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Messages - James1941

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Imperial Succession and the Throne / Precedence of the Dowager Empress
« on: October 20, 2004, 04:50:56 PM »
When Maria Feodorovna became Dowager Empress she claimed precedence over the new Empress consort Alexandra Feodorovna as first lady of Russia. This caused much embarrasment to Alexandra.
Can anyone cite the law or edict which specifically states that dowager empresses take precedence over the consort of the reigning emperor? Was this a law, or merely a tradition that had never been used by previous dowager empresses?

I should like to know if there is a monument or plaque or some other commemrative marker of this tragic event in Moscow today. I think the site of the field is now a sports complex. If anyone knows about this I would appreciate any information regarding it. This event set the stage for the reign of the emperor and I don't think he or Alexandra ever recovered from the bad impression it caused.

Palaces in Moscow / Re: Small Nicholas Palace in Kremlin
« on: October 11, 2004, 01:33:29 AM »
I am no expert on the lives of the GD Sergei and the GD Elizabeth, but I believe that when he was Governor General of Moscow they lived for most of the time in the Governor General's Residence outside the Kremlin walls.
Only when it became so unsafe for them because of the 1905 revolutionary turmoil did they move to the Small Nicholas Palace in the Kremlin. It was to the Governor General's Residence that the GD Sergei was going to finish packing when he was assassinated. He had just resigned as Governor General. This building, the Governor General's Residence is still in existence. I believe that it is now the Duma for the City of Moscow, or something associated with the Moscow City government. The Soviets remodeled it, adding several floors and moving it back from the street when it was widened in the 1930s. If I am incorrect I would welcome correction on the details.

Palaces in St. Petersburg / Re: Private rooms of the Winter Palace
« on: October 11, 2004, 01:18:16 AM »
For anyone who might be interested I would recommend this excellent book: "The Winter Palace, Saint Petersburg."  It was published in 1994 by Alain
de Gourcoff, Editeur, 18, rue d"Aumale, Paris, IXe: and again in 1995 by the State Hermitage Museum. The preface is written by Mikhail Borisovitch Piotrovsky.
It contains the collection of watercolor portraits of the rooms of the Winter Palace commissioned by Tsar Nicholas I, and completed under Tsar Alexander II. The watercolors of the rooms are fantastic. Both the state rooms and the private rooms of the imperial family are here with a good explanation of the rooms and their decor, in English. There is also an excellent floor plan of the rooms in use as of the reign of Alexander II. For any one interested in how the Romanovs used the Winter Palace this book is a must, but it is expensive.

Imperial Transportation / Re: Livadia - The Yacht (1880)
« on: October 10, 2004, 05:26:31 PM »
In 1981 Time-Life Books Inc. published a series of books called "The Seafarers." One book in the series was entitled "The Luxury Yachts." On pages 142-147 it has the beautiful watercolor plans of the Livadia. Main deck, imperial stateroom deck, engine room deck, etc.
The picture credits say these were obtained from the National Maritime Museum in London.

Imperial Transportation / Re: Hohenzollern - German Imperial Yacht 1892
« on: October 10, 2004, 05:09:21 PM »
Dear Greg:
Would the book you are refering to be"
"The Golden Century: Classic Motor Yachts-1830 to 1930" by Ross MacTaggart, published in 2001?
If not, it has a wonderful section on the German Imperial Yacht "Hohenzollern" on pages 33-39, with excellent pictures of the interiors and decks.
Hope this is helpful.

The Imperial Family / Re: Imperial Family Jewels
« on: October 10, 2004, 04:30:39 PM »
Thank you to Forum Admin for your reply. Perhaps I didn't make my question clear. What I intended to ask is if anyone knows the subsequent disposal of these jewels and tiaras as pictured. Are they now a part of the Armoury museum display along with the crown jewels, were they broken up and sold for foreign currency like so many other items the Soviets acquired, are they now in private hands, or what eventually has become of them? They look quite beautiful, and it would be a pity if they are lost. Thanks again.

The Imperial Family / Re: Imperial Family Jewels
« on: October 05, 2004, 04:28:03 PM »
When the Imperial Family was sent to Tobolsk in 1917, they took a treasure trove of tiaras, orders, and other jewels. Much of that was given over to sisters from a nearby convent to hide. In the 1930's (I believe) the Soviets discovered the secret and tortured some of the sisters who divulged the hiding place. The tiaras and others jewels were then discovered by the Soviets and brought back to Moscow.\
Has anyone any information as to what happened to these tiaras and jewels?

Nicholas II / Re: Personal Attributes of Nicholas II
« on: September 29, 2004, 02:06:48 PM »
At various times Anna Annderson mentioned that "her father" had tattoos and described them. For her detractors this was proof that she was an imposter as they maintained the Tsar had no tatoos. However, these were usually people who were not that intimate with the imperial family. Some of her supporters, who were in more of a position to know, supported her claim that  the Tsar had tattoos and described them also as proof that she was the real Anastasia. Just another mystery in the fascinating story of this woman.

Imperial Transportation / Re: Personal travel private trains
« on: September 22, 2004, 09:39:58 PM »
JD:  One possible reason the Yousoupovs had two identical carriages, one for Russian travel and one for European travel may be due to the fact that Russian railroads and European railroads had two different "gauges" to travel on. Gauge refers to the width or distance between the two rails. If I am not mistaken Russian gauge is 5 feet, where as European gauge was a standard 3 ft  4 inches. Supposedly when railroads were first beginning to be built in Russia, the Tsar (Nicholas I, I think) ordered that Russian guage be wider than that used in Europe. The theory was that this would make it harder for any potential invader to use the Russian rails. It was foolish, because all the invader had to do was move one rail closer in and then use the railroad. It did mean, however, that Russian railway carriages were wider and more commodious than European carriages. It also meant that if one wanted to travel in Europe like the Yousoupovs they needed two types of carriages. Spain, I believe, also has a different gauge on its RENFE railways. I may not be accurate in all my facts, but I hope it helps explain the reason why Russian coaches and engines were different thatn European ones. Thanks.

Rulers Prior to Nicholas II / Re: Alexander III
« on: September 22, 2004, 04:18:34 PM »
Like all accidents where man and machinery are involved it takes a combination of defaults coming together to generate the tragedy. The Titanic disaster is a case in point. With regard to the Borki accident, I read (I can't recall where) that in addition to the poor condition of the railroad bed, the excessive speed, that incompentence by members of the railroad staff also contributed. It seems that two engines were attached to pull the train but that they were mismatched in size and power. One engine acted against the other, causing uneven power to be applied, causing a wobble of the cars. This, compounded with the condition fo the roadbed was the combination of flaws that resulted in the train wreck. I believe that research has pretty much ruled out a terrorist assassination attempt. If I am wrong in any of my conclusions I would welcome correction. Thanks.

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