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Messages - lori_c

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I very much doubt it. Alexandra was extremely obstinate and not known for listening to anybody who did not agree with her. She was blind to the reality of many things as she chose not to see.
Yes, I quite agree.  IMO both Nicky and Alix moved through life with blinders on.  Nicky perhaps because that was his defense mechanism, Alix too in her own way.  Though clearly Alix was to blame as was her husband for this character trait as it has serious consequenses and surely they could have changed and been open to discussions and new ideas.

Irene (as well as VMH) seemed to see life and it's trials and victories for what they were, just that.  Irene seemed quite practical and no nonsense but open to discussion at least.
I think that the firmness and strong will was a trait that all members of the Hesse children shared.  But Irene does not seem to be as intractable as her younger sister.

Well, certainly hemophilia was a chance they took when they had their children.  But neither the Imperial Couple, Ella or anyone else could have predicted the tidal wave that seemed to happen with the appearance of Rasputin.  So in reality, those that knew that Alix could be obstinate and single-minded, nobody could have forseen that the coming of Rasputin would be the harbinger of the end of the Empire.  Certainly, the couple themselves didn't see it. 

But that's another topic.  Rasputin was only the tip of a 300 year old iceberg. 

IMO, had the war and distance not seperated the sisters, and had Alix not have isolated herself so much, perhaps she would have found some sort of support system, something she clearly needed - as any parent of a disabled or dying child does.  Had Irene been the one in Russia, would it have made any difference?

Rulers Prior to Nicholas II / Re: Empress Catherine II
« on: August 21, 2007, 04:38:19 PM »
True.  And also, the Empress accepted the child as Peter's whether she truly believed it or not, and it doesn't seem likely he would go against her.

Rulers Prior to Nicholas II / Re: Empress Catherine II
« on: August 21, 2007, 12:27:39 PM »
This child, although given the honorary patronymic Petrovna, was almost certainly the child of Catherine's liaison with Stanislaus Poniatowski, 'le beau Polonais,' of whom she writes in her Memoires. With childhood disease rampant everywhere,  and infant mortality rates quite high, it seems likely that the little Anne died of one or another fever in March, 1759. Catherine does not mention her, although she must have felt some pain at the loss of this daughter.
I have never seen a portrait of this child, although some exist of Grand Duke Paul in childhood. Since Catherine was extricating herself from the rather sticky coils of Poniatowski's fervent devotion to her, she may not have kept much in the way of mementoes from their liaiason. It was also unusual, in this period. to paint a  child quite that young (although cf. Mme Vigee-Lebrun's  studies of Marie Antoinette and her children). If anybody finds one, please post it! - thanks!
I find it interesting that Peter III did not deny paternity for little Anna either.  Perhaps because of the money each parent received whenever a child was born?  Money definitely served the interests of both parties and both were constantly in debt.

The Imperial Family / Re: Grand Duchess Ksenia and Grand Duke Alexander
« on: August 21, 2007, 09:33:42 AM »
Yes she really looked most unusual when she got older. She looked nothing like her mother or maternal grandmother.

Her features somewhat resembeld her paternal grandmother GDss Olga Fedorovna.

I agree and startlingly like her aunt GD Anastasia of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. She had many of her father's family's features.
But the combination of genes in Irina as she aged was much different than her Aunt and Grandmother and really did make for an unusual effect.

Does anyone think any of Xenia and Sandro's sons resemble Xenia's mother's side or Nicky?

Well at a certain point the sisters were on opposing sides of a world war which greatly curtailed Irene's communication with her siblings in Russia and her sister in England, not to mention her voluminous cousins and relations.  Irene, IMO, most certainly would have understood Alix's anguish over Alexei and her feelings of helplessness.  But it seems that she handled her hemophiliac children differently.  And she understood, as did the rest of the Hesse children, Alix's propensity for hysteria.  They knew Alix was high strung since childhood, and could be difficult and moody.  But they were all still very close including Ernie.

VMH and Irene seemed the voice of reason that did not offend Alix as much as Ella for whatever reason.  After 1914, it was very difficult anyway to have much contact with each other.  So it seemed to fall upon Ella to try to reach Alix in anyway she could as she was in Russia.

VMH and Irene were quite aware of Rasputin's "hold" over Alix and whatever it was that he did to prey upon her anquish over her dying child.  Mainly through correspondence from Ella and others that made it to them through clandestine channels.  But they were helpless given the circumstances to do any sort of intervention.  It is doubtful that it would have made any difference anyway.  So it fell upon poor Ella to try to stem the tide. And since Ella had to stand alone, she was "driven out" like a dog as she put it. 

The Imperial Family / Re: Grand Duchess Ksenia and Grand Duke Alexander
« on: August 16, 2007, 12:45:19 PM »
Forgive my ignorance, but does the costume of GD Xenia w/headdress exist today?  Is it on display?  perhaps in the Kremlin?

actually, the dress does still exist (in the costume collection of the Hermitage museum in St.Petersburg), minus the jewels, of course.   as far as i know, the headress no longer exists.   since it was made of some type of cardboard, it probably wouldn't have been retained, once the jewels had been removed from it.   

During this costume ball, did those who attended wear replicas or was their surviving regalia from the period?  It doesn't seem feasible but I was wondering......  It would seem the originals could not have survived the ravages of time.
Also, were the jewels pilfered or are they part of the State's collection now?

The Imperial Family / Re: Grand Duchess Ksenia and Grand Duke Alexander
« on: August 15, 2007, 12:32:26 PM »
Forgive my ignorance, but does the costume of GD Xenia w/headdress exist today?  Is it on display?  perhaps in the Kremlin?

I do too.  How devastating it must have been for the siblings of the Empress (and all others that were close to the family, not to mention related).  And that Irene seemed to be targeted along with GD Olga & Xenia seems so cruel. 

Though Irene's persona seems not to come through alot in surviving narratives, she seems IMO to possess the same quiet strength that her mother and even Ella possessed.  As well as VMH. Though I don't know if she possessed the same nervous strain from her mother as well.

To have more than one hemophiliac son would be quite a hurdle to say the least.  She seems to have handled it differently than Alix.  But then again, there wasn't the pressure of having to produce an heir nor did she IMO seem to have the "nervous" condition that bordered on hysteria that Alix exhibited.  Not that I personally would blame Alix. As a mother, standing by watching your child edge to the brink of death over and over and over again, would certainly not have drive ME to the brink of a breakdown.  But Irene seems to have handled it differently. And IMO deserves much respect and admiration for it. And it is a credit to Princess Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse, that her children were so united and had such a bond.  Except for the end of course when Ella and Alix drifted apart.  But IMO Irene never waivered in her loyalty to her siblings even after the horrible events of the Revolution, WWI  and it's aftermath

Pushkin Town History / Re: German occupation
« on: August 01, 2007, 03:39:22 PM »
"Forgivenes" is definitely something one learns to do.  Some never achieve that.  But as for forgeting, the Holocaust survior Simon Weisenthal fought very very hard,  along with countless others to assure that NOBODY ever forgot that horrible tragedy and who was behind it.  So that the world would never let it happen again. Because it could.   It's a testament to all those who fought to keep this in the pulic consiousness of the world yesterdat, today and for the future that any monument should stand.  Not as praise, but as rememberance of  one of the darkest era's in our world's history. Lest we forget.........

Pushkin Town History / Re: German occupation
« on: August 01, 2007, 10:02:00 AM »
Once again, you are not understanding my meaning at all. By pretending that nothing happened on that spot, you are in fact, "forgetting".  I say, acknowledge the fact that something happened there, the palace was occupied by the Germans, they had set up a graveyard in front of the palace where they buried their dead, etc. It is part of the history of Pushkin and part of Russian history. Why ignore that and pretend that nothing happened there and that the flower bed is just a flower bed? Again: "acknowledge" does not equal "honor" or "forgive and forget", you are totally misunderstanding the meaning if this.

To me, ignoring historical facts (not acknowledging them) is, to a much lesser degree of course, analoguos to planting a lovely garden where the death camps used to stand and pretending nothing happened there. By keeping artifacts from these camps , thus acknowledging they existed - instead of ignoring them - we are not "honoring" these death camps, we are confronting history, and in fact, as much as is in our power, hoping we will learn from history... The fact that the Germans occupied Pushkin and their graves are still beneath the ground in front of the AP is part of the palace's, the town's and the country's history, and has to be acknowledged rather than ignored. History should never be ignored or rewritten, no matter how unpleasant.
Absolutely.  After that horrible time in history, survivors and many others fought to be sure that we never forget....... Lest we should forget or it will happen again.  How does the saying go, Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it?  something along those lines.
I agree that confronting it is part of healing.  And learning for the future.

The Windsors / Re: Queen Alexandra (1844-1925), Part III
« on: August 01, 2007, 09:51:48 AM »
In the pictures of her in earlier years you can see how much she resembled MF and why George V and Nicholas looked so much alike.  And what an elegant Queen she made. What a lovely lovely lady.

For anyone who missed it, it will be on again Saturday August 4 at 3:OO pm

Olga Nicholaievna / Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« on: July 31, 2007, 12:22:45 PM »
No it shouldn't be part of history. But it is part of the answer to the topic of the thread.  Everybody CAN only speculate.  It can be accepted as one's own personal view of the IF's imprisonment and subsequent execution.
And the events surrounding their imprisonment will always be subject to this "murky" speculation.  But it's part of what draws us here to the forum. To talk about how we interpret what happened almost 100 years ago and how we feel about it now. There are so many unanswered questions regarding Nicholas and his family and the events that transpired during and even before his reign.  It is unlikely that we will find them.
Not all of us are scholars. But we post here because we are united in our interest in the subject matter.  Whether or not it has concrete fact, doesn't make it any less appealing.
So getting back to whether or not Olga knew, certainly it's all speculation.

Olga Nicholaievna / Re: Olga knew what was going to happen
« on: July 31, 2007, 11:38:45 AM »
Truly there are some evidence in the behavior of all the imperial family in the last days.  The diary of the Tsar, for example, a diary which he never waivered in entering every single day of his life, was all of a sudden sporadic and then ended several days before it happened.  When the last religious service was allowed them by Yurovsky, the entire family immediately fell on their knees and it was noted that they were not singing as usual and that something was definitely different about them.

This of course can be speculated upon as well, to mean anything. But given that Yurovksky had become the new head of the guard at the Ipatiev house and the regimen was more strict than before, one can only imagine what this meant once Nicholas figured out Yurovsky was no "doctor" as he previously wrote in his diary. 

The IF were not unintelligent.  IMO they would have realized that Yurovsky changes were ominous for them and how precarious their situation was.  For example the shot through their window, nearly missing GD Anastasia.  That they accepted in the beginning the bogus note for help to escape and then all of a sudden refused it, IMO seems Nicholas wasn't quite the fool they took him to be.  Obviously they ALL realized the danger they were in at that point.

Olga, as has been documented, was more sensitive and withdrawn after the Rus incident. Was she thinking of her and her family impending doom?  Maybe not.  But it certainly couldn't have looked like they were headed for a holiday. IMO, they all realized the precariousness of their situation once Kerensky's government fell.

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