Author Topic: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals  (Read 40486 times)

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Offline lori_c

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #30 on: October 18, 2006, 02:14:57 PM »
An interesting sidenote to the mourning jewels: it was an old belief that pearls meant tears.  Which would mean they certainly would be suitable for mourning wear.

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #31 on: October 19, 2006, 07:03:56 AM »
Weren't amethysts an exception to the colored stones rule? Or was this just for later periods of mourning much as the colors of mauve and gray were 'half-mourning' after the period of all-black had passed?

As for the locks of hair, I read that Alexander II's widow, Katie, cut off a long braid of her hair (AII apparently loved her hair) and laid it in his coffin.
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Offline CountessKate

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2006, 01:26:39 PM »
Quote
Weren't amethysts an exception to the colored stones rule? Or was this just for later periods of mourning much as the colors of mauve and gray were 'half-mourning' after the period of all-black had passed?

Yes, I believe amethysts were OK with half-mourning costume.  However, except for the unusual circumstance of a wedding being celebrated during court mourning, there was seldom an opportunity to crack out diamonds anyway as in deep mourning you didn't go to balls or the theatre or grand dinners.  A long rope of pearls was acceptable with day dresses - one painting of Queen Victoria in her later years shows her in a plain black day dress with such a necklace. 


Offline CountessKate

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #33 on: October 21, 2006, 08:29:09 AM »
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I read that Alexander II's widow, Katie, cut off a long braid of her hair (AII apparently loved her hair) and laid it in his coffin

Maria Theresa of Austria cut her hair quite short after her husband Franz I died, and wore black for the rest of her life.  Catherine de Medici also went into black and wore it until she died in mourning for her husband, Henri II of France.  So widows' perpetual mourning may not have been as highly ritualised as it became in the 19th century, but Queen Victoria was by no means the first royal woman who made it a way of life.  Possibly the hair cutting may have come from an earlier tradition of widows dressing in nun's clothing, although not necessarily going into the cloister.  Part of the ritual of taking the veil includes cutting the hair.  Isabel Clara Eugenia did this when her husband Albrecht of Austria died (though she continued to rule the Netherlands just as efficiently) and Marianna of Spain also went into nun's clothing after her husband Felipe IV died although fully participating in government as regent for her son Carlos II.  It was very much a Spanish tradition for royal women.

It was very common from Medieval times for widows who did not wish to remarry, to go into convents and although royal women had duties which often precluded this, and later of course there ceased to be a common European religion, a tradition was established of widows wearing black or dark, plain dress like a nun's and white or black veils, and cutting their hair to signify their withdrawal from the world of the flesh whether for a few years or for life.

Offline mclisa

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #34 on: November 09, 2006, 11:42:11 AM »
I can't find the answers to these questions, although I tried. 

1.It's clear from the many pictures here that the IF did wear mourning clothes. What happened when a member was in mourning but required to appear at a court function? An example would be Marie Feodorovna after her mother, QUeen Louise of Denmark, died.  There was a rule that members of the court could not appear at a court event in mourning. Did this also apply to members ofthe M.F.?

2. When the IF mourned for an emperor, what happened with state occasions? Were things like the New Year's Day Diplomatic Reception held and if it was, what would Marie and Alexandra have worn?

3. What events, if any, were considered so important that they had to be held in spite of mourning for the emperor?

Thanks for any help!

McLisa

 
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Offline rgt9w

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #35 on: November 10, 2006, 07:10:18 AM »
Official Court mourning for Alexander III was suspended for 24 hours so Nicholas could marry Alexandra.

Offline rgt9w

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #36 on: February 23, 2010, 09:09:01 PM »
I found an article in the NY times from Nov. 20, 1894 that described the funeral services for Alexander III.  There is a reference to transferring lighted candles from the tomb of the previous emperor to that of the newly deceased. Has anyone heard of this before, as it was new to me?

The article states:

   "The large candle that remains lighted at the head of the tomb of the dead Czar's father, Alexander II, and the smaller one at the foot of his coffin will now be extinguished.  These candles, which have been burning constantly since the burial of Alexander II, will now be transferred to the head and foot of the tomb of Alexander III, there to remain relighted until the next Czar is lowered into the vault, when a similar change will be made.
    "A guard of sacristans, in semi-military attire, but unarmed, are always on duty at the tomb, and keep the candles trimmed and lighted.  They are under strict injuction never to allow one of them to go out."

aleksandr pavlovich

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #37 on: February 24, 2010, 06:41:52 AM »
This is news to me as well, "rgt9w."   I have personally visited the tombs of Alexander II & III  and logistically presume that these were (floor) standing candle holders, rather than the suspended "lampada" type of differing size/s ?    Regards,  AP
« Last Edit: February 24, 2010, 06:50:19 AM by aleksandr pavlovich »

Offline Ena

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #38 on: February 27, 2010, 09:29:20 PM »
This is news to me as well, "rgt9w."   I have personally visited the tombs of Alexander II & III  and logistically presume that these were (floor) standing candle holders, rather than the suspended "lampada" type of differing size/s ?    Regards,  AP
They were standing candle holders.  I'm getting my information from photos in a book I have on burials in the P&P Cathedral.  I'm looking at different photos of AIII's coffin and it's difficult to tell from all the clutter on and around his grave, and the darkness of all the photos, but there is definitely a standing candle holder at the head of his tomb.  The book doesn't mention anything about the practice rgt9w mentions, but that doesn't mean anything because the book is light on information, heavy on photos.

The cathedral is quite empty today compared to imperial times when it was loaded with candles, palms, flowers, funeral wreaths, and other objects.

"In 1917 there were more than a thousand wreaths on the walls and pillars and by the graves in the cathedral; for example, at the grave of Alexander III alone they numbered 674.  Icons and icon-lamps were practically at every grave.  Silver, gold, and bronze medals, commemorating various important dates, lay on the tombs of Peter I, Alexander I, Nicholas I, and Alexander II."

aleksandr pavlovich

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #39 on: February 27, 2010, 09:42:10 PM »
Thank you, "Ena."  I appreciate the information.  Yes, today the Cathedral is rather "empty," as compared to your earlier cited reference.  Yet there is a bust of Peter the First on his tomb, and always flowers on the tomb, whenever I have visited. Additionally, the last time that I visited the smaller side chapel/burial place of the last IF and retainers, there were some flowers and slender, potted palm-types present, with a couple of small, modern icons left leaning against the tomb's base. At that time one could go right up to the tomb, but I hear now that the doors have been roped-off.   Regards,  AP
« Last Edit: February 27, 2010, 10:01:17 PM by aleksandr pavlovich »

Offline Ena

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #40 on: February 27, 2010, 10:10:47 PM »
Interesting, never knew you once could walk up to the last IF's tomb.  When I was there it was roped off.  I remember the bust and flowers on Peter I's tomb as well as palms and flowers around some of the other tombs.  Marie Feodorovna's tomb had flowers and a framed photo of her nearby. 

aleksandr pavlovich

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #41 on: February 27, 2010, 10:28:11 PM »
Yes, my last visit was shortly after the IF burial and the temporary superstructure of the tomb was wood with faux marble finish.  I believe that it has now been replaced with the genuine item.  You could take as many pictures of it, and indeed the main cathedral proper, as you wished.  I have not visited though since the burial of the Empress Marie F., however.   I do look forward to going back!  AP
« Last Edit: February 27, 2010, 10:32:01 PM by aleksandr pavlovich »

Offline Ena

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #42 on: February 27, 2010, 10:45:17 PM »
Yes, my last visit was shortly after the IF burial and the temporary superstructure of the tomb was wood with faux marble finish.  I believe that it has now been replaced with the genuine item.  You could take as many pictures of it, and indeed the main cathedral proper, as you wished.  I have not visited though since the burial of the Empress Marie F., however.   I do look forward to going back!  AP
As I as well!! St. Petersburg is one of my favorite cities.  I wish they'd either end the visitor's visa scheme or make the process cheaper and more simple.

Offline kmerov

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #43 on: July 22, 2010, 03:38:00 PM »
Could anyone explain the practise behind white mourning and post pictures of royalty wearing white mourning clothes? A bit was posted on the Greek RF board, but I found this to be a more relevant place for further questions..

Offline Veronica

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #44 on: July 22, 2010, 03:59:08 PM »
The medieval queens of France had the custom of wearing white mourning, custom that was kept until the 17th century. Like for example Mary Stuart:



It seems that white meant loss, grief and life everlasting, but also white meant death, because the dead people are livid and white, the opposite to the redness of life.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2010, 04:12:08 PM by Veronica »