Author Topic: The Curse of Hesse  (Read 25899 times)

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Offline jehan

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Re: The Curse of Hesse
« Reply #30 on: October 18, 2010, 11:51:31 PM »
'Perhaps because they were royals people decided it must be a curse like you said, bluetoria, but on the other hand their share of tragedies was uncommon to say the least. Just take look at empress Alexandra's life: she lost two siblings and her mother when she was 6 years old, she was hated by her husband's family, she was hated by most of her subjects, she gave birth to an haemophiliac son, she was very ill, she lost her throne, and finally she was executed with her husband and children. Now if you also take into account the tragedies of Ernie, Ella, Irene, etc. it's too much to say it's just a coincidence! I don't know if there was a curse, but they were too tragic to say it was a mere coincidence.'

I think we have to bear in mind that in the 19th century it was the rule rather than the exception for individuals to lose at least one sibling in childhood, and the loss of a parent was all too common. My maternal grandmother, born in 1891, was the only survivor of four (two died in a scarlet fever epidemic and a third as an infant). An old friend told me that when his father was 11, in 1886, the entire family of six went down with scarlet fever (a disease which has now just about disappeared) and the two youngest died. My maternal grandfather, born in 1885, lost his mother at the age of four (from a stillbirth). My paternal grandmother, also born in 1885, was one of ten, two of whom died in childhood, and another in childbirth as a young adult. My paternal grandfather, born in 1878, lost his father at 16 and one of his four sisters as an infant.


I would agree with this- many families have has as much or more tragedy- they are just not famous.  My grandmother's first cousin was one of ten children in a family in Finland.  Eight of his siblings died of TB in their teens and early 20s (this was in the first 2 decades of the 20th century).  Imagine losing so many children, or if you were one of them- wondering who would be next.   My grandmother's sister died in childbirth (with her 3rd)- and the sister's daughter died at the age of 10. She lost her brother at 14.
 I could name dozens of other examples just from my own family.  My aunt lost her husband and her little daughter within 6 months of each other. My mother lost a husband young, and then lost  both of her sons- one at 19 the other in young adulthood ( a month before his wedding).  She's one of the most positive people I know.

I would say that in Victorian times- it was more unusual to be in a family that DIDN'T lose a parent or one or more siblings in childhood.  Of QV's children, only Arthur's family could claim that. (Well, Louise had no children, but that was a tragedy (for her) in its own way)
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in. 
(leonard Cohen)

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: The Curse of Hesse
« Reply #31 on: October 19, 2010, 03:26:56 AM »
Queen Victoria was most unusual in that all her children lived to adulthood.

On the same theme, the mother of a great friend lost four of her five brothers and both her sisters in the Great War. One of the sisters went down with the Lusitania, along with a husband. Their two small sons were literally thrown into a lifeboat and survived, but one was brain-damaged and spent most of his life in institutions, the other was killed in WW2. My friend's eldest grandson wasw killed in Afghanistan last year.


Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Re: The Curse of Hesse
« Reply #32 on: October 28, 2010, 11:17:21 AM »
One can also construct the curse like this:

Willem III of the Netherlands and Queen Sophie of Württemberg were both half Romanovs, on the side of their mothers, who were sisters. Their children seemed cursed and all died young and unmarried, something which extinguished the male line of the House of Orange-Nassau. Queen Victoria in the end refused to help the House of Orange-Nassau rejuvenate itself through the planned marriage between Alice and Willem, Prince of Orange, because Sophie's buddy Napoléon III, fearful of a Dutch-British alliance, had set a trap for him with a Parisian cocotte when he was passing through on his way to Britain. When QV instead married Alice to Ludwig of Hesse, the curse was lifted from the Dutch RF and instead fell upon the family of QV's innocent daughter. Fate's way of telling QV not to be so haughty and holier-than-thou?
« Last Edit: October 28, 2010, 11:27:07 AM by Фёдор Петрович »