Author Topic: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)  (Read 193732 times)

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Offline Yelena Aleksandrovna

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #435 on: February 28, 2012, 01:39:23 PM »
When young

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #436 on: February 29, 2012, 09:15:14 AM »
Dona must have been quite a character. Other than her own family (her children really), most people in her & her husband's family did not seem to warm towards her.

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #437 on: July 09, 2013, 06:22:05 AM »



I rather like this portrait of Dona - a study by Vittorio Corcos,in 1905.

Offline HerrKaiser

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #438 on: July 09, 2013, 10:11:44 AM »
Thanks for the image, CK. It is a beautiful portrait of Dona, who grew quite beautiful and lovely as she aged.
HerrKaiser

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #439 on: July 16, 2013, 12:44:25 AM »
She looks very natural in this study.

Offline Превед

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #440 on: December 12, 2013, 04:48:13 PM »
Well said. Particularly when casual use of calling Dona a "cow" serves to wrongly establish her image and persona amongst people who do not know and appreciate her true regal, sophisticated, and highly attractive being.

Personally I see her neither as a cow nor as full of grandezza, but as the Kirchen-Guste who built hundred churches in the vain effort to save the working classes from Socialism.

BTW that (the bigotted church stuff) is just one of many striking similarities between VA and AF. Both empresses so reclusive, so devoted to their children, their husbands and nursing their husbands' frail (delusional) autocratic egos. No wonder they couldn't stand each other, as they probably saw some of their own bad qualities reflected in each other.

Good points. I agree with some of those similarities between VA and AF.  However, I don't think Dona can be viewed any where near the recluse that AF was; in fact, is there anywhere she is actually characterized as a recluse? I've always seen, read, and heard of her as a very willing participant in social and private doings.

I also don't think the motivation for Dona's building sponsorships was saving the masses from socialism. Rather, she was a devoted Christian and committed to the beautification of the cityscapes which her churches most definitely added a sense of splendor we enjoy today (what's left of them, that is).

I agree, she was far from the kind of recluse AF was. But a recluse in the sense of limiting herself to domestic matters and the circle of the "Hallelujah Aunts". Her retreating role is of course also a reason why she is so little known today, the last empress - even among the Germans, compared to her legendary husband. But there were of course some facts which made her position quite different from AF's.
- The more advanced political structure of the German Empire as compared to the Russian one left less room for personal politics - and thus also for powerful women.
- Her children being largely boys, she was less able to (if she even wished to) isolate her family from society (which she, just like AF considered dangerous and debauched), with them attending cadet school in Plön and going into the army.
- AV was not a foreigner.

Still one can argue that AV is one of the more productive contemporaries to compare AF with, since they both were the first ladies of empires where there still were some degree of personal rule (by their very controversial husbands). Environmentally, AF had more in common with AV than with Alexandra and Mary of the UK.

I think anti-Socialism played a part in AV's church building, as the court and her husband were linked with the Christian-Social (anti-Socialist and somewhat anti-Semitic) movement of Adolf Stoecker, the Dean and Court Pastor of Berlin. It is symbolic that one of the churches built by AV, the Versöhnungskirche / Reconciliation Church in the Bernauer Straße in Berlin, came to lie right next to the Berlin Wall, was blown up by the DDR / GDR as late as 1985 and is now replaced by a very moving clay Chapel of Reconciliation (made from the dirt from the site, containing bits of the broken bricks of the church), right next to the Berlin Wall Memorial.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 05:02:29 PM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #441 on: December 12, 2013, 06:43:56 PM »
She was well known in UK and readers of Queen Victoria's letters & diaries as an "ungrateful insignificant princess who was raised to a position by Vicky's kindness" and "whose attitude I have no words". 

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #442 on: December 13, 2013, 03:58:53 AM »
Eric

Was that Queen Victoria's consistent view of AV, or simply the hyperbole she went in from time to time in her diary? What is the context of these remarks?

Ann

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #443 on: December 13, 2013, 05:28:47 AM »
Eric

Was that Queen Victoria's consistent view of AV, or simply the hyperbole she went in from time to time in her diary? What is the context of these remarks?

Ann

The context was that AV had supported the line of her husband and grandparents-in-law in relation to the marriage of Princess Beatrice with Prince Henry of Battenburg - that is, that it was essentially a morganatic marriage of those unequal in blood and generally disgraceful.  Since it was precisely this sort of argument which had caused opposition from those same grandparents-in-law initially to hesitate to endorse the match (that it was essentially unequal), QV was therefore spelling out the irony of the situation as well as AV's ingratitude to those such as QV herself, who had supported AV's marriage, and Vicky, who had promoted and supported AV's marriage through thick and thin. 

Offline Превед

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #444 on: December 13, 2013, 05:28:47 AM »
Personally I see her neither as a cow nor as full of grandezza, but as the Kirchen-Guste who built hundred churches in the vain effort to save the working classes from Socialism.

Of course that is Kirchen-Juste in Berlinerisch, as this interesting portrait points out, together with the influence from Stoecker. Based on a biography (Angelika Obert,  Auguste Victoria, Wie die Provinzprinzessin zur Kaiserin der Herzen wurde. Wichern, Berlin 2011) it claims that some of AV's emotional problems may have been due to her mother, in deep grief for AV's dead brother, not being quite there for her after her birth (postnatal depression?) and that she herself remedied this through taking on a maternal role quite early (towards her younger sister Calma).
« Last Edit: December 13, 2013, 05:37:57 AM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #445 on: December 13, 2013, 06:06:07 AM »
Eric

Was that Queen Victoria's consistent view of AV, or simply the hyperbole she went in from time to time in her diary? What is the context of these remarks?

Ann

The context was that AV had supported the line of her husband and grandparents-in-law in relation to the marriage of Princess Beatrice with Prince Henry of Battenburg - that is, that it was essentially a morganatic marriage of those unequal in blood and generally disgraceful.  Since it was precisely this sort of argument which had caused opposition from those same grandparents-in-law initially to hesitate to endorse the match (that it was essentially unequal), QV was therefore spelling out the irony of the situation as well as AV's ingratitude to those such as QV herself, who had supported AV's marriage, and Vicky, who had promoted and supported AV's marriage through thick and thin. 

Sorry, I should clarify that it was AV's own marriage with Wilhelm which was initially considered to be unequal, as one of her grandparents was a mere noblewoman, Countess Louise Sophie Danneskiold-Samsøe.  Hence Queen Victoria's pointing out the obvious with regard to AV's attitude to Princess Beatrice's marriage - that AV had no grounds on which to oppose it, and was being ungrateful to her original supporters.  But it certainly wasn't a consistent view of Queen Victoria's - both she and Vicky had felt AV highly suitable as a bride for William and neither had any problems about her birth per se.

Offline Превед

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #446 on: December 13, 2013, 09:27:37 AM »
Sorry, I should clarify that it was AV's own marriage with Wilhelm which was initially considered to be unequal, as one of her grandparents was a mere noblewoman, Countess Louise Sophie Danneskiold-Samsøe.

A great great great grand-daughter of King Christian V of Denmark and sporting seize quartiers+ bursting with the names and arms of the equites originarii of Holstein, while the soi-disante princesse Julia von Hauke was not even born noble! Oh, the horror, to be compared with such a parvenue, it really shakes a heart filled with Standesdünkel. (And don't mention that the first Countess of Samsøe was the daughter of the royal physician, a background rather similar to Hauke's.....)

Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #447 on: December 13, 2013, 11:23:42 AM »
Countess Kate

Many thanks
Ann

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #448 on: December 13, 2013, 08:18:00 PM »
Judging from Dona's own family, it would be hypocritical of her to discriminate against the Battenbergs. People who live in glass houses don't throw stones at others. Which is why QV was so angry and bitchy at Dona's attitude and zero on "insignificant princess" to describe her (she was all for Ella to marry Willy, although Vicky wasn't too keen on that). Dona's later drama with Willy's sisters Sophie & Moretta did not endear her to the "English camp". However she did find a kindred spirit in Ducky for awhile.   

Offline Превед

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Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« Reply #449 on: December 14, 2013, 04:01:21 PM »
(And don't mention that the first Countess of Samsøe was the daughter of the royal physician, a background rather similar to Hauke's.....)

Of course one should generally avoid the topic of royal physicians in her all-highest presence, as AV was descended not only from Dr. Moth, but also Dr. Struensee. (Her great great grandfather.) BTW through him, whose family hailed from the March of Brandenburg  (Struensee < the lake of Strausee by Strausberg, east of Berlin), she had more Prussian blood than the rest of the originally Swabian Hohenzollerns.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 04:03:23 PM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)