Author Topic: Alexandra as Empress and Mother  (Read 124090 times)

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Offline Georgiy

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #30 on: November 17, 2005, 08:12:27 PM »
I disagree that one daughter would have been kept at home with Alexandra. Marriage in the Orthodox Faith is very important. Basically if a woman wasn't going to marry, she would be taking up Holy orders instead.

Offline elfwine

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #31 on: November 17, 2005, 08:38:05 PM »
Wow!
Were there no other options...only marriage or a convent?

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Offline catt.sydney

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #32 on: November 17, 2005, 08:57:52 PM »
Quote
It's a complicated issue, and one that mirrors my own experience.

I look at the photo of Alexandra and three of her girls, in fact, and am reminded of how, beginning when I was a preteen, my own mother would stand behind me, grabbing me around the waist with a hand that felt like a clamp. And my expression was just about what we see on Olga's face.

I think there is a certain type of woman who sets out to be a loving, perfect mother . . . and then, somewhere along the way, forgets that her children are only "on loan" and that each has an obligation to himself/herself to grow up and become his/her own person. Although Alexandra wrote and spoke of the time when her "girlies" would marry, I have to wonder if she would have really accepted this. Perhaps so, due to her strong relationship with her husband.  

People are terribly complex, and I know that a seemingly wonderful parent also can be tremendously selfish in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. If I made two columns and headed one "good parenting" and one "bad parenting," then listed all the various aspects of Alexandra's relationship with her daughters, I think the columns would come out fairly even.

That being said, still I have the feeling Alexandra was a better mother than most royal women of the time, and cetainly better than most European society women.  


   What a thoughtful insite! Thank you, Janet W.!
I must agree that Alix appeared to have had a tight emotional and psychic grip on her family, and they acted as unwitting enablers (sp) encouraging what may be seen as Alix's unhealthy personal environment. I am certain that Alix did not intend to stunt her daughters growth - she did the best that she could.
   Nevertheless I am really quite amazed that the children were not encouraged to have relationships outside the family --this seems terribly unhealthy (and a wee bit emotionally incestuous).... They really ought to have had friends of their own!


Remember the old psychotherapist's joke-- If its not one thing, its a MOTHER!

catt
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by catt.sydney »
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Offline Georgiy

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #33 on: November 17, 2005, 09:40:18 PM »
Well, from an Orthodox point-of-view, I think it would be unusual for her to stay at home unmarried. Generally speaking that is what we are called to do - one man + one woman = one flesh.  I just don't see her keeping a daughter at home - it doesn't seem to fit the religion.

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #34 on: November 18, 2005, 03:06:18 AM »
Quote
I just don't see her keeping a daughter at home - it doesn't seem to fit the religion.


I don't think keeping a daughter at home was an issue of religion.  It was a cultural habit, pioneered by Queen Victoria when widowed who arranged a marriage for Princess Helena to keep her in England, and privately decided not to let Princess Beatrice marry (she failed with the latter, but only allowed Beatrice to marry on condition she and her husband made their home with her).  Other possessive mothers such as Queen Alexandra with Princess Victoria, followed in her footsteps, although not her own daughters - they seemed keen enough to get their daughters married.  

Alexandra was very much influenced by Queen Victoria, but it's not clear whether she would have followed her in this.  She was keen for her daughters not to marry unsuitable men for the sake of marrying, which was a very good thing, but it's also true that she didn't give them much of a chance to meet suitable (meaning properly behaved royal) men through a decent social life either.  Sailors on the Standart or even noble equerries were clearly not a suitable social life for imperial daughters of marriagable age and even Alexandra would have known this.  I suspect she thought they would find someone from amongst the huge royal tribes in England, Germany, Greece, or Scandanavia in time just as she and her sisters did, but she certainly didn't give them many opportunities for this before war and revolution put an end to all that life.  

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #35 on: November 18, 2005, 10:13:33 AM »
I think she would have expected one daughter to remain close to home or at home, this was the tradition of the day. It had little to do with religion. I think the daughter might have been able to marry, but she would have had to be nearby, thus married to a fellow Romanov or one of the foreign royal families ( minor german royalty) who had settled in Russia after marrying into the Romanovs. I doubt this daughter would have been Marie; she could not have been prevented from marrying and having children. It would most likely have been Tatiana were was very reserved for romance anyway, and was the most practical daughter, used to taking care of things. Also, she was Alexandra's favorite daughter.

Offline Caleb

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #36 on: November 18, 2005, 02:52:35 PM »
Though I don't particularly admire Nicholas's political descisions on their own (though I think his reactions were understandable, considering the assasination of his grandfather & the reign of his father) but I do highly admire Nicholas & Alexandra as parents. I think Alix was a good mother in all considering her situation, though there was room for improvements, like all parents.

Offline Tsarina_Liz

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #37 on: November 18, 2005, 04:41:02 PM »
I wasn't getting at her being a bad mother, I think she was admirable in the motherly regard.  Certainly better than many of her contemporaries.  

I can't help imagining how it all would have turned out if Nicky had abdicated the throne earlier and the family had been given a choice over their future.  They would have been wonderfully happy in obscurity and would have made the ideal middle class family, perhaps on a farm in England or Denmark.  

That's something else about Alix I think people tend to forget, that she was given a relatively middle class English upbringing.  Nothing spectacular, just simple tastes in accordance with the times - certainly nothing like she would experience in Russia.  She carried those ideals with her to the throne and implemented them in her parenting.  Which is another reason why she would have probably been keen on keeping a spinster daughter with her - it was very trendy in Victorian times.  And Alix was never one for change.    
« Last Edit: April 29, 2009, 02:07:52 PM by Alixz »
Hindsight is 20/20.  When the myopic haze of of the present is lifted by the march of time we see it clearly as the past.  Sociology, psychology, anthropology.  They are all means of understanding that which came before.  History cannot stand alone.

Offline Czarevna Colleen

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #38 on: November 19, 2005, 12:51:17 AM »
I don't doubt that Alix was a good mother, if almost neurotically overprotective.  But this was not uncommon at this time in royal circles.  Since in Russia, daughters could not inherit the throne, it was obvious that they would marry other prominent royal family members in other countries, and I think Alix, although she knew that this would inevitably happen, didn't want to be separated from her daughters.

Of course, Alexei and her illnesses demanded a lot of her attention, and her almost fatalistically religious beliefs may have also, in some way, distanced herself from the children, but as it has been pointed out, she was an excellent mother by royal standards - the fact that she breastfed all five at a time when it was thought unacceptable does say something about her priorities.

She wanted what was best for them, even if it wasn't necessarily right.

Who knows if the girls would have remained in Russia or not or gone off to marry princes and dukes - it's one of those things that we can only ponder. 8)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Colleen »

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #39 on: November 22, 2005, 10:34:33 AM »
Yes, she wanted what was best for her children, and was over protective. She most likely would have wished one daughter to stay in Russia, married or unmarried, to be close to her. Olga wished to stay in Russia, but she and her mother had their conflicts, and each was too emotional for the other. So Olga might have stayed in Russia , but is it likely she would have made a good helper for Alexandra? I think Alexandra would have made a great impact on her children's choices if they had lived, but most likely Tsarvitch Alexei would have felt this the most.She would have had the most influence on him.

Offline elfwine

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #40 on: November 26, 2005, 04:18:53 PM »
 Alix was a romantic soul - so I think she would have 'tried' to see them all happily married off.
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Offline GrandDuchess_Bella

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #41 on: November 26, 2005, 05:39:00 PM »
Alexandra wanted the best and only the best for her children. She could be a bit overprotective but every good parent is, right? She did lack some basic parental skills due to the fact that she talked with her children using letters part of the time but she tried to be the best mother she could possibly be and I honestly think that makes a wonderful parent :)

Offline koloagirl

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #42 on: November 26, 2005, 08:55:57 PM »
I believe that, despite her faults, Alexandra was a
good and loving mother - her "girlies" (and Alexei)
loved her so much - and despite all the strains and
emotional burdens she was under - she genuinely
loved her family with all her soul.

Alexandra may have had faults (and who doesn't?) but
loving her family and wanting only the best for them
doesn't seem to have been one.
Janet R.

Offline Georgiy

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #43 on: November 27, 2005, 12:04:19 AM »
The fact she communicated by mail isn't such a bad thing - at least she made the effort to communicate in some way with her children - when you hear about how little time some Royals have available for their children...

Offline GrandDuchess_Bella

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #44 on: November 27, 2005, 08:47:59 AM »
That is a very good point seeing as some Royals hardly ever talked to their children. Sorry if my post sounded silly ::)