Author Topic: Empress Maria Alexandrovna,wife of Alexander II - discussion and pictures  (Read 275243 times)

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Offline CountessKate

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I don't think anyone was scandalized that Alexander II had a mistress,

It's certainly true that the three Tsars before Alexander II had mistresses, but greater discretion prevailed and the relationships weren't flaunted as Alexander II and Catherine Dolgoruky's was.  The times were not sympathetic to public display of 'immorality' - as Mrs Patrick Campbell said, that sort of thing was all right as long as you didn't do it in the street and frighten the horses.  Sophisticated courtiers may have felt no particular surprise or disapproval, but they could not be publicly seen to endorse open adultery - discretion was always the watchword.  For example, the Prince of Wales had many mistresses, but discretion was the watchword and none of his favorites had the impudence to flaunt the relationship in public or to the detriment of his wife.  The respectable middle classes certainly were unimpressed by the affront to the values of family, Christianity and decency.  While Alexander II could of course suppress any reference to the affair in the Russian press, he could not do so overseas and his own lack of discretion meant that it was pretty widely known about in Russia as well.   Whatever the actual feelings of individuals about the situation, it certainly counted as a major scandal - all revelations of sexual irregularities were at that time.

Offline Halinka

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I never really thought Alexander II and Maria actually cared for each other. I belived they got married for polticial reasons and money. The story of Alexander brother begging for him to marry Maria after he died on his deathbed I belive is a complete fairy tale. I belive there marriange was the same as Princess Irina and Felix Yusupov. Marriange of money and power.

Offline imperial angel

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I never really thought Alexander II and Maria actually cared for each other. I belived they got married for polticial reasons and money. The story of Alexander brother begging for him to marry Maria after he died on his deathbed I belive is a complete fairy tale. I belive there marriange was the same as Princess Irina and Felix Yusupov. Marriange of money and power.

I think they did care for each other defintely, but like all royal marriages, money and politics had something to with it- it rarely never did. It wasn't the kind of love match Nicholas and Alexandra was, in my opinion, thinking over what you have said.But it wasn't soley an arranged marriage either.As for the Yusupovs marriage- it is a bit of a mystery if thats's all it was, although money and power came in there as well, no doubt at all- no one ever said that was a love match, completely. But the marriage of Alexander II and Marie Alexandrovna was profoundly different than that of the Yusupovs in several ways.

Offline CountessKate

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I never really thought Alexander II and Maria actually cared for each other. I belived they got married for polticial reasons and money.

There was no political reason other than the Hesse Darmstadts were a German ruling family who were considered of an appropriate level to marry into royalty and had already provided a bride to a future russian ruler.  There were many more politically useful brides if Alexander or his parents wanted to go that way - Prussians or Dutch, for example.  No one expected Alexander to pick a very young, not especially beautiful, rather obscure daughter from Ludwig of Hesse's failed marriage, who was suspected of not being of royal blood at all, and his mother in particular (Prussians were very hot on bloodlines) objected.  If Alexander had not been genuinely in love, he would not have persisted in his courtship, or won through.  Marie's motives for marrying may very well have included the wealth of the Tsars, but why shouldn't a 14 year old girl with little love in her life fall in love with a handsome young royal prince who showed he loved her and fought against his family's disapproval to marry her?  Some interesting parallels have been drawn between Alexander's love for the very young Marie, who was a sort of Cinderella, and his later love for the very young Catherine, who was in another sort of Cinderella situation.  Extreme youth and distress seemed to be Alexander's emotional triggers - and certainly Marie fulfilled those criteria at first just as Catherine did later.  Alexander and Marie did not have an arranged marriage and appeared to be genuinely in love, whatever might have happened later. 

Offline Thomas_Hesse

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I don't think that a 14 year old Teenager has any "motives" considering a proper marriage. It was her father who had those. And there was another significant reason for Nicolas I. wishing that marriage to come true: his sister-in-law the Empress Elizaveta Alexeievna nee Princess of Baden was Marie's aunt!
And Nicolas really adored his new daughter-in-law. Due to the report of Marie's future lady in waiting he treated her as if she was a Saint. And if one reads the letters of the young Alexander's tutor there is no doubt whatsoever that he fell in love with the young princess....
Meine Kaiserin

Offline Duke of New Jersey

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Like others said, the marriage between Alexander II and Marie of Hesse had no real political motives, it was purely a love match.  There were no diplomatic treaties or such involved in the marriage. Hesse and by the Rhine was just a small German state that Nicholas I didn't need to make an alliance with. Alexander's marriage was different from Nicholas I's own marriage to Charlotte of Prussia (Alexandra Feodorovna) which was supposed to increase Russian ties to Prussia, which it did. Alexander just fell in love with Maria Alexandrovna and they were married.  I'm sure it was nice for Marie to be married to a future Tsar of Russia but I don't think she actively courted him like other princesses did.

In the Romanovs 1818-1959 John Van der Kriste says:
In March General Kavelin suggested to the heir [Alexander II] that they should make an unplanned stop in Darmstadt. Maybe it was because the entourage was suffering subsquent exhaustion from too much travel in too little time and needed a rest, as Zhukovsky suggested; maybe he had other motives.
So it seems it was an unplanned stop. Actually John Van der Kriste says that Nicholas I wanted Alexander II to meet Princess Alexandrine of Baden but Alexander II and Alexandrine didn't hit it off.


-Duke of NJ  
« Last Edit: January 28, 2010, 11:50:21 PM by Svetabel »

Offline CountessKate

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Alexandrine of Baden was considered exceptionally plain and not very bright.  Queen Victoria and her daughter Vicky were both exasperated by her slavish devotion to Wicked Uncle Ernest and sorry because of his total lack of consideration for her. 

Offline Thomas_Hesse

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Ernst Ludwig of Hesse wrote down a gorgeous little story in addition to Uncle Ernst of Coburg. His wife Alexandrine used to call her husband "Ernst mein Schatz" (Ernst my treasure/Darling). Grand Duke Serge simply loved that petname and christened Ernst of Hesse - as a joke - with that very name.
Once when staying in Windsor - in the great corridor - Serge saw Ernie of Hesse at the other end of the corridor shouting "Ernst my Darling!" - not seeing the Duke of Coburg walking in from the other direction........ :D

As for the topic: the Tsarevitch's stay in Darmstadt was indeed an unexpected one - his entourage had just arrived in Frankfurt/Main - obviously completly exhausted. His tutor insisted - nonetheless- on paying a polite visit to Alexander's uncle, Marie's father the Grand Duke of Hesse.
It is said that after three days he proposed to her. In one of his rooms in the Residential Palace he found a large heart made of pure silver. He took it and pressed it to his own heart when asking for Marie's hand.....it is still to be seen in the palace's Museum.
Meine Kaiserin

Offline Nadya_Arapov

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I never really thought Alexander II and Maria actually cared for each other. I belived they got married for polticial reasons and money. The story of Alexander brother begging for him to marry Maria after he died on his deathbed I belive is a complete fairy tale.

Halinka, I believe you have Alexander II & Maria A. confused with their son and daughter-in-law. It was Alexander III – not Alexander II – whose brother, Tsarevich Nicholas, asked him on his deathbed to marry his fiancĂ©e Dagmar (Maria Feodorovna).

Offline Thomas_Hesse

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The deathbead-story is - nonetheless - a fairytale. In his memoirs the tutor of the children of Prince Alexander of Hesse and Princess Julie Battenberg, Dr. Heinrich Hager, writes that nobody at Heiligenberg ever talked about it - which would definitely have been the case if that story was true.

He also reports the visit of the Russian Imperial family at Heiligenberg shortly after the death of Tsarevitch Nicolas in 1864. Dagmar of Denmark, the future Maria Feodorovna was with them and seems not to have behaved like a mouring bride but obviously wanted to attract the new Heir Alexander...
Meine Kaiserin

Offline Mandie, the Gothic Empress

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Re: Empress Maria Alexandrovna,wife of Alexander II - discussion and pictures
« Reply #160 on: September 14, 2008, 12:33:02 PM »
Maria Alexandrovna of Russia (nee Prinzessin Marie von Hessen), Empress-consort of Alexander II:



« Last Edit: September 14, 2008, 12:36:19 PM by Mandie, the Gothic Empress »

Offline rusmila

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Re: Empress Maria Alexandrovna,wife of Alexander II - discussion and pictures
« Reply #161 on: November 15, 2008, 09:51:18 AM »
Maria Alexandrovna was born at Germany 1824 at town Darmshtat.Her mother are Louis og Hesse and Wilhemina of Baden.More people thik Maria is douther oh Swess Baron August von Senarclens de Grancy.To avoid a scandal, Ludwig II, Grand Duke of Hesse acknowledged Alexander and Marie as his own children; the other two had died young.Maria and her brother Alexander life on Heiligenberg.Grad Duke life on Darmshtat.Maria s mother life with lover on Franch.In family Maria calling Linny.And Maria write mother everyday and she crying when write mother.Wilhelmine of Baden dead 1836.When russian tsarevich Alexander Nikolaevich,futur Alexander II,traveled to Europe he made a beutiful and intalligent hessen princess Mary.Maria as 15,Alexander was a 21.He married her on April 16, 1841, even though he was well aware of the "irregularity" of her birth. His mother Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna objected, but Alexander insisted.Maria and Alexander have eight children,two doughters Alexandra and Maria,and six sons Nikolay,Alexander,Vladimir,Aleksey and Pavel.Alexander love Maria but he shame because his women every be a impergnate.Maria too be a sick.Alexander have a much lovers Makarova,Dologorukaya,Koraci,Kalinovskaya...but his the great love was be a princess Dolgorukaja Ekaterina Mihailovna.He have with she three children Georgi,Olga,Ekaterina and Boris who died in childhood.Maria so much life in Franch,Italia and at Krimea.She was dide on 1880 at Zimskij Dvor in her apartmans.Into her partmans be apartmans of Alexander lover Dolgorukaja and her child.

Jebediha

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Re: Empress Maria Alexandrovna,wife of Alexander II - discussion and pictures
« Reply #162 on: November 18, 2008, 04:47:15 PM »
i find Maria Alexandroevna very interesting. I wonder are there any books about her in English or a Scandinavian language ?

Offline Felicia

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Re: Empress Maria Alexandrovna,wife of Alexander II - discussion and pictures
« Reply #163 on: December 10, 2008, 12:16:18 PM »
Poor Marie!
There's not much known about her. She was really saint!
And her marriage on Alexander was not a question of politics, just a sign of fate (let me be fatalistic).
I'm sorry for possible mistakes

Offline Halinka

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Re: Empress Maria Alexandrovna,wife of Alexander II - discussion and pictures
« Reply #164 on: December 11, 2008, 10:03:01 AM »
Poor Marie!
There's not much known about her. She was really saint!
And her marriage on Alexander was not a question of politics, just a sign of fate (let me be fatalistic).


Are we speaking of the same Marie? The mother to Nicholas? That Marie?