Author Topic: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs  (Read 100383 times)

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #60 on: February 14, 2009, 10:07:13 AM »
Did they not have a Russian version of Sir and Ma'm as used in England or would that have been verboten?

What I mean is, in Britain, when a servant was/is approached/addressed by the sovereign/consort, their reply starts off with the obligatory Majesty and subsequently one would use Sir or Ma'm in conversation as a rule. Did this not occur at all in Russia.

What occurred was the shortening of the obligatory full "Evo Imperalnye Ve'lishestve" to simply "Ve'lishestve" Thus, for example,

Nicholas II: Volkov, come here please.
Volkov : Da, Evo Imperalnye Vel'lishestve?  (Yes, Your Imperial Highness?)
Nicholas II: Take this book to the Empress, Volkov.
Volkov: Ya slushayu Vel'ishestve. (I understand Majesty).



Offline Sarushka

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #61 on: February 14, 2009, 11:03:25 AM »
Is there a distinction in Russian as there is in English between "majesty" and "highness"? British royal protocol is very clear on this point: only ruling monarchs and female consorts may be addressed as "majesty," therefore the Queen is "her majesty" while Prince Philip is "his highness."

In Russian films and documentaries, it often sounds like there's not a similar distinction -- for example, the tsar and the grand duchesses are both referred to as "velichestvo" in Romanovy: Ventsenosnaya Sem'ya. Subtitles in Russian films seem to very on whether "velichestvo" is translated as "majesty" or "highness." Is that sloppy translation, or is that just the way royal address works in Russian?
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Offline nena

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #62 on: February 14, 2009, 11:10:02 AM »
'Velichestvo' is more 'highness'.  ;).
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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #63 on: February 14, 2009, 11:19:21 AM »
Velishestve alone is "highness" indeed, however Russian protocol will modify one's "level" of "Velishestve-ness". Thus "Imperalanye Velishestve" for the Emperor equal to the English "Majesty" or "Gosudar Velishestvye" etc.

Ambreville

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #64 on: April 30, 2009, 12:26:55 PM »
Are there any other important protocols, besides the forms of address, such as for example the do's and don't while undergoing a private audience with the emperor or the empress?

Alexander1917

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #65 on: April 30, 2009, 03:29:38 PM »
I think Dehn wrote not to talk to the Empress first...

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #66 on: April 30, 2009, 04:51:26 PM »
One never spoke to the Emperor or Empress without being addressed by them first.  One never sat unless asked to sit by the Emperor or Empress. One never ate or drank at meals before they started and one did not do so after they finished.

Ambreville

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #67 on: April 30, 2009, 05:09:25 PM »
Alright, that does help.

What about entering and exiting the room -- I suppose one needs to bow respectfully in both cases. One should not turn one's back on the way out until reaching the door (???) I also read in a book about the career of a Cossack officer that he was once invited to meet with the IF. He was told not to bring up new/different topics during the conversation -- basically he should only answer the questions that are asked, and no volunteer anything beyond this.

The anecdote here is that the officer noticed the Emperor was growing quite bored with the encounter and he decided to throw all caution to the winds. He actually took the discussion in another direction. . . a got away with it. The emperor was entertained.

In normal cases, I would think questioning, criticizing, or touching, would be way out as well.

Ambreville

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #68 on: May 01, 2009, 05:02:27 PM »
Did the Russian monarchy use the royal "We" when referring to themselves? I think it was used by the British monarchs. A Tsar might say for example: "We think" as opposed to "I think." It may not apply in Russian at all, but I thought I'd ask.

Offline nena

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #69 on: May 01, 2009, 05:52:34 PM »
I think he said in first singular personal -- 'I think...'
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Ambreville

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #70 on: May 01, 2009, 06:07:26 PM »
I think you're right. Most of what I saw about dialogues with the IF used "I" rather than "We".

By the way, Rasputin referred to Alexandra as the Little Mother (and Nicholas as the Little Father) -- how did Alexandra refer to Rasputin?

Offline nena

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #71 on: May 01, 2009, 06:13:36 PM »
As 'Our friend'. ---  in letters.

I don't know when she talked with him personally. I'd guess 'Father..' or 'Gregory Effimovich..'
« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 06:22:28 PM by nena »
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Ambreville

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #72 on: May 01, 2009, 06:17:27 PM »
Okay, but nothing more personal then, something that she might have used when speaking with him?

---------------------------------------------------

Edit

I've seen "Father" used in plenty of places and by various people, so that would work. Was It "Father Grigori"?
« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 06:39:26 PM by Ambreville »

Alixz

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #73 on: May 13, 2009, 03:26:08 PM »
Dear Liz,

Clapping is a group form of showing approbation. The Imperial House of Russia did not require the approval of it's subject but rather signs of respect, for example bowing. One would think that clapping would have been perceived by an Imperial Family member as rather insulting, since it is the method in which public performers are thanked by a crowd. Cheering on the other hand, under the correct context would be much more acceptable than clapping.

Since we are discussing the protocol and etiquette of clapping, I have another example of improper clapping, clapping in a church. At a cathedral I once attended regularly it was normal practice to have a pianist, a string quartet and a half dozen classically trained singers. After the grander music selections were played during the Mass, the parishioners would clap. I was highly embarrassed for the musicians and vocalist as well as embarrassed for my fellow parisheners display of collective ignorance. It seemed that the concept that the musicians and vocalists were performing for God escaped those in attendance and therefore did not require nor wanted any public show of approval for their efforts.

David

I know that this thread has been inactive for a long time, but I have always been told that one should not (in the USA) clap for the national anthem.  I spent many years in musical organizations and that was what we were told.

Then I was also told that the crowd is not clapping for the national anthem, but for the musicians who are playing it.

I have never clapped in church during a religious service.  Only when the church is being used as a venue for a public and non religious reason.

When I was a child, I was also told that one should never turn around to look at the choir in the loft if the loft is behind the congregation.

Many rules of etiquette have been shelved in the past 60 years or so.  The rules were much more strict when I was younger.

Women always wore hats to church, but men never did. (No one even dresses for church anymore and one can see congregations wearing jeans and running suits.)

When in doubt about jewelry - don't wear any.  When in doubt about a hat - wear it.

Another rule that has gone by the board is to wear black to a wake or funeral, but never to a wedding.  And only the bride can wear white.

In this day and age, people go to funerals in bright colors and women wear black cocktail dresses to weddings all the time.

I could go on, but the past is past and well..... you know the rest.    ;-)

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #74 on: May 14, 2009, 10:55:29 AM »
It's interesting that what one thinks of as imutable etiquette such as the bride only wearing white and those attending only wearing black at funerals are not necessarily that old.  The relative cost of clothing up until Victorian times meant that only the richest people could afford new black outfits when someone died, and the bridal outfits which survive were by no means mostly white until the 19th century.  It wasn't until the industrial revolution and mass production of clothing that people of every class except the poorest could afford to buy new clothes to wear to weddings and funerals.  Somehow we think of these traditions as very longstanding, but in historical terms they're pretty recent.