Author Topic: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita  (Read 231664 times)

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Offline Alexandre64

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #165 on: January 29, 2009, 02:25:20 AM »
Victoria Melita, Queen Victoia and little Ella:

Offline Helen

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #166 on: January 29, 2009, 02:46:47 AM »
It is funny/curious that on the one hand A is supposed to have hated VM and been angry that the latter usurped her place in Darmstadt/Ernie's affections; but on the other is said to have been angry at the eventual divorce! 
Indeed!  ;D

I don't think Alix 'hated' Victoria Melita. I agree with Eric that Alix and Victoria Melita were too different in temperament to become pals. And Alix did notice at a very early stage that her brother wasn't truly happy with Victoria Melita and that Victoria Melita's absences from Darmstadt didn't benefit their marriage. On the other hand, Alix didn't put all blame on VM; she also advised EL on how to improve the situation. Perhaps her advice wasn't of much use, but it does show Alix had a more balanced view on the situation than to blindly blame and hate Victoria Melita for the failure of her brother's marriage.

Ernst Ludwig was perhaps biased, but in his letter of 10 November 1901 to his sister Victoria he stated that he had led a still more solitary life than Victoria Melita: "I was alone, she had her family, and I was only with one of you [his sisters], when she wanted it." To me this suggests that Victoria Melita didn't really appreciate visits from Ernst Ludwig's sisters to Darmstadt - or gave the impression that she didn't appreciate them - and that this applied to Alix as well as his other sisters. Frictions were perhaps most apparent between Victoria Melita and Alix. In Erinnertes, his memoirs, Ernst Ludwig wrote that Victoria Melita didn't understand Alix and was jealous of her, but that his second wife made Alix feel welcome again.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2009, 02:51:24 AM by Helen »
"The Correspondence of the Empress Alexandra of Russia with Ernst Ludwig and Eleonore, Grand Duke and Duchess of Hesse. 1878-1916"  -  http://www.bod.de/index.php?id=296&objk_
"Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine in Italy - 1893"

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #167 on: January 29, 2009, 09:14:31 AM »
Well...Alicky was not really a warm person and took time to shake off her reserve and accept another person into the family. After Irene married Heinrich, Alicky was the first lady in Darmstadt and took over the duties from her sister. She got help from her sistersVMH and Ella from time to time, but her shyness prevented her from being an unqualified success. As Ducky married Ernie, she literally took over from Alicky. There could be jealousies due to the comparsions with her sister-in-law. Alicky and Ella remained close to Ducky throughout her marriage to Ernie. Actually Ducky was closest to Missy whom they shared many secrets. As the marriage began to disintergrate, Missy had a ring side seat to the whole drama. Ducky wrote to her sister that she was sorry about Alicky's continued pregeancy for a son, but she was in the same boat...pressured by the family to try again for another child with Ernie...

Offline Jose II

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #168 on: January 29, 2009, 11:23:13 AM »
Victoria Melita, Queen Victoia and little Ella:



Who is the other woman and the children ?

Offline Veronica

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #169 on: January 29, 2009, 11:47:13 AM »
The other woman is Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, and I think the girl is Ena of Battenberg.

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #170 on: January 29, 2009, 01:21:44 PM »
Yes...Cousin "Thora" who was very close to Alicky and Ena of course.

Offline Janet Ashton

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #171 on: January 30, 2009, 12:47:56 PM »

In Erinnertes, his memoirs, Ernst Ludwig wrote that Victoria Melita didn't understand Alix and was jealous of her, but that his second wife made Alix feel welcome again.

Indeed! - And Meriel Buchanan also recalls that at gatherings of family or friends Ducky's long, sad face made everyone feel uncomfortable. Oddly, Ducky's sister Missy claimed the same of Alix - so perhaps it was both of them.  ;) Maybe it was just Missy's bias causing her to see A this way, but I suspect that Alix felt at least as uncomfortable with this strange, flamboyant, mirror-obsessed cousin around as she did with the awkward Ducky - who in that aspect of personality was quite like her.
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many; they are few.

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #172 on: January 30, 2009, 03:39:49 PM »
Not really. Ducky and Ernst's court was one of the most informal and fun loving and famous for its parties. The turn came sometime after Elizabeth's birth when Ducky seem to want something more deeper than Ernst was capable of giving...Princess Alix was not exactly the life of the party during the best of times. Even at those rare occations, she allowed her hair down, but never instigate anything spontanous...

Offline Janet Ashton

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #173 on: January 30, 2009, 05:36:09 PM »
Not really. Ducky and Ernst's court was one of the most informal and fun loving and famous for its parties. The turn came sometime after Elizabeth's birth when Ducky seem to want something more deeper than Ernst was capable of giving...Princess Alix was not exactly the life of the party during the best of times. Even at those rare occations, she allowed her hair down, but never instigate anything spontanous...

Your personal recollection?  :)
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
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Offline Ilana

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #174 on: January 31, 2009, 11:27:06 AM »
I've had the impression that GD EL and VM were enormously immature and that their early marriage was the equivalent of two children being let loose in a candy store. Both were irresponsible and had little guidance on how to rule a Grand Duchy.  QV tried to give GD EL some quick lessons in ruling, but this was a case of too little too late.  She also chided the couple for not answering letters or thanking people for wedding gifts, so you can see the level we're dealing with here.

I believe that GD EL was as unready as Nicholas II, without the disastrous consequences for his Grand Duchy -- lucky for him.
So long and thanks for all the fish

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #175 on: January 31, 2009, 12:17:31 PM »
I think in the later day, Ducky outgrew him and tried to look for some meaning in their marriage. She wrote to Missy saying that she was looking for something in her husband that may not have been there all along...Ernie remained his happy-go-lucky self.

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #176 on: January 31, 2009, 06:50:42 PM »
Ernie seemed to mature a lot with the death of his daughter and his second marriage.  One a really catastrophic event and the other the development of a solid partnership, both possibly making him grow up.  I always thought he and Ducky both seemed very self-absorbed as a married couple.  His second wife appeared to get the benefit of a more mature outlook and a little less focus on himself.

Offline Helen

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #177 on: February 01, 2009, 06:51:15 AM »
Ernie seemed to mature a lot with the death of his daughter and his second marriage. 
He did. A year after Princess Elisabeth's death, Princess Irène wrote to her sister Alexandra: "He bears his sorrow bravely and it really has broadened and widened his character".
"The Correspondence of the Empress Alexandra of Russia with Ernst Ludwig and Eleonore, Grand Duke and Duchess of Hesse. 1878-1916"  -  http://www.bod.de/index.php?id=296&objk_
"Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine in Italy - 1893"

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #178 on: February 01, 2009, 05:55:11 PM »
It is sad it took a tragedy for him to grow up.

Ducky had married a boy who refused to grow up, her letters to Missy were full of frustrations of what to do with her husband. I have to say it changed my mind about Ducky and why she did want a divorce. She desperately wanted to reach out to Ernie and make him understand her need to connect with him, but he never got it...

Offline Helen

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #179 on: February 02, 2009, 02:05:09 AM »
It is sad it took a tragedy for him to grow up. Ducky had married a boy who refused to grow up, ...
Ernst Ludwig felt equally frustrated with Victoria Melita. Her rejecting him whimsically time after time when he reached out to her, her frequent absences from Hesse for no apparent reason, her smashing dinner services to smithereens, her irresponsible horseback riding when pregnant, etc. were hardly the behaviour of a grown up either. 
"The Correspondence of the Empress Alexandra of Russia with Ernst Ludwig and Eleonore, Grand Duke and Duchess of Hesse. 1878-1916"  -  http://www.bod.de/index.php?id=296&objk_
"Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine in Italy - 1893"