Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => Alexandra Feodorovna => Topic started by: chintz22 on January 27, 2005, 08:21:44 PM

Title: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: chintz22 on January 27, 2005, 08:21:44 PM
Hi All --

Does anyone know where the first ball Alix attended was held?  In the famous photo she is with Ella--was the dance held in Russia or in Darmstadt?  Was it similar to the ball held for Olga in the Crimea?

Thanks!

Sarah
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: bluetoria on January 28, 2005, 04:09:51 AM
I think she had her 'coming out' ball just after her confirmation in June 1888. Ella came over to Darmstadt from Russia to help her prepare for it. She wore a gown of white tulle & a crown of orange blossom.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Lisa on January 28, 2005, 04:53:01 AM
Alix in fer first ball dress:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v248/lyzotchka1/18882a.jpg)

Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Lisa on January 28, 2005, 05:04:21 AM
and Ella
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v248/lyzotchka1/18882b.jpg)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: bluetoria on January 28, 2005, 05:34:01 AM
Why does she (Alix) ALWAYS look so sad? :(
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: chintz22 on January 28, 2005, 09:32:58 AM
Hi All--

Many thanks to all who have responded.  The photos from this event are some of my favorites of Alix.  If anyone knows more details I'd love to hear them too.

Best,

Sarah
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: bluetoria on January 28, 2005, 10:26:16 AM
Quote

Hi Sarah :)

Alix's first ball took place at the Neues Palais, in 1889.


Elisa, are you sure? I thought it was June 1888. She visited Russia in January 1889 & had already 'come out' (in the original sense!) by then.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Janet_W. on January 28, 2005, 11:19:45 AM
In response to why Alix always looks so sad, I'd say it's because she was a serious-minded person who, though she could laugh and have fun, approached situations--such as the milestone of her coming out party--with gravity and a sober demeanor.

From the time I was a child I was always encouraged to "smile for the camera" but felt intensely uncomfortable doing so . . . and years later feel the same way.  My friends know that I laugh a great deal and can display an ironic and sometimes zany sense of humor . . . but, again, that's after you get to know me. I'm not wired to be an "on cue" type of person.

When I first read about Alexandra and her tendency toward shyness and intensity of feeling, it felt as if I was reading about myself. And when I see her serious expression in any number of photos, I am reminded of my own high school photo, and how some yahoo wrote across that photo in my own yearbook, "Smile!" Sorry, folks, but some of us just don't smile perfunctorily . . .   :-X
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Lisa on January 28, 2005, 11:26:59 AM
I agree with you, Janet! ;D
...and moreover, at this time, it was not "fashionnable" to smile for a photo... Very often , people had not very beautiful teeth, so they did not smile for the photo!
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: bluetoria on January 28, 2005, 11:33:09 AM
No, Janet, I wasn't expecting her to smile all the time & I didn't mean to criticize her for her sadness. I meant only that her face always looks SO very sad, which I can understand later when she had Alexei & all the pressures of being an often unpopular & misunderstood Tsarina. Perhaps it is, as you say, shyness...but, perhaps I phrased it badly & too briefly - I meant SO tragic. (It was kind of what I was thinking just before on the Alix's dreams thread.)
(I was going to put a smiley face now to kind of show good will...but perhaps it might be rather inappropriate & not very regal! - Not that I don't mean goodwill!)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: bluetoria on January 28, 2005, 12:02:23 PM
It is confusing, isn't it? I'm pretty sure that after attending Irene's wedding in May 1888, Ella went to Darmstadt to help prepare Alix for the ball - but by autumn Ella was in Athens & the Holy Land....Very confusing! But she certainly attended all those balls etc. in Russia in Jan. '89 & she wouldn't have done that if she hadn't 'come out.'
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: bluetoria on January 28, 2005, 05:10:01 PM
Do you see what I mean about the sadness? It is as though she is looking at something else...something sad? :(
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Maria_Romanov_fan on January 28, 2005, 08:50:36 PM
Quote
Why does she (Alix) ALWAYS look so sad? :(

Aww blue.t. I don't think Alix was ALWAYS sad. I heard in a class one time that during the Victorian age, it was part of a "thing" to not smile at the camera, just to have a blank expression. Very regal they thought. Also, (bad teeth?) lol.
I think she would be happy and excited for her first ball.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Lisa on January 29, 2005, 05:06:59 AM
Hi Madal!
I have this one also, but the quality is not extraodinary! :-/
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v248/lyzotchka1/18882c.jpg)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: bluetoria on January 29, 2005, 06:27:44 AM
Quote

I think she would be happy and excited for her first ball.


I hope so! :)
(By the way - I have never ever seen a picture of Ella showing her teeth...has anyone?)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: chintz22 on January 29, 2005, 11:03:12 PM
Hi All--

Lisa, thank you for posting that last picture--I've never seen it before and it is beautiful!  

Best,

Sarah
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: chintz22 on January 29, 2005, 11:06:22 PM
Hi All,

Sorry to post again, but does anyone know if Alix received a gift for her first ball?  I know Olga received jewelry, but of course the Grand Duke's financial situation wasn't what the Tsar's was!  I wonder if Queen Victoria sent her anything?  I don't recall reading anything about this--maybe someone else knows?

Best,

Sarah
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: bball33 on January 30, 2005, 01:48:45 PM
How did Alix's mother die? I've heard that she kissed her son and contracted a disease but I'm not sure. ???
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Sarai on January 30, 2005, 03:10:58 PM
She died of a disease called diptheria. This used to be a common disease, especially in children, before widespread immunization became available for it. Diptheria is a very contagious and potentially life-threatening infection that usually attacks the throat and nose. Early symptoms are a sore throat and mild fever. A membrane that forms over the throat and tonsils can make it hard to swallow. This membrane can also move deeper into the throat and block the airway, causing death.

All of Alice's children except Ella had it. Her youngest daughter, May, died of it. When her son found out, he was terribly sad and she kissed him to comfort him. And so she contracted it from him. She was already tired and worn out from taking care of all her sick children, so the disease killed her.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: otmafan on January 30, 2005, 05:24:05 PM
Ernie almost died as well. It was so devastating for poor little Alix.  :'(
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: chintz22 on January 31, 2005, 08:18:36 AM
Hi All--

I've always thought that surely Alexandra must have thought of this wave of illness when most of her own children were taken ill in 1917.  What a terrible time for her personally, and then to have had the events of the abdication as well.  She must have been a very strong woman to have been able to bear all of these events.

Best,

Sarah
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Sarai on January 31, 2005, 03:57:14 PM
Quote
I've always thought that surely Alexandra must have thought of this wave of illness when most of her own children were taken ill in 1917.


She must have thought even more of it when her own daughter Anastasia had diptheria as a small child. Nicholas mentions in his diary that she stayed by herself with the sick child while he and the other children moved out temporarily (this was in Peterhof).
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: griffh on February 13, 2005, 01:06:56 PM
 There is a family photo taken in Copenhagen with Alexandra sitting on the steps close to the front row and something has really struck her funny.  She can't hold back a smile.  Xenia sitting next to her is trying to look down in order not to laugh and if you follow Alexandra's gaze she appears to be looking at the two little boys in sailor suits who have big smiles on their faces.  Even the little boy next to Xenia seems to be trying to hold back a smile.  Then if you look at Queen Alexandra's face and her sister Dagmar, they both look far from amused.  

Alexandra's suppressed glee really makes me think that she must have had a very funny sense of humor.  And I know that Queen Alexandra and her sister did but I suppose anything that struck Alexandra funny was automatically not funny to them.  Anyway I thought it might be fun to see Alexandra with a smile on her face.....griff
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: griffh on February 13, 2005, 01:47:54 PM
Bluetoria you probably are right as Queen Alexandra does look like she is inbetween some emotion and hopefully it is humor.  I just love to look at that picture and see the young Empress's amusement and sense of fun and taking part in what ever those kids managed to pull off.  It just reminded me of that funny story of Queen Victoria ridding in the carriage with one of the young princes who had some problem with gas and apparently let a rather bad go sitting in the carriage next to the Queen and Victoria made some dry remark about the horses and everyone was doing their best to stifle their laughter.  Something like that must have just happened a second before that photo was snapped.  

Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: clockworkgirl21 on April 07, 2005, 04:27:57 PM
Does anyone have any pics of Aleksandra when she was younger? I can't seem to find many of her as a little kid.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Laura Mabee on April 07, 2005, 07:12:33 PM
There are dozens around the forum..   ;)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: moonlight_tsarina on April 09, 2005, 12:09:20 AM
I'll post some here...

http://img107.exs.cx/img107/3779/alix7uy.jpg

http://img107.exs.cx/img107/7550/alicky43qn.jpg

http://img107.exs.cx/img107/2024/alix041jx.jpg

http://img107.exs.cx/img107/9168/alixirene7hf.png
^
(By Lanie)

http://img154.exs.cx/img154/3088/alix055yq.jpg

http://img107.exs.cx/img107/6662/romanov151rt.jpg

I had a question about Alix, I don't know if it has been discussed before, that Alix fell over some glass keeping a plant nursery safe from snow, and that was a contributor to her bad legs. Is this true?

Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Lanie on April 09, 2005, 02:19:35 AM
The last photo Annie posted is actually of Princess Marie of Hesse-Darmstadt, not Alix.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Laura Mabee on April 09, 2005, 10:23:07 AM
(http://img107.exs.cx/img107/6662/romanov151rt.jpg)

This one?
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: clockworkgirl21 on April 09, 2005, 11:40:36 AM
I've seen that pic before, in books. It always said it was Alix. But since they always get OTMA wrong, I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't Alix. But it does look a lot like the other pics of her as a child.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: clockworkgirl21 on April 09, 2005, 11:41:38 AM
Sorry, forgot to add this to my above post, but moonlight, yes, I've always heard that story about Alix's bad legs was true.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Lanie on April 09, 2005, 02:31:18 PM
There's some thread--I think about Marie (May) of Hesse--with a photo of her and it has been told by people who've seen the original photo that it isn't Alix, it's May. :)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Laura Mabee on April 09, 2005, 03:08:41 PM
Really? Wow.. I always thought that was Alix.
Thanks Lanie  ;D
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: clockworkgirl21 on April 09, 2005, 04:30:03 PM
Is this the same May that died of diptheria? I thought she was just a baby when she died.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Lanie on April 09, 2005, 04:51:05 PM
No, May was 4 when she died and yes, it's the same May.  May looked a lot like Alix but had somewhat different features, you can only notice if you look closely at pictures.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: moonlight_tsarina on April 09, 2005, 06:35:16 PM
Wow, thanks for pointing that out! Alix and May had a very strong resemblance!
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: moonlight_tsarina on April 10, 2005, 07:56:10 PM
More of young Alix:
(Beautifully colored by Lisa!)
(http://img150.echo.cx/img150/8200/18777aw.jpg)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: moonlight_tsarina on April 10, 2005, 07:56:35 PM
(http://img150.echo.cx/img150/4947/187529xv.jpg)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Laura Mabee on April 10, 2005, 08:01:20 PM
Those are stunningly well done
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: RomanovFan on April 11, 2005, 09:11:30 PM
Quote
Wow, thanks for pointing that out! Alix and May had a very strong resemblance!


May and Alix were also only two years apart in age.... Alix was born in 1872, May in 1874. If you look at some of the photos of Maria and Anastasia as little girls, they look alot alike too....and they were almost exactly one year apart. :)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Lanie on April 11, 2005, 09:22:19 PM
Quote

May and Alix were also only two years apart in age.... Alix was born in 1872, May in 1874. If you look at some of the photos of Maria and Anastasia as little girls, they look alot alike too....and they were almost exactly one year apart. :)


MN and AN were almost exactly two years apart.  :)  Eight days to two years apart...
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Speedycat on May 07, 2005, 10:08:55 AM
Alix with Irene, Ernie and May.  The resemblence between Alix and May is striking, although I think May had softer features and lighter hair.

(http://img147.echo.cx/img147/3223/alix18757qh.jpg)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Speedycat on May 07, 2005, 10:16:07 AM
A beautiful photo of Irene and Alix as bridesmaids at Princess Beatrice's wedding 1885

(http://img56.echo.cx/img56/8671/irenealix18856mu.jpg)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Speedycat on May 07, 2005, 10:24:30 AM
by Moonlight Tsarina.."I had a question about Alix, I don't know if it has been discussed before, that Alix fell over some glass keeping a plant nursery safe from snow, and that was a contributor to her bad legs. Is this true? "

I read this too.  After years of reading books about Alix with various "mental reasons" given for her leg and lower back pains, I read in a book (can't for the life of me remember which one now!! :-/)  that she was running around with Ernie and she ran through some disgarded greenhouse window pains and severely cut her legs damaging the nerves.  This happened shortly after her mother died and the combined stress of the pain and of not having a mother to comfort her contricuted to her lifelong affliction of leg pains.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Sarai on May 07, 2005, 03:48:39 PM
Elisa, what an interesting topic. :) I would also like to know more about her itinerary there. I do know that she loved that trip and it was memorable for her the rest of her life. She even had souvenirs of her trip at the Alexander Palace, in her bedroom. Here is a quote from the article on the Imperial bedroom on the main AP site:

"On the right wall of the room Alexandra had a collection of things she had brought back from a trip she had made to Italy with her brother before her marriage. This trip took her to Florence and she had a wonderful, carefree time. her brother took Alexandra to all of the famous landmarks - including the Uffizi Gallery. Alexandra also saw the convent of San Marco,and Fra Angelico's paintings there. The impressions she receieved on the trip deeply effected her and they continued to inspire her throughout her life. One day this trip wpould inspire parts of the new Livadia Palace in the Crimea which she and Nicholas built in 1912. While on the trip she purchased watercolors, copies of Della Robbia ceramics and a copy of a Bottichelli Madonna. This painting was one of the few things that followed the Imperial family into exile. It hung above the Empress' coach in Tobolsk."
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: hikaru on May 08, 2005, 11:51:01 AM
It is very intresting to investigate something which is not much known. And very intresting to make the mosaica together.
I do not know, but Alix was an princess.
so maybe some kind of Court Journals or Protocol Meeting Description could be found in Germany or England or  Italy?.
She was a  princess, so her movement schedule had to be fixed somewhere, especially if she had a meeting with some italian aristocracy in Venice.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: hikaru on May 08, 2005, 11:52:26 AM
I forgot to mention, but I suppose, the report of the Italian Secret Police will be the best, if it could be found.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Speedycat on May 09, 2005, 12:21:21 PM
The Hesse Childen with their mother, Grand Duchess Alice in 1877.
(http://img65.echo.cx/img65/715/darmstadt18775be.jpg)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Speedycat on May 29, 2005, 10:52:29 AM
Another rather unique image of Alix with her Uncle Leopold.  I think this was taken on her visit to England in 1878 shortly after her mother's death.

(http://img233.echo.cx/img233/8459/alixandleopold4gi.jpg)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: bluetoria on May 29, 2005, 01:19:14 PM
It's a very moving photo. Thank you for posting it. Would it have been taken when Leopold returned to Dramstadt with the Hessians after their visit to Osborne in January 1879? Leopold was a great help to them, wasn't he, after the death of Princess Alice & his death  must have been terribly sad for Alix, particularly since she was still so young.  
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Speedycat on May 29, 2005, 01:49:39 PM
 :( Sorry, no other info on the photo then that I got it from "Royalty Digest" magazine and the caption reads Leopold with Princess Alix.  The overall article is called 'An Ordinary Foreign Princeling.....?" and is about Alix's father, Grand Duke Louis.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Speedycat on May 29, 2005, 02:01:40 PM
I thought I might have posted this group photo already.  This one is perhaps a year or so earlier becuase Alix looks younger in it and her hairstyle is different.  I have heard Princess Alice was very frugal and it seems here that the older girls are wearing the same dresses as in the earlier photo, perhaps as hand-me-downs.

(http://img136.echo.cx/img136/2793/hessefamily18751qe.jpg)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: grandduchessella on May 30, 2005, 11:01:26 AM
Quote
It's a very moving photo. Thank you for posting it. Would it have been taken when Leopold returned to Dramstadt with the Hessians after their visit to Osborne in January 1879? Leopold was a great help to them, wasn't he, after the death of Princess Alice & his death  must have been terribly sad for Alix, particularly since she was still so young.  


It's the same outfit that Alix is seen wearing in some of the mourning photos taken with QV. They came over to England in Feb 1879 so perhaps then?
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: BobAtchison on May 30, 2005, 11:04:18 AM
...as a related comment - Uncle Leopold gave Alix the gold hoop bracelets that she could not remove later in life.  She seems to have had a special affection for him.

Bob
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: grandduchessella on May 30, 2005, 11:08:49 PM
Uncle Leopold seems to have been a huge favorite with the Hessians and spent a good deal of time with them. He was godfather to Frittie (bitter irony there) and was close to Louis even after Alice's death. Another sad irony was that Victoria's wedding took place when there was still general grieving over the loss of this favorite uncle who had died less than 5 weeks prior.  :(
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: RealAnastasia on June 02, 2005, 08:28:30 PM
Very sad to know that "Uncle Leopold" suffered from Hemophilia, the same illness  that Alexei had. What an irony! I didn't know that gold hoop bracelet that Alix couldn't remove later in life, was an uncle Leopold's present... :'(

RealAnastasia.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Rosamund on July 27, 2005, 05:10:37 AM
In the Nicholas and Alexandra exhibition in Edinburgh the Empress is referred to as Alice-Victoria-Helena-Louisa-Beatrice of Hesse.  I know that whether or not she was Alix or Alice has already been discussed somewhere on this forum, but I wonder if any of the members who are researchers have actually seen her birth certificate. The Louisa mistake could be from the German pronunciation, if the spelling of the name was Luise instead of Louise.  
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Rosamund on July 27, 2005, 02:23:12 PM
Correct me if I am wrong please.

In English the final sound of Louise is the 's'.  The final sound of Luise is 'er'. Therefore Luis 'er' could be misinterpreted as Louisa.

If not birth certificate, did Alix have a baptismal certificate?

Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Val289 on July 27, 2005, 05:17:13 PM
I'm inclined to agree with Thomas_A - regarding the possiblilty that Royal children may not have had birth certificates.  Does anyone know for sure?

As far as her name goes I've always read that it was Alice Victoria Helena Louise Beatrice, after all of her Aunts (and her Mother).

Rosemund, you are right.  In English the final sound of Louise is the "s".
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: hikaru on July 27, 2005, 10:23:21 PM
Nobody had a birth certificate those times ( I mean in Russia) .
They had  the church books, where there was a written line that  ........ daughter of .......... was born at .....
and was baptized at ...... in ...... the name of God Parents are .....
Then when children had to go to school , or if it will be needed for  a salary of the father,  parents went to Church , have got the copy from Metrical Book , then  they went to the notary and have got the Certificate.
Certicitate confirmed  the text of Metrical Book and had a stamp of  a notary and its sign. but it was just A4 paper.
Maybe if Alix attented some schools of courses , she needed Certificate.
Maybe she needed it in order to get the passport.
I do not know if Romanovs had passports?
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Rosamund on July 28, 2005, 01:54:19 PM
Then wouldn't there be a record of Alix's baptism with all her names and how her parents wished them to be spelt?  
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Georgiy on July 28, 2005, 04:51:01 PM
Presumably in Hesse there would be. Also when she was received into the Orthodox Church, her Orthodox name would be entered into the Church records.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: grandduchess_42 on August 11, 2005, 06:11:23 PM
aww.. were did you find those pictures?

was it alix who had a leg problem? if it is how?
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Aliss_Kande on August 11, 2005, 09:10:30 PM
Yes, Alix did have a leg problem.  I think I remember hearing that she fell as a child or something.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: otmafan on August 12, 2005, 11:00:35 PM
She was playing with her siblings and severely cut her leg.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Dasha on August 12, 2005, 11:03:14 PM
Yes,  I believe she fell through the glass or a green-house of something along those lines.  She had trouble with her legs from then on.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: bluetoria on August 13, 2005, 06:00:30 AM
Didn't she also suffer, throughout her life, from sciatica? Or did that start later? I know it was most severe during her pregnancies but does anyone know when it first began? She must have had it before her marriage, since wasn't that partly why she went to Harrogate for 'a cure'.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: LenelorMiksi on August 17, 2005, 12:18:15 AM
I'm so glad the leg injury incident has been explained.  The damage to the nerves caused her sciatica.  It really annoys me how many books claim Alix had only "hysterical" problems when she was suffering from real, painful illness.
On another note, I was wondering how someone who knew little Alicky would have described her.  I know before her mother's death she was more cheerful, and afterwards she felt lonely...
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: bluetoria on August 17, 2005, 07:49:29 AM
Thank you Elisa for the full explanation!  :D

Hello, Lelenor  :) Baroness Buxheoeveden writes very movingly of the first months after Princess Alice's death being absolutely tragic for Alix. The nursery was completely bare, as all the toys had had to be destroyed to prevent further infection. Her elder sisters had moved out of the nursery and poor Alix felt very isolated. Prior to that Princess Alice described Alix as "a sweet merry little person, always laughing, with a deep dimple in one cheerk."
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: pinklady on August 18, 2005, 05:31:23 AM
Not only the loss of her mother but the tragic loss of her little sister/playmate, little Princess Marie, imagine how lonely and sad the little Alix would have felt, as Marie would have been her best friend.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: strom on September 10, 2005, 09:27:34 PM
Does anyone know the exact time of day the future Empress Alexandra of Russia was born?  
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: anna on September 16, 2005, 05:34:46 PM
Strom,

This is what a good friend of mine gave me as Alix's time of birth: 3:45 uur a.m. june 6th 1872, tho' I'm not quite sure because I don't know the source.
Hope this helps.

Anna
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: clockworkgirl21 on October 04, 2005, 07:58:08 PM
(http://img286.imageshack.us/img286/714/18734wg.jpg)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Caleb on October 04, 2005, 09:14:14 PM
I know Alix isn't a "child" in this one, but I haven't seen this one of her! (http://imperator.spbnews.ru/nw/050@.jpg)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: aleksandra on October 07, 2005, 04:43:01 PM
I was just woundering about alix's schooling?
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Caleb on October 12, 2005, 02:39:20 PM
Well I read that she did graduate from Heildlborg University with a degree in philsophy. ( I read this from "Nicholas & Alexandra: the Last Imperial Family of Tsarist Russia")
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: lilavanderhorn on October 13, 2005, 05:44:30 PM
Alexandra never actually attended university, I believe hers was more of an honorary degree?   Either way, I believe she took her studies very seriously, quite unlike her children who were mediocre students.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helene on October 17, 2005, 11:07:16 AM
It was not uncommon for  little children to show their feet, here it is May (from the website of Lisa) :

http://groups.msn.com/AlexandraFeodorovna/mayampfrittie.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=79
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: CountessKate on October 17, 2005, 01:45:45 PM
There are also quite a few photos of Queen Victoria's children in fancy dress with their legs bare, and I guess what was good enough for QV was good enough for her daughters' children.  I think it was part of the Victorian sensibility of the asexual child - it wouldn't do after a girl's 'figure' developed and she put up her hair (although there's another photo on the board of Alix paddling as a married woman, fully clad except for her lower legs and feet, looking very cheerful and as if she did this all the time.)  But generally not for wider circulation, I surmise.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: julia.montague on October 27, 2005, 05:27:57 AM
This picture is from Olga (ZarevnaOlga)

(http://img478.imageshack.us/img478/8472/alix20in2018896bw.jpg)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: ZarevnaOlga on November 03, 2005, 03:38:23 AM
(http://img495.imageshack.us/img495/290/227bh.th.jpg) (http://img495.imageshack.us/my.php?image=227bh.jpg)

(http://img495.imageshack.us/img495/756/247sc.th.jpg) (http://img495.imageshack.us/my.php?image=247sc.jpg) (from Alias NAOTMAA site)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: rita on November 06, 2005, 05:49:57 AM
Which wedding is this?
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: grandduchessella on November 07, 2005, 07:34:45 AM
Princess Beatrice (Alix's aunt) to Henry of Battenberg (a cousin of Alix; brother of her BIL Louis Battenberg) in 1885

She can be seen with her sister Irene; her cousins Louise, Victoria and Maud of Wales; Helena Victoria and Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein; and Missy, Ducky and Sandra Edinburgh
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: imperial angel on November 15, 2005, 10:55:53 AM
Alexandra was an intellectual, far more than her husband or some of her children. She was also ver more thoughtful and intellectual than Marie Antoinette who is compared to Alexandra in one of the threads.Olga N., Alexandra's daughter was interested in serious things though.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: clockworkgirl21 on January 19, 2006, 03:34:45 PM
June 6 of which calendar?
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Georgiy on January 19, 2006, 04:04:55 PM
I would imagine the Gregorian which was used in Western Europe at that time.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Nadezhda Edvardovna on February 11, 2006, 11:31:51 AM
I'm rereading Hugo Vickers' biography of Alexandra's niece Princess Andrew of Greece (Princess Alice, daughter of Alexandra's elder sister Victoria, mother of the present Duke of Edinburgh) and he says that Grand Duke Louis IV (Alexandra's father) was briefly remarried in 1884 to Countess Alexandrine Kolémine, a Russian divorcée.  This information is new to me.  I did check the source, and it's not one of the notoriously unreliable ones which has been condemned on these boards.  

Vickers also says that due to pressure from Queen Victoria, the marriage was dissolved, even though the children favored the match.  I realize that Alexandra was probably too young to have much of an independent opinion in the matter, yet I wonder what effect this marriage and the brief prescence of a stepmother may have had.  

I've got a stepmother and even though I barely know her, her mere existence is significant to me.  

I've said elsewhere that I think Alexandra had such a long list of tragedies, sorrows, and strains that her brain chemistry was permanently damaged, leading to chronic clinical depression and panic disorder. So I'm wondering if this marriage could be an addition to that list.  

What do all of you know about this marriage and Alexandra's response to it?

Pax et bonum

Nadezhda
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Caleb on February 11, 2006, 01:48:13 PM
I read that they got along OK, as did the other children. But I think all in all, she was closer to her father, for obvious reasons.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Tsarina_Liz on February 11, 2006, 06:17:13 PM
In most of what I've read about Alexandra's early life, they don't really mention the brief step-mother.  I wonder how much time Alexandra actually got to spend around her.  Anyone know?  

In any case, it seems to me the marriage didn't make that big of an impact of Alix.  She loved her father and probably wouldn't have been opposed to the marriage until Victoria got involved.  Even then she may not have cared.  
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: carl fraley on February 11, 2006, 09:11:07 PM
Quoting Jerald Packard from "Victoria's Daughters", That louis had married this woman , when Victoria was in the very same palace, and on the same day as his daughter's wedding basically pissed Victoria Off.  On her own Authority (mind you now that victoria was not the arbiter of Hessian Law) but she cabled her own minister in Berlin and ordered that whatever needed to be done to dissolve this union be done.  The miinister cabled her back that "It never exsisted"
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Alixz on February 11, 2006, 09:42:55 PM
Wasn't that on the same day as the marriage of Victoria of Hesse to Prince Henry of Battenberg?

I don't think that Alix was all that young.

I don't know how long the affair lasted before the marriage, but the marriage didn't make it through the whole day.

Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: carl fraley on February 11, 2006, 10:10:20 PM
Yes it was Alixz.  However Victoria of Hesse married Louis Of Battenberg.    Her aunt Beatrice married Henry (Liko) of Battenberg.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Nadezhda Edvardovna on February 12, 2006, 10:21:49 AM
According to Wikipedia, Alexandra was born in 1874, so she was only about 10 when her father remarried.  So she certainly was old enough to be aware and have an opinion, to have been affected by the marriage.

On the one hand, she could have favored the match, loving her father and wanting his happiness.  Consequently, she may have felt (at minimum) conflicted by Victoria's interferance, as she adored her grandmother as well.  Alternately, she might have resented the seeming betrayal of her mother's memory by her father's remarriage, and welcomed Victoria's intervention.  Either way, deep internal stress must have been inevitable.  A quiet, shy, reserved child, she would have almost certainly internalized her feelings. Unable to express them, the strain would have been worsened. Another brick in the wall.

Pax et bonum, Nadezhda.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Grace on February 12, 2006, 02:36:07 PM
Just a small point...Wikipedia is not always reliable...Alicky was born in 1872, not 1874. :)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Margarita Markovna on February 12, 2006, 03:46:24 PM
Quote
Just a small point...Wikipedia is not always reliable...Alicky was born in 1872, not 1874. :)


Yeah...anybody at all can add anything to Wikipedia...someone even put my dad's name down as a famous person in my town (he's well known around musicians here but I probably wouldn't place him with Helen Hayes and Rosie O Donnell  :D )...I probably wouldn't use Wikipedia as a reference at all.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Nadezhda Edvardovna on February 12, 2006, 05:26:39 PM
Thanks for the cautionary note about Wikipedia.  Okay, so Alix was twelve instead of ten. Still, what must it have been like for her? A one-day marriage that may or may not have been "real", a stepmother sent away, probably no one really discussing it, and here's this exceptional child, intelligent and sensitive, and the double-whammy of German rigid emotionlessness and Victorian stiff  upper lip? N.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Tsarina_Liz on February 12, 2006, 06:19:12 PM
While Alix was always more pensive and fatalistic than the average child, until her late teenage years she still deserved the nickname "Sunny."  I think that at the point in her life, when her father married, she was still a relatively normal and playful child.  All the drama and melodramatic tendencies didn't appear for a couple of years.  Sure it must have been hard to see another woman in her father's life, but I don't think it had too much of a dramatic effect on her.  And given the woman's relatively short time in the Hessian limelight, Alix may never have even considered her a serious figure in her life.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Nadezhda Edvardovna on February 12, 2006, 06:31:15 PM
I suppose I may be projecting my own beliefs/behaviors/attitudes upon Alix.  Absent any firm information--which I hope anyone who has it will offer--we're stuck in the relm of speculation, where such projections are inevitable.

1. Alix as "Sunny": I suppose the main source for this is Massie, who interestingly got it pretty darn right, considering how many sources were unavailable to him in the sixties when he was writing and are available now.  I recall him saying that she lost her general sunniness around the time her dear mother died, which of course predates the marriage we dicuss here.

2. I referred earlier to my own stepmother.  I met her the day of the wedding, and have never seen her again.  I like her greatly--the separation isn't appropriate to this discussion.  My point is, despite the one day relationship she and I had, her mere existence is significant in my life.  I think that this would also be the case for Alix.

3. Alix would have had to be affected by the marriage, either because she objected to her father remarrying or because her dear grandmother ended the marriage. Either way, some close relative she adored was letting her down.  I don't see how she could have escaped negative impact, and I'm baffled there isn't any hard evidence of her feelings on the subject.

4. I think we can all agree that while Alix isolated her immediate family, she was a warm and loving person who treasured family relationships enormously.  Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.  

5. Alix was undoubtably a considerate person. Can it be that the lack of evidence of her attitude is because Alix did destroy some of her writings and knew that the stepmother still lived? Perhaps she feared publication in a negative light might embarrass the lady.

Pax et bonum, N.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: imperial angel on February 13, 2006, 10:19:23 AM
I don't think it made that much of an impression on Alix as she wasn't all that young anymore, and it only lasted a day, and we don't know how much she knew of her father's relationship with this woman. I don't think he tried to throw her in their faces, so this woudn't have revolted her, that she was going to replace their mother. She had suffered so much already this may have been just a blip on the horizon, whether in a positive or negative way. She seems to have wanted her father's happiness as as most do, and if this made him happy, at that young age, she woudn't have questioned it, but wanted it, whether she knew what she wanted or not. I am sure it was a important event in her life, by its nature. I'm 19, and one of my parents may re-marry by the end of this year, and I am too old to care anything about that person, because it's my parent's business not mine. Thus, it doesn't have an emotional effect upon me, although I don't like this person. However, Alix was younger, so it may have been important to her.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Tsarina_Liz on February 13, 2006, 12:03:13 PM
Well naturally Alix became a little less than Sunny after her mother died, but she was still known as quite a loving and funny child for years after I believe.  She only became the woman we know later in her teens and with the advent of her relationship with Nicholas.  

Anyways, I have never seen a letter or diary entry from Alexandra (or concerning Alexndra) that even mentions her stepmother.  Surely if it had effected her, she would have written about or pondered it later in life (she did so like to pick at emotional wounds).
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: imperial angel on February 13, 2006, 12:14:34 PM
Yes, the fact that I have never seen her write about it makes me wonder how much she knew, how much it mattered to her, perhaps she was too young to express it, or perhaps such writing no longer exists. And it is possible it does, but we haven't seen it, or don't know where it is. I have never read anything anywhere, and if anybody else has please post-it helps separate fact from fiction. I don't think this stepmother was one of the events that turned her away from being ''Sunny'', however.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Eddie_uk on February 13, 2006, 12:31:22 PM
I suppose it's important to remember that Alix was pretty much cared for by Orchie and Miss Jackson and other servants.

It's not like Alexandrine Kolémine would have been a really close mother figure :)

QV has come under a bit of stick for having the marriage dissolved but I think the lady did have a dubious background. I think i'm right in saying that later on she tried to blackmail Grand Duke Louis!!
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Nadezhda Edvardovna on February 13, 2006, 12:51:56 PM
Thanks for this point!  It's easy to forget that for royalty, oftentimes servants are closer than family members.  :(  

I haven't got Vickers handy just now--what's that about the stepmother blackmailing Louis?

Pax et bonum, N.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Tsarina_Liz on February 13, 2006, 03:34:45 PM
Didn't she try and blackmail him for a pension and a place to live?
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: grandduchessella on February 13, 2006, 04:54:07 PM
There's a thread  on GD Louis in the Hesse-Darmstadt section that has some good info on her.

http://hydrogen.pallasweb.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=Hessian;action=display;num=1078934198

Here's some information:

Here is an extract from a letter QV wrote to Victoria Hesse regarding Alexandra Kolemine or that "dreadful woman" as QV calls her.  

Subject:  Queen Victoria to Victoria of Hesse, 11 October 1884 Balmoral Castle

Darling Victoria,
For 3 or 4 days I have been intending to write to you to thank you for your dear letter... Dear Papa is well-- & we are so happy to have him with us-- as we love him so much-- but he is often very sad & very depressed & I fear all these appeals of that dreadful woman worry & distress him terribly. If only an end cld. be put to it & if this dreadful woman cld. be seen by him in the true light & he never see her or hear from her! But she has written to him again only just now-- wanting to have the whole urtheil veröffentlicht [verdict published]. He sent the letter to Lothersen & did not answer it. He is so worried & distressed that he ought to, & must get away. Uncle  Bertie is very strong abt. it, so are some of his people & all of us. He will never be able to break with the whole thing & with her-- unless he gets quite away-- & the opportunity to visit Uncle Arthur who leaves in April-- may never present itself again. His remaining at Darmstadt or in the neighbourhood wld. keep up the whole thing & annoy him dreadfully. Believe me it is the only thing to cheer him up & set him again. He shld. go to India
after Christmas & be back the middle or end of March. I assure you it is the only thing for him to do. I must end my letter...
Ever your devoted Grandmama
V.R.I.

Queen Victoria had pressured him into divorcing her, but the lady was understandably less than happy about that. She continued writing to the Grand Duke, eventually resorted to blackmail, and was finally bought off with a title and an annual pension. She remarried. The Grand Duke never did.

Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: imperial angel on February 14, 2006, 10:24:24 AM
Of course the fact that there other ''mother figures'' so to speak made the impact of this less-certainly a valid point, there are lots of things like this we should remember when judging history. ;)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Eddie_uk on February 14, 2006, 12:16:42 PM
Very true angel. Step mothers and even mothers in some cases had little to do with their children especially compared to nowadays...

I believe i read in the Vickers bio that apparently Alexandrine ended her days in a fancy hotel playing cards and cheating to win!! and died sometime in the 1940s!!!
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Grace on February 14, 2006, 02:58:00 PM
Bertie's involvement in the saga of the second marriage of Grand Duke Louis is a joke...what a meddling old hypocrite.  >:(
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Alixz on February 16, 2006, 11:04:15 PM
carlfraley  Thank you, I didn't have my books close and I can never keep those Battenbergs straight.

I don't think the one day wedding would be the issue, but how long was the relationship (affaire) going on and what did Alix and her siblings know about it?

How was it presented to them before the wedding?

The wedding was a secret surprise, but I doubt that the entire affaire was a secret.  I doubt that the day of the wedding was the first time that the Hessian children found out about  Mme Kolamine.  She must have been out and about the palace while she and the Grand Duke were "getting to know" one another.

And age doesn't have anything to do with acceptance of a step parent.  It is the temperment of the child or young adult and perhaps their security in themselves.

Even a 20 year old can be upset by the remarriage of a grandparent. And a 45 year old can be upset be the remarriage of a parent.

After all it changes the family dynamics.

Some young people can adjust to this change easily and some cannot.  Everyone is different.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: imperial angel on February 17, 2006, 10:40:22 AM
Yes, I am sure they had some awareness of the sitiuation, and it could not have come as a total shock anyway. But they were surrounded by servants, and nannies, and the like, although Hessian palaces were often smaller and more understated than some other ones. They were old enough to know something, but how much given they were surrounded by other people on a day to day basis is hard to know. Temprament is important, and sometimes circumstances as well, I think.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 26, 2006, 03:39:09 PM
Sorry if this was already posted somewhere else.

This is the famous window on which, with the diamond in her ring, Alix etched out their names with the dates that she and her husband visited the residence of her childhood.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/Alix-Nicky.jpg)


Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Sarushka on August 27, 2006, 07:33:07 AM
Cool, Helen! I'd never seen that before. The mark at the lower right looks vaguely like the cypher on Nicholas & Alexandra's personal stationary.

Here's another royally scratched up window, from the private carriage of King Christian IX (I think) of Denmark:
(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/th_windowpane.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/windowpane.jpg)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Eddie_uk on August 29, 2006, 11:45:47 AM
Fascinating!! Thank you both, how lovely that they have been preserved!  :)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: ferngully on September 04, 2006, 07:05:04 AM
looks so romantic :D
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Lisa on September 16, 2006, 01:23:14 PM
I think it's also at Wolfsgarten: the height of the people who passed by the castle and their inhabitants with the date: Alix, Irene, Victoria, her husband Heinrich, Nicky, the English cousins, etc....
(http://img526.imageshack.us/img526/1233/pdvd239jq7.th.jpg) (http://img526.imageshack.us/my.php?image=pdvd239jq7.jpg) (http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/9027/pdvd240gp9.th.jpg) (http://img291.imageshack.us/my.php?image=pdvd240gp9.jpg) (http://img158.imageshack.us/img158/1550/pdvd242rg7.th.jpg) (http://img158.imageshack.us/my.php?image=pdvd242rg7.jpg)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Alicky1872 on September 16, 2006, 03:38:02 PM
It's fascinating to see the names from long ago (Alix, Ella, Irene...) and to see more recent additions like 'Anne 1973' and 'Edward 1978'--I'm guessing the children of HM. 
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: romonovqueen18 on October 17, 2006, 12:48:04 PM
thats so cool to see that  alix acted this way. i have thought she would always be  stern and cold not ever doing a childish thing like.   i like her even more now to know she had a creative  fun mind  that we only see in children
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on November 24, 2006, 01:42:01 PM
GARF, Moscow, has a report of what they did, where they went, with whom they had their luncheons, diners etc. - a very brief enumeration of facts in German, even written in old German script. It looked like something that had been copied from another source after their return, but I don't know who did the copying. The handwriting did not look like Alix's.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: grandduchessella on April 24, 2007, 10:02:31 AM
Alix with her nurse:

(http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f282/vickyandfritz/hesse/lastscanAFandMaryAnnOrchardw.jpg)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: imperial angel on April 24, 2007, 11:28:34 AM
Even that young, she had that look that later came to be so characteristic of so many photos of her. ;) I'd never seen that picture before, and thanks for posting it.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on April 24, 2007, 02:58:49 PM
It's hard to see how old Alix was in this photo. :-\ I wonder whether it was taken before or after the day when Frittie died - 29 May 1873 -  and if it was taken after his death, how much Alix sensed of her mother's grief.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: grandduchessella on April 24, 2007, 04:22:45 PM
It says Marie Ann Orchard was holding Alix in 1873/74 in the photo. Frittie died in May 1873. I posted a photo of him on his deathbed from the book in the Frittie thread in the Hesse section.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: ImperialHighness on August 09, 2007, 10:48:06 AM
I have a little question for I was wondering about that, but I think it maybe had been already a topic here. So please excuse- I m a newbie. ;)
Did Alix had any men she got attracted by or fell in love with before Nicky or next to him before they were married when she was a young girl and teenager? Maybe that was not good for a ladies reputation in those days, but I do not mean ones known to the public in a way like men were able to show up with their girlfriends. I could not find anything about Alix and if she liked a certain Prince...maybe a family member.
I really appreciate your help.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: imperial angel on August 09, 2007, 10:56:41 AM
There is none that I know of. I think Alexandra was always attracted to Nicholas, from when she was pretty young, but she fought with the religion issue for so many years, and thus didn't commit herself. So, I think she was really only interested in him. Queen Victoria wanted to marry Alexandra to her cousin, and heir to the British throne, Prince Eddy. But, Alexandra made plain her distaste for this proposed match. She didn't care for him. I don't think there were any other prince's names, mentioned in connection with her, that she actually cared for.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: koloagirl on August 09, 2007, 03:24:19 PM
 :D

Aloha all!

You know I do think this is an interesting question and one which I at least, can't remember being posed here.   ???

While it is certainly true that Alix became interested in Nicky from a young age (was it 12?) -- there doesn't ever seem to be any mention of anyone else in her young life before becoming engaged.  Other than Prince Eddy that is - and she wasn't interested in the match.

I think it offers an interesting insight to Alix's personality that she never (to our knowledge) had a crush or infatuation during her teenage years -- other than Nicky I guess.   

Almost too romantic to be true?    ???
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: ImperialHighness on August 13, 2007, 03:43:27 AM
I was just thinking about it, because we all know that Nicky had a love affair with Mathilde, the ballet dancer, but I m sure he thought of Alix very often and the relationship with Mathilde was forced by Minnie, the Dowager Empress mainly.
Alix was pretty young when she met Nicky and he was already a young man, so if you wait so long for each other, it must be true, deep love and it s fascinating that Alix never thought of another man.
I ve read that Wilhelm II loved Ella and wanted to marry her, but Ella did not care for him. So there must have been young man who were attracted by Alix, too. Okay, she was a shy teenager and young woman, who got red in the face in public and if she got the centre of attention. So she must have spent her teenage days with reading, needlework (embroidery) and such things and was not much interested in balls and tea parties. I have heard about that. Those amusements were a main chance to meet other man, so maybe she prefered to stay alone or with her siblings. I can imagine that.
And her religion was a hard point until Ella had long talks with her about it. But I think Alix knew that she loved Nicky.
But the Dowager Empress disliked Alix for she was only the daughter of a Grand Duke, not a of a King and for some other reasons- so what could have happened if Nicky would change his mind?
So many questions, but I think the subject is pretty interesting.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on August 13, 2007, 04:41:46 AM
I do not think that Maria F. disliked Alix because she was a Grand Duke's daughter. First of all: the House of Hesse is one of the oldest and most respected Royal Houses in Germany descending directly from the St. Elisabeth of Thuringia. Alix was definitely considered a perfectly suitable/deserving match for Nikolai - at least concerning her rank and dynastic background (Empress Maria Alexandrowna, a highly respected member of the Imperial Family, was also a Hesse Darmstadt princess and Maria Feodorovna's own mother was a princess of Hesse Kassel). King Christian IX of Denmark, Maria's father, by the way, was also a german prince descending from a dynasty far beneath the Hessians.

Alix had certainly no love-affairs but this does not mean that she never considered young men unattractive :) among the officers etc in Darmstadt or the suite in England, Malta etc were some she liked. A blonde officer fr Sweden, called Carlsen whom she met in England seems to have got her attention :)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Alixz on August 13, 2007, 06:12:13 AM
Marie Feodorovna simply disliked anything German.  Her dislike of Alix was not personal until after Alix had married Nicholas and the two women began their tug of war over the man they both loved, though in obviously different ways.

I think that Alexander III would have liked to have strengthened the Slavic blood in the family and wished that Nicholas would marry someone who was not German.  But actually the House of Romanov was more German than Russian.  And as Thomas_Hesse pointed out, Marie Feodorovna herself was mostly German.

Marie's dislike of Germany was fueled by the Schlesswig-Holstein annexation by Germany.  Duchies that had once been in Danish control.

It is said that Alix began to draw pictures of brides in her diary after she had been to Russia for the wedding of her sister Ella.  Alix was twelve and "in love" with Nicholas as only a twelve year old can be.  But if was five more years before they saw each other again.  Alix travelled a great deal during that time and must have attracted the attention of the males in her circle.

If she was "attracted" back, it is not something that she wrote about in her diary or that anyone else made much of.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Annie on August 13, 2007, 02:20:15 PM
I think Alix was too much of a prude to have had any love affairs, besides I don't think she ever had a crush on anyone but Nicky.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: anna11 on September 07, 2007, 07:53:37 AM
From when she was a child. And a letter from her to Madgie, dated 1881. Of course it could be fake but why would someone fake that? Dad thinks  it was stolen when that whole palace was looted.

(http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c82/anna_11/P1011488.jpg)

(http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c82/anna_11/P1011489.jpg)

(http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c82/anna_11/P1011490.jpg)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: dmitri on September 07, 2007, 09:56:17 AM
How very delightful. I do hope it is original. It would seem to be.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Eddie_uk on September 07, 2007, 11:33:21 AM
Very interesting.  Strange that she writes "we are going to visit H.M granny at xmas" maybe that was to distinguish QV from her other granny?

Romanov items are very sort off and people pay high prices, that's why someone might go to the trouble of faking it.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Alixz on September 07, 2007, 01:22:37 PM
Of course the handwriting is childish as she would have been only 9.

Is there anything else in it besides music?
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: RomanovFan on September 07, 2007, 01:40:48 PM
That's really neat! :) Little Alix's handwriting---It's adorable! Does anyone know "Puggy" is?
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: anna11 on September 07, 2007, 05:56:17 PM
It came with some notes, and says that Puggy mau have been the family dog. There's a bit in it where the music teacher has written above the german words in english, but that's pretty much it.

I know Romanov items are very sort after, but I don't think a music book from her childhod and a letter to her governess would be the thing to fake don't you? Also, if it was fake it probably wouldn't have turned up at a crappy auction in Australia and sold for $100.  ;D

They never mention that Princess Alix was the Empress Alexandra, they just were like 'Music book of princess Aliz of Hesse-darmstrdlt' and well, everyone was just like 'yeah whatever'  apart from dad and I who were like 'wow!' lol
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Alixz on September 07, 2007, 06:48:24 PM
You must be very excited and we are all sitting around acting like we are the proper judges of what you and your dad have bought.

I, for one, hope it is real.  That way you have a "treasure" and the rest of us don't.

Congratulations!
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Sarushka on September 08, 2007, 08:58:56 AM
I have a scan of her handwriting as a child I can post if you'd like to compare it. It's just lines of the alphabet from A to N.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: koloagirl on September 08, 2007, 06:43:10 PM

Aloha all!

"Anna11" -- how very exciting!  Thank you so much for sharing the images of the lovely little book and letter with us!

I have to say that if I saw something like that at an auction -- I would probably be holding my breath until the auctioneer said "sold"!   What a lucky pair you and your Dad are to have
recognized something that most folks didn't realize the significance of.  Unbelievable what price you paid for it -- you are right, if anyone had advertised it as anything "Romanov"-related
it would have shot into the stratosphere!

Thank you again for sharing with all of us!

Janet R.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: anna11 on September 08, 2007, 08:31:01 PM
Quote
I have a scan of her handwriting as a child I can post if you'd like to compare it. It's just lines of the alphabet from A to N.

That would be good, thanks. :D
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Sarushka on September 08, 2007, 09:30:20 PM
(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Art%20and%20Letters/th_Scan013.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Art%20and%20Letters/Scan013.jpg)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Condecontessa on September 09, 2007, 08:31:57 AM
I hope nobody will start bashing/hating me for saying this, but I think it's not the real thing. I hope I'm wrong because finding a historical piece like that is way beyond cool. I say that it might not be true because of the handwriting. In the book Romanovs Love Power and Tragedy, on page 58 and page 63, there are samples of her diary pages. One was taken in 1885. It's kind of far away from the above letter. It's very uncoordinated looking. But then again, maybe because it was a letter to her Nanny, she had to make sure it was neat looking. I'm not a handwriting expert, I'm making no such claim. I compared Sarushka's pic to the letter and I just see minimal comparison to the handwriting. And also, would royalty label their private diaries or workbook with Prince of/ Princess of? I've never seen Nicholas II's diary or his childrens diaries and workbook's front covers in books with their title before their name. Please share your opinion and thoughts of this matter. It will be an interesting discussion with hopefully no heated arguments. Again, just my 2 cents. Please don't get mad. Is there anyway it can be tested that its a real historical document?
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: anna11 on September 17, 2007, 04:24:03 AM
Na that's cool. :D. It's good to get people's opinion, we always knew it could not be real, but we weren't going to pass it up just because it might be. It's interesting none the less.

But it would fit in with what else was at the auction. Of old German antiques and letters (such as letters from Eva Braun) and old Hessian stuff. The whole palace was looted and like everything was stolen, including the Hessian crown jewels and all old books.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on September 18, 2007, 03:16:41 PM
Hmm...interesting but I'd too say that it is a fake! First of all: the handwriting is not the Princess's; I have seen several letters she wrote at the same age. The paper...they rarely used paper with guide lines so as to learn to write straight.
The Princess - as a child - would never have referred to her governess as "Madgie" but Miss Jackson and never even used the phrase "Queen Granny". She called her "Grandmama" throughout her life and would have referred to "the Queen" in a letter like that.
Also strange: none of the Hessian family would ever have written "Prince/ss of Hesse-DARMSTADT" as it was not their correct title. Normally they simply would have written "of Hesse" as is to be seen in numerous documents or on photographs.
Would be interesting to see the red die larger.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on September 18, 2007, 03:20:25 PM
And: the palace you mean is Schloss Friedrichshof, the retreat of Victoria, German Empress Frederick. Her youngest daughter, Margarethe. was to be married to the Landgraf of Hesse Kassel and inherited Friedrichshof. During the American occupation after WWII the soldiers ripped all the Hesse Kassel jewels and many other objects. But as it was no darmstadtian palace there was certainly nothing belonging to Pcss Alix
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: griffh on September 18, 2007, 04:27:01 PM
You know, Anna, I would try to find out the email address of the Hesse Darmstadt archive and tell them about the music book and send the pictures and see what they have to say. There is a thread on the new Fabrice book and in that thread one of the contributors knows the archivist in Darmstadt.  Perhaps they might be able to help you contact the archivist. 

I have my hands full with another thread just now, otherwise I would try and be more helpful.   The thing that intrigues me is the red archive stamp at the top of the letter.  That really looks authentic to me and it seems it would be difficult to reproduce.  I can't help feeling that the book and letter might be authentic as Alix would have only been nine years old and the letter has that funny German to English feeling about it.

The other compelling bit of evidence is this; why would anyone go to all that trouble, including forging that archive stamp [just look at that eagle alone!]  and then sell the book and letter for $100.  Well Anna toodle pip and best of luck as your wonderful journey begins, as you unlock this marvelous mystery!!!.....Griff
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: EmmyLee on September 18, 2007, 08:47:59 PM
What an interesting find, especially if it turns out to be authentic! The handwriting seemed like it could possibly be from the same person, although the capital I's didn't match up, but there are other ways to write cursive I's. Perhaps Alix prefered the version in her letter to the one she practiced for her studies. Who knows? In any case, I too think it a little strange that she'd refer to herself as Princess Alix, but then, Alix never really forgot that she was royalty, did she?
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on September 19, 2007, 01:39:47 AM
Why should Princess Alix write on paper with an "archive" stamp? Not seen a single document of the Hessian family written on ppaer like that.....
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on September 19, 2007, 03:12:34 AM
This is an interesting find, but I too doubt whether the letter is genuine.  This does not look like the handwriting Alix had at that age.  The earliest letters I have seen were from about 1878, written at the age of 6 years, when Alix just learned to write. In these letters one can see that Miss Jackson wrote the text of the letters in thin pencil characters on paper for Alix to trace in ink. That handwriting was different from the one in this letter. The examples of Alix's early own handwriting that I have seen all resembled the handwriting in the picture on page 58 of The Romanovs: Love, Power & Tragedy  far more than they resembled the handwriting in this letter. I don't think I have ever seen any letters by her in an upwrite handwriting such as the author of this particular letter had; as far as I know, Alix always wrote in italics.
 
The phrase "until Papa made Ernie dress up in his new husars uniform" makes me doubt the authenticity of this letter even more. Ernst Ludwig was to start his military education by serving in the 1. Grossherzoglich Hessischen Infanterie (Leibgarde)-Regiment Nr. 115. Ordinarily, he would have got this regiment's uniform only in 1886, but his father gave him one already in June 1884 for Ella and Sergei's wedding because "no prince could do without a uniform in Russia" [Source: M. Knodt, Ernst Ludwig - Grossherzog von Hessen und bei Rhein]. This seems to suggest that he did not even have a uniform before June 1884.  :-\
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Sarushka on September 19, 2007, 08:02:41 AM
Why should Princess Alix write on paper with an "archive" stamp? Not seen a single document of the Hessian family written on ppaer like that.....

The stamp is added only when the paper enters the archive!  ;)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Alixz on September 19, 2007, 08:07:05 AM
As to the archive stamp, that would have been put on the document much later after the letter was placed in an archive, not when the letter was being written.

If Miss Jackson, wrote out the words for Alix to trace over, then that would not be a good example of Alix's actual handwriting, just a facsimile of Miss Jackson's.

I would hope, for Anna's sake, that it was genuine, but I had trouble with the way that her elders were addressed as some others here have had.

Personal letter or not, there was a proper way of addressing elders in that era and children did not have any leeway in that.  It was proper etiquette and was always observed until the elder gave the child consent to change the way the elder was addressed.  Even in my own era, my mother never allowed me to call her friends by their first names until the friends gave me permission.  If permission never came, then even as I grew up and became a woman myself, I still addressed them as Mrs. .... or Mr. .....  That's just the way it was.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on September 19, 2007, 11:39:38 AM
If Miss Jackson, wrote out the words for Alix to trace over, then that would not be a good example of Alix's actual handwriting, just a facsimile of Miss Jackson's.
Yes, you're absolutely right. That's why I added that the examples of Alix's early own handwriting that I've seen - i.e. early letters where Miss Jackson did not  write out the words first - all resembled the handwriting in the picture on p.58 of The Romanovs...  more than the handwriting in this letter. :)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on September 19, 2007, 03:31:47 PM
As for the stamp: not a single private letter in the Hessian archive bears a stamp. They belonged to the Grand Duke and he kept them among his most personal effects until they were given to the Archive of The State of Hesse, Darmstadt in 1997.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Eddie_uk on September 19, 2007, 03:48:25 PM
You could always send a copy to someone in the archives and ask them to verify it.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: jehan on September 19, 2007, 03:58:54 PM
I am no expert, but it just doesn't look right to me.  The wording sounds more like the way a 20/21st century child would speak- with the list of "best friends" and the "HM Granny" terminology.  The writing looks more 20th century too- the rounded letters, the straight up and sown slant, and the fact that the capital "A" is written  similarly to a small "a", which I think is not the British or German way of doing it, as the sample Sarushka provided shows.

And IF it were Miss Jackson's writing traced over (which I doubt) , than I would be surprised that a governess would have such childish handwriting! Surely she would have provided a better example for her pupil to learn from!

But I'm no expert.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on September 19, 2007, 04:23:55 PM
And IF it were Miss Jackson's writing traced over (which I doubt) , than I would be surprised that a governess would have such childish handwriting! Surely she would have provided a better example for her pupil to learn from!
This handwriting is not Miss Jackson's. The letters of which Miss Jackson wrote out the words for Alix to trace were in a different handwriting. And these letters all dated from the time when Alix was still quite young and learning to write and spell properly, around 1878. Miss Jackson didn't write out Alix's letters anymore in 1881.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Sarushka on September 20, 2007, 07:50:33 AM
You could always send a copy to someone in the archives and ask them to verify it.

Exactly. We can offer our clues and opinions, but we're just not experts in this field.

Thanks for sharing your find. I'll keep my fingers crossed for authenticity! ;)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: anna11 on October 26, 2007, 06:01:02 AM
Well, we would. But that particular castle where it was is now a hotel. The stamp is from the archive, it was put into an archive then taken out. Gary (my dad) says that the archives are now closed down. But i'll do some research myself i think.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on October 26, 2007, 06:58:17 AM
True, Schloss Friedrichshof is Schlosshotel Kronberg now, and they won't be able to help you there. However, the people at the Hessian State Archive in Darmstadt may be able to help: http://www.staatsarchiv-darmstadt.hessen.de .
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on October 26, 2007, 01:06:55 PM
You'd better try and contact the Hessische Hausstiftung at Schloss Fasanerie near Eichenzell, Fulda, Germany. They keep the archives of the Hesse-Kassel family including the personal documents of Victoria Empress Frederick which were formerly at Friedrichshof
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Raegan on February 01, 2008, 12:56:12 PM
I don't think I have ever seen any letters by her in an upwrite handwriting such as the author of this particular letter had; as far as I know, Alix always wrote in italics.

I have to agree with Helen here. Throughout my research I have made copies of many of Alexandra's letters, and all of them were written in italics. However, I am curious for an update on this Anna, since you last posted about this back in October. Did you look into it more? Any updates?
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: anna11 on February 01, 2008, 06:01:41 PM
No...kind of a dead end. I emailed them photos, but recieved no response.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: griffh on February 10, 2008, 04:26:32 PM
Anna11 don't give up.  Keep trying.  Don't underestimate persistence or patience.  While I respect the differing points of view expressed on this thread, why not try and see if those archives in Germany will confirm the authenticity of the archival stamp on your letter.  Just start there and see if indeed the stamp is authentic.

(http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h65/griffh130/PalaceArchive.jpg)

It is far less controversial for an archive to authenticate a stamp than to try and authenticate an entire letter.  If the stamp turns out to be authentic it will not only give you the source of the archive, whether it was in Darmstald or removed to another archive, but it will establish that the stamp is authentic.  This will give you leverage when you explain your find. 

I would advise you not to mention the contents of the letter until you get confirmation that the stamp is authentic.  That way you will not be overwhelmed by handwriting analysts as has happened on this thread. 

It is helpful to remember that it was conflicting views of handwriting experts, pro and con, that, among other evidence, was one of the main reasons that Anna Anderson claims to being the real Grand Duchess Anastasia were kept alive in the German Courts of Law for 50 years.   

What I learned from Anna Anderson's trial was simply this; the testimony from handwriting experts is too subjective to be fully reliable.     

Well once again, don’t loose heart, and good luck Annie.  Griff
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Raegan on February 19, 2008, 04:14:38 PM
Anna11 don't give up.  Keep trying.  Don't underestimate persistence or patience. 

I agree. It would be interesting to get to the bottom of this.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on February 19, 2008, 04:29:01 PM
The thing that intrigues me is the red archive stamp at the top of the letter. 
Me too. What does it say beneath the lion emblem?
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: griffh on March 26, 2008, 09:22:31 PM
I will try try to enlarge the stamp and see if I can make out the words.  I also wanted to add that I did some research from Queen Victoria's letters to Alix' sister Victoria at about the same time that the letter was written.  Queen Victoria does say that she is hoping to see the girls soon.  I am not at home so I don't have the exact dates. 

Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on March 27, 2008, 03:15:10 AM
Griff, it would be great if you could make out the words.

I have a copy of Advice to a Grand-Daughter at hand. On 10 December 1881 Queen Victoria wrote to Princess Victoria  of Hesse that she [QV] would go to Osborne on the 16th. She didn't say a word about receiving Alix or her brother or sisters as guests there. 
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on March 27, 2008, 06:54:00 AM
The stamp says: Archiv - Prince Louis of Hesse

Strange mixture of German and English...definitley a fake...
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on March 27, 2008, 07:14:04 AM
Thank you Thomas. I couldn't read it well, but this is exactly what I suspected: that the text under the emblem was in English, whereas "Archiv" is clearly a German word - a mixture of languages that makes no sense at all.

As regards Alix staying at Osborne during her Christmas holiday, local newspapers and/or Princess Beatrice's letters to her brother-in-law Grand-Duke Ludwig IV can provide proof that Alix did not visit her grandmother in December 1881.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Valmont on March 27, 2008, 04:36:50 PM
Even if the stamp was correct.. it would really be not enough proof, at leat to me.. I can have that very same stamp done by the tomorrow for less than 10 dollars...( if I wanted to)... ;) ;) ;)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Janet Ashton on March 27, 2008, 04:56:53 PM
Thank you Thomas. I couldn't read it well, but this is exactly what I suspected: that the text under the emblem was in English, whereas "Archiv" is clearly a German word - a mixture of languages that makes no sense at all.

As regards Alix staying at Osborne during her Christmas holiday, local newspapers and/or Princess Beatrice's letters to her brother-in-law Grand-Duke Ludwig IV can provide proof that Alix did not visit her grandmother in December 1881.

It may be unnecessary my adding another post saying, "I don't think it's real," but I also have the instinct it's a fake, unfortunately. Ilana could correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Alix's sister Victoria was ever called "Vicky" as she is in this book.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: griffh on March 27, 2008, 09:18:15 PM
Helen thanks for your very thorough research and I think that you have established that the children did not visit the Queen in Dec.  Could you see in your copy of, Advice to a Grand-Daughter if the Queen wrote to Princess Victoria in August, around the same time as Anna's letter, of her desire to have the children visit?   If so that might indicate the possibility of plans in Aug. that were later abandoned.  I seem to remember something like that, but I could be mistaken.  I think that stamp is a puzzle, being half German and half English.  If it were all in Geman how would it read?       
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on March 28, 2008, 03:24:56 AM
The stamp would read: "Archiv - Prinz Ludwig von Hessen".

Preceding the 10 December letter in Advice to a Grand-Daughter are letters: from Osborne House, 7 February 1881; from Osborne House, 3 August 1881; from Balmoral Castle, 27 August 1881; and from Balmoral Castle, 28 October 1881. On 3 August 1881 Queen Victoria did not write anything about wishing to see her Hessian grandchildren in Britain. But even if they had changed plans, there are so many things 'wrong' in this letter, that I consider it to be a fake.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: griffh on March 28, 2008, 07:11:20 PM
Thanks so much Helen for looking up the references and for the German form of Ernie's title.  Your research, along with the other individuals, seem to be quite conclusive.  It is such a pity for dear Anna.  I do hope that she will still hold on to the book and letter just for the fun of it.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: griffh on March 30, 2008, 10:40:16 AM
This is the passage in the Queen's letter, Feb. 7, 1881 that I was referring to: 

I am thinking now so much of seeing you again & hope dear Papa will allow you to come & go with us to Scotland again & stay on a little bit afterwards.   [Ref: "Advice to my Grand-daughter," p. 30] 

The invitation to visit the Queen would have fallen in the Autumn of 1881 and it appears that the Queen stayed in Scotland until mid Nov. when she returned to Windsor through the holiday season.  I, therefore, took Queen Victoria's invitation to mean that Princess Victoria and possibly the other children would stay with the Queen in Scotland and then "stay on a little bit" at Windor Palace through Christmas 1881. 

However, I see now in my haste to authenticate Anna's letter, that on closer observation of the passage quoted above does not include the other Hesse children and appears to have included just Princess Victoria. 

 
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on March 30, 2008, 12:53:39 PM
I think the Queen seldom invited all the Hessians together - most time she invited Victoria and Elisabeth - or one of the others alone. I got the impression that the grand daughters served as a kind of secretary and companion at times - that what she writes about a visit of Princess Irene in the 80ies
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Alexander1917 on April 12, 2008, 07:41:41 AM
I am no expert, but it just doesn't look right to me.  The wording sounds more like the way a 20/21st century child would speak- with the list of "best friends" and the "HM Granny" terminology.  The writing looks more 20th century too- the rounded letters, the straight up and sown slant, and the fact that the capital "A" is written  similarly to a small "a", which I think is not the British or German way of doing it, as the sample Sarushka provided shows.

And IF it were Miss Jackson's writing traced over (which I doubt) , than I would be surprised that a governess would have such childish handwriting! Surely she would have provided a better example for her pupil to learn from!

But I'm no expert.

But Queen Alexandra (Alix) of GB signed also Alexandra more like a small "a"...

Why should it not be an original piece? there are so many royal things on the web for selling...
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: royalboy202 on April 22, 2008, 12:18:06 PM
I think i read somewhere that it was Princess Marie-Louise of Schleswig-Holstein. 
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on April 22, 2008, 04:55:16 PM
I think she ws very close to both Schleswig-Holstein cousins - Princess Helena Victoria frequently visited her in Darmstadt and lateron in Russia. "Thora" is also mentioned in her letters quite often.
I also know some lovely photos of Alix and Thora - showing that they were really close
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Gabriella on April 23, 2008, 08:26:33 PM
She was very close to Marie Louise and Helena Victoria, as Thomas said. They were of the same age and she saw them regularly in Darmstadt  and Wolfsgarten for after her mother's  (death) Princess Helena and her family spent the summers with the Hesse family in Wolfsgarten, as Ernie wrote in his memoirs.

Gabriella
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: royalboy202 on May 08, 2008, 06:21:05 PM
Thomas or Gabriella,

Do you have any pic of Alix with her Schleswig-Holstein cousins?  Did they attend Alix's wedding and did Alix attend
Marie-Louise's wedding?  How often did they visit Alix after she married Nicky?  Did they visit her in Russia?

Thanks, Royalboy
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on May 09, 2008, 01:42:37 AM
Royalboy, If you want to know more about Alexandra and her friendship with Princess Marie Louise and Princess Helena ('Thora') , you may find "The Memoirs of Emily Loch, Discretion in Waiting - Tsarina Alexandra and the Christian Family"  by Judith Poore an interesting book. It has been published  by Librario; ISBN 1-904440-86-X.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: royalboy202 on May 09, 2008, 04:52:35 PM
Thanks Helen i will try and get that book.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: tyumen on June 28, 2008, 11:00:26 AM
I have looked thru several of my books and searched the archives of posts here, could someone help w/ answer?
When as Empress, AF would sign her letters to Mrs. Mary Anne Orchard, her former governess, as " Your Old P.Q. # III " What does this mean?

Thanks, Randy
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on June 28, 2008, 11:32:48 AM
Sophie Buxhoeveden explained this abbreviation on page 32 of her book "The Life and Tragedy of Alexandra Feodorovna ":  "Your Old Poppet Queen No. 3".
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: tyumen on June 28, 2008, 11:48:04 AM
Helen, Thank-You ! You marvelous ! This has been bothering me for ages. How sweet and and endearing. Isn't "poppet" or "puppet" still used in Britain as an affectionate name for a child?
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: tyumen on July 02, 2008, 12:15:48 PM
Sorry, I made an error with post. When reading Sophie Buhoeveden "The Life and Tragedy of Alexandra Feodorova" I see that letters signed by Alix P.Q. #III were written to Margaret Hardcastle Jackson (Madgie) and not to Mrs. Orchard(Orchie) Thanks, Helen for directing to correct info.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Russka Princess on July 29, 2008, 04:45:23 AM
i wanted ask i someone know, when Alix has her real first kiss from Nicky , after the request of the engagement from Nicky ?  Or was it before  her engagement ??

Somewhere i has heard that she has become her kiss under a tree, and it has raining.

but I'm not sure if is true.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: clockworkgirl21 on August 05, 2008, 08:13:05 AM
I want to say Hesse, but I have nothing to back it up.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Russka Princess on August 05, 2008, 08:18:19 AM
romantic.  they was very happy =)

she was seventeen and he  was twenty-one. For her ist was her first love.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: nena on August 05, 2008, 08:47:09 AM
I think it happened while they were walking in garden, picking up flowers, in Hesse. I'm not 100% sure.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: tom_romanov on August 05, 2008, 10:37:29 AM
i know, but its sound so lovly and so romantic.

well it was a match made in heaven between nicky and alix........
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Michael HR on August 05, 2008, 10:39:30 AM
There's was a true love story if ever there was one. But so unlucky in every thing else that followed.

Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Halinka on October 02, 2008, 11:47:30 AM
They also have a picture of her attending her first ball in the book "Nicholas and Alexandra" if anyone wants I can post the picture.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on October 07, 2008, 05:54:32 AM

Actually the Empress was not the first one to scratch her name into the pane. This is a much older tradition in the Hessian Family and to be found in other residences as well - such as Kranichstein, Braunshardt , Fürstenlager and Romrod.

Even in the 18th century the Landgraves of Hesse Darmstadt and their relations used to write on the wooden panels near to the windows in the Grand Drawingroom at Wolfsgarten. The eldest inscription I saw dates back from 1772.

When Ludwig IV. decided to revive the "sleeping beauty" in 1881 he and his children began to scratch their names into the windows. One finds "Ludwig IV 1881" "Ella 1881" "Elisabeth PC" "Alix" "Ernst". The signatures include Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip and their children, Adenauer, Britten, Mick Jagger, Menuhin etc
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on October 07, 2008, 09:48:21 AM
Even in the 18th century the Landgraves of Hesse Darmstadt and their relations used to write on the wooden panels near to the windows in the Grand Drawingroom at Wolfsgarten. The eldest inscription I saw dates back from 1772.
Did you get a tour of the Herrenbau? Wow, lucky you!
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Olishka Romanova on October 08, 2008, 10:14:41 PM
About Alix always looking sad (or at least serious), The Life and Tragedy of Alexandra Feodorovna by Sophie Buxhoevden says in chapter three:

"...It was this sad expression, and not her ready smile, that was always seen in her photographs."

It doesn't really say why, but maybe she was just just generally serious-minded, and then there's also the thing about it not being fashionable to smile.  Also remember that she had a very sad life in general, what with her mother and sister dying when she was so young, then her father dying when she was in her teens (?) and Alexei having hemophilia.  Not to mention that many of Russian "high" society disliked her, feelings which turned to hatred during WWII since she was born in Germany.   
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on October 09, 2008, 03:34:15 AM
Not a tour, but I had the luck to be able to go through the rooms there..... fantastic house!!!
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: jehan on October 09, 2008, 09:59:04 AM
About Alix always looking sad (or at least serious), The Life and Tragedy of Alexandra Feodorovna by Sophie Buxhoevden says in chapter three:

"...It was this sad expression, and not her ready smile, that was always seen in her photographs."

It doesn't really say why, but maybe she was just just generally serious-minded, and then there's also the thing about it not being fashionable to smile.  Also remember that she had a very sad life in general, what with her mother and sister dying when she was so young, then her father dying when she was in her teens (?) and Alexei having hemophilia.  Not to mention that many of Russian "high" society disliked her, feelings which turned to hatred during WWII since she was born in Germany.   

I still say that Alix's early life wasn't all that much sadder than most of her generation.  Many children lost a parent young- look at QV (father) Albert (mother), all of QV's children (father) Vicky's  children (father), Leo and Beatrice's children (father), Alix's siblings (mother).  And it was a rare family indeed that did NOT lose at least one child in infancy or childhood.  And many foreign princes and princesses have had to deal with dislike in their adopted countries (Albert, Vicky etc.)

It's true it was not considered fashionable to smile in photos, and also that the photographic process did not necessarily lead to smiling, but Alix is the one with the reputation of being serious and sad, and not just in photos.  I'm sure shyness was a factor in this.  But she also didn't really try to connect with people that weren't in her immediate circle.  And that was a serious failing for someone in her position.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: tom_romanov on October 09, 2008, 10:53:49 AM
didn't also scratch a swastika on the window of Ipatiev house? it would have benn great if that survived
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on October 10, 2008, 02:03:45 PM
Not a tour, but I had the luck to be able to go through the rooms there.....
Schön für dich.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: amartin71718 on November 23, 2008, 05:03:49 PM
How come Alix never went swimming? Did she not know how or what?
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Jebediha on November 23, 2008, 05:05:01 PM
where dos it say she never went swimming ?
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: amartin71718 on November 23, 2008, 05:09:51 PM
I haven't found anything that says she did swim. At least not as an adult.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Lalee on November 23, 2008, 05:54:25 PM
How come Alix never went swimming? Did she not know how or what?

She definitely didn't go very often due to her poor health, of course. However, on one occasion she wrote in a letter during her engagement to Nicholas that she did go swimming. She had a few lessons of swimming when she was eleven years old.

Source is A Lifelong Passion: Nicholas and Alexandra by Andrei Maylunas & Sergei Mironenko.

Alix wrote to Nicholas on 19 July 1894:

Good Morning Darling. It is very warm and fair. We have first come back from bathing in the large swimming bath.
The sailor held Thora from a bridge, with a cord to a belt around her waist and told her the movements, then he fastened a cord to me, made me try, and let it loose afterwards. I swam without anything through the place. 11 years ago I had three lessons in France and fancy I could do it, I was muchly frightened at first - but am delighted I can do it.




Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Aliss_Kande on November 23, 2008, 07:57:33 PM
Thora is Helena's daughter, Helena Victoria.  Toria is Edward VII's daughter.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Rosamund on March 08, 2009, 05:44:23 PM
I have used the search engine and scanned the thread but I cannot find any mention of Princess Alix’s Governess.

As Margaret Jackson was in daily contact with the young Princess for several years she must have had some considerable influence on her.

In Emily Loch’s memoirs there is a paragraph devoted to this.

Miss Jackson’s influence is seen in a negative light and blamed for the distaste that the Empress had for society.

Apparently Queen Victoria herself eventually came to think that Miss Jackson was not a fit person to be with Alix.

In ‘Alexandra The Last Tsarina’ she is a liberal and cultivated Governess who believes that girls should have the same education as boys.

Has the effect of Margaret Jackson’s principles on Princess Alix ever been explored on this forum?   
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on March 09, 2009, 05:11:42 AM

May I ask why you are specifically interested in Ms Jackson? I think other persons were important for her education etc as well. First of all: her mother Grand Duchess Alice was quite a modern mother spending as much time with her children as she could afford. She tought them reading herself, took them at the earliest possible age with her to the hospitals and poorer quarters of the city. She even took them to the theatre and they would be introduced to leading heads of the time such as Johannes Brahms, David F. Strauss.
Her letters reveal that she even supported their interest in flowers and plants and of course they had music lessons and painted with the court painter H.R. Kröh

This was the predominant influence on the children and Ernst Ludwig writes that his mother - as early as she died - pressed her stamp on all of them in the most positive ways.

Another important person was Mrs Orchard whom she dearly loved who went with her to Russia and died at the Alexanderpalace in her presence and nursed by her.
Not to forget Gretchen von Fabrice her own lady - I think she had the strognes influence on her concerning religion. The shared that very deep and absolute feeling of the Lutheran Church and especially the letters Gretchen wrote to Queen Victoria from Livadia in 1894 reveal that it caused her great pain seeing her former "Princess dear" converting to Orthodoxy. Toni Becker, another close friend, states that Fabrice's influence in that way was not good at all for the teenage princess.

Ms Jackson was without a doubt very dear to the Empress and we know a couple of precious Fabergé presents she sent her within the years. Buxhoeveden's book might reveal some facts for she - in the 1920ies - visited Jackson to discuss the Empress's childhhood etc. As far as I know she even got Jackson's letters from Alexandra. That might be an interesting source for you concern. I always wondered whether these documents are surviving....
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on March 09, 2009, 06:56:34 AM
I agree with you on those other influences, Thomas - even though Grand Duchess Alice died when Princess Alix was only 6 years old and the GD's influence was only indirect.

Not to forget Gretchen von Fabrice her own lady - I think she had the strognes influence on her concerning religion. The shared that very deep and absolute feeling of the Lutheran Church and especially the letters Gretchen wrote to Queen Victoria from Livadia in 1894 reveal that it caused her great pain seeing her former "Princess dear" converting to Orthodoxy. Toni Becker, another close friend, states that Fabrice's influence in that way was not good at all for the teenage princess.
Apart from these remarks from Margarethe von F. to QV and from Toni Becker about Margarethe von F., what specific details do you have on Margarethe von Fabrice's religious views and on her influence on Alix' religious views? I'm not sure Margarethe von Fabrice was sufficiently educated and sufficiently well-read to be the strongest influence in this field.  To me, the critical questions on dogmatic issues Alix is said to have asked Father Yanishev when he prepared her for her conversion rather show Dr Sell's influence.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on March 09, 2009, 07:33:50 AM
Certainly Dr. Sell - as a pope - had more influence due to his teaching the confirmation lessons. But I think the deep dependance and belief was due to Gretchen Fabrice who as a close friend practically never left the princess's side and shared her concerns in those very important teenage years.
Her parents had not been that religious neither had her brother. Except from Princess Karl there was nobody in the family with such an attitude.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on March 09, 2009, 09:25:21 AM
Certainly Dr. Sell - as a pope - had more influence due to his teaching the confirmation lessons. But I think the deep dependance and belief was due to Gretchen Fabrice who as a close friend practically never left the princess's side and shared her concerns in those very important teenage years.
Her parents had not been that religious neither had her brother. Except from Princess Karl there was nobody in the family with such an attitude.
The serious religious crisis Grand Duchess Alice went through, shows to me that she was a religious person. Ella was a religious person, and the role of religion in Ernst Ludwig's life was important enough for him to have a private chapel built in the park of Schloss Wolfsgarten. 

I wonder whether you aren't crediting Gretchen with too much influence. Alix commented on sermons  and going to Church with her father or Miss Jackson even before Gretchen came into her life. Gretchen came when Alix was already 16 years old, that is, at an age when most people have formed views on religion, have developed an inclination towards religiosity - or a disinclination for religion. Alix' religiousness did not 'fade' once she was no longer influenced by Gretchen. This suggests to me that Alix' religiousness was something she had already in her. Gretchen and Dr Sell may have intensified some views and inclinations she already had and Dr Sell, as a theologian, most certainly could expand her knowledge, but I think it rather implausible that Gretchen instiled in Alix a "deep dependance and belief" that wasn't there yet. Most people do not become religious simply because a friend is a religious person; they don't start to 'depend on' religion due to influences of a friend/staff member.

As regards the questions Alix is said to have asked Father Yanishev, I think the type of questions makes it quite unlikely that this kind of thinking came from Gretchen.

Apart from the remarks from Gretchen to QV and from Toni Becker about Gretchen's influence, what specific details do you have on Gretchen's  religious views and what evidence do you have of her influence on Alix' religious views?
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Rosamund on March 09, 2009, 02:48:48 PM

May I ask why you are specifically interested in Ms Jackson?

Thomas, I was reading the paragraph about Margaret Jackson in the Emily Loch book when there was a post about the relationship between the Empress and her court on a different thread.

I wondered why would coming from a small German Court be seen as a social disadvantage? Princess Alix was able to enjoy dancing and games and also ‘lively conversation.’ Therefore she could have adapted to the Russian Court and perhaps tolerated a different style of behaviour to what she was used to.

Her Governess was a serious minded person and the theory that Miss Jackson’s influence affected Alix’s view of the world seemed reasonable to me.   

I wondered if this had been discussed previously.


The replies from both you and Helen were very interesting to me, as I know little of her Alix’s friends and mentors.

Miss Jackson was a devout protestant who had left a previous post because her employer had become a Roman Catholic.  She also may have had some influence on the development of Alix’s religious beliefs.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Eddie_uk on March 09, 2009, 02:56:38 PM
Apparently Queen Victoria herself eventually came to think that Miss Jackson was not a fit person to be with Alix.

That is interesting! Do we have any more information about this?

Did Miss Jackson accompany Alix to Russia? When did she die?

In Londons V&A museum there is a stunning peace of Faberge on display that Alix gave to Miss Jackson.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Rosamund on March 09, 2009, 04:21:33 PM
The only source of information I have is the Emily Loch book.

I myself would like to know what brought Queen Victoria to this conclusion.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on March 09, 2009, 04:51:38 PM
Certainly Dr. Sell - as a pope - had more influence due to his teaching the confirmation lessons. But I think the deep dependance and belief was due to Gretchen Fabrice who as a close friend practically never left the princess's side and shared her concerns in those very important teenage years.
Her parents had not been that religious neither had her brother. Except from Princess Karl there was nobody in the family with such an attitude.
The serious religious crisis Grand Duchess Alice went through, shows to me that she was a religious person. Ella was a religious person, and the role of religion in Ernst Ludwig's life was important enough for him to have a private chapel built in the park of Schloss Wolfsgarten. 

I didn't say that those persons were NOT religious at all. The Grand Duchess came to struggle with her belief in a much more intellectual way rather than being a bigot (read Strauss's book). Elisaveta Feodorovna was definitely religious - but she left Germany and in that way a constant influence on her sister when the latter was not even 12 years old and when she was still far from converting and becoming a genuine orthodox christian. The chapel at Wolfsgarten you mention was errected in order to separate the Grand Ducal House from a quarrel between the clergies of Langen and Egelsbach. Ernst Ludwig had, being the head of his state, of course the duty to show a ceratin religious input. I don't think he took it too serious - judging from his own words (my personal impression).

I wonder whether you aren't crediting Gretchen with too much influence. Alix commented on sermons  and going to Church with her father or Miss Jackson even before Gretchen came into her life. Gretchen came when Alix was already 16 years old, that is, at an age when most people have formed views on religion, have developed an inclination towards religiosity - or a disinclination for religion. Alix' religiousness did not 'fade' once she was no longer influenced by Gretchen. This suggests to me that Alix' religiousness was something she had already in her. Gretchen and Dr Sell may have intensified some views and inclinations she already had and Dr Sell, as a theologian, most certainly could expand her knowledge, but I think it rather implausible that Gretchen instiled in Alix a "deep dependance and belief" that wasn't there yet. Most people do not become religious simply because a friend is a religious person; they don't start to 'depend on' religion due to influences of a friend/staff member.

I did not say that Margarethe von Fabrice was the first one to awake religiosity within the princess - I merely said that she deepened her belief and it seems that she was the paragon for the bigot in Alexandra; no other person - apart from her paternal grandmother who died when Alexandra was still a child - was as much into religion as to be a paragon her. We know that even in her sparetime she would read religious books. I do not believe that a person at 16 has developed religious views to such a degree that they are unchangeable - one should always and at any age be able to change ones mind. And what changes us more than meeting other persons?
Whom you - by the way - describe as a mere "staffmember" was much more to the Empress. I think she hardly would have a more loving and truer friend than Gretchen Fabrice.

As regards the questions Alix is said to have asked Father Yanishev, I think the type of questions makes it quite unlikely that this kind of thinking came from Gretchen.

At least they discussed those questions - Gretchens mentiones how deeply the issue agitated both of them. One of Gretchen's grand-daughters being a close friend of mine I have discussed that topic with her - she was the one getting to read and transcribe the Livadia letters at the RAs. Judging from her daughter's private memoirs nobody can deny that influence of Gretchen's. And to me this is an absolutely credible source; first-hand source.

Apart from the remarks from Gretchen to QV and from Toni Becker about Gretchen's influence, what specific details do you have on Gretchen's  religious views and what evidence do you have of her influence on Alix' religious views?

Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on March 09, 2009, 07:44:40 PM
Her parents had not been that religious neither had her brother. Except from Princess Karl there was nobody in the family with such an attitude.
I didn't say that those persons were NOT religious at all. The Grand Duchess came to struggle with her belief in a much more intellectual way rather than being a bigot (read Strauss's book). Elisaveta Feodorovna was definitely religious - but she left Germany and in that way a constant influence on her sister when the latter was not even 12 years old and when she was still far from converting and becoming a genuine orthodox christian. The chapel at Wolfsgarten you mention was errected in order to separate the Grand Ducal House from a quarrel between the clergies of Langen and Egelsbach. Ernst Ludwig had, being the head of his state, of course the duty to show a ceratin religious input. I don't think he took it too serious - judging from his own words (my personal impression).
You're absolutely right, you did not say they were not religious at all. :) I think, however, that the fact that GD Alice went through a serious religious crisis at all - even when it was in an 'intellectual' way - shows that religion did play an important part in her life. The letters she wrote to her mother include several lines to support this; e.g. in 1862 she commented on the importance of God/religion in her everyday life as follows: "Trust in God ! ever and constantly. In my life I feel that to be my stay and my strength, and the feeling increases as the days go on." And in 1866, under more difficult circumstances: "These dangerous times make one very serious and anxious ; the comfort of faith and trust in God, who does all well and for the best, is the only support." She does not strike me as someone who was "not that religious". (Just my opinion)

Ella indeed left Darmstadt when Alix was still young. She may not have had much influence on Alix in this field, but I think Ella's religiosity shows that Alix was certainly not the only one in the family who was religious and that Alix' religiosity wasn't necessarily the result of Gretchen's influence.

The chapel in the park of Schloss Wolfsgarten was indeed built only in later years, a quarrel between clergies being the immediate reason. Yes, Ernst Ludwig's position required that he showed a certain interest in religion. Yet if he was not that religious, he could easily have gone to church less frequently, when and where it suited him, in Darmstadt or in a village near Schloss Wolfsgarten - didn't Moerfelden have a church? He didn't have to built a private chapel in the park of Wolfsgarten Castle. Yet he did built a chapel in the park. He also had ministers from all over Hesse come to preach every other Sunday. Also, his works Bonifacius and Ostern had clear religious themes. He may not have read as many books on religion as Alix did, but he does not strike me as someone who did not take religion too serious.

But I think the deep dependance and belief was due to Gretchen Fabrice
I did not say that Margarethe von Fabrice was the first one to awake religiosity within the princess - I merely said that she deepened her belief and it seems that she was the paragon for the bigot in Alexandra; no other person - apart from her paternal grandmother who died when Alexandra was still a child - was as much into religion as to be a paragon her. We know that even in her sparetime she would read religious books. I do not believe that a person at 16 has developed religious views to such a degree that they are unchangeable - one should always and at any age be able to change ones mind. And what changes us more than meeting other persons?
Whom you - by the way - describe as a mere "staffmember" was much more to the Empress. I think she hardly would have a more loving and truer friend than Gretchen Fabrice.
I'm sorry, Thomas, but you stated that you thought that Alix's  "deep dependence and belief was due to Gretchen", suggesting that Gretchen's influence went much further than that she merely "deepened her [Alix's] belief". I wrote that Gretchen came into her life when she was at an age "when most people have formed views on religion, have developed an inclination towards religiosity - or a disinclination for religion".  I never said anything about her views being unchangeable at that age.  Of course Alix's beliefs were not unchangeable when she was 16 - in fact, they did change over the years - but that wasn't the point. The point I tried to make was that Alix' religiosity was something she probably had already in her before she met Gretchen, meaning that Gretchen "may have intensified some views and inclinations", but that Alix' religiosity was not "due to Gretchen", which was exactly what you apparently had meant to say. For the record: I did not refer to Gretchen as "a mere staffmember", but as "a friend/staff member". 

At least they discussed those questions - Gretchens mentiones how deeply the issue agitated both of them. One of Gretchen's grand-daughters being a close friend of mine I have discussed that topic with her - she was the one getting to read and transcribe the Livadia letters at the RAs. Judging from her daughter's private memoirs nobody can deny that influence of Gretchen's. And to me this is an absolutely credible source; first-hand source.
Yes, they discussed the issue of a possible conversion, as one might expect friends to do - I'm not questioning that. I rather doubt that it was Gretchen who made Alix ask Father Yanishev those "questions on abstruse points of theology which he had never heard even from [Orthodox] theologians".
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on March 09, 2009, 11:43:14 PM
Did Miss Jackson accompany Alix to Russia? When did she die?
Miss Jackson died on 28 january 1918. She did not accompany Alix to Russia, but Gretchen von Fabrice did; I think Gretchen returned to Germany shortly after the wedding of Nicholas and Alexandra.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on March 10, 2009, 12:04:48 AM
The only source of information I have is the Emily Loch book.
I myself would like to know what brought Queen Victoria to this conclusion.
Rosamund, In a letter dated 2 March 1887, Qeen Victoria wrote the following to her granddaughter Victoria:
"... And I hope to live to see one of darling Mama's girls here. But when Irène & perhaps you for a time too - are gone she must not be left to Miss Jackson alone, with her bad health, hard ways & crabbed, bad temper. It wld ruin Alicky. Some one must be found for her, younger, softer, brighter, else her life all alone will be utterly miserable. ..."
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Rosamund on March 10, 2009, 04:10:38 PM
Thank you for quoting this letter.  I wonder if Queen Victoria was speaking from personal experience, or had others relayed this information to her.

I assume that Margaret Jackson had an easier character when she first became Alix’s Governess.  If not it was unlikely that she would have been chosen for that role.

Do you know if she had worked with the older Hesse girls as well?

Was a different person found to replace Miss Jackson?
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on March 11, 2009, 04:00:47 AM
I think Miss Jackson went to Darmstadt after the conversion of Lady Maud Herbert, but I don't know exactly when she started in her job in Hesse. Miss Jackson was 'succeeded' in the summer of 1888 by Margarethe von Fabrice, who wasn't a governess, but a lady-in-waiting/lady-companion.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Rosamund on March 12, 2009, 11:08:33 AM
I have found that Margaret Jackson was well established in the family by 1873 as she looked after the children, with Mrs Orchard, when Princess Alice went to Italy.

According to Christopher Warwick: "Miss Jackson was everything a good, , intelligent and God-fearing protestant governess should be.”  His portrayal of the woman is completely different to that given by Queen Victoria's letter.  “Miss Jackson instilled in her charges lifelong values of respect, moral integrity, honesty and responsibility.” She shared these values with Princess Alice. She disliked gossip, both good and bad, as did Princess Alice.  She was also forward thinking in her ideas about girl's education.  Margaret Jackson's qualities make her an ideal teacher for the daughters of the Princess.

The only negative note is from Carolly Erickson who uses the word irascible as a description, but then adds that she is: "liberal and cultivated."

This irascibility must be the bad temper that the Queen refers to.

Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on March 12, 2009, 04:07:35 PM
Alix wrote warm letters to Miss Jackson in later years and visited her in England, so perhaps Miss Jackson's temper wasn't so bad after all. ;D


Christopher Warwick's source may have been Sophie Buxhoeveden. She wrote the following about Miss Jackson:
"Miss Margaret Hardcastle Jackson, "Madgie" as the Princess Alix affectionately called her later, was a broadminded, cultivated woman, who soon gained a strong influence over her pupils, particularly the eldest. She had impressed the Grand Duchess Alice by her advanced ideas on feminine education. She tried not only to impart knowledge to her pupils, but to form their moral characters and widen their views on life. A keen politician, she was always deeply interested in all important political and social questions of the day. Young as they were, Miss Jackson discussed all matters with the children, awakening their interest in intellectual questions. Gossip of any kind was not allowed by her. The Princesses were trained to talk on abstract subjects. It was unfortunate that Miss Jackson felt too old and tired, and had to retire before having quite finished the Princess Alix's  education, when her youngest charge was only fifteen, as she would certainly have been able to accustom her to break through her reserve and acquire a simpler and easier outlook on life." [Ref: Sophie Buxhoeveden, The Life and Tragedy of Alexandra Feodorovna, pp. 14-5]



Yesterday I got a copy of a short biography of Grand Duke Ludwig IV of Hesse from the 1890s. It was said that he too did not allow gossip of any kind. And then Alix found herself at the court in St Petersburg, where gossip flourished.  :(
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Teddy on March 12, 2009, 04:12:11 PM
Where are these letters you talk about?
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on March 12, 2009, 04:29:26 PM
I found excerpts in Sophie Buxhoeveden's book, but I don't know where the actual letters are now.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on March 13, 2009, 11:58:48 AM
There is a thread showing a postcard the Empress wrote to "dear old Jack" - I presume this is Ms Jackson but others meant it could not possibly be her.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on March 13, 2009, 12:36:59 PM
Ah, that thread! (http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=7092.0) :) I think the question remained unresolved.

Have you ever seen examples of letters from Alix to Miss Jackson in which she addressed Miss Jackson as 'Jack', instead of the usual 'Miss Jackson' / 'Madge' / 'Madgie'?
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on March 13, 2009, 05:46:04 PM
I have not read one single letter to Ms Jackson - but on the other hand I have seen the Princess signing herself "Colrettchen" or "Xila" when writing to her brother. And she would do that once - perhaps out of a mood.
Who else could be "Jack"? There was no male in her family or close surroundings with that name and I suggested - due to that and the very personal voice - that "Jack" could be female. Ms Jackson would be the most logical solution. Anyway - I'd take the card even if it is written to an unkown :D
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on March 14, 2009, 02:10:35 AM
Perhaps the card was written to Miss Jackson, but I'm not convinced. I think the tone of the postcard - "Dear Jack" - is less intimate than that of her letters, that started with, for example, "Darling Madgie". And although it's true that Princess Alix once or twice signed letters to her brother "Colrettchen" or "Xila", she did so as a teenage girl, and I think she had outgrown such juvenile things by the time when this card to Jack was written. But this discussion really belongs in the Who Is Old Jack thread.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Carisbrooke on January 25, 2010, 07:09:18 AM

(http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/3194/rscn0482.jpg)

I've only seen this pic in small size before. Its Cathcart House in Harrogate where Alexandra stayed in may/june 1894. There is a plaque situated at the front of the building which is of interest.

It reads-

Built shortly after 1860, Cathcart House was soon established by the Allen family as one of Harrogate's leading boarding houses. Princess Alix of Hesse, who became Czarina in 1894, stayed here, and until her murder in 1917 by the Bolsheviks, acted as Godmother to the owners twin children. In 1911, a tea party here was attended by Empress Marie of Russia; Queen Alexandra, former Empress of India; King Manuel of Spain; Prince Christopher of Greece; Princess Victoria and the Grand Duchess George of Russia. AA Thomson's novel of life in pre-1914 Harrogate, "The Exquisite Burden" features Cathcart House, where it is disguised as "Mexborough Hall".

                                                                                                   END

More information of Alexandra's stay in Harrogate can be found if you use the search function. Type in "Cathcart House".
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: ashdean on January 25, 2010, 07:20:40 AM
Some of the presents Alexandra sent her godchildren are on display in the pump room museum a very short walk from Cathcart house.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Carisbrooke on January 26, 2010, 02:00:01 AM
  Thanks for the info Ashdean, I will return to Harrogate once the weather improves. I do love the story about the service in St Peters church, its one of my favourite Alexandra accounts.

(Compressed version, not verbatim)
How in front of an astonished congregation, the future Tzarina of Russia; along with the Baroness Fabrice; the mayor of Harrogate; & a local butcher; all knelt down to take thier vows, to become godparents to the children of a lowly plumbers daughter.

This is not the Alexandra some would have us believe, is it. !   
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Kalafrana on January 26, 2010, 03:52:08 AM
How did Alexandra come to be a godparent on this occasion?
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Carisbrooke on January 26, 2010, 07:05:57 AM
   I think I see the confusion, its the same instance as the plaque on the wall describes. The plumbers daughter I take to be Mrs Allen. A full version of the story is available on the forum if you

-search, "Cathcart House"
-click on the post by Almedingen
-& then check out the Harrogate links

I hope I've got the story right, if its not please get back to me.

   Ian     aka-Carisbrooke

Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Carisbrooke on February 14, 2011, 02:04:07 AM
Apologies for my description of the event. Here is Almedingens's link.
ALIX IN HARROGATE (page 2)
http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/ENG-YKS-HARROGATE/2003-06/1056182505 (http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/ENG-YKS-HARROGATE/2003-06/1056182505)

(http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/5986/stpetersharrogate001.jpg)
ST PETERS CHURCH HARROGATE  Taken this weekend, sorry about the cars.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: clockworkgirl21 on February 14, 2011, 11:09:55 AM
I think it's cute the twins were named Nicholas and Alix!

I read about that in Carolly Erickson's book. Since a lot of her book is fiction, I didn't know this actually happened! If the rest of the story is true, Alexandra asked to be the childrens' godmother because the public had learned who she was and started to crowd around the building to get a look at her. It stressed the pregnant landlady, and Alexandra felt guilty. So she asked to be the godmother to atone.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Carisbrooke on February 15, 2011, 06:58:46 AM
   I have no reason to doubt the report in the link, most of it looks to have come from the local newspaper. One thing it does prove, even at this very young age Alix had a good feel for PR. It makes you wonder how in later years it all went so wrong for her.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: MademoiselleAndrea on April 16, 2011, 03:20:49 PM
I have two questions about young Alix: did she at all correspond with Nicholas or Xenia after they first met one another in 1884? And, when did she meet Antoine "Toni" Becker?
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on April 16, 2011, 05:21:51 PM
The State Archive in Darmstadt has copies of letters written by Nicholas to Alix, the originals of which are held at GARF in Moscow. These letters cover the years 1889-1894. But Nicholas certainly did correspond with Alix's brother Ernst Ludwig as from 1884, although not very frequently. These latter letters have been included in "The Correspondence of the Empress Alexandra of Russia with Ernst Ludwig and Eleonore, Grand Duke and Duchess of Hesse. 1878-1916". ( http://www.amazon.co.uk/Correspondence-Empress-Alexandra-Eleonore-1878-1916/dp/3842324960/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1302990661&sr=8-1 )

Princess Alice, Alix's mother, knew Ernst Becker, Toni Becker's father, from England, where Ernst Becker had worked as a tutor to the eldest sons of QV and more. Ernst Becker returned to Germany to work at the Court in Darmstadt in 1862. Princess Alice knew him and his wife and children well; she attended the christening of his first daughter in 1865 and showed an interest in his wife's well-being during her period of lying-in after Toni had been born in 1868. Ernst Becker's children also came and played with the grand-ducal children at the palace in the 1870s. So Alix and Toni must have got to know each other when Alix was still a small child. For those who can read German: the letters written by Alix to Toni Becker have been published, too - "Briefe der Zarin Alexandra von Russland an ihre Jugendfreundin Toni Becker-Bracht"  by Lotte Hoffmann-Kuhnt. (http://www.amazon.de/Briefe-Zarin-Alexandra-Russland-Jugendfreundin/dp/3837098842/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1302992551&sr=8-1 )
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Sara Araújo on April 17, 2011, 03:06:20 AM


King Manuel... of Spain? -.-
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: MademoiselleAndrea on April 17, 2011, 10:50:06 AM
Quote
until her murder in 1917 by the Bolsheviks
1918, plaque-writers!  ::)
Thanks for the information, Helen!  :) Something else I'm wondering about is this sentence from The Last Empress: "Her diary contains no hint of the blossoming romance, although she filled its pages with girlish drawings of herself as a bride." That means that the author was able to access her diary from 1884. Where is that now, and are passages from it or pictures of the drawings available?
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Carisbrooke on April 18, 2011, 01:43:51 AM
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fawbs/4820266879/in/photostream/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/fawbs/4820266879/in/photostream/)

Here is the plaque, but this is not my photo. Please do not shoot the messenger.  :)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on April 18, 2011, 02:43:57 AM
Thanks for the information, Helen!  :) Something else I'm wondering about is this sentence from The Last Empress: "Her diary contains no hint of the blossoming romance, although she filled its pages with girlish drawings of herself as a bride." That means that the author was able to access her diary from 1884. Where is that now, and are passages from it or pictures of the drawings available?
GrandDuchessAndrea, do you mean The Last Empress by Greg King? I didn't see Alexandra's diaries mentioned in the list of sources in my copy. Perhaps they were mentioned and I just overlooked it, or the author may have based his statement on another published source. 

The State Archive of the Russian Federation in Moscow seems to have some of the Empress' diaries, but I'm not sure that they have her 1884 diary. Elisabeth Heresch included some quotes from Princess Alix's 1894 diary in her biography of the Empress. She also included one of Alix's drawings of herself lying on a sofa, but not one of  herself as a bride. The latter ones have been included in other books, but I cannot find them right now.

If Alix's diary contained no hint of a blossoming romance, she did hint at her romantic feelings for Nicholas in her letters to her friend Toni Becker in 1889.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: MademoiselleAndrea on April 18, 2011, 09:54:35 AM
Yes, I do mean the book by Greg King. The reference to the drawings etc. is on page 30, but her diaries are not listed as a reference, you are right.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Alixz on April 18, 2011, 10:24:37 AM
I just removed a couple of "quotes" of photos.  Please don't "quote" photos.  It takes up band width and also makes the threads load much slower for those who only have dial up.

If you wish to comment on a photo, please use the reference "reply" number shown on the upper left of the original posting.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on April 18, 2011, 12:36:09 PM
Yes, I do mean the book by Greg King. The reference to the drawings etc. is on page 30, but her diaries are not listed as a reference, you are right.
Thank you, GrandDuchessAndrea! I found the quote and see that Greg King referred to an article by Vladimir Oustimenko publishhed in "Royalty Monthly" in that specific paragraph. Vladimir Oustimenko co-authored "The Romanovs - Love, Power and Tragedy", published by Leppi Publications. And in this book you can find some drawings from Alix's notebooks. One of the pictures on page 63 shows a short poem on a left page and a drawing of a young girl in a wedding dress on the opposite right page. The poem reads:  "There is one, and he is a love, and so are you , you little dove. 1885." 
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: MademoiselleAndrea on April 18, 2011, 05:51:48 PM
Funny poem! Doesn't really make any sense, though.  ??? Do you know if she wrote it, and could someone post a scan of that page, with the drawing and poem? I don't have access to that book, and it is dreadfully expensive to purchase...
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on April 19, 2011, 05:02:33 AM
True, it's just a simple verse. I have no idea whether she thought it up herself, but the handwriting is hers.

The book is copyrighted, so we shouldn't post scans of its pages on this forum, but have you ever checked out Abebooks? Abebooks offers several used copies of "The Romanovs - Love, Power and Tragedy"; they're not cheap, but some of them are very reasonably priced.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Alixz on April 19, 2011, 10:25:56 AM
Here is  a timeline that occurred to me to make as I was rereading Greg King's book.    The Last Empress

I know that the Hessian Grand Ducal family were not rich, but I have wondered why Queen Victoria took up a snit against her daughter Princess Alice when Alice wanted to visit the queen in 1876.  From Greg's book:

In 1876, Alice asked her mother if she could stay at Buckingham Palace for two nights on her way to Balmoral, the queen's castle in Scotland.  She traveled with only two people, a colonel and his wife, who lived in Darmstadt.  But Queen Victoria said no, it would be too much trouble.  Alice was forced to say that she had no other choice - she could not afford to pay for hotels.  A courtier suggested that the queen could pay the bill for the hotel, to which Victoria replied that she would have to know how may nights were in question.  Alice cabled back two or three, the queen said she would have to think the situation over.  In the end, Alice tired of begging.  She traveled alone, unattended and staying in cheap hotles.

This happened when Alix was four.

6 June 1872 - Birth of Victoria Alix Helene Louise Beatrice. (some say it should be Alix Victoria Helene Louise Beatrice, by FA says that the names should be in this order)

May 1873 - Death of Frittie

1877 - Ludwig becomes Grand Duke of Hesse und von Rhine

1878 - traveling with parents and siblings across Europe to visit relatives

8 September 1878 - paddle steamer Princess Alice sank while cruising the Thames with 600 lives lost (Princess Alice is upset)

5 November 1878 - Victoria of Hesse comes down with diphtheria

16 November 1878 - May of Hesse dies

13 December 1878 - Princess Alice dies of diphtheria

April 1880 - Queen Victoria visits Darmstadt and is happy to see that Princess Alice's room has been kept as it was

spring 1884 - Victoria of Hesse marries Louis of Battenberg and Grand Duke Ludwig marries and then has to annul his marriage to Madame de Kolomine

June 1884 - Alix boards a train for Russia to witness the wedding of Ella to Serge

1885 - Alix acts as bridesmaid to Princess Beatrice at her wedding to Prince Henry of Battenberg

1887 - Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria - Alix attends

1888 -  Irene of Hesse marries Prince Heinrich of Prussia (son of Vicky and Fritz)

1888 - death of Emperor Frederich Wilhelm III of Prussia and ascension of Kaiser Wilhelm II

1888 - Gretchen von Fabrice becomes Alix's Lady in Waiting.

1888 - Alix is confirmed into the Lutheran Church

1889 - Alix now 17 visits Ella and Serge in St. Petersburg and spends time with Tsarevich Nicholas.

1889  - Prince Eddy proposes to Alix - she refuses him (Alix was summoned to Balmoral where the proposal took place)

1890 - Alix travels to Malta with her father.

1890 - Alix goes to Russia to Ilinskoe to visit Ella and Serge

1891 - Max of Baden proposes - Alix turns him down

13 March 1892 - Grand Duke Ludwig dies - Ernst becomes Grand Duke of Hesse

1892 - Alix stays with Queen Victoria after her father's death and goes on public appearances with the queen

1892 - Ella converts to Orthodoxy

6 July 1893 - George of Wales marries May of Tek - Tsarevich Nicholas is at the wedding, Alix stays in Darmstadt (she is going through her time of thinking that changing her religion is out of the question)

1983 - Fall - Alix writes to Nicholas and says that any union is "unthinkable" because it meant changing her religion.

1893 - Alix travels to Italy with Queen Victoria

1894 - Tsar Alexander III falls ill

 April 1894 - Wedding of Victoria Melita and Grand Duke Ernst of Hesse
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Alixz on April 19, 2011, 10:32:53 AM
As to the naming of the Landlady's twins in 1894 Nicholas and "Alexandra"  that quote is from Baroness Buxhoeveden and since Alix was still Alix of Hesse and not yet Alexandra Feodorovna - I wonder if the Baroness was incorrect in her memory (since she wasn't there) and the twin girl was named just "Alix" not Alexandra.

Also, Alix herself was leaning toward Ekaterina not Alexandra as her Orthodox name. 
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Kalafrana on April 19, 2011, 01:29:13 PM
Alixz

Many thanks for your timeline.

It's often said that Alexandra spent a lot of time with Queen Victoria after her mother's death. But can you ascertain from The Last Empress how much time she actually spent with her. The only extended period you mention is in 1892.

Regards

Ann
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Alixz on April 19, 2011, 01:46:19 PM
It would seem that Alix popped in and out of England at the whim of the queen.  The extended period was after the death in 1892 of Ludwig.  Alix had a hard time coming to terms with her father's death.

There may have been other extended periods, but with all of the travel she did with her family it doesn't seem that they were as long as the one in 1892.

I find it odd (since I see Alix as hard and unbending) to read the queen's letters about her being "good, kind and dear".  The queen does mention though, that Alix had a strong will.

The other thing that I found more clear is Alix's problem with religion.  It seems that she spent a long time "on her knees" searching for answers before she was confirmed.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: MademoiselleAndrea on April 19, 2011, 02:39:01 PM
Just a little correction to your typos, Alixz!  :) It was 1892 that Ludwig died, not 1882. Great timeline, thank you for posting it! It will be very helpful...
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Alixz on April 20, 2011, 09:26:06 AM
All corrected - thanks.

Just another thought.  Gretchen in German is "little Margaret"  I have read Gretchen von Fabrice called Margarete von Fabrice.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on April 20, 2011, 11:02:28 AM
Yep, her name was Margarethe, or 'Gretchen' informally.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: MademoiselleAndrea on July 02, 2011, 11:51:27 AM
I'm wondering at what event during the wedding of Ella and Sergei did Alix and Nicholas, (and the rest of their families,) get intoduced. Also, is a general itinerary of the trip known?

she did hint at her romantic feelings for Nicholas in her letters to her friend Toni Becker in 1889.
Are these letters avaliable online?
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Eddie_uk on July 02, 2011, 01:20:46 PM
I would be rather wary of The Last Empress as it does include errors. I have read plenty of other occasions where Queen Victoria was very generous towards Alice. :)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: CountessKate on July 03, 2011, 08:44:35 AM
Quote
I know that the Hessian Grand Ducal family were not rich, but I have wondered why Queen Victoria took up a snit against her daughter Princess Alice when Alice wanted to visit the queen in 1876.  From Greg's book:
In 1876, Alice asked her mother if she could stay at Buckingham Palace for two nights on her way to Balmoral, the queen's castle in Scotland.  She traveled with only two people, a colonel and his wife, who lived in Darmstadt.  But Queen Victoria said no, it would be too much trouble.  Alice was forced to say that she had no other choice - she could not afford to pay for hotels.  A courtier suggested that the queen could pay the bill for the hotel, to which Victoria replied that she would have to know how may nights were in question.  Alice cabled back two or three, the queen said she would have to think the situation over.  In the end, Alice tired of begging.  She traveled alone, unattended and staying in cheap hotles.

Queen Victoria was both very set in her ways and used to having her own way and often made difficulties if her children wanted to visit her at a time or place not of her own choosing.  The same thing - having a proposed visit turned down - happened several times to Vicky, when it didn't suit her mother.  It didn't necessarily represent any particular greivance QV might have had against Alice (although their relationship had its ups and downs), nor any special meaness - just that she didn't wish to see Alice at that time and didn't see why she should pay for Alice's visit.  She did sometimes feel also that Alice was a bit inclined to ask for handouts more than her other children.  However, when it did suit QV, she could as Eddie UK says, be very generous towards Alice and her family.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Alixz on July 03, 2011, 08:51:17 AM
I have been re reading Hessian Tapestry by David Duff.  In it he talks about the time when Queen Victoria decided that Princess Alice was not welcome.  I have to go back and take a look at that chapter.  I'll post some information when I have time because it made sense to me when I was reading it.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: CountessKate on July 03, 2011, 09:20:05 AM
Quote
It would seem that Alix popped in and out of England at the whim of the queen.  The extended period was after the death in 1892 of Ludwig.  Alix had a hard time coming to terms with her father's death.
There may have been other extended periods, but with all of the travel she did with her family it doesn't seem that they were as long as the one in 1892.

Queen Victoria wrote to Victoria of Hesse-Darmstadt in October 1890 that it is the "1st time since 11 years that none of you have been here with me!!".  There is reference elsewhere in 'Advice to a Grand-daughter' that Alix visited QV in 1888 with her brother Ernst, in 1889 she may not have visited because of her refusal of Prince Eddy, in 1890 none of the Hesse-Darmstadt family visited QV, in 1892 QV wrote to Victoria that the previous year Louis of Hesse-Darmstadt "and your 2 sisters were with me" (one of whom was likely to be Alix), in 1892 she had an extended visit, and in 1894 it appears she visited QV in the earlier part of the year, before the Coburg wedding in April.  So it certainly looks like Alix visited QV, if not annually, pretty near to it over a period of about 15 years, though probably not for the length of time as in 1892.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Alixz on July 05, 2011, 01:36:18 PM
Here is one quote from Hessian Tapestry:

Visits to Britain were less frequent now, and when the Hesses stayed at Osborne in 1875 it was the first time that they had seen the Island for six years.  Holidays were strictly limited by finance.

page 169
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Alixz on July 05, 2011, 01:56:53 PM
Here is another quote from Hessian Tapestry:

From the time of the appointment of John Brown to be personal servant of the Queen, a marked change came over the relationship between Princess Alice and her mother.  The demands that the Hessian couple should spend much of their time in England ceased, giving place to a temporary reluctance on the part of the Queen to ask them to her homes.  Such was the price to be paid by a daughter who took an independent line.

page 116
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Alixz on July 05, 2011, 01:59:59 PM
One more quote from page 117:

The Princess was in disgrace, the position exacerbated by the angry correspondence which passed between Windsor and Darmstadt.  One letter from Germany was considered so disrespectful that it was immediately consigned to the fire.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Eddie_uk on July 05, 2011, 02:44:09 PM
Well lets be honest Queen Victoria, for all the respect & admiration I have for her, was not the easiest of mothers! For example I think the way she treated poor Leoplod at times was very wrong.

Queen Victoria would frequently compare one child unfavourably against the other particularly with the oldest four. As Queen Victoria's opinion of Alice would diminish she would often be praising++ the Crown Princess & vice versa. She did the same thing with Edward & Alfred. Obviously this is very wrong as you should never compare siblings as it leads to resentment.

Anyway, I think only Beatrice and to some degree Arthur escaped these unfavourable comparisons....
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Clemence on July 05, 2011, 04:13:24 PM
Here is another quote from Hessian Tapestry:

From the time of the appointment of John Brown to be personal servant of the Queen, a marked change came over the relationship between Princess Alice and her mother.  The demands that the Hessian couple should spend much of their time in England ceased, giving place to a temporary reluctance on the part of the Queen to ask them to her homes.  Such was the price to be paid by a daughter who took an independent line.

page 116

How very interesting this about John Brown! It did seem a little odd how he was presented in the 1997 film (Mrs Brown) treating the prince of wales in such a disrepectful way ... and now to know this! Who knows what really passed between that man and the queen!
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Alixz on July 05, 2011, 07:12:20 PM
There is also mention that on a trip Brown was lodged in a far wing of the palace away from the Queen.  She never forgave those who did that.

I will have to look it up.  I can't remember where the trip was to or who assigned the rooms.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Kalafrana on July 06, 2011, 03:21:15 AM
Queen Victoria never visited Sandringham because the Prince of Wales refused to treat Brown as anything other than a servant.

But we are straying off topic again!

Ann
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Alixz on July 06, 2011, 08:08:48 AM
Yes, we are!

But young Alix before her marriage is a part of the story as Queen Victoria ignored or banished Princess Alice from visiting Britain and therefore her young family couldn't go either.

However, I have always thought that some of the Queen's worry about her Hessian grandchildren after Alice's death was guilt at the way she treated Princess Alice during her life.  QV was very hard on Princess Alice even though the princess was the "work horse" of the family and took care of everyone including QV when the need arose.

Queen Victoria was much less stern with all of her grandchildren than she was with her own children but it seems to me that she spoiled the Hessians and that some of that came from guilt.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Eddie_uk on July 06, 2011, 01:30:05 PM
Queen Victoria did visit Sandringham in 1871.

I don't think Queen Victoria felt guilty over anything, she was ALWAYS right! And most of the time she was.
No, as she wrote in the letter to Victoria of Hesse immediately after Alice's death "the irreparable dreadful loss your darling mother is to you" & how "it is a great privilege to be her child"
I think Victoria recognised how the death of a mother is always a terrible tragedy, especially for children.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: CountessKate on July 07, 2011, 11:07:20 AM
Quote
Queen Victoria ignored or banished Princess Alice from visiting Britain and therefore her young family couldn't go either

That statement does not appear to be supported by the historical evidence.  Queen Victoria was not in a position to banish a married daughter from visiting Britain although she could be discouraging and refuse to help financially - as I said earlier, Vicky was sometimes put in the same position, so it wasn't just aimed at Alice.  Alice in fact was with Queen Victoria often during her married life, and in England where on a number of occasions she wrote to the Queen from Buckingham Palace (presumably to QV in Windsor or Balmoral or Osborne) or Sandringham, suggesting her mother's hospitality was not always limited either.  From references in Queen Victoria's letters, and from Alice's own letters to Queen Victoria, it is possible to see that she visited England in 1863, 1864, 1865, 1868, 1871, 1872, 1873, 1875, 1876 and 1877.  It is unlikely that she visited in 1866-7, during the Austro-Prussian war and its aftermath, or in 1870 during the Franco-Prussian war.  I'm not sure what happened in 1869, 1874 or 1878 - I haven't found any references, but she might well have visited Britain.  At any rate, Alix of Hesse could well have travelled to Britain four out of the six years of her life until her mother died and would have undoubtedly seen Queen Victoria on many occasions during that period.  Afterwards, Queen Victoria unquestionably felt she had taken Alice's place as a mother to the motheless Hesse-Darmstadt children and they visited her very frequently. 

I agree with Eddie that she did not feel guilty about her treatment over Alice - she certainly felt sorrow at her death, but in her correspondence whenever she complained of her behaviour she seemed fully convinced that she was right to do so.  Problems seemed to have occurred particularly in 1867, when QV felt Alice had criticised Princess Helena for not travelling to Germany with her husband Prince Christian, in 1868, when she thought Vicky and Alice encouraged Prince Albrecht of Prussia to court Princess Louise against both her and Louise's wishes, and in 1872, when the Queen thought Alice had spread a rumour that Louise had criticised Francis Knollys as an unsuitable companion for the Prince of Wales (Louise said Alice herself was responsible for the rumour).  It all sounds like the usual family rows - and they did blow over.  Queen Victoria could be controlling and ungenerous, but she could be kind and sympathetic also, and like most of her children, Alice was sometimes in favour and sometimes not.  But when she died, QV was genuinely upset and determined to do right by her children.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Eddie_uk on July 07, 2011, 12:18:41 PM
Great work CountessKate! It is very interesting too see just how often Alice visited England! Thank you!

According to Packard, Alice & family did visit England in summer 1878 which is when they all went to Eastbourne (there is that great photo of them all standing outside the place they where staying in!). Apparently Queen Victoria realised Alice was much in need of rest and paid for the holiday! Queen Victoria was often extremely generous. I don't agree that Alice was ignored or banished at all.

Perhaps Irene's pregnancy also prevented Alice from visiting in 1866 & Alice was pregnant with Marie in 1874.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: MademoiselleAndrea on September 12, 2011, 01:45:57 PM
I'm sorry I keep bombarding this thread with questions, but this picture in The Romanovs: Love Power and Tragedy set me thinking.
(http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy202/blessOTMA/Romanov%20postings/th_QueenandA.jpg) (http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy202/blessOTMA/Romanov%20postings/QueenandA.jpg)
It's dated as 1887, when Alix was fifteen, and yet her hair appears to be up. I have also seen other photographs of her that are dated as being before her sixteenth birthday, and yet her hair is in a bun. Could it be that they are misdated: perhaps this one is 1888? Ella is there, after all--could be taken during the visit Ella and Serge made to Hesse for Alix's coming-out? (One other set of photos, which I thought to have been taken in 1884 in Russia, shows Alix looking more like seventeen than twelve--perhaps these are in fact from the 1889 visit?) But would there have been a reason for Alix to have her hair up earlier? I am 99% certain her hair is in a braided bun!
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: CountessKate on September 14, 2011, 12:27:36 PM
Quote
But would there have been a reason for Alix to have her hair up earlier? I am 99% certain her hair is in a braided bun!

This photo is also dated 1887 (September, at Balmoral):
(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a42/cfarnon/Miscl/AlixIreneH-D-1887.jpg)
and Alix seems to have her hair up, and long skirts.  While 16 was the usual age for putting the hair up and lengthening the skirts, it could happen earlier if a girl's height developed and her figure matured to the extent that she would look 'improper' to Victorian eyes in the short skirts and with the loose hair of girlhood.  From this photo it certainly seems as if Alix was as tall as Irene, who would have been 21, and taller than her aunt Beatrice, her figure was well developed, and it may well have seemed appropriate by her grandmother and sisters for her to have the appearance of a young woman.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Alixz on September 14, 2011, 05:01:40 PM
As you can see Prince Eddy is also in the picture.  This may have been the beginning of the Queen's matchmaking plans for Alix and Eddy.  In that case, Alix would have needed to be presented as a more mature young woman.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Kalafrana on September 15, 2011, 03:44:04 AM
Alixz

Good point, especially as Eddy was no schoolboy but eight years older than she was.

Ann
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: CountessKate on September 15, 2011, 08:16:41 AM
Quote
This may have been the beginning of the Queen's matchmaking plans for Alix and Eddy.  In that case, Alix would have needed to be presented as a more mature young woman.

I don't think Queen Victoria would have sought to give Alix a more womanly appearance because of Eddy - she was very unkeen on early, overt matchmaking where a girl was presented to the world at too young an age or paraded in front of young men (she was disparaging of her daughter Vicky's attempts to find a parti for Mossy which she thought were too obvious and inappropriate).  However, I do agree that Alix's more mature appearance (and given her age, I think it is unlikely that she would have had her hair up and skirts down any earlier) and Eddy's presence at Balmoral at the same time might have popped the idea into her head.  I haven't seen anything which suggests she especially promoted the Alix-Eddy idea before Eddy took the notion into his own head in 1889 - although she might have ensured there were opportunities for the cousins to come across one another from time to time - but not in any obvious way. 
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: grandduchessella on September 16, 2011, 03:46:01 PM
I'm sorry I keep bombarding this thread with questions, but this picture in The Romanovs: Love Power and Tragedy set me thinking.
(http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy202/blessOTMA/Romanov%20postings/th_QueenandA.jpg) (http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy202/blessOTMA/Romanov%20postings/QueenandA.jpg)
It's dated as 1887, when Alix was fifteen, and yet her hair appears to be up. I have also seen other photographs of her that are dated as being before her sixteenth birthday, and yet her hair is in a bun. Could it be that they are misdated: perhaps this one is 1888? Ella is there, after all--could be taken during the visit Ella and Serge made to Hesse for Alix's coming-out? (One other set of photos, which I thought to have been taken in 1884 in Russia, shows Alix looking more like seventeen than twelve--perhaps these are in fact from the 1889 visit?) But would there have been a reason for Alix to have her hair up earlier? I am 99% certain her hair is in a braided bun!

It's not Ella but rather Irene who is there. In other versions of the photo (scattered around the Forum, there are about 4-5 sittings) there you can see a servant holding Princess Patricia of Connaught who was born in March 1886 and is still an infant in the photos.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Kalafrana on September 17, 2011, 09:05:15 AM
'I don't think Queen Victoria would have sought to give Alix a more womanly appearance because of Eddy - she was very unkeen on early, overt matchmaking where a girl was presented to the world at too young an age or paraded in front of young men (she was disparaging of her daughter Vicky's attempts to find a parti for Mossy which she thought were too obvious and inappropriate).'

Had Queen Victoria changed her mind about early matchmaking? She had been happy to arrange Victoria's marriage with Friedrich of Prussia when she was 14!

Ann
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: CountessKate on September 17, 2011, 03:27:38 PM
'I don't think Queen Victoria would have sought to give Alix a more womanly appearance because of Eddy - she was very unkeen on early, overt matchmaking where a girl was presented to the world at too young an age or paraded in front of young men (she was disparaging of her daughter Vicky's attempts to find a parti for Mossy which she thought were too obvious and inappropriate).'

Had Queen Victoria changed her mind about early matchmaking? She had been happy to arrange Victoria's marriage with Friedrich of Prussia when she was 14!
Ann

She repeatedly said to Vicky that her early engagement had been a mistake - at least in terms of allowing her to be engaged at such a young age, not the relationship itself.  She demonstrated a number of contradictory attitudes to marriage post-Albert, and particularly with regard to the Hesse-Darmstadt family she had strong possessive feelings which clashed with the great interest she took in matchmaking generally.  But essentially while she tended to have a great many technical discussions, with Vicky in particular, e.g. x might be suitable for y, she did not appear to do more than hint, or at least see how things might progress when two potential parties were in the same grouping under her auspices, but did not throw them together too obviously.  There were some of her grandchildrens' marriages in which dynastic considerations caused her to exert strong pressure.  Eddie and Alix; Victoria Melita and Ernest; and Mary Teck and George of York (after Eddie's death).  Otherwise, although she had strong views, there is little evidence that she actually encouraged or pushed relationships or marriages in her extensive family though she continued to take a deep interest in the subject.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Alixz on September 18, 2011, 01:39:03 AM
I didn't think that Alix was being presented as older and more mature for Eddy's opinion, but perhaps for the opinion of the public and the rest of the family if that particular match came about.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: MademoiselleAndrea on October 23, 2011, 06:43:06 PM
Does anybody know who designed Alix's coming-out/debut dress? Or any other info about it? I know it was white, and poufy, and had an off-the-shoulder, slightly V neck, with lilies of the valley...well, anybody can see that in the pictures! But was there a designer who would come up with the styles of the Hesse girls dresses? Of course they would not have been bought from a store, and likely not made from Godey's Ladies Book patterns either, (or whatever the German equivalent of that American magazine was.)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: CountessKate on October 25, 2011, 07:52:06 AM
I've never read anything about the dress itself but think it very unlikely that for the simple style of a young girl's coming-out dress, that a designer as such would have been used - at least in the sense of a top-notch known couturier.  The dress would indeed not have been off the peg, but the style could easily have been modelled on gowns produced for her sisters or the huge female cousinage, and it was very common at the time for women with new designer dresses to let their female family and friends (and more importantly, their family/friends' maids) take a look at the latest fashions for their own dressmakers to copy or adopt.  However, Germany wasn't deficient in dressmakers who knew the latest styles - in 'Dearest Missy', the correspondence of Marie of Edinburgh and her daughter Marie of Romania, there are frequent references to a 'Mme Menier' in Coburg who seemed au fait with the latest Paris fashions and from whom Marie of Romania was ordering clothes after her marriage (along with Paris gowns!).  There were plenty of magazines and illustrations of designer dresses from houses such as Worth which local dressmakers could reference, and if something a bit more sophisticated was wanted, Frankfurt was pretty close to Darmstadt and the dressmakers there could certainly supply a suitable gown.  So it could have been a purely local production, with the style having input from the more fashionable family members, or it could have been from one of the larger German fashion centres (though this was unlikely to have been Berlin).

Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on December 22, 2014, 01:55:53 PM
Broadcasting company "Hessischer Rundfunk" will broadcast a documentary/film on Alix as a Hessian princess in a week or two.
It will include an interview with Ms. Lotte Hoffmann-Kuhnt, who edited and published Alix's letters to her friend Toni Becker-Bracht.
According to Ms. Hoffmann-Kuhnt, it will be broadcast on 6 January 2015 ( 20h15 local time)  and again on 10 January 2015 ( 18h30 local time).
To watch it, go to http://www.hr-online.de/website/fernsehen/sendungen/ and click on the 'Livestream' button.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: THERRY on December 26, 2014, 11:18:40 AM
(http://i39.servimg.com/u/f39/18/56/93/33/img04310.jpg) (http://www.servimg.com/view/18569333/6067)
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: wakas on December 27, 2014, 04:27:24 AM
Beautiful picture.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Ally Kumari on December 29, 2014, 01:44:45 PM
This was labeled as Ella but to me it looks more like Alix

(https://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/15525/65455487.e2/0_203c6c_4c808f4b_orig)

could it be from any of the fancy balls in Darmstadt? Or is it really Ella?
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Svetabel on December 30, 2014, 01:21:47 AM
This was labeled as Ella but to me it looks more like Alix

(https://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/15525/65455487.e2/0_203c6c_4c808f4b_orig)

could it be from any of the fancy balls in Darmstadt? Or is it really Ella?

That's Alix, her features are unmistakeable there.
Title: Re: Young Alix - Before her Marriage
Post by: Helen on January 27, 2017, 02:33:40 AM
Here is  a timeline
...
1893 - Alix travels to Italy with Queen Victoria
...

(https://s.s-bol.com/imgbase0/imagebase3/regular/FC/1/9/4/7/9200000073987491.jpg)

"Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine in Italy - 1893"
Author: Petra H. Kleinpenning
ISBN number of print edition: 9789402157499 (60 pages)
ISBN number of e-book edition: 9789402159035 (EPUB format)
Publisher: Brave New Books

"In the spring of 1893, Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine and his younger sister Princess Alix, the future wife of Emperor Nicholas II of Russia, went on a holiday to the Italian cities of Florence and Venice. They admired works of art in museums and churches, rode through the parks of Florence and the surrounding hills, and enjoyed gondola rides on the canals and in the lagoon of Venice. They also spent time with relatives, including Queen Victoria, Prince and Princess Henry of Battenberg, and Count and Countess Gustav of Erbach-Schönberg. The many beautiful things they saw and the relaxed family gatherings they held made memories which they cherished for many years. This publication provides a simple day-to-day summary of their trip based on information from archival documents, contemporary newspapers, letters, memoirs and diaries."

E-book available at https://www.kobo.com/nl/en/ebook/grand-duke-ernst-ludwig-and-princess-alix-of-hesse-and-by-rhine-in-italy-1893