Author Topic: Which Hessian Sister was Most Like Princess Alice?  (Read 10519 times)

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Offline Arianwen

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Which Hessian Sister was Most Like Princess Alice?
« on: April 14, 2005, 12:59:53 PM »
As Val and I have been exchanging messages about this and thought it might make a good thread, here it is...

I've always thought Alix most like her mother of all the girls, even more than Ella at times, and yet, as the youngest and only six when her mother died, I found that unusual. One would think Victoria or Ella would have been most like Alice, but I see more of her in Alix. I know they were raised with the ghost of their mother, thanks in no small part to Queen Victoria's obsession with death, but for the one who knew her mother least to be the most like her has always struck me as odd. Also, the irony that they share a name as well as many personality traits...

What do you all think?

Regards,
Arianwen
« Last Edit: May 06, 2009, 10:05:50 PM by Alixz »

bluetoria

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Re: Mother And Daughter
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2005, 01:22:14 PM »
Mmm...no, Arianwen, I don't think I do quite agree.  :)
Which characteristics do you think Alix shared with Alice?

I see most of Alice in Victoria (in her diregard for dress & having little time for ostentation, her ALMOST republican views) & certainly in Ella - the total dedication, self-sacrifice, her contemplative nature, love of art & music.....

I think that Alice, for all her mystical traits, was also an extremely practical woman & would have been better able to cope had she been in Alix's position as Tsarina. I imagine Alice would have shocked St. Petersburg society by devoting herself to philanthropic works but that she would have been completely careless of what the artistocracy thought of her.
I agree that both Alice & Alix had to urge their diffident & hesitant husbands to take a stand on things, but IMO Alice would have managed to do this without antagonizing the Court.

It's a very interesting topic to muse upon!  :)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bluetoria »

Val289

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Re: Mother And Daughter
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2005, 02:59:07 PM »
As Arianwen, I've always had the general impression that Alix and Alice were quite a bit alike.  Perhaps the traits that stand out most to me, would be their deeply religious/spiritual traits, and their strong charecter.  Certainly I see quite a bit of Alice in Ella, as well - due to her compassion and devotion to those less fortunate than herself.  I also think that both Ella and Alix shared Alice's contemplative nature as well.  It's very interesting to think of how Alice might have handled the role of Tsarina of Russia, if she had the opportunity.

bluetoria

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Re: Mother And Daughter
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2005, 07:14:00 PM »
This is so interesting & something to consider at length.
It would be good to hear other opinions, too  :).

« Last Edit: May 02, 2009, 10:56:46 AM by Alixz »

Offline lexi4

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Re: Mother And Daughter
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2005, 11:52:34 PM »
This is interesting. I have always considerer Alix more like Queen Victoria. Forceful, conservative, domineering. Still, I can see how others of you see many of her mother's characteristics. I can relate to this topic  a little because my mother died when I was a little girl and I was raised by my step-mother. People who knew my mother always talk about how much I am like her. Which is interesting, because she didn't raise me. But then the bond between a mother and daughter is strong, so who knows?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely, in a pretty and well preserved body; but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "Wow ---- What a ride!!!"

bluetoria

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Re: Mother And Daughter
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2005, 06:59:58 AM »
I suppose many people also regarded Alice as forceful & domineering....but then, having such high ideals & a diffident husband, what else could she do?


« Last Edit: May 02, 2009, 10:57:10 AM by Alixz »

Offline Elisabeth

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Re: Mother And Daughter
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2005, 07:10:09 PM »
I see many of Alice's traits in her daughter Alix: her seriousness, high-mindedness, and moral earnestness; her religiosity; her altruism; her need to take charge. But like Bluetoria I see much more resemblance between Alix and her grandmother Victoria - I suppose in the very strength and intensity of the traits they had in common: obstinacy, unyieldingness, reclusiveness, and a recurring and rather extreme emotional dependency on male figures of authority (Victoria with Prince Albert, John Brown and the Munshee, Alix with Rasputin and Dr. Philippe).

I think that Victoria, had she been destined to be a Russian tsarina, might have fared almost as badly as her granddaughter did - it was only the ministrations of an able flatterer and politician like Disraeli, remember, that persuaded Victoria in her later years to do her royal duty. She much preferred the isolation of the close family circle to appearing in public or socializing with an aristocracy she considered decadent, even depraved. In this Alix very much took after her.

Also, I think Alix was very consciously emulating her mother when in the early years of her marriage she tried to set up a sewing circle and later, during WWI, when she trained as a nurse - Alice's example would always have been before her when she was growing up. I'm sure Victoria drummed in the public service message, no matter how remiss she herself was in that area!

Like Bluetoria, I also tend to think that Alice would have done much better as a Russian tsarina than Alix (or for that matter Victoria) - simply because she had the practical, pragmatic qualities that go with an able administrator - perhaps the very same qualities that Tatiana Nikolaevna inherited (because we really can't overlook a genetic factor here!). Finally, IMO, and please forgive me for saying so, Alice was more intelligent than either her mother or her daughter, and her belief in the political principles behind constitutional monarchy was sorely needed in Russia!  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Elisabeth »
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Offline lexi4

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Re: Mother And Daughter
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2005, 10:18:21 PM »
Thank you Darth Olga and blue. It's cool. But it is strange how you can develop characteritics of someone you really didn't get a chance to know very well. I see that in Alexndra the more I read.
Like I keep saying, I am new to all of this and just learning. I enjoy both of your posts. I always click on when I see your names.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by lexi4 »
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely, in a pretty and well preserved body; but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "Wow ---- What a ride!!!"

bluetoria

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Re: Mother And Daughter
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2005, 07:40:11 AM »
Quote
Finally, IMO, and please forgive me for saying so, Alice was more intelligent than either her mother or her daughter, and her belief in the political principles behind constitutional monarchy was sorely needed in Russia!  


Elizabeth, I agree with everything you have written. This last part (quoted) is very interesting; I agree that Alice was very intelligent & understood political principles (thanks probably to the wonderful education she received from her father).
This is going slightly off-topic so I will not dwell on it for long, but this made me think what about Vicky? She was obviously the most intelligent of all QV's children - if not the most intelligent among all the princes/princesses of the era - and yet I think she would not have made a suitable Tsarina at all. Her overt 'Englishness' would not have stood in her favour & imo she had inherited much of her mother's stubborn & moralistic temperament, which would not have appealed to the aristocracy in Russia. Alice, I think, would have been able to yield a little more.... :-/
Hummm...an interesting thing to think about   :)

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Mother And Daughter
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2005, 08:04:09 AM »
Quote

She was obviously the most intelligent of all QV's children - if not the most intelligent among all the princes/princesses of the era - and yet I think she would not have made a suitable Tsarina at all.


I agree with you about Vicki, Bluetoria. Vicki was probably the most intelligent, but I don't think she would have made a good Tsarina either... "Intelligent" doesn't mean the same as "intellectual", and not the same as "shrewd" - these are three different things, that may or may not overlap with each other. An intellectual person may understand the situation and what needs to be done, but will not necessarily compromise his/her views in order to fit into some role.

I don't think intelligence (and definitely not "intellectualness" - if that's a real word ?) was one of the pre-rerequisites to being a good tsarina, I think it was more of having a certain type of a personality, or shrewdness, if you will. Maria Feodorovna made a good tsarina, but she was not really known for high intelligence (although I don't think she was unintelligent). She was definitely not an intellectual.
Vicki was both intelligent and intellectual. Alix may have been somewhat intelligent (she was a good student when she was younger after all), but she was not in any way shape or form intellectual, at least it certainly didn't come off that way.

One can be intelligent in certain things but not in others. Maria Feodorovna was intelligent enough in that she knew what was expected of her as tsarina and she was able to deliver. She also was intelligent enough to know how to handle her husband's personality, etc.

Vicki would have known what was expected of her, and even known how to act in order to deliver, but she would probably have chosen not to, because of her intellect and the fact that it would have gone against it....

Offline Elisabeth

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Re: Mother And Daughter
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2005, 04:17:04 PM »
I suppose by calling Alice "intelligent" I meant not so much (if at all) that she was an intellectual, but that she had a certain sensibilite, as the French call it, or the imagination perhaps, to see different sides to a single question and to adapt herself to changing circumstances - that is, she could bend (show the ability to compromise) without breaking (giving way entirely). She had the sensibility of an English constitutional monarch, in other words.

And this quality was precisely what was needed in the consort of a Russian tsar at the end of the nineteenth century. Someone like Alice might actually have had an impact on Russian politics for the good - unlike Marie Feodorovna, who made no impact because she took no interest; or Alexandra Feodorovna, who at first took no interest and then took too much, all the wrong way (adopting her husband's views wholesale, then holding him to those views unswervingly and intolerantly!).

And yes, I agree with both Bluetoria and Helen Azar that Vicky would have made a disastrous tsarina. She was an intellectual of the stereotypically academic type - a tad too pedantic and self-complacent to be entirely friendly to non-intellectuals (my apologies to all academics out there - I'm talking about a stereotype, not the reality!).  
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bluetoria

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Re: Mother And Daughter
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2005, 04:05:44 PM »
I know this is way off topic but since we all seem to agree that Vicky would not have made a good Tsarina but that Alice might have done, this is a question which I ask myself constantly:
Wouldn't Missy of Roumania have made an excellent Tsarina?
I do not know that she would have appealed to Nicholas but, that aside, she would have had the passion & personality to appeal to the aristocracy of Russia, as well as the ability to endear herself to the ordinary people as she she did in Roumania.  
She was also in her own unique manner extremely clever and would have devoted herself to the Russian cause in much the same way as she devoted herself to the Roumanian one during WWI.

bluetoria

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Re: Mother And Daughter
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2005, 04:51:57 PM »
 - I just like to speculate on, for example, if Nicholas & Alexandra had been King & Queen of Britain they would have been perfect constitutional monarchs & doubtless well-loved.
Had Missy been Tsarina of Russia - I feel her character would have suited the culture.
How different all of their lives might have been if it had been possible to move them all around to different countries (like pieces on a chess board!)
If Wilhelm II had been, for example, King of the Netherlands, I doubt he would have been quite so militaristic.
If Albert of the Belgians or George V had been German Emperor, I doubt there would have been a war.
Pure speculation, that's all.  :)
« Last Edit: May 02, 2009, 10:59:04 AM by Alixz »

bluetoria

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Re: Mother And Daughter
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2005, 07:47:41 AM »
Perhaps if Wilhelm had grown up in the Netherlands, he wouldhave been raised in a less militaristic climate & would not have developed such an obsession with uniforms etc.
(Perhaps it would not have prevented WWI - after all he was not solely responsible for its outbreak & in fact found it rather shocking when he realized what had happened. But it may have made a difference if there had been a more pacific Kaiser in Germany  :-/ )

rskkiya

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Re: Mother And Daughter
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2005, 09:02:23 AM »
I read recently that Kaisar Wilhelm may have suffered from some brain damage, due to his difficult birth, resulting in emotional instability and over sensitivity.
I realize that this is a wee bit off topic -- any ideas?

rskkiya