Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => Tsarevich Alexei Nicholaievich => Topic started by: Lemur on November 02, 2006, 03:40:50 PM

Title: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Lemur on November 02, 2006, 03:40:50 PM
This was brought up in the survivor section, but I wanted to have a thread addressing it here away from the other topic. I have learned only today that Alexei had an undescended testicle, which causes infertility or low sperm count in males. Many also remain unable to have children even after surgical correction. So I was thinking, suppose he did live, and the dynasty continued, but he was unable to father a child? (also assuming that N and A never had another child) What would the options for succession be?

1. Go to Olga's oldest child? Change the rules so that a nephew- or even a neice- could become his heir?
2. Go to Michael, and his offspring, if 'official' (not morgatanic, unless that rule is changed too)?
3. Go  back to the Vladimirovichi line?
4. Get his wife pregnant by someone else and try to pass it off as his? (as was rumored to have happened with Catherine the Great, and Queen Maud of Norway?)

Your thoughts?
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Sarushka on November 02, 2006, 05:18:10 PM
For more info on the medical aspects of Aleksei's condition:
Did Alexei suffer from cryptochidism?? (http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php/topic,1593.0.html)
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: skitzo12 on November 03, 2006, 03:54:23 AM
it's unlikely to have made him infertile.
most people (particuarly when younger) have the problem self corrected eventually.
but as for implacations, who knows?

cya

alex
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Romanov_Fan19 on November 03, 2006, 11:19:17 PM
Id say there would be no Major Problems  it wouldve either corrected itself  or Medical Steps wouldve been taken
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Sarushka on November 04, 2006, 09:28:05 AM
Medical Steps wouldve been taken
Perhaps not -- consider the complications of operating on a hemophiliac...
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Romanov_Fan19 on November 04, 2006, 04:35:32 PM
Very Sorry Pardon my Temporary Ignorance  Your Absoultly right  It wouldve been far to risky. :)
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: clockworkgirl21 on November 06, 2006, 02:52:17 PM
It would also have caused more distress for Alexandra, too. Finally having a son, and the son not being able to reproduce. I have to ask about that one thought, someone else impregnating(sp?) the tsarina. Has that ever happened in history? Not just in Russia, anywhere. I've heard of other women bearing the heir for the king if the queen was unable, but never the other way around. It would seem pointless to put the tsarina under the strain of producing a son, and if the son was not able to reproduce, just having someone else be the heir's father.
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Lemur on November 08, 2006, 09:38:41 AM
That is true, surgery would have been much too risky for a hemophiliac, and it may not have worked anyway. I know 3 men who had the problem, all had the corrective surgery but only one was able to father children (assuming his wife was faithful!) Another thing to consider is that all of his bleeding incidents, especially Spala where it was so heavily in the groin area, may have also damaged him in some way. If they were so interested in continuing the dynasty I am surprised they didn't think about that part of the future too, though as it turned out, it didn't matter.
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Ra-Ra-Rasputin on November 08, 2006, 11:12:38 AM
This problem runs in the males of my mother's family.  Both of my mother's brothers and my own brother were born with undescended testicles.  My mother's younger brother fathered two children with no problems, but her older brother is infertile because of cancer.  My own brother has not had children yet, but his fertility is fine.  All three had the corrective operation, however.

Undescended testicles don't normally cause infertility, even if they are uncorrected. If one testicle is out of action, the other would normally still be working absolutely fine and produce enough sperm to make a man adequately fertile.  Women with only one ovary/fallopian tube can still get pregnant, so I can't see why it would be any different for a man.

Does haemophilia CAUSE undescended testicles, does anyone know?

Rachel
xx
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Ra-Ra-Rasputin on November 08, 2006, 11:16:47 AM
I didn't see the what would happen bit.

The thing about Nicholas and Alexandra's desperation to have a son is that it was completely unnecessary; there were plenty of male heirs to the throne.  The only issue was that Nicholas and Alexandra wanted THEIR son and THEIR SON ONLY to be ruling Russia.

In the occurence of Alexei being infertile and the dynasty continuing, then I would imagine the throne would go to Michael if he was still alive, though not to Michael's descendants, because he married morganatically.  If Michael were dead, then it would pass on to the next most eligible Grand Duke, so whichever senior Grand Duke was living at the time.

Rachel
xx
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Annie on November 08, 2006, 11:28:15 AM
Quote
If Michael were dead, then it would pass on to the next most eligible Grand Duke, so whichever senior Grand Duke was living at the time.

That would have been Kyril's line, and we all know how disliked they were by Nicholas and Alexandra and all of that branch of the family. I really don't understand why they couldn't just ammend the rules to let their daughter's son take over. I never understood why he didn't change the rule. It was called the "Pauline law" because he made it because he hated his mother (who was arguably the most successful ruler Russia ever had!) so why couldn't Nicholas make the "Nicholine law" rescending it? I had heard he thought of doing this but others were mad. Well, so what? He was Tsar, after all!
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Kimberly on November 08, 2006, 11:29:23 AM
I am unaware of any link between haemophilia and undescended testes. I have seen quotes of 10% infertility rate with the problem and a higher rate of testicular cancer in the affected testicle if it left where it is and not brought down.
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Annie on November 08, 2006, 11:31:29 AM

Undescended testicles don't normally cause infertility, even if they are uncorrected. If one testicle is out of action, the other would normally still be working absolutely fine and produce enough sperm to make a man adequately fertile.  Women with only one ovary/fallopian tube can still get pregnant, so I can't see why it would be any different for a man.



It is different, though I don't know the medical reasons why. I guess it's because a guy has to produce billions of sperm each time he has sex for even one of them to have a chance to reach the ovum, and that's why men with 'low sperm count' - even if they are not techincally infertile- have problems getting women pregnant.While only one sperm is all it takes to impregnate, somehow the large numbers are needed for success. My best friend's husband lost a testicle to an accident at work, and while the other did produce some sperm, in 23 years of marriage they have never been able to concieve a child. :(
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Annie on November 08, 2006, 11:41:16 AM
Has that ever happened in history? Not just in Russia, anywhere. I've heard of other women bearing the heir for the king if the queen was unable, but never the other way around.

As was mentioned in the first post here, there are rumors that Catherine the Great's son Paul was fathered not by her husband Peter but by her lover. In several years of marriage, they either had not concieved or had not even consummated the marriage, then suddenly she's pregnant. She did have several other children by her lovers over her reign, so the doubt is there. The Romanov dynasty may have ended back then!

The Queen Maud of Norway (Princess Maud of England) story was that a doctor allegedly claimed he impregnated her with his son's sperm in a turkey baster after she was unable to get pregnant by her husband. I have also heard that she and her husband didn't want to have sex, since they were very close first cousins and looked at each other as brother and sister, and they were only matched up for political purposes. Of course, all of these stories will go around, and we will never know the truth.


Quote
It would seem pointless to put the tsarina under the strain of producing a son, and if the son was not able to reproduce, just having someone else be the heir's father.

I agree! What's the point if the dynasty isn't really being carried on? I saw a letter to Dear Abby once where a lady had 3 girls and her husband was the last in his family and they needed a boy or the name would die out. She asked Abby if it was wrong of her to say she didn't want any more kids. Abby told her to adopt, but, uh, isn't that pointless for the reason? The child of a stranger would not be a carry on of the family line anyway so why bother? An illegitimate son of one of the daughters would do better than that!
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Ra-Ra-Rasputin on November 08, 2006, 12:17:27 PM
I don't get why Nicholas didn't just change the law either, if he was that desperate to see one of his own children on the throne.  He didn't mind ignoring everyone else's advice throughout his entire reign, so why was he put off from doing it in this instance?

I'd never heard about Queen Maud and the turkey baster before.  Nice. 

And I hear what you're saying about sperm being different from eggs, Annie.  I have no doubt that it would make a man with only one functioning testicle less fertile than a man with both functioning testicles, and it may have taken longer to get his wife pregnant in Alexei's case, but complete infertility wouldn't necessarily have followed from his medical condition.

Rachel
xx
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: imperial angel on November 08, 2006, 12:31:35 PM
Well, it is hard to say if Alexei would have had children or not. He might have, but if he hadn't, I don't think some of the unusual methods described here would have been used. Of course, that would have depended on his wife, and what she wanted to do or not, or was willing to do. He would have been married off dynastically, and from there, would have hoped to have heirs, but history never saw this stage. Yes, the next grand duke in line would have been Grand Duke Kyril, whom nobody liked, because Michael's descendants were morgantic. I don't think that Nicholas would have changed the law, as he was very traditional, and Imperial succession laws are more complicated than they seem.
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Sarushka on November 08, 2006, 01:40:05 PM
I don't get why Nicholas didn't just change the law either, if he was that desperate to see one of his own children on the throne.

I don't really think the law of succession is something you can "just change" even if you're an autocrat. Remember, we're talking about an emperor who couldn't even change the teatime menu in his own home....
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Ra-Ra-Rasputin on November 08, 2006, 01:43:15 PM
I just don't understand why it would be, though.  Paul made his own law, so why not Nicholas? He may have been strongly opposed, but the buck stopped at him, and he could, theoretically, do exactly what he wanted.  Especially in an age when feminism was coming to the fore, someone surely must have realised that preventing women from taking the throne was a highly outmoded law to have? But *slaps hand* I am talking about the only country to hang onto an autocracy into the 20th century...why would I think feminism would have hit off if democracy hadn't???  ;D

Rachel
xx
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: imperial angel on November 08, 2006, 03:54:32 PM
Nicholas II was very traditional, and he wasn't the type like Paul who would have changed the succession law, because of personal reasons as Paul did. In addition, I think that in Paul's time there was less precedent and tradition for the succession laws to be a certain way, and there was more of an open field for change. Nicholas was very traditional confronted with something that was very traditional, and I am sure that things weren't going to change.
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Romanov_Fan19 on November 09, 2006, 11:29:33 AM
You Make a very Good Point Imperial Angel, Nicholas was Definately a Traditionalist. :)
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: imperial angel on November 09, 2006, 12:57:14 PM
Yes, he was like that in every aspect of his life, but he would have been that way very much in dealing with the succession laws. They were quite complicated, and I can see why he would not have wanted to change them, even if that seemed like a good policy to some. But, the thing is, I don't think anyone thought that they should be changed, as everyone assumed, that Alexei would have heirs,and if not, the Vladmirvitchi certainly had plans..
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Romanov_Fan19 on November 09, 2006, 05:45:16 PM
Ive Heard many rumors and was wondering would the Vladmirvitchi have  been that bad as rulers?
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: imperial angel on November 10, 2006, 08:32:55 AM
Well, I am not sure. Until they got on the throne, nothing could have been known, certainly. They had a bad reputation, and they might not have been totally that way, but it was said they were. I think they were haughty, and gave the impression of being above others. They never have a good reputation, but I think they might have been good, as they were astute anyway, but that is getting off topic-maybe Alexei would have had heirs.
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Romanov_Fan19 on November 10, 2006, 01:53:52 PM
Your right, He might have been able  one never knows.
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: imperial angel on November 10, 2006, 02:43:36 PM
Yes, and this is the whole topic of this thread. No one knows that he was infertile, although his having that condition was certainly a factor, etc. I think he would have been under great pressure to have heirs, but I am not sure this would have happened. The whole issue of Alexei having heirs is certainly that would most likely have caused Alexandra as much stress as when she was trying to have a male heir herself.
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: grandduchessella on November 10, 2006, 04:26:25 PM
It might not have had any implications if he had died of hemophilia before adulthood or before marrying and attempting to father children. I think the only royal hemophiliac who had children was Prince Leopold. I think the point about Nicholas and Alexandra wanting their son to be the heir is a correct one--not that there's anything wrong with that. It might've been different had they been able to entrust that GD George would be the heir but his health was such that his title as heir was almost meaningless. Misha wasn't looked upon as Tsar material and they detested the Vladimirovichi.

I think that Nicholas was too traditional to change the law though it possibly would've been a simpler thing for history, and a happier situation for the family, if he had. Alexander III wasn't afraid to limit the ranks of Grand Duke/Duchess to the children & grandchildren of the Tsar, despite the family's wrath--I wonder if he had lived a normal life span and had seen the issues that would've arisen, whether he would've taken steps? He certainly wasn't intimidated by his brothers.

As for Maud, it was  rumor put forth in a recent Norwegian biography. The Norwegian royals didn't contest it but didn't sanction it either. It was rumored that she might've been artifically inseminated and that Haakon was either the donor or the doctor, Sir Francis Laking. Laking has a bit of a resemblance to the late King Olav which fanned some of the flames of the rumor. I think that issue was supposed to have arisen with the pregnancy of the late Queen Mother and King George VI--that artificial insemination was needed, not the question of paternity though.
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Annie on November 12, 2006, 09:42:11 AM
It wasn't the doctor himself who was allegedly the donor but his young handsome son. Of course he still had his father's genes and that would explain the resemblance of the child, if it is true.
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: grandduchessella on November 12, 2006, 03:38:16 PM
No, according to Tor Bomann-Larsen's book "Folket" he speculates that Olav was either the son of royal physician Sir Francis Laking, or, perhaps, though less likely, his son Guy as a possible donor. Bomann-Larsen thinks that if AI was used, that Sir Laking was more likely the donor.
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: imperial angel on November 12, 2006, 07:20:47 PM
Yes, it is true that if Alexei had died before the time he could marry, and even try to have heirs, that it would have had no implications, this issue. It might actually have been better if that had happened, although more tragic. It would have been tragic with him dying, but it would have avoided this issue which would have caused pain to Alexandra. But,  it might have caused her equal pain not to know if he could have heirs or not, so who knows?  Perhaps both would have caused equal pain to Alexandra, him dying before the time he could possibly have had heirs, or him dying without heirs, proving he most likely could not have any? But the succession laws would never have been changed, so most likely the Vladimirvitchi would have been the next heirs.
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Lemur on November 13, 2006, 09:38:36 AM
I know we will never know, but I find it hard to accept that Nicholas would have allowed the detested Vladimiriovichi to become his heirs. Surely he'd have done something. Wasn't there something in the works, or rumored to be at one time, where Dmitri would marry Olga and they'd rule as a team? That may have been a good thing for Russia if it had happened.

I also agree with Ra Ra Rasputin, that with the womens' rights and suffrage movement about to explode in the late nineteen teens to twenties, there would have been no way the old law would have been accepted or held up to the test of time. As someone mentioned, Alexander III made the call to demote certain members of the family from Grand Dukes to 'princes' so this would have been even less of a change.

Now, some royal houses have even given the throne to the first born, period, male or female. I believe in Sweden, they have a daughter who is older than the son, and she is in line for the throne. I don't think Russia would have done that, but allowing for a daughter if there is no son would have worked. She was, after all, his direct genetic heir, much closer than a second cousin!
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: imperial angel on November 13, 2006, 12:04:46 PM
I really doubt that the succession laws would ever have been changed. I think Nicholas was quite traditional, and would never have done this, even to allow his own flesh and blood to rule. Alexandra was also pretty traditional, and I don't see that she would have allowed it either, however much she would have wanted it personally, which I cannot doubt she might have eventually.The old law would have stayed the way it was, in my opinion, no matter what change there was or not in the country as a whole.
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Ra-Ra-Rasputin on November 14, 2006, 03:44:00 AM
I'm going to respectfully disagree with you, Grace.

I think, if it had come down to it, Nicholas would have changed the law of succession IF the revolution had not have happened and he had stayed in power.  I think, in an increasingly modern age where people of all sexes and classes were demanding democracy and equal rights, a law only allowing males to rule a country would simply have no longer been acceptable.

The women's suffrage movement in the UK had gained the vote for women after the first world war, and this had repercussions on women's rights across Europe.  The domino effect, if you will.  Not to mention that if the Romanovs HAD survived, they most likely would have done so as a constitutional and not an autocratic monarchy; no country after 1918 would accept the total rule of one man not voted in by the public. 

The First World War catapulted the world into a modern era wholly different from the Victorian in its ideas and beliefs.  To survive, the Romanovs would have had to have changed with the times.  An autocratic monarchy that didn't allow women to rule was not going to be acceptable to the world after 1918. Things would have had to change if the Romanovs were going to retain their position.

I think it's difficult for us to look back and understand just how much the world changed after the First World War, and was also beginning to change in the Edwardian and late Victorian periods, pre-war.  Mass industrialisation, an increased access to education and foreign travel and womens and worker's movements had caused a deep rooted desire for change amongst the majority of people.  The middle and lower classes were no longer prepared to be ruled over by a distant figure of authority; they wanted to have power over their own lives.  Do you REALLY think an autocratic monarchy could have survived in this world, and an autocratic monarchy only allowing males to rule (I know that they were prepared to have a female, but only if there were no other males left, and this was never going to happen in the Romanov family), at that?

Rachel
xx

Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: imperial angel on November 14, 2006, 11:25:59 AM
Well, I think that it is hard to know if the autocracy would have survived, and that's a totally different question. I think whether the autocracy would have survived or not would have had much bearing on the succession laws. I am not going to get into that, as it isn't the subject of this thread, but maybe whether there was not an autocracy or not, would not have changed the fact of the succession laws? All in all, we don't know what implicarions Alexei's possible being infertile would have had, on succession laws or anything else.
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Georgiy on November 14, 2006, 08:43:04 PM
Well, the Japanese succession laws only allow for males to inherit the throne. Why would Russia necessarily feel compelled to do things just because the western European societies were changing?
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: imperial angel on November 15, 2006, 08:43:12 AM
Exactly! In this day and age, one would think those laws would have been changed, but they weren't. Russia was very traditional, and slow to change except in a bad way, and the Romanovs, even if not an autocracy, were a traditional dynasty. The Vladmirvitchi would have put up a huge fight anyway-they always thought they were better than their cousins, throne or no throne. That's the determinng factor, indeed. Much would have been on the shoulders of Alexei..
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Ra-Ra-Rasputin on November 15, 2006, 09:38:37 AM
Interesting comparison with Japan, Georgiy.

Russia has always been very much it's own country, and distinct from the rest of Europe. This is, however, in recent times, largely due to the Communism/Capitalism divide.  If we're hypthothesising, as I am, about a Russia post 1918 with the Romanovs in rule, however, I'd see Russia as becoming much closer to the rest of Europe.  Industrialisation was beginning to take a hold, democracy was starting to be asked for, there was a much wider access to education, etc.  Personally, I think that if the Romanovs had retained power they would have done so as a much reduced, constitutional monarchy with very little say in politics.  This would bring them much closer to the British monarchy and other European monarchies of the time, and with the role of Tsar/Tsarina much less about ruling the country than before, I think changing the law of accession would have been a much less problematic issue and something Nicholas would have been far more likely to consider, especially if Alexei, as one would suspect, had become much weaker as he progressed towards adulthood.

The new bourgeoisie were very influenced by Western Europe, so those in power would have been too. Women's rights in the rest of Europe may have led to Nicholas being forced to change the law of accession by his hypothetical parliament.

I don't think Alexei would ever have become Tsar myself.  If there HAD been no revolution, I think Nicholas would easily have outlived his son.

Rachel
xx
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Lemur on November 15, 2006, 09:41:33 AM
Well, the Japanese succession laws only allow for males to inherit the throne. Why would Russia necessarily feel compelled to do things just because the western European societies were changing?

Japan's laws have always been the same, for a thousand years. Russia used to allow female rulers, but one Tsar who hated his mother changed the rule. So the way it looks to me if it was changed once for purely selfish, personal reasons, what's so untradtional about changing it again?
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Ra-Ra-Rasputin on November 15, 2006, 09:45:30 AM
Very true, Lemur.

This is what I don't understand as to why people keep saying 'but Nicholas was so traditional, why would he change the rule?'

Paul changed the earlier tradition, so why would it be so shocking to change it back? Times move on, ideas change...I really don't see why it would have been a scandal to change a rule that was ridiculously outmoded and based on a personal dislike a previous Tsar had of women!

Rachel
xx
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: grandduchessella on November 15, 2006, 10:04:51 AM
Ironically, if he hadn't been infertile, the succession would've been safe. Had he married anyone except a carrier (and to be safe, I would've eliminated many of his female relations given what was understood at the time) his sons would have been safe from the disease--unlike the risk that would've been taken when his sister's married.
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: imperial angel on November 16, 2006, 10:35:04 AM
Well, whether the laws were changed could have depended on the personality of the ruler, again, you are right. But, we all know Nicholas was very traditional and that Alexandra was too. I think Alexei, had he reached the throne might have changed it if he realized he would have no heirs, and let his sister Olga's children possibly succeed, maybe a son or something, but that would have depended on who she married. But, we don't know enough about Alexei to know what he would have done. He, from what I understand might not have been infertile, it was just a possibility. I think that the laws would most likely not have been changed, though if you consider the Vladimirvitchi.
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Ra-Ra-Rasputin on November 16, 2006, 11:09:11 AM
Not that it really matters anyway.

No one has the right or wrong answer, because all we are doing is speculating.

Personally I doubt that Alexei would have lived long enough to become Tsar or have children if the Revolution hadn't have happened.  He was already declining rapidly when he was killed.  So one way or another, if Nicholas had REALLY wanted his own progeny on the throne, he would have had to change the rules.  If not, he would have had to have been content with one of the Vladimirovichi on the throne. 

IF Alexei had lived and been infertile, the same issue would have arisen- he would have had to have changed the rules, or been content to have one of the Vladimirovichi on the throne.

It's as simple as that.

Rachel
xx
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: imperial angel on November 16, 2006, 01:39:36 PM
It is indeed something that is mere speculation, but it is so interesting, to consider how the future would have happened that never occured, because it would have had great implications had it occured. One thing I have thought of is that it might have been easier for Paul in late 18th century Russia to change the succesion laws, because there wasn't much precedent, and it would have been harder for a monarch even in an autocracy to do so in 20th century Russia. Also, Paul's male line was the only line there was, there was no competition from other branches of the family, there was only his own. I wonder if, had the autocracy been replaced by constitional monarchy how much impact would that have had on succession laws, and could the monarch have changed them then?
Title: Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
Post by: Annie on November 16, 2006, 09:51:26 PM
I know all we can do is speculate, but I really feel that Nicholas and Alexandra's love for their children and their hatred of the Vladimirovichi would have led them to do what they had to do, change the rules, if it came down to it. The fact they were even considering the Olga-Dmitri thing proves to me they were open to possibilities. I think he'd have changed the male only rule before he let the Vlads rule, or before he accepted his brother Michael's marriage.

It is true Alexei was declining in health when he was shot, but I wonder if he'd have been healthier if the revolution had never happened? Captivity took a lot out of him mentally and physically, and of course the biggest reason for his fragile condition was the fall/ride down the stairs on the sled which would not have happened if they were not exiled. So IF they had stayed in power, his health would not likely have been so bad. Again, it's all ifs.