Author Topic: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs  (Read 102083 times)

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DanielB

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #75 on: June 08, 2009, 10:15:26 PM »
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.


Alas, I have to respectfully disagree with F.A. regarding « Majesty » and « Highness » , so here’s my Russian lesson for today (using the Old Style Russian alphabet & grammar and bold letters for stressed syllables in transliterations):

Speaking about the Emperor : Его Императорское Величество « Evo Imperatorskoe Velichetsvo » (not « Imperalnye ») = His Imperial Majesty. It sounded like : Ye-VO Impe-RA-torskoye Ve-LI-chestva.
Speaking TO the Emperor : Ваше Императорское Величество « Vashe Imperatorskoe Velichestvo » = Your Imperial Majesty. It was often shortened to Evo/Vashe Velichestvo (His/Your Majesty) after having used the longer version once in a conversation.

Speaking about an Empress : Ея Императорское Величество « Eya (sounded like « yeYO ») Imperatorskoe Velichestva » = Her Imperial Majesty
Speaking to an Empress : as "Velichestvo" is neutral in Russian, same as to an Emperor  i.e. « Vashe Imperatorskoe Velichestvo » (Your Imperial Majesty).

As in English, the Russian language makes a difference between Majesty (« Velichestvo ») & Highness (« Vysochestvo ») but goes even further. Grand Dukes and Grand Duchesses were « Imperial Highnesses » thus :  Его / Ея Императорское Высочество  « Evo/Eya Imperatorskoe Vysochestvo » & « Vashe Imperatorskoe Vysochestvo » (His / Her Imperial Highness & Your Imperial Highness).

The only  « modification of level of highness », as FA puts it, wasn’t between Majesty & Highness but rather between princes of the Imperial Family. In 1886, for financial reasons,  Alexander III reformed the Statute of the Imperial Family and restricted the title of Grand Duke (or Grand Duchess) to the siblings of an emperor, his children along with his grandchildren in the male line only.

Children of 2nd generation Grand Dukes (i.e. great-grandchildren of an emperor), along with elder sons of males only from the 3rd generation (i.e. elder great-great grandsons) were henceforth to be know as Князь / Княжна Крови Императорской « Knyaz’ / Knyazhna Krovi Imperatorskoï » Prince / Princess of the Blood Imperial (styled Prince or Princess of Russia). They kept the title of Highness («Vysochevsto») but WITHOUT the « Imperial » part : thus they were addressed as Ваше Высочество « Vashe Vysochestvo »  = Your Highness. 

ALL other members of the Imperial Family in the male line were Princes or Princesses of the Blood Imperial too (Princes / Princesses or Russia) but with the new title of Свѣтлостъ «Svetlost’ » (instead of «Vysochestvo »). As it means « clearness, lucidity, serenity », it’s translated as « Serene Highness » which could seem, in English at least, to be higher in rank than a simple « Highness » but it wasn’t the case in Russian as « Vysochestvo » was known to be higher in the pecking order. « Svetlost’ » being feminine, these princes & princesses were all adressed to as Ваша Свѣтлостъ  « Vasha Svetlost’ ».

I might add that princes not of imperial blood, as well as counts and dukes were Сiятелъство « Siyatel’stvo » (which mean « excellence » but their form of address Ваше Сiятелъство « Vashe Siyatel’stvo » was formally translated as « Your Illustrious Highness » instead of Your Excellency.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2009, 10:26:31 PM by Daniel Briere »

Offline Mike

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #76 on: June 09, 2009, 04:56:48 AM »
ALL other members of the Imperial Family in the male line were Princes or Princesses of the Blood Imperial too (Princes / Princesses or Russia) but with the new title of Свѣтлостъ «Svetlost’ » (instead of «Vysochestvo »). As it means « clearness, lucidity, serenity », it’s translated as « Serene Highness » which could seem, in English at least, to be higher in rank than a simple « Highness » but it wasn’t the case in Russian as « Vysochestvo » was known to be higher in the pecking order. « Svetlost’ » being feminine, these princes & princesses were all adressed to as Ваша Свѣтлостъ  « Vasha Svetlost’ ».
The title Светлость [Serenity] was not new. It existed since the Peter I time and was applied to those bearing the rank of Светлейший князь / Светлейшая княгиня [Serene prince / princess], who weren't members of the Imperial Family. There were several such families - Menshikovs, Potyomkins, Lopukhins, Vorontsovs, Lievens etc. The 1886 Statute made this title applicable also to the junior children of the Emperors's great-grandchildren and to their male offspring.

Otherwise, Daniel's explanations are quite correct and almost exhaustive.

Ambreville

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #77 on: June 09, 2009, 06:57:12 AM »
Awesome. Thanks for all the detail!

DanielB

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #78 on: June 09, 2009, 09:05:48 AM »
ALL other members of the Imperial Family in the male line were Princes or Princesses of the Blood Imperial too (Princes / Princesses or Russia) but with the new title of Свѣтлостъ «Svetlost’ » (instead of «Vysochestvo »). As it means « clearness, lucidity, serenity », it’s translated as « Serene Highness » which could seem, in English at least, to be higher in rank than a simple « Highness » but it wasn’t the case in Russian as « Vysochestvo » was known to be higher in the pecking order. « Svetlost’ » being feminine, these princes & princesses were all adressed to as Ваша Свѣтлостъ  « Vasha Svetlost’ ».
The title Светлость [Serenity] was not new. It existed since the Peter I time and was applied to those bearing the rank of Светлейший князь / Светлейшая княгиня [Serene prince / princess], who weren't members of the Imperial Family. There were several such families - Menshikovs, Potyomkins, Lopukhins, Vorontsovs, Lievens etc. The 1886 Statute made this title applicable also to the junior children of the Emperors's great-grandchildren and to their male offspring.

Otherwise, Daniel's explanations are quite correct and almost exhaustive.

Mike : thank you for pointing out that « Svetlost’ » wasn’t new. I was aware of it and when I wrote it I meant « new within the Imperial Family ». As I mentioned Princes not of imperial blood, I should have explained that there was indeed yet another «degree of Highness » between an Imperial born « Svetost’ » and a non royal « Siyatel’stvo ». This would have been more exhaustive indeed.

Alixz

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #79 on: June 09, 2009, 09:10:36 AM »
Just a little off topic.  Is the meaning of Svetost - serenity or serene applied to the name Svetlana that we here so often?

Does Svetlana mean serene or serenity?

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #80 on: June 09, 2009, 10:26:47 AM »
Quote
Just a little off topic.  Is the meaning of Svetost - serenity or serene applied to the name Svetlana that we here so often?

Does Svetlana mean serene or serenity?

Apparently it means 'light'.

*Tina*

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #81 on: June 09, 2009, 11:37:30 AM »
Quote
Just a little off topic.  Is the meaning of Svetost - serenity or serene applied to the name Svetlana that we here so often?

Does Svetlana mean serene or serenity?

Apparently it means 'light'.

Yep, 'Svet' mean 'light' in Russian, and I too believe that Svetlana comes from it. : )

Offline Mike

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #82 on: June 09, 2009, 11:39:46 AM »
Literally, 'Svetlost' means 'lightness' and derives from the word 'svet' = 'light' [n.]
The name Svetlana was invented (derived from the same word 'svet') by poet Vassili Zhukovsky in 1813 and since then has gained immense popularity.

Alixz

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #83 on: June 09, 2009, 01:37:27 PM »
Mike - Thank you!  I have always wondered about that.

It seems to be a very popular name among Russian skaters (not that they skate because their name is Svetlana) but a coincidence.

DanielB

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #84 on: June 09, 2009, 09:44:27 PM »
Literally, 'Svetlost' means 'lightness' and derives from the word 'svet' = 'light' [n.]
The name Svetlana was invented (derived from the same word 'svet') by poet Vassili Zhukovsky in 1813 and since then has gained immense popularity.

Remaining off topic : Zhukovsky might well have been inspired by the old West European first name Clara (or one of its 61 variant forms) that came from the latin « clarus/clara » . We've had the same in French (Claire) for centuries, which as an adjective also means « clear, light, bright ». It was introduced to Britain by the Normans then abandoned only to be revived in the 19th century as a variant of Clare.

Alixz

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #85 on: June 10, 2009, 08:23:38 AM »
It is easy from an English speaking point of view to see the "clear" in the French "Claire"

Russian is so much different from either English or French and the Cyrillic Alphabet and the transliteration of words doesn't always show any kind of connection.

Hmmmm.  I think we had better begin a new topic for this or go back to the original topic.  My bad as I started it.

cebi26

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #86 on: November 14, 2009, 12:31:29 PM »
what was the protocol for palace staff's interaction with the royal children? Did they address them a certain way? Did they bow or curtesy to them? Were there restrictions on how much conversation and on what subjects they could have with them?

   
I would also like to know that. I read that the servants usually called the GD by nicknames or name and patronym. But what about the guests, officers... they called them by their titles? And what about Alexei? being the Tsarevich, he would have been more respected, no?

Offline nena

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #87 on: November 14, 2009, 05:08:49 PM »
And, 'svet' can also mean ; 'Holy', 'svyat', actually.
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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #88 on: November 19, 2009, 11:12:32 AM »
How about a military officer meeting the Tsar for a private audience indoors?

I too am writing something.

Normal British usage for an officer meeting a superior officer indoors is that he goes in with his cap on and salutes (Brits do not salute bareheaded, and the Royal Navy go one step further and don't salute a superior who is bareheaded).. The superior (if bareheaded) will not return the salute but acknowledge it in some way, and then (unless this is an interview without coffee!) will invite the visitor to sit down. At this point the visitor will take his cap off. On departing, the cap goes back on and the visitor salutes again.

Would there be any difference when meeting the Tsar, who would, obviously, be a superior officer in any event.

As I understand it, the Russian Army went in for Prussian-type bowing and heel-clicking when saluting.

Ann

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Re: Protocol and Etiquette in the Court of the Romanovs
« Reply #89 on: November 19, 2009, 02:42:08 PM »
what was the protocol for palace staff's interaction with the royal children? Did they address them a certain way? Did they bow or curtesy to them? Were there restrictions on how much conversation and on what subjects they could have with them?

   
I would also like to know that. I read that the servants usually called the GD by nicknames or name and patronym.

AFAIK, the imperial children were addressed by name and patronym by palace staff. I've never heard of servants using nicknames - that probably would have been considered disrespectful.
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