Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna => Topic started by: grandduchessella on August 11, 2004, 09:05:00 AM

Title: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: grandduchessella on August 11, 2004, 09:05:00 AM
There are so many rumors about this. While they slept in the same beds all their married life, some say the marriage was unconsummated. Others blame Serge. Some say it was just the same tragedy that other couples suffered. Others put forward the theory you mentioned about Serge treating her as a possession rather than a wife. In her letters, Ella doesn't ever say WHY there were no children, but people have commented on how 'sad' it was.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Sarai on August 11, 2004, 10:44:38 AM
That's a good question, Thomas. I was wondering this myself while looking through the "Ella's Character" thread, where people commented on Ella's childlessness as a possible reason that she resented G.D. Paul's children. I can imagine that it must have hurt her deeply not to have had any children of her own, given the nurturing and maternal side of her personality that would have longed for them.

I have seen this question dismissed as that the couple's childlessness was simply due to Serge's homosexuality, but of course this may not explain it completely, as other men in the family who were reputedly gay fathered children. Although, perhaps since he had taken in his brother's children, he was able to pour all of his fatherly affection unto them instead of having to sire his own children, which he may have been averse to do. They would have been his substitute children. This could also have been a reason for Ella's resentment of those kids, seeing them as a reason why her husband did not need to have any children with her. In essence, he got children without having to do anything, which may have left him happy but not her, understandably. These are all my own opinions, though. It could also very well be that Serge truly did want his own offspring, but one of them had an infertility problem.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: grandduchessella on August 11, 2004, 11:52:09 AM
Dmitri was born in Sept 1891 so they had a little over 7 years. Plus, I don't know how long before they assumed custody of Marie & Dmitri after Paul's marriage, though the children still seemed to spend more time with Ella & Serge even before then. Bottom line, still enough time to have had children prior to this.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Annie on August 11, 2004, 11:54:09 AM
They were married in 1884 (the wedding Nicholas and Alexandra met at) and took in the children to some degree starting in 1891 after the death of Paul's wife Alexandra of Greece at the birth of Dmitri. They had them off and on all along, but were given 'custody' in 1902 when Paul and his new woman were exiled for awhile. At that time Dmitri was 11 and Marie 12. So, yes, they did have between 1884 and 1891 to have kids. It is possible one of them was infertile, and it could also be because of Sergei's (alleged but mostly accepted as fact) homosexuality. Another, less likely factor is that perhaps Ella feared having hemophiliac children or carriers.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Louise on August 11, 2004, 12:07:03 PM
I never thought that Sergei's supposed gayness had anything to do with the couple not having children. I assume like alot of couples it was infertility.

It is nice that they did have Dimitri and Marie to raise and nuture.

I wonder if GD Ella and Marie were just two people that didn't mesh. I mean there are some people in my family that I"m not all that fond of and as hard as it is to believe, some are not all that enamored with me.  ;)

Louise
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: grandduchessella on August 11, 2004, 01:36:09 PM
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I never thought that Sergei's supposed gayness had anything to do with the couple not having children. I assume like alot of couples it was infertility.

It is nice that they did have Dimitri and Marie to raise and nuture.

I wonder if GD Ella and Marie were just two people that didn't mesh. I mean there are some people in my family that I"m not all that fond of and as hard as it is to believe, some are not all that enamored with me.  ;)

Louise


It is funny when you think you're a nice person and then find out some people don't like you. It's like, what's wrong with them?  :) I think you're exactly right re: Ella & Marie. She says pretty much that when she speaks of their different temperaments and how, as Marie & Ella both aged they were able to achieve more harmony in their relationship. They were VERY different characters.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Janet_W. on August 11, 2004, 02:04:05 PM
It's so difficult, from this distance, to come to a reasonable conclusion about their situation. We also need to be careful not to impose our own sensibilities . . . while at the same time acknowledging the possibility of situations which, at the time,were not discussed in "polite" society.  

My own thoughts--warning! amateur psychologist at work!  8) --are that Serge had definite issues in his ability to relate to people at any level, and very probably to women in a sexual context. Still, he couldn't resist marrying the person who was proclaimed the most beautiful of all European princesses . . . and, of course, he had the financial means to keep her in style. And Ella--without the typical compensation of children--easily slipped into the role of fashion maven . . . an object of great physical beauty. Then, the gradual responsibility of two ready-made children--who came to them first due to tragedy, and later due to scandal. Marie and Dmitri were approaching adolesence just as they became fulltime wards of Serge and Ella--also not an easy situation--plus, to see these children bring out tenderness in her husband, when she herself was considered barren . . . well, this is not exactly what Ella had hoped for, I am sure!

She and Serge may have slept in the same bed, but from all that I have read about him, I cannot imagine him being a loving, approachable sexual partner. And she, in turn, seems to have exchanged her role as the proud fashion goddess to that of religious icon . . . long before she became one.

An enigma, to be sure.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Sarai on August 11, 2004, 03:18:50 PM
OK, if the theory that the couple remained childless because Paul's children fulfilled Sergei's desire for fatherhood is not so valid, given the fact that they didn't appear in the picture for seven years after their marriage, then there are two other possibilities, same as those mentioned before. The most straightforward is that one or both of them had fertility problems, something which we may never be able to prove. The second, more theoretical "amateur psychologist" one is that, if the cause of their childlessness wasn't physical, then it could've been due to Sergei not having relations with Ella (due to his apparent natural sexual aversion to women or due to the rather strange reason given by G.D. Alexander that she was just too precious to touch). Therefore, they may have resigned themselves to being childless (due to his selfish reasons) until along came Paul's children. And then suddenly he had the children he wanted but may have been unwilling to conceive, so they continued without children of their own.

I agree that Sergei was seemingly not very capable of being a loving and intimate partner outside of the marriage bed, much less in it. He was still expected to marry and maintain the facade of a normal marriage, but within that marriage's exterior shell things were very different. I don't know much about Sergei, and thus I wonder if he ever had a female lover(s) before he got married, if he showed any sexual interest in women at all, in short - if he was turned off by all women or just by the one he had to marry? Because it would seem odd to me that, if he did have prior lovers, he would have had relations with women while he was single but then didn't want to with his own wife (then again, those other relations could just have been something he didn't really enjoy and what it took for him to discover he was gay). Disclaimer: Remember, this is all my conjecture! ;)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: RomanovFan on January 09, 2005, 04:42:04 PM
Would they have been killed too? What would their titles have been? And why didn't Ella and Serge have children in the first place?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: bluetoria on January 09, 2005, 05:03:00 PM
There are other threads about why they didn't have children (cf. Ella & Serge's courtship etc.), but I would imagine if they had children, Ella's life would have been entirely different and perhaps she would have left Russia during the Revolution - her strong sense of responsibility etc.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: ashanti01 on January 10, 2005, 01:39:54 AM
Why didn't Ella and Serge have children? There has been much talk about this issue in the past which basically comes back to the same theories.

1. Sergei was homosexual ( I think that even if he was a homesexual he still could have children, look at KR how many children did have? Many)

2. Possible health issues. In a letter Tsar Alexander III wrote to his wife, Minnie, he wrote how sad it was that Sergei and Ella would never be able to enjoy the privilage of being parents, or something to that effect. Basically, the Tsar knew something we do not.

We will probably never really know why they did not have children,

I would have to think that if Ella did have children, she would have been more motivated after Sergei's death to continue on and be strong in a different way.
It would have changed her path completly as more than likely she probably would not have risked the safety of her children to the revolution, and would have accepted the Kaiser's help.

One must also think, if she was a mother would she more understanding of Alix's dependance on Rasputin.

Also, if she did have children, what if she had a hemophiliac son, would she like her sister Alix have been a supporter of Rasputin?

Many different things to ponder with one still twist of fate.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Martyn on January 10, 2005, 09:07:36 AM
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Would they have been killed too? What would their titles have been? And why didn't Ella and Serge have children in the first place?


In reply to your original question, it would have been entirely likely that they would have been at the same amount of risk as every other member of the Romanov family at that time.
That so many did manage to escape is nothing short of miraculous.
Would their titles have been Prince or Princess as  oposed to Grand Duke/Duchess?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: crazy_wing on January 10, 2005, 09:17:10 AM
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Would their titles have been Prince or Princess as  oposed to Grand Duke/Duchess?


Their titles would be Grand Dukes/Duchesses b/c they would be grandchildren of a Tsar.  The children from his brother Paul's 1st marriage were also titled as GD.

If Ella did have children, they would've probably already married before the fall of the empire or even before the revolution started.  
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Martyn on January 10, 2005, 09:26:10 AM
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Their titles would be Grand Dukes/Duchesses b/c they would be grandchildren of a Tsar.  The children from his brother Paul's 1st marriage were also titled as GD.

If Ella did have children, they would've probably already married before the fall of the empire or even before the revolution started.  

Of course, you are absolutely right.  My brain is failing.  If they had produced offspring the chances are that they would be full grown and married as Ella and Serge had been married in June 1884.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Svetabel on January 14, 2005, 05:20:40 AM
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Why didn't Ella and Serge have children? There has been much talk about this issue in the past which basically comes back to the same theories.

1. Sergei was homosexual ( I think that even if he was a homesexual he still could have children, look at KR how many children did have? Many)

2. Possible health issues. In a letter Tsar Alexander III wrote to his wife, Minnie, he wrote how sad it was that Sergei and Ella would never be able to enjoy the privilage of being parents, or something to that effect. Basically, the Tsar knew something we do not.

We will probably never really know why they did not have children,

.


Well,I recently have looked through one of the Hagiographies on Holy Martyr Grand Duchess Elizaveta (not an amazing reading!) and  came on such an explanation why Sergei and Ella never had children: as if
before their wedding they had agreed to live like sister and brother...becouse they had the same  spiritual demands and spiritual relationship was much important than physiology...
I think one can easily understand why The Orthodox Church make such statements..
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Martyn on January 14, 2005, 07:55:52 AM
That is an interesting theory Svetabel.  Do you think that is a likely solution or a religious smokescreen?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Dennis on January 14, 2005, 08:40:49 AM
I think that theory is nuts!

Ella did not even become Orthodox until a number of years after the marriage.

Orthodoxy does not put the emphasis on celibacy that Catholicism does.  Orthodox priests are allowed to marry and their wives even have a special place in parish life.  Only bishops and monks do not marry.

Anything is possible, but it is inconceivable (no pun intended) to me that they would have made such an agreement before the wedding.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Martyn on January 14, 2005, 09:13:24 AM
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I think that theory is nuts!


No, say what you think Dennis!  We are never going to know the real reason why they failed to have children, but it is interesting that the Church feels the need to try to explain it.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: rskkiya on January 14, 2005, 09:35:10 AM
Well, I am very happily married and I have no children!
Sometimes people simply don't want children... who knows?

rskkiya
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Martyn on January 14, 2005, 09:44:59 AM
Fair enough comment.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: bluetoria on January 14, 2005, 10:31:51 AM
That theory IS a possibility because Ella's priest Fr. Mitrophan was married but he & his wife had jointly agreed prior to their wedding to live celibate lives...(and of course found it very difficult)...It seems a strange idea though since there then seems little point in marrying at all. There is always the possibility that Ella agreed to that so that she might 'do [Serge] some good' as she hoped, but it is hard to imagine a naive young princess discussing such a thing prior to her marriage.  
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Dennis on January 14, 2005, 01:13:37 PM
I think that the church may be using the explanation not so much to explain why there are no children but to lift up the idea of sexual purity in a canonized saint.

Assuming that it was a normal physical marriage, there is the possibility that one or both of them was infertile. That would be a very good reason.

It is interesting that Christians would take a vow of celibacy within marriage since that contradicts the Biblical idea of "one flesh" and reproduction.  
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Marlene on January 14, 2005, 01:25:41 PM
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Well, I am very happily married and I have no children!
Sometimes people simply don't want children... who knows?

rskkiya



There have been numerous stories - Serge may have been homosexual - and sexual relations between the couple were rare.  It has also been suggested that Ella was raped by her husband, and then avoided him in the marital bed.  
Or he may not have had enough little spermies to swim or she could have suffered from endometriosis or may have had other infertile issues.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: bluetoria on January 14, 2005, 01:26:31 PM
"I think that the church may be using the explanation not so much to explain why there are no children but to lift up the idea of sexual purity in a canonized saint. "

If that is the case it rather implies that a 'normally' married person is not pure, which is not really Christian as (at least in some denominations) marriage is a Sacrament.
I do not understand Fr. Mitrophan's reasons...but then he was very ascetic and saintly...nor am I convinced that it applied in Ella's case, but with Serge's zealous devotion it is possible..On the other hand, if he expected such a thing of her, how could he then criticise her for being 'overly-religious'.
As for the idea that one or the other was infertile, it makes you wonder why then there was so much gossip surrounding their marriage which didn't arise in the case of other childless couples.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Sarai on January 14, 2005, 02:27:25 PM
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As for the idea that one or the other was infertile, it makes you wonder why then there was so much gossip surrounding their marriage which didn't arise in the case of other childless couples.


I think there was so much gossip about their childlessness in particular for a couple of reasons. Firstly, there weren't many high profile couples of their exalted rank who remained childless. I really can't think of any other couple of the Imperial Family contemporary with Ella and Serge who were childless. So they must have stood out in their family because of this.

Secondly, Ella was touted as one of the most beautiful women of her time. Many men were probably jealous of Serge for having married her and were eager to spread gossip about him. The fact that they had no children was seen as just plain odd in those days, as all women were expected to want children, and all men wanted an heir to carry on their name and inherit their fortune, so the idea that a couple had no children by choice was probably dismissed as quite preposterous.

Of course, infertility was a reality they knew about and I do believe this may have been the case with this couple. Hence the statement made by Alexander III that poor Ella and Serge would never know the joys of parenthood. The fact that Serge may very well have been homosexual doesn't factor in very much for me, as other gay men fathered children. They knew it was their duty.

The fact that Ella and Serge remained childless fanned people's imagination that they had an unhappy marriage or that something was wrong with one of them, or it fueled their speculation about Serge's homosexuality. This couple was already the object of gossip simply because they seemed to be such an odd pairing, and the fact that they remained childless did nothing to quiet people's assumptions that they had an unhappy marriage.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Martyn on January 14, 2005, 02:51:47 PM
Well that all makes quite a bit of sense.  I tend to doubt that Serge was homosexual; as Sarai rightly points out, whatever their sexual proclivities, men were expected to do their duty and produce children, KR being the most notable example of this.
I don't buy the agreement to live in a celibate marital state concept either.  It just seems far more likely that there were problems with fertility, or quite possibly, that Serge was impotent.  However I'm a little puzzled as to how Alexander III knew that they would never be able to have children - perhaps it was pure speculation?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Sarai on January 14, 2005, 03:41:43 PM
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However I'm a little puzzled as to how Alexander III knew that they would never be able to have children - perhaps it was pure speculation?


I have wondered about this myself - how could he say with such apparent certainty that they would never be parents? He must have known something about their medical history. Perhaps either Ella or Serge had a bout of illness that would have caused infertility. I recall that Princess Louise (Queen Victoria's daughter) was thought to be infertile due to a childhood disease (some kind of fever?). It would be interesting to know the couple's complete medical histories, to see what kinds of diseases they had that could have possibly caused infertility, but of course, finding out would be nearly impossible.

If one of them was indeed infertile, and it was because of an illness, it leads me to wonder if it was Serge who had the problem, since Alexander would probably have known his own brother's medical history better than that of Ella's. Perhaps Ella knew that Serge was infertile before their marriage, but, with her characteristic resignation and devotion, she accepted the fact that they would be a childless couple and married him anyway. I think she may have felt sorry for him in a way, and she was always very defensive and protective of her husband. They certainly didn't appear to have a passionate love affair, based on the accounts of their contemporaries, and perhaps they didn't engage in relations very much because they knew nothing would come of it anyway. They were both very religious and perhaps thought it almost sinful to have intercourse just for the fun of it, without the goal of procreation.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Johnny on January 14, 2005, 04:24:43 PM
Quote
 However I'm a little puzzled as to how Alexander III knew that they would never be able to have children - perhaps it was pure speculation?

How about the possibility of a disease, like Syphillis or other stuff that was quite incurable, something that Sergei had and didn't want to give it to Ella. Syphillis can also explain Sergei's moody personality. I agree that homosexuality has nothing to do with childlessness, but I can't dismiss the possibility the he WAS gay. For me that explains why he married her in the first place, to put a stop to gossip. Of course he knew he was using Ella and that he was going to make her life miserable. On the other hand, a man known for his cruelty, a man who wasn't exactly the model of compassion after the tragedy of Khodynka, wouldn't seem to loose much sleep over making Ella unhappy for the rest of her days. Just a thought!
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Dennis on January 14, 2005, 04:33:12 PM
When did Alexander III make this statement about his brother?

As Serge's older brother, he may have well known that there was a fertility problem.

Or, he made the statement as a general assumption after several years had passed without there being any children.
Usually, royal brides became pregnant shortly after their marriage.

I thought I read somewhere that Serge had made an offer to Ella that she could find a "husband" for her needs.  This was an offer also made to GD Olga Alexandrovna by her first husband, Oldenburg.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Dennis on January 14, 2005, 04:37:00 PM
One other thing - could Serge have had the mumps as a child?  Mumps can render sterility.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Ilana on January 14, 2005, 05:40:42 PM
It becomes even more curious because I've read somewhere that one of the reasons that Ella went to J'Lem with Serge was to pray for children.  It drives me crazy that I can't remember where I read this!
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: bluetoria on January 14, 2005, 05:46:55 PM
I'm sure she would have gone to Jerusalem anyway! With regard to infertility, if the problem were on her part, she would have no need to make any secret of it. Her Aunt Louise made no secret of her problems and went to spas to seek a solution. Look at the lengths Alix went to to conceive a son. Ella grew up in a household that was relatively open-minded by the standards of the day (think of Princess Alice's willingness to study & discuss gynaecology with all & sundry, which made QV reluctant to let her younger daughters visit Darmstadt for fear of what they may hear!). Ella's absolute silence on the subject suggests to me that the marriage...for whatever reason...remained unconsummated.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Martyn on January 15, 2005, 12:49:43 PM
Quote
I thought I read somewhere that Serge had made an offer to Ella that she could find a "husband" for her needs.  This was an offer also made to GD Olga Alexandrovna by her first husband, Oldenburg.


Good grief, that would be a bit cynical wouldn't it?  Doesn't really fit in with the religious element of his character....Can you remember where you read that Dennis?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Dennis on January 15, 2005, 04:43:56 PM
Martyn,

I've done some searching and here are the quotes, all from the same book, you may even have read it.

The Flight of the Romanovs: a family saga

by John Curtis Pery and Constantine Pleshakov

Basic Books, 1999

"The one side of Sergei that did not meet (his brother) Alexander's standard of conservatism and morality was his homosexual promiscuity.  Sergei was as close to overt in his sexual behavior as a man of his position could be in Russia in the 1880s."  Page 41

"However, the couple's life was shaped by Sergei's generally well-known although never discussed sexual orientation.  The couple slept in the same bed but remained childless.  Sergei Alexandrovich alledgedly propsed to his wfe more than once that she should choose a 'husband' among her entourage."  Page 43

"Olga was long unhappily married and sexually frustrated; her husband, Prince Peter of Oldenburg, a minor Romanov offshoot, had no interest in women and in fact the marriage, Olga said, was never even consummated...Peter proved to be tolerant of his wife, allowing her in 1903 to bring into their home a tall young fair-haired army officer named Nicholas Kulikovsky...and the two lived together under Oldenburg's roof for thirteen years."  Pages 129 - 130.

Any one else have information?

Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 15, 2005, 07:51:32 PM
Quote

...it is interesting that the Church feels the need to try to explain it.

Maybe the church was afraid of opening up a can of worms about Sergei's homosexuality...so they felt they needed to explain this in other ways... ? They didn't have to provide an explanation at all really, so it is kind of weird that they would come up with that one.  ???

Dennis, I have read about all the stuff you quoted above as well...
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Martyn on January 16, 2005, 05:39:27 AM
Thanks Dennis, very illuminating.  Odd that the Church should even wish to raise the issue, as Helen suggests, as it can only invite controversy surely?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: bluetoria on January 16, 2005, 06:15:19 AM
How could anyone know that Serge would suggest such a thing? It smacks to me of someone else's wishful thinking...who first said it? Perhaps someone who was jealous of Serge? He would hardly tell anyone else that he advised her to find a lover as that would surely reflect on his own virility (or lack of it) which wouldn't be something he'd brag about. Besides, he was, at the same time, allegedly so possessive of her that he would hardly let her out of his sight, read her letters, restricted her reading...so then he turns round & offers to provide her with a lover... ??? not very likely, really.
I have doubts about his homosexuality...latent or otherwise, because, as someone has already said, that wouldn't stop him fathering children. Perhaps he was impotent or perhaps there was some psychological barrier which we cannot understand.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 16, 2005, 10:30:32 AM
Quote

I have doubts about his homosexuality, that wouldn't stop him fathering children. Perhaps he was impotent or perhaps there was some psychological barrier which we cannot understand.

Yes, anything is possible I suppose.
But maybe the church thought it was because of him being homosexual hence they got defensive.  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: bluetoria on January 16, 2005, 01:42:33 PM
I don't really think it's to do with the Church. I think it all comes from the gossips at the time who disliked Serge, pitied Ella and really didn't understand...any better than we do...what made their marriage work (beyond MP's description of Ella yielding to Serge in all decisions affecting their lives.)
The Grand Duchess's life was made more miserable by the gossips than by Serge. Her nature seems to be such that she could deal with him, whatever he was like, but the gossip was surely excruciatingly embarrassing and hurtful :( Poor Ella!
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Martyn on January 17, 2005, 04:30:22 AM
We shouldn't really forget that his sexual inclinations may simply have prevented him from consummating the marriage.  There are plenty of married men form that era who were married and successfully fathered offspring; such a course of action may not simply have been possible for Serge.  While he may have loved Ella very much, she simply may not have aroused in him the necessary passion to enjoy a physical union with her.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: ashanti01 on January 17, 2005, 01:29:56 PM
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We shouldn't really forget that his sexual inclinations may simply have prevented him from consummating the marriage.  There are plenty of married men form that era who were married and successfully fathered offspring; such a course of action may not simply have been possible for Serge.  While he may have loved Ella very much, she simply may not have aroused in him the necessary passion to enjoy a physical union with her.



That is very true. Look at KR, he was homosexual but had a very large family.
Princess Zinaida Yussupova's husband Felix was rumored to be have been homosexual, and he had children.

Can it just be, they didn't have children due to medical issues?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Sarai on January 17, 2005, 01:36:49 PM
Quote
We shouldn't really forget that his sexual inclinations may simply have prevented him from consummating the marriage.  There are plenty of married men form that era who were married and successfully fathered offspring; such a course of action may not simply have been possible for Serge.  While he may have loved Ella very much, she simply may not have aroused in him the necessary passion to enjoy a physical union with her.


Martyn,
That is of course a good point. While it is a possibility that one of them suffered a fertility problem, it could just also be as simple as that Serge wasn't sexually attracted to Ella. Just because a gay man can physically have children doesn't mean he will. Strange though, because Serge seemed to love children and always related well to little children. He was tender and almost maternal to his adopted children Maria and Dmitry, so one would think he would have wanted his own children.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 17, 2005, 02:05:08 PM
Quote

While it is a possibility that one of them suffered a fertility problem, it could just also be as simple as that Serge wasn't sexually attracted to Ella. Just because a gay man can physically have children doesn't mean he will. Strange though, because Serge seemed to love children and always related well to little children. He was tender and almost maternal to his adopted children Maria and Dmitry, so one would think he would have wanted his own children.
  Yes, this is exactly right. But just because he liked children and wanted to have his own, it doesn't mean that it would make it easier for him to go against his nature. Some gay men can do it and others can't, Sergei may just have been among the latter.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Martyn on January 17, 2005, 02:50:12 PM
We are never going to know for sure, are we?  Dennis' evidence is interesting but we could really do with knowing where the original source material came from that was quoted in 'Flight of the Romanovs'.
As a point of interest, there are many men who are attracted to women in an emotional and intellectual way that can amount to romantic love, whilst remaining physically disinterested.  I do think that having no children of their own, for whatever reason, was a terrible shame for them.....
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: bluetoria on January 17, 2005, 02:56:55 PM
I agree. A terrible shame :(
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 17, 2005, 03:03:35 PM
That's right, we will never know. And yes, it is very sad because they both really wanted children, I think. But they did get to raise Dmitri and Marie, although I don't think Ella was that thrilled with the idea initially...
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Martyn on January 18, 2005, 06:09:53 AM
Quote
That's right, we will never know. And yes, it is very sad because they both really wanted children, I think. But they did get to raise Dmitri and Marie, although I don't think Ella was that thrilled with the idea initially...


Absolutely.  Perversely she may not have been the ideal parent, if one listens to the opinions (rather subjective ones I suspect) of their ward Maria Pavlovna the younger.  Ella's love for Serge was very exclusive and I have sometimes wondered whether he tried to excite her jealousy through his openly expressed affection for Paul's children.  At any rate, who is to say that they would have been more successful with their own offspring?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: jfkhaos on January 18, 2005, 08:02:18 AM
I don't think that questioning Ella's relationship with her own potential children should be colored by her relationship with Marie and Dimitri.  It must be remembered that Serge showed much more kindness to the children than he did to Ella, and for a woman who cannot have children, and who may have been reminded of this fact on a daily basis, to have two children put under her and her husband's wardship would not have been easy for her.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Martyn on January 18, 2005, 08:13:01 AM
I think that it is a valid question.  I appreciate the point that you have just made but I don't think that it illustrates either way whether she would have been a good parent to her own progeny or not.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: jfkhaos on January 18, 2005, 08:48:54 AM
That was my purpose exactly.  There is no way we can ever know what kind of parent she would have been, but I think she would have been a good one.  It would have been interesting to see her grow old and become a matriarch of her own branch of the family.  By the way, what would their names be?  I mean, Nicholas Alexandrovich..how would the name Sergei have been placed in a patronym?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: bluetoria on January 18, 2005, 10:33:24 AM
Quote
I think that it is a valid question.  I appreciate the point that you have just made but I don't think that it illustrates either way whether she would have been a good parent to her own progeny or not.

Judging by the accounts of the way she cared for the orphans and children whom poor & sick parents brought to be cared for by her in the orphanage, she would probably have made a lovely mother.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 18, 2005, 10:52:52 AM
Quote
I don't think that questioning Ella's relationship with her own potential children should be colored by her relationship with Marie and Dimitri.  It must be remembered that Serge showed much more kindness to the children than he did to Ella, and for a woman who cannot have children, and who may have been reminded of this fact on a daily basis, to have two children put under her and her husband's wardship would not have been easy for her.


Yes, I agree. This is also a woman who must have, at least on some level, felt neglected by her husband, and seeing that he has that much more affection for these children than for herself could not have been easy for her...
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Martyn on January 18, 2005, 01:49:52 PM
Quote
That was my purpose exactly.  There is no way we can ever know what kind of parent she would have been, but I think she would have been a good one.  It would have been interesting to see her grow old and become a matriarch of her own branch of the family.  By the way, what would their names be?  I mean, Nicholas Alexandrovich..how would the name Sergei have been placed in a patronym?


You think so...Fine.  It would have been interesting for a lot of things to have turned out differently....; we will never know the answer to this one.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Martyn on January 18, 2005, 01:56:21 PM
Quote

Yes, I agree. This is also a woman who must have, at least on some level, felt neglected by her husband, and seeing that he has that much more affection for these children than for herself could not have been easy for her...


Yes I don't doubt that either.  We must bear in mind that these children may not have been easy to deal with either, having lost their mother at an early age and been removed form the care of their father; it may well be that Ella had her work cut out in attampting to be a parent to them.  We are all familiar with the 'good cop, bad cop approach' - Ella may have been obliged to take this line in her efforts to bring the children up in the way that she and Serge saw fit.  It might easily have been a case of him indulging and her correcting the indulgence, hence he gets off with gold stars and MP the younger condemns Ella for eternity in her memoirs to the label of 'bad parent'.  We can't rule out that she wasn't actually maternal in the natural sense; that she was admired for her care and attitudes towards the sick and orphaned, does not necessarily qualify her to be mother of the year.......
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Penny_Wilson on January 18, 2005, 02:41:34 PM
Quote
Thanks Dennis, very illuminating.  Odd that the Church should even wish to raise the issue, as Helen suggests, as it can only invite controversy surely?


I have a bit more information, which might shed some light on the Church's interest in the matter.  This information is to be found in the latest part of John Rohl's monumental biography of the last Kaiser.  It was written by the Kaiser in the margin of an official report -- please be aware though, that some might find this offensive, although I have redacted part of the "worst" word, so please don't scroll down if you're sensitive or under 18.  Thanks. ;)
 
And please -- I didn't write this, I'm just reporting it:

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"In January 1891, Kaiser Wilhelm II reported that the Grand Duke was in the midst of a bitter fight with an elderly cleric in the Orthodox Church, who 'discovered that Serge was b****ring his handsome young domestic chaplain.
He transferred the latter at once.  This so enraged the pious Prince that he contrived to have the old man transferred!  I have spoken out before now of my fear that Grand Duke Serge would bring about the downfall and destruction of his family.  It appears that it is so.'"
("Wilhelm II: The Kaiser's Personal Monarchy, 1888-1900," by John C. G. Röhl and Sheila de Bellaigue,
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004, page 123)

Generally, I find debates on Serge's personal life to be both interesting and at the same time kind of pointless.  I have doubts about virtually everything I have read or heard about Serge -- every piece of testimony one way or another can be refuted by another piece of testimony.  Yet it seems to me that there was SOMETHING going on in Serge's personal life.

If it turns out that Serge was merely a gay man, then I have no problem believing and accepting that he and Ella were soul-mates, and that being together to share life was more important to them than any "conventional" rewards of marriage.  As several have said elsewhere, deep love is possible without sex.

But I would find the relationship with Ella unutterably more disturbing if the rumors of Serge's pedophilia were ever proven true.  I am not certain how much of these rumors is current coin in the general Romanov world, but I do know that I have heard of them from serious scholars, some of  whom are more inclined to believe them than not.  I DO have an interest in Serge and Ella, but they are not all that high on my list of things to do, so I have not pursued this issue in primary research.  For those who are interested in doing so, I have heard that memoirs of members of the Corps de Pages contain some primary testimony.

On the other hand -- and to be fair -- Serge does not seem to have scared the young children of his family at all.  Dimitry and Marie seem to have had a good relationship with him, and in GK's "In The Marble Palace," he recalls how he and his brother Ioann used to shove each other all over the place on carriage rides to visit Serge and Ella, so as to be placed well enough to be first out of the carriage to "run to the study and jump in Uncle Serge's lap."

This is all I have on the question of Serge's sexuality.  I hope we can continue to discuss this civilly...   :D
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Penny_Wilson on January 18, 2005, 02:45:32 PM
Oh.  And I think that it would be very important -- if anyone wants to continue this discussion -- that a definite distinction be made between being homosexual and being pedophiliac.  Not all pedophiles are homosexual (or even men -- I'm looking at you, Mary Kay Letourneau), and not all homosexuals are pedophiles (in fact, I believe that I have read that statistically, pedophiles are more likely to be hetero).

At any rate, let's be sophisticated about this...  8)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: bluetoria on January 18, 2005, 02:49:36 PM
It may be true...but don't you have doubts since it comes from Wilhelm who never forgave Ella for rejecting him & went out of his way to destroy the reputation of his rival...It seems particularly odd that Serge chose a chaplain since he was so religious in other ways...but then again...
Did Ella presumably know about this?
If she knew that the Kaiser had made this known, and it were not true, could she have sat beside him at the moment of Alix's engagament as though nothing had happened?

Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: rskkiya on January 18, 2005, 02:50:30 PM
Soul Mates?
I thought that that term was a late 20th century "new age" phrase. I never have read that these two were 'soul mates." Sounds like a flowery romance novel to me. :D
Also, I was not aware that Sergie's possibly being a homosexual would have made any children "fear" him at all? :o :o

Goodness WHO said Sergie was a pedophile!

Sorry Penny, I know, you're just reporting this information.

rskkiya
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: bluetoria on January 18, 2005, 02:50:52 PM
Just remembered, too, Ella writing to QV about the 'disgusting lies' that people spread about them...Perhaps this was just another.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Marlene on January 18, 2005, 03:05:38 PM
Quote
Just remembered, too, Ella writing to QV about the 'disgusting lies' that people spread about them...Perhaps this was just another.



It could also have been Ella's way of dealing with the situation - she didn't want to discuss it (as was the way)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Penny_Wilson on January 18, 2005, 03:29:07 PM
Quote
Soul Mates?
I thought that that term was a late 20th century "new age" phrase. I never have read that these two were 'soul mates." Sounds like a flowery romance novel to me. :D


It might well me a New Age phrase, but it has some currency here in Cali.  All I meant by it was that they may have just understood each other so well -- and I think we have all read that both were complex and somewhat difficult characters -- and found such acceptance from each other that they just wanted to be together -- even if that meant a less than conventional marriage.

Quote
Also, I was not aware that Sergie's possibly being a homosexual would have made any children "fear" him at all? :o :o


Not what I meant.  I wasn't referring to homosexuality, but rather pedophilia.  If Serge was a predator, as pedophiles are almost by definition, then he apparently wasn't preying on the children of his family, anyway.

Quote
Goodness WHO said Sergie was a pedophile!

Sorry Penny, I know, you're just reporting this information.

rskkiya


A number of former members of the Corps des Pages have said so in their memoirs.  I have heard about them indirectly through researchers and a couple of historians/authors -- and it's not my research, so I was never privy to the details.  But if anyone is interested, clearly researching Corps des Pages memoirs would be a place to start.   ;)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: bluetoria on January 18, 2005, 04:46:51 PM
If this event took place in January 1891 is this why Serge was transferred to Moscow three months later?
But then...if Ella knew about it, would it not affect her decision to convert at the same time...her husband AND a chaplain = the two most important things in her life? If she did know & it were true, it must have rocked everything she believed & trusted.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Penny_Wilson on January 18, 2005, 05:36:06 PM
One way to check it all out might be to explore the history of Serge's household, and confirm that his chaplain was removed at around the indicated time.

Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 18, 2005, 10:05:58 PM
Quote

It could also have been Ella's way of dealing with the situation - she didn't want to discuss it (as was the way)
 Denial? Hey, who can blame her if this indeed was true.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Annie on February 22, 2005, 08:45:21 AM
I have heard all the stories too, except the one about agreeing to live as brother and sister, that's a new one! If it was a medical problem, it could have been mumps. They would fall and cause infertility in those days. It could have been a lot of things. I'm really surprised as much as been written about them we don't know for sure. I guess they were very private, and I don't blame them.

After reading this last page, I also saw a new one I hadn't heard, the pedophile one :o I hope that isn't true! I don't think so, surely Marie or Dmitri would have said something.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: TampaBay on June 07, 2005, 08:48:00 PM
I think it was infertility and that caused problems in the marriage.

TampaBay
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Mandie, the Gothic Empress on June 09, 2005, 12:48:56 PM
Quote
I do think Sergey and Ella loved each other in a way, rarely with married or dating couples.

 But having children? umm? I heared two differnt things one in Peter K's book Tsar,the last world of Nicholas and Alexandra and in Charlotte Z's book The Camera and the Tsars.

K's book: " Ella, whose husband,Sergey, had left her untouched on account of his 'curious tastes'. "


Z's book: " Childlessness was the one enduring sorrow the couple shared and they seem to have known that this would always be the case."


My quote from: SERGEI AND ELLA.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: bluetoria on June 12, 2005, 07:12:38 AM
Had they had children I imagine Ella's life would have been completely different so perhaps (hopefully) she & the children (who would, by then, no longer have been children) would have escaped.

As it was, perhaps Ella's life was more the kind of life which most suited her and all the aspirations which she had had since childhood.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Annushka on June 13, 2005, 12:30:05 PM
Why would Sergei and Ella sleep in the same bed for their entire marriage and not consummate it?  That does not make sense to me.  I, too, think it was infertility.

Holly
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: hikaru on June 14, 2005, 12:44:08 PM
I think that the turning point of this story is 1892 year.
I this year Sergey wrote the will that everything he has , he will pass to the Maria Pavlovna JR.
Maybe something happened , when he undertood that they will not have children.

Maybe somebody of this forum knows what Ella wrote in the letters to German relatives  on 1892 year.
Maybe there is some hint in her letters.
Maybe not only Sergey, maybe  she also had some problems.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: bluetoria on June 14, 2005, 12:50:24 PM
It's really quite sad I think that we go on turning over this problem again & again - each with our own opinions - because throughout her entire married life Ella had to endure the shame of the gossip, the sadness of having no children & the humiliation of hearing all the scurrilous stories that were being spread about Serge.
Even now, all these years later, it seems so often that, in spite of all she achieved, this remains the chief preoccupation with her. Poor Ella!  :(
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: hikaru on June 14, 2005, 12:56:39 PM
Dear Bluetoria.
I am not blaming Ella at all.
I just said that Sergey understood in 1892 year for sure that they can not have own children.
I love Ella very much as you do.
And I love Serge too.
I could imagine how strong was his desire to have children . It was he , who  first built  in Moscow a lot of orphanage houses for poor children.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: bluetoria on June 14, 2005, 04:08:18 PM
Hikaru, I wasn't criticising your post at all!  :) I was just thinking that this question appears so often & seems to be one of the first things people ask about Ella. It rather overshadows all the brilliant things she did. And I think it's a little sad that the debate continues after her death when she took such pains to keep the details of her marriage secret when she was on earth.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: CatherineNY on June 30, 2005, 12:49:32 PM
Didn't Alexander III make a comment to his wife in a letter to the effect that it was sad that Serge and Ella would never be able to have children? He seemed to know something that we don't know -- something that made it obvious to family members that there would be no children born to the marriage. I doubt it would be something like Serge being a homosexual, since it is hard to imagine that Alexander III would make sympathetic comments about that. I have read somewhere that Serge was impotent, which might explain the childlessness and AIII's sympathy, as well as Ella's silence on the subject. (This is all a bit personal, I realize, but then so is the whole thread. And in the case of reigning families, the personal can have profound political implications.)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Annushka on June 30, 2005, 01:09:45 PM
Being homosexual would not have prevented them from children.  Lots of gay men have fathered children.  So it really does seem like it was a physical reason.

Holly  
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: ilyala on June 30, 2005, 01:29:24 PM
kr had loooots of children... and he was as homosexual as it gets
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: bluetoria on June 30, 2005, 05:49:05 PM
Rvinson, I cannot agree with your statement about Ella - the fact that she became a nun doesn't in anyway suggest that she was 'frigid towards sex' - for this implies that all nuns have that attitude which certainly is not the case!  Her desire to be a nun was on quite a different level altogether!! And as you say, 'considering the conscientious, aesthetic nature of her mother & grandfather' she would doubtlessly have seen her first duty as a wife to have children. Besides which, do you really think a man like Serge would have accepted such an attitude in his wife?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: bluetoria on July 01, 2005, 05:07:25 AM
Quote
Don't mean to ruffle feathers. I'm just hypothesizing, which I think is all we can do!


Sorry, rvinson, if my post sounded abrupt  :) I didn't intend it to come across as it may have appeared. It just seems a long leap to suggest that because she was so spiritual she had no human feelings. The reason I believe this is because in other ways she was such a 'passionate' person who, as her letters show, felt very strong emotions. Regarding her intimate relationship with Serge, I agree, no one can know what happened and it's a little sad, perhaps, that there is still so much speculation about it, which in many ways overshadows all the other great achievements of her life.

Hi, Thomas,  :) I haven't seen any of Serge's diaries (if he kept any!) but I think his character is such a complex one that I need to think for a long time before expressing an opinion of him.  ;)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: QueenEna1887 on July 14, 2005, 09:49:25 AM
Could it have been possible at one point Ella was pregnant? It only takes one time just to make a child
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: bluetoria on July 14, 2005, 10:24:30 AM
If she had been I think we would have heard about it. It seems very, very unlikely.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: QueenEna1887 on July 21, 2005, 02:42:58 PM
Has Grand Duchess Ella at least tried to see some type of obsterician to help her get pregnant? I heard the Sergei really did not want to have children? You might think I'm crazy but maybe she did have a baby at one point! No one knew about it!!
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: bluetoria on July 22, 2005, 03:59:43 AM
If you think of the way that Serge could hardly wait to become the guardian of Maria & Dmitri, there seems very little reason to suppose that he did not want children.
I don't think you're crazy but why on earth would Ella, who obviously loved children, have concealed the fact that she had a baby of her own?  ??? (Unless of course there is the implication that it wasn't Serge's child, which, considering all we do know of Ella, is imo, an very unjust and unfounded allegation.)
And when could this possibly have happened since we know about where she was most of the time?
It seems to me extremely unlikely, if not impossible.  
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Georgiy on August 04, 2005, 04:46:50 PM
It seems to me that they both wanted children, their attitudes towards children show that. In my opinion the problem was infertility, possibly of Sergei, considering his brothers remarks, though I can't think of what physical and visible cause there could be that would have made Alexander III say that.

A lot of people seem to think of Sergei as cold and unloving, but obviously he musn't have been like that to Ella. Maybe, like Alix, his public and private personae were very, very different, and the only person he could really be himself with was Ella.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: hikaru on August 05, 2005, 11:09:24 AM
As for Serge he kept diaries. There is a photo of his last diary in  the recent russian book about  Ella.
From the sheet what I have read it seems that his diary is more detailed  more passionate thing than usual ones.
So , I think that it would be very intresting to read His diaries.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Prince_Lieven on August 05, 2005, 11:25:15 AM
If either Ella or Serge had certain diseases as children, this might have contributed. Some have said that Louise, QV's daughter, had no children because meningitis as a child had made her infertile. Did either Ella or Serge have any disease like this? Because, as Zeepvat says, they seemed to know that they would never have children.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: bluetoria on August 06, 2005, 07:02:14 AM
Ella didn't suffer from any childhood illness that could have caused infertility and if she knew knew that she was infertile, it is highly likely that she would have made this known to combat all the rumours about their marriage - or at least would have visited spas in search of 'a cure' as her Aunt Louise did.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on September 22, 2006, 10:43:49 AM
Sadly, we always wonder about these kinds of things. I think it would have been better for them if they had had children; by all accounts Sergei loved children, and so did Ella. It might have made their marriage more fulfilled. I think they wanted children, but infertility may have prevented it. Sometimes infertility is obvious, sometimes not so much. This may be the case with Ella and Sergei. They may have had normal relations; his orientation may have driven him away. It didn't drive some men of the Imperual family away from having dynastic wives and children, because they realized they had to, or it was expected.Sergei may have just appceciated Ella's beauty in a more platonic context than normal as well. But that might be reading too much in to what was seen as a strange marriage even by royal standards then. Ella may have felt resentful at times, but she was so nice one feels she understood whatever the issues were.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 23, 2006, 08:42:38 AM
I think the whole thing is very complex. We have no prove on anything since it seems Ella did not put her feelings about her childlessness, intimate relationship with Serge and with the children ever on paper (in letters or diaries). Ella was a complex woman, capable of great love and sacrifice, but she had human feelings too. But unfortunately we are not fated to know them.  :(
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on September 24, 2006, 07:32:08 PM
Very true..She never wanted those things discussed I think. She wished to keep them private, and that was for her own era that was often rife with speculation, and for a future era as well. She was one of those people who thinks strength is keeping one's troubles to one's self. That is rather Victorian, to think that way. But who knows are many troubles she had anyway.. because there is no evidence, or very little. She let the world think what it wanted in her lifetime, and long after.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 24, 2006, 08:56:37 PM
Indeed...especially even those papers owned by her sisters were also distroyed (like those of Irene). we may not know the full stroy ever... :(
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on September 25, 2006, 08:12:15 AM
I don't think we ever will know all of it; but I think she wanted it that way. Perhaps we must respect that.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 25, 2006, 10:44:55 AM
Or...speculate to our heart's content.  ;)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on September 25, 2006, 11:49:29 AM
Yes, we do. I guess some things never change. But if she would not have liked it, knowing that people gossiped and speculated about her in her lifetime so much, due to Sergei, her not having children, and what was percieved as their '' strange'' marriage. I think people speculated about her as well, her nature being so different from many women of the Imperial Family. I think when people can't know something, no matter how much it may be unimportant, or irrelevant if they did, they still wish to know. But it woudn't matter about that to them, so they go on speculating. Perhaps that's why it is always better to be upfront, as long as doing so cannot hurt you. Sometimes people are not upfront because they fear other's reactions or hurt, although some people are simply private and think it is only their own business. That is most likely what Ella was, although one wonders if she could be the other way as well.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 25, 2006, 08:47:10 PM
True, but she also lived a very public life.  ;)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on September 26, 2006, 10:26:04 AM
She did; and that is mostly what we know about Ella, is her public life. We don't know much about the private side of her, but there is enough evidence that we like to guess. She would never have wanted that though, and I think it hurt her in her lifetime that people did this.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 26, 2006, 11:04:26 AM
The private life was shared only within family...When the cousins wrote memoirs...things began to come out.  :o
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on September 26, 2006, 11:40:22 AM
Yes, and I think that makes people simply speculate more.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 26, 2006, 09:25:59 PM
indeed the memoirs of Sandro and Marie P were quite revealing... :(
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on September 27, 2006, 08:44:03 AM
I don't think Ella ever guessed though, that some of that stuff would be written and shared outside of the family. I don't think she lived long enough past the revolution to see that. She woudn't have liked it if she did; gossip and inuendo were hard enough for her to bear without members of her own family putting things out there, that she must have regarded as private. True, it wasn't the most scandalous stuff, but she regarded everything in private life as belonging there.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 27, 2006, 10:41:04 AM
True...She was very tight-lipped about it. I think the only one she confided was VMH and Irene. Both did not leave much in terms of papers and letters on Ella & Serge.  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on September 27, 2006, 11:50:51 AM
Yes, it seems that not only from her is there silence, but from every other quarter as well, about what the marriage of Ella and Sergei was really like. Or what each of them was really like. Perhaps they knew Ella wanted it so, and thus they preserved the silence that she wanted over the subject.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 27, 2006, 10:32:38 PM
Or perhaps the truth wasn't that attractive either... ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on September 28, 2006, 10:30:25 AM
Perhaps, the truth wasn't attractive, yes. I think it is hard to know- the speculation wasn't attractive, for sure. Beneath that, it is hard to say. We sometimes assume the truth about their marriage and Sergei's character was better than the rumours. I think Sergei was a complex man, and they had a complex marriage, but you are right that doesn't make the truth great, either, neccesarily.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 28, 2006, 12:04:23 PM
Too complex to be undersood I suppose... :o
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on September 28, 2006, 12:07:05 PM
Yes, even if we knew the truth, would we understand that at all. ??? We may not understand it even if we knew, although that is a startling thought, it sort of jolts you.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 28, 2006, 12:17:03 PM
Yes...that is why it is so strange.  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: stacey on September 30, 2006, 06:20:11 AM
I understand that Ella had a "private" nature, and that anyway ladies of her time didn't go around discussing intimate matters. And Sergei, just by his temperament didn't seem to be the kind of person to go around confiding in people.

Still...look at the difference between their relationship and that of Nicholas and Alix! Not only do their letters to each other survive, they show very clearly that the Tsar and the Empress had a deeply loving and yes, very passionate physical relationship throughout their marriage. Even if Nicholas and Alix had never had children (due to infertility, or whatever) we would still be in no doubt that theirs was a very loving and passionate relationship.

I don't know---Sergei just strikes me as a "cold fish"! And I can't help wondering if Ella didn't start withdrawing into herself even before his death because he never let her get very close to him--either physically or emotionally. I think that would have been extremely painful for her!!

If only we had their diaries and letters.... :(
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 30, 2006, 10:27:47 AM
Yes...there had even been a long suspision of even physical cruelty to Ella from Sergei. I personaly do not belive it, but many do...
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 02, 2006, 12:06:20 PM
I don't think he was ever physically cruel to her. I think that is reading into his public image too much, actually. Seen as cruel in public, you can imagine him doing things in private..but that might not be true.He was cruel in public, and may well have been emotionally cold to Ella who I think had greaterr depths of feeling, more than he did. But I don't think it went further. Ella certainly made the best of her sitiuation in her marriage with him, whether it was bad or good. At this remove, it is hard to say, but perhaps it was a mix like so many things.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 02, 2006, 10:06:02 PM
I think may people think it was cruel for him to control Ella like that (it was a power Nicky do not have over Alicky , nor Sasha over Dagmar). Even if Sergei had abused her, Ella with her pride would not have seeked to wash her linen in public like Ducky.  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 03, 2006, 11:05:56 AM
No, you are right. Even if Ella was abused by Sergei in a physical way, ( which I very much doubt), then she would never have let anyone know of it publicly, past, present or future. That is correct. In many ways, the darker side of some arranged marriages or even some marriages made with passion in those days was never spoken of. It wasn't acceptable, and mental abuse as a concept wasn't even known I don't think. Husbands expected authority over their wives, and it wasn't called abuse to enforce it. Ella was most likely treated in a way by Sergei that was controlling by modern standards, but not really by those of that era.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 03, 2006, 11:09:18 AM
I think their situation was one of the reasons Ella turned to religion for comfort.  ;)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 03, 2006, 11:32:12 AM
Yes, I would agree with that. I think Ella had a essentially religious nature, and inclinations in that direction. Marriage to Sergei and Russia brought that out in her, but I think it was always there. Ella was fairly seriously minded even in youth.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Svetabel on October 03, 2006, 01:30:19 PM
I think their situation was one of the reasons Ella turned to religion for comfort.  ;)

Sergey was very religious, and probably one of the Ella's reasons turning to the Orthodoxy was her wish to be MORE CLOSE to him and his religion. She tried to understand him more as she loved him.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 03, 2006, 08:23:10 PM
I think in the end she became more religious than him. Ella put in a lot of time to study Orthodox Chuch rituails that surprised a lot of other chuch going Romanovs (when they visited her convent).
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 04, 2006, 08:20:56 AM
I think Ella did embrace orthodoxy to be closer to Sergei in some ways. She didn't have to, but she chose to become orthodox. In the end, she really embraced it. I think she had that interest and potential in herself all along though. In the end, orthodoxy may have become a consolation or way to understand her marriage.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 04, 2006, 11:41:11 AM
Yes forgivness and sacrifice.  :(
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 04, 2006, 11:49:38 AM
Ella knew much about both those things, forgiveness and sacrifice, and embraced both of them. They were central tenets and truths of her life. There is nothing negative about that, to me. Both are good things, and seen rather seldom.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 04, 2006, 11:54:36 AM
Indeed...both have to develope amid suffering, and Ella did suffer.  :'(
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 04, 2006, 12:03:54 PM
They do, indeed. I think people who haven't suffered in one way or another have trouble understanding the deeper things of life no matter how intellectual they maybe. You need feeling. You might be young, but if you have suffered, and you have a certain personality, that can make you as wise as someone much older who hasn't suffered at all. Suffering gives you depth- more later..
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 04, 2006, 12:06:32 PM
Yes I think was how Ella went from party girl to saint...
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 04, 2006, 12:09:56 PM
Well, about suffering it gives you an understanding that I believe, nothing else can ever give you. You never get that anywhere else. Suffering is bad, but out of it can come much good for a person. This shaped Ella, although it was somewhat her personality essentially as well. It might be there, but suffering brings it out.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 04, 2006, 01:03:50 PM
I am not sure, though that Ella was ever a party girl although she was more frivolous in youth. She always had that essential nature, it just took circumstances to bring it out. Suffering can be seen as bad, but it can have good effects. Ella is an example of this.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 04, 2006, 08:44:27 PM
Ella enjoyed her parties and plan her dresses and jewels like a general. Designing her own gowns and mixing her own face cream are examples of her cult of beauty.  ;)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 05, 2006, 10:45:20 AM
Well, every Princess in that day was that way. You were expected to like society, etc. When you didn't, like Alexandra, that was regarded as strange. I am not sure Ella was that much different from any young Princess of that era in being, '' a party girl''. That was expected. She just took a different road later on, but that doesn't make her early path much of a contrast to the typical.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 05, 2006, 10:12:38 PM
Nope...Dona's clothes was so bad that that Willy had to ask Louise Coburg for advice. Certainly Helena, ML and Thora were not fashion plates. Olga A and VMH liked casual clothes better than perty dresses. Ella was uniquie like Sisi and Alix of Wales. They loved to look spectacular and they are able to too !  ;D
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 06, 2006, 08:50:39 AM
Well, you are right! Many princesses were dowdy, yes. They had to dress up occasionally, due to formal events and their position, but they didn't like it. As I recall, in the biography of Olga A., she is quoted as talking about the clothes she had to wear for formal occasions, and how she didn't like it! Ella was more along the line of enjoying it. But having an interest in clothes doesn't preclude you from being serious. Princess Diana later always struggled with the distinction between being regarded as a fashion plate, and wanting to be taken seriously. ;)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 06, 2006, 10:06:42 AM
True...But few take a beautiful woman seriously.  ::)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 06, 2006, 10:23:09 AM
Unfortunatly, that is correct. But I don't think one cancels out the other at all. It is just a sterotypical assumption that they do. You can be serious and yet be lovely and interested in stuff like clothes, I know that. Ella solved that issue for herself by giving those things up. It reminds you of Marilyn Monroe- she wanted to be taken seriously, but she was a dumb blonde to most. She was more intelligent than she was ever given credit for.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 06, 2006, 10:31:08 PM
Indeed ! Like this age people tend to respect Mother Theresa more than Princess Diana, although both were doing charitable acts. Ella went from HIH to nun is a crossover as well.  :-\
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 09, 2006, 08:31:57 AM
Very true. Ella found that to be taken seriously, or more to be serious, she had to leave behind her royal life and the parties and jewels a Romanov grand duchess had. It worked for her only if she did that, not that she had to. She was young enough at her husband's death that she could have remarried and had children had she wished it, but she chose a very different path. It was right for her.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 09, 2006, 09:11:28 PM
Yes...Very few people thought about that. Yes Ella was young enough to remarry and have children if she wished (Willy would have married her had she survived the Revolution).  ::)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 10, 2006, 11:06:30 AM
For sure. But by then, if there were not differences between them in youth ( which there were), they were even more differences between the Kaiser and Ella. Ella I think  she, herself, never thought of remarriage, because she was happy in Russia among other things. She was also devoted to the memory of her husband.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 11, 2006, 04:04:20 AM
Yes...Ella was as much married to Serge as she was to Russia.  :)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 11, 2006, 08:25:14 AM
She was indeed devoted to the memory of her husband. Despite the rumours about their marriage being unhappy and all, she was more than usually devoted to his memory.Partly, that was just her, but partly it suggests something else, that she might well have had devotion to him.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 12, 2006, 04:07:32 AM
I guess she loved him more than she was "in love" with him... ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 12, 2006, 10:39:40 AM
That is perhaps what it was. I don't think there was much passion in their marriage, but that doesn't rule out love. It might be sort of hard to understand though..
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 13, 2006, 02:45:08 AM
I always have a feeling that Ella was protecting Serge in some ways...although I cannot figure out what ?  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 13, 2006, 08:37:01 AM
Neither can I; but he was always rumoured to have his secrets. I am sure he did, but it was also easy to say things like that because of his secrecy and ambiguity. Ella was talked of as well; I guess it is the old human urge to find out what is going on behind closed doors. Sometimes people judge things they hear through gossip, without even knowing if the gossip is true.Gossip is such a bad thing..but in many places, it is all too prevalent. ;)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 15, 2006, 09:01:26 PM
Indeed...This couple gave us a mysterious kind of virbes, even their closest (QV included) cannot figure them out ?  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 16, 2006, 10:05:24 AM
They do. They did so for people at the time, and they do today as well. For all this posting we do to this thread, we cannot see the answers of Ella and Sergei's marriage that well.. Some how, no matter how many books are written, no matter how much we discuss it, it will always be a mystery. That is, their marriage will, amd perhaps them as individuals too. ;)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 16, 2006, 11:06:26 AM
Yes...although we can hope that there is some material that was untouched in Russia... ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 17, 2006, 07:47:24 AM
There might be, and perhaps someday we will find out if there is. But the truth of Ella and Sergei will never be understood, not ever. Even if known how could it be understood?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Svetabel on October 17, 2006, 12:31:32 PM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/feomarie/ellis.jpg)

(from www.russian-church.de)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: grandduchessella on October 17, 2006, 03:24:42 PM
Ack! I just paid for an article that had that picture and a better, signed version was online! Thanks so much for posting it, Svetabel.

Serge's body language is very possessive-seeming in that pose, it seems to me, holding Ella by the shoulder and arm. It's also rather rare to find one of Ella looking directly at the camera.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Svetabel on October 18, 2006, 12:21:14 AM
Ack! I just paid for an article that had that picture and a better, signed version was online! Thanks so much for posting it, Svetabel.

Serge's body language is very possessive-seeming in that pose, it seems to me, holding Ella by the shoulder and arm. It's also rather rare to find one of Ella looking directly at the camera.

Yes, the picture is quite rare, I just adore it. :)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 18, 2006, 08:13:10 AM
Sergei does look possessive in that picture. In other pictures, however, he doesn't look as possessive, but in this one defintely so. It seems like him, and what was said about their marriage at the time. He was defintely authoritarian, that is true. This photo does say much about the couple.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on October 18, 2006, 02:45:05 PM
Even though he does look possessive in the picture, I almost see it as he feels he has won a prized possession.  She was after all considered one of the most beautiful and sought after Princesses in Europe at the time.....And though he may have treated her as if she were a child, some women crave that kind of treatment.  Especially if they feel it was lacking it in their childhood.  Maybe losing her mother at a young age and having a father who was rather laid back, Ella felt she had found a parental figure. On the flip side, in the beginning, and ever the caretaker : someone she could mother and take care of. 

In Hugo Mager's book Grand Duchess Elizabeth he mentions that Sergei always seemed melancholy while they were "courting" which Ella interpreted the cause of this as the deaths of both his parents.  Something in this struck a chord in her heart and she felt she could fill his void while he could fill hers. I find this theory in the book quite a nice way of thinking about them in the days right before and after their marriage without all the other baggage that often comes about in a marriage such as theirs which spanned 20 years.

It certainly is the first picture where I have seen them look so much like a real couple.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 19, 2006, 12:01:58 AM
Yes...Ella loved him rather than "in love" with Serge. It bought out her compassion for the lonely, cultured and misunderstood man.  :-\
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 19, 2006, 10:36:08 AM
I think Lori C was on target with what she said. I agree, about Ella and Sergei. They were such a controversial couple, but if you look undeneath that, you see a couple who had a human side as well. Most marriages have happy and unhappy parts, and this was true of Ella and Sergei's marriage, as much as anybody else's. We always see the bad side of their marriage, or that it was mysterious, which is true. But there is more to it than that. I think they had a very complex marriage. My favourite photo of them is in one of Charlotte Zeepvat's books, I believe Camera and the Tsars. It shows them with her head against his, and they do look like they have affection between, whatever the realities.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 20, 2006, 11:57:39 PM
Yes...I know which photo you are talking about. However if you looked closely, you see that even in this relaxed picture, Serge remained hard and eyes cold. Ella on the other hand was very relaxed and adoring in looks.  :(
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 22, 2006, 07:25:38 PM
Yes, I am sure if you look closely in that photo you can see the dynamics of that relationship, that we are so aware of. This photo of Ella and Sergei, however is one of the warmer ones of them, at least at first glance. But, the underlying realities surface there was well, although on the surface it does not seem so.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 22, 2006, 08:35:44 PM
Yes..I hardly saw any photos of Serge relaxed...even in the close promixity of his (Romanov) and her (Hessian) family. He either looked sad, haunted or angry.  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: grandduchessella on October 22, 2006, 10:46:11 PM
There was a very relaxed one from one of the Norwegian bios on Queen Maud--I'm sure it's posted around here, I don't think that it was from one of the deleted threads. Ella is standing in front of him and Serge is behind with a cigarette. A very informal snapshot.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 23, 2006, 02:58:41 AM
Haven't seen that one before...Was it in the Maud thread ?  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Svetabel on October 23, 2006, 10:23:57 AM
There was a very relaxed one from one of the Norwegian bios on Queen Maud--I'm sure it's posted around here, I don't think that it was from one of the deleted threads. Ella is standing in front of him and Serge is behind with a cigarette. A very informal snapshot.

I think you mean this one

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/feomarie/10421077108310801082108010811082108.jpg)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on October 23, 2006, 03:42:15 PM
What a great photo!  I had never seen that one before.  That IS the most relaxed I have seen him in photographs.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 23, 2006, 10:18:14 PM
Yes...although Serge still has that "all knowing look" about him. Ella was without doubt overwhelmingly sweet !  ;D Yes I agree this is as relaxing as I have seen so far.  :) Great photo ! This is in the Maud book ? That means that it would be in the Archievs in Norway ?  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 24, 2006, 10:37:50 AM
Indeed, not many photos of Sergei are very relaxed. He was not, perhaps, a very relaxed man, I think. I think some photos better than other ones show what might have been the true nature of Ella amd Sergei's marriage ( better than rumour). But, indeed, even in these, you can see signs that are darker. But, the truth is hard to know, although from reading body language in photos you can tell some things.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 24, 2006, 09:40:09 PM
True...However Ella did love and cared about Serge, while he took it unpon himself to monitor her like a child (shocking to those liberal English cousins). Maybe Ella did enjoyed being "taken care of" ? ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 25, 2006, 08:41:19 AM
Some women do indeed enjoy being taken care of. Ella perhaps did, and that might have been part of the initial attraction to Sergei. I think she was more likely to enjoy that when she was young; when she got older she had a more independent mindset. In that era, marriage was often viewed as being taken care of, and a husband called controlling today might simply have been called caring then.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on October 25, 2006, 11:08:29 AM
Some women do indeed enjoy being taken care of. Ella perhaps did, and that might have been part of the initial attraction to Sergei. I think she was more likely to enjoy that when she was young; when she got older she had a more independent mindset. In that era, marriage was often viewed as being taken care of, and a husband called controlling today might simply have been called caring then.

I agree.  Ella probably did equate his parental attitude toward her as his show of affection and even love.   Perhaps she knew this was the most he was emotionally equipped to do of and she accepted it.  She stayed devoted to him until his death.  My impression of this devotion was not out of any royal duty, but out of sincere affection and love for her husband - flaws and all.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 25, 2006, 12:01:07 PM
I do think she was devoted to him, just in a way that people find hard to understand reading about it, and that people found hard to understand when they saw it. She was not just devoted to him out of royal duty, or the conception of what royal marriage meant back then, as many royal wives were. There was true feeling, whatever the world said, or she could have just gone her way after he died and not remembered him. Clearly, she didn't do so, and she still had strong feelings of devotion.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 25, 2006, 09:47:18 PM
Yes love and devoted...although there seemed to be devoid of physical passion (unlike those of Nicky & Alicky)... ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 26, 2006, 10:25:50 AM
I don't think that there was much physical passion in Sergei's and Ella's marriage. But so many royal marriages were not based on that, and I think Sergei and Ella had more than many royal marriages was based on. They had their moments of unhappiness, no doubt, but then all royal marriages did.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on October 26, 2006, 12:21:52 PM
I think so too.  We are lucky in that we have letters between Nicky and Alix throughout their lives expressing their undying love and passion for one another.

Ella and Sergei were probably intimate in their own way.  Maybe not physical.  But perhaps Ella's definition of marital intimacy was not based on the physical.  In addition, we really have no documentation of letters professing undying love between them because that was just not their way.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 26, 2006, 12:42:27 PM
Yes, with some royal couples, we do have the evidence to document their relationship. This is not so for Sergei and Ella, although it has often been wished that it was. But even if more evidence survived, they still might not be the kind of love letters we wouldd expect, as indeed the marriage of Sergei and Ella was based on other things than that. That is very well said, Lori C. I think theirs was a marriage of mutual understanding but in a higher way than just that of most royal couples. They had a special understanding and perhaps more. Most royal marriages were, after all, based on understanding rather than the modern type of love. Sometimes the understanding royal couples might have had deepened after the marriage and sometimes it did not.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 26, 2006, 10:18:03 PM
I think that was the root of the rumours that Sergei was gay and the marriage was not consumated. It was certainly odd that in the rich fertile family of Hesse (all of the children had issue), Ella should be barren. The interesting part is that nobody in the family (both German & Russian) seemed to blame "her" for that but point the finger to Sergei (his oddities and extreme religious devotion did resembled some closeted gays).  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 27, 2006, 08:49:33 AM
Yes, them being childless was part of the rumours surrounding Sergei. But the things you mentioned, his oddities and religous devotion might have been the fuel that started the fire that would have been there anyway, no matter whom he married or had he had children or not. Ella no doubt wanted children, but she seemed to accept that wasn't part of life for her. Certainly, some of Sergei's qualities make you wonder, but then did contemporaries wonder about KR's being gay or not?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 27, 2006, 10:31:02 PM
Indeed...It was again a refection of how Ella's popularity made her to be the "injured" party instead of the "barren wife". Alicky had no such luck... :(
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 30, 2006, 11:53:29 AM
I agree. It is true that Ella was seen more as the injured party; but I wonder if this was not because, in part, of Sergei's public reputation, which was never good, and not just because of Ella's personality, although that was widely known. Many people knew what Ella was like, because she was not shy like her sister, but many people also had this image of Sergei. That could be, in part why Ella was held to be the injured party of the whole thing.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 30, 2006, 05:56:20 PM
Not only Sergei 's public persona, but his reputation within the family. Sandro's memoirs indicate that he was not a popular man among the cousins.  :(
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on October 31, 2006, 08:38:00 AM
Well, yes, in general Sergei was not popular with anybody, execpt those who knew him very well, and he didn't let that many people get very close to him. His public demeanor, and that among his family, was quite cold, and some would say cruel. I think they all knew he was a man of culture, though. Ella was attracted to him in spite of the way he was seen. But you are right, he didn't have a good image anywhere.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on November 01, 2006, 08:53:16 AM
Well, he may not have wanted it that way. But he was okay with it, at the very least. He must have accepted it, because there is no evidence he cared much about what others thought, or even tried to change the way others thought of him. Ella doesn't seem to have really cared what people thought either, and they must have had that in common.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 01, 2006, 09:29:17 AM
The diffrence was that Ella did it in a nice way, but Sergei didn't... :(
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on November 01, 2006, 03:36:20 PM
Well, he may not have wanted it that way. But he was okay with it, at the very least. He must have accepted it, because there is no evidence he cared much about what others thought, or even tried to change the way others thought of him. Ella doesn't seem to have really cared what people thought either, and they must have had that in common.

Ella very much was a woman of her own mind and didn't put much stock in others' opinions of herself.  She was a true example of someone "comfortable in her own skin".  The only time I can recall that she was concerned of opinions was when she founded the Martha and Mary Convent.  The convent changed the roles that nuns previously personified when Elizabeth came and she was very concerned about going against Orthodox Church leaders and the religious role women were strictly allowed to follow as nuns.  Of course, having the Tsar as a brother-in-law certainly helped in getting the rules changed (for the better). I think going agains God and the Church were probably the biggest things she cared about in what others thought - namely what the Orthodox Church sactioned for her convent.  As far as what people said about her, in The Last Empress it was said that Ella from an early age had a mind of her own and spoke exactly how she felt and would not be dissuaded if she felt what she was doing was right.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on November 02, 2006, 11:21:17 AM
Thanks for giving that example. I agree with everything you said. Ella was indeed, perhaps not a literally a saint, but very very close. She was, in personality, and actions most likely the best of the Romanovs. I would not say she was the most interesting or lurid, but she had the best heart. She did much good with her life, and truly seems to have had that gift of understanding life and people that not many have, sadly. I think people like that are always special; Ella was. She never felt the need to be anything other than what she was, and she accepted she would not have children, and made the best of that fact.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on November 02, 2006, 05:33:55 PM
Thanks for giving that example. I agree with everything you said. Ella was indeed, perhaps not a literally a saint, but very very close. She was, in personality, and actions most likely the best of the Romanovs. I would not say she was the most interesting or lurid, but she had the best heart. She did much good with her life, and truly seems to have had that gift of understanding life and people that not many have, sadly. I think people like that are always special; Ella was. She never felt the need to be anything other than what she was, and she accepted she would not have children, and made the best of that fact.

Imperial Angel,

The calm acceptance of her lot in life and the way she made something positive of it is one of the things that inured me to her.  I think she was truly a special person.  Most worthy of the title the Very Truly Believing Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna.  I believe, like you, she was the best of the Romanovs/Hessians.  She exhibited qualities very rare for women in her day.  Though I am not Orthodox, I believe she is a saint.  She calmly accepted all the trials God placed upon her and emerged with her dignity and soul intact. I think she is one of the most exceptional women of the 20th Century.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 02, 2006, 08:18:53 PM
Nicely put and I agree with all. Don't you Imperial Angel ?  ;)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on November 03, 2006, 10:57:52 AM
Yes, you are right she was a saint. I am not Orthodox either, but now that I think about it I agree. Ella is everything you said. Anyway, let's get back to the topic of this thread. Ella and Sergei never had any children, although clearly Ella had the qualities to be a mother, and as well Sergei liked being a stepfather, as it were, although he maybe would not have been as good at being a father, as Ella would have at being a mother.It has been stated that both pretty much knew that they would never have any children, but it never doomed their marriage as it would have for some, as far as we know. How do you think this issue impacted their marriage ( or not?).
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on November 03, 2006, 02:25:43 PM
Yes, you are right she was a saint. I am not Orthodox either, but now that I think about it I agree. Ella is everything you said. Anyway, let's get back to the topic of this thread. Ella and Sergei never had any children, although clearly Ella had the qualities to be a mother, and as well Sergei liked being a stepfather, as it were, although he maybe would not have been as good at being a father, as Ella would have at being a mother.It has been stated that both pretty much knew that they would never have any children, but it never doomed their marriage as it would have for some, as far as we know. How do you think this issue impacted their marriage ( or not?).

In The Last Empress, it is mentioned that though rumours had been flying throughout the royal family of Ella's unhappiness at her marriage and childlessness, Alix  came to StPb for a visit (possibly 1886 - not sure) and was very surprised to see her sister happy and radiant and glowing.  Clearly, her marriage was agreeing with her even without children.  I believe that Alix even sent a letter to QV telling her that contrary to rumour dear Ella never looked happier.  Her and Sergei made a wonderful couple accourding to Alix and since she stayed with them on her visit it is certain she must have observed something to make her think so.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 03, 2006, 10:36:52 PM
Well...The rumours of humosexual aspects of Sergei and the sexual incompatabilities of the couple were widely circulated. I think Ella would be the kind to be happy without sex. However unforunately we will never know what happen in the bedroom.  :(
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on November 05, 2006, 06:43:05 PM
Yes, I think she would have been happy without what you mentioned. I think there always lots of rumors, but who knows the truth of them, at this remove or then? There was always speculation, but Sergei and Ella took the high path and ignored it. They must have found enough in their marriage to sustain it, without being overtly unhappy. Without children, and possibly other things, they were happy, in their own way. I think part of what made Alexandra consider a Russian marriage was seeing her sister, and how it agreed with her.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on November 06, 2006, 09:35:40 AM
Exactly.  Alexandra saw her sister as a happily married woman who readily embraced her husband's faith.  This is the message she conveyed back to the family in Hesse and England.  She was mentioned in the last Empress as a staunch proponent of Sergei and defended her sisters happiness with him.  Until the Khodynka incident Alix and Serge were close and shared many jokes together.

Whatever did or didn't happen in the bedroom, Hugo Mager said that Ella and Sergei were fantastic hosts, and their circle of friends did enjoy their dinner parties.  They gave all outward appearances of an agreeable life together.

I think Ella and Sergei had some common ground that lasted and evolved into a certain understanding within their 20 years together and i feel  Ella wouldn't have regarded sex as a requirement of her marriage being fulfilling.  Everything she did, she did it wholeheartedly and that included her marriage.  She deferred to her husband in all things as did most women of the time.  But this was something she WANTED to do.  She felt that if that was how her marriage was going to be then she would accept him for what he was and love him for how he was.  And then focused her energies on other projects to fill the void.  Orthodoxy certainly was one place she focused her energy.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on November 06, 2006, 12:16:25 PM
That's all true, it is very true. I think Ella was the type who made the best of things, and was understanding. She most likely knew what kind of marriage was to be hers before she married him, though. I think she knew, and that it wasn't some sort of surprise for her how her marriage turned out good or bad, however one wishes to say that. She might have been more accepting because she knew what kind of marriage was hers before it happened, and chose it, whatever people thought. I believe that some royal couples marriages were unhappy after their wedding because they were surprised at what kind of marriage they found themselves in, but I don't think that was the case with Ella.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on November 06, 2006, 12:52:12 PM
Well Said!  When they were courting, Ella and Sergei got to know each other on many levels.  and Ella certainly wasn't one to rush into ANYTHING.  If one thing we can be sure of is she knew her own mind and followed it despite even the protests of Queen Victoria who didn't want ANY of her granddaughters to marry and go to Russia. Sergei took great pride in his knowledge of art and was well versed and well traveled.  This meant more to Ella than any physical part of a relationship, I believe.  I think in his willingness to show her all about Russia, she became his willing pupil and it was a sort of a mutual admiration society. 

So Ella probably did know exactly what she was getting into within the realm of Sergei and his personality. I don't think the outcome of her marriage was a huge surprise but I think she dared to hope she could change him as far as his melancholy and standoffish ways.  I'm not saying she married him so she COULD change him. She accepted and loved him for what he was.

I also think that the opulence of the Russian Court while not to say overimpressed her was a huge change of lifestyle from the Hessian Court.  I don't know if she was ready for that, though she made the transition beautifully.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 06, 2006, 09:44:01 PM
Ella retained the niceness of her nature and got along with almost everybody (in fact Zoya's chapter on Ella in her book was "Everybody fell in love with Ella"). However I tend to think that middle in the marriage there was tension about the childlessness and Ella was was forced to go to a shrine to pray for fertility. I guess some of her nastiness with Marie P was based on jealousy at something that she knew she would never had. Serge was very affectionate with the children, while Ella kept a distance. However once Serge died, Ella beame soft and vunerable once again (Marie P had the gall to scold her for not taking enough care of herself).  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on November 07, 2006, 11:07:16 AM
Yes, more than any physical relationship, there were other things more important to Ella. She did consider what she was getting into, and I think she knew the marriage was going to be a challenge, but more rewarding to, to be like that. I am sure she did want to change Sergei at times, all marriages have their hard spots, and royal marriages were supposed to produce children. In addition, he could be a difficult man, at times. But it wasn't a surprise to her, as she fit in well with Russia and the Romanovs, and as a wife. It did make her who she was, and it gave her opportunities.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 07, 2006, 08:21:48 PM
I tend to think Ella must have been some sort of a perfectionist who strive for prefection in her looks and more importantly in her faith. After Sergei died, Ella wanted to tie up loose ends and did apologize to Marie P for her past nastiness to her (I tend to think it was jealousy and living with someone in such close quaters). She designed her own robes and her order (a roadmap of her future) before dispersing her fabulous jewelry collection (which was famous for its emeralds, part of which went to Marie P). Also she also arranged the marriage between Marie P & Prince William of Sweden (who was a member of one of the Europe's most secure thrones). I don't think Ella forced her to marry (she offered the chance and allowed her to make her decision), it was Irene who scared her into marrying even though she claim she had doubts. Dimitri was deposited with her sister Alicky as the Emperor's ward. After that she plunged into her new life and never looked back.  ;)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on November 08, 2006, 12:03:27 PM
Yes, Ella did leave her old life behind her, and she did never look back. I think that she had hints of he life she was to have in the life that she had lived before, but it was not that life. Ella might have been a perfectionist, and those people tend to be on a mission sometimes, and not be very human, in giving into human faults. In my opinion, Ella wasn't like that, it was more that she was perfect, and largely above the human.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 08, 2006, 07:30:21 PM
No...She strive for prefection but understood failing in others. Ella was never a harsh judge but fair yet firm in her convictions.  ;)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on November 09, 2006, 10:34:10 AM
Well, I know she wanted perfection, and all that but just because she was perfect doesn't mean she condemned others. In fact, I would argue that one of the reasons she was so perfect is that she did not condemn others.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on November 09, 2006, 11:24:26 AM
Definitely.  Her whole demeanor suggested that she wanted to be "Christ-like".  She put the epitaph on Sergei's cross that said "Father forgive them, they know not what they do".  It is also reported she said this before being thrown into the pit at Alapayevsk.  She didn't condemn even her captors.  I also feel like she didn't feel that she was perfect because she felt only Christ was.  But i believe she tried to attain that perfection all of her life as you find in the biographies of most Saints.  Living everyday to achieve that goal.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 09, 2006, 10:27:45 PM
indeed ! I also heard that she sang hymns till the end. A true saint.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on November 10, 2006, 08:56:11 AM
Well, I think we have agreed that she was a true saint, in my opinion. She had every quality of it, and she never acted otherwise, at least after Sergei's death. I think you can see she was human from Marie P's memoirs, but as the years went by, she became more like a saint.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 10, 2006, 07:56:08 PM
I don't think Ella came out too bad in Marie P's memoirs. Ella was seen as cold. but once Sergei died, she became warmed to Marie P and even ask for her forgiveness for her former distant behavoir. As for forcing her into a loveless marriage, she was only doing her favour and never forced her into it. The villianess was Irene who Told her if she chicken out, Ella would die from the shock. When they later discssed it, Ella was quite shocked that Marie P would think of her forcing her to marry against her will.  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: LisaDavidson on November 11, 2006, 01:04:05 AM
This is a reminder. This topic isn't about anything other than the couple's childless state. If we cannot remain on topic, the OT posts will be removed and the topic locked. The FA has already specified this prior.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on November 12, 2006, 07:28:12 PM
Well, back to why they might not have had children, not their stepchildren, etc. Was her marriage more rewarding for being without children, or was it equally fine? Or was there some lack in the marriage due to them not having children? I tend to think that the stepchildren filled whatever void there was with not having children, and that there was no lack in the marriage because of this, but that their marriage was fine without children, that it was not a lack for their marriage, but I am open to other viewpoints.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 12, 2006, 10:10:29 PM
I believe there is something in Sergei that led to the couple's chillessness.  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on November 15, 2006, 08:38:17 AM
There could well have been. But, there was the possibility that Ella was a hemophilia carrier, and maybe she was aware of that, and did not want to have children because of it, although that does not seem like her? Do you think Sergei ever considered this?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on November 15, 2006, 09:03:15 AM
Though hemophilia was a real threat, I don't believe much was known about the carrier issue until Little Alexei was born.  Since Sergei and Ella were married before he was born, I don't think the realization that the "Royal Disease" was being further passed to Ella and her siblings until then.  So Sergei, probably didn't consider this.  Ella probably thought it a possibility, but since VMH had married before her w/o fear, Ella probably took the example.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 15, 2006, 09:09:42 AM
Indeed. VMH's example was to prove that she could escape Hemophelia. Ella obvious thought the same too.  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on November 15, 2006, 10:05:41 AM
I agree, the statistics in QV show that the ratio of maybe 2 out of 4-5 siblings will carry the disease and 1 out of 3 boys will inherit.  Since the disease is now eradicated, and Alicky and Irene were the proven carriers, I think it was unlikely that Ella would have passed it on, I'm no geneologist.  Just my opinion. 

Regardless, Ella was in love when she got married and would have been prepared for life w/Sergei and whatever obstacles they might encounter together. She was like in Alicky in the respect that whatever they did, they did it 110%. 
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 15, 2006, 11:05:38 AM
Yes...both of them were stubborn in their conviction. So when the subject of Rasputin came, both sisters were unable to change the other's opinion. VMH thought that it was due to Ella's childlessness that she was unable to understand Alicky's anguish as a mother (Alexei's life was dependent on the mad monk).  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on November 15, 2006, 11:41:22 AM
Yes all the Hessian princess could be headstrong.  But I don't think that Ella ever didn't understand Alicky's anguish as a mother.  I think she though the anguish was clouding her judgement when it came to Rasputin.  Ella's childlessness, I think only helped her to be more understanding regarding other people's children.  Especially later on.  I agree though, that once she had her convent and farther away in Moscow, she only intervened when things escalated.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on November 15, 2006, 12:34:44 PM
Yes, although most people who don't have children most likely do not understand the issues of those that do, Ella was not one of these. She was someone whose empathy transcended her own experiences, I think. I suppose they were not really aware of hemophilia-I have just always wondered how much, if what they knew. I think it might have lurked in the back of their minds, but perhaps just as something in the family, not something that would impact them personally as it might have. Sergei may not have been aware of it at all, but it woulld be interesting to know.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on November 15, 2006, 03:53:51 PM
I believe Ella most definitely knew having experienced it firsthand w/Frittie and the death of Uncle Leopold.  And then later on w/Alicky and Irene.  Sergei was aware but I can't imagine it hindering his desire for children.  Perhaps he pounced on the opportunity to raise GD Paul's children because he knew there was no possiblity for him to sire any (as discussed).  therefore, it seems to me that the shadow of hemophilia probably wouldn't have mattered to him if he and Ella could/wanted to have children of their own. 
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 15, 2006, 09:54:55 PM
True...Also but it was hard for Ella too. She also saw the viewpoint from the Imperial Family that Rasputin was a bad influrence on her sister and Politically disasterous for the dynasty. When she approached Alicky on the subject, she faced a steel door. Ella was also distressed when Dimitri was involved in the murder... ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on November 16, 2006, 10:41:27 AM
It seems to me that Ella must have been aware of it, correct. She must have been aware that it might be a factor if she had children, although she could never have been sure. Even today, we don't know. I think she most likely wasn't, because she did have two sisters that were, etc. She would have dealt with it well though. Sergei, it is true wanted children, and he might not have cared, I don't thibk he gave it much thought, having no personal experience with it. I think that it would have been interesting if Ella had a had hemophiliac son, would that have decreased Alexandra's chances of marrying Nicholas II, because she might be a possible carrier?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on November 16, 2006, 11:05:41 AM
With Alicky and Nicky, they had overcome so many obstacles to be together, i like to think that NOTHING would have kept them apart.    If Ella had had a hemophiliac child, I think Alix would have been nervous about passing it on herself, but I don't think she would have let it stop her after she overcame her religious dilemma.  I think she felt she was strong enough to face anything w/Nicky at her side.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on November 16, 2006, 03:30:46 PM
I would largely agree with you. Although Alexandra was later to be caused much anguish through hemophilia, then she didn't know how hard it was going to be for her to have a male heir, nor did she know she was a carrier. I think, had she known, that she would have married him anyway, but another question is, we know his parents didn't like the idea of a marriage at first between him and Alexandra, so perhaps they would have been further opposed if Ella had been a carrier, and brought hemophilia into the family? They might have gone to greater lengths to get him to marry someone else, perhaps?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 16, 2006, 08:03:51 PM
I agree. As when Alicky got married, there was VMH's healthy children to show that it could turn out okay (even though in terms of blood ties, VMH & Louis Battenberg were still too close for comfort in the gene pool). If Ella had hemophilac children, it could have sounded warning bells to Minny & Sasha...also to Alicky herself. It would not have been such a shock (even though she might have known such a possibility exists).  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on November 17, 2006, 08:29:11 AM
Yes, it would not have been a shock. Defintely, the Romanovs never had hemophilia in their family before Alexandra, so it would have been more remote to them, but had this happened, it might not have been surprising. I still think Nicholas and Alexandra's marriage would have happened, and Ella would have wanted it, but it might have been harder to achieve. Ella never was a mother, though if she had been a carrier, she would have been more calm about it than her sister, although there would have been less pressure.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on November 17, 2006, 09:46:30 AM
I believe Ella would have handled it differently as well.  Alexandra's fervor bordered on the fanatical even before the birth of the heir but leading up to his birth even more so.  Ella had always displayed that she had a different take on her new religion.  Deeply religious already, I thinkl she would have viewed the hemophilia as a test from the divine and would have taken it on just as she took on all other obstacles in her life doing her best in the face of the tragedy w/God's help. But as you pointed out, there was no such pressure on her to bear an heir to the throne as was on Alicky.  As a sidenote, Alicky seemed to me to never quite be a calm type of person - jumpy and nervous,  whereas Ella had a sereneness and accpetance of things attitude about her  even before her conversion So I definitely feel there would have been a marked difference in their attituted towards hemophilia but I don't think the disease would have hindered Ella in any way from having children. 
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 17, 2006, 12:48:39 PM
Me too ! I think Sergei had some problems and hense the childlessness.  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on November 21, 2006, 10:41:07 AM
What kind of relationship did Ella have with her sister's children? Was it cold, or was she close to them? I have always thought it seemed rather distant, unlike their relationship with their father's sister GD Olga A.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: grandduchessella on November 21, 2006, 12:20:04 PM
It's seems a bit removed but that could be because Serge served so long in Moscow and that's where they made their home. Olga wasn't married for several years after the children were born and even afterwards, she was much closer, physically, than Ella. Then for the last 9 years of the children's life, Ella was in the convent and most of her time was spent there.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on November 21, 2006, 12:36:39 PM
So, any distance in their relationship, which I clearly, for one see, might have come from circumstances more than not? Yes, I think that's a great point, although I guess I see it as a combination - that it was circumstances, but also that it might well have been that Ella and Alexandra sometimes didn't get along as time went by, that they seemed to drift apart, however close they were in youth.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on November 21, 2006, 01:58:15 PM
Indeed.  However close they were in Darmstadt, once each took on the role of Imperial wives, there were many drastic changes.  But I tend to think it was more physical than emotional distance.  If Ella had not moved to Moscow, she would probably  have had a closer relationship w/the children.  I think their disagreements really only got heated towards the end and only as far as Rasputin was concerned.  So I don't think that would have been an obstacle  Ella was quite involved in Moscow Society as wife of Governor General and as The Grand Duchess Sergei and later w/her convent.  Had she lived in St.Pb.  things may have been different between her and the children.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 21, 2006, 07:50:49 PM
I think Ella and Alicky grew apart since Serge's death and the creation of her convent. She also did not seem to have a close relationship with Alicky's girls although I heard they absolutely admired her. I think she had a closer relationship with Felix yussopov, Dimitri and Marie P than other children in the family.  ::)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on November 24, 2006, 04:30:57 PM
Well, it seems to me that they were very close in youth and childhood, but that later things soured a bit. Of course, it could have been a combination of physical, and emotional distance. Either way, it is very sad that their bond did not endure. Ella must at times have disagreed with her sister even before the Rasputin thing, but maybe more in her opinions than expressing them. I just can't see that Ella would have always have agreed with her sister even earlier.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 24, 2006, 09:23:52 PM
Alicky had always been a headstrong and opinionated girl. She did not try to charm the court into accepting her like Ella so sucessfully did. Yes I think Ella did kept her distance although the affectionthey had  for each other was intact.  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on November 28, 2006, 11:38:57 AM
This has always begged the question, if Marie F. didn't help her daughter in law w/St. PB society, why didn't Ella at least initiate her or introduce her to more of the court that she herself so effectually charmed?  Was it protocol that prevented her?  Or did Ella feel she should step more in the background as Alix became Empress?  Maybe she didn't expect MF to act as petty as she did. Also AIII death was so sudden, there wasn't much time beforehand, but what about after?  After all, Ella was her closest relative in Russia.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on November 28, 2006, 02:15:05 PM
It's my opinion that she was maybe too far away in Moscow, but I thought she was around early on, so maybe not. I think Ella could at least have offered Alexandra advice on her role as Empress privately, if not publicly. Of course, she could not be seen to support her publicly, I don't think.Ella might have felt that was her sister's concern, but it seems unlikely. I would guess that Ella had some moments of concern for Alexandra when she was Empress, but I don't know how far it extended. But given her later concern over Rasputin, it would have been surprising if she hadn't spoken her mind, at some point, if she had concern. I think Alexandra most likely pushed any advice from her sister away though. But this off topic here, I thought the point the last poster raised was a very good one though. I wonder if early on in Sergei's and Ella's marriage, did Alexandra expect them to have children?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 28, 2006, 07:37:46 PM
I don't think Alicky understood the relationship between Ella & Serge either. She was such an intense woman with set principles that to expect her to stand aside for a person like Serge is really beyond her. The fact that they did not have children must be another topic between her and maybe VMH. In fact VMH wrote that Ella cannot understand Alicky's soul as she was never a mother (a role which the other three sisters all played).  :(
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on November 29, 2006, 08:10:53 AM
Yes, she most likely didn't understand it, I agree. But I think she saw Sergei and Ella not so much as mysterious figures, but as her close relatives with whom she was comfortable. But then, even relatives were said to have a hard time with Sergei. I don't know what she thought of him, but one thinks that she might have expected them to have children at first, although I don't know how close Alexandra was to any of her sister's children?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on November 29, 2006, 11:45:58 AM
In the Last Empress,( I think that's the book but can't be certain), Sergei and Alix enjoyed a good relationship.  He often teased her that he saw her bare bottom when she was a baby.  I don't think she saw what everyone else did in the relationship between Ella and Sergei.  She may have thought that Ella would have children, but then again she could have been on that "secret" that AIII inferred to in his remark that knowing they wouldn't ever have children was sad.  Alexandra probably was as close as she could be to her sister's children and Ernie's daughter.  After all Princess Elisabeth of Hesse died in their care.  I believe that if Alexei hadn't been so terribly ill and near death so many times, Alexandra would have been a different person overall, but most of all she would have possibly made time for her own children and her sisters children to socialize.  But Alexei's illness not only broke her physically and mentally, but had it's own way of distancing the family from it's many extended cousins.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on November 29, 2006, 03:33:31 PM
Well, he did enjoy a good relationship with his  some of his relatives, maybe especially younger ones. That's possibly why he and Alexandra got along so well, that he had known her as a child. He seemed to get along with children better. Alexandra was not as hard to get along with when she was younger, either. It is too bad they didn't have children, although Alexandra may not have cared, as both her other sisters did have children. Sergei was younger than his brother Vladimir, right? So, any children he and Ella would have had, would not have been of that much importance in the succession.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 29, 2006, 08:35:37 PM
Yes...Serge's children will be down the sucession line.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: dorijrn on December 02, 2006, 06:53:26 PM
Ella and Serge were both close friends with Grand Duke Konstantine Konstantinovich, a bisexual who loved his wife and
fathered many children.I think Konstantine would have been and example to Serge, though perhaps a painful one. Noting Serge's love of children as evidenced by his attachment to Grand Duke Paul's children, whom he adopted., i cannot but think that there was some  infertility on the part of one or both partners.  It must have been a great sorrow that they shared
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Alixz on December 02, 2006, 10:46:04 PM
Was the cause of infertility in either partner known at that time?  I don't remember if medical science had proceeded to that point when Ella and Sergi were married.

Or did they just wait and hope until all hope was gone?  Then the man usually blamed the woman for not being able to conceive.

Is there any evidence in any of Ella's private corespondence that she might have miscarried at any time?  Or is there information that perhaps they never "consumated" their marrriage because Serge was homosexual?

I wonder what Ella saw in Serge?  There had to be something and I doubt that is was wealth and position.  Now knowing that she sold and gave away everything to start her convent it would seem likely that she marred for love.  But what kind of love?  The love of a husband or a father figure?

Was she as strong in early life as she was in later life?  Perhaps she felt she needed protection and Serge presented himself as an ideal protector to her.

No matter how much I read about her early life, I can't form a picture of her and her wants and needs before her marriage to Serge.  There is so much information about her "beauty" and not too much about her early character.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 03, 2006, 06:06:52 PM
I think she saw Serge is a cultured man and one of inrense passion (not the physical kind I guess), but religious. Ella also felt sorry for him...I guess that she tried to save him and make him happy.  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on December 03, 2006, 07:32:29 PM
It seems Sergei and Ella always knew they would not have children. There is no evidence of how they knew, or whether it was more mdeical or psychological, or both. Sergei was a warm man towards children, and obvioiusly would have wanted to have some, but there is no evidece he ever blamed Ella for this lack. I think he might have realized that it wasn't wholly her, although it is true that men usually blamed the women then. Sergei in some ways seems the type to blame Ella and in other ways he doesn't. I am sure that Ella never was pregnant, and it isn't known whether their marriage was ever consumated or not. It might not have been, though.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 03, 2006, 08:47:49 PM
I think the Imperial Family knew someone about Serge, so Ella was never blamed for childlessness. In fact in the court circles, she was a figure for sympathy.  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on December 04, 2006, 08:46:07 AM
No, since it wasn't the most important thing in the word for Ella to have heirs, then no one was blaming her, unlike Alexandra who was blamed in some ways for not producing a male heir right away. I think it could go back to reputation though. Sergei had a much more awful reputation than did Ella, and so it was much easier to blame him, and cite rumours for evidence. That's sad, but who would have blamed Ella with her good reputation for their being childless? That might be the reason.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 04, 2006, 07:48:11 PM
I also believe people like Alexander III and Grand Duke Vladimir had inside information on Serge's physical condition (either gay or failure to produce an heir). The awarding of Marie P and Dimitri to Serge was seen as compensation for his childlessness.  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on December 05, 2006, 01:05:04 PM
Most definitely Tsar Alexander III knew as evidenced by his writing.  But i think the awarding of the children to Sergei was something Sergei petioned NII for.  He very much wanted them.  I don't think they were awarded to him as compensation so much as the children had already spent summers w/the couple at Illinskoe and were familiar with it.  Sergei and Paul were close before his unfortunate fall from grace. As was Alexandra of Greece was to Ella. And if they were not to be w/their parents, Sergei and Ella seemed the likely candidates to take the children, imo as the Emperor had his hands full with his own large family and the sick Alexei. 
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 05, 2006, 08:05:37 PM
Yes although whether or not if Ella really wented this responsibilty was in question.  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on December 06, 2006, 10:00:11 AM
She never shied away from anything distasteful when it came to responsiblity.  As w/all members of royalty, Ella was taught noblesse oblige.  And this applied from peasants to Royalty.  But it is worth pondering whether or not it was something she personally wanted, though she certainly would never have protested against it, to Sergei or anyone else.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 06, 2006, 10:01:32 AM
Yes that is what I was thinking...Ella's private thoughts on whether she wanted this responsibilty at all.  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on December 06, 2006, 12:48:59 PM
Ella in early life, as vs. later life was a great point brought up somebody. I think it is possible that when she did marry Sergei, that she might have thought that they would have children. It was just a natural expectation to be sure.  But, maybe he had told if he knew previously ( it seems members of his family did), that they would not. I would wonder if she went into the marriage knowing if they would not have children? It seems to me that she knew theirs was not to be a very physically passionate marriage, but I wonder if it went beyond that?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on December 06, 2006, 02:31:47 PM
I like to think of Ella as though practical an optimistic sort of woman as opposed to the fatalistic Alix.  And if she DID know ahead of time that her marriage might prove childless, she may have thought there was always hope it wouldn't be.  She had great faith in God all her life, so perhaps she thought that Sergei would overcome whatever it was, or it could be corrected.  In another thread - , someone quoted a letter Ella wrote to Nicky  about 1896 about Sergei becoming extremely emotional w/tears regarding some gift Nicky had given.  Papers belonging to his father or something.  And her letter describes how his emotional  joy proved to be her own as well.  So their passion had to have transcended the physical.  Ella apparently derived her intimacy from Sergei's own feelings and emotional state, not vice versa.  And since at that time, the woman's feelings weren't really considered, Ella may have felt that's how marriage was supposed to be.  Perhaps passion as we define it in this century and in this culture, is not applicable to a Russian Imperial Marriage in the 19th Century (Nicky and Alix being an exception of course!)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on December 06, 2006, 08:32:04 PM
Very true. I think Nicholas and Alexandra's marriage was the execption, not the norm in Imperial Russia, and indeed in the Europe of the day. Ella's and Sergei's no matter how it seems to us now, was the more normal one. Ella would not have cared even if she knew the marriage would be childless, so I guess it's irrelevant to speculate if she did know. But, it would be interesting to know, if only to satisfy the curiousity, and to know what Ella's attitude was. I suppose most others thought they would have children in due course though.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 06, 2006, 08:53:28 PM
Hmmm... I think Ella & Serge's marriage was hardly the norm. Nobody was able to figure it out. Even Ella had to write home to explain that she was happy and not miserable (as the gossip maintained she was trapped in a loveless marriage).  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on December 07, 2006, 10:09:21 AM
I have to concede on this point.  It does seem that Alicky and Ella and others were constantly writing to England and Darmstadt to protest about how happy a marriage Ella had.  "methinks though dost protest too much"?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on December 07, 2006, 10:46:16 AM
Well, it may not have seemed the norm, but maybe it was closer to that than Nicholas and Alexandra's was, which can seem the norm, but which was not. It was unusual for a marriage to be like theirs. But, it was unusual not to have children as Sergei and Ella did. I believe that if they had children, then people would wonder about their marriage less, though there were other things thst caused them to wonder, the not having children was the main thing.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 08, 2006, 08:03:56 PM
Yes that and Serge's cruelty is another factor ( a novel by Lambton even went futherto say that he physically abuse Ella), his control over Ella's movements (including who she should dance) and what reading material she could read (Anna Karenina was not one of the approved books).  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on December 10, 2006, 05:57:10 PM
True enough. Both their childlessness and the way Sergei acted in public ( and private) caused people to wonder. Both became the subject of rumours magnified out of proportion. Indeed, if people had not wondered so much about Sergei the childlessness would not have been as much of an issue. But it was still there, since there really wasn't any comparable royal couple that did not have children. Can anyone think of someone?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 10, 2006, 08:45:14 PM
Well...Sometimes nature has it own way...such as Moretta & Adolf of Schaumberg-Lippe... :(
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: grandduchessella on December 10, 2006, 08:51:27 PM
Relatively few--sometimes a couple lost an only child (like Carol I & Elizabeth of Romania) but there weren't many who had no children at all. It was a situation which fed into the rumors about Serge--the situation seeming to 'prove' the unhappy condition of the marriage.

Elizabeth's aunt Louise, Duchess of Argyll, didn't have children either and her marriage was the source of much speculation--much of it centering around the sexual preference of her husband. It seems that the childlessness was more likely the result of the mumps (?) Louise had when younger which can affect sterility rather than anything to do with Lorne, however. Louise, like Elizabeth, was the only sibling to survive to adulthood and not have children.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 11, 2006, 12:46:58 AM
I think the tastes of both husbands at least contributed to the couples's childlessness.  ;)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on December 11, 2006, 08:25:10 AM
That might well be so. Anyway, I think that these women maybe were talked of in lesser or greater degrees, because the countries they were in were so different. Also, they had personalities that were different. Both Ella and Louise were uncoventional, but that's about all they had in common, besides their marriages. In England, as well, a marriage like Sergei and Ella's might have met with more understanding. In Russia, it was never going to. As well, whether Louise had children didn't matter very much given where she was in the succession, and her marriage wasn't an important one. Ella's marriage was much more prominent, although I suppose it didn't matter if she had children either. Interesting comparison though.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 11, 2006, 09:01:10 PM
Well...I guess if Ella & Serge were living in England instead of Russia (like Miche-Miche & Countess Torby), she wouldn't have end up being a nun I guess... ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Helen_Azar on December 12, 2006, 07:35:05 AM
Well...I guess if Ella & Serge were living in England instead of Russia (like Miche-Miche & Countess Torby), she wouldn't have end up being a nun I guess... ???

But Ella didn't have to become a nun, she chose to. That was part of her character, I think. No one expected her to do it.... I think that even if she was living in England or somewhere else in the West, she may have found a way to live that lifestyle at some point. After all, she also chose to become Russian orthodox when she didn't have to (unlike Alexandra, who had no choice if she was to marry Nicholas).



Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on December 12, 2006, 10:50:04 AM
I tend to agree. Going back to the theme of this thread, if she had had children, I think she would have become a nun anyway. Nothing would have stopped her, at all. Another thought is, if she had had children, would they have survived the revolution? I tend to think they would not have. They would not have been dynastically important, but they may well have found themselves wanted, because they would have been the children of Sergei, and I think everyone remembered what he was like when he governed Moscow.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on December 12, 2006, 12:32:13 PM
I absolutely agree that no child of Sergei or Ella's would have survived.  GD Irina was given a modicum of freedom under Kerensky because she renounced any rights of succession (hardly any considering she was a woman) plus married morganatically. But Sergei, as uncle of the tsar and Ella as sister of the hated Empress would have produced offspring that most certainly would have been of strategic importance to the dynasty if not to the Revolution.  And I agree, memories of Sergei as Governor General surely would have been rekindled to bad feelings towards his children.  The sins of the fathers........
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 12, 2006, 08:23:14 PM
Who was GD Irina ? You must mean Princess Irina Alexandrovna (daughter of Sandro & Xenia). She was born a Princess of Russia rather than Grand Duchess due to the new laws of her grandfather Alexander III. Married Morganetically ? Status perhaps...however the Yussopovs were almost as old a family as the Romanovs. As the family was very rich, there was satisfaction that Irina had married into wealth, within Russia and (best of all) within the Russian Orthodox faith. I think if Ella & Serge had a daughter, she might have married within Russia too...But if she had a child, Ella might have to wait a while before going into church (Marie P was of marriagable age and Dimitri was tranferred as the Tsar's ward).  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on December 13, 2006, 09:45:18 AM
Oops. i meant Princess Irina. And yes she did make an outstanding match as far as family and wealth w/the Youssoupovs and he was technically a prince which made him an equal marriage plus the Orthodox issue,  but as far as the Revolution were concerned it wasn't an Imperial marriage and Irina was less important once she had renounced whatever succession she was entitled too.  She was allowed to move freely about after Kerensky took over and even went sofar as requesting a meeting w/him to complain about the treatment of her family that had gathered in the Crimea.

But i tend to agree w/you that having a daughter most certainly would have changed the course of Ella's life and her road to the convent would have been much more convoluted if at all. 

More importantly though, I don't believe any child of theirs no matter what sort of marriage they made or how many succession rights they renounced, would have survived. IMO, Sergei was too controversial and Ella was too close to the Empress.  Even if she had the saintly status after her chilren had grown, her and her offspring would never have been overlooked even by the Provisional government.  my opinion though only. ;)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 13, 2006, 11:06:46 AM
I tend to think that there is every chance that the child could have survived (the complete families of Grand Duchess Xenia and Grand Duke Vladimir were a good proof). Ella herself could have escape comfortably if she had accepted Willy's help in ecaping.  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on December 13, 2006, 12:18:33 PM
The thing is, she would never have accepted his help. I don't think a child of theirs could have survived except by lucky chance, not that that hasn't happened. I don't think a child of hers would have accepted Wilhelm's help either, actually. Perhaps they would have, but if they had been raised by Ella to regard him a certain way, they would not have. I'm sure Kaiser Wilhelm would have offered his help though, as a child of Ella's would have had German blood, and he was quite interested in helping Alexandra and her daughters escape.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: grandduchessella on December 13, 2006, 01:05:42 PM
I tend to think that there is every chance that the child could have survived (the complete families of Grand Duchess Xenia and Grand Duke Vladimir were a good proof). Ella herself could have escape comfortably if she had accepted Willy's help in ecaping.  ???

You have to wonder if any of Xenia's children--niece/nephews of the Tsar--would've survived had they not been in the Crimea at the time of the Revolution. I don't think so. Not only their maternal relation would factor in but they were doubly Romanov through their father and those paternal relatives were wiped out as well--Alexander's brothers George, Nicholas and Serge.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on December 13, 2006, 01:22:38 PM
Yes I have often thought the same.  Any paternal line was pretty much wiped out.  Prince Paley had no succession rights, but because his father was GD Paul and it was paternal, he was considered very much a Romanov and a threat and therefore was dispatched as such. The Bolsheviks apparently didn't consider whether or his parents made an even match.

And most definitely, the Romanovs that did manage to escape did so through providence and being in the right place at the right time. 

I don't think even the Kaiser could have helped any offspring of GD Sergei to escape.   
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Alixz on December 13, 2006, 03:24:39 PM
I have always felt very bad for Prince Paley.  Of course, I feel bad for all of those who were murdered, but in his case you are right.  I don't think the Bolshviks took "unequal marriages" into account.  I don't think it ever crossed their minds to differentiate between the two. 

 
I was never quite sure why it was so important to Nicholas and Alix and Dagmar.  I quess it is because our sense of "equal" and unequal" in our lifestyles is so much different.  Family honor and "saving face" are not much in voque these days.

In another thread, someone posted an late nineteenth century magazine article about Ella and Serge.  It was sort of like a National Enquirer type of expose on how bad their marriage was.  It is interesting to see that the "rags" of the day were printing rumors and misinformation on Ella and Serge, just as they do to the celerbities of today.

Ella was the most complex of the Hessan girls.  I don't even think that her family ever understood her and the choices she made in life.  Beginning with her marriage to Serge.

I somehow think that she did expect to have children as any young bride of the day would have.  I don't truly think that anyone sat her down before the marriage and told her "secrets" about Serge.  Others in the Romanov clan may have known what ever it was about Serge that made him who he was, but I can't see Victorians confiding anything like that to a prospective bride.

Just my thoughts.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on December 13, 2006, 05:13:45 PM
Well, all of the Romanovs were very aware of what an equal and unequal marriage was. They knew what it was, even if the Bolsheviks did not. They cared because it was an essential part of their dynasty and the world they knew. They could not have thought of things any other way, nor could many other dynasties until after World War I. Sergei and Ella's children would have been rather important if they had had any. I'm sure they could never escaped. We won't ever know how Ella felt going into her marriage for sure, or what she knew. But, I think she accepted whatever it was, and became a better person for it, even if it hurt her. That seems to be more myth ( that it was unhappy) than reality. But, on her wedding day, I sure she would not have said that she would never have children.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 13, 2006, 09:35:08 PM
You are right on the children. It was because of that Ella later went to pray for children in one of the holy shrines. However given the level sexual education, I don't think she knew what it took to get a child. Marie Antoinette didn't understand why she cannot have children (even when the sex act was performed. It took Josef II (her brother) to find out the problem. I do think there was some defect on Serge's part (my opinion only).  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on December 14, 2006, 10:38:03 AM
It is hard to say, I was just saying that Ella most likely expected to have children as a young bride, because most did. She would not have known until later about Sergei, if there was indeed a issue. She was a bit different when she was young anyway, from what she was later. She may have thought things then that she would not think later.For some women, not having children would have been a tragedy, but for Louise, and also for Ella, perhaps it suited their personalities and left them more free to be themselves.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 14, 2006, 08:45:40 PM
I think for a character so giving as Ella, an absence of chidren must have been quite tragic. Surely when she knew she could not have them in her life, it could have been a shattering experience !  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on December 15, 2006, 08:52:25 AM
Well, there is evidence that she might not have been the children type. She had issues with her stepchildren for other reasons, but maybe she wasn't particularly maternal as well. There is always that possibility, although I don't think that was the reason she did not have children.Ella's life would have developed differently without children, even if she would rather have had children than not. That's what I was saying rather than anything else, that she didn't want to have children or something.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Kimberly on December 15, 2006, 10:21:50 AM
Just finished Warwick's book on Ella and he puts forward one theory that Ella may have suffered from Endometriosis. If that was the case, this could be a reason for infertility. (Her gynae problem in 1907, could also be attributed to fibroids.)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on December 15, 2006, 10:54:46 AM
This theory certainly would explain much.  I still have a problem w/AIII knowing of such a delicate issue and mentioning it in writing regarding what a shame they would never have children.  IMO, female problems weren't discussed in that day, certainly not among the Tsar and Sergei.  Besides, would she have confided this to Sergei which would have gotten back to the Tsar?
It just seems that an era where sex and menstruation were taboo, why would Ella's female problems have been know to the Tsar?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Kimberly on December 15, 2006, 11:44:21 AM
There could have been a problem with both of them I suppose :-[
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 15, 2006, 08:25:52 PM
Yes...However a theory is a theory only. Without medical records or DNA (could be taken by a strand of her hair). It cannot be established if Ella had the condition. Certainly most (in the IF) seemed to think Serge had some pronlems than to question Ella's fertility ?  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: grandduchessella on December 15, 2006, 09:33:00 PM
The Romanovs seem to have been more open than many royal families of that era--or perhaps even regular families. AIII's diary entries, for instance, regarding his being present at the birth of his children (very unusual for the period) and his reaction to it are very open in terms of description and emotion. I wouldn't be surprised if it was discussed within the family.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on December 17, 2006, 07:55:52 PM
Yes, that is possible. I tend to think that of there were problems of this sort, they lay with Sergei rather than Ella, but maybe that's because Sergei has always been blamed for things, largely on the evidence of rumours rather than reality. But then, we don't what reality was.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 17, 2006, 08:07:41 PM
Also I guess Ella managed to win the hearts of the IF ( a feat that her sister Alicky was never able to (or care to) do so.) ;)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on December 17, 2006, 08:27:44 PM
Maybe that would make them more inclined to blame Sergei for them not having children? I don't think anyone blamed the couple for not having children though. They seem to have just said they would not have children, and left it at that. I don't think it was dynastically crucial for them to have kids, so nobody got the blame. Had it been so, I would be curious about who would have gotten the blame?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 17, 2006, 08:30:36 PM
Yes...noone blame them...but they suspect Serge had a problem rather than Ella. Certainly he did not have a mistress nor bastards to prove his viltality (like other grand dukes)... ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on December 17, 2006, 08:46:10 PM
That's true. Then, there were all the rumours about him. Realistically, even if Ella had had the problem, Sergei would still have gotten the blame. This is an interesting thing, because usually the woman got the blame if they didn't have kids or a male heir, especially if it was dynastically important. Alexandra certainly was in this position, because she needed to have a male heir, and had four daughters first. Yet, Ella could not really understand this because she hadn't been blamed. In a reversal of roles, Sergei got the blame, although maybe it wasn't so much blame, as people thought that it was him. Blame seems the wrong word, but in speculation, at least, history has assumed it was Sergei.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 17, 2006, 08:48:21 PM
Indeed ! Even within the IF, he was the one suspected of something bad. Although I do smell something fishy here about Serge.  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on December 18, 2006, 09:44:54 AM
Well, at this remove, and with all the rumours down the years, I believe that it is impossible to know who actually had the issue, or if it was both, or if for other reasons they might not have had children. I don't even hazard a guess, but I think it is interesting to discuss what the implications of them not having children were. And of all royal childless couples, they certainly were the ones who suffered most from the implications of it at least in some ways.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 18, 2006, 07:44:39 PM
Yes...especially Marie P's bio had sucessfully cast a doubt on the prefect image of Ella.... ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on December 19, 2006, 09:23:49 AM
Yes, it has. But I think anyone who reads it with a critical and aware eye knows that Ella was not really as portrayed there. She was no saint, but Marie had reasons not to depict her as perfect. I think no sensible person would believe that completely. Another thing is, she doesn't really offer any opinion about Sergei or Ella 's not having had kids. But, if they had had children, I doubt they would have taken in Dmitri and Marie, so their lives would have been different. I'm sure that crossed Marie's mind.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on December 19, 2006, 01:48:30 PM
Just finished Warwick's book on Ella and he puts forward one theory that Ella may have suffered from Endometriosis. If that was the case, this could be a reason for infertility. (Her gynae problem in 1907, could also be attributed to fibroids.)

How exciting that you got to read Warwick's book on Ella.  It isn't available to us in the U.S. yet.  You mentioned a gynecological problem w//Ella in 1907.  What exactly was mentioned and what source was it from?  I would be much interested to know.

Thanking you in advance.

Lori
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 20, 2006, 03:15:54 AM
Yes I want to know too... ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Kimberly on December 20, 2006, 04:38:34 AM
Your wish is my command.
Her sister Victoria said "The shock of Serge's death had started an internal trouble which afterwards turned out to be a non-malignant growth"
According to General Djunkovsky she was suffering from a swelling which ultimately required complicated but successful surgery. The surgeon was a certain Professor Rein who came from St Petersburg to perform the operation.
Sources are ;"Recollections of Victoria, Lady Milford Haven" and GARF
WArwick goes on to say that one school of thought thinks this problem was due to fibroids and another, that the problem was Endometriosis. The operation was carried out during the first week of January 1907 at the recently completed hospital at the Mary and Martha Convent and was almost certainly a hysterectomy
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Laura_ on December 20, 2006, 09:54:05 AM
oh ..wow...this  lady did have serious problems then  :( thanks for the info :)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on December 20, 2006, 11:56:48 AM
You really have me wanting to read that book. It sounds very interesting, to say the least. This was something that started after Sergei's death, though not before right? Unless it was the Endometriosis, which she must have had before. So, maybe there is more than there seems with them not having children. I thought the reason Marilyn Monroe never had kids was Endometriosis, or so I have read, I know that's a bad comparison, but it makes you wonder if it didn't have something to with Ella that they never had kids.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on December 20, 2006, 12:37:41 PM
WOW, that puts an entirely different spin on things.  So if she required a hysterectomy, perhaps it WAS fibroids and not endometriosis.  I know of many people who still get pregnant with that.  But w/fibroids and a growth compounded by the stress of Sergei's death it's certainly possible that Ella was partially to blame, although IMO Sergei had something to do w/it as well.  Also, Ella was at an age when she could quite possibly have begun menopause.  So this surgery would have been inconsequential to anything preceding this if it indeed was a product of changing life.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Kimberly on December 20, 2006, 01:14:16 PM
The fibroids could have begun developing years before and just grew over time to cause painful symptoms. (And Imperial Angel I know its off topic but I thought MM's problems were due to multiple terminations).
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on December 20, 2006, 02:01:52 PM
Your wish is my command.
Her sister Victoria said "The shock of Serge's death had started an internal trouble which afterwards turned out to be a non-malignant growth"
According to General Djunkovsky she was suffering from a swelling which ultimately required complicated but successful surgery. The surgeon was a certain Professor Rein who came from St Petersburg to perform the operation.
Sources are ;"Recollections of Victoria, Lady Milford Haven" and GARF
WArwick goes on to say that one school of thought thinks this problem was due to fibroids and another, that the problem was Endometriosis. The operation was carried out during the first week of January 1907 at the recently completed hospital at the Mary and Martha Convent and was almost certainly a hysterectomy

Thank you Kimberly for your kind answers.  We can't wait to read this book!
It is true that the fibroids probably were a problem before she reached the point of hysterectomy.  But my mother suffered from them and had two normal pregnancies.  Then again, not everyone is the same.  Thank you again on this point which i had never eve KNEW about until now.  You are most gracious. :)

Lori
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Kimberly on December 20, 2006, 02:33:23 PM
You are very welcome, it is a lovely book ;)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 20, 2006, 08:29:01 PM
Can't wait to read it myself...I have ordered it and waiting myself.  ::)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: grandduchessella on March 10, 2007, 12:23:52 AM
Now this was a rumor I hadn't heard before. In an old illustrated magazine (which I only saw the table of contents for so I can't give anymore info on the photo/article) there was this:

The Daughter of the Late Grand Duke Sergius in Hiding in London: Countess Olga Romanoff '. It was dated 10 Oct 1906.

Has anyone ever heard anything of this or of the 'Countess Olga Romanoff'?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Kimberly on March 10, 2007, 03:04:22 AM
I've seen this on Ebay, its a copy of the Sketch Magazine, October 1906. Haven't a clue as to who she is though.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on March 11, 2007, 08:28:55 PM
Are we talking about the same Grand Duke Serge here ?  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: grandduchessella on March 11, 2007, 09:29:12 PM
Yes--it refers to the 'late' Grand Duke Sergius in an issue the year after his death. The only other GD Serge that I know of was GD Serge M and he hadn't died in 1906. I had never even heard this rumor before--and to attach a name and not just the usual 'rumored child'--I thought was very intriguing. I don't think he had a daughter but it would be interesting to know more about the story--the supposed mother (if named), etc...
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on March 12, 2007, 03:20:32 AM
I think it is all a hoax...Seems like that to me.  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on March 12, 2007, 12:07:49 PM
It seems so to me as well. :-\
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on March 12, 2007, 12:54:40 PM
Yes, it certainly wasn't true. It just shows that the type of rumors that were about survivors followed a long tradition, as I have said before. If people might not have survived or might not ( if it was debatable) or there was no children of a royal figure ( you see this with Empress Elizabeth, although in her case there might have been some truth to it), what comes along? An imposter! That is a long tradition in Russia, although I can't see what the motivation would have been in this case. There wasn't money or a crown, although she might have thought of money I suppose. It is very strange. This is the strangest case I have read of so far, because there doesn't seem to be obvious motive, besides claiming to be a Romanov of course! I wonder if Ella ever heard about it?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on March 12, 2007, 02:30:42 PM
Russia being the rumor monger country as it was, no doubtedly the Grand Duchess heard of it and dismissed it just as a hoax, the same as we. :)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on March 12, 2007, 04:29:52 PM
Yes, that seems likely. It would be interesting to know more of this. This person was kind of grabbing at straws in claiming to be his daughter. I guess she was being creative. ;) I suppose she couldn't think of any other Romanov she could claim to be the daughter of, so why not him? I suppose to Ella it just seemed absurd.It must not have achieved wide renown, no doubt because it was highly improbable.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on March 12, 2007, 05:17:53 PM
Absurd is the exact word to sum it up.  Especially in light of the letter of AIII regarding it being a shame that Ella and Sergei would never have kids of their own and in view of Sergei's devotion to Orthodoxy. Which, IMO would have prevented him from committing adultery which he so abhorred in his own father.  If in fact he was considered homosexual at the time (personally, i don't think he was) I think that his Orthodox faith caused him to struggle within himself to do anything about it.  Either way, I don't think he would have engaged in elicit sexual affairs (with a man or woman) as a single or a married man.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on March 12, 2007, 06:06:13 PM
I agree. I don't think it was ever rumored he had a mistress at any time or the other who could be the mother of this child. There were rumors about him being homosexual, yes. Both those rumors and lack of rumors about any mistress or child before that ( as far as I know, who knows with rumors), didn't give her a good case. There were other Romanovs like the womanizing Grand Duke Alexei who would have been better candidates for this kind of thing, although they were all living. She obviously didn't know anything about the real Grand Duke Sergei or what was said about him, or she would never have claimed to be his daughter.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on March 12, 2007, 07:55:50 PM
True, although I won't be surprised if it were any other grand dukes. Mathilde Kessinskeiya (Not sure about spelling, so don't shoot me on this) whose child was rumoured to be either Serge M or Andrei V, proves that other grand dukes may have other illegitimate children. So if you ask me if it was the other Serge, I might have believed it... ??? Think they got the wrong grand duke to pull a hoax.  ;D
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: grandduchessella on March 12, 2007, 09:20:16 PM
Absurd is the exact word to sum it up.  Especially in light of the letter of AIII regarding it being a shame that Ella and Sergei would never have kids of their own and in view of Sergei's devotion to Orthodoxy. Which, IMO would have prevented him from committing adultery which he so abhorred in his own father.  If in fact he was considered homosexual at the time (personally, i don't think he was) I think that his Orthodox faith caused him to struggle within himself to do anything about it.  Either way, I don't think he would have engaged in elicit sexual affairs (with a man or woman) as a single or a married man.

As I said, I don't believe it but I want to know more about it anyway. With nothing else to go on, it could very well have been a child that was conceived before Serge married Ella. They were only married a little less than 21 years so the woman was most likely supposed to have been fathered prior to hsi marriage which would have meant no adultery. I'm just hoping to find out some more information but haven't yet. For instance, did she make any other claims? What was the supposed story of her birth? Why was she 'hiding out'--as an illegitimate member of the family, I doubt she would've been high up on the revolutionary hit-list. Did she try to exploit the name at all? Things like that but so far, nothing.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on March 13, 2007, 02:49:25 AM
My gut feeling is that she wasn't Serge's daughter at all (unless a DNA test proves otherwise).  :(
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Kimberly on March 13, 2007, 09:04:43 AM
why doesn't somebody bid for it, then we can all be put out of our misery ;D
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: imperial angel on March 13, 2007, 09:29:23 AM
While it is possible she was Sergei's daughter, it isn't very likely. At least in reputation, her choice was the wrong. With another Grand Duke, it might have been true, I agree. Still, knowing what she claimed would be be interesting, because if it is way out there and doesn't match up with anything, then we would know why she chose Sergei as a supposed father. If it fits with the general image of Sergei at the time, then she at least knew general facts. Still, from what I know of it now, it seems rather bizarre. There are many areas of Sergei's life that are shadowy, but I am not sure that included an illegitimate daughter, although indeed there is no bio of him in English, and even so it would be hard to prove things like this.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Olishka~ Pincess on March 13, 2007, 03:00:32 PM
They have some biographies about Elizabeth I am not sure if they explain their feelings of their childlessness but I do want to read it so badly. Ella converted into Christain Orthodox from Lutheranism in 1894. It was ten years after her and Sergei married. So ten years already married and have a different religion with different beliefs I don't know why they did not want children that maybe private.Then after 1894 to 1905?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: grandduchessella on March 13, 2007, 04:24:49 PM
It was just a few years after their marriage that she converted, not 10. I think it was about 1888-89? It was a few years before her father died in 1892.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Olishka~ Pincess on March 13, 2007, 04:57:45 PM
Thanks for correcting me grandduchessella I made a mistake. :)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on March 13, 2007, 05:57:55 PM
Yes, Ella wrote a plaintative letter to GD Ludwig explaining her reasons which he still was none to pleased.  I believe it was after her pilgrimage to the Holy Land, but as always - I could be wrong. :)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on March 13, 2007, 08:02:44 PM
Yep ! That is why Ludwig made sure Alicky was not drown into the Romanovs during his lifetime. Had he lived as long as his mother-in-law, Alicky may have remained unmarried.  :P
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on March 14, 2007, 10:30:46 AM
It may not have been so though.  After all GD Ludwig & Empress MA were related.  He may not have been adverse to the marriage, just the conversion.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on March 14, 2007, 07:48:22 PM
Indeed ! After Ella's conversion, Luwdig was most adverse to Alicky going into the Russian Church. It was this arguement that Alicky held that seperate her & Nicky. Since Alicky would be Tsarina, there is no choice open to her but to convert to Orthodoxy. Alicky would never hurt her father, so it might not get to happen.  :(
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: lori_c on March 15, 2007, 04:07:32 PM
Certainly true.  But I didn't think proposals of marriage became a consideration until after the GD death.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: grandduchessella on March 15, 2007, 04:27:54 PM
According to letters and diary entries, Nicholas's wishes to marry Alix had been communicated to both his parents as well as Queen Victoria in 1890. Queen Victoria wrote to Victoria Hesse in late 1890 that 'in spite of all your (Papa's Ernie's & your) objections & still more contrary to the postitive wish of his Parents who do not wish him to marry A...' and that 'Papa must put his foot down...& he must & you & Ernie must insist on a stop being put to the whole affair.'
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on March 15, 2007, 09:01:04 PM
Indeed ! After Ludwig died, a major obstacle was removed from the marraige. Ella thus work her way with Nicky to secure his interest in her sister Alicky.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: dmitri on September 23, 2007, 10:28:29 PM
I wonder whether Ella was a virgin at death given the rumours about her husband's sexuality and their lack of children.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: RealAnastasia on September 24, 2007, 12:44:45 AM
I don't think so. In any case, there isn't any proof of it.

RealAnastasia.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: gem_10 on September 24, 2007, 03:27:28 AM
Well, their niece Marie wrote in her memoirs that Ella and Sergei slept on the same bed throughout their married life.  :)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 24, 2007, 04:03:05 AM
Well...I don't think that Ella was a virgin, but most thought that she was unfulfilled (sort of like Marie Antoinette). There are examples in such cases woman turn from sex to religion.  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Olishka~ Pincess on September 26, 2007, 06:38:28 PM
I do not think Ella was a virgin either. Because Ella and Sergei slept in the same bed throughtout their marriage. That proves why she is not a virgin becuase a virgin is a person who has not had sexual intercourse with someone. Ella auctually did.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Janet_W. on September 26, 2007, 08:52:02 PM
Just because a man and a woman share the same bed doesn't mean they are sexually active, especially if one or both are uninclined.

I doubt we'll ever know the truth of that marriage. But we should remember that not all marriages--strange though it may seem--involve sexual activity or even sexual consummation. Plus, I've read enough about Sergei to feel that I don't want to know about his sexual inclinations!
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 26, 2007, 09:39:40 PM
Indeed...Unlike others like Ernie of Hesse and Grand Duke Constantine, who managed to have children along the way.  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: anna11 on October 23, 2007, 06:52:39 AM
I doubt she was a virgin. But I also doubt a great deal of sexual activity in that marriage considering lack of children, and lack of attraction between husband and wife.

By the way i have asked this question before, but in those times, say imperial Russia, was contraception considered acceptable?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Mandie, the Gothic Empress on October 23, 2007, 07:51:46 AM
Also that if a married woman is childless, doesn't mean she never had sexual relations with her husband.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: jehan on October 23, 2007, 05:36:40 PM
Also that if a married woman is childless, doesn't mean she never had sexual relations with her husband.

Exactly.  Infertility has existed since the beginning of time, and the "fault" if one wants to call it that could have been on either side.  In about half the cases, it's the man who has the problem, in the rest it's the woman, or both.  Male infertility can be caused my many things, including having had mumps during childhood.

I don't know in Sergei & Ella's case what really happened during their marriage, but it could well have been consummated, but they just couldn't conceive. It happens.  And Sergei's sexuality may or may not have been a factor.  Homosexual men (if he was indeed gay)  can and do have children, as others have pointed out.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Paul on October 23, 2007, 07:34:48 PM
I wonder whether Ella was a virgin at death given the rumours about her husband's sexuality and their lack of children.

There are references, in various books, to Sergei's conflicts & feelings of guilt concerning his true nature. Most men of his type who enter into marriages are trying to conform to social expectations. They will at least make an attempt to "do their duty".

Sometimes, such men get lucky and discover a wife who "clicks" with them on some level. Since Ella's brother obviously found such a woman in his 2d wife, it doesn't seem impossible to me that Ella & Sergei found some kind of similar fulfillment with eachother.

Maybe there was an infertility problem between the two, but Sergei was so far back in the succession that this wouldn't have been a serious issue.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 23, 2007, 09:27:56 PM
Exactly...Even if Serge was gay, there is no reason that he cannot have inter course with Ella (like Ernie had with Ducky).  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Mari on October 24, 2007, 04:22:49 AM
Anna 11 about the Contraception question? I knew that it was unacceptable during this period but I had to find proof here it is.....

    Concerning contraceptives and other forms of birth control, differing opinions exist within the Orthodox Church. In the past birth control was in general strongly condemned, but today a less strict view is coming to prevail, not only in the west but in traditional Orthodox countries. Many Orthodox theologians and spiritual fathers consider that the responsible use of contraception within marriage is not in itself sinful. In their view, the question of how many children a couple should have, and at what intervals, is best decided by the partners themselves, according to the guidance of their own consciences." 1

However, in an earlier (1963) edition of this book, Bishop Ware clearly and unambiguously states:

    "Artificial methods of birth control are forbidden in the Orthodox Church."

A modified version of this view was also endorsed in August, 2000 at the Jubilee Bishop's Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, to whit:

    "Among the problems which need a religious and moral assessment is that of contraception. Some contraceptives have an abortive effect, interrupting artificially the life of the embryo on the very first stages of his life. Therefore, the same judgments are applicable to the use of them as to abortion. But other means, which do not involve interrupting an already conceived life, cannot be equated with abortion in the least." 5

http://www.hli.org/seminariansforlifeinternational/sem_for_life_eastern_orthodoxy.html
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 24, 2007, 05:32:38 AM
I don't think we need to worry that Ella would use such measures. She was praying for a child all the time... :(
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Mandie, the Gothic Empress on October 24, 2007, 07:18:34 AM
Wonder if Ella did have a child?! That would have changed everything!
 
Poor Lovely Ella, having a child was her only weakness, now she a saint in Russian Orthodox Church! God hasn't granted her a child, but granted her a throne in heaven as a Holy Martyr.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: ashanti01 on October 24, 2007, 02:14:25 PM
I wonder whether Ella was a virgin at death given the rumours about her husband's sexuality and their lack of children.

There are references, in various books, to Sergei's conflicts & feelings of guilt concerning his true nature. Most men of his type who enter into marriages are trying to conform to social expectations. They will at least make an attempt to "do their duty".

Sometimes, such men get lucky and discover a wife who "clicks" with them on some level. Since Ella's brother obviously found such a woman in his 2d wife, it doesn't seem impossible to me that Ella & Sergei found some kind of similar fulfillment with eachother.

Maybe there was an infertility problem between the two, but Sergei was so far back in the succession that this wouldn't have been a serious issue.

It seemed to have been a common knowledge to AIII and other close members of the family that their would be no children for the couple. AIII did write to his wife saying how sad it was that Sergie and Ella would never experience the joy of having children.

I don't think that Ella was a virgin, but I do believe that there was some sort of a fertility problem. Victorian marriages were usually not based on passionate love, and their marriage seems to fit the typical Victorian marriage which for the most part seemed to work for them.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 24, 2007, 08:44:46 PM
I don't think we would ever know what happened behind the bedroom doors...not even her ward Marie.  :(
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Olishka~ Pincess on November 07, 2007, 03:06:35 PM
Yes, I honestly don't think she was a virgin. But, Eric and Madie are right we realy don't know exactly what Ella and Sergei did in the bedroom so there is not a straight answer.
Also that if a married woman is childless, doesn't mean she never had sexual relations with her husband.
Many think just becuase she was childless she was not a virgin. But, in some cases depending on what happened it can't. We realy don't know if she had any sexual relations with Sergei or not. I realy don't think she was a virgin though. But the answer as it may seem is a complete puzzled mystery.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 07, 2007, 08:33:42 PM
Indeed...It could explained why Ella felt a bit of hostility to Marie when she arrived at her house. Serge unshameful spoiled his wards... ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Olishka~ Pincess on November 08, 2007, 03:53:44 PM
That most defantly would not be something Empress Alexandra would approve of doing she has limits for her children.  I never knew Sergei spoiled Maria or Dmitri? It is not such a good idea to do such a thing! A child with too much perhaps would be in most cases like Veruca Salts (Julia Winter) off of Charlie and the Chocolate factory. Lets hope they did not end up as bad tempered as she was.
Indeed...It could explained why Ella felt a bit of hostility to Marie when she arrived at her house. Serge unshameful spoiled his wards... ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 08, 2007, 06:27:50 PM
Well...She meant to be the diciplinary person in the house, but she cannot help being jealous of them (part of the reason is that of her inability to have children).  :(
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Olishka~ Pincess on November 09, 2007, 03:38:10 PM
It does show how much Ella and Sergei realy loved them though.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 09, 2007, 10:27:50 PM
It shows that Ella was human after all... ;)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Olishka~ Pincess on November 10, 2007, 08:11:37 AM
It shows that Ella was human after all... ;)
Yes, after all I always thought she was always an super angel. I am so surprised. :) Maybe perhaps she does have human qualities.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 11, 2007, 07:37:48 PM
Which makes her more endearing to me.  :)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Olishka~ Pincess on November 12, 2007, 06:05:09 AM
Which makes her more endearing to me.  :)
Yes, it is so shocking for me! I also love Princess Alice her mother and Alexandra her sister. I love the Hesse family they are my favorites!!
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 12, 2007, 07:12:26 PM
I like VMH much more than Alicky I am afraid....Ella was the good one.  ;)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: anna11 on December 17, 2007, 04:31:46 PM
No ones an angel, everyone has faults. Her hostility to Marie Pavlovna does not make her any less of a person.

And I would be very, very suprised if during their 20 years of marriage Ella and Serge did not have sex once.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 17, 2007, 07:48:46 PM
A blemish that Ella did apologize to Marie. Alicky , however, seldom if ever admit she was wrong... :(

Yes I would be surprised too if they haven't at least "tried" it.  ???
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: anna11 on December 22, 2007, 02:06:13 PM
Really? Ella apologixed to Marie? Wow, I didn't even know that.

Can you tell me the 'whole story' please? I'm guessing it was after Serge's death...
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 26, 2007, 11:02:07 PM
According to Marie P's book, after Serge's death, Ella apologized to Marie P for her past behavior to her. However it was Marie P who cannot trust her Aunt even after that. Ella secured a good match for her with Wilhelm of Sweden, and Marie P accepted (but chose to think she was pressured into it).  :(
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Blanch on January 14, 2008, 04:29:55 PM
This will seem a pretty obvious question after all your posts, but, was Ernie an homosexual for sure? I had read something about it, but nothing truly confirmed.

I really don't know much about Ernie's life, to my regret. Anyone could help me with this?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Svetabel on January 15, 2008, 01:09:08 AM
This will seem a pretty obvious question after all your posts, but, was Ernie an homosexual for sure? I had read something about it, but nothing truly confirmed.

I really don't know much about Ernie's life, to my regret. Anyone could help me with this?

You can search through the Hesse-Darmstadt Forum and I believe you find out more on Ernst.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 15, 2008, 04:54:22 AM
Yes...The archievs are open to the public... ;)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Blanch on January 15, 2008, 09:08:51 AM
Of course, it's true. I'll do it when I have more time, now I'm too busy with exams.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 15, 2008, 11:31:06 PM
Yes...I have been there. People there are quite helpful.  ;)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: stacey on January 17, 2008, 03:54:55 PM
Okay, I'll be the odd one out this time. (Actually not for the first time.  ;D)

I have always suspected that Ella WAS a virgin--I think that was part of her bitterness toward Sergei's affection toward their wards. Also I recall reading that Sergei even in public humiliated Ella by treating her more like a (not very bright) child than as the intelligent woman she was (altho I guess lots of husbands did that back then!!). And the family never seemed surprised that they never had children--altho that too could be for other reasons. And I think it could be one reason Ella turned more and more towards the Church, since her marriage was so unfulfilling.

Having said that--I don't suppose we'll ever know for sure. I don't think it was a very happy marriage anyway--poor Ella.

What a fate for someone once considered the most beautiful princess in Europe!  :(
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 20, 2008, 11:41:51 PM
I think the marriage between Ella & Serge was quite complex. Yes...Serge was harsh towards Ella at times, but he always gives her the best in jewels, clothes and things he knows she likes. Another link was the relgion thing. Ella was very attracted to it, and would have indulged into it.  ???

Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: anna11 on February 08, 2008, 12:42:36 AM
[quote author=stacey link=topic=10248.msg302151#msg302151 date=1200606895

I have always suspected that Ella WAS a virgin--I think that was part of her bitterness toward Sergei's affection toward their wards.
[/quote]

How did you make than connection? That to me seems like bitterness over not having her own children, rather than sex.

Of course Ella and Sergei had a complicated relationship, neither of them were open people so no one else ever knew anything about their relationship with each other, so the info died with them. I'd hesitate to say the loved each other, but i'd also hesitate to say they didn't.

But I think it's general knowledge Sergei was overly controlling of Ella, and he seems like the sort of person who would take that 'control' to the bedroom, not for the sex but for the domination of making sure his wife performed her 'wifely' duties.


Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Zecharia on August 04, 2008, 07:22:50 PM
Had she ever has any children?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 04, 2008, 07:35:28 PM
Nope.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Lalee on August 05, 2008, 12:53:34 AM
No, she didn't unfortunately, even though she was married. There are a number of threads which discuss her and Sergei's childlessness. Ella (and Sergei) loved children and I'm sure she would have wanted at least one of her own. There are arguments that their marriage was never consummated or that there was an infertility problem (which is my own personal belief).
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Russka Princess on August 05, 2008, 02:43:18 AM
 yeah.. sadly that she hasnt children, i think when she saw her sisters with their children, she has asked herself : Why i havent children too, i wish i could have one.."

But she was a lovly aunt to her nieces and nephew.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 05, 2008, 12:47:17 PM
I think she knew why she cannot have children and it may not be her fault at all. Fortunately she bonded well with young people (she had Marie Paulovna and Dimitri as her wards). Marie was a bit spoilt while she no no known problems with Dimitri.  :(
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: ashanti01 on August 05, 2008, 02:19:27 PM
No, she didn't unfortunately, even though she was married. There are a number of threads which discuss her and Sergei's childlessness. Ella (and Sergei) loved children and I'm sure she would have wanted at least one of her own. There are arguments that their marriage was never consummated or that there was an infertility problem (which is my own personal belief).

I too believe that it was an infertility problem as family members seemed to have known, their childlessness would always be the case. AIII wrote to his wife in one letter lamenting how sad it was Ella and Serge would never know the joy of having children. Sad.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 05, 2008, 05:44:05 PM
I don't know. Ella did not seem to be one like living with children (although she liked them around on a social level). The example of living with Marie & Dimitri provided some clues...
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: grandduchessella on August 05, 2008, 05:49:28 PM
I merged the new childlessness thread with the pre-existing one. Please remember to use the search feature before starting a new thread. Thanks.  :)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 05, 2008, 05:51:50 PM
That made sense.  ;)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Zecharia on August 05, 2008, 06:59:35 PM
I merged the new childlessness thread with the pre-existing one. Please remember to use the search feature before starting a new thread. Thanks.  :)
Thank you for merging thread with the pre-existing one. It was stupid of me :-[
My question realy was, if she did not have any adopted children.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Mandie, the Gothic Empress on August 05, 2008, 07:16:58 PM
Ella (and Sergei) loved children

They were however guardians of Maria and Dmitri, Ella and Sergei weren't that loving to them in my opinion.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: LisaDavidson on August 05, 2008, 09:08:45 PM
And, the truth is, we don't know why Ella and Serge did not have children. So, much of what is now on this thread is speculation. Also, just because a couple "loves children" does not necessarily make them good guardians or parents.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 06, 2008, 10:48:13 AM
Exactly...We are ALL speculating. Unless we have Ella or Serge's medical report or knew what happen behind closed doores. I am afraid we must remain that... :)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Russka Princess on August 07, 2008, 02:02:48 AM
yeah right. Mabe Sergej ddint wanted Children, but i knew Ella wanted children, like her sisters.  i think she has lonly nights, although sergej has lie  beside her.  :(

she has a good realtionship to her niece ALice, and to OTMAA, like the others nieces and nephew. i think  she could be  a good mother.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Michael HR on August 07, 2008, 09:08:50 AM
Mind you when Ella went into orders she gave the bulk of her wealth to Dimitry, which shows something of her feelings for him.

I agree we shall never know why they did not have children and there may be several reasons. If they had they would probably have met the same fate as the other main Romonovs so perhaps they were spared this.

Ella (and Sergei) loved children

They were however guardians of Maria and Dmitri, Ella and Sergei weren't that loving to them in my opinion.

Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 07, 2008, 01:20:45 PM
However mind you after Serge died, Ella's financial situation wasn't that bright. Marie Coburg (herself born a Grand Duchess) was surprised to find Ella's income was greatly reduced after Serge died. She had to sell some of her jewels (those that were not returned to the imperial family)to buy land for her convent. Yes Ella made provisions for both Dimitri and Marie even though they were very rich themselves...
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Halinka on September 25, 2008, 07:42:40 PM
According to Marie P's book, after Serge's death, Ella apologized to Marie P for her past behavior to her. However it was Marie P who cannot trust her Aunt even after that. Ella secured a good match for her with Wilhelm of Sweden, and Marie P accepted (but chose to think she was pressured into it).  :(

From what I read, I could be mistaken Ella arleady had the marriange all ready and set the time Marie truly found out.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Michael HR on September 26, 2008, 04:06:56 AM
I suppose we will never know one way or the other. My feeling is that it is a private matter between the two of them and we can only speculate
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 29, 2008, 01:44:18 PM
Yes...Only Serge & Ella themselves knew for sure.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Russka Princess on December 28, 2008, 04:44:56 PM
 hey i knowista intim thik between ella and sergej but in this book: the most beautifull Princess " i found that. It seems to like Ella wanted "sleep "with sergej. well im not sure  and i know it is just a story.

"Excerpt from "Most Beautiful Princess"

....That afternoon, Serge sat in his study, staring to no obvious purpose at the papers spread across his desk. But for the steady scuffing of his boot over the carpet the room was silent, and yet, in that steady shuffling of his foot, Ella sensed a scream of desperation, so loud and clamorous that it almost compelled her to block her ears. For some seconds she stood in the entrance gazing at him, longing for him to look up, but, whether he was unaware of her presence or had no desire to see her, his eyes remained fixed on the papers. She yearned to rush to his side, kneel at his feet and beg him to share whatever burden troubled him so intensely but twelve months of hoping had taught her that any attempt to penetrate his thoughts only drove him to a deeper silence. She pushed the door until it creaked but even when the floorboards rasped beneath her feet he did not look up.
“Serge?”
He raised his head slightly.
“Are you very busy?”
He shook a wad of papers, “I need to read through these before I leave.”
“May I talk with you?”
“Of course.” He picked up a pen and struck out a few lines on his documents. She drew closer and waited but his only response was a fleeting glance and a swift, questioning raise of his eyebrows.
“Could you at least…” an unintentional irritation crept into her voice, but she restrained it with a shake of her head. “Shall I come back later when you’re less busy?”
He sighed, put down his pen and pushed back his chair. She tried to catch his eye but he looked beyond, or rather through her as though she were a ghost hovering invisibly before him. Even an impatient word would have been preferable to his asphyxiating silence. Her eyes wandered desperately around the room trying to find some common link to start a conversation but there was only the starkness of his study, his papers, his own private world in which she played so small a part.
There was so much she burned to say and her thoughts ran so quickly that she half-expected to hear them tumbling uncontrollably from her tongue, ‘Why don’t you love me? Why can’t you love me? What have I done to repulse you?’
“Please,” she murmured pathetically, “will you sit over here?”
He flinched but stood up and followed her to the sofa where he sat half-turned towards her. He raised one hand to his chin, wiping his index finger to and fro across his lips. Her fingers moved tentatively towards his other hand, resting flat on the cushion between them. When she touched his skin with the lightness of a pianist playing a gentle melody, he neither responded nor moved away....


Posted by Christina at 15:21 0 comments Links to this post
Labels: Ella, Grand Duchess Elizabeth, Grand Duke, Serge"


Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Mandie, the Gothic Empress on December 28, 2008, 05:47:28 PM
It sounds more like a fiction novel,If this was ture there has to be a witness and very sure that the Grand Duke and his wife wouldn't act in that matter in front of people!

Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Lalee on December 28, 2008, 07:59:30 PM
Christina Croft's book Most Beautiful Princess is actually fiction.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 29, 2008, 11:06:26 AM
Speculation ! Fiction ! I think this is not going to end.

No. Ella told Marie P that she could say no to Wilhelm Sweden, but she would have to make up her mind. (Like Prince Philip said to Charles regarding Diana).
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: tony@syzygy on December 30, 2008, 05:29:51 PM

"Speculation ! Fiction ! I think this is not going to end."
 
I have been following some of the threads on this interesting site for some time but have never felt impelled to join the forum until I read this. I don't think you can be referring to the same book, Eric. In November I finished reading Christina Croft's "Most Beautiful Princess - A novel Based on the Life of Grand Duchess Elizabeth of Russia" and must say it is the most sensitive and accurate portrayal of Ella that I have ever read. Everyone to whom I have loaned my copy of the book is of the same mind. There is nothing speculative about it, only a deep insight and incredible understanding. This extract is taken out of context and when you read it within the book, you see exactly how and why it is written. There is nothing sensationalised or speculative about it and I can honestly say that of all the books I have read - in novel or biographical form - I never felt the characters come alive to me as they did in 'Most Beautiful Princess.' After I had finished reading it, I came across and interview with the author on a blog post and I think it really shows that she had no intention of sensationalising anything.
 
http://hilliardandcroft.blogspot.com/2008/12/most-beautiful-princess.html
 
Perhaps you meant a different book, Eric? 
 
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 31, 2008, 01:01:07 PM
My point is that nobody knew what actually happens between Ella & Serge in the closed doors (not even Marie P). To say that Ella was or not a virgin is sheer speculation to say the least. Even Arturo Beeche who published the Christina Croft book told me that will remain a mystery. There are reports about that Serge was really gay, so the sexual part of it cannot be clear historically (since most of the Hessian Sisters burn their private papers). That is what I was referring to...Was Ella a Virgin ? That question will never be answered conclusively.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Teddy on December 31, 2008, 06:35:05 PM
'Most Beautiful Princess, has nothing to do with mr. Beeche. Its published by Hilliard and Croft. I think you maked a mistake Eric Lowe. Ms. Croft don't want even see "his name" associated with her book(s) anymore.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 02, 2009, 11:41:08 AM
Oh...I see. However it is impossible to accept a work of fiction as any thing more than that. Fiction that is.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Yelena Aleksandrovna on July 06, 2009, 08:19:03 PM
As I can see it's impossible to answer it in a certain way, the book sounds very
interesting
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Mandie, the Gothic Empress on July 06, 2009, 10:38:53 PM
According to my priest and to several books by Orthodox authors, that the Grand Duke was extremely religious. And he was.
 Western authors whom are not orthodox write that the Grand Duke was homosexual and because the couple didn't have children doesn't mean that the Grand Duchess was a virgin!
Yes, the Grand Duke was popular along men, but doesn't mean he slept with them. You are a guy, and have many guy friends; does that mean you sleep with them? No.
They loved each other and yeah possibly had a sexual relationship but were childless. And along with orthodox feasting, fasting and some holidays like Easter going on- Sex along with other things wasn't allowed.
In my opinion they had a relationship like any husband and wife and yet again were childless.
Grand Duchess Maria and her brother Grand Duke Dmitri didn't come into the picture until seven years after their marriage.  Only the Grand Duke Serge and his wife known about their sexuality turns each other  which both kept out of other people's business and take it the grave with them.


It would be forever a mystery to us.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: QueenEna1887 on August 20, 2009, 01:34:28 AM
I noticed in many books Ella and Sergei did not have any natural children of their own but adopted Grand Duke and Grand Duchess Paul's children and raised them as their own.  Was Ella sterille?  Did she and Sergei try to have children of their own? Were there any reports of her getting pregnant but miscarrying?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Svetabel on August 20, 2009, 04:23:54 AM
Please read the Forums carefully, the theme had been discussed many times in various topics.

Also please don't start new topics if there are some related exactly to the question you are asking. Thanks.


I noticed in many books Ella and Sergei did not have any natural children of their own but adopted Grand Duke and Grand Duchess Paul's children and raised them as their own.  Was Ella sterille?  Did she and Sergei try to have children of their own? Were there any reports of her getting pregnant but miscarrying?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: QueenEna1887 on August 20, 2009, 11:24:04 PM
Please read the Forums carefully, the theme had been discussed many times in various topics.

Also please don't start new topics if there are some related exactly to the question you are asking. Thanks.
 

I noticed in many books Ella and Sergei did not have any natural children of their own but adopted Grand Duke and Grand Duchess Paul's children and raised them as their own.  Was Ella sterille?  Did she and Sergei try to have children of their own? Were there any reports of her getting pregnant but miscarrying?


Well Excuse me Svetabel I was not aware of this since I barely visit Ella's thread. You dont have to be so pushy.


Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Svetabel on August 21, 2009, 12:40:14 AM



You dont have to be so pushy.




I am not pushy, I am a Mod and my duty to look after this Subforum. Many who visit our Forums don't do it often but they look through all the topics to find info of their interest.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Teddy on August 21, 2009, 04:41:07 PM


Well Excuse me Svetabel I was not aware of this since I barely visit Ella's thread. You dont have to be so pushy.

[/quote]

Don't make any excuse, because you visit "barely" the Ella thread. Because you barely visit the Ella thread, you first  could have better read the complete thread, before asking any question.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: QueenEna1887 on August 21, 2009, 09:43:15 PM
Teddy, you dont know me like that dont speak to me in such a tone. Ok....and dont tell me what to do ok?  Svetabel already told me I dont need you putting in your two cents. So do me a favor... please mind your own business. ::)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Teddy on August 22, 2009, 01:57:57 AM
Tone? Its just "how you think, someone says something", but it was just an advising roll. I think you can better calm down yourself. You are the one, who excuse yourself for not reading threads, who are sometimes years old. Svetabel and I, were just advising and you are just annoyed, that someone advise you. But you make your point. By the way you told the truth by saying, that I don't know you. But shall I tell something more? I don't WANT to know you. Someone who don't want advise and become freaked out, when someone does, such people I don't want to know.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: QueenEna1887 on August 22, 2009, 09:47:54 PM
I dont mind taking advice from anyone but you seemed as if you were attacking me.   That's all.  All I said was I don't visit Ella's thread that often so I wasn't aware of this thread being up.  People make errors at times....maybe I should have read the guidelines true but you dont have to snap at me.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: QueenEna1887 on August 22, 2009, 11:13:20 PM
Tone? Its just "how you think, someone says something", but it was just an advising roll. I think you can better calm down yourself. You are the one, who excuse yourself for not reading threads, who are sometimes years old. Svetabel and I, were just advising and you are just annoyed, that someone advise you. But you make your point. By the way you told the truth by saying, that I don't know you. But shall I tell something more? I don't WANT to know you. Someone who don't want advise and become freaked out, when someone does, such people I don't want to know.

Maybe I took it a little hard. But when you said " dont make excuses" that seemed to me as if you were being judgemental in my eyes.  I didnt mean to get annoyed.  You're right I should have taken the advantage of reading the guidelines.   I dont mind one advising me but instead of advising me it sounded as if you treated me as an imbecile.   Some threads that are years old end up getting deleted, so I thought I would start a new thread.  Forgive me for the outburst I've had bad experiences with me receiving rude comments from people in the past on this board, no offense to you or Svetabel. 
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Teddy on August 23, 2009, 03:01:26 AM
Ok, we forgive. I can truly understand you. We don't talk about it anymore.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Nesterov on September 04, 2010, 02:45:21 PM
Quote
Thanks Dennis, very illuminating.  Odd that the Church should even wish to raise the issue, as Helen suggests, as it can only invite controversy surely?

I have a bit more information, which might shed some light on the Church's interest in the matter.  This information is to be found in the latest part of John Rohl's monumental biography of the last Kaiser.  It was written by the Kaiser in the margin of an official report -- please be aware though, that some might find this offensive, although I have redacted part of the "worst" word, so please don't scroll down if you're sensitive or under 18.  Thanks. ;)
  
And please -- I didn't write this, I'm just reporting it:

"In January 1891, Kaiser Wilhelm II reported that the Grand Duke was in the midst of a bitter fight with an elderly cleric in the Orthodox Church, who 'discovered that Serge was b****ring his handsome young domestic chaplain.
He transferred the latter at once.  This so enraged the pious Prince that he contrived to have the old man transferred!  I have spoken out before now of my fear that Grand Duke Serge would bring about the downfall and destruction of his family.  It appears that it is so.'"
("Wilhelm II: The Kaiser's Personal Monarchy, 1888-1900," by John C. G. Röhl and Sheila de Bellaigue,
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004, page 123)

Don't forget that the Kaiser himself wanted to marry Ella and was rejected. He had a great hatred of Sergei for that, and I remember reading that he took great joy in spreading rumours about Sergei. This may have been one of them. On the other hand, it does seem likely that there was some truth to this particular story. But I know that most of the worst stories said about Sergei at this time came from the Kaiser.

Remember QV's astonishment when Ella announced she was marrying Sergei, after apparently promising her grandmother that should would never marry him. What was all that about?

Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Nesterov on September 04, 2010, 02:49:29 PM
My point is that nobody knew what actually happens between Ella & Serge in the closed doors (not even Marie P). To say that Ella was or not a virgin is sheer speculation to say the least. Even Arturo Beeche who published the Christina Croft book told me that will remain a mystery. There are reports about that Serge was really gay, so the sexual part of it cannot be clear historically (since most of the Hessian Sisters burn their private papers). That is what I was referring to...Was Ella a Virgin ? That question will never be answered conclusively.

I once read that Alix asked her sister Ella something about their intimate life, it went along the lines of Alix saying to Ella: "How can you bear it?" And Ella replied: "He's my husband." As if there was something really strange going on. But I cannot provide a source for this, so I would be interested if anyone else can substantiate this.

Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 05, 2010, 06:41:29 PM
I think that quotation came from the fact that Alicky learned that Serge banned Ella from reading "Anna Kareninia"by Tolsoy. Alicky asked her sister how could she be controlled by her husband, Ella just answered because he was my husband. I don't think Alicky would ask Ella about sex, I think VMH would have been a better choice.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Alexander1917 on September 06, 2010, 06:19:10 AM
I think that quotation came from the fact that Alicky learned that Serge banned Ella from reading "Anna Kareninia"by Tolsoy. Alicky asked her sister how could she be controlled by her husband, Ella just answered because he was my husband. I don't think Alicky would ask Ella about sex, I think VMH would have been a better choice.


I think people in those times didn't spoke about sex... when I recall my own familymembers (born around 1900), and what they said about their parents and so one...
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 06, 2010, 01:11:15 PM
Yes. QV said lock a man and awoman in a room and nature will take it course...
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Kalafrana on September 07, 2010, 07:11:43 AM
'I think people in those times didn't spoke about sex... when I recall my own familymembers (born around 1900), and what they said about their parents and so one...'

Very true. I well remember an aunt (born in 1914) telling me that the first she knew of my father's advent was being told by her stepfather, You're not going to school today because your mother's had a baby.'

My aunt was 14 at the time, and my father was born at home in a not particularly large house!

Ann
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 07, 2010, 10:12:32 AM
I agree Ella did not have much knowlege of sex. Her cousin Marie Louise thought she was married even though her marriage in Anhalt was not consummated.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Kalafrana on September 07, 2010, 10:26:20 AM
'Her cousin Marie Louise thought she was married even though her marriage in Anhalt was not consummated.'

Eric

You are confusing knowledge of sex with knowledge of law.

I don't know about the law of Anhalt in the 1890s, but, in any event under modern English law, non-commusation does not mean there is no marriage (as is the case with a bigamous marriage), it simply makes it voidable, i.e. one party can obtain an annulment if they wish.

Ann
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 07, 2010, 10:40:48 AM
No.

Bertie (Edward VII) said of Marie Louise "Poor Girl ! She returned as she came, a virgin." Marie Louise thought that the marriage was consummated though kissing.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: PAVLOV on September 07, 2010, 10:45:14 AM
I dont believe Ella was ignorant about the sexual side of marriage. Her sisters were not, as is evidenced by the short time it took them to start producing.

Its actually very clear to everyone that Sergei was a homosexual, period, to the point that it was impossible for him to have sex with a woman. Any woman. He was also a nasty piece of work, and very arrogant.  I believe she knew about this before she married him. I also believe she married him for material gain and because of the position she would gain in the European " Family". She had a number of other offers and his was the best.

KR was bisexual. He managed to produce very well.

I think that is all there is to it, no glamourisation.  
  
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Naslednik Norvezhskiy on September 07, 2010, 11:11:03 AM
I dont believe Ella was ignorant about the sexual side of marriage. Her sisters were not, as is evidenced by the short time it took them to start producing.
Øh, well, no matter how ignorant and inexperienced they were, there were vastly more experienced men involved!
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 07, 2010, 12:05:49 PM
Well...Serge was very religious and he cloaked it well. Do remember what St. Paul said about marriage. In retrospect, so was KR. He was gay since that part of his life comes to him naturally without prompting.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: LisaDavidson on September 07, 2010, 01:32:13 PM
Actually, Serge's sexuality is a matter of conjecture. There are many possible reasons as to why he and Ella did not have children together. I favor the impotent with women conjecture. I think it's possible he was homosexual (as opposed to gay, as in he would have wanted to settle down with a male cutie in a nice condo), but he may also have not been able to perform with men, either.

I also don't think KR was bisexual - I think he was a homosexual who did his best to do his duty and was fond of his wife as opposed to being in love with her. Just my opinion!
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 07, 2010, 01:51:04 PM
I agree with you Lisa. I think we may never know the whole truth about Ella & Serge. They were both tight lipped about their life togather, although Serge maybe gay...

Yes. He performed like Ernie of Hesse & Johann of Thurn & Taxis, but since his desire was gay he had to fight it...
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Vecchiolarry on September 07, 2010, 03:56:37 PM
Hi,

Lisa:-
"settle down with a male cutie in a nice condo" - - - I'm still laughing!!!  A good chuckle indeed.....
Of course Serge could have provided a nice palace!!!  Why settle for a condo???

Pavlov:-
I agree with you to a certain extent about Ella going for the 'good life with palaces & jewles, etc.', but she must have changed later or never considered all that in the beginning, since after Serge's assassination, why did she give all that up and become a nun.
"A very expensive nun" as someone who knew her vaguely once told me;  but a nun never-the-less!!!

Larry
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Naslednik Norvezhskiy on September 07, 2010, 04:42:01 PM
Actually, Serge's sexuality is a matter of conjecture. There are many possible reasons as to why he and Ella did not have children together. I favor the impotent with women conjecture.

Has anyone researched if there were Western / Protestant / Puritan / Victorian strains in Sergei's Orthodox religious upbringing? My impression from a very enlightened discussion with Elisabeth in "The Russian Soul" thread has been that while Orthodoxy is as much about sin, guilt and penance as any Christian denomination, the intensely sexual guilt aspect, the kind of religious nevrosis (regarding both masturbation, homosexuality and hetereosexuality) that can render somebody impotent is more typical of the West (and the more puritanical strains of both Protestantism and Catholicism) and its bourgeois / middle class values. Which makes sense, as Russia traditionally had no middle class comparable to the West, only peasants and nobility.

My hypothesis is further that in Sergei's case, these strains would have come from his Protestant-born mother, who must have given him his first religious upbringing, whom he identified with  - and came to identify with sexual purity when his father cast her aside for Yekaterina Dolgorukova. Henceforth all women were either madonnas or whores to him. Either too pure or too vile for him. If he had homosexual cravings that was probably also a heavy religious-moral guilt trip, but perhaps easier, as being all bad and dirty period, than finding out that a madonna could also be a whore and vice versa.

Am I onto something or did I get totally lost in my hobby psychologizing?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 07, 2010, 04:59:48 PM
Well...too much out of nothing solid I am afraid.  :)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Vecchiolarry on September 07, 2010, 05:32:43 PM
Hi FP,

Many years ago, I heard that a very famous entertainer cast aside women with whom he'd had sexual relations because now they were "whores" and "impure" !!!
Also, conversely, he adored women who were mothers because they were "Madonnas"...
This man married once and had one child;  he never touched his wife after that child's birth;  and consequently she divorced him!!!

Strange mind set?  Yes/no???

Larry
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: PAVLOV on September 08, 2010, 07:08:02 AM
Well this is an episode in Russian Imperial history that is lost. We will never know.
I dont believe that Sergei was impotent, he was certainly not impotent in the male servants quarters, apparently ! Why would he be unable to perform his marital duties ? Some deepseated emotional problem perhaps ? If so, it seems strange that his brothers were for all intents and purposes, "normal", whatever normal is. Usually in families where one child is screwed up, the others also have emotional problems of some sort as well.

If one makes a short checklist of gay attributes and applies them to Sergei, well I think he would pass with flying colours. From deciding what his wife should wear, choosing what jewellery she wore, to the corsets HE wore, to his cavorting "below stairs" etc.

Please, the guy was as queer as a coot, and I think he had a "fag hag" relationship with his wife. My apologies if this sounds very basic. There is nothing wrong with being gay, but in those days, and in his position, it must have been very stressful to hide your unacceptable sexuality. Perhaps this screwed him up a bit. He also sounds as if he suffered from depression, perhaps Bipolar, he swung from Mr Nice Guy to a monster all the time. Poor guy, being gay in those times, wearing corsets, being hated by so many people, having bombs thrown at you, and then you end up being buried beneath a car park, your widow becomes a nun, gives away everything, including the jewellery and the houses ( they say) and eventually dies after being thrown down a mineshaft.
What a nightmare ! 
   
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on September 08, 2010, 09:02:40 AM
My apologies if this sounds very basic.

How nice of you to notice at least that one thing!

Did you ever give consideration to the possibility that perhaps the Grand Duchess was infertile? At least she had t face abdominal surgery - tho' after Serge's death.
As we will never know I would like to add that I feel quite attacked by your precisely anti-gay statements.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Svetabel on September 08, 2010, 09:40:29 AM
Well this is an episode in Russian Imperial history that is lost. We will never know.
I dont believe that Sergei was impotent, he was certainly not impotent in the male servants quarters, apparently ! Why would he be unable to perform his marital duties ? Some deepseated emotional problem perhaps ?

Please, the guy was as queer as a coot, and I think he had a "fag hag" relationship with his wife.
   

You sound as if you personally witnessed all Sergei's life...We'll never know the truth and let's try to accept this fact.

As for corsets - Sergei had problems with his spine.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Kalafrana on September 08, 2010, 09:42:05 AM
Pavlov

Could you please quote some evidence to back your statements.

Personally (and I've no evidence either for or against), the fact that Sergei and Elizabeth were childless may be due simply to one or other (or even both) being infertile.

Ann
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 08, 2010, 09:49:47 AM
Honestly there is no solid prove that he was gay. There are alleged reports in Russia that people in the know knew he was. For my own conclusions (I stress my own) I think he was a repressed homosexual and had a low esteem because of his sickness. Wearing a corset and being teased by others must be pretty hard for Serge. The only one who shown sympathy for him was his cousin Ella, who was beautiful, kind and artistic. Of course he fell for her. Yet his insecurities about himself made him try to be dominant over her, as he fear that she might leave him. His forbidding Ella to read Tolsoy's "Anna Karenina" spoke volumes. I remember how similar the guy who played the cold husband resembled Serge. Yet Ella was no Anna and she found duality of spirtualism (introduced by the religious Serge) & outward glamour.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: PAVLOV on September 08, 2010, 11:19:38 AM
Really Thomas you are far too sensitive, I am not in any position to make anti gay statements. So I am sorry if you have misread my comments as homophobic.
 If one reads all the books on them, then any reasonable person would certainly gain the impression, very strongly, that he was gay. It was documented strongly as well. I am fully aware of the fact that she had an operation, but was it not quite late into their marriage ?
 I do not believe that she was always the angel most people think she was. He was, by all accounts, sadistic and cruel. He was a hated person as the Governor of Moscow, and he knew it. I think he was paranoid about it, because they moved to the Kremlin for security reasons.  Sure they "adopted" Dimitri and his sister, but if you read the eye witness accounts of this relationship, Ella was quite often not the most loving and caring person either. What she did after his death was wonderful, and she did marvellous things for the sick and the poor, and her death was horrifying.
But in the end these were real people, not characters out of a fairytale.
I am still convinced that he was gay, so what? I also believe that as a couple they must have faced huge challenges.

Why she became a nun after his death I cannot understand, I have often tried to understand this. She could have done what she did without becoming a nun. I think perhaps she was a nun basically already before his death.

I dont know about haemophilia being a reason for them not having children. Is this recorded anywhere ? 
Maybe you are right, he could also have been infertile.

                                                                                                                                               .
 
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 08, 2010, 11:59:31 AM
whether or not Serge is gay is not the question. It was his deep closeted feelings manifested itself into intense hatred for Jews and became a religious fundamentalist that was the problem. An added factor was his mistrust of the russian people after the horrifying death of his father. He always believe he would die in a similar way (he did). Serge was a tortured soul and only Ella could reach out to him. The decision to "adopt" the children of Grand Duke Paul was not Ella's idea. Childless herself, nobody saw how hurtful it would be to flung them on her face on a daily basis. The jealousy between her & Marie Pavlona the younger was well documented. Yes, she was no saint, but it makes me like her more with her faults.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Kalafrana on September 09, 2010, 03:54:10 AM
'I dont know about haemophilia being a reason for them not having children. Is this recorded anywhere ?' 

I've not heard of this one before. My immediate thought is that it's possible, but not that likely. Ella would presumably have known that one of her brothers had died as a result of haemophilia. However, her sister Victoria married at almost the same time as she did in 1884 (only six weeks later). Victoria's first two children were daughters, with a four-year gap between. In fact, there were long gaps between all four of Victoria's children, which suggests possible contraception, but not entirely successful. Obviously, in the case of her daughters, no one could know at the time of their birth whether they had inherited the haemophilia gene or not. Meanwhile, Irene married in 1888 and had a haemophiliac son nine months later. The long gap - seven years - between Waldemar and Sigismund suggests contraception, but, again, not entirely successfully.

My feeling (nothing stronger than that) is that contraception in the 19th century wasn't effective enough to prevent a couple from having children at all, unless they weren't very fertile to start with. Further, a married couple with haemophilia in the family would be more inclined to 'chance it' than try to avoid having children at all. Once Irene and Henry had had a haemophiliac son, they presumbly tried to avoid having any more, but that is rather different.


Ann
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 09, 2010, 10:23:45 AM
I don't think people thought about that at all since both VMH & Ella were not marrying heirs to thrones (Irene also fall under that catagory). Vicky did make a fuss about it when Willy was persuing Ella to be his bride (he never got over her refusal to his proposal). People surely thought the worst when Ella married a man who was strange, religious and had to wear a corset. Willy in his jealousy made these attitubutes well known...
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: PAVLOV on September 13, 2010, 08:52:42 AM
What spinal problems did he have ?.What caused them, did he have a riding accident perhaps ? I have read so many books on the Romanovs, that unless one keeps a personal index you are never going to find things again. I most definately read somewhere that he wore corsets and that the children had a game and found it amusing to try and touch the whale bones, as they showed through his clothes.

Anyway that is actually irrelevant.

I think he was a very emotionally screwed up person. Could this have been caused by his fathers assassination ? If so why did it not affect the other brothers in the same way. Were his problems of such a nature that he could not have a normal relationship with his wife ?
Maybe he sufferred form post traumatic stress disorder for the rest of his life. But even so, soldiers returning from war, and who have been witness to horrifying sights manage to father children.

I still think this guy was gay, but that it was not his only problem. Generally he was a self opiniated, judgemental and cruel man, who was generally hated by everythone except his family.
He must have done many awful things to people, and not because of who he was. I dont think the bomb that killed him was thrown because he was just a Romanov. He was blown up like his father because people really hated him so much.
I think Ella was a saint for having to live with the embarrassment of being married to someone like this.     



 
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 13, 2010, 09:40:19 AM
I think Ella was able to see the scared little boy she first met when they were children. His control of her was due to fear that he would lose her...Yes he was probably closet gay and cruel, but that was the only out manifestation of one 's character. Serge lived constantly in fear of being assasinated and found out.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Kalafrana on September 13, 2010, 10:16:19 AM
Eric

Perhaps you should remember that Sergei was seven years older than Ella, so it seems a bit unlikely that she would see him as ' 'scared little boy' when they met as children (how old were they both incidentally?)


Pavlov

I find it interesting that Paul Alexandrovich, the brother nearest to Sergei in age, turned out a pretty reasonable human being, though you might expect him, as the youngest, to have been most affected by the death of his mother and murder of his father. He certainly had his faults - as a military commander he was a disaster, and preferred his second family to the first - but it seems as though people were generally fond of him. The other brothers were all quite a lot older than Sergei and Paul - Alexei, the nearest in age, was seven years older than Sergei.

Ann
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 13, 2010, 12:08:17 PM
I think both Sergei and Ella were very sensative people with a love of arts, that could draw them togather. I think Pavel had a more laid back personality than Sergei. He did not consider his children before marrying his mistress, I found that very callous and insensitive. Did he imagine Olga Paley and Marie would get along ?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: PAVLOV on September 14, 2010, 09:01:00 AM
I sometimes find myself getting carried away a bit, and becoming emotional about issues like this, because I try and place myself in their shoes.  As far as I can anyway. Their problems were human ones, and similar to the ones we have today. The fact that they were Royalty does not change the basics.  I have married gay friends who have managed to produce children, and for all intents and purposes have fairly normal marriages. Of course one does not know what goes on behind the scenes. Just like we will never know what went on behind the scenes in this marriage. I am sure of one thing though, I think there was a lot more going on than we realise. I just cannot place my finger on it. Perhaps it was a combination of her " martyr, victim,  fatalist" attitude to life ( Actually very much like her sister Alexandra) Was Ella so different to her sister ? They came from the same emotionally damaged family, and their personal issues affected Russian history in a very serious way. Ella was I think, by the very nature of her childhood, a martyr from the 1st day of her marriage. She slipped into the roll quite easily. I also think that she became a nun as a personal affirmation to herself, that she was a martyr and a victim. The nuns habit was a physical message she sent to the outside world.
Princess Andrew of Greece IMO had the same sort of issues.

Maybe the combination of two seriously disturbed people together was the result of the childlessness.

Or was it the back injury. Perhaps this caused some sort of erectile disfunction ???.
 
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 14, 2010, 09:32:31 AM
I don't think Ella was a victim at all. She shone like a light in the dark life of Serge and many people whose lives were improved under her love & care. To Ella it was the only calloing that make sense. She was not a kill joy who does not like a party (she was very sociable and loved beauty (clothes & jewels & art)), but sense a deeper meaning in life. For example I wouldn't call Mother Teresa a martyr or victim.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Kalafrana on September 14, 2010, 10:00:31 AM
It is interesting that the two sisters either side of Ella (Victoria - 19 months older - and Irene (19 months younger) seem to have grown up relatively unaffected by childhood trauma. Both had happy marriages and good relations with their children (apart from Irene falling out with Sigismund).

Ann
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 14, 2010, 01:09:45 PM
Irene was a busy body and control freak. She told Marie Pavlovna that if she chicken out of her engagement with Wilhelm of Sweden it would KILL Ella. I don't think Ellan would mind too much if she did. She also cut her son & grandson out of her will and spoiled her granddaughter. Sigismund wife found her daughter unruly after she returned to Europe. That is not to mention the Anna Anderson Affair...Irene to her defence tried to be a do gooder and tell people what they should do. Ella was more into action of helping people than offering advice and stirr up trouble in the process. VMH was the only balanced one in the family.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Kalafrana on September 15, 2010, 03:26:22 AM
Eric

We've already established on another thread that you don't like Irene and will have nothing said against the sainted Ella. I'm not suggesting that Irene was without her faults, simply that she was vastly more 'normal' than either Ella or Alexandra.

Ann
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: matushka on September 15, 2010, 06:11:04 AM
I usually don't take part in such discussions as they are fare more too delicated and are based on suppositions, what if and some not really sane curiosity (in my opinion, not to hurt anyone). But... I will do some exception, trying to give here some suggestions.
We are accutumate to regard Serge as a cruel man, no one liked him, oh his poor wife and so on. But let us read the documents we have, let us see the pictures they let. Let us see who was Ella in 1884, what she became, say, in 1894. Serge and Ella spent the large part of their time together, visiting expositions, organising differents events (theater, dance parties, costumed balls), they have the habit to read together on the evening, quite often, and then to discuss what they read. Serge part with Ella his political, religious, cultural views, he discussed those matters with her. He took her in long journeys. See their life in Ilynskoe. They laught, they played, they are together with their friends and relatives. Reading diaries and telegramms we see how he missed when she is not at home for some days, when she spent to much time on the evening by charity or cultural work. I see Ella, for a part, as a "Serge's product", it seems to me (I can be wrong) that she would have never been the GD we know - gorgeous, fashionable, well educated, proud, prude, with good knowlegde, art sensibility, extremly religious, politically engaged - without him. He helped her to develop her qualities (and perhaps her defects!). Having that in mind, why are we trying to find something secret, some vice, some drama? Couldn't we imagine another scenario where "Ella and Serge" (that sounds a bit too familiar in my eyes!) are a closed and normal couple who, for some medical reason we do not know but others know at their time (remember this letter of Alexandre III to his wife where he wrote "what a pity Serge will never know this joyce of having children", or something like that) could not have children and suffer ot that. Oh, do not worry, I am not saying that they were ideal people, a dream-couple. No  that is not my the problem. Yes Serge was a possessive, difficult, melancolic husband but, being myself the happy wife of that kind of man, I can tell you that happiness is possible in this case, respecting some rules, if only you are decided to respect them. I do not know what happened in their bedroom and do not want to know. But I do not see any really serious reason to say that their marriage was never consumated and Ella was the victim of a perverse. Unfertility is, as Ann suggest, a possible reason, and this can come from Ella wa well as from Serge. Don't write Spiridovich that Elisabeth Feodorovna was a ill woman? Was GD Serge gay or not is another question, not obligatory related to their childlessness as wa stated here. I have no already-made opinion about this subject, personnly.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 15, 2010, 09:29:05 AM
Yes. Irene was more "normal" is her "gossiping" & "busy-bodying". Ella and Alix were more "idealist" in their own ways. Ella wanted to service the people and God and that make her "abnormal", if that is the case Mother Teresa was "abnormal" too. I still think the most "balanced" of the sisters is still VMH. She did not judge when Ella converted to Orthodoxy (unlike her father & of course "gossipy Irene" who cried at once) and was very supportive of both her daughters-in-law (Nada Torby & Edwina Ashley) even though they led very "unconventional" lives. To me she was the real cool deal !
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Magdalena on September 30, 2010, 05:05:13 AM
(remember this letter of Alexandre III to his wife where he wrote "what a pity Serge will never know this joyce of having children", or something like that)


I also read about this, and to me, it shows very well that Sergei had some medical problems when it came to having children, not that he was homosexual - you think that the family would write about him being homosexual with such an ease AND understanding? I don't think so!
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Kalafrana on September 30, 2010, 05:23:16 AM
when was this letter of Alexander III's written? Was it around the time of Sergei's marriage, or some years later, when children hadn't arrived?

Ann
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 30, 2010, 10:56:39 AM
Well...First of all Alexander III knew of his brother's condition (of course he was Tsar) either because of his homosexuality and inability to perform sex. But he never went into specifics.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: matushka on October 18, 2010, 07:44:41 AM
Alexander III, emperor of all Russia never went into specifics, but Eric Lowe is going into... Interesting ;)
Ann, here is the quotation, first in russian, then in broken english, someoneelse can later do better:
"Конечно, огромное утешение дети, только с ними и отдыхаешь морально, наслаждаешься ими и радуешься, глядя на них. Бедный Сергей и Элла, часто о них думаю, на всю жизнь они лишены этого великого утешения в жизни и великого благословения Господня".
" Of course, children are an enormous comfort, only looking at them one can find a moral rest, delight in them and rejoyce looking at them. Poor Sergey and Ella, I often think about them, they are for the whole life deprive of this grat comfort in life and in this great benediction of the Lord."
The letter was written the 30 april 1892, it is part of a very sad letter of a tired and depressed-sounding Alexander III. I found it in Imperator Alexander III i imperatritsa Maria Fedorovna. Perepiska 1884-1894 edit by A. Bohanov and Y. Kudrina, Moscow, 2007, page 137. These letters are in GARF.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Kalafrana on October 18, 2010, 07:49:54 AM
By April 1892 Sergei and Ella had been married for almost eight years. It's rather different from Alexander III remarking at the time of the marriage that Sergei would never know the jots of children.

Ann
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 18, 2010, 08:01:59 AM
I agree...that seems a bit unusual.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Magdalena on October 18, 2010, 09:05:49 AM
to me, matushka's quotes still don't say precisely that he was homosexual, do they?
anyway, i always wonder why people keep on continuing that he was gay. KR also had male partners, ans so? he had kids.

i don't won't to offence anyone here, believe me, people, we all think about it and we all consider many possibilites - maybe he was indeed homosexual, but when i read about him, to me, it's more likely that he was just unable to have kids because of some medical problems. that's my opinion, and I respect yours of course :)
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Kalafrana on October 18, 2010, 09:12:26 AM
Alexander III's letter reads to me as though he was resigned to Sergei and Ella remaining childless, as in eight years no children had appeared. It does not carry any suggestion that he knew that Sergei was homosexual (if indeed he was or Alexander knew it).

Ann
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 19, 2010, 05:43:38 PM
Well...It is to Alexander III's nature to tackle with homosexuality much less to mention it. He did not mention KR either, although he must have known about it.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Mandie, the Gothic Empress on October 19, 2010, 11:22:02 PM
Ella and Serge's sex life would be forever a mystery to us.

I doubt Serge is gay, maybe bisexual but gay? no.
as for Ella just because your childless doesn't mean you don't have sexual relations with your husband. Maybe she couldn't have children, that happens you know, not all women can bare a child.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Svetabel on October 20, 2010, 01:29:35 AM

He did not mention KR either, although he must have known about it.

And how he must  have known? Read his private diaries? Put a tail on him everywhere? You again speculate.

We'll never knew the truth about Sergei and Elziaveta. It's a solid fact.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Mandie, the Gothic Empress on October 20, 2010, 10:37:06 AM
I agree, it will ever be a mystery and they toke it to the graves with them.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 20, 2010, 01:52:05 PM
Svetabel...Sometimes I think you really astound me. the Tsar had spies everywhere even his own family. Like Franz Josef of Austria knew about his son's activities long before he did anything about it. The fact that KR visited bath houses might made known to him in one of those reports.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Svetabel on October 20, 2010, 10:08:58 PM
Svetabel...Sometimes I think you really astound me. the Tsar had spies everywhere even his own family. Like Franz Josef of Austria knew about his son's activities long before he did anything about it. The fact that KR visited bath houses might made known to him in one of those reports.

I am not that naive and understand that the Tzar had spies, eyes and ears everywhere. I didn't mean that Alexander didn't know anything, I just said that you speculated, as nothing was proven.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 22, 2010, 05:05:39 PM
If the Tsar has spies everywhere, why wouldn't he know about Serge & KR's homosexuality. That is not specualtion, that is reasonable assumption. The fact that Alexander III chose not to speak about it does not mean he did not know about it. Therefore his comments on Serge merits more study, as it is most certainly comes from someone who has the inside knowledge on it.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Svetabel on October 22, 2010, 09:45:12 PM
If the Tsar has spies everywhere, why wouldn't he know about Serge & KR's homosexuality. That is not specualtion, that is reasonable assumption. The fact that Alexander III chose not to speak about it does not mean he did not know about it. Therefore his comments on Serge merits more study, as it is most certainly comes from someone who has the inside knowledge on it.

If we don't know for sure and sources don't speak anything it's speculation. Here I mean only KR, as Alexander didn't say anything and never hinted on something in the sources (correspondence,.f.e.) on him. And by the way, if you want discuss KR - let's go to his topic.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 23, 2010, 12:19:12 PM
I list the KR case as an example on homosexuality. It is relavant if Serge was gay, he would be in the same catagory as him. He wrote that he agree with Serge in many things and argue on his behalf quite a few times. I don't know if that meant that KR knew or have any information that Serge was gay too. The point is that Alexander III said nothing about KR's homosexuality did not meant he did not know that he visited bath houses and was gay. I think in Serge's case was more like he was deeply closeted as suffered as he was so religious. So Alexander III by hinting that Serge could not be a father may be hitting on something that he had no intention of going further.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Magdalena on October 23, 2010, 02:37:39 PM
uhhh... the whole case's getting a bit silly... do we have a slight obsession with homosexuality here or maybe I am mistaken?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 23, 2010, 04:50:06 PM
No...It was whispered even at the time when Serge was alive...
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Alexander1917 on October 23, 2010, 05:21:28 PM
wasn't this a fact?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Svetabel on October 24, 2010, 12:53:50 AM
uhhh... the whole case's getting a bit silly... do we have a slight obsession with homosexuality here or maybe I am mistaken?

The discussion on this subject is  as old as our Forums. It had been discussed so many times but some posters love to talk about again and again.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 24, 2010, 01:06:57 PM
I think it is a possibility why they were childless. Hense the discussions.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: perdita on November 09, 2012, 01:22:43 PM
whether or not Serge is gay is not the question. It was his deep closeted feelings manifested itself into intense hatred for Jews and became a religious fundamentalist that was the problem. An added factor was his mistrust of the russian people after the horrifying death of his father. He always believe he would die in a similar way (he did). Serge was a tortured soul and only Ella could reach out to him. The decision to "adopt" the children of Grand Duke Paul was not Ella's idea. Childless herself, nobody saw how hurtful it would be to flung them on her face on a daily basis. The jealousy between her & Marie Pavlona the younger was well documented. Yes, she was no saint, but it makes me like her more with her faults.

Many childless women eagerly adopt. No problem. They happily raise children not their own.

Given Ella's attitude towards Marie & Dimitri, it is probable that she did not want to compete for Serge's love & affection. She confessed to Marie Pavlovna after her husband's assassination that she suffered greatly from jealousy because Serge had loved them so much.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 09, 2012, 01:32:32 PM
Yes. But Ella was not one of those women. She could be nice to children outside her home, but to have constant reminder that she could not was painful.

Don't think Ella was ready to be a foster parent when situation forced the children into her house (when Paul ran away with his mistress to Paris). She did not adopt them but had tio live with the situation. There is a big difference between that and a well thought of decision to adopt. The fact that she got along with Dimitry while had problems with Marie spoke volumes. I don't think Ella could fix Marie's father issues (problems with men all her life) if she tried.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: perdita on November 09, 2012, 01:45:21 PM
Well...First of all Alexander III knew of his brother's condition (of course he was Tsar) either because of his homosexuality and inability to perform sex. But he never went into specifics.

In fact, homosexuals have children and are capable of having sex with women.

It is highly unlikely had Serge not been able to consumate his marriage that he would have advertized that deviancy to his relations--much less to the puritanical & censorious Alexander 111.

Alexander intimated that he knew for certain that Ella & Serge would have no children. He could not have known that, if as yet, there had been no sexual contact between the couple. Alexander could not predict the future.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: perdita on November 09, 2012, 02:03:12 PM
No...It was whispered even at the time when Serge was alive...

It was more than "whispered", even at the time the Empress Alexandra was alive, that she was a German spy, Rasputin's mistress, in her zeal had given her daughter's to the "mad monk", and was "doping" the Tsar.  (Post revolution an extensive paper trail rehabilitated Alexandra's maligned image.)

Powerful & unpopular people are lightening rods for scape goating mass hysteria & tabloid rumor mongering.

K.R. is confirmed a homosexual who cruised the bath houses looking for young men exposing his wife to STDs. No one thinks the worse of him for that. In fact, K.R. is virtually regarded a saint and thought VERY decent and likeable. Interestingly, the Empress Alexandra pitied K.R's wife because she thought her overly submissive to a strict & patriarchal husband.

Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 09, 2012, 02:10:33 PM
Some do some don't. Aribet of Anhalt was one of those who cannot. In fact Bertie (Edward VII) said "Poor Marie Lou, some came back the way she gone" (meaning a virgin).

I don't think people talk about sex in such open terms in those days. Queen Victoria and her relations did question the marriage when Ella & Serge came to visit. They actually expect the worst and Ella spent time and letters explaining that she was fine.

I think logically if there is no consummation of the marriage, there could of course be no children.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 09, 2012, 02:17:18 PM
I think if Serge was gay, he was very much in the closet and even more repressed than K.P.

Rasputin did try to touch Olga Alexandrovna and she never cared for him once she met him. Ella thought that he was the devil incarnate and expressed difficulty in praying while he was in the same church with him...Lies ? Hardly. If the Imperial Family expect the worst of Rasputin, what can we expect from the regular people ?

Also in "Alix & Nicky", the relationship between Anna, Alix & Nicky blurred as the letters indicate a very unhealthy relationship. Anna in love with Nicky and Alicky knew and did nothing about it...
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: perdita on November 09, 2012, 03:06:57 PM
Some do some don't. Aribet of Anhalt was one of those who cannot. In fact Bertie (Edward VII) said "Poor Marie Lou, some came back the way she gone" (meaning a virgin).

I don't think people talk about sex in such open terms in those days. Queen Victoria and her relations did question the marriage when Ella & Serge came to visit. They actually expect the worst and Ella spent time and letters explaining that she was fine.

I think logically if there is no consummation of the marriage, there could of course be no children.

There exists no confirmation that Serge & Ella's marriage wasn't consummated.

Queen Victoria and her relations questioned the marriage because of the gossip mongerers.  (Was EVERYBODY in bed with Ella & Serge?)
Ella blamed the rumors on spiteful intriguers prevalent in Royal social circles.  In fact, there is a long history of unconfirmed but very public rumors persisting to this day targeting a myriad of historical figures Victoria & Brown, the Eddy Duke of Clarence, Alexandra & Rasputin, Anastasia, Serge & Ella, Kyril & Victoria, the Duke of Windsor, Hitler, kidnappings, JFK, Elvis, Monroe, Princess Grace, Princess Di, Prince Philip,......etc.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 10, 2012, 07:56:29 AM
Yes...but no confirmation that it ever was too ? I put a lot credence on the fact that Alexander III knew his brother cannot have children. Yet Ella still goes to fertility spas for to conceive. I do wonder maybe like Marie Louise, her info on sex was as naive ?

I think there where would be no smoke if there wasn't a fire. Nobody question Ernie's sexuality until Ducky spoke out. Most certainly QV knew something about Ella's marriage and did not like it.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Kalafrana on November 10, 2012, 08:58:46 AM
As I have said above, Alexander III's letter was written when Ella and Serge had been married for nearly eight years. In the days before contraception, a normally fertile couple would produce their first child within two years of the wedding, very often less than one year. Obviously, there were exceptions, but if after nearly eight years there was still no sign of a child, but in the days before fertility treatment it could reasonably be assumed that there weren't going to be any children. It is quite possible that that is what Alexander was alluding to.

Ann
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: perdita on November 10, 2012, 12:11:28 PM
Yes...but no confirmation that it ever was too ? I put a lot credence on the fact that Alexander III knew his brother cannot have children. Yet Ella still goes to fertility spas for to conceive. I do wonder maybe like Marie Louise, her info on sex was as naive ?

I think there where would be no smoke if there wasn't a fire. Nobody question Ernie's sexuality until Ducky spoke out. Most certainly QV knew something about Ella's marriage and did not like it.

Barring irrefutable proof, it's impossible to disprove a negative. There is no confirmation that Gladsone wasn't Jack the Ripper or that Prince Philip didn't engineer a hit on Princess Di.

There was smoke without fire when it was widely believed that Alexandra was a German spy, Rasputin's mistress, and had given her daughter's to the "mad monk".

It is unlikely, that the children of the progressive Princess Alice of Hesse were sex education naive. It's far fetched that the highly educated Grand Duke Serge was a procreation dolt who consulted doctors & shipped his wife off to fertitlity "spas".  

What was Serge anticipating, an immaculate conception?

Queen Victoria "knew something"?  

Other than that QV had heard gossip precisely what did she confirm as fact?

To reinterate. How many people were in bed with Serge & Ella?

There are millions of happily married couples who's unions remained childless. Were they ALL homosexuals who didn't consummate their marriages?

Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 10, 2012, 02:23:22 PM
Well...You can spin it into different directions, but QV does have information through her network of relatives and even politicians (foreign office). So the fact that she thought it important enough to talk to Ella about it merits some consideration. After all she was not only Ella's grandmama, but also Queen of Great Britain and Empress of India.

Indeed...If you read the letters between Alicky & Rasputin, are you sure they were not emotionally entangled ? The relationship between Alicky, Anna & Nicky was also murky as in the new book "Alix & Nicky". I found it bizarre that Alicky could have such a friend, and one who openly admires her husband. No wonder Missy thought the whole thing about Tsarkoe Selo is as unreal as a dream. This is no smoke, there is definitely fire here.

Since there is no info about that, I do assume that anything is possible. Also even members of the family like Sandro believed the worst of Serge. You think you know him better than his own family ?   
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: perdita on November 10, 2012, 02:28:50 PM
As I have said above, Alexander III's letter was written when Ella and Serge had been married for nearly eight years. In the days before contraception, a normally fertile couple would produce their first child within two years of the wedding, very often less than one year. Obviously, there were exceptions, but if after nearly eight years there was still no sign of a child, but in the days before fertility treatment it could reasonably be assumed that there weren't going to be any children. It is quite possible that that is what Alexander was alluding to.

Ann

Many well known celebs wanted children, but were unable to conceive--or gave up opting to adopt.

Classic Hollywood: Mary Pickford, Jack Benny, Bob Hope, George Burns, Al Jolson, Fred MacMurray (married twice), Barbara Stanwyck, Harpo Marx, James Cagney, Fredrick March, Irene Dunne, Pat O'Brian, Joan Crawford, Alexis Smith, Paulette Goddard, Claudette Colbert,  Merle Oberon, Johnny Mercer, Gene Autry (married twice), Carole Lombard, Ginger Rogers, Linda Darnell...etc.

Famous case: Lucille Ball married Arnez in 1940. First child: 1951.

Royals?

Maximilian and Carlota of Mexico. No issue.

Princess Louise of England & Duke of Argyle. No issue.

Elizabeth of Rumania & George Of Greece. No issue.

The Crown Prince & Princess of Japan married in June 1993 and were unable to conceive child until Dec 2001.  Only child: daughter.


In Vitro fertilization is a big business generating billions.

Primary infertility affects about 6.1 million in the U.S. alone.

Artificial insemination was available to humans as early as the late 19th century. First doner case reported in 1984. Some religions did not permit this procedure.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 10, 2012, 02:41:11 PM
The cases:

Princess Louise's husband Lord Lorne was gay and liked young men.

Maximilian gave vd to Caroltta, so no children.

Elisabeth had miscarriage before her marriage to George.

And more...

Lucien Lelong to Princess Natalie Palay

Liza Minnelli & her last husband 
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: perdita on November 10, 2012, 04:25:39 PM
Well...You can spin it into different directions, but QV does have information through her network of relatives and even politicians (foreign office). So the fact that she thought it important enough to talk to Ella about it merits some consideration. After all she was not only Ella's grandmama, but also Queen of Great Britain and Empress of India.

Indeed...If you read the letters between Alicky & Rasputin, are you sure they were not emotionally entangled ? The relationship between Alicky, Anna & Nicky was also murky as in the new book "Alix & Nicky". I found it bizarre that Alicky could have such a friend, and one who openly admires her husband. No wonder Missy thought the whole thing about Tsarkoe Selo is as unreal as a dream. This is no smoke, there is definitely fire here.

Since there is no info about that, I do assume that anything is possible. Also even members of the family like Sandro believed the worst of Serge. You think you know him better than his own family ?  

No doubt Alexandra pitied Anna and did not take her infantile infatuations seriously. Put down Alexandra's tolerance to a perception that Anna was a child-like character (& life long virgin) to be babied & humored.

Missy intimated that Nicholas & Alexandra lived in a vacuum shut off from the rest of the world. She did not suggest that the couple were engaged in sexual shenanigans. Missy admitted (in a limited sphere) Alexandra was an upstanding Christian and a loving wife & mother.
However, a disastrous consort for Nicholas.

To reinterate. Were QV and Sandro in bed with Serge & Ella? Did either assert that Serge & Ella had not consummated their marriage? Did they present proofs or was it just idle speculation & gossip?  (Ella emphatically denied all rumors.)

"Even members of the family like Sandro believed the worse of Serge."

Aside from upstanding paragon Sandro--WHO?

Did any other member of the Romanov family back up Sandro's non-specific allegations? (The nearest Sandro got to being specific was to allege that Serge was "disagreeable" & "incompetent".)

Extended families are not immune to engaging in intrigue or conjecturing about one another. Especially family members with a history of acrimony who despise one another. (i.e., Sandro & Serge.)

Straitlaced stickler Alexander 111 was also a member of Serge's own family.  The Tsar was privy to considerably more family info & spy networking than Sandro. Had Serge been the "flaunting" pervert of legend, QV would have confirmed his infamy in writing and Alexander would not have honored him with the highest position in the land, Governor of Moscow. Nor would Nicholas 11 have granted (or Paul assented) to give custody of Marie & Dmitri to Serge.

Sandro was neither an impartial witness--nor an impeccable character. Far from it.  In fact, there were MANY more members of the Romanov family who spoke well of Serge, than who spoke well of Sandro.  

In truth, Ella far preferred Serge as a huband--than Xiena preferred Sandro as a husband.  That is a fact.  

Why would anyone think that they know Serge better than his own wife & family?

There is no evidence that Ella & Serge were unfaithful or lacking in love in their marriage. The same cannot be said of Missy or Sandro, etc. Lots of smoke, and definately fire THERE.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: perdita on November 10, 2012, 04:53:57 PM
The cases:

Princess Louise's husband Lord Lorne was gay and liked young men.

Maximilian gave vd to Caroltta, so no children.

Elisabeth had miscarriage before her marriage to George.

And more...

Lucien Lelong to Princess Natalie Palay

Liza Minnelli & her last husband 

Did Elizabeth conceive a child with George of Greece?  If not, was that because he was Gay?

Does anyone know whether Paley or Minnelli had sex with their Gay husbands? Proves nothing one way or another. MANY Gay men have sex with their wives & have children.

The fact that Maximilian had VD would not have initially prevented Carlota of Mexico from conceiving children.

Are you seriously suggesting that EVERY married woman who does not conceive children has a Gay husband?

Infertility affects 6.1 million in the U.S. alone.

What was the point of Serge & Ella sharing the same bed (unusual for the aristocracy) & frequenting "fertility spas" if they had not consummated their marriage?

Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Mandie, the Gothic Empress on November 10, 2012, 04:57:52 PM
This is only going around in circles and useless! and I agree 100% with Perdita.

 WE WILL NEVER know the truth of Ella and Serge's childlessness unless we get the dead talking! It is a fact that it did bother them that they couldn’t have children, and Ella regretted her niece and nephew for obvious reasons – they’re not hers (children born to royals, especially a son, is like a crowning achievement for royal women - like I guess for an example and in comparing is have honors and graduation collage for a good high paying job now a days), her husband loves them and gets them most of his time etc...

I HIGHLY doubt that Ella was a virgin; she was married for twenty one years for Pete’s sake! I bid as much as an odd and snobby royal man like Serge – gay, bi or straight -  would have consummate their marriage even if the marriage was unhappy and troubled. In Ella’s own words, to her she and Serge had a good marriage out of love and understanding.

Like for an example of gay royal men consummating with their royal wives - the foxy and mean Tsar Ferdinand of Bulgaria, a gay man and openly about it (which was unheard of at the time, unlike now) being a “King/Tsar” have to do his duty- having a Successor- an heir- better off being of your own blood- a son! Da! Even though the Tsar’s marriages were very unhappy however with his first wife Marie Louise was indeed consummated – four kids.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: grandduchessella on November 10, 2012, 05:26:42 PM
The cases:

 
 
Elisabeth had miscarriage before her marriage to George. 
 

Didn't Elizabeth have an abortion before her marriage and a miscarriage during?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 10, 2012, 05:54:43 PM
Yes. That was the rumor.

I don't think discrediting Sandro make a good case for Serge. Apart from Sandro, he was not popular with other members of his family. Even though Misst liked him, she admiit there is something strange about her uncle.

Yes. A love and understanding marriage may not be consummated just like Louis XVI & Marie Antoinette. There is a thing called "friendship marriages". The fact that Serge was very jealous of Ella and make sure he was in control points to the fact he was not secure in his standing with his wife. That was the reason  why he forbid her to read "Anna Karenina".
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: perdita on November 11, 2012, 12:07:45 AM
Yes. That was the rumor.

I don't think discrediting Sandro make a good case for Serge. Apart from Sandro, he was not popular with other members of his family. Even though Misst liked him, she admiit there is something strange about her uncle.

Yes. A love and understanding marriage may not be consummated just like Louis XVI & Marie Antoinette. There is a thing called "friendship marriages". The fact that Serge was very jealous of Ella and make sure he was in control points to the fact he was not secure in his standing with his wife. That was the reason  why he forbid her to read "Anna Karenina".

Has DNA confirmed that Louis XV1's marriage was never consummated?

If you don't condemn & excoriate KR & Sandro for their marital trangressions confirmed--then why slander with suspicion Serge's marital malfeasance not confirmed?

There is no proof that Serge & Ella had a "friendship marriage".

That Serge was a martinet proves nothing with respect to his wife. Serge was controlling of everyone. As was his tyranical sister Marie Alexandra.

Marie Pavlovna, quote: "He demanded of us, as of all his household or followers, exact & immediate obedience."

Victoria Battenerg wrote that Ella's marriage was a "happy one", though it was Serge who was very much the Lord & Master, and Ella was very willing that it be so. In fact, Ella exhibited the same preoccupation & submissiveness towards her husband, that she later displayed towards her religious order. Traits not entirely meeting with Serge's approval.

Marie Pavlovna: "Although himself pious & scrupulous in observance of all the rites of orthodoxy, uncle Serge regarded with anxiety his wife's absorption in things spiritual, & ended by regarding it as immoderate."

Other than rumor where is there evidence that Serge forbad Ella to read "Anna Karenina"--or any other book? Serge was well read & was a great admirer of Russian authors--including Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. It was Serge who encouraged Ella to read Dostoevsky. Marie Alexandrovich habitually mocked Ella's prissy attitudes towards literature & never indicated that Serge was the culprit responsible.

Marie Pavlovna, quote: "The things (she) read must have been childish. I will never forget the difficulties my aunt had with "Recollections Of A Dead-House", her first attempt to appreciate Dostoevsky. She did not know enough Russian to read it herself; one of the ladies read it alone to her and so great was my aunt's fear of details too realistic that she would permit no one to attend these readings! ...She had no admiration for French literature; once she said to me, apropos of a person who's life she found somewhat frivolous, that it was French novels with yellow covers that had corrupted her ideas. At this period she read only English books & chose her authors with great caution."

At no time did Marie Alexandrovich or Marie Pavlovna indicate that it was Serge who forbad Ella to read certain books. (Which Marie Pavlovna most certianly would have noted in her detailed narrative.) MA & MP put the onus entirely on Ella's own taste in literature which they considered self-censored, "school girl", & childish.

Ella didn't HAVE to read Anna Karenina. That scenerio was a constant played out ad nauseum in the Romanov family.

To reinterate. A myriad of Serge's family & friends professed "liking" "love" or "respect" for him, among them:
Grand Duchess Elizabeth--wife.
Alexander 111
KR--and all his family.
Grand Duke Paul
Marie Alexandrovich
Victoria of Battenberg
Ernest of Hesse
Queen Olga of Greece.
Princess Alexandra of Greece
Princess Marie of Greece
Marie of Rumania--and sisters.
Grand Duke Kyril & Victoria Melita
Olga Alexandrovna
Zinaida Yusupova
Countess Kleinmichichel & daughters.
Muriel Buchanan..

Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: perdita on November 11, 2012, 02:41:34 AM
Yes. But Ella was not one of those women. She could be nice to children outside her home, but to have constant reminder that she could not was painful.

Don't think Ella was ready to be a foster parent when situation forced the children into her house (when Paul ran away with his mistress to Paris). She did not adopt them but had tio live with the situation. There is a big difference between that and a well thought of decision to adopt. The fact that she got along with Dimitry while had problems with Marie spoke volumes. I don't think Ella could fix Marie's father issues (problems with men all her life) if she tried.

When did Ella say that she did not want children in her house because it was a constant reminder that she could not have children?

In fact, Ella told Maria Pavlovna precisely why she didn't want children in her house.
(Dimitri was still living when Marie's book was published & was a witness to the verasity of her words.)

Quote:

"Throughout our early childhood--throughout, indeed, our uncle's lifetime--Aunt Ella showed no interest in us or anything that concerned us, and she saw as little of us as she could. She appeared to resent our presence in the household, and our uncle's evident affection for us."

1905

"(Aunt Ella) confessed to me that she had suffered a great deal because of the affection which my uncle had shown us so completely, especially since Dimitri & I had come to be part of his household in Moscow. She acknowledged herself guilty of brusquesness and injustice, born of that jealousy; and set herself now to make amends, attaching herself particularily to my brother,......They were bound together by a bond of real affection until the day when events seperated them forever. As for me, I remained always a little apart, and whether that was my fault or my aunt's, I cannot say."

Other than that Ella was possessive of Serge and did not want to share his love with Marie & Dimitri, no other rationale for her jealousy was given. If another reason existed it will likely remain unknown.

Just speculation, but what did Ella think of the Grand Duke Serge's strong feelings for Princess Alexandra of Greece?

Marie Pavlovna: "My uncle was profoundly attached to my mother. The early death which came to her, as I have said, at Ilinskoie, left him with a sense of bereavement for which he could never be consoled. He ordered the room in which she had spent her last hours to be kept intact, exactly as they were when she died there. He had the rooms locked, & throughout the remainder of his life, himself guarded the key allowing no one else to enter."

No where does Marie Pavlovna indicate that her own father felt that same lasting grief for his dead wife. It's difficult to explain the vehement & excessive fervor of the Grand Duke Serge & Ella. An enigma, without an extensive paper trail.  Queen Marie of Rumania did say her Uncle Serge was a "fanatic" at heart..."instinctively one felt that his teeth were clinched..".
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 11, 2012, 01:34:56 PM
Well...Marie couldn't have known that Ella was actually very popular among children. Both Marie of Greece (Marie Paulovna's Aunt) and Felix Yusspov loved Ella as children.  In fact in "A Romanoc Diary" she wrote Marie was "Spoiled" and quite selfish. What do you say to that ? Her own mother's only sister siding with Ella. Dimitry did not have the same problems with Ella (that is a fact).

Had Ella had been able to have her own children, she might not have resented the invasion of her privacy so much. One also remember that Ella was beloved by her own nieces and nephews. So the children posed a constant reminder that she cannot have children. The blame is always on the woman. Alicky was blamed for her many girls and Ducky had to endure lectures from her grandmother and father to beget a male heir for the House of Hesse. So the pressure was on Ella...
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: perdita on November 11, 2012, 11:41:01 PM
Well...Marie couldn't have known that Ella was actually very popular among children. Both Marie of Greece (Marie Paulovna's Aunt) and Felix Yusspov loved Ella as children.  In fact in "A Romanoc Diary" she wrote Marie was "Spoiled" and quite selfish. What do you say to that ? Her own mother's only sister siding with Ella. Dimitry did not have the same problems with Ella (that is a fact).

Had Ella had been able to have her own children, she might not have resented the invasion of her privacy so much. One also remember that Ella was beloved by her own nieces and nephews. So the children posed a constant reminder that she cannot have children. The blame is always on the woman. Alicky was blamed for her many girls and Ducky had to endure lectures from her grandmother and father to beget a male heir for the House of Hesse. So the pressure was on Ella...



All that is known is that the Ella was popular with children who were not living in her household and with whom she was not sharing her husband's affections.

If, as you speculate, it was Serge who refused to consummate the marriage, then why would Ella blame herself when she did not have children?

If Ella rejected Marie & Dimitri because they were a constant reminder of her inability to have children--then why did Serge want them desparently irregardless of their being a reminder that he could not have children?

Why did the Grand Duchess Ella "suffer greatly" because she had to share Serge's affections with Marie & Dimitri?









Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 12, 2012, 11:48:19 AM
Yes. Ella was a very creative and moody person at times. It was an invasion of her privacy to see her imperfections.

Not sure if Ella knew how children were created. Louis XCI and Marie Antoinette spent years before getting it right...

Serge wanted children, and by having them over fulfilled his emotional needs for being a parent. He did not care if that would hurt Ella or not, especially since Serge was fond of Alexandra of Greece too.

Ella did not sign on to be a parent to those two, and they were forced upon her without her agreement (Serge was the master remember ?). It is natural for her to resent the intrusion of children into her life. It happens with relatives staying too long in other cases.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Robert_Hall on November 12, 2012, 02:49:12 PM
Who was Louis LC!? If you mean Louis XVI, there was no "getting it right" it was painful for him to have sex until a minor operation was done. You make it sound like it was their fault. Please try and get the story right, for once.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: perdita on November 12, 2012, 04:49:56 PM
Yes. Ella was a very creative and moody person at times. It was an invasion of her privacy to see her imperfections.

Not sure if Ella knew how children were created. Louis XC1 and Marie Antoinette spent years before getting it right...

Serge wanted children, and by having them over fulfilled his emotional needs for being a parent. He did not care if that would hurt Ella or not, especially since Serge was fond of Alexandra of Greece too.

Ella did not sign on to be a parent to those two, and they were forced upon her without her agreement (Serge was the master remember ?). It is natural for her to resent the intrusion of children into her life. It happens with relatives staying too long in other cases.

Surely, it did not take 7 years for the courtiers of Louis XCI (?) to explain to his Majesty the facts of life.

The progressive Princess Alice was known a proponent of sex education. If Victoria of Battenburg were sex educated, it's unlikely that her sister Ella would not be.

Supposedly, Ella was fond of Alexandra of Greece too, although it's not known what she felt about Serge's extraodinary attachment to his sister-in-law.

To be fair, when Paul broke his word to the Emperor & abandoned his children (knowing the inevitable consequences) where else could Marie & Dimitri go but to the uncle & aunt who had been nearest to Paul & who were closest to them?

According to Marie Pavlovna, the Grand Duke Serge followed Paul to Europe when he eloped with his mistress & made a good faith effort to persude his beloved brother not to abandon his children.

Marie Pavlovna, 1902:

"Uncle Serge & Aunt Ella came to see us for a few days before departing for abroad. They too seemed sad, cast down, there was that in their attitude towards us, my aunt's in particular--which aroused in us a vague presentment."

"Our aunt & uncle's trip abroad, it now appeared, had been to Rome to meet our banished father; they would soon come back, & we would see them, we were told....We found both of them overcome with sorrow; they cried over us a long time. My uncle sharply denounced Mmm. Pistolkors; he accused her of having divorced a suitable husband to ruin my father's life & future, and of now taking him from his children, who needed him."

"..despite the great sorrow that my uncle felt at his brother's mesalliance he could not conceal the joy he felt at the fact that from now on he would be able to keep us entirely to himself. He kept saying "It's I who am now your father, & you are MY children."

The Grand Duchess Ella did not blame Serge, but instead harbored an implaccable resentment toward the Grand Duke Paul. Ella wanted no contact with Paul & his wife, whatsoever.

1908

" My aunt's attitude toward my father throughout all these happenings (Marie's engagement) hurt him profoundly, he held it against her always...My father told me later that my aunt had exasperated him beyond measure--that she was distant & so different from her former self, he could not make her out."

1918

"My aunt had never become reconciled to the thought that the wife of my father--fully pardoned & re-established in his rights by the Emperor--had received an official, although morganic, title and was recognized by everybody, beginning with court. The hostile feeling that she bore for Princess Paley; she transferred to my father's children by his second marriage."

Clearly, the Grand Duchess Ella was in no position to stipulate to the Emperor (or to the Grand Duke Serge) that she would not tolerate her abandoned neice & nephew becoming members of her household because she resented sharing her husband's affections.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 12, 2012, 11:29:27 PM
I think you answered your question perfectly. Ella was in no position to protest if she felt her privacy was invaded by those two children. But you cannot expect her to be happy about it either.

Also Marie Paulovna did not blame her father in running off with a woman of bad reputation and abandoning them, but blamed Ella for not letting her be close to them ?

It was Serge who wanted them in his house, not Ella. That has been from the start.

Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Kalafrana on November 13, 2012, 03:43:40 AM
'Also Marie Paulovna did not blame her father in running off with a woman of bad reputation and abandoning them, but blamed Ella for not letting her be close to them ?'

It is not all that unusual for children to idolise parents who abandon them, and make all kinds of mental 'excuses' for their absence. Someone on the spot is easier to blame!

Ann

Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 13, 2012, 09:56:25 AM
Indeed. I think Ella did what she could with them. It was from Marie's mouth the her aunt sought to have a better relationship with Marie, but the younger woman who did not give her a chance.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: perdita on November 13, 2012, 03:53:31 PM
'Also Marie Paulovna did not blame her father in running off with a woman of bad reputation and abandoning them, but blamed Ella for not letting her be close to them ?'

It is not all that unusual for children to idolise parents who abandon them, and make all kinds of mental 'excuses' for their absence. Someone on the spot is easier to blame!

Ann



It was easier for Marie Pavlovna to transfer the onus of her father's abandonment of his children (a choice freely made) to the uncle & aunt left to pick up the pieces.  

Serge a willing dupe, Ella not.

In Marie Pavlovna's mind, the sole martyr & victim of the piece was the perpetrator, the Grand Duke Paul. She cast as villians Serge & Ella--& both ended up getting the shaft.  

Nobody got what they wanted.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 13, 2012, 04:18:16 PM
Not to mention Marie failed marriages and her distance from her only child. Marie was a very disturbed woman.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Robert_Hall on November 13, 2012, 04:41:52 PM
That is a clinical diagnosis you have  no qualification to make.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 13, 2012, 04:47:17 PM
This is an open discussion not a court of law. Stop tying to bully people around.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Robert_Hall on November 13, 2012, 04:57:27 PM
I am just stating facts, are you a doctor ?
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Svetabel on November 13, 2012, 11:49:53 PM
Not to mention Marie failed marriages and her distance from her only child. Marie was a very disturbed woman.

It's not a discussion in this topic. Your favourite theme that Maria was a bad girl and so on you can unwind in the proper threads. Though I don't see anything new in such revelations, you always repeat the same things.

Please everyone stay in topic, don't divert the discussion.

Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 14, 2012, 12:52:22 AM
I don't think Marie was a bad girl. She was a victim of her mother's early death and her father's abandonment. Instead of understanding her problems, she chose to lash out at her uncle and aunt who took care of her and her brother, while their father skipped town. It manifested later in her relationship with other men. Most author wrote that her most devoted person in her life was her brother Dimitri. But even that was not without problems. It was a deeply unfulfilled life and I have great compassion for her.

Just for reference I did study psychology in college and of course know what I am talking about. 
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Svetabel on November 14, 2012, 05:51:15 AM
I don't think Marie was a bad girl. She was a victim of her mother's early death and her father's abandonment. Instead of understanding her problems, she chose to lash out at her uncle and aunt who took care of her and her brother, while their father skipped town. It manifested later in her relationship with other men. Most author wrote that her most devoted person in her life was her brother Dimitri. But even that was not without problems. It was a deeply unfulfilled life and I have great compassion for her.

Just for reference I did study psychology in college and of course know what I am talking about.  

Glad to hear. Do revelate at the proper thread. If you don't understand my polite requests to stay in topic I'll certainly begin moderate your posts. It's enough.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 14, 2012, 08:34:07 AM
The topic is their childlessness. There is no medical records of Ella or doctors to understand why she cannot have a baby. There are doubts too on Serge side when Alexander III indicate he knows why his brother cannot have children. Since there is not mention of what happen behind close doors in the letters or journals by either that survive. Everything we say here is speculation.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Kalafrana on November 14, 2012, 10:52:44 AM
'Everything we say here is speculation.'

Exactly. We have the following hypotheses, none of which is capable of proof:
- The marriage was consummated but one or both was infertile, or the two were infertile together, though either might have been capable of producing children by other spouses
- The marriage was not consummated because Serge was impotent
- The marriage was not consummated because Serge was disinclined to consummate it

Since we are in the realms of speculation, we might add a further possibility, that Ella would not allow the marriage to be consummated and Serge did not force her.

We are unlikely ever to know anything definite. The absence of medical records proves nothing - there may have been a diagnosis but nothing was committed to paper or records have been lost (we know full well that Alexei had extensive medical treatment but have any medical records ever surfaced?).

To my mind, infertility is the most likely scenario. If Serge was homosexual that would not of itself prevent him from fathering children - look at KR, Ernst Ludwig, Ferdinand of Bulgaria, Felix Yussupov et al.

Ann
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: perdita on November 14, 2012, 02:50:09 PM
The topic is their childlessness. There is no medical records of Ella or doctors to understand why she cannot have a baby. There are doubts too on Serge side when Alexander III indicate he knows why his brother cannot have children. Since there is not mention of what happen behind close doors in the letters or journals by either that survive. Everything we say here is speculation.

Kalafrana is correct. It's all conjecture.

Alexander 111 indicated that Serge & Ella would not have children. The Tsar did not specify the reason, regreted that they were denied that comfort from God, and was very sympatheic to their "sad" plight.

It's far fetched to assume that Serge would have confined in the puritanical Alexander 111 that his marriage would not be consummated because he was homosexual. i.e.,--Branding himself in the eyes of the Greek Orthodox Church a sexual deviant.  Arguably, not in character--and homosexuals do have children.

In 1891 Alexander 111 demonstrated his confidence in Serge when he appointed him Governor of Moscow, a position of honor & great consequence.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 14, 2012, 03:08:13 PM
Well...Maybe Serge so closeted that he could not consummate the marriage on religious terms ? Many holy men were sexually repressed.

I agree with both of you that it is all speculation and anything is possible without water tight proofs. Especially when we remember the Anna Anderson case was full of he said/she said and only solved by DNA process. I don't think they will allow Ella's body to be examined to see if she was a virgin or not. That would have been the only scientific proof. But that would not happen. So we can close the case now.
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Kalafrana on November 15, 2012, 01:20:26 AM
Eric

The whole idea of examining Ella's body is ridiculous. She will be very decayed by now! Unless you believe her corpse is incorrupt, which as far as I know nobody has suggested!

Unless a cache of documents is discovered with conclusive information, we are never going to know, and this discussion is simply going round in circles.

Ann
Title: Re: GDss Ella and GD Sergei's childlessness
Post by: Svetabel on November 15, 2012, 02:05:21 AM


Unless a cache of documents is discovered with conclusive information, we are never going to know, and this discussion is simply going round in circles.

Ann

Right. And as I see everyone is agree finally that nothing new has been said on the subject and any discussion is a speculation, the topic is being closed. 33 pages with the same repetitive remarks are enough now.