Author Topic: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita  (Read 224914 times)

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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #360 on: July 27, 2012, 11:05:16 AM »
I think you are quite prejudiced as far as Ducky is concerned. The letters between Ducky & Missy quite literally laid out that Ducky tried to reach out to Ernie but was rebuffed by him. There is also info that tied Ernie to Krupp's boy harem in Capri during his travels. Ducky would be a saint had she did not feel frustrated by the situation. Ernie was much more to blame if not more than Ducky.  

Yes. Ducky did not do her duty as Duchess of Hesse, but did her sister-in-law did any better in Russia ? Not really.

Disagree with you on the subject of Waldolf Astor, his affair with Missy predates that of his marriage to Nancy, who always felt a bit jealous of the friendship between Missy & her husband. Also the relationship between them was so close that rumors that Mignon's true father was Waldolf began to spread. No truth yes but the fact that the people believe it as much to spread it spoke volumes.  

It was Ducky unforgiving aspect doomed her when she found out about Kirill's betrayal. She could forgive Ernie because she knew later that he never loved her the way she wanted to be loved. While Kirill was her choice and she believed she was the one for him that turned out not. That Ducky could never accept.

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #361 on: July 27, 2012, 11:11:13 AM »
I think Marie Coburg was doing damage control for Missy and went along for Ducky & Ernie. With both Alfred & his mother determined that they are going to get their way. Don't think Marie could pull anything this time. She actually did not dislike Ernie, but it would be a stretch to say he was her favorite choice for son-in-law. Her warnings to Ernie about QV and not to drag Ducky to kowtow to her in Windsor revealed her true colors.

Offline perdita

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #362 on: July 27, 2012, 11:45:07 AM »
I think they liked each other but were not in love. There were success stories like George & May or Sasha & Minny, so a marriage made in mutual liking (if not love) did have a chance of success.  

Although Queen Victoria & Prince Albert had arranged that their elder daughter Victoria make a dynastic marriage at age 14 the princess had a three year engagement before marrying the Crown Prince Frederick at age 17, and it was a love match.

To reiterate. The marital buck stops with Marie Alexandrovna & Victoria Melita. It wasn't mandatory that the dictatorial Duchess of Coburg marry her daughters THAT young.

i.e.,

Marie Alexandrovna was 20 when she finally deigned to settle for Prince Alfred of England (a country she despised).

Grand Duchess Elena of Russia was 20 when she married Nicholas of Greece.

Alix of Hesse was 22 when she married Nicholas 11.

Empress Augusta was 22 when she married Wilhelm 11.

Margaret of Connaught was 23 when she married the Crown Prince of Sweden.

Queen Mary was 25 when she married George V.

Maud of Wales was 25 when she married the future king of Norway.

Princess Beatrice was 28 when she married Henrey of Battenberg.

Princess Patricia of Connaught was 33 when she chose to marry her father's aide de camp, a commoner.

Princess Marina was 28 when she married Prince George.

Princess Louise was 34 when she married the Crown Prince of Sweden. (Louise's father Louis Battenberg had forbad her intended marriage to the artist Alexander Stuart on the grounds that he was a homosexual.)


In fact, many princesses chose not to marry, period.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2012, 11:46:40 AM by perdita »

Offline perdita

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #363 on: July 27, 2012, 01:43:38 PM »
I think Marie Coburg was doing damage control for Missy and went along for Ducky & Ernie. With both Alfred & his mother determined that they are going to get their way. Don't think Marie could pull anything this time. She actually did not dislike Ernie, but it would be a stretch to say he was her favorite choice for son-in-law. Her warnings to Ernie about QV and not to drag Ducky to kowtow to her in Windsor revealed her true colors.

Marie Alexandrovna's warning to Ernie revealed that she could not abide QV--or her influence.

Where does the VERY outspoken Duchess of Coburg make clear that she opposed the match?

Marie Alexandrovna was ruthless when orchestrating the lives of her children and there is no doubt that her daughters co-operated, to a great extent, with her schemes and directives.

Even Queen Victoria, Prince Alfred, and their relations were shocked at the hasty alliances Marie Alexandrovna contrived for her 16 year old daughters, deficit of self understanding or real love and knowledge of their future husbands.

Marie Alexandrovna to "Missy", quote: "The only question that torments..is that Papa so positively said again, the engagement (Sandra's) was not to be before she was 17...I dread Papa, who might make it very disagreeable..."

!!

The Empress Alexandra wasn't a lone voice when she wrote to Ernest of Hesse in 1895: "So Sandra is really engaged to Ernie H.--I always hoped it would not be, he is so much older than her, & she quite a baby still. What a difficult position too, poor, no property, a simple Standesherr & she SO YOUNG for such a completely new life...But I cannot understand. A. Marie allowing her to marry so soon--a mere baby. She does not know life or the world and can have no formed ideas yet."

PRECISELY. That was Aunt Marie's plan.

Marie of Romania astutely decribed her mother's child rearing philosophy as follows: "Trapped innocence, the deliberate blinding against life as it truly is, so that with eyes shut and perfect confidence we would advance towards any fate."

Missy Oct. 1898 five years into her miserable marriage; "Mama dear, if I could I would fly to you now to dear quite Coburg, you know that I am happiest there and that I am ALWAYS longing to be with you."

Missy to her confidant the America dancer Loie Fuller: "The distaste (for Nando) which grew into a revulsion."

i.e.,--VM wasn't the only Coburg princess who was repelled by her royal hubby.

Marie Alexandrovna ruled the roost in Coburg. For the most part Prince Alfred made himself absent from his Duchesses' dominion but it is said he never forgave her when during their 25th wedding anniversary, embarrassed by their only son, she sent him away to die alone after his attempted suicide. Subsequently, Prince Alfred sought to separate himself from Marie Alexandrovna until the last few days of his life.

Had Marie been an out and out villian (if only) her daughters would not have adhered to her dictates and been as blindly devoted as they were. But villian or not, to some extent, that old battleship unwittingly served the same purpose. Marie's treatment of her son let him on the path to destruction, and she consciously endeavored to instill in her daughters implacable attitudes of contempt for the country of their birth, their "nasty/spiteful" English granny, their "irksome/bothersome" father, their "weak/foolish/selfish" husbands, and "filthy/ignoble" men in general. Shamelessly, the Duchess of Coburg even attempted to turn Ernie against "our enemy" the English grandmother Queen Victoria because his "idolotry" of her would translate major trouble in his marriage. Although Marie Alexandrovna deeply loved her daughters & ostensibly devoted her life to them she could not resist putting her prejudices, pride and self-satisfaction before their best interests. Inherently doctrinaire and egocentric this imperial daughter of Russia falsely believed they were one in the same.

Yes, Marie was sincerely grieved that VM lost her still born son in 1900 & that there had been no improvement in her daughter's attitude towards Ernie. It is also true that even as VM had resolved "dutifully" (& pointlessly) to conceive another child her mother was aware that the marriage was an abject failure.

Quote Marie Alexandrovna to Missy on Ducky--

1897: "Ducky writes seldom and says very little, I am not at all happy about her, though Ernie writes that they are intensely happy now. I don't see it at all in their letters."

March 1898: "Her life in her home is a sad and hopeless one...I don't see how it can ever improve..."

Marie on her brother Serge's inclination to put a "rosy face" on Ernie & VM--Sept. 29th, 1899: "He does not like it when I talk with him about Ducky & Ernie and say some truths. But he comes to my rooms to have talks."

Even during the years leading up to VM's official separation & divorce the Duchess of Coburg was carefully setting the stage for her daughter's marital collapse for her relations.

Undoubtedly, there were royal mothers who were cut throats. It is alleged that the Duchess of Coburg's "dearest friend" Marie Pavlovna the elder urged her heir Kyril to keep VM a mistress while in his self-interest to marry a woman who would be acceptable to church & state given his proximity to the throne. Apparently, after Kyril's near brush with death during the Russp-Japanese war he thought better of his mother's machinations. (What would Marie Alexandrovna have thought of her dear friend's plot?)

It is hoped there will be many more volumes of Marie Alexandrovna's exceptional correspondence with her daughters published. This daughter of Alexander 11 was everything a great letter writer should be--purposely indiscreet, venting no hold-barred impressions and observations, and extremely informative on a myriad of levels from her vantage point.

It is also hoped that one day the Coburg set detractors (& Ernie & Co.) will also have their say.



« Last Edit: July 27, 2012, 02:15:00 PM by perdita »

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #364 on: July 28, 2012, 12:28:05 AM »
I think each situation is different. Marie Coburg did not want Missy to marry Georgie Wales, so she pull Nando out of a hat and married her off before she could do anything. Ileana once told the story that Missy,who had a great love for England and idolized her Aunt Alix would have been happy in England, to write a refusal letter. That marriage did not create great happiness for Missy, Alfred or Queen Victoria. Because of that, when the proposed match for Ducky came along, the combined strength of her husband and mother-in-law was too much for Marie to resist. Add to that she did not have another candidate for her second daughter. Queen Victoria learned her lesson and this time did not allow Marie Coburg any time to maneuver. "No more waiting & waiting" for Ducky. The old Queen even made sure that Ernie did propose to his cousin. I agree that Marie Coburg could be ruthless, but not even she dared the combine weight of her husband and mother-in-law and gave in. Also as Duchess of Coburg, Ducky would be well off (money) and well settled in a good position.

To be fair to Ducky, she was young and unsure about the situation. She liked Ernie and judging from the early years, got on well with her husband.  However later when things began to fell apart, she wrote to Missy saying that "I built him up to be a hero, a person on a pedestal that he of course wasn't".

I am more in tune for the Ducky/Missy letters. They were much more intimate. For example Missy never disclosed to her mother that she asked Ducky to find ways of a possible abortion. Ducky on her part kept her sister's trouble a secret until she had no recourse but to reveal to their mother. That was the background not covered in the "Dear Missy" letters.

Offline perdita

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #365 on: July 29, 2012, 12:34:16 PM »
I think each situation is different....hat marriage did not create great happiness for Missy, Alfred or Queen Victoria. Because of that, when the proposed match for Ducky came along, the combined strength of her husband and mother-in-law was too much for Marie to resist.....I agree that Marie Coburg could be ruthless, but not even she dared the combine weight of her husband and mother-in-law and gave in.

Is there evidence that Marie seriously opposed Ducky's marriage before the fact? Arguably, nothing was too much to resist in the mind of the iron willed Russian Grand Duchess once she had made up her mind. Marie was extraodinarily manipulative and could have out witted Queen Victoria and Prince Alfred simply by pointing out that since Missy's marriage had been no great success (after having marrying at the tender age age of 17),  than Ducky, at that same age, was too young and should wait until she knew Ernie and her own mind better. In fact, Queen Victoria was much closer and took more interest in her young Hesse granddaughters--and Victoria, Elizabeth, and Alix all held out for years in order to make up their own minds to determine their marital partner--thwarting the queen's designs on their behalf.

It's difficult to believe that Marie Alexandrovna & VM had less resolve, determination, & principles than Victoria of Battenberg, the Grand Duchess Serge, or Empress Alexandra.

Did not Queen Victoria's grandson the Kaiser (among MANY others) wish to marry Elizabeth of Hesse?

Did not Queen Victoria's English grandson Albert Victor, the Duke of Clarence (Edward V11's heir) wish to marry Alix of Hesse?

Did not Queen Victoria emphatically insist that there be no Russian marriages for her favorite granddaughters?

It was convenient for VM to scapegoat Queen Victoria rather than the mother she considered her #1 champion and with whom she was entirely dependent on for emtional support subsequent her disasterous marriage of HER OWN choosing. If the teen age Victoria, Elizabeth, and Alix had the backbone to stand up to Queen Victoria (& their beloved father) to insist on deciding with whom they would marry than so could have VM, especially after witnessing first hand the marital debacle of her sister Missy.


« Last Edit: July 29, 2012, 12:49:28 PM by perdita »

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #366 on: July 29, 2012, 01:02:50 PM »
I think QV considered the Hesse family special since Princess Alice died so young. The old queen was closer to them than the Edinburgh girls as they have a strong mama. As for Ella, she did not like Willy in the least bit, and Vicky wasn't for it either, so it suited both parties that it did not happen. I think you gave Marie Coburg too much credit as she did have help from Charly Meiningen (sister of Kaiser Wilhelm) too in the Missy/Nando project. I don't think Charly would dare cross her formidable grandmother once she insist that that marriage (Ernie/Ducky) go forward. So much so that she make a trip to Coburg to see it take place. Also you must also remember Alfred also wished for that too, and greatly displeased at his wife on the Missy situation. Marie Coburg also did not have any candidate for Ducky at that point, so she let it happen. I would not be surprised that given more time to plan, she would like no better to screw up her mother-in-law's plan once again. So the combine pressure of the old queen, the duke and the British fraction won this round. Queen Victoria knew how important a role she played in this marriage, when it fell apart, she said she would not arrange another marriage again. Her tone did sound guilty here. Also Ducky thought so too and for a time joined Dona in her "British hating camp" in Berlin. 

Offline perdita

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #367 on: July 29, 2012, 01:35:00 PM »
If Marie Alexandrovna fantasized that she could preserve her daughter's innocence and "moral force" by keeping them totally blindsided only to be thrown to the wolves at ages 17 in very foreign courts with husbands that they didn't really know or like then she was entirely mistaken, Unfortunately blind luck would not be on her side.

Quotations from Chairman Ma Alexandrovna to Missy 1896-1899:

"I have every right as a mother to interfere and I mean to do it."

"Flirt, amuse yourself, but don't loose your heart, men are not worth it and if you could, really could see their lives, you would turn away in disgust, for you would find there dirt and nothing but dirt, even in the lives of those who seem to you good and noble."

'Ducky arrived here in good spirits but she is terribly disappointed that she cannot have any amusements...Ducky seems extremely satisfied with her existence, with her sejour in Russia and is enjoying life thoroughly. Fancy, the happiness of having a husband who is wholly in agreement about it (no sex), as she says I really need never have any children at all, as he is perfectly happy as we are now! Yes, Ducky I said you would not find a man in a thousand, in ten thousand like that and you cannot appreciate enough or be grateful enough for it."

And the outcome?

"Look here Missy I cannot and WILL NOT let things go on as they are now, my patience is at an end and I am going to take very energetic measures without any loss of time and give then all a wholesome fright..Help is near and that is why I really came to Darmstadt, as it is easier to execute my plans..Don't you be in the least alarmed, leave it all to me and trust be entirely and absolutely."

"You ought to insist upon taking the baby with you & leave the country altogether, renouncing, if possible completely in his name the Romanian succession."

"Be patient with Nando and don't push him back too much, you could also begin again a new "family way". It wouldn't be amusing, I know, but good for your health, I should think and would QUIET EVERYBODY. Only be tactful & don't turn him into ridicule before everybody...Don't neglect him too much when your cousins (Boris & Andrew) are there."

"Women are cleverer...therefore they can turn a weak man around their fingers. You could have done the same thing with Nando, if he had not an abject fear of his uncle. Alas! that sensation (sex) is now uppermost in his mind and you will have to work at him gently & firmly to bring him around to you. It is perhaps not a very noble proceeding, but generally an efficacious one to work on his sensuality and to hold him BY THAT. If you are clever you can GAIN INFLUENCE by it."

"For I cannot tell you what the feeling is to be only a "legitimate mistress" for one's husband and no more! It is simply degrading..."

So in Marie's mind, how would Nando define his role as Missy's husband?

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #368 on: July 29, 2012, 02:36:24 PM »
I think Missy and Ducky turned out being so bossy was because of their mother's advice and example. They also saw in QV a mother that has to be obeyed and revered. When the suggestion of a British nanny and midwife was blocked by "Onkel" Carol, Marie Coburg simply enlisted the help of her mother-in-law and the king had to relent. Marie Coburg knew how to appeal to the sentimentality of the old queen, just like her sister-in-law Alexandra of Denmark. In Missy's case it was simple since Missy was beautiful, Nando do not stand a chance against her wiles and appeals. Ducky was much more sensitive and easily hurt (a bit like her cousin Alicky). Try to imagine had Alicky married Eddy, it would be as bad if not more so than Ernie & Ducky. However Ducky was too young to make up her mind and she loved her father and liked Ernie (not love). So her mistake was understandable.

Offline perdita

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #369 on: July 29, 2012, 02:41:33 PM »
Marie Coburg also did not have any candidate for Ducky at that point, so she let it happen. I would not be surprised that given more time to plan, she would like no better to screw up her mother-in-law's plan once again. So the combine pressure of the old queen, the duke and the British fraction won this round. Queen Victoria knew how important a role she played in this marriage, when it fell apart, she said she would not arrange another marriage again. Her tone did sound guilty here. Also Ducky thought so too and for a time joined Dona in her "British hating camp" in Berlin.  

After the disaster that was Missy's early marriage Marie Alexandrovna "just let it happen"?

Queen Victoria may have thought that she "arranged" VM's marriage--but the buck still stopped with the Duchess of Coburg and Victoria Melita.

Speaking of "tones" taken, did the Duchess of Coburg's EVER sound guilty about a single thing that she ever did? Marie would have been only too willing to pass the buck & finagle ALL blame on the hated English Queen Victoria.

By the way, any daughter of Marie Alexandrovna who fantasized Ernie of Hesse "a hero-paragon" had screws in her head. If the 16 year old Victoria Melita had such a stellar (if pie-in-the-sky) opinion of Ernie at the time of her engagement then marrying him without protest was demonstably her decision.

Clearly, the Duchess of Coburg did not make it her business to see to it that her engaged 16/17 year old daughters knew their intended husband well enough. Nor, according to Marie of Romania, would THAT have been her mother's plan.

For whatever reasons the Duchess of Coburg opposed the idea that Missy or Ducky should have, as they desired, English or Russian husbands. Nor is Marie's tone shy of her "powerful English in-laws" when she writes to Missy: "But I am going to have serious talk with Ernie about Granny's influence and interference, otherwise I CANNOT GIVE ANY CONSENT & Ducky will never stand it."

Does there exist any evidence that Marie thought VM too young to become engaged at 16/17--or did seriously opposed her marriage to Ernie before the fact?

« Last Edit: July 29, 2012, 02:46:21 PM by perdita »

Offline perdita

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #370 on: July 29, 2012, 03:37:35 PM »
I think Missy and Ducky turned out being so bossy was because of their mother's advice and example. They also saw in QV a mother that has to be obeyed and revered. Ducky was much more sensitive and easily hurt (a bit like her cousin Alicky). Try to imagine had Alicky married Eddy, it would be as bad if not more so than Ernie & Ducky. However Ducky was too young to make up her mind and she loved her father and liked Ernie (not love). So her mistake was understandable.

Arguably, Marie Alexandrovna didn't see QV as a mother who must "obeyed and revered". Had that been true Missy would have married George V and not "weak/foolish" Nando, the heir in Marie's words, "of an unhealthy/barbaric country" that she could not trust the care of her grandchildren. (Queen Victoria had that opinion of Romania from the get go.)

If Ducky was "too young to make up her mind" then her mother, guardian of her best interests, must ultimately take responsibility for her marriage.

Keep in mind, it was also Queen Victoria's "greatest wish" that Alix of Hesse marry her grandson Eddy. Ditto, it was the English Queen's second greatest wish (& adament command) that her granddaughters not marry into Russia.

Alix of Hesse was very young (12 years old) when she made up her mind to refuse all family-desired suiters and to only marry a man for which she felt the great attachment. Alix also was deeply devoted to her grandmother, her beloved father, and claimed that she "liked" her cousin Eddy but would be "miserable" if she married him because she did not truly love him. Queen Victoria subsequently relented and praised her strong character--even though this favorite granddaughter had turned down the "greatest position there is".

When did Victoria Melita first fall in love with the Grand Duke Kyril?

« Last Edit: July 29, 2012, 03:43:34 PM by perdita »

Offline perdita

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #371 on: July 29, 2012, 06:07:28 PM »
I think Missy and Ducky turned out being so bossy was because of their mother's advice and example. They also saw in QV a mother that has to be obeyed and revered.

"Reverence" for Queen Victoria?

It's a stretch to believe that VM ever had an exaggerated opinion of her English "granny's" authority given that even before her marriage Marie Alexandrovich had written to Ernie arbitrating that her daughter would not stand for Queen Victoria's "interference and influence".

The Duchess of Coburg to Missy, March 1894: (Pre Ducky's marriage)

"I had a long talk with Ernie and before her (Ducky) about the English family, about Granny and explained to him why WE could not really like them and how often they had been mean and spiteful to me. I don't think Ernie quite believed me, but all the same it must be said because he must not always be dragging Ducky to England in perpetual adoration of Granny and quite understand the reasons WE can NEVER adore her. Otherwise I fear conflict between Ernie and his spouse later on, which would be deplorable."

In fact, it was Marie Alexandrovich who was only too willing to drag Ducky into perpetual hostility of her English granny while making clear that she would do all in her power to exert her "interference and influence" with respect to her daughters over Queen Victoria when ever she saw fit.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2012, 06:29:06 PM by perdita »

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #372 on: July 29, 2012, 10:21:07 PM »
I think Marie Coburg did not like either England or QV and very happy to go to Coburg and be number one there. However her hatred of England and its ways did not pass to her daughters. Missy, Ducky & Baby Bee all in different part of their lives sing its praises. Missy thoughout her autobiography did showed much of her love for England. Had she allowed to marry Georgie, her life would have been less volatile. Queen Mary later quite rightly express alarm to the Balkan thrones and how shaky they are and did not envy them one bit. Yet that is the life Marie Coburg's decision led her daughter into.

I think you are too harsh on Ducky, when you are married at 16/17, who would not be a little foolish or naive. When Ducky wrote about her hero worship of Ernie, she was about at her wits end. It was after her visit at Windsor, where they wanted Ducky & Ernie to "try again" for an heir. She saw close up what a situation would arise when there is no male heir. Charles Edward of Albany was drafted to succeed her father, because of the early death of her brother. At the same time, her sister-in-law Alicky just gave birth to a second baby girl. She felt compassion for her as she knew she could not stop until a son is born (heir to the throne of Russia). Being on the same boat to "try again" did make her bitter as her inability to reach out to her husband. She concluded that the situation was "hopeless"

So I do blame Queen Victoria in pulling the strings in this marriage. She admit as much guilt to it. Ernie also shared some of the blame since he had doubts about the marriage but forge on forward. As a gay/bisexual man, his reluctance was understandable. He needed a lot of space (one that his second wife was able to give and understand) that the intense, naive and childish Ducky could handle.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #373 on: July 30, 2012, 04:03:53 AM »
Reading all this, it seems that Marie Alexandrovna had a distinctly jaundiced attitude towards men, and I wonder where she got it from. She had six brothers, none of whom seem to have been particularly bad husbands, by the standards of the time, except possibly Sergei (but we don't really know). Nixa died unmarried, aged 21, Alexander had a very happy marriage, Alexei remained unmarried (at least officially). Vladimir's marriage seems to have been happy enough, Paul's first marriage was brief but happy. Sergei's marriage - well. I don't know. But by 1890 or so Marie was highly critical of men in general. Was it her own marriage that turned her against men, or the example of her father?

As to VM's 'hero-worship' of Ernst Ludwig, we should bear in mind that she was extremely young and naive, plus EL was good-looking, and, whatever his sexual proclivities, a pleasant fellow whom people liked. I can imagine a young girl being carried away by his looks and charm. Maybe also she was keen to get away from home and be 'top lady' in Darmstadt!

Ann

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #374 on: July 30, 2012, 08:43:23 AM »
Maybe his father and cousins. Most of the other grand dukes have mistresses and their wives have to put up with this (grand duke Constantine the elder had women, while the younger had men) not to mention her father.

Yes. I think Ernie had charm and Ducky did like him so much as to marry him (although there are those who already fear that it may not be enough to live out a marriage). Her discovery of the "other side" of him must have shocked her (his liking for the same sex and his emotional detachment to her). Had she any inkling of the situation, Ducky wasn't able to voice them out until much later in the marriage.