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Messages - Thomas_Hesse

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The Hesse-Darmstadts (Hesse and by Rhine) / Re: Grand Duke Ludwig IV
« on: September 11, 2012, 10:34:40 AM »
Alice had a much better position that her sister in Berlin - because when she arrived in Darmstadt the Grand Duchess had just died and the Princess became in a way the first Lady from the very beginning. That way she was able to do much that Vicky had to fight for - being surrounded by a number of elder princesses and the Queen.

There was another English Princess to marry a Hesse: Elizabeth daughter of George III and therefore Alice's grand aunt became Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg.

The Austro-Prussian War lasted only for a couple of weeks and although Hesse had to pay a huge sum and suffered a lot the Grand Duchy remained independant - and it never strained the sisters relations. Quite the contrary was the case and Alice was quite pro-Prussian. When her son was born she asked Wilhelm I to be one of the godfathers.
that war did definitely not "hurry her to an early grave"

Alice had some intellectual input in Darmstadt - she formed close friendships with extraordinary artists and heads like Louise Büchner, Friedrich D. Strauss, Henriette Sontag, she met Brahms etc...
And as for the "enlightened background" of Prince Albert's: you know that his mother left her children when he was a toddler, that his father and brother were not "gentlemen" in the sence Albert that Albert was.... to say the least. I think on the contrary that he had to fight immensely for his education and compensated his longings for love and affection with learing.

Your turn :)

The Hesse-Darmstadts (Hesse and by Rhine) / Re: Grand Duke Ludwig IV
« on: September 11, 2012, 01:26:09 AM »
Eric, Princess Alice had a choice - it was not a marriage like the one of Archduchess Marie Louise and Napoleon. She was in love (the way people were in love in the 19th century) and I think well informed about the size of her new home and environment.
She knew that at first they would not have a palace on their own and that the annex of her parents in law's own house was indeed small.
There is also the very interesting memo that one of the Queen's doctors was comissioned to write before leaving for Germany - not only informing her on the case of pregnancy but also stating that the medical supply "abroad" was very different and that she did better to return to England in any case of REAL emergency.
So in a way it seems to me that the British had the idea of Germany being sort of uga-uga-land.....  and Alice knew that it was neither Berlin nor Munich she was about to live.

And again: how much did Prince Albert do to improve English habits and environments - think of the quarters he built for the working classes think of his cultural institutions and how he re-organized the Royal collection. He came from a very small Duchy and "backwater" State and I am sure that his marriage too (in his eyes at least) was certainly not always a success and mere joy :)

There are always things to do and to alter and to improve - be it London New York or Darmstadt. I think Alice was just right in her position

The Hesse-Darmstadts (Hesse and by Rhine) / Re: Grand Duke Ludwig IV
« on: September 10, 2012, 02:34:11 AM »
I am sorry if this sounds insulting - but how serious can I take a person trying to compare London or Den Haag with DARMSTADT?!
Your point is?
And "Noel Gerald" might be very pleased to hear how good Eric has read his work :)

The Hesse-Darmstadts (Hesse and by Rhine) / Re: Grand Duke Ludwig IV
« on: September 05, 2012, 09:13:23 AM »
If you say you were there and did not find much to appeal to you I think you can hardly have known Alice's Darmstadt?! :)

I am quite pleased that her parents did not marry her to a drunken womanizer - and knowing the troubles the Princess Royal had to face at the Berlin court it is easy to understand why her parents chose a smaller court for their 2nd daughter.

The Hesse-Darmstadts (Hesse and by Rhine) / Re: Grand Duke Ludwig IV
« on: September 05, 2012, 01:42:59 AM »
Eric - Darmstadt being rather small has one of the largest operatic stages in Germany, more than 15 museums and exhibition halls, Mathildenhöhe as a worldwide known centre for modern Art and design (and right now on the pre-list for the Unesco World Heritage), is the first city that got granted the title "city of sciences" in Germany due to several important institutions such as Merck, Roehm (inventor of acrylic glass), the very first professorship for electrical engineering in the world, the ESOC etc
I think this is not too bad for a city with 145.000 inh :)

As far as I know Alice did chose her husband deliberately - and by that time she already knew Coburg which was even smaller than Darmstadt. Her Neues Palais was a very nice and large building as a recently published book on it proves

The Hesse-Darmstadts (Hesse and by Rhine) / Re: Grand Duke Ludwig IV
« on: September 03, 2012, 01:39:05 AM »
Yes. I agree that the Prince of Orange did not deserve Alice, she was too good for him. What I am talking about is the location between Holland and Hesse. Alice might have less trouble pushing her social reforms in Darmstadt than in the Hague and avoid the German wars.

Comparing a nation like The Netherlands with a State like Hesse seems odd and rather unfair. The Hesses were obviously considered "good enough" to receive a Russian Tsar's daughter into their family and also good enough to marry off four of their own princesses to St. Petersburg (including two Empresses).

Had she been married into a greater court with less "problems", perhaps she would never have felt the strong need to help to guide and to improve that ruled her short life.
I also think that Noel does the whole thing no justice as far as Darmstadt, Louis and his family were concerned: he hardly writes anything about the city or their characters and to this day there are no biographies on them nor has anyone done any research on the huge amount of papers in the archives...
It is always easy to create the picture of the modern intelligent etc Princess to be caught in the trap of a stiff narrow little court.

I also think that - on the other hand - with her father Prince Albert it was just the other way round. He "improved" his position a lot by marrying the Queen of England but it was a most unnatural position for both of them for he - being "the man" - was not allowed at first to achieve much in both the private and the political sector. I think that the Prince Consort's vast improvements and "workaholism" are due to his desire to compensate this strange position he held. Had he married a German princess perhaps he would have led a very ordinary life...

Hey Rick,
my research was no success either... the only thing I know is that he did several portraits of Princess Elisabeth and her parents in 1901. I have seen some of the originals and a photograph of a portrait of Elisabeth with her mother.

The Imperial Family / Re: Pronounciation
« on: July 31, 2012, 11:43:08 AM »
Another pronounciation question...regarding how Irene of Hesse's husband's name, Heinrich, was pronounced by the family, and also Victoria Hesse's husband, Louis. Would it have been Louie or Louis? Thank you!

The easiest way: listen to this link at 0:10

the German "ch" cannot be explained I think...  ;)

Do we really know that Queen Victoria "arranged" that marriage so actively as many books state?
In the case of all her hessian grand daughters the Queen's will proved to be of little influence - all of them married the men they loved. Even against Victoria's will.

I wonder why Ernst Ludwig should have married a woman whom he did not love - in the letter quoted above he repeats his love for VM.
And a young woman as outspoken as VM would certainly not have married a man she was not attracted to?

I really think that it was only after a couple of years that they found themselves unable to get on together.

The Imperial Family / Re: Pronounciation
« on: June 30, 2012, 02:12:26 AM »
Thank you so much! I appreciate the detailed instructions a lot!
Another German surname I was wondering how to pronouce correctly is Rademacher, and also von Blumenthal. Though of course now I do know how to say von!

Rademacher: well the "ch" is hard to explain -  there are two ways to pronounce "ch" in German - the smooth and the hard sound. The latter is the one u need here. sounds very much as if someone is choking :) u can listen to it via this translation program if u click on the little loudspeaker button next to "machen"

Ra (british "a") de (sharp like in DEborah) ma (brit.) ch er

Blumenthal: Blu (like the English "blue") men (like "MENtal") thal (like "tall")

The Imperial Family / Re: Pronounciation
« on: June 29, 2012, 11:59:19 AM »
I think the "cercle" is just pronounced like the ordinary "circle" :)

As for Princess Alix's companion:
unlike the English name Margaret (Mar-gret) in the German version you pronounce the second "a" as well. The last three letters are not pronounced like the English "the" but like the first two letters of "TExt" : Mar - ga (british "a" like in MARgret - not the american one) - re (sharp "e" like the first "e" in "Ethel") - te ("TExt").

The "v" in von is like the "f" in fall

Fa (british "a") -bree-ce ("ce" like "s" - but a sharp s like in Sam)

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Who is ”old Jack”?
« on: June 20, 2012, 08:24:37 AM »
"Harrina" is Princess Irène of Prussia née Hesse - it is a reference to her husband Heinrich's "anglomanic" nickname Harry.

The Windsors / Re: Queen Victoria's Journals
« on: June 15, 2012, 01:42:54 AM »
The journals get very much duller when they became written more for public consumption - in 'Dearest Missy' the Duchess of Edinburgh writes of Queen Victoria more or less dictating her diary entry to Princess Beatrice.

I think she would dictate only in the final years when her eyeside began to fail rapidly - in one of the last entries she writes: felt very depressed for I see so badly.

Ernst Ludwig of Hesse recalles a story from the mid 1890ies when the Queen was expected to go to join the dinner party ("that night we waited longer for her than usual") but before the messenger left she wanted to write a short letter to congratulate the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar on a jubilee.
When finishing the letter she realised that she had written over the same line two times and was at the same time caught between her desire to congratulate the Grand Duke right in time - and her being hungry. So finally she started crying :)

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Empress Alexandra Photos #5
« on: June 06, 2012, 03:08:28 PM »
It is indeed the same Fräulein Schneider - Schneiderlein, Trina, Trinchen who was murdered in Jekaterinburg after refusing to leave the IF

Alexandra Feodorovna Empress of Russia, Princess of Hesse and the Rhine
6.6. 1872 - 6.6. 2012

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