Author Topic: Had they all survived, where/how would they live?  (Read 7228 times)

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Offline Clemence

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Had they all survived, where/how would they live?
« on: May 11, 2008, 09:16:09 AM »
sorry again if this is somehow asked and answered again in this forum, but so many times I find myself asking this. where would they go, since noone seemed happy to have them? on what income would they live after the revolution in russia? how would they manage to face the rest of the world? how would alix let the girls finally grow up and become somehow independent? I have a very hard time trying to immagine the family - especially alix - facing all that.
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Constantinople

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Re: Had they all survived, where/how would they live?
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2008, 10:37:25 AM »
Probably the answer is not too difficult to imagine.  If they had survived until the White army rescued them, probably they would have been moved to somewhere near Vladivostock and once the civil was looked doomed, they probably would have been shipped out to Shanghai and from Shanghai, probably Britain would have been shamed into taking them.  In Britain, they would have lived on a grace and favour basis.  As the family was imperial, there would have been no problem arranging good marriages for the daughters.  Alexei would have been more problematic but may have been suitable for one of the younger daughters of King George. This is all highly speculative of course.  One intersting thing I discovered on JSTOR was the fact that the Imperial Russian government had shipped a lot of gold to Canada and France to secure loans for military equipment during the war so perhaps some of this could have been made available.  Also as we know from the communists, most members of the family had a lot of jewels sown into their clothes so they could have sold those as well.

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Had they all survived, where/how would they live?
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2008, 12:34:29 PM »
King George V had only one daughter, Princess Mary. She ended up marrying a British nobleman. I don't know if she and Alexei might have married, I think if in Britain, he probably would have married some relative, probably a fellow royal in exile. It certainly would have been a main goal of Alexandra, to have him suitably married. The question of how they would have lived/ where has met with various answers, but other exiled royals got by and they could have as well, wherever they were.

Constantinople

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Re: Had they all survived, where/how would they live?
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2008, 02:15:22 PM »
Well its all speculation but exiled heads of states tend to do well even if they have nefarious pasts like Bokhasa or Idi Amin,  I can also imagine the Tsar as a taxi driver in Paris, shaving so that people don't recognize him. Once in a while someone gets in the taxi and says I can't qu'te place you but you look very familiar.

ArchDss Louise-Henriette

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Re: Had they all survived, where/how would they live?
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2008, 04:35:40 PM »
Poor Romanovs *  :( * ...  horrible, terrible Communist regime !  ::)      * NAOTMAA will ALWAYS be remembered *

Offline rosieposie

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Re: Had they all survived, where/how would they live?
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2008, 07:20:34 PM »
I think they would of lived in Britain, although it could be possible they would of ended back in Denmark with Nicky's mother.    That is a good possiblity.    LOL of Nicky driving a cab. :p
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Offline mr_harrison75

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Re: Had they all survived, where/how would they live?
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2008, 07:42:40 PM »
Yes, very funny! Imagine a client saying:

You seem familiar...you know, you look a lot like the King of England!

Danemark most probably. England? I think not. Perhaps Canada or the United States; imagine them on a farm in Alberta, with the Russian speaking communities, or something like that, and the GD marrying some young handsome Russians without thinking of rank, only following their heart...

Constantinople

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Re: Had they all survived, where/how would they live?
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2008, 10:45:09 PM »
Or imagine Nicky driving a cab in Paris and driving delegates to the Versailles conference of 1919.  Imagine a British delegate getting in the cab and thinking George V is driving the cab and thinking, I am sure he should be in England.

Offline mcdnab

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Re: Had they all survived, where/how would they live?
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2008, 11:37:00 AM »

Given the political ramifications i doubt very much that George V would have been willing initially to give them sanctuary - perhaps at a push he would have offered a home to Alexandra and the children but not Nicholas.  I do have some sympathy for George V - its clear from his diary that he did fear for "nicky's" safety i think initially he probably was less worried for "Alicky" and the children - but his position was difficult.  1917 was the height of anti german feeling in Britain - he's already thinking about changing his family name, dropping his families german titles and styles.  Taking in a man that many democrats saw as a tyrant and emphasising the family connection wasn't ideal in any circumstances - and no matter being Queen Victoria's granddaughter Alexandra was still a german born princess as demonstrated by the unpopularity that engulfed her in Russia after war broke out.

Even had Nicholas and his family escaped and their only real chance after the October Revolution was if they'd been rescued by the whites had they survived long enough i don't think before peace in Europe Britain would have been an option in the King's view. 

I doubt by 1918/19  offering sanctuary to the ex czar would have appealed to the Government either as it had in 1917 when it was seen as offering a hand of friendship to the provisional government whom they were desperate to keep in the war.

George V was extremely generous to his "Aunt Minny" (her pension from the UK was considerable and far more than she ever received from her Danish Nephew - it was her choice to return to Denmark rather than stay in England) he also granted Xenia Alexandrovna a grace and favour home and an allowance - and she lived for another four decades.  From Queen Mary's diary Xenia was with them on some occassions and was included in Royal life and Minny was one of the main guests at the Duke of York's wedding dining with the immediate family at the wedding breakfast.  In due course he along with his sisters waived their rights to a proportion of Hvidore - allowing Xenia and Olga to share the full proceeds (apart from the proportion that was granted to George Brassov).  Politically it would have been much harder for him to have been so generous to Nicholas and Alexandra
 
I think we all tend to think rather unkindly of George V for not taking them in 1917 - but even after the war he remained very nervous and sceptical about the future of the British Monarchy - he was essentially not going to take risks with his throne for anyone.  He had a strong and firm view that his "job" if you like was the preservation of his own crown and family whether distant or close should come second to his constitutional responsibilities.

Had they survived then I think it more likely they would have ended up perhaps in Denmark (but given the reaction of the King to  his aunt being there i doubt they'd have been generously treated) or if the British Government was willing to help them perhaps further afield in Canada or perhaps South Africa at a push.

As to marriages - i think its difficult to speculate - i doubt very much they'd have married well - as daughters of an ex Czar their market value (to be crude) was considerably less than it would have been a decade earlier.  (there is also the fact that in exile Alexei's illness would have probably been more well known over time which in itself might have affected his sisters marriagability)

Constantinople

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Re: Had they all survived, where/how would they live?
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2008, 02:37:53 PM »
I cannot tell you how much I disagree about sympathy for this cowardly act.  King George's refusal to send a strong message to the Bolsheviks sealed the Romanov's fate.  Given that the war was still in a win or lose situation.  Nicholas was not only his cousin but the head of state of an Anti German ally.  If a strong enough force had been sent through Vladivostock to the region (something like a tank regiment or even a small air contingent, it may have been possible to save the Tsar and his family.  I am sure that while part of Britain did not want to see the Tsar on British soil, another part of Britain did.  George did what he did to save his own skin and position and that was craven.  I can understand the Americans not doing anything but not the British.  If the Tsar had been a problem in Canada, they could have moved him to Canada or one of the other commonwealth countries.  There was a large amount of Tsarist gold held in Canada to secure British loans to the Russians and perhaps with the Tsar in Canada some of this could have been used to properly equip the White Russian army.

Offline nena

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Re: Had they all survived, where/how would they live?
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2008, 08:59:39 AM »
I think also, they would live in Britain, or Tsar would try to come back to Russia, when political situaton would be fine...as he often speak.
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Re: Had they all survived, where/how would they live?
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2008, 09:57:59 AM »
I was tired when I wrote that.  It should have read
If the Tsar had been a problem in Britain then he could have been moved to Canada or one of the other commonwealth countries, much the same as the Duke of Windsor was moved to Bermuda due to his Nazi sympathies.  The Tsar on the other hand had no love of the Germans, they had caused the war which lost him his throne.

Offline mcdnab

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Re: Had they all survived, where/how would they live?
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2008, 11:45:15 AM »

I appreciate your coments and I think on the surface most people would agree - but it is because we have the benefit of hindsight - by the 1920's George was sitting on the most stable throne in Europe and we knew of the horrific fate of many of the Romanov family who hadn't escaped Russia, George may have had an inkling that Nicholas and Alexandra were in a dangerous position in 1917 when he expressed his concerns over the government's decision to offer asylum but he couldn't have foreseen the Bolshevik revolution of October - he wasn't a very forward thinking individual.

The British offer was made by the UK Government of Lloyd George AT THE REQUEST of the Provisional Government - Lloyd George believed that he was acting in the best interests of the allies and the King, who had already expressed his concerns, and it was motivated by his view that the Provisional Government was committed to the war - which was a naive hope when you consider the massive anti war demonstrations in Petrograd when news of the foreign ministers letter to the allied governments about their commitment to the war was leaked. 

Most allied governments welcomed the Czar's abdication - his poor credentials to the "liberal" governments of Western Europe as a "despot" had been compounded as he failed to control his rapidly collapsing government.  (they never really understood how much the war was contributing to that of course).  Ironically the Republican French press was kinder to him after his fall than the British.  Though the French didn't rush forward to offer asylum very much - though it was suggested at one point later in 1917 before the Bolshevik's took control.

Britain was fiercely anti Russian throughout the 19th Century - despite the personal family ties between the two royal families - British politicians had a notoriously anti russian streak - mainly because Russia was seen as a threat to British interests in the Eastern Med and to her Indian Empire many welcomed the collapse of the Russian Empire because it removed a stumbling block to Britain's imperial interests.  That made the offer of sanctuary politically even more sensitive.

In addition to that In Britain in 1917 George V was facing a press and left wing politicians that widely welcomed his cousin's abdication - the Labour Party and the trade unions were celebrating the fall of "bloody Nicholas" and his "german Empress" and were protesting at any offer of asylum - in fact the Coalition Government had to deny that any offer had been made in Parliament.  The timing was appalling for George on a personal level - he and his government were aware that events in Russia had given hope to numerous groups in the UK who wanted to see more radical change in British political and social life.  Because the British Throne is always seen as relatively safe we tend to assume that George might have worried unnecessarily about the threat to his own position of being too closely linked to his cousin but he had to do so.

Kerensky's own comments on the offer made in exile have always had the air of a man equally keen to absolve himself of any guilt for their ultimate fate preferring instead to blame Lloyd George and George V.  If he'd been that desperate he could have sent them to Finland where they could have. To be fair he was also desperate for his "glorious february" revolution to be seen as a bloodless democratic change - the Czar's survival was linked to that too.

The first mention of asylum is an enquiry to British Government from the Russian Foreign Minister on the 18th March 1917, Kings telegram offering asylum went on the 21st,war cabinet approval was made on 22nd, 23 March Telegram concerning the provisional invitation to the Tsar to come to England, 24 March  Telegram concerning request to Russian government to give Tsar safe conduct for departure to England, 26th March Foreign Office learnt that  King's telegram not delivered to Tsar through fear of misinterpretation, 28th March thanks conveyed from Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs at being asked to cancel King's telegram. 
Letters from the King expressing concern at the invitation begin at the end of March by the 17th April he was expressing a strong view the invitation to the Czar Not be taken up, by the 22nd of April there is relief from the King that the offer has been dropped. All the King's comments were based on public opinion despite his own strong and warm personal feelings for the ex Czar.

Lets also remember that the Provisional Government were also under pressure to keep Nicholas in Russia as Maurice Paleologue noted in his diary...

Saturday, March 24, 1917.
The Soviet has heard that the King of England is offering the Emperor and Empress the hospitality of British territory. At the bidding of the "Maximalists" the Provisional Government has had to pledge its word to keep the fallen sovereigns in Russia. The Soviet has gone further and appointed a commissary to "supervise the detention of the imperial family."

The Czar's family went to the Urals in August 1917 on Kerensky's orders to try and ensure their safety (or so he always maintained)
 - in April and May 1918 the family are moved to Ekaterinburg where they were killed in the July. 

After the October Revolution there are a couple of interesting suggestions that the British Government did instruct its agents to look at ways of freeing the Imperial Family amongst the papers and letters of some agents - some appear fallacy but some do appear to have the ring of truth about them. I think that issue is open to further exploration.

George V was a constitutional or more correctly a parliamentary monarch (something incidentally derided by both his autocratic cousins Nicholas II and William of Germany).  He decided in 1917 without the benefit of hindsight to stick to his own coronation oath and put the safety of his own country and own throne before any other personal considerations.  Its that decision that lead him in the same year to reject his german names and titles and also more reluctantly to sign the Titles Deprivation Act which he personally wasn't that happy about.

You said he should have sent a strong message to the Bolsheviks - what though - invade? - the british army was so overstretched when they did intervene after the Germans signed peace with the Bolsheviks - that very few British Troops landed in Russia during the early civil war.  Far more French, and American troops arrived in the july august of 1918.  And the Allied Military intervention in the Russian situation (largely over concerns about allied supplies sent to the Russians falling into German hands)  didn't begin until the July of 1918 which was really too late to have aided the Imperial Family.


The Bolsheviks were quite frankly not bothered what other imperial nations or monarchs thought any more than the french revolutionary tribunal was concerned about Austria's reaction when they sent Marie Antoinette to the guillotine.




Constantinople

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Re: Had they all survived, where/how would they live?
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2008, 01:37:54 PM »
Excellent research and I realize that the British were well overstretched on their own fronts against Germany, hence my comment that the war was at a win or lose point.  However the red army was so poorly equipped at this point that and incursion by an air unit or an elite regiment may have worked as may have a couple of battleships. 
   The reason that I judge King George harshly is because of the consequences that you say he could not foresee. Another reason is that everytime the French and British asked for Russian troops for France, Nicholas sent them without weighing the consequences of having fewer troops on his own fronts.  The attitude of the allies toward Russia was terrible considering the toll that Russia paid to keep the entire Central powers armies off the Western Front.  They also failed to lend Russia the arms it needed or give it any slack but did not ease up on demands on their Russian allies.
    I realize that King George was a constitutional monarch and could not order parliament to act at his whim but he had moral suasion and could have used his status more than he did. 
   It is always good to understand what happened and why and to understand all the various pressures that existed on key decision makers.  Having said that I stil think that King George was morally obligated to make a different set of decisions than he did.  He acted out of expedience and the consequences were unspeakable.

Offline markjhnstn

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Re: Had they all survived, where/how would they live?
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2008, 09:22:06 AM »
I agree with all the above poster has said. We were lousy allies to Russia during that war. When trouble came, The British government and monarchy were really only interested in keeping their own interests safe at that point. Russian action in 1914 had probably saved Britain and France from defeat before the war had even got properly started and the Russian army paid a catastrophic price for that. It was those defeats early on that were probably the beginning of the renewed road to revolution. Ultimately in staying loyal to the allied cause throughout 1914-16, the tsar lost everything, his empire, liberty and life. The very least we should have done was to offer him some sort of asylum somewhere.