Author Topic: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita  (Read 231669 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Eric_Lowe

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 16997
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #330 on: July 04, 2012, 05:00:51 PM »
I think I believe VM when she told about her situation with Ernie to Missy. She was pressured to get a male heir after visiting Grandmama Queen. She looked at the chaos in Coburg after her father died without a male heir. She even spared some reflective thoughts on her "hated" sister-in-law Alickly, who was in the same spot at the time. She did try and it didn't work. I don't think it was "calculated" In her sisters's word, she was incapable of living a lie. "She was our conscience". 

Offline Condecontessa

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 467
    • View Profile
Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #331 on: July 06, 2012, 10:45:59 PM »
Anyone knows if Victoria Melita ever mentioned her first daughter again? It seems like VM just completely eradicated her first daughters memory in her life. Of course I am not an expert so I could be wrong.

Offline Eric_Lowe

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 16997
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #332 on: July 07, 2012, 12:14:26 PM »
Perhaps in passing, but anybody who lose a child did not want to revisit that painful place. Ducky was visibly affected at Elizabeth's funeral. As she was someone who "the most unforgiving", she must have  felt guilt among her many mixed feelings at that point.

Offline perdita

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 155
    • View Profile
Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #333 on: July 15, 2012, 04:42:04 PM »
I think I believe VM when she told about her situation with Ernie to Missy. She was pressured to get a male heir after visiting Grandmama Queen. She looked at the chaos in Coburg after her father died without a male heir. She even spared some reflective thoughts on her "hated" sister-in-law Alickly, who was in the same spot at the time. She did try and it didn't work. I don't think it was "calculated" In her sisters's word, she was incapable of living a lie. "She was our conscience".  

Was VM's willingness to marry Ernest of Hesse entered into with the most sincere intentions or was it to an extent "calculated"?

Granted, VM's calculations are debatable.

Quote:

Ernest of Hesse to his sister Victoria Battenberg at the time of his divorce: "Now that I am calmer I see the ABSULTE impossibility of going on leading a life which is killing her and driving me nearly mad. For to keep up your spirits and a laughing face while ruin is staring you in the eyes and misery is tearing your heart to pieces is a struggle that IS FUTILE. I Only tried for her sake. If I did not love her so, I would have GIVEN UP LONG AGO."

Victoria of Battenberg: "Their characters and temperaments were quite unsuitable to each other."

The point is, what Ernie & Victoria of Battenberg knew, Marie Alexandrovna & VM knew in spades.

The correspondence of Marie Alexandrovna makes evident that VM felt contempt, even an aversion for Ernie, and knew they were fundamentally incompatable.  The Duchess of Coburg and VM were too intelligent and astute to believe the marriage salvagable particularily in view that VM and spent years trying to separate herself from Ernie and for some time had been in love with the Grand Duke Kyril. It didn't help that Princess Elizabeth of Hesse had become so alienated from VM as a result of their frequent separations (& her parents loud physical fights) that she far preferred Ernie and wanted little to do with the mother she doubted really loved her. Consciously or not, the end game was that the divorce be palatable to their royal relations. That a union with Ernie to a woman determined to make their marriage work was doomed to failure isn't credible. Ernie and Princess Eleonore had a successful marriage and were loving parents to their two sons.

It's tragic that VM was too inflexible to forgive to the last NOT Ernie's transgressions--but Kyril's.

Kyril on VM after her death: "There are few who in one person combine all that is best in soul, mind, and body. She had it all, and more. Few there are who are fortunate in having such a woman as their parner in their lives--I was one of the privileged."

??

Was all really as it seemed or was there maintained to an extent a false front?  i.e., There is no doubt that Kyril & his three children adored VM, but according to those closest to Victoria Melita in the last years of her life she was repelled by Kyril's touch and presence. Even on her deathbed.

Will admit to being a bit cynical when it comes to the endless calculations and machinations of the formidable Marie Alexandrovna on behalf of her daughters. To a certain degree her daughters most certainly co-operated with her schemes & calculations, marital and otherwise.

It is hoped that one day the letters between Marie Alexandrovna/VM and VM/Marie of Romania will be published in a series of volumes. It will be an eye opener adding significant pieces to their puzzle, not to mention a veil lifted on several European courts from their vantage point.

« Last Edit: July 15, 2012, 04:58:49 PM by perdita »

Offline Eric_Lowe

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 16997
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #334 on: July 15, 2012, 06:46:20 PM »
I agree the publications of the letters would clear the air in some areas. On the reason why Ducky could forgive Ernie and not Kirill ? The answer lies in the fact that she could blame Grandmama Queen for arranging her match to Ernie (she went through a period with fellow QV hater Dona, Empress of Germany). But she could not blame anybody but herself for licking Kirill, she should have seen that "betrayal" coming but did not. In other words, she blamed herself as much as she did Kirill, and for that reason, she could not go on. In fact her death was her punishment to herself.

Offline Thomas_Hesse

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 683
    • View Profile
Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #335 on: July 17, 2012, 02:10:49 AM »
Do we really know that Queen Victoria "arranged" that marriage so actively as many books state?
In the case of all her hessian grand daughters the Queen's will proved to be of little influence - all of them married the men they loved. Even against Victoria's will.

I wonder why Ernst Ludwig should have married a woman whom he did not love - in the letter quoted above he repeats his love for VM.
And a young woman as outspoken as VM would certainly not have married a man she was not attracted to?

I really think that it was only after a couple of years that they found themselves unable to get on together.
Meine Kaiserin

Offline CountessKate

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1085
    • View Profile
Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #336 on: July 17, 2012, 03:21:37 AM »
Do we really know that Queen Victoria "arranged" that marriage so actively as many books state?
In the case of all her hessian grand daughters the Queen's will proved to be of little influence - all of them married the men they loved. Even against Victoria's will.
I wonder why Ernst Ludwig should have married a woman whom he did not love - in the letter quoted above he repeats his love for VM.
And a young woman as outspoken as VM would certainly not have married a man she was not attracted to?
I really think that it was only after a couple of years that they found themselves unable to get on together.

In 1891 Queen Victoria wrote to Ernst Ludwig's eldest sister Victoria that "When Sir Wm Jenner was here I spoke to him about the possibility of Ernie's marrying one of the Edinburgh cousins" [Jenner was the Physician in Ordinary to QV and the Prince of Wales; the point of QV's enquiry was to determine whether a marriage between first cousins was undesirable.  Sir William of course said "there was no danger" due to the good health of the girls and their mother].  So QV was certainly pushing an Edinburgh-Hesse marriage at a fairly early stage.  In 1893 she again wrote to her granddaughter to say that she had “had it out with Aunt Marie....[who] is most anxious abt. Ernie and Ducky & I have written twice to Ernie abt the necessity of showing some attention & interest.....Aunt Marie fears he no longer wishes it, wh. I am sure is not the case.  Georgie lost Missy by waiting & waiting.”  While the views of ‘Aunt Marie’ are a little opaque, the Duke of Edinburgh’s were much more positive - when the engagement was announced in 1894 he telegraphed to QV that "Your and my great wish has been fulfilled this evening.  Ducky has accepted Ernie of Hesse's proposal".  However, while QV’s view seemed to be that the couple were a good match in that they were both artistic and had many interests in common, they had known each other for all their lives and thus at least had an opportunity to see whether they actually disliked each other, and while she could and did put pressure on her grandchildren to make the marriages she was keen on, there is no indication that she wouldn’t accept ‘no’ if that had been firm in either case.  So I don’t think there was any genuine compulsion in the marriage, although QV certainly energetically managed the business, to the stage where both parties were placed in proximity and were given strong encouragement to play the parts she desired. 

Offline Ilana

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 730
  • I love any info on VMH
    • View Profile
    • Queen Victoria's Granddaughters
Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #337 on: July 17, 2012, 10:23:57 AM »
I think that it's also important to remember that EL was not as strong willed as his sisters.  I believe that as a young man he had been managed for so long that as long as someone was prodding him, he would be managed into this marriage as well.
So long and thanks for all the fish

Offline Eric_Lowe

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 16997
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #338 on: July 17, 2012, 10:25:38 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. The problem was that both wanted different things in their choice of life partners. Ernie wanted a freedom and space within a marriage that the more intense Ducky could not give.

Offline grandduchessella

  • Global Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 13039
  • Getting Ready to Move to Europe :D
    • View Profile
    • Facebook page
Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #339 on: July 17, 2012, 11:20:32 AM »
It seems that Queen Victoria was most anxious to get Ernie settled--especially after his father's death in 1892 when Ernie was the last male in the line. The dynastic reasons became paramount then. She had mentioned Maud Wales in a letter to Victoria Battenberg but nothing came of it. The letters from the Duchess of Edinburgh published in Dearest Missy seem to indicate she wasn't opposed to it. She even writes of how fond the two were and how the enjoyed each other's company. It was only later that she began to see they were an ill-suited match temperamentally--superficially, with their shared interests, it seemed the two may actually suit.
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
Come visit on Pinterest--http://pinterest.com/lawrbk/

Offline Eric_Lowe

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 16997
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #340 on: July 17, 2012, 11:38:26 AM »
I think Marie Coburg was playing a delaying game. She just did a coup in marrying Missy off to Romania, much against the wishes of both QV and her husband (who was fond of Georgie Wales). So there was no way she could do anything with Ducky (Charlotte Meiningen wisely stayed out this one as she had a hand in the Romanian adventure). QV is going to get them wed if it is the last thing she did. To crown it all, she would be coming to Coburg to attend this wedding. Marie Coburg's unhappiness could be seen in the warning she sent Ernie's way of not dragging Ducky to kowrow to Windsor. But realistically, there was nothing she could do.

Offline CountessKate

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1085
    • View Profile
Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #341 on: July 17, 2012, 01:25:47 PM »
I agree that Marie Alexandrovna seemed a little conflicted, but while she didn't want to connect her children more closely to the British court, there is no denying that Ernst Ludwig was a catch matrimonially insofar as he was a sovereign grand duke, and he was in fact German, not English, with very decent connections to the German imperial court.  So I think if Victoria Melita had really shown a strong aversion, she would have been able to carry her point with her mother, but given she presumably felt at the very least neutral, EL was probably too good a prospect for Marie to fight against (and I think her attempts to loosen EL's ties to the British court were not in themselves hostile to EL as such).  But  I don't believe either of the couple were in a situation where they would have expected true romantic love to happen automatically - it was the duty of both of them to marry and to do so with persons of appropriate rank and station, in the same way as men and women of the nobility and upper classes were expected to do.  Even very unlikely royal arranged marriages could turn out well - William III of the Netherlands was a far from attractive character, with a very unsavoury reputation who had treated his first wife in a highly unsympathetic manner, but his very much younger second wife Emma of Waldeck-Pyrmont seemed to need no extraordinary pursuading to marry him when he came looking, and he made her a good husband and was a kind father to their only daughter.  Whatever might have been the reality, EL did not have that sort of reputation and under the circumstances, I think both VM as well as El probably thought there was enough common ground to build a reasonable marriage on, and more than many of their connections started with, and Marie thought the same.  The genuine pleasure and approval of many of their powerful relatives, the fact they were young and at the head of their own little court without any immediate parental authority over them and could please themselves with regard to how they lived, must have been a great boost to their early married life, and perhaps created a glow to their marriage initially which helped to disguise for a while the basic fault-lines in the relationship. 

Offline Eric_Lowe

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 16997
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #342 on: July 17, 2012, 02:06:23 PM »
Indeed. Ernie wasn't too sure about this, but QV gave him a push to propose to Ducky. They got along fine and enjoy the same jokes. But Ducky was not a shallow person and had a deep desired to be wanted and understood. She painted a portrait of Ernie that her young husband could never live up to. She confessed that she had done that in a letter to Missy before her second (failed) pregnancy. Fundamentally Ernie could not give his body and soul to anybody after his mother's death, and the only person who understood his emotional turmoil was his sister Ella. VMH knew that she could never meant as much to Ernie as Ella, as he will always be "her boy". It was no accident that he named his only daughter after his favorite sister. Another thing is that Ducky felt that she was needed by Kirill and went on to organize his life. It was that kind of existence that was based on mutual need. Ernie had his own little world (men, artist and arts) that excluded her.

Offline grandduchessella

  • Global Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 13039
  • Getting Ready to Move to Europe :D
    • View Profile
    • Facebook page
Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #343 on: July 17, 2012, 03:56:54 PM »
Marie Coburg originally wrote to Missy, in the early part of Victoria and Ernie's marriage, that Victoria was to be much envied that Ernie wasn't a more passionate character and thus would spare Victoria some of the less appetizing (to both Maries) part of marriage. Unfortunately, his very 'unseductive' and rather passionless nature helped doom the relationship.
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
Come visit on Pinterest--http://pinterest.com/lawrbk/

Offline Eric_Lowe

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 16997
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig & Grand Duchess Victoria Melita
« Reply #344 on: July 17, 2012, 04:26:27 PM »
Indeed ! Ducky seem to need a lot of passion. In fact all the Edinburgh girls were passionate by nature. Missy had a long string of lovers, while Sandra also managed a war time affair during WW I. Both Ducky & Baby Bee were also passionate lovers that need to be fulfilled. That carried on to the next generation to Missy's daughters Elisabetta & Ileana and Ducky's daughter Marie.