables, coffee and lettuce", she would have to have lost weight on that diet.  Perhaps I haven't seen the last pictures of her.  ???  
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Tania+ on January 12, 2006, 03:33:13 PM
Thank you Grace, I now more than ever have a goal to lose, and I shall now use the diet you have so graciously mentioned below of her IH. But i shall substitute tea for coffee. Hopefully, they will be able to slide me under the door, like an envelope, in good time.  :D There's hope for me yet !  ;)

Good wishes to you and yours.

Tatiana


Quote

I have always wondered that too.  Alexandra was never seriously overweight, but I would not have described her as "slender" either.  She seemed to have a normal figure, particularly for a lady who has borne five children.  She must have had a reasonable diet, or she would have been thin.  

If, in the last year of her life, she existed on "boiled vegetables, coffee and lettuce", she would have to have lost weight on that diet.  Perhaps I haven't seen the last pictures of her.  ???  

Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: matushka on January 13, 2006, 04:13:37 PM
Why the Empress did not eat meat and fish? I found an answer in the Chebotareva's diary.
19th October 1915
"She told me that she don't eat no meat and no fish for already 10 years and added "In general, thinking about eating disgust me, I force myself to eat kashi, vegetables, bouillons of mushrooms""
24th October 1915
The Empress related to Chebotareva: "10 or 11 years ago, I went to Sarov and decided not to eat anything from the animals anymore. Then the doctors told me that [this way of eating] is necessary for my health"

So, a religious decision came in help to her physical... and very probably psychologicals problems.
About orthodox fast, I add modestly that pregnant women, and women feading with breath do not fast. For Leushino: you know, in Russia all people who is regularly church-goer fast as it is prescribe. I do not know any exception. Those who are going to church for great fests only are fasting as you describe it in the other thread.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: matushka on January 13, 2006, 04:16:22 PM
I forgot to add: let us remember letters and diaries from Ekaterinburg, which confirm us that AF do not eat only vegetables but also a lot of noodles (makaroni). That can be the explanation why she was not so thin ;D.
I am asking myself how did she do at the official dinners? Did she order a special meal for heself?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alixz on January 13, 2006, 06:03:14 PM
Georgiy  Thank you for the explaination of olive oil.

Oils are indeed fats and if they bring "pleasure" to the palate then would be something to "give up".

I am always amazed and awe-struck by those who live their religious beliefs in their every day lives.

I hope I give no offense to anyone by saying that.  It is just that so much "lip service" is given to religion in our times and so much investigation is causing doubt (see the History Channel) that having a lasting faith in the unknowable is (at least to me) impressive.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: leushino on January 13, 2006, 08:15:24 PM
Quote
For Leushino: you know, in Russia all people who is regularly church-goer fast as it is prescribe. I do not know any exception. Those who are going to church for great fests only are fasting as you describe it in the other thread.


Hello, Matushka

With all due respect, you could not possibly know this. It would be closer to the truth to say, "Those with whom I am familiar have told me that they strictly observe the fasts prescribed by the Church." And that sampling would be very small indeed and nowhere near the statement that "all people who regularly attend Church" observe the prescribed fasts. Furthermore, we as Orthodox Christians do NOT discuss our fasting habits with anyone except our spiritual father and/or parish priest. Therefore, you cannot even make the statement, "Those with whom I am familiar ... " since there is no way to actually know the truth.

Those with whom I am familiar (and it is a relatively small group in three different Orthodox jurisidictions) generally observe the fasts in a relaxed manner. I can say this based upon my being in their homes during fasting seasons and the fact that one does not boast about observing the fast in such a manner (that is a relaxed one). That is why it might seem ironic that I tell you that you cannot make such a claim while  it would appear I have. And as someone else rightly pointed out... the fasts are far more than what goes into the mouth. It includes increased church attendance, increased prayer, increased alms-giving, a reduction of worldly entertainment (including the internet I might add) and so forth. We become far too engrossed in the food element and often while fasting from porkchops as it were, devour our brothers and sisters (as St John Chrysostom warns). This ought not to be.  :-[
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: niobe on January 19, 2006, 11:52:16 AM
Quote
I forgot to add: let us remember letters and diaries from Ekaterinburg, which confirm us that AF do not eat only vegetables but also a lot of noodles (makaroni). That can be the explanation why she was not so thin ;D.
I am asking myself how did she do at the official dinners? Did she order a special meal for heself?

I recall reading that Alix loved English biscuits (I think the source is Massie- sorry, do not have a copy immediately to hand). This may well account for her appearing to be a good weight and may perhaps have contributed to the poor state of her teeth.
Niobe
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alixz on January 19, 2006, 02:10:16 PM
niobe My thoughts exactly.  If she truly ate the non vitamin rich and protein rich foods, no wonder she was in ill health.

It sounds like it was not the fast days, as they have been explained as a simple change in eating habits not a complete stopping of eating, but her bad eating habits all year 'round that caused her to be unwell.

Of course people were not as informed and knowledgable about nutrition as we are today. but a simple "square" meal was surely known about for optimum health by the upper classes.

Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: pers on January 20, 2006, 02:58:55 PM
I am surprised to read that she even ate no fish, so then literally only eggs and dairy products along with her vegetables, fruit and starches.  I wonder whether she at least had her legumes (e.g. lentils, beans) packed with proteins. :(
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alixz on January 21, 2006, 06:02:22 PM
It sound to me as though she had an eating disorder.

I wonder if is sprang from her intense belief that she needed to "cleanse" herself to be "worthy" of "God's attention" so that he would answer her prayers for a son.

Ironically, though she had no control over the sex of her children, she may have made her preganancies more difficult by her bad eating habits.  Again, though, all of her children, even Alexi, were of good birth weight and none had sicknesses related to poor eating by the pregnant mother.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on January 21, 2006, 09:17:18 PM
I don't think she had an eating disorder. As for her vegetarianism, I think she only started it after the birth of Alexei. Pregnant and lactating women are not supposed to fast. I myself almost never touch meat and I haven't felt like I have a bundle of health problems. Yes, fasting is indeed to cleanse ourselves, but it is done in a positive way - negative connotations towards fasting, or 'giving it up for Lent' seem to me to have a western-Christian viewpoint. i might add that there are large numbers of healthy, non-Orthodox vegetarians/vegans out there. Also, Orthodox monastics permanently do not eat meat. Many have very aesthetic lives and are fasting pretty much always. Many of them live to a ripe old age as well. However, I think the attitude in which fasting is approached plays a very big role. The biggest problem I could see for a woman fasting would be a tendency to anaemia.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: leushino on January 21, 2006, 10:10:24 PM
Quote
It sound to me as though she had an eating disorder.

I wonder if is sprang from her intense belief that she needed to "cleanse" herself to be "worthy" of "God's attention" so that he would answer her prayers for a son.

Ironically, though she had no control over the sex of her children, she may have made her preganancies more difficult by her bad eating habits.  Again, though, all of her children, even Alexi, were of good birth weight and none had sicknesses related to poor eating by the pregnant mother.



LOL... we seem to be on the same wave length tonight. I concur with your contention that she had an eating disorder (among several other disorders). Connecting it with her overly-zealous and mystical attitudes towards the Orthodox Faith may, in fact, be correct. None of us can really say one way or the other... merely speculate (as we all, apparently, love to do).
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alixz on January 22, 2006, 10:18:35 AM
Georgiy It was never my contention that religious fasting would cause her to have poor health.  You have explained quite clearly about Orthodox fasting and I am greatful for your clarification.

However, there are writers and posters who make mention of her eating only "lettuce and black coffee" or "boiled vegetables".  

There is bad nutrition in that.  Now we don't know when she started to eat this poorly, but it is written about during the last year at Tsarskoe Selo.

How about Dagmar's suggestion to "eat raw ham in bed" while pregnant?  Of course ham is never truly raw because it is smoked and cured before it becomes ham.

Good thing she didn't recommend raw pork, then Alix would have been subject to tape worm.

And speaking of parisites, who knows, perhaps it truly wasn't an eating disorger, but a parasite like tape worm?

Because parasites have been virtually eliminated in the US  and other countires in the 20th century, we forget that they were alive and kicking in the late 19th and early 20th century.

I myself had some kind of parasite when I was two.  I'll have to check with my mother and find out what it was, but it could have been round worm or ring worm.

I have read that the opera singer Maria Callus (sp?)deliberately ingested a tape worm to lose weight.  And that would have been mid 20th century.

Please - I am not at all sugesting that any impressionable diet maven should ever do this kind of thing.  But it is an historical fact.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Tania+ on January 22, 2006, 01:52:33 PM
Hello Alixz,

I don't remember reading nor hearing that religious fasting could cause poor health, but then again, I may be wrong.

It was also the first time I'd seen the combination of mixing lettuce, black coffee, boiled vegetables to keep one's weight down. I did not think of this necessarily as part or a whole religous fasting plan, etc. I thought of it only, as her IH diet she stuck to. I would imagine over a long period of time that this would not be in one's best health interest.

As to tape worms, from ingesting raw pork, I was not aware that this was a problem. I never thought that their IH ate 'raw pork'. Did they ?

It is also my understanding that gaining a parasite through eating may be one way, but one does not always gain a parasite in just eating. In some parts of the world, where the water is not pure, or the soil is not clean, parasites can and usually do enter through the feet. They then burrow into the blood system, and lay their eggs in the kidneys, liver or some other pars of the soft tissues. Ugh. Sorry, but it's a fact. These type of parasites however, have NOT been eliminated, and run rampant in poor under developed areas, and countries.

I think Maria's name was spelled, Callas.

Thanks for your input.

Tatiana

P.S. What is a diet maven ?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alixz on January 22, 2006, 05:10:12 PM
Maven : someone who is dazzlingly skilled in any field [syn: ace, adept, champion, sensation, mavin, virtuoso, genius, hotshot, star, superstar, whiz, whizz, wizard, wiz]  I didn't want anyone who is a "diet maven" to use my posting as advice.  It was never meant as such.


I was just comparing "raw ham" which is not really raw to "raw pork" which does carry the larva of the tape worm.  If pork is not cooked to the right temperature to kill the larva, the lavra can and do invade the body and wreak havoc with the person's digestive system.  It can also cause all manner of other problems to a human.

This all sound so "yucky", but it is true that many people carry the live larva within their bodies.  They just don't know it until the larva invades an organ that is vital such as the brain.

I don't even know if the IF ever ate pork at all.  The info was offered "tongue in cheek".

I know that there are many "third world" countries where parasites are not yet elimanated, but here in the US and in other so called "first world" countries parasites are hardly known anymore.

It would be interesting, though, if Alix had a parasite and did not know it.  It would explain a lot of symptoms we find odd in her and also her complaints of "poor health".

Also, Gerogiy had been very informative on the subject of Orthodox fasting.  He has helped us all understand that it is not the absence of food, but a change in eating habits for the duration of the fast.  I don't think that would hurt anyone's health.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: pers on January 22, 2006, 05:17:49 PM
The quote about her living "on lettuce, coffee, water and a few boiled vegetables" comes from the biography by E. M. Almedingen's book "The Empress Alexandra" on page 213.  This book (I might add) is one of the better biographies.  I do not know the year of the publication, but the publishers are Hutchinson.  I suspect it is a very old book as mine's pages are yellow.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: imperial angel on January 23, 2006, 11:17:23 AM
Well, how fun Alexandra was depends on your opinion of fun. She may not seem conventionally fun in this age, when the definition of fun has changed, and the the things we consider fun are different. What was considered fun in her era was a bit different from ours. Also, it depends on personality. Some people would find it appealing to spend time with someone of her temprament, and some would not. She was solemn in photos, but it was that way in most photos back then. ;)

Alexandra seems to have been more light hearted in youth, which perhaps is true of some. She had many cares weighting her down in later life, and did not have so much reason to be light hearted. She wasn't so much as she got older, fun, but within the way she lived her life she was fun, and what she considered fun to do. She was a quiet woman, who prefered a quiet life, and past times some would consider dull. She may not have had the best personality for her position, but she had a sense of humor, had her own way of being lighthearted, and tried her best.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Azarias on January 23, 2006, 11:34:42 AM
Thank you Imperial Angel for pointing out the differences between then and now. People often forget these things and would judge a person by today's standards and personal conjecture.

Now before some of the younger members start asking about Alexandra dancing, I'm sure there were many a  waltz on the Standard. Somehow I couldn't picture her breakdancing or in hip hop mode, even if they were of her era, and they are not.   ;)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Grace on January 23, 2006, 08:01:26 PM
I doubt if Alexandra could ever have been considered fun at any time in her life, though before marriage and Russia, she was certainly more light-hearted than in later years.

A person who is "fun" has a degree of spontaneity about them, something Alexandra never possessed, in my opinion.

However, I sure she would have been pleasant and probably even warm company in a one-on-one situation or with a small group of people well known to her.

But "fun" - definitely not.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Grace on January 24, 2006, 01:45:04 AM
I'm back again.

Further to my previous post about Alexandra in conversation, I have since been wondering what on earth would one talk about with her?

???

I mean, she eschewed gossip, had little sense of humour, she mixed with a very, very limited group of people and they (i.e. the children, Anna Vyrobova and one or two others) didn't mix in outside circles much themselves and she certainly didn't seem particularly well informed about what was happening in the world around her...

What could she have conversed about?  

I think she would have been less than stimulating company, to say the least.  :-[
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: imperial angel on January 24, 2006, 10:59:11 AM
Alexandra wasn't an spontaneous person at all, and if this is how fun is defined, she wasn't fun, but if you define it another way, well then you can perhaps call her fun more or less. I am sure she had things to discuss but they may not be things that people today would find overly interesting,true. And they may be things only people of a certain time and place could relate to. But we can't go back in time and see, so we don't really know.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on January 24, 2006, 02:12:32 PM
When we describe people as 'fun' we are actually saying a lot about ourselves as well. The people whom we think of as fun are people who appeal to our own personal sense of fun. For example, Grace would probably not find Alexandra fun as their personalities are quite different. There would have been, however, those who did find her fun.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: imperial angel on January 25, 2006, 08:19:52 AM
That is very true, about personality differences, indeed, we all find different things fun, more or less. I do believe that to certain people, perhaps of a certain time or place as well would have found her fun, if not party going, spontaneous fun, the kind we so often think is fun today. But there are different varieities of fun to different personalities, times, and places.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Tsarina_Liz on January 31, 2006, 11:55:36 AM
She had to get the nickname "Sunny" from somewhere!   ;)

Personally, I always saw her as the mother who didn't mind getting running about and romping with her children in the backyard or the park.  Obviously, this was before her sciatica crippled her but I also feel that later in life she wouldn't have minded a run around the park in her wheelchair at top speed with Nicky at the helm.

Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Tania+ on January 31, 2006, 01:55:00 PM
Dear Georgiy,

I always look forward to the words of wisdom you have to share, etc. Your posts and responses are very well placed, and more than thought provoking, just as Azarias and Imperial Angels posts are. I really do see that your posts offer a very keen perspective on people as well as issues of the time(s). Thanks to you all, for opening our hearts to be a bit more open.  ;)  

Tatiana+

Quote
When we describe people as 'fun' we are actually saying a lot about ourselves as well. The people whom we think of as fun are people who appeal to our own personal sense of fun. For example, Grace would probably not find Alexandra fun as their personalities are quite different. There would have been, however, those who did find her fun.

Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Grace on January 31, 2006, 02:16:32 PM
Quote
Thanks to you all, for opening our hearts to be a bit more open.  ;)  

Tatiana+



I assume this means to only say positive things about AF?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on January 31, 2006, 02:30:37 PM
While I feel I have a sympathy for Alexandra Feodorovna, I am not blind to the fact that she had faults, and some of them quite large and of major consequence. She had a remarkable spirituality though - and reading her writings from her notebooks and journals (these are in Russian - I haven't seen English versions) I have come to admire her in that sense. I have found her frustrating however - especially when reading her wartime correspondence - not so much from the fact that she is irritating, but because we know in hindsight where it all lead and wish we could open her eyes. She had a great heart though. If she'd used her head more often than her heart however, things may have been a bit different.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Tania+ on January 31, 2006, 02:41:14 PM
Dear Georgiy,

Here I agree. But, whether we are of royal connects, or ordinary citizens, a balance of both head and heart does many times make a significant difference. We are however all mortals, and prone to many imperfection(s). Still, she was admirable, and did have a remarkable spirituality.

But the title of this particular thread, is Alexandra any fun? So guess we need to get back to the main topic.

 Thanks again for your thoughts !

Tatiana+

Quote
While I feel I have a sympathy for Alexandra Feodorovna, I am not blind to the fact that she had faults, and some of them quite large and of major consequence. She had a remarkable spirituality though - and reading her writings from her notebooks and journals (these are in Russian - I haven't seen English versions) I have come to admire her in that sense. I have found her frustrating however - especially when reading her wartime correspondence - not so much from the fact that she is irritating, but because we know in hindsight where it all lead and wish we could open her eyes. She had a great heart though. If she'd used her head more often than her heart however, things may have been a bit different.

Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Azarias on January 31, 2006, 02:41:57 PM
Quote

I assume this means to only say positive things about AF?


Grace,

The Empress is one of those figures in history that it is far too easy to pick on. That is if one only looks at the very surface. People will say she did this and she did that so that means she was a whatever. That's a two minute analysis of a complicated person.

We all are ready to admit her human traits and pitfalls. There is also a great deal more behind this woman. Rather than draw the surface conclusions some of us attempt to understand as best as we can what this lady was about or how she may have gotten there.

You see on the Rasputin threads that people are always willing to label him as a holy man or a devil from hell. Truth is he was neither.

There is black and white at times, but also countless shades of grey in between.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: imperial angel on February 01, 2006, 08:28:23 AM
Yes, there are countless shades of gray inbetween, and it seems too often that we forget this and start labelling people, both in history, and in our own lives. This is one thing that is very easy to do, and it is one thing we have to fight against, for it is only human. I think that we should try to understand where people are coming from, because if we don't where does that get us? Alexandra was indeed a very sprititual, orthodox person, and this is apparent in her writings. And she had great heart, and also, I believe great intelligence, although she made mistakes sometimes, that we from hindsight can unravel, and she from where she was never could. We can say with truth though, she had a fun spirit, depending on what people want individually,although she wasn't the spontaneous kind of fun her daughter Anastasia was for instance. In childhood, most people have some spark of what people call fun, and before the stress and strain of later years,  it was easier to be happy.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Dasha on February 01, 2006, 09:54:24 PM
I think Aleksandra had a lot to talk about, without having gone out to the top circles in society.  She read a good deal, and I'm sure could be a very proficient conversationalist when it came to books.

She had a few friends, but they were those that she trusted.  She may not have been seen as 'fun' to people who were into socializing in big crowds, but was totally acceptable to those who preferred a quite evening.

I'm not a big fan of Aleksandra, but I think she was 'fun' to those that mattered, such as her husband, children and those few trusted friends that were allowed into her company.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: imperial angel on February 02, 2006, 10:17:33 AM
I agree with the last poster about her being fun to those who mattered to her, in her emotion, in that time and place. And that truly is fun. Great insight!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: matushka on February 05, 2006, 04:49:51 PM
I answered to my own question about Alexandra's eating habits during the official dinners consulting some pages I copied from the Marie de Roumanie's autobiography. She remembered the "terribly boring Tsarskoe's dinners". Alexandra did not touch anything of what was prepared for the guests and the family and ate only "frugal and monastic" dishes, prepared especially for her, like boiled vegetables and mushrooms. About the children, the queen of Roumanie wrote they all ate with great appetit what was served.

Leushino, it seems I hurt you with one of my post, which was not my purpose. I presented you my apologies. I emphasied on the "physical" fast first because you and Georgy talked already very good about the spiritual aspect of the orthodox way of fasting and I had nothing to add; second because I felt - for hearing many times in the week a lot of remarks like "I won't fast, the most important is to be a good man and keep God in my heart" - that we should show that physical post is a great way for spiritual life; third, because I can not really fast for already 2 years and I experienced a lot of spiritual complications without this royal way... ;)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Tsarina_Liz on February 11, 2006, 06:25:33 PM
Any idea of what she ate like when she was a child?  Sometimes experiences with food can affect adult relationships with food.  
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: dp5486 on March 02, 2006, 11:42:18 AM
I was reading on the Alexander Palace website about Alexandra's expenses and the article mentions jewelry that she received on various occasions. It made me wonder with whom would she and her family exchange gifts with on Christmas? Due to the large nature of their extended families, how far did the gift-giving extend?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Forum Admin on March 02, 2006, 12:38:54 PM
Imperial Gifts at Christmas and Easter went to a vast number of people. Literally many hundreds, if not thousands.  The expense of the gift ranged from huge for immediate family members - Faberge, gold, art, etc etc right down to chocolates and candy for servants and military men attached to the IF's service.

The Christmas Gift giving from the IF took place in the Manege at the Alexander Palace, for the military and servants. The IF took their place behind a row of tables, the "recipients" were called to the Manege at specified times,lined up at the entrance and each was given a ticket with a number on it,drawn at random.  They were file past the Emperor and Empress and exchange a Christmas greeting, then present their ticket at the next table to one of the Grand Duchesses, Tsarevich, or immediate house-staff members, such as Freedericks.  The number on the ticket corresponded to the gift they would receive: items ranged from single silver spoons, to small clocks, or boxes of chocolates.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: dp5486 on March 02, 2006, 01:23:55 PM
Thank you! Very interesting stuff. I did think that they probably had quite a long list of those that they did exchange gifts with.

I am also very interested in the jewel book, kept by Alexandra. Did it accompany her into exile or did it remain in her rooms at the Alexander Palace?

Thanks again!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: dp5486 on March 03, 2006, 12:46:01 PM
Would Alexandra have made a note of the cross given to her by Rasputin in her jewelry book?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: dp5486 on March 05, 2006, 06:39:47 PM
Was that a photo of Alexandra wearing the cross?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: royal_netherlands on March 16, 2006, 07:22:06 AM
(http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f78/opzich/82816110LZurHu_ph.jpg)
(http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f78/opzich/item1350.jpg)
2 of my favorits. :)

 royal netherlands
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Janet_W. on September 11, 2006, 10:03:26 PM
Did Alexandra teach her girls to play the piano? And if not, who did?

(I apologize if this topic already exists and wiill appreciate any links that can be provided.)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on September 12, 2006, 07:01:37 AM
I believe the girls had a music teacher, but I've got nothing to back that up at the moment!  ;) I'll do some looking and see what I can come up with. Inthe meantime, here's a photo of the Music Room on the children's floor:
(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/th_musicroom.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/musicroom.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Lisa on September 16, 2006, 01:09:46 PM
Alix at piano in her mauve boudoir: (http://img374.imageshack.us/img374/3449/alixaupianoss5.th.jpg) (http://img374.imageshack.us/my.php?image=alixaupianoss5.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on September 17, 2006, 08:20:41 AM
I always thought that was Olga....  ???


Here's Alix playing piano at the dacha in Peterhof:
(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Peterhof/th_1001458.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Peterhof/1001458.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Lisa on September 17, 2006, 12:18:13 PM
The person who send me this picture told me it is Alix... and personnaly, I tought it looks like Tatiana! ;D
It shows how the mother and daughters looked alike!
BTW, great photo Sarushka! Thank you!!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Nadezhda Edvardovna on September 17, 2006, 02:44:05 PM
Krasnaya Moskva is sold at http://www.rus-sell.com/health+and+beauty/catalog799.html#799.  There's a 15% off sale just now.  I'm tempted to try it out--and I've just ordered a Floris catalog for "white rose".  The Floris is expensive enough it needs to be a Christmas gift, but Krasnaya Moskva is cheap enough to buy myself.  Pax, Nadezhda.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Justine on September 19, 2006, 04:28:29 PM
Hey,
I have question about Christmas cards painted by Alexandra (I mean these cards: 1 (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/photoneg/oneITEM.asp?pid=39002037248052&iid=3724805&srchtype=), 2 (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/photoneg/oneITEM.asp?pid=39002037248086&iid=3724808&srchtype=)). Were these cards in color or in b&w? If they were in what colors?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: tatianolishka_ on October 07, 2006, 04:04:38 PM
I've seen the second one in color before somewhere... It was written sometime in 1916 or 1917 I believe.. or I could be horrendously wrong.

I would guess that the first card's cross would be brown. Other than that, I have no clue.

TatOlia
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: tatianolishka_ on October 07, 2006, 04:10:14 PM


The girls did have a music teacher. If you look at the pages regarding "Maria's Expenses", you'll see she had an unnamed music teacher. This is just off the top of my head, so I'm not 110% sure.

TatOlia.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: RealAnastasia on October 07, 2006, 08:01:04 PM
I think they had a music teacher, but I just can't remember its name. I just can said that it was not Alix herself who taught her grils to play piano.

As for the photo, I think the one who is playing is Olga. It could also be Tatiana, but I'm almost 100% sure it is not Alix.

RealAnastasia.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: tatianolishka_ on October 07, 2006, 08:14:05 PM
Their music teacher was named Conrad. He did 15 classes a month with them. That's all I have for right now, though... :(

TatOlia
Woof!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: isabel on April 25, 2007, 03:13:45 PM
In my last trip to London i found this precious broche in an exhibition at Buckinham Palace, i want to share with all of you.

I supose it belonged to Alix....

(http://img456.imageshack.us/img456/731/brochekk0.th.jpg) (http://img456.imageshack.us/my.php?image=brochekk0.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: CountessKate on April 26, 2007, 08:15:07 AM
Quote
In my last trip to London i found this precious broche in an exhibition at Buckinham Palace, i want to share with all of you.

I supose it belonged to Alix....

This is the cameo of her children's profiles, which was the surprise in the 1914 Faberge Easter Egg Nicholas gave her.  I didnt think it was ever an item of personal jewellery that she actually wore - it looks as if it might be a bit big.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on April 26, 2007, 08:16:32 AM
Love that. It's the surprise from the Faberge mosiac egg. (Anybody know what year that was made -- between 1910 and 1914, I'd guess). I wonder if Alix ever wore the brooch, or always kept it as part of the egg?

EDIT: Looks like Kate & I posted at the same time -- thanks for the info! :)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: CountessKate on April 27, 2007, 02:48:59 AM
On the UK royal collections website the cameo is described as a medallion, not a brooch. 
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: isabel on April 27, 2007, 04:31:55 AM
Medallion or brooch, it´s really a beautiful jewel, i didn´t saw it before and i was surprised when i saw it in the exhibition.

Thank you so much Kate and Sarushka for your replays. An other question, why the item is in Britain?? Who gived it to the  family´s  british relatives???

I supose the medallion was in one of the Romanov´s Palaces when the revolution started, how did it arrived to England?? (A SILLY QUESTION PERHAPS, BUT I REALLY DON´T KNOW THE ANSWER¡¡)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: CountessKate on April 27, 2007, 11:32:35 AM
Alexandra kept all the Faberge eggs she received from Nicholas in her personal appartments in the Alexander Palace, but did not take them with her when the family left for Tobolsk - they probably were too fragile and bulky.  They were left with her other possessions and confiscated by the Russian government.  In the 1930s, the government allowed Dr Armand Hammer of the US to purchase 11 - 15 of the Faberge eggs (the number varies from article to article) in return for his help as a volunteer relief worker or so it was alleged - Dr Hammer was an extremely wealthy industrialist whose close links with the Soviet Union have been considered very suspect in recent years but whatever the reason, a number of Faberge eggs came to Europe and the Mosaic egg in question was purchased on the open market in the Uk in the 1930s by George V for Queen Mary, who had a considerable interest in Faberge (this is also described on the Royal Collections website.  A very informative website is http://www.mieks.com/Faberge2/index2.htm which has descriptions and histories of all the eggs which are known about.  Some of the eggs were retained by the Russian government and have been recently added to by the sale of the US Forbes collection, others are in museums - quite a few in the US - and some are in the hands of private collectors.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: isabel on April 27, 2007, 01:31:40 PM
Thank you dear Kate for such an interesting explanation about Faberge´s items and their destiny.

When i saw the egg near the brooch, i didn´t imagine that the last one was inside the precious egg, what an splendid present for Alix, well...finally we all can admire both,

I bought the postcard in the palace´s shop because i was impressed about their beauty.

Here´s the complete image.

(http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/228/eggyb6.th.jpg) (http://img443.imageshack.us/my.php?image=eggyb6.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Reco on April 27, 2007, 09:11:52 PM
Alix Hand X-Ray ring

(http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/5969/00114010alixhandxrayrineo8.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)(http://)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Reco on April 27, 2007, 09:19:45 PM
Alix Hand X-Ray ring ( close-up )

(http://img262.imageshack.us/img262/6097/00114010alixhandxrayrinhh5.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)(http://)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on May 11, 2007, 10:58:45 AM
I've read fairly often that Alexandra had flowers shipped in by train more or less daily from the Crimea to decorate her rooms. I'm curious about how exactly this was accomplished. What is the Crimean blooming season for the empress's favorite flowers? It's my understanding that she was particualrly fond of lilacs and roses. I've also noticed chrysanthemums in the 1906 formal portraits of OTMAA. (I know some plants flower year round on the coast of the Black Sea, but so far I don't know which ones.) How long would it take to transport a shipment of flowers by train -- just how "fresh" were they on arrival? And did this practice continue throughout World War One?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: TheAce1918 on May 17, 2007, 03:31:01 PM
Considering that the distance of the Crimean region to St. Petersburg is roughly about 1,382 miles, and these flowers were brough in daily, I'd say that the Imperial railways had to have had a special engine that would carry the flowers (as well as other items on request by the imperial family) to the capital. 

Lilacs bloom in the summer time, the regional temperature in the Crimea during the summer months is a delicious 60-70 degrees F.

I doubt that she would be able to order them any other time of the year except late spring-late summer...but I could be wrong.

As for their freshness...the train journey from the Crimea to the imperial capital would be a couple of days, but lilacs, like several species of flowers can still have a fresh odor and texture to them.  For instance, lilac candles can be purchased, used and stored, but can still smell as fresh as the day they were bought.

I'd also have to suggest that because of the war, and because of Russia's large, but slim railway system, every car, engine, and yardworker would need to be on hand for the war effort.  Thus, declining the Empresses chances of obtaining her lilacs during the war.

Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Martyn on June 01, 2007, 10:53:53 AM
I'm not sure what we are supposed to be looking at here?  When was this x-ray made?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Reco on June 01, 2007, 08:28:09 PM
 AnnK 
Newbie

 Romanov Scholar, Faberge Lover  Posts: 9

 
 
 Re: Empress Alexandra and Her Jewelry   

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hello All!
There was a short article in the Boston Globe about the artifact collection at Harvard's Countway Medical Library this week. Imagine my surprise when it highlighted one of the first "X-Rays" ever done...both Nicholas & Alexandra's hands in 1898! (Along with the story of how and why the X-Rays were taken!) Facinating!

This is of her right hand...could the rings be her wedding & engagement rings?

Here is the URL:
http://countway.med.harvard.edu/rarebooks/exhibits/stones/stones4.html
Regards, Ann
 
 
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by AnnK » 
 
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Martyn on June 03, 2007, 07:38:57 AM
AnnK 
Newbie

 Romanov Scholar, Faberge Lover  Posts: 9

 
 
 Re: Empress Alexandra and Her Jewelry   

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hello All!
There was a short article in the Boston Globe about the artifact collection at Harvard's Countway Medical Library this week. Imagine my surprise when it highlighted one of the first "X-Rays" ever done...both Nicholas & Alexandra's hands in 1898! (Along with the story of how and why the X-Rays were taken!) Facinating!

This is of her right hand...could the rings be her wedding & engagement rings?

Here is the URL:
http://countway.med.harvard.edu/rarebooks/exhibits/stones/stones4.html
Regards, Ann
 
 
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by AnnK » 
 


That is fascinating!

What do we think about the jewellery? Wasn't Alix's engagement ring a large pink pearl?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: ChristineM on June 03, 2007, 12:15:42 PM
These certainly seem to be Alexandra Feodorovna's wedding and engagement rings, worn, in the Russian tradition, on the fourth finger of the RIGHT hand.   So far as I can remember, Martyn, the engagement ring did comprise a large pink pearl.

tsaria
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Martyn on June 03, 2007, 12:27:30 PM
I only wish that we could see them in more detail.......

What became of Alix's engagement ring?  I can't remember whether she surrendered it to Yurovsky in the Ipatiev House along with the other small items of jewellery and watches.......
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: BobAtchison on June 04, 2007, 06:23:16 PM
Alexandra did not keep all of her Faberge eggs in the AP.  She only kept a few there.  There were some in the Maple Room and a few in her bedroom near the windows.  We should not assume that Alexandra liked all of the eggs or held them in as high a regard as we do today. Many of them were left in her rooms at the Winter Palace and she didn't see them for years.  I was surprised that some of the most beautiful eggs were virtually ignored by the Empress, even ones that I thought would hold the most interest for her.  Of course she loved jewelery and kept her personal collection very close at hand.

Bob
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: dmitri on July 04, 2007, 11:54:11 AM
I saw quite a few of the Faberge eggs recently in the Kremlin Armory Museum in Moscow. They were quite incredible. Of course there other items equally interesting. The wealth of the Romanovs has to be seen to be believed. The State Diamond Fund in the Kremlin is also amazing with the Imperial Crown Jewels.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alexandre64 on August 04, 2007, 03:20:30 PM
Bonjour:!
Je viens de trouver sur un site des renseignement sur certzins des cadeaux qu'Alexandra à reçu pour ses fiançialle:
en premier, le collier de diamants offert par Nicolas, qui couta environ 170.000Roubles

http://img89.imageshack.us/my.php?image=01awl3.jpg
Sur cette photo de 1894, Alexandra porte le collier et les boucles d'oreille en perles et diamants

En second, le sautoir de perles offert par Alexandre III

http://img89.imageshack.us/my.php?image=01awl3.jpg
en 1895, 1901, 1913 et 1915:
 
http://img444.imageshack.us/my.php?image=sanstitre1ap1.jpg
En troisiémes la petite couronne Boucheron offert par Nicolas:

le collier
http://img144.imageshack.us/my.php?image=collier1894om2.jpg
 


Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alexandre64 on August 04, 2007, 03:26:55 PM
Re bonjour !
J’ai également trouvé la petite couronne, que l’Impératrice porte dans un de ses portrait, en émeraude par Bolin
http://img238.imageshack.us/my.php?image=sanstitresz6.jpg

ainsi que le collier Fabergé, reconstitution en 1985 :
http://img355.imageshack.us/my.php?image=file0067tc4.jpg
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: dmitri on August 04, 2007, 09:36:38 PM
Please note that English is the language of this discussion board.

Modified by Alixz 05/02/2009  With in reason, we like to speak English.  However, we welcome all and we don't want anyone to be turned away by their lack of English.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Dmitry2 on August 11, 2007, 09:47:49 AM
The emerald "Faberge collar" isn't.  It is a plastron or stomacher.  The emerald collar, with pearls and diamonds, made by Faberge in 1895 or so, and made quite hurredly, was in the old Russian style, with a large central circular ornament with a similar pendant and strings and rows and clusters of diamonds, emeralds and pearls leading from there to the clasp at the back.  it was quite a spectacular piece. 

I believe there is a picture of it in Snowman's tome on Faberge. 

Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alexandre64 on September 16, 2007, 03:50:13 PM
Hello!
In an article was published in France this summer, a passage of the report of yourovsky was published, in this passage the torturer known as to have found meadows of 19 pounds jewels of the Empress among whom a collar of pearls which belonged to Alexandra and which was worth several hundreds of thousands of roubles.
And I would like to know if the collar could be the collar of pearls offered by Nicolas at the time of their engagement or then the collar would be the saltire offered by Alexandre III?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: anna11 on September 17, 2007, 04:28:07 AM
Hey, is it true that the diamond necklace the Queen mother used to wear regularly belonged to Alix? Is it the Queen's now?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: dmitri on September 17, 2007, 05:32:11 AM
I think you are referring to the late Queen Mother's diamond necklaces which were left to her by the late Mrs.Greville. The current Queen sometimes wears on of the late Queen Mother's necklaces. I know of no connection of this to Alexandra Feodorovna.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Mari on September 17, 2007, 05:34:54 AM
n first, the diamond collar offered by Nicolas, who couta approximately 170.000 Roubles
Quote

Beautiful photos! did Alexandra own any Ruby necklaces?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: dmitri on September 17, 2007, 08:18:06 AM
she owned many different sets featuring different precious stones
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Clemence on September 17, 2007, 12:37:14 PM
what do you think? she should be slim to fit in those wonderful dresses and after five pregnancies I guess it wasn't easy to stay the way she was?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Helen_Azar on September 17, 2007, 01:58:01 PM
I remember reading somewhere that Alexandra was not a very big eater, especially after Alexei's birth, when she was constantly anxious about his health. I don't think it was a matter of dieting, but rather lack of appetite.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: clockworkgirl21 on September 17, 2007, 02:07:27 PM
She was also a vegitarian(sp), I think. That couldn't have helped.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: dmitri on September 17, 2007, 02:14:15 PM
Not every woman balloons after giving birth.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Helen_Azar on September 17, 2007, 02:40:20 PM
She was also a vegitarian(sp), I think.

Was she? How do you know?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Helen_Azar on September 17, 2007, 03:18:29 PM
BTW, being a vegetarian does not guarantee sveltness... There are some rather stout vegetarians out there ;-)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Katherine The O.K. on September 18, 2007, 12:02:24 PM
Despite not eating much, Alix sure seemed to be pretty heavy in the years 1914-1918, even when she commented in letters that she was 'wasting away' she still had very thick arms, and particularly wrists. She also added a fair bit of weight around the neck and face. While those dresses of the teens weren't very flattering to her to begin with, I think it's safe to say Alix wasn't as thin as she seems to suggest.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Lisa on September 18, 2007, 12:46:20 PM
Stress is now recognized as an important factor  of weight taking, even without eating a lot. More than to be really big and fat, Alix, in the 1913-16 gives me the impression to be inflated, swelled, "ballowned"... Her joints(is this the right word?) and faces are swelled. But, according to the photos, she seems thiner later...
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on September 18, 2007, 09:11:24 PM
I've also read more than once that Alexandra became vegetarian later in life, but I don't recall the sources offhand. In addition to being rather indifferent to food, she also fasted regularly according to the Orthodox calendar.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Galactic_Misfit on September 18, 2007, 10:10:29 PM
This is a stupid question, but does anyone know if Alix had a metabolic disorder such as hypothyroidism? If she did, something like that could add to the problem.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: brnbg aka: liljones1968 on February 11, 2008, 06:53:07 AM
.

These certainly seem to be Alexandra Feodorovna's wedding and engagement rings, worn, in the Russian tradition, on the fourth finger of the RIGHT hand.   So far as I can remember, Martyn, the engagement ring did comprise a large pink pearl.
.
.
.
Alix Hand X-Ray ring ( close-up )
(http://img262.imageshack.us/img262/6097/00114010alixhandxrayrinhh5.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)(http://)
.
.
.
click on images for larger version

this doesn't look like a pearl.   perhaps the pink pearl ring was simply an engagement gift, and not the actual engagement ring?
[
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Yankeegirl on February 11, 2008, 10:51:11 AM
Hi liljones - In The Last Tsarina by Carolly Erickson it says that N had given her a pink diamond engagement ring and later gave her a pink pearl necklace and ring as an additional engagement gift, so you are correct.

Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Lisa on February 12, 2008, 11:47:13 AM
This diadem was broken off after 1924 and the stones/pearls were sold...
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Windsor on February 15, 2008, 09:33:23 AM
Did Alexandra keep jewels at all of the different palaces or did she carry her jewelry with her from place to place (not including the state jewels of course)?  Also, how did she "store" her jewels?  Were they kept in display type cases as other noble women did?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: anna11 on February 16, 2008, 06:23:42 AM
Quote
Did Alexandra keep jewels at all of the different palaces or did she carry her jewelry with her from place to place (not including the state jewels of course)?  Also, how did she "store" her jewels?  Were they kept in display type cases as other noble women did?

She kept them in wooden boxes, not on display. When traveling, she would have taken a selection of her favorites, and those she thought she'd wear but not all, though she probably had different jewels in each palace, but generally carried her favorites from place to place.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: pandora on February 24, 2008, 07:56:43 PM
I certainly admire Alexandra's wide variety of reading topics. She seemed to cover a broad spectrum of subjects.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on February 25, 2008, 07:44:53 AM
If I remember correctly, Alexandra's Mauve Boudoir contained over 1,000 books.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: ChristineM on February 25, 2008, 08:46:06 AM
Quote
Were books the only items you had the opportunity to work with?

Yes. I would liked very much to have worked with photographs and/or letters, but that was another department  ;).


That 'department' is run by Anatoly Kuchumov's granddaughter - Victoria.

ChristineM
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on February 27, 2008, 02:56:20 AM
She definitely read "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte - a book she got from a friend if I remember correctly...and various German books I don't recall anymore...
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Annie on March 15, 2008, 09:30:04 PM
I don't think I've ever read anything about what kinds of music she liked or didn't like. Does anyone know?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on March 16, 2008, 06:43:27 PM
These are fuzzy recollections, so correct me if I'm wrong...

I believe Alexandra liked Wagner, and didn't care for ragtime.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alexandre64 on March 24, 2008, 04:55:09 AM
Hello,
I just find a picture of Diadéme of aquamarine Alexandra:

http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj213/Alexandre64_2007/Romanov%20Jewel/aguamarinasdiamantesalix1.jpg
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: grandduchessella on March 25, 2008, 06:54:51 PM
I'd posted this eons ago on the Imperial Jewelry thread

(http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f282/vickyandfritz/jewels/lastscanaquamarinetiara.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: grandduchessella on March 25, 2008, 06:57:41 PM
The article (which was about the property sale) also had these 2 items which belonged to AF

(http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f282/vickyandfritz/jewels/lastscanAFmirror.jpg)

(http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f282/vickyandfritz/jewels/lastscanAFclock.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alexander1917 on April 12, 2008, 07:58:05 AM
Hello,
I just find a picture of Diadéme of aquamarine Alexandra:

http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj213/Alexandre64_2007/Romanov%20Jewel/aguamarinasdiamantesalix1.jpg

The complete set of Alix's aquamarine....
(http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w245/alexander1917/RUSSIAAQUA.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: amartin71718 on June 23, 2008, 09:42:30 PM
I read in RKM's "Nicholas and Alexandra" something about Alexandra playing a banjo. Can anyone shed some more light on this topic?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on June 24, 2008, 05:15:40 AM

This is indeed true! Princess Alix not only got piano and singing lessons but it seems that she even learned playing the banjo and the guitar. She used to play with Minnie Cochrane, lady-in-waiting to her Aunt Princess Beatrice of GB, "singing Niggersongs". I don't know whether she did it after her marriage
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Michael HR on June 24, 2008, 06:29:35 AM
I have this image of the Empress playing the banjo and sounding like George Formby! :)

What an interesting bit of information.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: amartin71718 on June 24, 2008, 01:29:05 PM
Do you think she played American Bluegrass? That would be cool if she did.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: mr_harrison75 on June 25, 2008, 06:36:18 PM
This is something I didn't know!

I can see where the grand'duchesses' talent for playing music came from...

I wonder what repertoire the Tsaritsa was playing...
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: amartin71718 on June 29, 2008, 06:10:41 PM
Anyone have any idea when she started playing?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on July 02, 2008, 03:03:26 AM
guess in the late 80ies. The letter were I read about Minnie Cochrane dates from 1893
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: amartin71718 on July 04, 2008, 02:05:54 PM
I remember reading in Peter Kurth's Tsar, that she spoke with an Anglo-German housewifey trill. Don't know if that helps, but there you go.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Dctalk3185 on July 08, 2008, 05:10:17 PM
Hello, I was just wondering if anyone knows what music Alexandra might have played on the piano in her free time. I know she adored Richard Wagner, but what specific music did she play (was it very challenging or just average). Maybe list some music pieces that were popular to play in the turn of the century. This may be a detail that no one knows, but a guess or something that would be in the ball park would help. Thanks!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: nena on July 08, 2008, 05:19:27 PM
Alix loved German's compositers, wagner, for example. She listen his music while she was child. Also, I believe Olga is playing a piano on that on pic.
I am guessing baladies and classic music, in that Imperial Times....... ;)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on July 09, 2008, 03:23:13 AM

The photo was published (and mis-identified Alexandra) in an exhibitioncatalog. It is definitely not her - I too think it is Olga (due to the nose; Tatiana was more slender).

I read that only the eldest daughter had a considerable gift for music - the others seem to have played "quite well" but nothing more. Alexandra - as a highly gifted and trained pianist (inherited from her mother and grandfather who were both brilliant players) definitely had some lessons with her children too but of course there was no time to teach them frequently (I think it is necessary to get lessons from a "stranger" - because if only "Mama" teaches one, the little Ones are not as serious as they have to :))

Alexandra - as you said - loved Wagner and played most of his operas (even for Queen Victoria). She loved Brahms who frequently visited Darmstadt in stayed in contact with her mother Alice and her private scretary Dr. Becker (whose daughter Antonie "Toni" became one of Alix's closest friends). She also played Beethoven sonatas and much much more I presume (look at the incountable music-books in the photograph with Olga).
Mabye some are preserved at GARF or somewhere?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on July 09, 2008, 07:00:13 AM
Tatiana at the piano in Peterhof:

(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Tatiana/th_tatianapiano.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Tatiana/tatianapiano.jpg)

Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: amartin71718 on July 19, 2008, 03:50:12 PM
Does anyone know how good she was at playing the guitar and banjo?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: tom_romanov on July 22, 2008, 12:59:01 PM
i read in some book that alexandra eat in bed. i dont know if it is ture and wouldn't it annoy Nicholas? ( i think they shared a bed)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Russka Princess on July 22, 2008, 01:01:36 PM
of course they has shared a bed, and sometimes she has eat in the nights cookies and she has woke her husband up. and of course ist has nerves him. i thinks its funny that she has eat like a litlle child cookis  in her bed.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: tom_romanov on July 22, 2008, 01:12:19 PM
thank you for replying. it is funny that she ate her cookies in bed :)  its nice to know that her and nicholas were close and shared a bed unlike some royal couples then and now
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: amartin71718 on July 22, 2008, 04:27:08 PM
I read in RKM's Nicholas and Alexandra that Alix would stay up and read, eating English biscuits meanwhile.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Michael HR on July 22, 2008, 04:59:50 PM
I recall that the Empress could not sleep easily at night and would often be awake in the early hours. Nibbles were left out for her and I suppose Nicholas just got used to it, as spouses do.

What I also did not know until I joined the forum was that the Empress was in the main a vegetarian.

Mike
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Lalee on July 22, 2008, 06:50:53 PM
Yes, Alix did sometimes like to stay up. Usually, when she couldn't sleep, she would stay up to read a novel and munch on biscuits in bed, much to the irritation of Nicholas, as he wouldn't be able to sleep.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: BarefootContessa on July 23, 2008, 04:21:20 PM
I know this is an old thread, but I am wondering how many English books were available not just to the Imperial family, but to other members of the aristocracy.  Since many of them hired English governesses for their children, would it be reasonable to think many young Russian girls read Jane Austen or Mary Shelley?  Does anyone know if Alix read these women writers?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: tom_romanov on July 24, 2008, 05:50:25 AM
why did Alix favor the colour mauve ?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Forum Admin on July 24, 2008, 09:31:23 AM
What is YOUR favorite color? Why do you favor it??  It just WAS her favorite color. No real reason other than her fancy.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on July 24, 2008, 04:16:22 PM

I know that Ella read at least "Mansfield Park" and "Sense and sensibility" by Austen - books Princess Irene got from Uncle Leopold of Albany. If the elder sisters got to read them it seems likely that Alix - some years later - did the same.
I recall that she also read a German book called "Der grüne Heinrich"
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Raegan on July 28, 2008, 10:20:07 AM
She definitely read "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte - a book she got from a friend if I remember correctly...and various German books I don't recall anymore...

Do you by any chance remember which friend may have given her "Jane Eyre?"
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Helen on July 28, 2008, 10:46:03 AM
Her friend Toni Becker lent her a copy of Jane Eyre towards the end of 1892.

A book Alix may also have read, if only to assess its suitability, is "Brownie" by Amy LeFeuvre. It seems she gave a copy of it to her daughter Maria. The inscription on the fly-leaf read: "For darling little Marie for Xmas 1908 fr. yr. loving Mama.".
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on August 07, 2008, 12:41:06 PM
That color was actually very popular in the Victorian Age and also common for women's "half-mourning" dresses (together with grey and white).

Alexandra's brother Ernst Ludwig Grand Duke of Hesse loved that color as did his daughter Elisabeth whose wallpapers in the Neues Palais in Darmstadt were mauve.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: tom_romanov on August 07, 2008, 03:08:55 PM
thanks thomas for the info,i read only today about mauve being a 'half-mourning' colour too
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: koloagirl on August 07, 2008, 04:56:09 PM

Aloha all!

Yes ineed, in the days when you were related to 3/4 of the European nobility - you must have been in either mourning or half mourning (what a relief that must have been!) a good majority of the time!

I think of all the pics in which I have seen Nicholas with a black armband on - I'm sure that I would have favored mauve as well over the other color options during mourning!

Janet R.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: jrose on August 07, 2008, 11:41:15 PM
just wondering....what is "half-mourning?"

sorry if its a stupid question

jessicarose
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: halen on August 08, 2008, 12:00:36 AM
It is not a stupid question. There are going to be many things that you are not aware of, and that is ok. We are all here to learn, and you don't learn if you don't ask.

I'm  not sure I completely understand the term any better than you...so I await for someone to enlighten us.

Please don't be afraid to ask.

Louise
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 08, 2008, 12:36:56 AM
In those days, full mourning,  usually black or dark purple was for 6-12 months.  Depending on the closeness of the dead person to the one wearing the mourning clothes. Half mourning was another 3-6 months with a  change to lighter colours.  Depending on the court, of course. It is much more simplified, if followed at all nowadays.  Some people were exempt from mourning- pregnant ladies and children, young people. Men got away with  just the black armband.
 There is or was an excellent discussion about this on the forum  somewhere, but I could not find it.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: tom_romanov on August 08, 2008, 03:34:23 AM
wasn't alix in mourning for 12 months after QV died?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: jrose on August 08, 2008, 09:43:51 AM
thanks guys :)

i would expect most of europe to be in mourning after QV
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 08, 2008, 11:06:38 AM
QV was a real stickler about mourning, especially after Albert died. I imagine she passed this on to the rest of her family as well. Must have been tiresom.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Michael HR on August 08, 2008, 12:44:40 PM
QV seems never to have come out of mourning after Albert passed away. Did she not always wear black after that? Must have been hell for her family
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 08, 2008, 01:14:58 PM
I think she wore very dark purple at times. That looks like black in the pictures of the time. I saw one of her gowns at the V&A  once, and it looked like dark purple to me.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: koloagirl on August 08, 2008, 05:54:40 PM

Aloha all!

I'm in the process of reading "Twilight of Splendor" by Greg King, which gives excellent information about the life of the court and Queen Victoria and family during the year of her Diamond Jubilee.

After the death of Prince Albert she always wore black (or maybe dark purple) relieved only sometimes with white lace, as during her Diamond Jubilee - she also wore a little white cap with a white veil with most of her clothing.

Janet R.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alexandre64 on September 17, 2008, 02:49:57 AM
Hello,
Is what she put Empress to win in Siberia jewelry from his sister, Victoria, and I read in a magazine that Marie of Romania have also send her jewelry in Russia, whether the Empress at t it also put them?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alexandre64 on September 18, 2008, 03:31:24 AM
Saphir:
(http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj213/Alexandre64_2007/Romanov%20Jewel/russaf1.jpg)

Turquoise:
(http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj213/Alexandre64_2007/Romanov%20Jewel/RusTurk1.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Halinka on October 02, 2008, 08:04:52 PM
Do you have any pictures of her famous pink pearls?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Halinka on October 02, 2008, 08:07:48 PM

Aloha all!

I'm in the process of reading "Twilight of Splendor" by Greg King, which gives excellent information about the life of the court and Queen Victoria and family during the year of her Diamond Jubilee.

After the death of Prince Albert she always wore black (or maybe dark purple) relieved only sometimes with white lace, as during her Diamond Jubilee - she also wore a little white cap with a white veil with most of her clothing.

Janet R.


Greg kind is wonderfull writer, I'm so addict to his works. Well, in mourning you usually wored the tradditional black for a year.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alexandre64 on October 07, 2008, 02:03:28 AM
Sketch of the set sapphires:
(http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj213/Alexandre64_2007/Romanov%20Jewel/tiarazafirosac51.jpg)
(http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj213/Alexandre64_2007/Romanov%20Jewel/SAPPHIRENECKLACE1.jpg)
(http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj213/Alexandre64_2007/Romanov%20Jewel/SAPPHIREBROOCH1.jpg)
(http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj213/Alexandre64_2007/Romanov%20Jewel/158431226zrlcgpphdx61.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: historyfan on November 08, 2008, 08:20:40 PM
Does anyone know (or have a photo of) the portrait of Princess Alice that hung in Alexandra Feodorovna's mauve room?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on November 09, 2008, 03:48:42 PM

I know that portrait. It was painted by van Sant in the mid 1870ies. It shows her left half-profile and she is wearing a dark dress and some chains. The background is very dark as well. A very good portrait in my opinion. The House of Hesse owns a copy as well.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: historyfan on November 09, 2008, 08:01:29 PM
Thank you!  Now that I have the artist, perhaps I can google it.  Unless anyone has a photo of it to scan, to make my life slightly easier..lol.

:)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Lisa on November 10, 2008, 08:20:22 AM
I am wondering if the portrait was not posted here a long time ago (in black and white), but I can't find it at the moment. I only fond this discussion: http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=1115.0
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Lisa on November 10, 2008, 08:39:19 AM
I've checked and I think I confused the portraits...
(http://img47.imageshack.us/img47/6899/pianopaintings3dj.jpg) (http://img47.imageshack.us/my.php?image=pianopaintings3dj.jpg)
(http://img47.imageshack.us/img47/pianopaintings3dj.jpg/1/w338.png) (http://g.imageshack.us/img47/pianopaintings3dj.jpg/1/)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on November 10, 2008, 04:12:02 PM

This is the portrait! I have seen it in Darmstadt - it was painted after a photograph of Alice.... like so many other portraits as well.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: historyfan on November 10, 2008, 09:53:27 PM
I've checked and I think I confused the portraits...

Wow, that is one large portrait...but I cannot see much of it.  It's all in shadow...is this somehow just my computer?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Decadence on November 11, 2008, 03:53:17 PM
^ I think they mean the smaller painting on the right :)


It looks beautiful. Are there no pictures of it?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Forum Admin on November 11, 2008, 04:40:53 PM
According to Bob, this portrait is now at Pavlovsk.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alexandre64 on December 27, 2008, 11:03:34 AM
I have just seen a program dedicated to the jewellery of treasures imperial, and they have speak a Ruby which would have been found on the body of the Empress, the Raspoutine Ruby.

It would have been given to Alexandra By Raspoutine, the red of stone has to help to arreter the hemoragie of Alexis.

Is what anybody intended to speak of this history?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alexandre64 on December 29, 2008, 08:35:18 AM
The photo is of poor quality, but it represents the Tiara Boucheron offered by Nicolas at the time of betrothal in Windsor, (photo archive of Boucheron):
(http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj213/Alexandre64_2007/Romanov%20Jewel/tiare.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Michael HR on December 29, 2008, 11:31:45 AM
Not heard that story. Do you have any more details
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alexandre64 on December 29, 2008, 11:55:56 AM
For the  tiara or Rasputin Ruby?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alexandre64 on December 30, 2008, 03:59:22 AM
For the Tiara, Nicolas would have bought just before going to Windsor for betrothal, It was a symbol of love, and for its continued that the empress at the door:

In 1904:
(http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj213/Alexandre64_2007/Photo/vlcsnap-23723.png)

In 1913:
(http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj213/Alexandre64_2007/Photo/NA.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alexandre64 on December 30, 2008, 04:04:33 AM
Ruby, was offered by Rasputin, the Ruby would be cursed, all owners of this stone have been murdered:
1/Raspoutine, murdered by Prince Yusupov
2 / The Empress, murdered with his family
3 / Then the Ruby is given to Trotsky, who was assassinated in Mexico
4 / Ruby remains in the USSR and the Soviet Union collapse
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: imperial angel on January 12, 2009, 01:52:48 AM
With regards to favourite perfumes, I always thought it charming that OTMA's favourites were all inspired by different flowers. Olga's was Rose Thé, Tatiana's was Jasmin de Corse, Maria's was Lilas, and Anastasia's was Violette - rose, jasmine, lilac, and violet, how lovely! These were all Coty perfumes. Coty made a fragrance called La Rose Jacqueminot which first appeared in 1904. I'm not sure if this was the same as Olga's Rose Thé. I have seen a reference to Rose Thé first appearing in 1935, but of course that would be wrong, as it would have been past Olga's time. Tatiana's favourite first appeared in 1906. With regards to Maria's favourite, Coty made two fragrances under the Lilas name in the early 1900's - Lilas Blanc in 1910 and Lilas Pourpre in 1914, the former probably being the one in question since it is the earlier one. Likewise, they made two Violettes, La Violette Pourpre in 1906 and La Violette Ambrée in 1914, and, likewise, I suspect Anastasia's favourite was the former.

In The Real Tsarista, Lili Dehn mentions that Alexandra preferred Atkinson's White Rose, calling it "clean" and "infinitely sweet." However, Floris has a White Rose fragrance which it claims was Alexandra's favourite, and given this particular perfume's history, I believe that to be the correct one. I thought that perhaps Floris acquired Atkinson's White Rose, but then realized that Floris's version had been around since 1800, so Lili must have been confused with this Atkinson. Also, she mentioned that Alix's favourite eau-de-toilette was Verveine, which was by Guerlain. I believe this was the one which first appeared in 1890 called Eau de Verveine.

I found Lilas Blanc being listed as made either in 1910 or 1922 ( beyond Marie's liftetime). Lilas Pourpre is in 1911 in one source, but I did find one source that says it wasn't made until 1914, like you did.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: GoldenPen on January 20, 2009, 08:18:54 AM
I think the company who supply the Lilas Blanc is still around today with the perfume.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Olga Maria on January 21, 2009, 01:29:06 AM
This is a rose I have seen in Calgary, and plan to have it in my own garden next year.

http://www.helpmefind.com/rose/pl.php?n=219

Louise

A nice rose..I wish I could grow it but I have no money to buy such..
Thanks for posting that photo, Louise
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alexandre64 on January 28, 2009, 10:53:18 AM
In this picture we can better see the Boucheron tiara. The ring may be his fiançiaille ring?  bracelets donated by his uncle?
(http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj213/Alexandre64_2007/Photo/Alixovalportrait1.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Mari on February 03, 2009, 02:55:58 AM
Is there a photo of the Rasputin Ruby?  :) size, description..
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Olga Maria on February 07, 2009, 03:05:31 AM
Ruby, was offered by Rasputin, the Ruby would be cursed, all owners of this stone have been murdered:
1/Raspoutine, murdered by Prince Yusupov
2 / The Empress, murdered with his family
3 / Then the Ruby is given to Trotsky, who was assassinated in Mexico
4 / Ruby remains in the USSR and the Soviet Union collapse

Really? Oh, wonderful fact! Merci, Alexandre64!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: nena on February 07, 2009, 03:17:46 AM
FANTASTIC-- Alexandre64! MAy I add some of her with tiara, 1906,1911 sets:

(http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x139/nemanjapr/Romanov/Aleksandra%20Fjodorovna/th_RA2-Vk13.jpg) (http://s185.photobucket.com/albums/x139/nemanjapr/Romanov/Aleksandra%20Fjodorovna/?action=view&current=RA2-Vk13.jpg)(http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x139/nemanjapr/Romanov/Aleksandra%20Fjodorovna/th_imperatricejh3.jpg) (http://s185.photobucket.com/albums/x139/nemanjapr/Romanov/Aleksandra%20Fjodorovna/?action=view&current=imperatricejh3.jpg)(http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x139/nemanjapr/Romanov/Aleksandra%20Fjodorovna/th_RA2-Vk35.jpg) (http://s185.photobucket.com/albums/x139/nemanjapr/Romanov/Aleksandra%20Fjodorovna/?action=view&current=RA2-Vk35.jpg)(http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x139/nemanjapr/Romanov/Aleksandra%20Fjodorovna/th_alixformal2.jpg) (http://s185.photobucket.com/albums/x139/nemanjapr/Romanov/Aleksandra%20Fjodorovna/?action=view&current=alixformal2.jpg)(http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x139/nemanjapr/Romanov/Aleksandra%20Fjodorovna/th_aleksandrafjodorovna-2.jpg) (http://s185.photobucket.com/albums/x139/nemanjapr/Romanov/Aleksandra%20Fjodorovna/?action=view&current=aleksandrafjodorovna-2.jpg)


Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Tina Laroche on February 07, 2009, 08:19:57 AM
Ruby, was offered by Rasputin, the Ruby would be cursed, all owners of this stone have been murdered:
1/Raspoutine, murdered by Prince Yusupov
2 / The Empress, murdered with his family
3 / Then the Ruby is given to Trotsky, who was assassinated in Mexico
4 / Ruby remains in the USSR and the Soviet Union collapse

Really? Oh, wonderful fact! Merci, Alexandre64!

Wow! I didn't know that. Thanks, Alexandre64!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Olga Maria on February 07, 2009, 03:30:50 PM
What are the jewels put on that tiara?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alexandre64 on February 08, 2009, 03:14:59 AM
the tiara was made of diamond and pearls
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: David_Newell on March 05, 2009, 04:34:34 PM
I would love to start a discussion on AF and her style, we have tackled many a serious subject on AF. Lets look at her tastes and her love of for one thing the natural world. She loved flowers, her perfumes tell us this as  well as her taste in colour and furnishing fabrics. Now is this her or the influence of art nouveau,. Darmstadt was a huge influence on art nouveau and I think I am right in saying Princess Alice was at the beginning of this movement. Grand Duke Ernst loved it and he was as we all know very close to AF. So indulge me here I would love to hear your opinions, your like or dislike of say the feel of the Mauve Boudoir. I think her best rooms were at Livadia, a more mature look and feel to the spaces and things she chose. For example I am at my desk it is covered in photograph frames of my dogs, family and a large drawing of AF at the time of her marriage. Behind the desk is a window sill covered in more of the same. How is your desk? What does this say about me and can we use AF's decorating taste to reveal even more about her??
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on March 07, 2009, 06:18:01 AM
I think one has to divide it up - you mention the rooms at Livadia. Those were furnished in 1911 when she was a mature woman looking back on almost two decades of imperial life. The Mauve Boudoir as well as the Pallisander Room and Imp. Bedroom were created in 1896 and - as Bob Atchinson pointed out in his superbe reports - did not change until Alexandra had to leave her home in 1917. They were very much in the historism/late victorian style - sort of overcrowded and with many frills and furbelows - she had known from England as well as Darmstadt and which she imitated in a way.
There are photographs of her rooms at the New Palace in Darmstadt - many pieces, photographs all over the place. If one looks at other images of rooms fo the time I come to the conclusion that Alexandra had quite an average taste in addition to furniture. She liked cozy corners, palmtrees, flowerstands and such which divided the rooms up into several parts. An exception is - of course - the official reception rooms with its Louis XVI objects.
We see rococo style, founding period and the style of her own days (1890ies). It is a mix but actually I like it - would be intersting to see those rooms in color for I cannot imagine a mauve fabric and peppermint green carpet :)))

The Maple room is of course an entirely different world - Jugendstil but even here we've got several historism pieces such as the bust of her brother as a child.
As regards Livadia one has to keep in mind that this was a summers retreat visited for quite a short time. I think her personal taste is much reflected in Zarskje Selo!
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: aleksandra on March 25, 2009, 07:30:14 PM
Mauve Boudoir is my favorite room that and her bedroom. It's just the way when you look at the photo's  and I would give anything to have that lilac room.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: David_Newell on March 31, 2009, 01:54:47 PM
Thomas, please excuse my tardiness at replying to your very interesting posting. Yes I agree with you about the time gap between Livadia and the interiors at the AP. Though I think we can use the gap between moving in to the AP in 1895 and the new schemes by AF and with help from her brother G.D. Ernie in 1903 as proof of an emerging personal style!

I see the rooms at Livadia as the maturing of her taste and as women. I love her rooms at Livadia. I also have a real fondness for the clutter and whiteness of the Mauve Boudoir, in the whiteness I mean, the Hepplewhite style furniture is used as a foil to the over powering mauveness of the scheme. I think AF had a real eye, also the early rooms sometimes seem to lack confidence, coming from a rural German court, suddenly the purse was always open. \if you see what I mean.

Hope this is not too confusing, would love to know what you think.

I too would have loved to see the wallpaper from the Mauve Boudoir, they say it shimmered in the right light.

David Newell, London
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on March 31, 2009, 04:45:50 PM
A Faberge lamp from the rooms of Alexandra at the AP:

(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/th_AFlamp.jpg) (http://s7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/?action=view&current=AFlamp.jpg)

I haven't been able to spot it yet in any of my vintage photos of the AP, but the green and amethyst color scheme suggests to me that this piece most likely belonged in the Mauve Room.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: David_Newell on March 31, 2009, 04:48:04 PM
Oh that is lovely, I think you may be right. Seems to fit doesn't it.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on March 31, 2009, 04:56:46 PM
Faberge pieces from the Palisander room at the AP:

(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/th_PR3.jpg) (http://s7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/?action=view&current=PR3.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/th_PR1.jpg) (http://s7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/?action=view&current=PR1.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/th_PR2.jpg) (http://s7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/?action=view&current=PR2.jpg)

All are visible in this photo:

(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/th_Pallisander_1.jpg) (http://s7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/?action=view&current=Pallisander_1.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on March 31, 2009, 05:12:03 PM
Other Faberge items from Alexandra's rooms at the AP:

(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/th_APFaberge2.jpg) (http://s7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/?action=view&current=APFaberge2.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/th_APFaberge5.jpg) (http://s7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/?action=view&current=APFaberge5.jpg)

(I have a few other images of Faberge pieces from the AP, but it's not known whose rooms they were from.)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: David_Newell on April 01, 2009, 05:46:13 AM
Just lovely, I know AF had some beautiful Galle vases as well but I have only evidence of these being at the Winter Palace. I know some were gifts from the French around 1896 and this would make sense as they lived at the WP a lot before 1905. Shame we do not have more on the inventories of the WP. I know several were done.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: gogm on April 01, 2009, 10:34:15 AM
0 to 40 degrees is a small range for a thermometer!




It is either a Celcius or Réaumur thermometer - by Alixz 04/28/2009
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Ally Kumari on April 01, 2009, 11:08:48 AM

(I have a few other images of Faberge pieces from the AP, but it's not known whose rooms they were from.)

Could you post them too please?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on April 01, 2009, 11:13:42 AM
0 to 40 degrees is a small range for a thermometer!

I believe Alexandra used the Reaumur scale (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Réaumur_scale), by which water freezes at 0 and boils at 80 degrees.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on April 01, 2009, 11:14:48 AM

(I have a few other images of Faberge pieces from the AP, but it's not known whose rooms they were from.)

Could you post them too please?

(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/th_APfaberge4.jpg) (http://s7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/?action=view&current=APfaberge4.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/th_APFaberge7.jpg) (http://s7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/?action=view&current=APFaberge7.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/th_APFaberge6.jpg) (http://s7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/?action=view&current=APFaberge6.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/th_APFaberge1.jpg) (http://s7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Alexander%20Palace/?action=view&current=APFaberge1.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Ally Kumari on April 01, 2009, 11:16:07 AM
Thank you Sarushka! You´re a golden mine.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on April 01, 2009, 04:40:00 PM
The photo was taken in 1901 - presumably at Kiel... it is signed "Sunny" and stood on the Tsar's desk at Tsarkoe Selo.
A similar one of Grand Duchess Elisaveta from the same sitting is to be found on Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse's desk at Wolfsgarten
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on April 02, 2009, 10:49:54 AM

I still think - to be honest - that the Empress did not have a very exclusive and up-to-date style like for example her mother-in-law or sister Grand Duchess Ella whose dresses were most perfectlly designed. I really like the outfits she would wear in privacy: simple but rather elegant gowns which suited here immensely. But on official occasions she often looked rather "home-made" imo.
As for her rooms: it is the same here. We see many official and inofficial presents (such as the items depicted in the recent photographs), souvenirs (she brought some items from Darmstadt such as a couple of paintings from a travel to Italy) and nippes; there is no real "concept" in those rooms. She loved the gaudy patterns so fashionable at the turn of the century (the imp. bedroom seems a mere crime to me - I could not have slept for one singel hour...). The Mauve Room was very much her workingstudy judging by the variety of papers etc. Her children would spend much time there as well.
It might have been expensive but all in all quite average style - which is not a criticism but just statement :)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: nena on April 04, 2009, 10:56:29 AM
Umbrella and dress belonged to Tsarina:

(http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x139/nemanjapr/Romanov/th_image.jpg) (http://s185.photobucket.com/albums/x139/nemanjapr/Romanov/?action=view&current=image.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Olga Maria on April 07, 2009, 10:22:16 PM
From Lili Dehn:


The Empress favoured long, pointed footgear with very low heels: she usually wore suede, bronze or white shoes, never satin. "I can't bear satin shoes, they worry me," she would say. Her gowns, except those worn by her on State occasions, were very simple; she liked blouses and skirts, and she was greatly addicted to tea-gowns: her taste in dress was as refined as that of Queen Mary of England; like her she disapproved strongly of exaggerated fashions, and I shall not easily forget her condemnation when I once came to see her wearing a "hobble" skirt.

"Do you really like this skirt, Lili?" asked the Empress.

"Well . . . Madame," I said helplessly, "c'est la mode."

"It is no use whatever as a skirt," she answered. "Now, Lili, prove to me that it is comfortable - run, Lili, run, and let me see how fast you can cover the ground in it."

Needless to say, I never wore a "hobble" skirt again.

Tell me if I'm wrong, does she mean this? Hobble Skirt (http://farm1.static.flickr.com/8/7671411_ada36644ce.jpg)
Is this a tea gown?
(http://images.rom.on.ca/public/images/ROM2004_1034_12.jpg)

Does she have sweaty feet that's why she worries wearing satin shoes?


Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on April 08, 2009, 06:30:23 AM
"Worry" can also mean "rub."
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: CountessKate on April 08, 2009, 10:54:59 AM
From Lili Dehn:


The Empress favoured long, pointed footgear with very low heels: she usually wore suede, bronze or white shoes, never satin. "I can't bear satin shoes, they worry me," she would say. Her gowns, except those worn by her on State occasions, were very simple; she liked blouses and skirts, and she was greatly addicted to tea-gowns: her taste in dress was as refined as that of Queen Mary of England; like her she disapproved strongly of exaggerated fashions, and I shall not easily forget her condemnation when I once came to see her wearing a "hobble" skirt.

"Do you really like this skirt, Lili?" asked the Empress.

"Well . . . Madame," I said helplessly, "c'est la mode."

"It is no use whatever as a skirt," she answered. "Now, Lili, prove to me that it is comfortable - run, Lili, run, and let me see how fast you can cover the ground in it."

Needless to say, I never wore a "hobble" skirt again.

Tell me if I'm wrong, does she mean this? Hobble Skirt (http://farm1.static.flickr.com/8/7671411_ada36644ce.jpg)
Is this a tea gown?
(http://images.rom.on.ca/public/images/ROM2004_1034_12.jpg)

Does she have sweaty feet that's why she worries wearing satin shoes?




The dress in the picture is an exaggerated form of the hobble skirt - clearly designed to show its absurdities in comic postcard format.  The hobble skirt was the directoire fashion with a high waist and tapering skirt worn from about 1910 (have a look at the illustrations here: http://www.fashion-era.com/edwardian_fashion_plates.htm).  The 'hobble' was sometimes simply the narrowness of the skirt at the ankles, or an internal tie to keep the steps short.  It was never obtrusive. 

The illustrated dress could possibly be a tea gown, although tea gowns were usually much filmier and frillier - such as this V & A example:
(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a42/cfarnon/Teagown.jpg)

which looked more appropriate for 'lounging' at tea, before dressing for dinner.  However, most tea gowns had a princess-style dress with a draped overdress which this outfit does have - but perhaps it's an early prototype. 

I would have thought satin shoes had a number of faults - they were fragile and gave insufficient support, particularly to a woman who had problems with standing for long periods of time, and they were easily damaged or marked and would not survive many wearings.  She didn't have to have particularly sweaty feet to dislike them.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Olga Maria on April 08, 2009, 11:29:37 PM
I saw a picture of Tatiana wearing a hobble skirt.
Thank you so much for your help, CountessKate. I saw a lot of pictures of Alix wearing tea gowns. No wonder it really is her favorite type of dress.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: tom_romanov on April 09, 2009, 10:33:06 AM
Do you have a copy of this photo Ingrid?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Olga Maria on April 17, 2009, 01:55:57 AM
Here they are, Tom:

(http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq126/olga_maria1993/Pictures/th_OTnalvce.jpg) (http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq126/olga_maria1993/Pictures/OTnalvce.jpg)Olga and Tatiana
(http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq126/olga_maria1993/Pictures/th_FeodorovskyHospital1916.jpg) (http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq126/olga_maria1993/Pictures/FeodorovskyHospital1916.jpg) I think Maria is also wearing a hobble skirt here.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on April 17, 2009, 08:27:30 AM
Those skirts are certainly long and straight, but I don't think they're nearly as restrictive as true hobble skirts.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: aleksandra on April 29, 2009, 09:20:32 PM
Okay how was the Mauve Boudoir diffrent then the lilac room at the new palace in 1911?
I would like a comparing between the two rooms.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Anastasia Spalko on December 05, 2009, 05:02:10 PM
Well, I've read almost all of this whole topic.  My brain is about to explode from so much new knowledge.  Guess I'm going to have to re-write half of my "Tsarina's Servant" novel.  Wouldn't want to have an unrealistic empress, would I?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Georgiy on December 07, 2009, 08:31:36 PM
Hobble skirts were quite tight around the calf, and some flared out after that, others didn't. Have a look on some image searches for edwardian hobble skirts. The picture of the dress posted doesn't look very hobbling to me...
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Clemence on December 23, 2009, 02:14:18 PM
Do you know if the Empress ever visited Italy while being an empress? In Gregg King's book I read she only vivited the country once, but somewhere else recently I found some reference to yet another visit. Any ideas?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: nena on December 23, 2009, 05:51:05 PM
There is one visit to Italy in 1909 I am aware of. However, there is Chronological list of all Nicholas' visits abroad while he was Tsesarevicha and later, Emperor.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Clemence on December 24, 2009, 02:52:21 PM
well I'm quite sure Gregg King talked about one unique visit that took place some years before her marriage (maybe with Queen Victoria, but I'm not so sure of that).
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Helen on December 25, 2009, 02:08:05 AM
Nicholas visited Italy in October 1909, but Alexandra did not accompany him on this trip; she stayed at Livadia.
Alexandra had travelled through Italy by train when she and her father went to visit her sister Victoria in Malta in January 1890, and she later made a trip to Italy with her brother in April-May 1893.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Naslednik Norvezhskiy on March 11, 2010, 12:41:58 PM
I have read varying reports as to which were her favourite flowers, however I had not read about the cowslips before. Some say that she preferred lilies of the valley, a preference which served as the inspiration for the Faberge Lilies of the Valley egg. I have also read that she adored lilacs, both for their scent and their lovely colour, which was her favourite. She certainly loved fragrant flowers in any case, and her rooms must have always smelled wonderful.

The article A Romanov Passion for Flowers (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/blog.html?pid=1213306016379451) on the main site says:
"Alexandra had a special love of lilacs, the color of the Mauve Room was created from a lilac branch the Empress gave to her decorator, Roman Meltzer, to duplicate as the hue for the walls and silk fabrics in her private boudoir. Lilacs come in many colors, some have intense fragrance and others are known more for their unique flower form or shade. The Imperial Greenhouses were able to supply lilacs to the palace almost all year. However the most beautiful, lush and fragrant lilacs came from the Imperial park itself, where huge lilac trees sunk under the weight of blossoms in early summer. The scent was overwhelming. In the far north, in Petersburg and Helsinki, lilacs possess an extra vigor and perfume because of the short growing season and long hours of sunlight during the days of the White Nights."

As a северянин, Northerner, myself, I can vouch for lilacs smelling really good on these latitudes and being a cherished symbol of spring. Nevertheless they are only semi-wild in these parts. Our native fragrant flowering spring tree is the bird cherry (prunus padus), which smells even stronger than the more subtle, aristocratic, lady-like lilac. In a Finnish source I saw the bird cherry quite fittingly described as "the cocotte of the spring woods", over-perfumed, "easy" and always attracting a lot of insects with its overpowering sweet smell! What might have attracted Alexandra to this even more fragrant, but immoral tree, is its native folksyness: In Scandinavia it's steeped in folk poetry and mythology, I wonder if that also is the case with the Черёмуха обыкнове́нная in Russia?

Bird cherry:                                                                                                                                                              
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ef/Prunus_padus0.jpg/500px-Prunus_padus0.jpg)
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alixz on March 12, 2010, 09:29:35 AM
In the yard of a house I once owned, there was a deep purple "double" lilac tree and every spring I would open the windows of the house to let the beautiful fragrance in.

It is a heavenly scent and it lasts so short a time.

Lilacs come in many colors from deep purple to white with many shades of mauve in between.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Naslednik Norvezhskiy on March 20, 2010, 06:49:30 AM
Nice. What is a "double lilac"?

In the Food, Wine and Meals thread (http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=3.msg331853#msg331853) it's stated that Alexandra was allergic to floral scents. Surely this can't be correct if she loved lilacs that much?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Alixz on March 20, 2010, 10:09:31 AM
Double lilacs just have a fuller and bigger blossom that regular lilacs.  The flowers in each bunch are larger and more closely packed together.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on March 20, 2010, 09:05:03 PM
In the Food, Wine and Meals thread (http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=3.msg331853#msg331853) it's stated that Alexandra was allergic to floral scents. Surely this can't be correct if she loved lilacs that much?

Perhaps that only applied to synthetic perfumes, not actual flowers? Though I find even that hard to believe, since all four of the grand duchesses wore floral scents by Coty perfumes.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: LauraO on May 20, 2010, 11:59:30 AM
just how private was the mauve room to alexandra? was it almost an extra living quarter with people coming in and out or like an addition to her private rooms?
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: historyfan on May 21, 2010, 08:51:30 PM
just how private was the mauve room to alexandra? was it almost an extra living quarter with people coming in and out or like an addition to her private rooms?

She did receive quite a few people there.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: Sarushka on May 22, 2010, 07:05:54 AM
I was under the impression the mauve room was mostly private. I thought the formal reception room and occasionally the Palisander room served for official audiences.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: historyfan on May 22, 2010, 09:08:17 PM
I thought near the end, before the Revolution, she received ministers there.
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: RealAnastasia on May 22, 2010, 11:22:52 PM
I believe you are right, Historyfan.

RealAnastasia
Title: Re: Alexandra's Personal World
Post by: LauraO on May 23, 2010, 03:21:54 PM
I was under the impression the mauve room was mostly private. I thought the formal reception room and occasionally the Palisander room served for official audiences.

yes thats what i thought , i thought that it was more of one of her private rooms, if so, was the maple room used for audiences with others, or was this more of a private quarter?