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Messages - Charles

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The palace that Petr Nikolaevich and his family lived in on the Petrovskaia Embankment is no longer there.  It was torn down in the 30s to make room for, I believe, the Comintern headquarters.

Actually Petr Nikolaevich and Militsa Nikolaevna lived on Petrovskaia Embankment, near the St. P&P Fortress.

Palaces in St. Petersburg / Re: Palace of Grand Duke Vladimir
« on: May 17, 2005, 07:17:45 AM »
The mother of a close friend of mine was the Director of the Vladimir Palace (House of Scientists) in the early 1990s and I was able to many times get entry into the palace, which is magnificent. I know that I have pictures of the interiors somewhere, just need to locate them.

Actually, the palace in the background is GD Nikolai Nikolaevich's palace.  The elder NN had his own palace on Annuciation Square, while the younger NN had a palace on Petrovskaia Embankment across the river from Letnii Sad and close to St. P&P Fortress.

« on: April 19, 2005, 09:57:25 AM »
An interesting article from today's news

April 19, 2005
[from RIA Novosti's digest of the Russian press]

Some members of Russian aristocratic families, who owned palaces and mansions before the 1917 Revolution, have intervened in the upcoming
privatization of historical monuments in Russia.

They are indignant at the fact that the state is going to sell out their property. The members of the best-known noble families in Russia  the Obolenskys, Shakhovskois and others  have decided to hold a meeting in St.
Petersburg, where their ancestors lived.

According to Boris Turovsky, chief of the St. Petersburg department of the Russian Imperial Union-Order (an organization of Russian aristocrats living abroad), practically all buildings in the center of Russia's northern
capital have legitimate inheritors. Now that the sale of historical buildings begins in Russia, the state faces new problems. It looks like these buildings will have two owners  a purchaser and an heir, who will be
able to prove his property rights in an international court, Turovsky said.

"We simply want the state to admit officially that privatization in the 1920s was unlawful and apologize officially for driving people from their houses and country, humiliating them," Turovsky said.

In the opinion of Princess Vera Obolenskaya, a citizen of France, the Russian state should recognize the right of the heirs to take part in the fate of historical monuments. "We feel for Russia. We are of the Rurich
stock and are used to do something for our country during eleven centuries," said Prince Dmitry Shakhovskoi, who is also a citizen of France.

There can be two approaches to the aristocrats' claims, said Alexei Komech, one of Russia's most competent experts in the monuments of architecture, who heads the Art History Institute. Real estate may be returned to them under a general denationalization law, but such a law does not exist. And there is yet another possibility of doing this in keeping with the present
privatization laws  privileged restitution procedures may be used.

The demands of the heirs are supported by Alexander Chuyev, a member of the lower house of the Russian parliament. A moral assessment of nationalization should be made on the state level and apologies should be presented. And if historical monuments are privatized while the rights of their former owners are ignored, it will be unlawful, he said.

Rulers Prior to Nicholas II / Re: Emperor Alexander II "the Liberator"
« on: April 11, 2005, 07:47:54 AM »
Sorry, you are both wrong.  Alexander II did not have a draft constitution on his desk the day he was assassinated and he was not about to adopt a constitutional monarchy for Russia.  That has been a rumor repeated by many historians, but this was never true.  There has been absolutely ZERO evidence that this was the case.  There is speculation that he was considering a quasi-elected legislative consulting body with Loris-Melikov, but nothing came of it.  This rumor is most likely the result of wishful thinking of behalf of those who mourned the loss of Imperial Russia years after the Revoluion.

What is Imperial Dancer about?

News Links / A New Tsar
« on: April 08, 2005, 08:07:22 AM »
Found the following very interesting article today in the Russian news.  Having studied contemporary Russian monarchism for years, I still put very little possibility in there ever being another Tsar in Russia.

Noviye Izvestia
April 8, 2005

Some among Russia's political elite seem to be thinking again of reinstatement of monarchy in the country, seeing a sedate and attractive person on top of the state as a possible way to regain undermined popular
support for the authorities.

One rival for the Russian throne is HRH Prince Michael of Kent, grand-nephew to the last Russian emperor Nicolas II and cousin to Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.

The Kremlin-tied Russian political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky is Prince Michael's greatest advocate in Russia. Once he even admitted having inculcated the Russian elite with high ideas about the Prince for a year.

For the record, many experts believe Mr. Belkovsky's memo was key to the beginning of the Yukos trial.

Belkovsky describes his agenda as not official reinstatement of monarchy  which he does not rule out, though  but regaining the authority of supreme power by discriminating between power and government. The
supreme power needs to have nothing to do with socially unpopular decision-making, he argues. From his perspective, a liberal model with the bearer of supreme power acting as a hired manager is antithetic to the
nature of Russian statehood.

As a Romanovs' relative, Prince Michael should be viewed as a legitimate candidate for the Russian crown, Mr. Belkovsky says. He also argues that foreigners  outsiders to the Russian political establishment  have always played a constructive part in the country's history.

Gennady Gudkov, a United Russia lawmaker in the State Duma, completely rules out monarchy as an option for today's Russia.

"However, absolute power as a crown to the current feudal-bureaucratic system [of government] is what bureaucrats are seeking. More, they are trying to incline the President accordingly. Whatever title they might give to what they are going to build, they want it to be monarchy in fact," Mr. Gudkov said.

Which diaries are you referring to, Helen?  Will they be published in Russian or English?

Thank you in advance.

Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia / Re: New books
« on: April 07, 2005, 09:54:13 AM »
Is the Eurohistory publication of the biography on Ella a new book or a reprint?

Or perhaps the right question should be, why are there two more books on Grand Duchess Elizaveta Feodorovna being published?  There are already at least two in English and four or five in Russian.  There is absolutely nothing new to add about this person.  She did not have that much affect on the course of history.

It is frustrating that so many historians' (or rather royal biographers') efforts are placed on GDEF, who did not play a prominent role in late Imperial Russian history.

Why are there no biographies on Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolaevich, Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna, Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich (the younger)?  Thankfully historians in Russia are examining the lives of the more important members of the Romanov dynasty.  I hope that this will extend to "historians" in Western Europe and America so that there can be some quality new work accomplished, rather than continuing to focus on people who need no more focus!

Rulers Prior to Nicholas II / Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« on: March 31, 2005, 07:56:08 AM »
Alexander I's wife, Elizaveta Alekseevna, died in early 1826, shortly after Alexander died.  So, that rule that you cite Tsarfan, would have never applied to her.

Their World and Culture / Re: Titles, Ranks and Forms of Address
« on: March 28, 2005, 08:02:44 AM »

I am in the final stages of a translation of At the Court of Two Emperors by AF Tiutcheva, who was a lady-in-waiting to Empress Maria Aleksandrovna, from the time that she was Tsesarevna and in the first few years of A II's reign, she was then governess for GD Maria Aleksandrovna and Sergei Aleksandrovich.

Family connections were a large part of who was chosen as a lady-in-waiting.  In the case of Tiutcheva, it was certainly her father's connections that helped her with this appointment, but surprisingly, MA chose her over her more attractive sisters, precisely because she was less attractive, older, and well-educated (she went to school in Munich).

I will let you know once I have completed this and found a suitable publisher.

Rulers Prior to Nicholas II / Re: Alexander III - photo tour
« on: March 28, 2005, 07:57:15 AM »
Alexander II is holding his son Pavel.  His other son Sergei stands behind his right shoulder.  To Sergei's right are Tsesarevich Aleksandr and his wife Maria Feodorovna; continuing in that right direction are Vladimir and Aleksei Aleksandrovichi and their sister Maria Aleksandrovna.  In front of these siblings is Empress Maria Aleksandrovna.  To her right is GD Maria Nikolaevna and her family, the Leucthenbergs.  In front of her is GD Aleksandra Iosifovna holding her son Viacheslav.  Not sure if that is GD Olga with Konstantin and Dmitrii to AI's right.

Behind the Emperor's left shoulder is GD Nikolai Nikolaevich (the elder), Prince Petr Georgievich of Oldenburg, GD Mikhail Nikolaevich with his son GD Nikolai, GD Konstantin Nikolaevich with his son GD Nikolai.  GD Elena Pavlovna is very easily recognizable sitting on the right hand side, in front of the piano, with her left hand supporting her head.

From here it gets very difficult for me to tell who is who...  Certainly GD Olga Nikolaevna, the Queen of Wurttemburg, and her family are among those near GD Elena.  The younger Nikolaevichi and Mikhailovich are with their mothers also in this part of the painting.  GD Ekaterina Mikhailovna and her family, the Meckleburg-Strelitz are in this part.  The Oldenburgs are certainly somewhere here as well.

I have seen this in a few books and have always been intrigued if it still exists; I have never seen it in a museum in Russia and not even sure who painted it.  In one of my books somewhere there is a table identifying who is who.  I just can't remember which one and while I am at work now (please don't tell my boss), I will only be able to fill in the gaps later.  

Would be curious if anyone else has thoughts on who is who.


Imperial Russian History / Re: Witte
« on: March 22, 2005, 08:00:37 AM »

It is funny that you mention Witte's Memoirs.  I actually had a look at Witte's book today in order to determine which GDs were present at the conferences in Tsarskoe Selo and Peterhof in the spring of 1905 through winter 1906.

I totally agree with you.  I will even go further to say that his memoirs are the most informative, interesting, and insightful of the whole late Imperial period (with regards to high politics/government, the Romanovs...)  And yes, he is very biased.  You must recall that he wrote these memoirs years after he was dismissed from the primer ministership.  He carries a grudge (so to speak) towards Nicholas II and Stolypin, the former for dismissing him and the latter for replacing him.  (While Goremykin was Prime Minister right after Witte, his term was short.)  His envy of Stolypin is remarkable.  Witte continuously intrigued against him while Witte was in the State Council, hoping for Stolypin's dismissal and his reinstatement as Prime Minister.  If you read Abraham Ascher's biography of Stolypin, you will see how pathetic Witte acted in his last years of service while in the State Council.

Do you know where we can get a copy?  GD Aleksandr Mikhailovich was involved in the founding of the Imperial Air Force.  Does Sheremetievskii discuss his involvement at all?



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