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Messages - Nick_Nicholson

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The Imperial Family / Re: Imperial Family Jewels
« on: February 24, 2009, 03:49:40 PM »

 Is the first necklace you just posted diamonds only?  It is very beautiful!

This is actually a bit of a misrepresentation; these are a collection of dress ornaments, that were joined together to form a necklace at a later date.  You can see them in their original form a few photographs earlier.

It is the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign, on the corner of Park Avenue and 93rd  Street.

Imperial Succession and the Throne / Re: Who is the rightful heir?
« on: November 29, 2008, 02:35:52 PM »

I've always been less bothered about the Orthodox arguements than any others. Prior to 1917 all of Grand Duke Kyril's family were regarded as Dynasts despite the late conversion of Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna - the fact that the all bore the appropriate styles and titles and that Kyril was certainly regarded as a dynast when he married Victoria Melita suggests that although Marie Pavlovna hadn't converted at that point it wasn't regarded as being an impediment to her children's rights whatever the Pauline Laws might have said. The marriage of Prince/Grand Duke Vladimir is different and whatever has been written and argued about since there is little doubt that the marriage wouldn't have been regarded as equal before 1917.  A deposed dynasty converted into Russian Prince's was not the same as a member of the House of Holstein Gottorp Romanov - their rights might have been guaranteed by treaty but they do not seem to have enjoyed the same semi imperial status enjoyed by the Leuchtenbergs or the Oldenburgs. The Bagrations don't appear to have enjoyed any special status anymore than the princely houses who were descended from the Rurikid rulers of the varying Russian states prior to the unification of Russia.
Kyril and Vladimir were in my view undoubtedly the next two in line following the revolution - however Kyril and Vladimir's insistance on maintaining the family rules (as de facto Emperors - they could have done what other deposed Royal Houses have done and ammended their own house rules with the agreements of other senior family members - the Fundamental Laws were effectively dead - with the revolution - on an anticipated restoration new laws could enacted) put Vladimir in the position of defending his marriage whilst denigrating the marriages of his relations (many of whom had married into the Russian aristocracy) - had he had a son it might not have been such a problem for him. But his continuing insistance that his marriage was equal and secondly that with the deaths of his cousins he was the last male dynast split the family and left them where they are today. Given that any modern restoration would almost certainly do what the surviving European monarchies have done and see an ammendment to the rules regarding female succession etc then you could make arguements that the nearest relatives of the last reigning Czar (the descendants of Xenia Alexandrovna) would have the greater claim, or that Maria Vladimirovna being the senior surviving male line descendant has the greatest rights.

While I agree with you on the fact that Kyrill was a dynast, (as a grandson of an Emperor and the product of a marriage of equal birth), that is separate from his status in the succession.  Remember that initially, there was Nicholas and his brothers George and Michael, followed by All of Alexander's brothers.  At Kirill's birth, it was inimportant for him to be born of an Orthodox mother, as his claim to the throne was remote.  Maria Pavlovna the Elder's late conversion to orthodoxy was entirely due to her realization that Kirill was soon to be in line.  This was a first occurrence of this situation, and so the question of whether or not Kirill could succeed was real indeed, which is why so many supported Grand Duke Nicholas.

Also, if you start using the Morganatic marriages, then I would argue the Yourievskys or Ilyinskys have a greater claim as direct descendants of Alexander II.

Imperial Succession and the Throne / Re: Who is the rightful heir?
« on: November 23, 2008, 11:29:23 PM »
I have read every argument, and have spoken to so many experts, it seems to me that the only thing on which Maria Vladimirovna's claim hinges is the interpretation of the law that the Tsar must have an Orthodox mother.  In Russian (and English) it is unclear if the heir to the throne must be born of an Orthodox, or if the heir's mother must be Orthodox at the time of the ascension.  I can't find a single instance where a Tsar was born of a non-convert. 

If the law adheres to the former, Kirill, Vladimir, and Maria are out (and Nicholas and Maria Feodorovna's opinion would make sense here).  If the latter, there is no question.

Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: Catherine Palace Restoration
« on: November 23, 2008, 11:13:41 PM »
Joanna,  Wonderful image, I have the same one, but only in black and white.  Is yours tinted?

Oh dear. Do we need a "Russian Palaces Original COlors" thread?

Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: Catherine Palace Restoration
« on: November 23, 2008, 07:05:41 PM »

The wall is painted lower portion darker than upper. I am wondering if it is possibly basement room of a palace as it has more a raw feel compared to the family's wall-papered rooms. As this photo is during war years, the elaborate table and divan was probably moved for comfort of their quarters.


Compare the table with this one.  Perhaps from the same suite?

Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: Catherine Palace Restoration
« on: November 23, 2008, 06:25:00 PM »
Here is an image of the Winter Palace in 1832-33 during construction of the Alexander Column.  (Hermitage collection)

And here is a watercolor of Palace Square and the Winter Palace in 1804 from the Nevsky Prospect.  (Also Hermitage)

You can see the yellow and white WP in both.



Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: Catherine Palace Restoration
« on: November 20, 2008, 07:40:41 AM »
Finally, that watercolor dates from the 1830's or 40's (look at the carriages and costumes) and we know that the palace was blue at that point.

Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: Catherine Palace Restoration
« on: November 20, 2008, 07:38:34 AM »
When he says "Stuccoed white" he simply means that the brick was covered with a final coat of white plaster.  That is a mention of construction method, rather than a comment on the building's decoration.  White stucco was always a ground for a painted finish.  In italy, stucco was often pink or ochre, which was intended as a final decorative finish. 

Also, that picture of the Catherine Palace is misleading.  The "Yellow" that people see is actually the yellow paint that the artist used to show the gilded window surrounds, lintels, and caryatids that cover the surface of the building.  If you look at the right hand side of the picture, you can clearly see the blue-painted capital bases, stairs,and hints of wall.  It is the perspective that makes the building appear yellow (gold)  I think the yellow haze was the artist trying to show how brilliantly gold the surface of the building was.

Imperial Succession and the Throne / Re: Who is the rightful heir?
« on: November 03, 2008, 06:44:53 PM »
Lisa, I would pleasantly argue that the equal birth was a requirement for membership in the Imperial family and status of dynast, from which an imperial stipend would come.  Also, the monies paid came from the private purses of the Imperial family, not from the russian civil government.  Unlike Britain, where the Royal family are paid from the "Privy Purse" which includes tax monies, the members of the Imperial family were supported by the Tsar.   Tax monies went to support civil programs, like the salaries for the duma, etc.

Imperial Succession and the Throne / Re: Who is the rightful heir?
« on: November 03, 2008, 01:58:20 PM »
Yes, Lisa.  Exactly.  That is why Nicholas of the RFA asserts his own claim, though he doesn't press it.  Nicholas' father as a russian prince of the imperial blood was not required to marry with the emperor's permission.  As his parents were not required by house law to contract a marriage of equal birth, his own union does not need to be with someone of equal birth.  (Though it should be acknowleged that as his mother was a Cheremeteff, his is still a member of the highest Russian nobility, and his wife is a Della Gherardesca, a member of a Florentine noble family far older than either the Romanovs or the Cheremeteffs.  In fact, some would say Nicholas married up!


I would think you would have to add the ROCOR Cathedral of our Lady of the Sign in New York City, as they have her hand.




Interesting that you say the body might be moved with the approval of her "collateral descendants"

I wonder who they would be?   Dimitri Pavlovitch and Mariya Pavlovna were her official heirs, as they were adopted after GD Paul's mesalliance, and Clearly Dimitri inherited the Belosselsky Palace and Ilyinskoe.  I guess the Ilyinskys would be the direct heirs, and responsible for the permission, however, they are not Orthodox, so perhaps the Chuurch would avoid them?  If someone is cononised, moreover, are their remains still subject to regular law?  I guess they are, but what an unusual situation!


Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: Catherine Palace Restoration
« on: October 22, 2008, 01:37:26 PM »
From the Tsarskoye Selo website.

Very interesting!


If you don't read russian, view it through the website, which though it comes out sort of in gobbledy gook, helps alot--you'll get the gist.

Lisa and Robert, hello!

Regarding the involvement of the Patriarch in the burial of the Imperial family, it isn't that the ROC isn't interested in or predjudiced against the IF, it was a religious issue.  The state pressed for an immediate burial after the identification,and the ROC was placed in a very difficult canonical position.  In ROCOR, the IF are full fledged Saints, but in ROC they are Holy Martys, which are different.  ROC and ROCOR have merged in a "separate but equal" kind of way, and these are details they are trying to fix.  The liturgy for the dead for a member of the imperial family is very different than what would occur for the interrment of a Martyr or Saint.  The patriarch removed himself purely so that he would not be involved in doing the wrong service over the remains/relics.  When the final canonisation process is completed, I am certain that he will be involved, and I would not be surprised if the family were moved from the cathedral

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