Author Topic: Alix and princess Paley  (Read 7139 times)

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Offline Teddy

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Alix and princess Paley
« on: May 18, 2005, 06:22:42 AM »
Was there a friendship between Alix and pss. O. Paley or was it just a one-sized-friendship of princess Paley towards the Empress?

What did Alexandra thought about pss. Paley after their first meeting.? I've read that Alix was very nervous during the interview.

For what I understand is that the Paley children played with OTMA and Alexei.

And that pss Paley kept contact with the IF during their captivity? Is that true?

Offline Ortino

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Re: Alix and princess Paley
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2005, 07:18:58 PM »
I think that the Empress hated Princess Paley and her change of status to "Princess" since she married Grand Duke Paul. The Czar only forgave them in 1914 and the Empress was very into tradition. I doubt she would have been warm towards Paley.

Offline griffh

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Re: Alix and princess Paley
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2005, 03:29:15 PM »
Alexandra's relations with Princess Paley, or lack of relations with the Princess go back to an earlier time.  They started with a grave offense to the dignity of the crown and went back to a state ball sometime around 1902 or so when the GD Paul showed up with Madame Pistolskers on his arm which met only one thing to society.  If that was not a great enough slap in the face, at the time Olga was still the wife of Colonel Pistolkers.  It must be remembered that it was against the law for a member of the Imperial family to be photographed with a commoner, not to mention being seen at a Court Ball escorting one.  But the greatest indignity of all was that Olga Pistolskers was wearing jewels that belonged to the Grand Duke's dead wife, Alexandra the daughter of the King of Greece.  

Even though Paul was Nicky's Uncle, he was only a few years older than Nicky and the their proximity in age added an additional sting to this delibrately outrageous act.  

Alix immediately commanded carriages to be called for the Grand Duke and his paramour.  Don't misunderstand me, I really like Olga Paley and her children by Paul, but this was an unforgivable act.  That Olga Paley allowed herself to be put in this very compromising position socially probably created the permanent rift between her and Alix.  

Given this unfortunate social indescretion that ended in Paul's banishement from Russia, it must be remembered that the following year or so, around 1903 or 1904 Alix did relent when Count Witte married his mistress, a brilliant Jewish woman who had been known to the younger members of the nobility as " La Belle Matilde."  Witte remained faithful to her and when he finally married her and adopted her daughter who is claimed as his own child, Nicky's response to the marriage was, "The Empress and I offer you congradulations and regret that we shall not be see Madame Witte at court."  

However Nicky's younger brother, the GD Michael, talked Alix into recieving the daughter, which she at first had refused to do.  After being recieved by the Empress, the daughter, successfully lauched, eventually married into the aristocracy.  The Czar told Witte that the daughter was invited to the next court ball, where upon Witte replied that the daughter never went anywhere without her mother.

With Madame Witte was still banned from court, Witte managed to divert some funds from his office into the hands of the GD Vladimir who was enabled to pay off some heavy gambling debts and shortly after the GD Marie Pavlova senior suddenly decided to throw an unusally lavish and exclusive reception where Madame Witte was triumphantly recieved with great respect by the inner circle of the court.  

Just pondering all of these socially ambitious power grabbing moves, one can only imagine the reaction Alix's Grandmother Victoria would have had if such a situation similar to the GD Paul's had happened at one of her Court Balls, which of course it did every so often.  Victoria was able to uphold the dignity of her court by respect with which she was held, and it was an especially difficult task as her son, the future Edward VII, ran with the same sort of crowd that the Vladimirs did.  

And like Edward VII the Vladimirs were constantly involved in compromising social blunders, such as that terrible scandal involving the GDuchess Vladimir when Sasha Gurity, a famous French actor, kissed her, or attempted to kiss her, in a Paris resturant.  

So I think you can see that Alix was flexible and had a tender heart when it came to the fate of a young girl whose future had been compromised by the foolish acts and selfishness of her parents, as in the case of the young Witte child.  

But you can also see Alix as she fought to uphold the dignity of her Court against the unforgivable escapades of the GD Paul and Princess Paley who offended the memory of Paul's first wife, the tragic Greek Princess, Alexandra.  

You can also see how The Empress Alexandra was truely out numbered by such rivals as the GD Vladimir's whose wordly weapons she had none of.  

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Alix and princess Paley
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2005, 06:52:22 PM »
I thought there was a picture posted of GD Paul and Princess Paley. I cannot find it if it is. Anyone able to help ?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Robert_Hall »
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Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Alix and princess Paley
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2005, 07:40:12 PM »
The point raised "what would Victoria have done" is a great one and can be applied to Alexandra time after time.  Victoria's stubborn support for the Munshi and John Brown have echos in Alexandra and Rasputin.


Offline CatherineNY

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Re: Alix and princess Paley
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2005, 12:31:13 PM »
That is indeed a great point. Alexandra certainly absorbed her concept of how a court should function from Victoria, including the idea that it was preferable for the sovereign and his/her family to avoid associating with "fast" aristocratic society. If Alexander III had lived longer, Alexandra might have learned to run a court more on the lines of her mother-in-law's, although I doubt it. Re: Princess Paley, the whole affair must have brought back painful memories for Alexandra of her father's very, very short marriage to his mistress. Not a good start for Princess Paley!