Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => The Final Chapter => Topic started by: Nastya on October 15, 2005, 10:07:06 PM

Title: George V
Post by: Nastya on October 15, 2005, 10:07:06 PM
after the murder did king george the 5th of england feel very guilty because he didnt let his cousin and family come to england? and because of that they were murdered
Title: Re: George V
Post by: Louis_Charles on October 15, 2005, 10:09:07 PM
George V was not a man noted for his sentimentality or compassion.
Title: Re: George V
Post by: Nastya on October 16, 2005, 12:25:45 AM
thats true i totally forgot about that.
how i loath him so. because of him the romanovs are dead. :'( :'( :'( :'( if he would have left them come to england they would have lived.
Title: Re: George V
Post by: Eddie_uk on October 16, 2005, 04:31:14 AM
Hindsight is a very powerful thing!

Of course they should have been allowed asylum but George V was not to know what would happen. Infact  it's hard to believe in this day and age that they did what they did, especially to the children.

It's not fair to blame George V. Infact, Edward VIII, not usually a defender of his father, did write that his father did all he could to save them.

Anyway i believe this has been covered  :)
Title: Re: George V
Post by: Kimberly on October 16, 2005, 04:49:24 AM
Dear Nastya, have a look over on the Windsor Threads. There is a topic there called "Did George Know" that you might find interesting ;)
Title: Re: George V
Post by: Phil_tomaselli on October 17, 2005, 03:25:52 PM
King George sent a battleship to haul the Greek Royal Family out of difficulty in the early 1920's so he presumably had learnt some kind of a lesson anfd had some kind of guilt.  The Royal Navy also pulled the rest of the family out of the Crimea in 1920 (HMS Marlborough I believe).

Phil T
Title: Re: George V
Post by: Richard_Cullen on October 18, 2005, 01:52:09 PM
One may sense the dead hand of reginald Second Viscount Esher on this.  If you ever have a chance read his biography a man with no official power who held sway in Royal family from Victoria to George V.  he would have been rooting around in this.  I don't know whether George V was sorry that he didn't rpovide safe passage for the IF.

I am quite sure that neither he nor the Govt wanted the Tsar and his family here - revolutionary seeds were everywhere.  The presence of the Tsar and his family could have tipped the balance.

He may have felt some personal guilt but probaly that was outweighed by doing, on advice, what he thought was right for the country.

One has to remember that Britain was a constitutional monarchy and he couldn't just direct thinsg to happen.

Although I regret what happened to the IF I believe the decision not to bring them to Britain was the right one for Britain and the British monarchy.

I personally cannot believe the Russians would really have allowed them to come anyway.  What a threat living in a powerful sovereign country.  Not likely.

Richard



Richard

Title: Re: George V
Post by: Caleb on October 18, 2005, 06:54:08 PM
I'm sure that the provisional government would have let the Imperial Family go to England because they were becoming a liability in Russia. I'm sure that there were disputes in the duma in Petrograd about the future of the Romanovs. Personally I think that Kerensky was all that stood between the Romanovs & their execution. I really believe that George V could have done somewhat better, in that considering the fact that the British Empire was so large, he could have perhaps sent Romanovs to Australia or something, instead of denying his cousins' their only realistic hope for survival.
Title: Re: George V
Post by: Eddie_uk on October 19, 2005, 06:41:50 AM
Quote
he could have perhaps sent Romanovs to Australia or something, instead of denying his cousins' their only realistic hope for survival.


True, but is there any definite evidence to prove that George V knew what extreme danger they were in?? He may well of thought they would be sent in to exile like so many others.

All though it sounds harsh you can not blame him for thinking of his position first. I think if he had known they were to be excuted he would of rescued them.
Title: Re: George V
Post by: Louis_Charles on October 19, 2005, 09:44:56 PM
Two things:

I think most of the blame for the decision not to extract the Imperial Family has to ultimately rest with the British Government, and not with the Royal Family. A decision to offer Nicholas a refuge within the British Empire couldn't have been made by any King without the approval, and indeed the instigation, of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

That being said, it defies belief that George V did not realize the potential danger in which NAOTMAA found themselves in after March, 1917. Alexander II was assassinated; there were numerous murders (Grand Duke Serge and Stolypin, to name only two) prior to the actual overthrow of the monarchy, and no reason to suppose that there would be a non-violent transfer of power. In fact, by the time the Bolsheviks seized control it must have been obvious in what danger the Imperial Family was placed. As for the idea that he may have thought they would be allowed to go quietly into exile, neither the Austrian or German Kaisers was overthrown until after the Tsar, and Wilhelm II was prudent enough to abdicate near enough to the Dutch border to get across it. Had he been imprisoned in Berlin at the end of the war, it is likely he would have been either extradited to the Allies as a war criminal, or possibly executed by his own former subjects during the Bolshevik uprisings at the end of the war.

I don't think you had to be too sensitive to realize that the former absolute ruler of the Russian Empire, a prime target of assassins throughout his entire reign, was going to be in danger when he was deposed.
Title: Re: George V
Post by: grandduchessella on October 25, 2005, 10:56:54 PM
I just cant' believe this is true. I would also suggest going to the other thread as it's been gone over and over.

Wilhelm probably only felt the need to save his skin by going to the Dutch border because the IF had already been murdered. Prior to that he most likely wouldn't have. He also left Dona in Potsdam I believe so he obviously wasn't too concerned with her sharing Alix's fate.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. There was NO precedent save the French Revolution for the wholesale slaughter that befell the IF. Even other Romanovs didn't feel the need to hastily get out of Russia after the Tsar abdicated. Plus the children were ill so even if the offer had been kept, they couldn't have gone.

Kerensky's government had no desire to massacre the Romanovs. By the time the situation disintegrated they were already in Tobolsk.

As for loathing GV, save it for the Bolsheviks (esp the Ural ones who Penny Wilson & Greg King hypothesize in Fate of the Romanovs probably acted on their own rather than on direct orders from Lenin) and the Romanov dynasty with its inherent flaws. GV was responsible for them.

Assassinations of monarchs are different from executions of entire families. Except for the French Revolution and the bizarre killing of Alexander & Draga of Serbia EVERY modern monarch who abdicatedwent into exile and often pretty comfortable exile. Why should it be thought differently with the Romanovs?

Portugal (1910) Manuel went to England
France (Orleans) went into exile
France (Bonaparte) went into exile
France (Bourbon) went into exile
Greece (1917 et al) went into exile
Greece (King Otto) went into exile

After the Romanovs it was the same--they didn't institute a new policy of massacre.

Spain--went into exile
Greece (again) went into exile
Montenegro--exile
Italy--exile
Yugoslavia--exile
Romania--exile
Austria--exile
various German Duchies, Principalities, Kingdoms--pretty much stayed where they were after abdication

I understand the attachment to the Romanovs and the horror at their fate but I cannot comprehend why it's all laid at GV's feet when he was far down the line in terms of responsibility IMO.

And actually he was well-known for his compassion and sensitive nature. He may have been gruff and bad-tempered and not a great father but there are multiple stories that demonstrate his kindness and concern for others. I suggest people start reading up on it.

Title: Re: George V
Post by: Eddie_uk on October 28, 2005, 12:30:31 PM
Well said Ella!!!  ;) :)
Title: Re: George V
Post by: AnastasiaTheImp on June 16, 2013, 08:58:26 PM
Is there a diary entry or a letter from George V that talks about the decision not to offer asylum?

I've read several posts and threads on here, and it is apparent that he wasn't an overly sentimental/ emotional person. I also know that his diary, like Nicky's, was more for documenting events over emotions.

I was just curious if there was a first hand account of how he felt about the situation.
Title: Re: George V
Post by: Kalafrana on June 17, 2013, 03:59:14 AM
He does say something in his diary about hearing of the murders, and there is a passage in Princess Marie Louise's book in which he asks her to break the news gently to Victoria Milford Haven.

Ann
Title: Re: George V
Post by: AnastasiaTheImp on June 17, 2013, 05:04:37 PM
Does anyone have a quote of this?
Title: Re: George V
Post by: TimM on June 18, 2013, 05:27:10 PM
George V could not have made the decision alone, the British Monarch did not have that kind of power.  The ultimate decision as to whether to offer the Romanovs asylum would have been made by the British Government of David Lloyd George.  George V could suggest, but he could not command.

However, I heard that when the Labour Government re-established links with the Soviet Union in the 1920's, George V refused to receive any of their delegates.  He called them, and rightfully so, the "murderers of his relatives" and loathed the fact that Labour wanted to deal with them.  Again, George V could not stop Labour from dealing with the USSR, all he could do was boycott Soviet receiving Soviet delegates.
Title: Re: George V
Post by: AnastasiaTheImp on June 18, 2013, 08:55:14 PM
George V could not have made the decision alone, the British Monarch did not have that kind of power.  The ultimate decision as to whether to offer the Romanovs asylum would have been made by the British Government of David Lloyd George.  George V could suggest, but he could not command.

However, I heard that when the Labour Government re-established links with the Soviet Union in the 1920's, George V refused to receive any of their delegates.  He called them, and rightfully so, the "murderers of his relatives" and loathed the fact that Labour wanted to deal with them.  Again, George V could not stop Labour from dealing with the USSR, all he could do was boycott Soviet receiving Soviet delegates.

I understand and agree. I was just wondering if there was a first hand account of George's reactions.
Title: Re: George V
Post by: TimM on June 20, 2013, 02:05:11 AM
Quote
I was just wondering if there was a first hand account of George's reactions.

I'm sure there must be somewhere, Laura.
Title: Re: George V
Post by: Kalafrana on June 20, 2013, 03:55:12 AM
I imagine the issue was discussed by the king with Lloyd George at their weekly audiences. However, no one else is present at the monarch's audiences with the prime minister, they are not minuted and there is a tradition of confidentiality about the content.

I will have another look at Princess Marie Louise's account when I get a quiet moment.

Ann
Title: Re: George V
Post by: TimM on June 20, 2013, 10:51:43 AM
Quote
I imagine the issue was discussed by the king with Lloyd George at their weekly audiences. However, no one else is present at the monarch's audiences with the prime minister, they are not minuted and there is a tradition of confidentiality about the content.

So whatever they discussed remains unknown.
Title: Re: George V
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on July 04, 2013, 04:59:11 PM
KGV doesn't really deserve any of the blame for the death of the Imperial family. In the March/April 1917 period when he rejected their request for asylum he did so because many of his friends advisors advised him not to do so. At this time he was being accused of being disloyal by many radicalized Englishmen. Even if he had approved getting the IF out of Russia at this time would have been extremely difficult if not impossible. The Provisional Government hold on power was weak . They were at the mercy the radicalized Petrograd Soviet who controlled Petrograd and getting past them was just not possible. Also nobody at this time thought the IF was in any real danger and that a democratically elected government was going to take power and it was going to lead Russia to victory.
  After the July revolution by Lenin the drug addicted and radical Kerensky was paranoid that some general was going to overthrow him in a coup and reinstate the monarchy. So he had to get Nicholas out of the way so he had them sent to tobolsk. M Nelpa in her book on Rasputin points out that some Generals objected to Nicholas leaving the country because he knew state secrets. The book also points out that Kerensky had links to the town and some of the Decemberists were sent into exile there. No one at this time thought  Nicholas and family were in any danger at this time and everyone most likely thought they were going to spend the winter there and the newly elected Russian government would probably send them in exile next year ect.
 After lenin and company seized power in November 1917 few in Russia and elsewhere realized what sort of monsters these people where and where going to be. It should also be pointed out the Allies were trying to keep Russia in the war until the late Spring/Early Summer 1918 when the civil war in Russia really got going. A rescue operation would have compromised these efforts. Add to this the Bolo hold on power in Russia was very weak and many people in Russia and else where thought they wouldn't last very long.
Title: Re: George V
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on July 04, 2013, 06:02:06 PM
As for the IF at Tobolsk. They didn't get a whole lot of news of the outside world and probably thought everything was going to be okay until April 1918 when Yakolev showed up. After this is probably when some or all of them realized that they may not be making it out alive. Even in Ekaterineburg They probably thought they were going to be taken to Moscow for a trial. Nicholas and Alexandra thought they might get executed and possibly ON and TN thought it might happen to them, but I don't think any of them thought they were all going to be murdered like they were. I don't think anybody outside Russia thought this was going to happen either. Also note the IF in Ekaterinburg got very little news from the outside.
 Rescue operations: If the British government decided to launch a rescue operation by some WW I version of james Bond. At Tsarkoe Selo with a lot of luck and a few bags of gold they could have bribed enough guards and got the IF out of the palace. then comes the hard part in getting them to either Murmansk or Sweden which may be impossible. At Tobolsk the British did launch a rescue mission in 1918 involving the Norweigen artic explorer Jonas lied mentioned in the book "File on the Tsar". This could have worked but, they ran out of time.
Title: Re: George V
Post by: Kalafrana on July 05, 2013, 03:41:04 AM
James

I agree entirely.

And then there are all the practical problems of getting them out of the country in time of war and with Russia sinking into chaos.

Ann
Title: Re: George V
Post by: Rodney_G. on July 06, 2013, 12:15:34 PM
  I think George V does indeed bear some blame, if not specifically for the deaths of the Imperial Family, then certainly for the decision not to grant them asylum in England, which asylum would have saved their lives.

History does not generally blame Lloyd George or Parliament for this decision. This is not really disputed even by critics of Lloyd George. George V was not exactly a poor chimneysweep in a mattter as vital as the fate of his own relatives and of what had been a ruling family until a few weeks previously. There is also the evidence of his private secretary (Stanfordham ?) , who wrote of George V's role.

Further confirmation of George V's  responsibility may be inferred  from the efforts that were made to discourage and pressure his ambassador to Russia , Buchanan   not to speak or write publicly about the matter , which would haver made the King look self-centered, callous, and bad.

That the Romanovs were indeed in danger can pretty much be inferred from the very fact that desperate efforts were being made to get them out of Russia. The Provisional Government, especially Pavel Miliukov,  knew this and acted accordingly. It wasn't a question of finding the IF a preferred new  residence, but rather  of finding them asylum, i.e., of  saving their lives.   


As acknowledged by earlier posters, the St. Petersburg Soviet was intensely hostile to both Nicholas and Alexandra; in fact some delegates openly demanded his execution. The danger to the IF was clear. Even before the Bolsheviks seized power in October of 1917 the SRs's and other left extremists in the Soviet were known proponents of terror ,including against the Romanovs. They had a bad record for it in the previous fifteen years.

 And yes, getting the IF to safety in England would have been difficult. But it was by no means impossible. All the more reason for getting the approval of and some zeal shown by the British monarch as well as  by the British government for the move. After George V backed away, the window of opportunity was closed and the IF's options were virtually nonexistent and their fate effectively sealed.

Obviously George V didn't know for cetain that the Romanovs ,his cousins, would be executed . But the fact is he could have and should have known that they were in serious danger. The resort of Russian revolutionaries to murder of high government officials and of a Romanov Emperor  and a Romanov grand duke was a matter of record. And these were while Romanovs occupied the Russian throne. With the entire Romanov family imprisoned just  fifteen miles away from the St. Petersburg Soviet, how could George V not have appreciated the peril and the consequent imperative to offer timely succor?
Title: Re: George V
Post by: IvanVII on July 07, 2013, 10:45:19 PM
Rodney I think there is larger political and national matters at stake in the British decision. Take WWI out of the equation and I believe they opt to make the rescue. But the Russians were still fighting the Germans. Not very effective mind you, but fighting non the less. If the Russians completly break off with the Germans,  or worse switch sides this puts a lot of troops back on the Western Front to fight the Allies. Such a situtation could have very easily changed the entire outcome of WWI.
Title: Re: George V
Post by: Kalafrana on July 08, 2013, 02:36:38 AM
Ivan makes an important point. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk released a huge number of German troops for the Western Front. The Germans broke through the British line in March 1918 and could quite possibly have finished the war victorious had they not outrun their supply system. By that stage also, the Americans were starting to arrive, which was another important factor. Had the Russians made peace a few months earlier, things could have been very different. Remember that 1917 was the worst stage of the war for the Western Allies - huge losses to U-boats, a major mutiny in the French army, and the Italian defeat at Caporetto.

Ann

Title: Re: George V
Post by: mcdnab on July 08, 2013, 02:13:34 PM

I think that to be fair George V's actions are entirley understandable and are not that surprising.
During the First World War George V came under increased scrutiny particularly over his 'foreign' origins although to be fair he was essentially a very English country gentleman, although a bit of a martinet, at heart.
He was also hide bound by the constitutional nature of his crown, something that both Wilhelm and Nicholas mocked, which limited what action he could take.
He was also facing an essentially collapsing Russian position and a government that hastily offered asylum largely to try and keep the provisional government onside in the war.
A government that didn't really consider the long-term impact on the King's position of having his cousin in the country.
Nicholas' reputation in the west had never been particularly good and to the King, who actually had pretty good relations with his left leaning government's in his later reign, housing Nicholas the Bloody would have been a public relations disaster.
George's first duty was the survival of his own country and his own crown not rescuing monarch's who through their own foolishness had found themselves in appalling circumstances.
Nicholas was advised on signing the abdication to leave the country - his mother was told that he should go immediately abroad - he returned to his wife and children perhaps we can understand that but then he also ignored offers to try and get the children out.
By the time the British asylym offer was made (before it was withdrawn at the request of the King) the Petrograd government was already asking that the offer be withdrawn given the Soviet had demanded assurances that the former Tsar would not be allowed to leave.
The window of escape closed before it really opened.
George's ability after that to do anything was pretty hampered as Nicholas really ceased to have any political importance to the British after the fall of the provisional government. George couldn't as many people seem to think simply order his secret service or government to act and nor should he have done.

George V is often the villain of the piece but Nicholas had other cousins including those a damn site nearer who equally did very little to help.
If as you say asylum offer had survived - then how do you get them out - without the Soviet rising against the provisional government whose survival the allies were desperate to ensure - where do they go to - the obvious is Finland then Sweden/Norway/Denmark - but how and what risk of Nicholas in crossing Finland given the only Romanov who was vaguely popular with the Finns was his mother.
When Kerensky fearing for their safety sent them deeper into Russia rather than nearer a friendly border - how is that helping to save them rather than his own crumbling and inept government?




  I think George V does indeed bear some blame, if not specifically for the deaths of the Imperial Family, then certainly for the decision not to grant them asylum in England, which asylum would have saved their lives.

History does not generally blame Lloyd George or Parliament for this decision. This is not really disputed even by critics of Lloyd George. George V was not exactly a poor chimneysweep in a mattter as vital as the fate of his own relatives and of what had been a ruling family until a few weeks previously. There is also the evidence of his private secretary (Stanfordham ?) , who wrote of George V's role.

Further confirmation of George V's  responsibility may be inferred  from the efforts that were made to discourage and pressure his ambassador to Russia , Buchanan   not to speak or write publicly about the matter , which would haver made the King look self-centered, callous, and bad.

That the Romanovs were indeed in danger can pretty much be inferred from the very fact that desperate efforts were being made to get them out of Russia. The Provisional Government, especially Pavel Miliukov,  knew this and acted accordingly. It wasn't a question of finding the IF a preferred new  residence, but rather  of finding them asylum, i.e., of  saving their lives.   


As acknowledged by earlier posters, the St. Petersburg Soviet was intensely hostile to both Nicholas and Alexandra; in fact some delegates openly demanded his execution. The danger to the IF was clear. Even before the Bolsheviks seized power in October of 1917 the SRs's and other left extremists in the Soviet were known proponents of terror ,including against the Romanovs. They had a bad record for it in the previous fifteen years.

 And yes, getting the IF to safety in England would have been difficult. But it was by no means impossible. All the more reason for getting the approval of and some zeal shown by the British monarch as well as  by the British government for the move. After George V backed away, the window of opportunity was closed and the IF's options were virtually nonexistent and their fate effectively sealed.

Obviously George V didn't know for cetain that the Romanovs ,his cousins, would be executed . But the fact is he could have and should have known that they were in serious danger. The resort of Russian revolutionaries to murder of high government officials and of a Romanov Emperor  and a Romanov grand duke was a matter of record. And these were while Romanovs occupied the Russian throne. With the entire Romanov family imprisoned just  fifteen miles away from the St. Petersburg Soviet, how could George V not have appreciated the peril and the consequent imperative to offer timely succor?
Title: Re: George V
Post by: Rodney_G. on July 08, 2013, 05:25:43 PM
Rodney I think there is larger political and national matters at stake in the British decision. Take WWI out of the equation and I believe they opt to make the rescue. But the Russians were still fighting the Germans. Not very effective mind you, but fighting non the less. If the Russians completly break off with the Germans,  or worse switch sides this puts a lot of troops back on the Western Front to fight the Allies. Such a situtation could have very easily changed the entire outcome of WWI.

I'm not sure I get this. It's true the British and other Allies wanted Russia to remain in and be fully committed to the war against Germany. But even the Provisional Government was quick to assure its allies that they were continuing to fight. They underestimated anti-war sentiment and the soldiers' discontent, but at least at the governmental level there was real commitment.

And, IvanVII, the implication of your post seems to be that ,if Britain had offerred asylum to the Romanovs, then  the Russian Provisional Government , because of that offer, would have bailed out of the war  and made a separate  peace with Germany. I think that's unrealistic. Whatever reasons the PG had to remain in the war were far more significant than a symbolic and wholly non-military decision such as a humanitarian gesture to a by-then civilian family , including five children and five females.
Title: Re: George V
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on July 12, 2013, 07:55:26 PM
It should also be pointed out the French who where long time Allies of the Russians didn't want Nicholas and Alexandra either. It seems they forgot the Russian imperial army that saved france in 1914 and bled itself white for the Allied cause. Also for KGV while he and Nicholas were good friends KGV despised Alexandra who he blamed for everything that went wrong in Russia. It also didn't help that she was a German princess and I don't think KGV of Saxe-Coberg-Gotha and his consort Mary of Teck really wanted to greet Alix of Hesse-Darmstadt into England. It didn't help that many people back then reguarded her as a german sympathizer. then there were all those rumors of her sleeping with Rasputin ect that were floating around back then. Which didn't do her reputation any good at the time. Of course this was all found out to be wrong but to late to save them.

One should also comment on the Russian efforts to save the IF at both Tobolsk and Ekaterinberg. The rescuers lacked the leadership, organization , money and manpower to pull a successful rescue off. It didn't help that the Bolo's had the groups infiltrated with their agents almost from the beginning. If they had managed to break the IF out of Tobolsk the next problem is how to get them to a place of safety/ out of the country its a long way to the nearest country and the Bolos would be turning the country upside down looking for them. As for a Eketerinberg breakout you have the advantage of non-communist groups to run to but you have the disadvantage of a civil war going on.
Title: Re: George V
Post by: Kalafrana on July 21, 2013, 09:43:27 AM
For an Ekaternburg breakout you have the advantage that the Czech Legion were close at hand, and in control of the Trans Siberian Railway, but the very serious disadvantage that Alexei was unable to walk.

Ann
Title: Re: George V
Post by: IvanVII on August 15, 2013, 02:23:46 AM
Rodney I think there is larger political and national matters at stake in the British decision. Take WWI out of the equation and I believe they opt to make the rescue. But the Russians were still fighting the Germans. Not very effective mind you, but fighting non the less. If the Russians completly break off with the Germans,  or worse switch sides this puts a lot of troops back on the Western Front to fight the Allies. Such a situtation could have very easily changed the entire outcome of WWI.

I'm not sure I get this. It's true the British and other Allies wanted Russia to remain in and be fully committed to the war against Germany. But even the Provisional Government was quick to assure its allies that they were continuing to fight. They underestimated anti-war sentiment and the soldiers' discontent, but at least at the governmental level there was real commitment.

And, IvanVII, the implication of your post seems to be that ,if Britain had offerred asylum to the Romanovs, then  the Russian Provisional Government , because of that offer, would have bailed out of the war  and made a separate  peace with Germany. I think that's unrealistic. Whatever reasons the PG had to remain in the war were far more significant than a symbolic and wholly non-military decision such as a humanitarian gesture to a by-then civilian family , including five children and five females.

Rodney, I think you're looking at it from the point of view of the PG. I'm looking at it from the perspective of the British Goverment. I agree with you that it was unrealistic, but diplomacy sometimes foregoes realisim.