Author Topic: The Hesse siblings, children of GD Ludwig IV  (Read 210977 times)

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Offline Greg_King

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The Hesse siblings, children of GD Ludwig IV
« on: April 12, 2004, 06:01:02 AM »
As far as I know, the decision was made by Lord Mountbatten.  Both Victoria Milford Haven and her husband wrote sets of memoirs that remain unpublished and are at Broadlands.  VMH's memoirs are interesting for the detail they contain on her childhood, and the usual assortment of things one would expect to find on various relatives, etc.  But I'd say that there were perhaps only in the area of 20 or less pages total devoted to Alix and Ella and Russia-there is A LOT of her husband's naval career.  They're also interesting because VMH corrected them in her own hand and made notations and changes.  I may be wrong, but it seems that I recall discussing this with Dr. Woolgar, who was (and may still be) archivst there and he told me that there was concern from Mountbatten that the writing simply wasn't good enough, or else that VMH herself stipulated that they weren't to be published-my recall on this isn't good as it's been 15 years ago.  There is, incidentally, a lot more material in the family than what's at the Broadlands Archives at the U of Southampton-photo albums, letters, diaries-still remain at Broadlands House and are not part of the collection open to the public.

I don't know anything about Ella-except that her GARF files have not yet been catalogued, at least as far as I know-so who's to say what's there?  Irene did leave a lot of her personal papers to an archive in Berlin, which still has them, but they are a feminist archive and only allow women in.

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Offline Louise

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Re: The Hesse siblings, children of GD Ludwig IV
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2004, 10:05:05 AM »
It would be extremely interesting to read Princess Irene's diaries and see how she and Prince Henry dealt with their son's hemophilia.

Louise
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Offline Silja

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Re: The Hesse siblings, children of GD Ludwig IV
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2004, 02:07:04 PM »
What kind of a weird thing is a "feminist archive"????? ??? Sounds absurd.

Offline Ilana

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Re: The Hesse siblings, children of GD Ludwig IV
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2004, 06:16:40 PM »
Irene destroyed her pre-1918 papers.

VMH's memoirs, as Greg said, are pretty much about traveling around with Louis and his career.  There is a copy of those memoirs at Darmstadt as well.  I actually think there wouldn't be any general (now I said general, so don't everyone get upset!) interest in publishing these memoirs.  VMH, while an amazing character in lots of ways (and I've spent years with her), didn't "DO" anything, really... so hard to promote, except by saying who she was related to, etc.  And, perhaps that wouldn't be enough for a publisher.
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Offline masha

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Re: The Hesse siblings, children of GD Ludwig IV
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2004, 11:39:42 PM »
Greg,

I know this may sound overly puffed-up & rather officious, but when we were at the British Museum a few years ago, the staff told me that as a librarian, & upon presentation of my professional papers/identification, I could have "unlimited access" to their collection. Don't know if that would help you in any way in gaining access to this place in Berlin or with researching Irene's papers, but if it could open any doors for you, I would be willing to help.

Masha

Offline Greg_King

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Re: The Hesse siblings, children of GD Ludwig IV
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2004, 12:23:28 AM »
Thanks, Masha.  Actually, Penny was able to go in and can probably post more details.  I can't actually tell you what the definition of a "feminist archive" is in this case-only that this is how they were described and that regardless of credentials, they would not let any man in!

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Offline Ilana

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Re: The Hesse siblings, children of GD Ludwig IV
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2004, 11:47:41 AM »
Louis Battenberg's memoirs are fairly short and only go up to his marriage to Victoria.  Perhaps publishing the two memoirs together would be a good idea.  However, it is up to the Countess Mountbatten, I would think.
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Offline Penny_Wilson

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Re: The Hesse siblings, children of GD Ludwig IV
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2004, 02:23:36 PM »
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Thanks, Masha.  Actually, Penny was able to go in and can probably post more details.  I can't actually tell you what the definition of a "feminist archive" is in this case-only that this is how they were described and that regardless of credentials, they would not let any man in!

Greg King


It's the FFBIZ Archive in Berlin.  Here's what I wrote for Atlantis in the fall of 2000 (bear in mind that this is almost four-years-old information):

"We were fortunate to find some rather obscure and interesting information on Princess Henry of Prussia and Crown Princess Cecile at FFBIZ Archive, which is the acronym for Frauenforschungs-, Bildungs- und Informationszentrum.  This is a tiny specialist archive with holdings mainly concerning contemporary women’s issues, although for us, our interest lay in the large collection of material on the early women’s movement.  This contained some unpublished information on the marital and family relations of the two Princesses, although it would probably be important to recognize the agenda of this archive when interpreting its value.  Probably the most important information this archive gave us was a clearer picture of the function of a wife in a princely house at this time, and what life in general was like for a female member of the German Imperial Family.

"The archive is located at Danckelmannstrasse  15 und 47.  Contact information is as follows: Dr. Ursula Nienhaus, FFBIZ Archiv, Danckelmannstrasse 15,14059 Berlin,
Germany.  Archival visits are by appointment only, and usually some notice is required before visiting.  We took a chance by just knocking on the door, as suggested by a research assistant at the Landesarchiv, as we were already in Berlin and were leaving the following morning.  It is important to note that no men are admitted to the building.  This is a strictly, and even militantly, women only zone."

I have no idea if Dr Nienhaus is still the director, and I can't recall the name of the woman who helped me, though she obviously worked there either as a docent or in some research capacity.  There's definitely a screening process, but as a Californian, I had no trouble in convincing her that my politics were liberal enough!  

She let me in, after directing Greg to a cafe down the street -- he had an easy morning with Kaffee und Kuchen, while I ran back and forth to him with information and was quizzed on my feelings about the feminist movement, spousal abuse and the "glass ceiling."  It actually wasn't all that bad, and my German had a work out!

There was quite a bit there on Cecile, a little less on Irene, and it seemed to have been collected for someone who was writing, or had written, a paper on marital relations in the German Imperial Family.

The archive did have a bit of an agenda, but at least they are up-front about it.  Most archives do try to protect themselves (or their "family" if it's a family archive) and so it's not unusual in research to find yourself dealing with an archive's agenda.  This place was no worse than most.  Unless you're a man, of course!  :-*
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Re: The Hesse siblings, children of GD Ludwig IV
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2004, 03:12:18 PM »
As someone who considers herself a feminist--all right, I've said it!  :-* --I find that archive's attitude both amusing and totally absurd!  

Okay, perhaps previous archieved material was vandalized or destroyed, and that's why they've become so reactionary.  But to exclude Greg sounds to me like being sent to the back of the bus because of your skin color. (Actually, in some ways worse . . . at least everyone was allowed some semblance of a ride. Greg wasn't even allowed to stand in the archive's rarified atmostphere!)

Offline Jane

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Re: The Hesse siblings, children of GD Ludwig IV
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2004, 03:20:56 PM »
I also was rather amused by the idea of a "feminist archive."  Hee!  

Penny, is it possible to share any of the more interesting information you came across regarding Princess Irene and Crown Princess Cecilie (her mother was a Russian Grand Duchess, if memory serves) (and assuming you find any spare time  ;))?  

At the risk of going off-topic, it seems like it would have been just horrible to marry into the German Imperial family, but then I am simply imprinting my own contemporary views and values on the idea.   Let me make it clear this is not anti-German feeling or anything like that, it just seems  like the Hohenzollerns' court was especially difficult for women to thrive in.  Crown Princess Victoria's troubles have been well-documented; I have read that Crown Princess Cecilie was quite traumantized by her husband's flagrant infidelity; etc. etc.  

Jane
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Jane »

Offline Johnny

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Re: The Hesse siblings, children of GD Ludwig IV
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2004, 08:49:26 AM »
I have recently moved to Berlin. Any chances for me to get into the archives in drag ?;D
I find this absurd too, but this won't be the first absurd thing I came across with since I moved to Germany.
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: The Hesse siblings, children of GD Ludwig IV
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2004, 10:19:23 PM »
I've been to this site and being greedy, I go after as many as I could find. The way to find the most is to type in titles, i.e. Princess will bring up Empress Frederick, Princess Alice, Princess Louise, etc...down to many of the granddaughters as well. Same with Prince, King, Queen, etc....Also searching by country/state like Prussia, Hesse, etc...I also found searching by titles like Connaught, etc..A wealth of good stuff and some great pictures of Queen Mary as a young girl. Also great ones of Ducky, Ella, Irene and Victoria Hesse. There are many that aren't yet available in digital form to view, but they're constantly updated and these could still be ordered. Great site!
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Offline Sarai

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Re: The Hesse siblings, children of GD Ludwig IV
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2004, 08:35:03 AM »
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I also wondered, has anyone visited the house at Walton-on-Thames that belonged to Victoria? It is mentioned in a documentary i saw, where Alix and Nicky spent time when in England together. I heard it is not too far from Windsor Castle, but i have no idea where to get to it, and want to visit it very much! Can anyone give any infos about this house??


The house is called Elm Grove Estate. It was built in 1812. The house now belongs to the local authority. That's all I have been able to find out.

Offline Sarai

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Re: The Hesse siblings, children of GD Ludwig IV
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2004, 11:01:08 AM »
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If I'm correct, it's the house on Hersham Road that is now used by the Disability Advice Information Service Elmbridge. I have seen a photo of the house on the web, but I can't find the URL right now. The house is far bigger than I had imagined.  


I did come across the DAISE website and suspected that may be the agency which now occupies the house, but I wasn't sure. Here is their URL just in case (it gives their address and phone number, so perhaps you can call and ask if they are indeed in the Elm Grove Estate, Elisa):
http://www.waltonadvice.demon.co.uk/Where_we_are.html
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Sarai_Porretta »

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: The Hesse siblings, children of GD Ludwig IV
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2004, 12:34:37 PM »
I have been to Kensington  many times. The last time to see an exhibit of royal wedding dresses as well as a marvelous exhibit of Diana, Princess of Wales formal gowns.
As for Victoria, her rooms are part of the public rooms open for showing.
I have been told, that gradually, some of the former private apartments will be added to the public museum.
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