Author Topic: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals  (Read 40487 times)

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Jim1026

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Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« on: December 18, 2004, 06:16:24 PM »
In reading accounts of German royal funerals there is mention of wreaths of fir and oak leaves been used alot.  Do these items have a special meaning ???  

rskkiya

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2004, 06:23:19 PM »
Firs = evergreens = eternity

Offline HerrKaiser

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2004, 09:19:32 AM »
The oak leaf is used frequently in German heraldry, customs, military medals and insignias etc. It was, along with the eagle, a symbol of many state activities in former times. It eminates from the pagan times and of druids who largely inhabited the oak forests of the Prussian fertile lands in the baltic regions.
In terms of all the funeral trappings, yes, Germans "decorated" heavily with the revered oak. Evergreen was used as heavily in such decorating events because of its eternal characteristics. Remember, the Germans "invented" the Christmas tree and have always been tied to evergreens for spiritual and personal reasons. The funeral of Empress Augusta was reported on as being so over done in terms of fir, oak, and bunting decorations all over Berlin.
HerrKaiser

Offline rgt9w

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2006, 05:23:12 PM »
In Greg King's new book, he relates that Alexander III's heart was removed and buried seperately from the body in his crypt. Was this standard procedure for all funerals of members of the Imperial Family? What is the rationale for this? Is it part of Orthodoxy or was it only a royal tradition?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by rgt9w »

Offline Azarias

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2006, 08:28:33 PM »
It has nothing to do with Orthodoxy at all.

David_Pritchard

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2006, 01:33:00 AM »
[size=14]Removing the heart and interring it in a seperate memorial or another location was extremely common among the French kings. Examples of rulers from other countries who had their hearts buried elsewhere are Robert the Bruce and Richard the Lionheart. In the 13th century the pope banned the practice of removing the heart but it was so popular among royals that a later pope rescinded the ban. In the past few years the heart of the young prisoner-king Louis XVII of France was laid to rest in the Cathedral of Saint Denis[/size][/b]

ferngully

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2006, 03:12:53 AM »
but what is the significance of that procedure? :-?
selina                 xxxxx

David_Pritchard

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2006, 01:50:49 PM »
Quote
but what is the significance of that procedure? :-?
selina                 xxxxx

[size=14]Unfortunately I have found no explaination of the motives behind this proceedure. Many of the French kings had their entrails removed and buried elsewhere but without a monument. The entrails were probably removed to help in the preservation of the body but I cannot think of a sanitary reason to remove the heart and bury it elsewhere.

David[/size]
[/b]

Offline Azarias

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2006, 05:25:54 PM »
It seems to me that the practice of removing the heart for separate burial began as an emotional response. Love and marriage in other centuries were viewed quite differently from today's definition. When a notable figure had a wife and a mistresss discretion was a must. Therefore in death his body may be expected by protocol to be placed in a particular place, but his heart (symbolic of love) could be placed otherwise.

Later this notion was also applied to other forms of love, such as love of a particular place. This gave protocol and personal wishes equal opportunity. It also enabled at times for a quiet or more secret "burial" spot out of the public view.

Lovers were especially fond of burying their hearts together in a separate or secret location.

These same thoughts led to a style within the Edwardian Era of "eye jewelery." A gentleman or lady would be presented with a piece of jewelery into which a hand painted porcelain of the lover's eye had been painted. It was then possible to stare in secret into the eyes of your loved one while they were away. A later developement of this was the eye charm bracelet. The multiple eyes in this case were of a ladies children - her special loves!  

I'm sure Empress Alexandra would have been familiar with eye jewelery. I could easily see her having such a thing although I have never heard any mention of it. It may have been considered by her as not befitting her station.

Offline rgt9w

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2006, 05:34:20 PM »
Thanks to everyone that has contributed so far. Does anyone know if all members of the Imperial Family had the process of the heart removed prior to burial or was it reserved only for the Emperor and Empress?

Offline Azarias

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2006, 07:49:51 PM »
There were no rules about such things rgt9w. It was a personal and individualistic choice. In Russia the Church would frown on such things. That doesn't mean it didn't happen anyway at times. But there were no set customs, protocol or ritual for such practices. In fact, as a peronal choice these things would not have been limited to only royalty.

Offline Dominic_Albanese

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2006, 07:41:15 PM »
I have a book on the Peter and Paul Fortress that I got it a couple of years ago from Arturo (I think).  Anyway, in it there are a number of drawings of different tombs within St. Peter and St. Paul - most of them had tiny vaults at the bottom of the tomb where the heart was buried.  I am not very familar with the orthodox religion but I've read this book a number of times and it seems that the heart was separated from the body on a fairly regular basis in the Romanov family - I don't remember reading why.

best,
dca

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2006, 04:08:15 PM »
I thought I would start a new thread about Victorian mourning customs as we have been discussing the practice of taking hair from the dead to make hair wreaths from in another thread ( the one about otma's hair in the Marie thread). Any discussion about that, or about Victorian mourning colors, and length of time you had to wear them etc, is also welcome. Victorian funeral customs could also be discussed.  I am not sure of others, but other Victorian mourning customs are also welcome. :)

Offline Svetabel

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2006, 10:26:49 PM »
Victorian mourning customs on the Forum about Russian culture?????

Offline Ra-Ra-Rasputin

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2006, 07:41:10 PM »
Victorian mourning customs on the Forum about Russian culture?????

This forum is entitled 'their world and culture'.  The Romanovs lived through the Victorian era, and Alexandra was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and spent plenty of time in Victorian England.  Therefore, a thread on Victorian mourning customs, which did affect life at the Russian court, is perfectly pertinent, I think; mourning was a pretty prominent part of 'their world', wouldn't you say, Svetabel?

I find the cult of mourning in the Victorian age highly interesting, myself, and I am happy to tell what I know.

During the Victorian period, mourning became a very important social custom.  There was a strict ettiquette one had to stick to.  The death of a close relative would usually entail one year of mourning.  During the first six months of this mourning, it would be unacceptable for the grieving family to wear anything other than unornamented black.  After the first six months, they would go into 'second mourning' for three months, which still meant they had to wear black clothes, but could wear trimmings and jewellery. In the last three months they could move into slightly lighter colours; purple, lilac, grey or white, known as half mourning   Jewellery could also be worn during this time.  After the last three months, mourning was over, and, if desired, the family could now wear ordinary clothes without appearing disrespectful.  Obviously some mourners, especially widows, chose to wear the black mourning clothes for the rest of their lives. Also, the period of mourning for a widow was usually much longer- at least two years, and full mourning was worn for a year and a day.  This included the wearing of a veil. 

During this age of morbidity, mourning jewellery became very fashionable.  The use of hair from dead relatives seems rather macabre today, but then it was considered normal to have the hair of the dead be made into a bracelet, or be pressed into a ring or locket of some sort.  Black jet was also used a lot in mourning jewellery.

My tutor at university is currently writing a book on Victorian mourning customs.  It's an absolutely fascinating subject. 

Rachel
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'History teaches that history teaches us nothing' ~ Hegel