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Messages - NAAOTMA

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The Alexander Palace / Re: Alexander Palace Restoration
« on: August 15, 2012, 07:54:32 PM »

Christine, thank you for your post.

Those of us who who have loved the Alexander Palace and all the Russian history it reflects can only feel joy and deep gratitude at it's current metamorphisis. Sometimes I want to pinch myself that it has happened in my lifetime.

I saw the Alexander Palace for the first time on a dank misty day in April 1972 as a college student. I never dreamed that day it would be possible for me to return to it and be allowed inside, in the park and to attend a wonderful Saturday morning liturgy at the Feodorovsky Sobor. But that came to pass in the autumn of 2006.

Since then, I have watched the rebirth of the Alexander Palace in the last few years not only grateful that this beautiful building iis taking its rightful place among the architectural treasures of Russia, but that its restoration also illustrates the point "Beauty Will Save The World".

When I visited the Catherine Palace in 1972, the palace guide informed us that the restoration would continue for another 30 to 40 years. That was not presented as a problem, merely a fact. The museum staff were then and are now in it for the long haul.

Melissa K.

Forum Announcements / Re: Death of SAUTOV - Ivan Petrovich
« on: August 01, 2008, 06:45:50 PM »
Thank you for informing us of the loss of Ivan Petrovich Sautov. How wise was the Queen when she said "Grief is the price we pay for love."
That must ring true for many sad hearts today literally all over the world.

If there is any way to send flowers (or light candles at the Feodorovsky Sobor in Ivan Petrovich's memory) please let us know. It is hard to grasp such a "larger than life" person being gone from this earth.

With deepest sympathy to his family and those whose lives he touched.
With love to you and David as well as you cope with the loss of a dear friend.


I ordered my copy today---thank you, Christine for bringing this treasure to our attention. Melissa K.

Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: St. Petersburg imperial country residences news
« on: February 24, 2008, 12:41:51 PM »
Vladimir, thank you so much also for posting the pictures of the architectural renderings of the Lower Palace.

The architectural rendering drawing of the sea side view of the Lower Palace is featured in the 2006 Peterhof Guidebook that contains information on all the structures in the Peterhof complex. But to see more drawings, even at a distance, was a pleasure.

In the restoration of MF's bedroom and study at The Cottage and in taking the first steps to recreate the Lower Palace, the powers that be at Peterhof seem relatively comfortable in handling the relationship of the last Romanovs to the physical environs of Peterhof. Hopefully that can some day happen elsewhere.   Melissa

Palaces in St. Petersburg / Re: the mansion of Mathilde Kshessinskaya
« on: February 24, 2008, 12:13:06 AM »
That picture is of the main reception room, and the curator who took me through the  mansion told me that Mathilde had a special floor wax sent from Poland to make the floor shine like glass. The chandeliers in the room have a motif of golden swans in reference to the ballet "Swan Lake". The winter garden is visible at the end of the room, and today has a small collection of greenery and a trickling fountain. Next door, the dining room has been stripped of its decoration for the most part, as has her bedroom and her bathroom. No trace of her sunken tub or the mosiacs and marble the bathroom was famous for remain. Her son's room, where Lenin worked and also famously spoke from the balcony, is preserved with Lenin's desk. The main entrance hall is imposing and grand, just the place to make a stunning inital first impression greeting one's guests at the top of the stairs.

Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: St. Petersburg imperial country residences news
« on: February 23, 2008, 10:13:52 AM »
Vladimir, thank you so much for posting these pictures. When I saw the Temple of Friendship in late September of 2006 it was swathed in scaffolding as the restoration was in process. The new lighting is gorgeous along with the finished project. Paul's Empress must be smiling down!

The Windsors / Re: Diana Enquiry
« on: February 20, 2008, 10:50:07 AM »
It is sick and sad that the man responsible for creating the scenario that lead to the death of the Princess of Wales in Paris as well as his own son is so unable to deal with his own guilt that he must create a fantasy world of faulting others for what he himself wrought.

The Windsors / Re: Royal Palaces in London (except Buckingham Palace)
« on: February 16, 2008, 10:30:31 AM »
The Morning Room is done in a powder blue that is the "signature color" in the giftshop and the CH guidebook. That room required extensive reupholstery and carpentry repairs due to the damage the QM's corgis inflicted on the furniture in that room according to the guide who took us through the house. The Lancaster Room smelled really musty and had buff tones and a men's club feel to it, along with portraits of former PoWs---including the Duke of Windsor. The small Library located between the Morning Room and the Dining Room is also used as a dining room for smaller seatings. It has doorways on three sides and the windows in that room face west. The dining room is done in dark "Pompei" colors. The guide told us that the room, which faces west, was previously decorated in light yellow in an attempt to brighten it up. Prince Charles decided to go with the darker decor (alot of terra cotta and deep sapphire blue) because the room was mainly used at night with the chandelier lit and candle light. The dining room is stunning. The garden room is the largest room on the ground floor, and the southern light floods the room. A large french door leads out onto the lawn. There is a small solid "dutch door" on the bottom of it that was and is used to keep the dogs from going out into the garden unsupervised. The room has wonderful art and furniture and I think (can't find my guidebook) off white walls. There is a grand piano, a wonderful desk in one corner and a beautiful secretary on the other side of the room. The Horse Corridor is narrowish compared with the central hallway that runs from the frontdoor to the north side of the house. I am recalling it has a stairway leading to the floor above it. The central hallway did not have a stairway. I asked the guide where the Marie of Russia's orthodox chapel was, and the guide said it was on the first flloor (second floor to Americans) but no trace of it remained. There are family photos of the Prince, his sons and the Duchess of Cornwall scattered around the public rooms. And those white orchid plants. Compared to Spencer House or Marlborough House, CH seems modest in comparison. Of course that modesty is a relative thing! If I can find the guidebook, I can give more precise info on the Lancaster Room, the Library and the Garden Room if you are interested, as well as the paintings.

The Windsors / Re: Royal Palaces in London (except Buckingham Palace)
« on: February 15, 2008, 12:08:22 PM »
When I visited Clarence House in September of 2006, the windows on the ground floor facing Stable Yard Road (which is closed) were open. When the Changing of the Guard at BP happened, the music from the military band wafted in the Clarence House dining room. One thing that surprised me when my little tourist group walked in the front doorway is that the house smelled musty despite the freshly done redecoration and refurbishment and a profusion of large white orchid plants. It was like walking in the foyer of an old apartment building. During the Queen Mother's lifetime, when you walked along the Mall and looked up, you saw the top floor windows of Clarence House open and the curtains moving in the breeze. The little garden that the Prince of Wales put in at the front door of CH is very pretty, but the tubing running down the facade of the building to collect the house's "gray water" for recycling in the garden is practical but not very attractive.

These same coins are available in Estonian antique stores for a whole lot less money. My husband bought me one for under $10.00 in Tartu, Estonia in 2004. I had my jeweler put it into a coin "frame" in order to wear it as a pendant on a chain or ribbon. I have also seen those coins in Helsinki antique shops for moderate prices in comparison to what the pictured coin is priced at. The frame must be one factor in the listed price.

My father in law worked in the Imperial Pharmacy in Petersburg and left the country on the last train out before the Estonian border was closed after the Bolshevik Revolution. He brought one of these coins with him when he left Petersburg. He held on to it even when it was dangerous to do so in the Soviet occupation of Estonia in WWII. He brought it with him to the West in 1944. I have always wondered if he received it as an Imperial gift because he was an employee of the Imperial Pharmacy during the Romanov Tercentenary. He certainly treasured it and held on to it when virtually everything else was left behind not once but twice in his life.

The Windsors / Re: Andrew, Duke of York
« on: February 11, 2008, 10:43:50 AM »
There goes the nieghborhood: in the ARIZONA REPUBLIC newspaper here in Phoenix, Arizona USA there was a blurb on the front page that "Prince Andrew" will be visiting here tomarrow. A reception in his honor is being held at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel (about a mile from where I live) and that will be hosted by the Governor of the State and the Mayor of Phoenix. Since the weather here at this time of year is perfect for golf, and the Biltmore has a terrific golf course, HRH's schedule here kills two birds with one stone.

The Windsors / Re: Andrew, Duke of York
« on: February 09, 2008, 01:01:28 PM »
Thank you, Tampa dear for asking what I wondered myself...Grace, please fill us "American Cousins" in!

As to Andrew, I wish he would just play golf, cut ribbons and shut up. Maybe he can help his former wife repaint the bath at Dolphin House instead of sharing any of his future thoughts  with the public.

Tsaria,  just want to voice my support and give you a thank you for all your efforts here on the Forum.

Another version of Strawberries Romanov: fresh strawberries topped with a very generous amount of sour cream which then has brown sugar generously sprinkled over it. Very yummy.

I recently bought my husband the BBC 1972 version of WAR AND PEACE starring Anthony Hopkins and Alan Dobie. In the production notes, it said that Alan Dobie had beaten out Michael Jayston for the role of Prince Andrei in that production.

If the design and quality of the card had been well done, I  also would have had to buy the card. The sentiment is a lovely one for Valentine's Day. The provenance of the verse as well as what it expresses is far more interesting than the verses churned out by Hallmark cards to Valentine's Day.

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