Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty > Alexandra Feodorovna

Alexandra & Queen Victoria and Prince Eddy

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This is an article by Christina Boothroyd about her grandparents' connections with John Epps, tutor to Alexander III's children, & their recollections of Alix's visit to Harrogate.
(Elisa, for some reason I can't get the article into the photobucket so I'll copy most of it out...there was a photo on it but it's only the one you often see of Nicholas & Alexandra together at the time of their engagement. If I have time I'll write out the newspaper article too since the print is too small to scan it properly.)

"...[Alix] decided to visit Harroagte to take advantage of the curative properties of the baths & waters, & took lodgings with a Mrs. Christopher Allen at Cathcart House, Prospect Place, under a pseudonym. On her arrival however, the identity of the visitor became apparent, causing much consternation. At the same time Mrs. Allen was confined to bed and, when asked whether the illness was infectious, Mr. Allen made it known that his wife had just given birth to twins." [Infectious? ;D!!]  "The princess was delighted with the news and involved herself in much of the daily life in Cathcart House, discussing with her secretary, the Baroness Fabrice, the different aspects of bringing up children. According to various contemporaries, Princess Alix was was unassuming, friendly and informal & yet appeared to a have a strong personality. She attended the baths every day, even on the day she left the town, and had treatment for rheumatism in her knees. She found the reverence and curiousity with which she was treated very amusing. She was tall, fair and blue-eyed, and dressed simply and it is said that she became a great devotee of Yorkshire pudding! Princess Alix visited much of the surrounding area, including Knaresborough, Ripley & Plompton, and also walked on the Stray, although here she became the object of too much attention and some of these outings were curtailed. She also attended at least six places of worship in Harrogate....
...The princess celebrated her birthday during herstay in Harrogate & presents arrived from many ofthe crowned heads of Europe. The tsarevitch sent a picture of himself accompanied by a billet-doux.
Princess Alix expressed her wish to stand as godmother for Mrs. Allen's twins, and the ceremony took place in St. Peter's Church in Harrogate on the 17 June 1894....On this occasion she presented a pair of gold cufflinks to the boy and a small heart-shaped necklace to the girl, together with a gold nappy pin." [I THINK these are in the Pump Room Museum.]
"Before leaving the town, Princess Alix thanked Charles Fortune, the Mayor, and the police for all that had been done for her, and said how much she had enjoyed herstay in Harrogate.....
...On her return to Russia, she sent formal Christening presents to the Allen twins - a knife, fork & spoon set, napkin ring & salt cellar with a spoon. For their first birthdays they received gold goblets, and in 1910, on the occasion of his confirmation, Nicholas Allen was given gold cufflinks inlaid with dismonds and sapphires, followed by a gold cross and chain for his 21st birthday in 1915. In a letter from Petrograd, dated 29 May 1915, enclosing the gold cross, the tsarina thanked Mrs. Allen for the photograph of Nicholas which she had received."

Intriguingly, the article ends with, "The other most important 'Russian Connection' was the Grand Duchess...."
Then the page ends & the librarian didn't have any more of the article ???....WHICH GRAND DUCHESS??

'Harrogate Advertiser'  Saturday June 16 1894

"...Princess Alix has found the bracing atmosphere & the surroundings of Harrogate of such a congenial nature that she has prolonged her stay much longer than was first anticipated, The weather unfortunately has not been 'Harrogate weather' but...Our Royal Visitor has been able to get out a good deal and enjoy the salubrious moorland breezes & refreshing atmosphere. Her temporary sojourn in our midst of course is of a strictly private character, &, as a rule, she is allowed to move freely about without being subjected to annoyance or undue observance, but in every coimmunity will be found some black sheep & there is a class of souls who perhaps posees some wealth but certainly precious few manners. Their sole desire seems to be dogging the footsteps of this royal lady, and by their actions they are preventing her from obtaining the benefit, repose & pleasure for which she came into our midst....
...Although Princess Alix's visit is to all intents and purposes of a private nature, she performed in a semi-public way a very gracious act on Wednesday morning....[description of the birth of the twins]...Her Royal Highness attended & acted in the capacity of godmother to the twin children. The event was kept strictly private so far as the general public was concerned and consequently not many people were in the church, but the news spread rapidly and soon a large crowd gathered at the entrance & in the vicinity of the sacred edifice. Princess Alix for the time being was under the care of the Mayor of the Borough & she was accompanied by her niece (Princess Alice, daughter of Prince Louis of Battenberg). Baroness Fabrice & Countess Stackenburg...Princess Alix was godmother to both the infant children, whilst the other godmother forthe girl was Baroness Fabrice...At the request of the Princess, the children were Christened Alix and Nicholas....The event was an exceedingly interesting one and a very kindly and gracious act was performed by the Princess, and we trust the Royal godmother will have every cause to regard her visit to Harrogate with pride & pleasure, and be allowed to move freely & uninterrupted about during the remainder of her stay...
The fact that Princess Alix of Hesse has been advised to take a course of the famous sulphur water at Harrogate (where she pays daily visits to the Victoria Baths) may serve to remind people that there is no necessity to travel to France or Germany for cures as we have springs that are every bit as efficacious.
The wedding of the Princess Alix with the Czarewitch will take place in November at St. Peterburg, and their state entry into that city taking place in September.
...Princess Alix has given quite an impetus to the bath & cycle trade in Harrogate & the fair sex have suddenly discovered the advantages of this form of locomotion."

(The bits I ommitted are only 'singing the praises' of Harrogate - how wonderful it is, how everyone should visit etc. etc.)
She certainly made a good impression, didn't she :) :) :)

You're more than welcome, Elisa :) though with your very extensive knowledge of Alix I'm surprised that there is ANYTHING you didn't already know ;) . It would be lovely to read the descriptions of the interiors of Cathcart House.

Does anyone know, please, of a Russian Grand Duchess who visited Harrogate at some point? (Not Alix!) There was one but I do not know who it was? Could it have been Ella?

Bluetoria, what made you think or what is your source, a Russian Grand Duchess ever visited Harrogate? Ella would be the best possible besides Alix.



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