Author Topic: Prince Henry (Heinrich) of Prussia, his family and descendants  (Read 244687 times)

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Offline Glücklicheres_Anonymes

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Re: Prince Henry (Heinrich) of Prussia, his family and descendants
« Reply #45 on: November 20, 2004, 11:59:08 PM »
Êtes-vous encore avec moi ? Et maintenant à la partie trois...  ;)

Grand Duchess Ella wrote:

I don't think she was of religiously inquiring mind.


Again, I agree.  While I do think all the Hessian princesses (speaking of Victoria, Ella, Iréne and Alix) were all sincerely religious (in their different ways) I have the impression that Ella and Alix shared the intense, questioning, even restless and agonizing, nature of their late mother.  While Victoria and Iréne appear to have been more like their father, who seems to have felt that his faith, while deep and sincere, to be more of a natural state that didn't require a lot of soul-searching, research and examination.  (Victoria MH loved to learn, and read on a wide variety of topics, and while open to other ideas never appears to have had the same issues as Alice, Ella and Alix.)  Ludwig's (Louis) simple faith and Alice's religious quest led to some friction, as Alice's letters express dismay that this difference didn't allow her to share her quest with Ludwig.  Magnanimously, Alice blamed herself for this, for wanting Ludwig to be something he couldn't be, though she was frustrated by being able to share her intellectual (and emotional) interests with him nonetheless.

Sad that she'd suffer the loss of a son to hemophilia--I wonder at Alix's reaction to that? It would've come before Alexei's birth--I wonder how much that weighed on her and if her reaction would've been different if she'd already had a hemophiliac son? I don't imagine for an instant she wasn't sympathetic but that it would've had an entirely different frame of reference after Alexei.

Alix was not yet one  when her hemophiliac brother Frittie died in May 1873, and while she wouldn’t have remembered that (though Iréne, who was almost seven, would have), it would not be surprising if she heard of the tragedy from her older siblings and Queen Victoria.  It was said that Alice was never the same after the death of this child, and certainly, she fell into a deep depression, joining her sister Vicky in what would now be considered mourning for a lost child on an almost morbid and unhealthy level.  Alix would have remembered the deaths of her mother and little sister May; in fact, many of Alix’s biographers trace certain aspects of her personality and problems to these events.  

From their childhood, Iréne and Alix would have been aware of the problems of hemophiliacs.  Without doubt, they knew their maternal Uncle Leopold, who died shortly before Alix was twelve and Iréne was eighteen.  The deaths of infants and children was not unknown in their world – Queen Victoria had been very lucky in that all of her nine children survived to adulthood (though several of them would suffer the tragedy of the deaths of infants and children.)  I would imagine, like you, that Alix would have been very sympathetic to Iréne’s loss, while I don’t know if it ever occurred to Alix that she might also be a carrier and she could suffer the same terrible misfortune.  After the birth of her own son and the discovery of his hemophilia, Alix must have been burdened by the spectre of the premature deaths of her brother, nephew and uncle.  Alix also had the additional burden of Alexei being her sole son, born after four girls and difficult pregnancies which, it could be argued, took a toll on both her physical and emotional health, while Iréne still had two sons who thrived.

Since the birth of Alexei (and the discovery of his hemophilia) followed the death of Iréne's son Henry by less than a year (about seven months or so) the knowledge that premature death was entirely possible must have been fresh in Alix’s mind and horrified her.  It had been twenty years since Leopold had died, but there had been no significant innovations or improvements in the treatment of hemophilia.  It remained to isolate the hemophiliac from injury, treat outbreaks with compression, and painkillers (whose addictive nature usually caused most to forbear their use except in extreme circumstances.)  Alix had already many problems with her life in Russia, and felt isolated, misunderstood and in some manners, even persecuted.
Some of this was real, some her perceptions.  The care of a hemophiliac child in that time would be trying for any loving mother, but, for all that Alix had the blessings of a loving husband, four healthy daughters and economic plenty, she was also at the end of her emotional tether.  Already having mystical leanings, Alix suffered from her belief that she could not be at once the instrument of her son’s illness (as a carrier) as well as his deliverance, which left her susceptible to faith healers and quacks in her desperation to find at best a cure, or even relief, for her son.

That Iréne intimately understood the trials and strains of a hemophiliac son drew the sisters together, though I can’t say for certain to what extent. Iréne’s son died as a toddler shortly after his fourth birthday.  He was also not Iréne’s only son or heir.  Alix also, increasingly, began to block off people when she disagreed with them, even when these people were those who had been closest to her – as she would do with Ella.  Given that Iréne remained a Lutheran (with its disdain – especially of the time – of the theology and beliefs of other religions) and Alix delved deeper and deeper into more mystical aspects and allowances of Orthodoxy in her desperation, Iréne very well may have come into conflict with Alix’s choices.  Iréne was known as being very amiable, even placid and accommodating, but I don’t know if this would extend to her remaining silent if she strongly disagreed with the course her sister was taking and where it was leading her, and by extension, her family and even her country.  Unlike Ella, Iréne was not “local,” and, as a Prussian and sister-in-law of the bombastic Kaiser, would have increasingly been seen by the Russian Court as an “enemy,” even that she was the Tsarina’s sister.  Certainly after 1914, it would have been difficult for Iréne and Alix to visit one another (I could be wrong, and they may have, but I believe that most communication during that time went through Victoria MH and neutral agents.)

Undeniably, hemophilia was a tragedy for both Iréne and Alix, though it can be argued that for Iréne, it was more of a personal, family tragedy, while for Alix, it was a tragedy which would have more far-ranging consequences (though Alix would bear some responsibility for this, in the way of responsibility for her response to it.)

[glb]Enfin fini[/glb].   :)


Offline Annie

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Re: Prince Henry (Heinrich) of Prussia, his family and descendants
« Reply #46 on: November 21, 2004, 06:16:23 PM »
That must have made Alix even more worried about Alexei, having seen her sister lose her little boy the same year Alexei was finally born had to be a constant warning and reminder. I'm sure that made her even more in fear, having seen that. Poor Alix, she worried herself sick.

Offline Dennis

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Re: Prince Henry (Heinrich) of Prussia, his family and descendants
« Reply #47 on: November 21, 2004, 09:23:14 PM »
It appears that a special concession was made to make the transition from Lutheranism into Orthodoxy easier for Alix.  In "A Lifelong Passion," there is a letter from Nicholas to Alix saying: "Of course I told them (Alexander III and Marie F.) all what you wanted me to say and they gave in at once and said you would not have to (renounce) the old belief, but that it would be like with Ella.  You don't know my darling how happy I felt that they understood your reason and that they consented at once; I am only too glad to be the first one who may comfort you by that. (23 April 1894)

The act of renouncing her Lutheranism, which she had promised to follow at her Confirmation, may have been the main problem for her, rather than theological issues.

Dennis

Offline Ilana

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Re: Prince Henry (Heinrich) of Prussia, his family and descendants
« Reply #48 on: November 23, 2004, 09:02:08 PM »
Glucklichcheres... wow, you're very knowledgeable and interesting.

My only point of disagreement would be that I think that Victoria's faith took a lot more twists and turns than you might imagine.  She questioned a great deal in her youth, and when she got older, I believe she also went through a period of being agnostic.
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Offline Martyn

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Re: Prince Henry (Heinrich) of Prussia, his family and descendants
« Reply #49 on: November 27, 2004, 12:55:50 PM »
Glucklicheres (that really is such a long name and very hard to spell!), that is a very interesting analysis.
I have to agree with Ilana about Victoria.  I don't think that organised religion played too great a part in her philososphy at the end of her life, although I am sure that she observed the proprieties.
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Offline PrinceEddy1864

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Re: Prince Henry (Heinrich) of Prussia, his family and descendants
« Reply #50 on: November 27, 2004, 08:38:40 PM »
OH yeah, or anything about a confirmation photo being taken. Has anyone seen Irene's confirmation picture?
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Offline felix

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Re: Prince Henry (Heinrich) of Prussia, his family and descendants
« Reply #51 on: December 03, 2004, 02:33:47 PM »
 I have read alot about Aexandra's sisters on this site , but nothing much on  Irene. What happened with her after the war ?  How did she deal with her remaining brother and sister ?  How did she deal with the  end of her family ?  What info do people have. please share F.

Offline Eurohistory

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Re: Prince Henry (Heinrich) of Prussia, his family and descendants
« Reply #52 on: December 04, 2004, 03:58:02 PM »
To this day though, it remains a mystery why Irene made her granddaughter Barbara the heiress to Hemmelmarck, and not her grandson Alfred.

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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Prince Henry (Heinrich) of Prussia, his family and descendants
« Reply #53 on: December 04, 2004, 04:09:28 PM »
Quote
To this day though, it remains a mystery why Irene made her granddaughter Barbara the heiress to Hemmelmarck, and not her grandson Alfred.

Arturo Beéche


Could it be because Alfred intended to live on in Costa Rica whereas Barbara may have been more inclined to live in Germany having married a German? You'd think that she'd want someone who would actually reside at Hemmelmarck which she loved so much to be the heir (or heiress) to it.
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Offline Eurohistory

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Re: Prince Henry (Heinrich) of Prussia, his family and descendants
« Reply #54 on: December 05, 2004, 12:11:34 PM »
Alfred's opinion was never asked on this matter.  The result was conflict between the siblings that lasted decades.

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Offline felix

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Re: Prince Henry (Heinrich) of Prussia, his family and descendants
« Reply #55 on: December 05, 2004, 04:19:50 PM »
Elisa, I dont know if this helps ,but I found a Duchess Donata of  Mecklenburg- Solodkoff and her family living on the Hemmelmark estate in Eckernforde. She is one of  two last  remaining members of the Mecklenburg-Schwerin family. Both female so the line ends with them. I also found  that some of Irenes out buildings are now private homes that can be rented for vacation. One was a school that they started on the estate. Henry died at Hemmelmark  4/20/29, and Irene 11/11/53 also there. They may be buried at Hemmelmark. F.

Offline felix

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Re: Prince Henry (Heinrich) of Prussia, his family and descendants
« Reply #56 on: December 06, 2004, 11:05:49 AM »
Elisa, Glad that helped alitltle. Was there any info on the Mecklenburgs ?  And are they the same family as Marie Pavlovna Sr. ?  F.

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Prince Henry (Heinrich) of Prussia, his family and descendants
« Reply #57 on: December 06, 2004, 05:07:44 PM »
Yes, they are part of the Mecklenberg-Schwerin line that included through birth or marriage:

Miechen
GDss Anastasia Mikhailovna (married to Miechen's brother)
Prince Henry of the Netherlands (Miechen's 1/2 brother married to Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands)
Crown Princess Cecile of Germany (Miechen's niece)
Queen Alexandrine of Denmark (Miechen's niece)
Princess Anna of Hesse (I think she was one of Miechen's father's 3 wives but would need to check the Anna Hesse thread)

They are a separate branch from the Mecklenberg-Strelitzes that Queen Mary's aunt Augusta married into. Both lines are extinct in the male lines though.
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Offline Eurohistory

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Re: Prince Henry (Heinrich) of Prussia, his family and descendants
« Reply #58 on: December 07, 2004, 11:50:06 AM »
Quote
Elisa, I dont know if this helps ,but I found a Duchess Donata of  Mecklenburg- Solodkoff and her family living on the Hemmelmark estate in Eckernforde. She is one of  two last  remaining members of the Mecklenburg-Schwerin family. Both female so the line ends with them. I also found  that some of Irenes out buildings are now private homes that can be rented for vacation. One was a school that they started on the estate. Henry died at Hemmelmark  4/20/29, and Irene 11/11/53 also there. They may be buried at Hemmelmark. F.


There are THREE female-line Mecklenburg-Schwerins alive today: Donata, edwina and their elderly cousin Woislawa, who is widowed from a Prince Reuß.

As of last contact earliert his year, Woislawa is still quite alive and kicking!  :-)

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Re: Prince Henry (Heinrich) of Prussia, his family and descendants
« Reply #59 on: December 07, 2004, 11:59:03 AM »
Quote
Yes, they are part of the Mecklenberg-Schwerin line that included through birth or marriage:

Miechen
GDss Anastasia Mikhailovna (married to Miechen's brother)
Prince Henry of the Netherlands (Miechen's 1/2 brother married to Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands)
Crown Princess Cecile of Germany (Miechen's niece)
Queen Alexandrine of Denmark (Miechen's niece)
Princess Anna of Hesse (I think she was one of Miechen's father's 3 wives but would need to check the Anna Hesse thread)

They are a separate branch from the Mecklenberg-Strelitzes that Queen Mary's aunt Augusta married into. Both lines are extinct in the male lines though.


In the early 1930's the last Grand Duke of Meclenburg-Schwerin and the heir of Mecklenburg-Strelitz agreed on the retro-demorganatization of the Count of Carlow, whose father was a Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, whose branch had settled in Russia (for further information on this you can read about them in THE GRAND DUCHESSES, pp. 33-44).

The fomer Count of Carlow, then Duke Georg of Mecklenburg, married none other than Archduchess Charlotte of Austria, the second daughetr of Emperor Karl of Austria.  Georg Mecklenburg's first marriage to Irina Raievskaya produced several children, among therm Duke Alexander of Mecklenburg (1921-1996), who was married to Archduchess Ilona of Austria (b. 1927) - a great-great-granddaughter of Emperor Franz Joseph.  Georg and Ilona had four children, among them a boy named Georg-Borwin, who is the present "head" of the Mecklenburg(-Strelitz) line.

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