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The Imperial Family / Re: Baby Name Announcements?
« on: April 29, 2018, 04:54:39 PM »
BTW I see that several other Norwegian provincial papers called the newborn heir "storfyrste Alexis" already on the 13th of August.

The Imperial Family / Re: Baby Name Announcements?
« on: April 29, 2018, 04:31:10 PM »
From Alexey Nikolayevich's Russian Wikipedia article:

Из телеграммы Барона Фредрикса
Петербург 30 июля. Её Величество Государыня Императрица Александра Федоровна благополучно разрешилась от бремени Сыном, наследником-Цесаревичем и Великим Князем, нареченным при святой молитве Алексеем, 30 июля сего года, в 1 час 15 мин. пополудни в Петергофе.
Подписал: Министр Императорского Двора генерал-адъютант барон Фредерикс.

From a telegramm by Baron Freedericksz
Petersburg, 30 July [OS]. Her Majesty Sovereign Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna was safely delivered of the burden of a son, the Heir-Tsesarevich and Grand Duke, named by? / at? holy prayer Alexey, on July 30 this year, at 1:15. PM in Peterhof.
Signed: Minister of the Imperial Court General-Adjutant Baron Freedericksz.

So yes, the name was known from the birth. The telegramm was probably sent to different authorities and soon spread to the media.

The Imperial Family / Re: Baby Name Announcements?
« on: April 29, 2018, 04:18:52 PM »
I see that my local provincial Norwegian newspaper announced the birth of the heir on the day following the birth (13th of August 1904), but did not name him. The paper noted that his birth would be welcomed by everyone, except those who wished for revolution! and hoped that NII would keep his promise of granting Russia a constitution when a male heir was born.

The name ("prins Alexius"!) was mentioned (in an exposition of the new heir's genealogy) in this Norwegian paper 13 days later, on the 26th of August, a week before the baptism on the 3rd of September.  (Greg King is mistaken about the baptism being 11 days after the birth, he has probably mixed up Old and New Style.)

The Imperial Family / Re: Baby Name Announcements?
« on: April 29, 2018, 03:49:38 PM »
I'm looking into Greg King's "The Court of the Last Tsar" regarding royal births and he describes the ceremonies surrounding Alexey Nikolayevich's birth and baptism as an example: No mention is made of a gun salute at the birth; only salutes of 301 shots from Kronstadt and the Fortress of Saints Peter and Paul at the end of the baptism (11 days after the birth). He doesn't say anything about the announcement of the name, but it sounds like it must have been known straight at the birth, as the newborn infant immediately was awarded various imperial orders, enrolled in the Imperial Guards, appointed Ataman of all Cossacks and it was announced that all soldiers in the Imperial Army fighting in the ongoing war against Japan would be named honorary godfathers. It's hard to imagine these honorary, but official acts being performed if the subject of them had no name or the soldiers didn't know what name they sponsored as godfathers.

Scandanavian Royal Families / Re: Crown Princess Victoria
« on: April 29, 2018, 05:42:16 AM »
Royal #metoo in Sweden!
Swedish newspapers report that Crown Princess Victoria was harassed by Jean-Claude Arnault, French-Swedish photographer, theatre director and general leading personality on the cultural scene. He allegedly put his hand on her rear during an official function in 2007. This was observed by several others, including the King (himself allegedly guilty of similiar behaviour with waitresses), who tasked the Secretary of the Swedish Academy with preventing Arnault from ever being alone with the Crown Princess.

The revelation comes connected to a huge scandal where Arnault, married to Swedish Academy member Katarina Frostenson, is accused of large-scale corruption (including selling the Swedish Academy's choice of Nobel Laureate in Literature to the media before the official announcement for seven years) and harassing a number of women connected to the Academy. Several members of the Swedish Academy have resigned in protest due to internal quarrels, the King has been brought in to restore order (as the academy's high protector) and it's unsure if the Academy will be able to name a Nobel Laureate in Litterature this year!

Reportedly Russians of a certain age immediately think of this song when they hear about a royal called Louis:

YouTube: Alla Borisovna Pugachova: Всё могут короли (Kings Can Do Everything)
A song from 1979 by one of the greatest Soviet artists about Ebenbürtigkeit! (About how a king like a certain Louis II can do everything except marry the beautiful goose herdess he wants, but is forced to marry some ugly ebenbürtige princess.) Perhaps the restrictions of Ebenbürtigkeit somehow ressonated with the opressed masses of Soviet citizens?

especially Dutch (e.g. Soestdijk Palace)

Soestdijk Palace was given to Prince William of Orange and when he and his wife the former Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna moved there permanently in 1831, she copied the design of the gardens at Pavlovsk. I believe she also redesigned the palace as it looks like her beloved childhood home Pavlovsk Palace.

Apparantly it's the wings of Soestdijk that are inspired by Pavlovsk, which interestingly enough was built by an "Atlantic" (Scottish) architect (Charles Cameron) in the Neo-Classical Palladian style. But it's no doubt the dark-coloured shutters of these buitenplatsen (summer residences) contrasting with the white walls on a rather top-heavy square form that make up a distinct Atlantic / Colonial feature of these buildings. Even though shutters also are typically Mediterranean feature, they are certainly not Russian.

BTW another fine example of the style is the landed estate Vollenhoven in the village of De Bilt not far from Soestdijk. (Yes, the eponymous De Bilt whence the Vanderbilts emigrated): Landgoed Vollenhoven

The Imperial Family / Re: Baby Name Announcements?
« on: April 28, 2018, 07:07:41 AM »
I know they announce the birth with a number of cannon shots from Peter and Paul Fortress depending on the gender, but how did they inform the public of the baby name before it hit the newspapers?

The Ministry of the Imperial Court probably issued some proclamation, but perhaps not untill the actual baptism? It's unlikely there was much demand to know before it was in the papers. The choice of names was much more limited than in modern, Western monarchies, so you could quite safely bet that the newborn royal would be called Alexander, Nikolay, Pavel, Maria, Alexandra or Olga.

From what I've read, it's most likely a nod to Louis Mountbatten, Earl Mountbatten of Burma...Prince Phillip's uncle, HM's second cousin and Prince Charles' honorary grandfather.

I can imagine anything Russian is extremely unpopular in the UK in this year of the Shrewsbury gas attack, but it's interesting that in this centennary of the murder of the Romanovs their relative Louis Mountbatten, himself assassinated by revolutionaries and someone who always kept a picture of Maria Nikolayevna at his bedside, is commemmorated in this way.

BTW the s in Louis is a reminder of the original full Proto-Germanic form: Hludowigaz (Ludwig), just like Alice / Alix are short forms of Aþalhaiduz.

Congratulations to William and Kate on the birth of their new little prince on this day, Monday, April 23, 2018!

Born on St. George's Day - this one should have been called George!

Nicholas II / Re: Tercentenary Route
« on: April 19, 2018, 03:56:41 AM »
Hello! I'm new here and I hope that I'm doing this properly! I was wondering if anyone knew the route that Nicholas II and his family took during the Romanov Tercentenary celebrations. I know they visited the Ipatiev Monastery, but I don't know much else about where they went.
Thank you!

The route was St. Petersburg - Vladimir - Suzdal - Nizhniy Novgorod - Kostroma (site of the Ipatiev Monastery) - Yaroslavl - Rostov - Pereslavl and Moscow.
See and Wikipedia: Путешествие императорской семьи в мае 1913 года

Having Fun! / Re: Romanov novel project
« on: March 07, 2018, 03:15:39 PM »
I know that I am asking a lot, but I very much need help (still stuck on the first page, for God's sake), and will accept anything that anyone has to offer, thank you.

Any particular reason why it's taking place in Belgium involving an Australian? What if the Romanovs Holstein-Gottops were returned to their native Schleswig-Holstein and found themselves on an Autobahn rest stop just outside Gottorp (Schleswig), Kiel or Rohlfshagen (estate of Peter III's father - between two Autobahnen) - or outside Oldenburg (on the Autobahn towards Belgium). If you place them in Schleswig-Holstein and read German you can base the shady character on a punker out of Lütjenburg native Rocko Schamoni's punk novel Dorfpunks.

The thing is, if you place your characters in very random settings and situations you have to have a very strong and compelling story. If you don't have that you can use more or less well-known settings and historical connections to make your story engaging, as a sort of "historical travelogue".

Empress Maria's amusing letters about food to Emperor Alexander III of Schloss Rumpenheim in Germany!

Old photographs and aerial views of Schloss Rumpenheim in Germany


There is something rather Atlantic about the exterior look of Rumpenheim, especially Dutch (e.g. Soestdijk Palace) or Colonial American. Rumpenheim, originally a part of the County of Hanau, was the only Hesse-Cassel possession south of the river Main, which is a kind of German Mason-Dixon line. When Prussia annexed all of Hesse-Cassel north of the Main, territorial sovereignty of Rumpenheim was ceded to Hesse-Darmstadt.

The word the Danes use in their epitaphs of him [the late Prince Henrik of Denmark] is sjov*, as in en sjov mand, a fun / funny man.
* Pronounced [ɕɒwˀ], with a Russian-style shcha (щ - voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative), then a typically Danish and English semi-diphtongized vowel and a glottal stop (Danish stød, also typical of Cockney, Estuary and Australian English) at the end.

The same sound [[ɕ] is the first one in the name of Xí Jìnpíng [ɕǐ tɕîn.pʰǐŋ], the president of China who is about to make himself dictator for life and virtual emperor. Strange then, that his name is rendered Си Цзиньпин in Russian instead of Щи Цзиньпин. Is it because it's disrespectful to call the Chinese president щи, shchi, cabbage soup?

Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia / Re: Upcoming Books 2018
« on: February 24, 2018, 02:17:16 PM »
The Romanov Empress : A Novel of Tsarina Maria Feodorovna

Let's hope the novel is better than the stupid, used-up title indicates. "The Baltic Empress" would have been much more fitting for a Glücksburg princess who grew up and ended her days by the Sound (entrance of the Baltic), reigned in St. Petersburg (innermost part of the Baltic) and holidayed on the Finnish coast, but I guess the title is chosen to trap American readers who don't know the difference between the Baltic, the Bosphorus, the Bay of Biscay and the Barents Sea.

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