Author Topic: Queen Victoria's Family  (Read 170192 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

rosieposie

  • Guest
Re: Did Queen Victoria not approve of the engagment of Alexandra to Nicholas?
« Reply #360 on: January 03, 2014, 06:49:57 AM »
I think with her life she had been through so much and could see what was going on in Russia at the time.

historyfan

  • Guest
Re: Did Queen Victoria not approve of the engagment of Alexandra to Nicholas?
« Reply #361 on: January 03, 2014, 08:09:40 AM »
She liked Nicholas well enough but she disliked Russia immensely and didn't think her "dear Alicky" would fit there.

I believe when she heard family like Ella and others contriving to secure the engagement, she told them what she thought, too.

Offline edubs31

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1014
    • View Profile
Re: Did Queen Victoria not approve of the engagment of Alexandra to Nicholas?
« Reply #362 on: January 03, 2014, 08:40:09 AM »
She liked Nicholas well enough but she disliked Russia immensely and didn't think her "dear Alicky" would fit there.

I believe when she heard family like Ella and others contriving to secure the engagement, she told them what she thought, too.

But once the marriage went forward despite her objections she gave it her full support and embrace, yes?

Also how aware was Nicholas and his mother and father of her objections?
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

Offline TimM

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1940
    • View Profile
Re: Queen Victoria's Family
« Reply #363 on: January 03, 2014, 04:55:00 PM »
Alix was one of her favourite grandchildren, so Victoria stood by her, once she made the decision that she was marrying Nicky.
Cats: You just gotta love them!

Eric_Lowe

  • Guest
Re: Queen Victoria's Family
« Reply #364 on: January 08, 2014, 11:20:10 AM »
The Old queen always felt uneasy about Alix going to Russia. maybe she knew what was in store for her...

Offline Dru

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1111
    • View Profile
Re: Queen Victoria's Family
« Reply #365 on: January 13, 2014, 05:47:16 PM »
The Old queen always felt uneasy about Alix going to Russia. maybe she knew what was in store for her...

I found this on TheMauveRoom's incredible page.  Letters from Queen Victoria to Victoria of Battenberg on the subject of Alix's marriage:

31 March 1889
 
"And now let me say a word about Alicky. Is there no hope about E[ddy]? She is not 19—-and she should be made to reflect seriously on the folly of throwing away the chance of a very good husband, kind, affectionate and steady and of entering a united happy family and a very good position which is second to none in the world! Dear Uncle and Aunt wish it so much and poor E. is so unhappy at the thought of losing her also! Can you and Ernie not do any good? What fancy has she got in her head?"

29 December 1890
 
"In my last letter I said I must write to you about a subject which I had no time for, then. It is about Alicky and N[icholas]. I had your assurance that nothing was to be feared in that quarter, but I know it for certain, that in spite of all your (Papa’s, Ernie’s, and your) objections and still more contrary to the positive wish of his Parents who do not wish him to marry A. as they feel, as everyone must do, for the youngest Sister to marry the son of the Emperor —-would never answer, and lead to no happiness,—-well in spite of this behind all your backs, Ella and Serge do all they can to bring it about, encouraging and even urging the Boy to do it! I promised not to mention who told me—-I must do to you, it is Aunt Alix who heard it from Aunt Minny herself who is very much annoyed about it. You must never mention Aunt Alix’s name, but this must not be allowed to go on. Papa must put his foot down and there must be no more visits of Alicky to Russia— and he must and you and Ernie must insist on a stop being put to the whole affair.
 
   The state of Russia is so bad, so rotten that at any moment something dreadful might happen and though it may not signify for Ella, the wife of the Thronfolger (heir to the throne) is in a most difficult and precarious position.
 
   I have written all to Papa, who must be strong and firm and I am so afraid he may not be. It would have the very worst effect here and in Germany (where Russia is not liked) and would produce a great separation between our families.”

21 October 1894
 
"All my fears about her future marriage [Princess Alix to Tsar Nicholas II] now show themselves so strongly and my blood runs cold when I think of her so young most likely placed on that very unsafe throne, her dear life and above all her husband’s constantly threatened and unable to see her but rarely. It is a great additional anxiety in my declining years! Oh! How I wish it was not to be that I should lose my sweet Alicky. All I most earnestly ask now is that nothing should be settled for her future without my being told before. She has no Parents and I am her only Grandparent and feel I have a claim over her! She is like my own Child as you all are my dear Children but she and he are orphans."

Offline grandduchessella

  • Global Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 13039
  • Getting Ready to Move to Europe :D
    • View Profile
    • Facebook page
Re: Queen Victoria's Family
« Reply #366 on: January 13, 2014, 08:17:16 PM »
That passage comes from Advice to my grand-daughter: Letters from Queen Victoria to Princess Victoria of Hesse. It's a must-have--great read. It goes from when Victoria was a young girl up until QV's death.
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
Come visit on Pinterest--http://pinterest.com/lawrbk/

Offline edubs31

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1014
    • View Profile
Re: Queen Victoria's Family
« Reply #367 on: January 13, 2014, 09:37:41 PM »
Wow, great find there 'Dru'! More or less answers my question.

So I guess we can safely say the brief portrayal from "Fall of Eagles" is quite wrong. Check out the scene with Queen Victoria and GD Ella beginning at the 6:50 mark...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m96ULJrkc9o

Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

Eric_Lowe

  • Guest
Re: Queen Victoria's Family
« Reply #368 on: January 14, 2014, 12:14:27 PM »
Totally wrong. She never felt easy about Russia and wasn't too glad when Ella chose that route. She laid her foot down as far as Alicky was concerned.

Offline edubs31

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1014
    • View Profile
Re: Queen Victoria's Family
« Reply #369 on: January 14, 2014, 01:18:14 PM »
Totally wrong. She never felt easy about Russia and wasn't too glad when Ella chose that route. She laid her foot down as far as Alicky was concerned.

Yeah. It's a shame in a way. FOE is so good in so many ways. Well acted, scripted and researched. But this is completely opposite from the truth. Is there evidence that the Queen ever took Ella aside to speak with her about Alix? I guess I can see after Alix fully committed to marrying Nicky she would have found it useful to consult Ella and try to ensure her granddaughter's transition went as smoothly as possible. Perhaps the writers were aware of some conversation that was had between to the two, but uncertain of the actual content they decided to fill it in as they saw fit. Not wise.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

Offline CountessKate

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1085
    • View Profile
Re: Queen Victoria's Family
« Reply #370 on: January 14, 2014, 03:06:25 PM »
Quote
Is there evidence that the Queen ever took Ella aside to speak with her about Alix? I guess I can see after Alix fully committed to marrying Nicky she would have found it useful to consult Ella and try to ensure her granddaughter's transition went as smoothly as possible. Perhaps the writers were aware of some conversation that was had between to the two, but uncertain of the actual content they decided to fill it in as they saw fit. Not wise.

In fact, Queen Victoria was still annoyed with Ella after the engagement took place, writing to Victoria in May 1894: "Oh! darling Victoria, the more I think of sweek Allicky's marriage the more unhappy I am!  Not as to the personality [of Nicholas], for I like him very much but on acc[oun]t of the Country the policy & differences with us & the awful insecurity to wh[ich] that sweet child will be exposed......But I will try & bear it & make the best of it.  Still the feeling that I had laboured so hard to prevent it & that I felt at last there was no longer any danger & all in on night - everything was changed.  Ella sh[ou]ld never have encouraged it originally as she did - at one time."

This does not sound as if the Queen was particularly cozy with Ella about Alix after the engagement.  Since 'Fall of Eagles' came out in 1974, and the Hough book 'Advice to a Granddaughter' came out in 1975, the writers probably simply  embellished on souces such as David Duff's 'Hessian Tapestry' of 1967 in which I note there is a riff in which Queen Victoria travels to the wedding at Coburg with her "heart full of memories of the first time she had made the journey with Albert.  Then he had been standing at the open window, excitedly pointing out the landmarks as they came into view.  Now two of his grandchildren, whom he had never seen, were to be married there....."  Queen Victoria's own journal entry does indeed state "As we approached Coburg.....many conflicting feelings filled my heart. When the dear old Festung came in sight, I could but think of my beloved Albert's joy when we approached Coburg the first time & he painted [presumably an error in the transcription for 'pointed'] out everything. At length we reached the station...." When his book was published Duff was unaware of Queen Victoria's continuing hostility to a Russian marriage for Alix, and no doubt the writers of 'Fall of Eagles' embroidered a bit on Duff's own little embroideries (since we have no evidence Albert was standing at the open window, for example, or that she mused on the grandchildren he had never seen), thus writing in a grandmother interested in promoting a match in a sort of intimate conspiracy with Ella rather than a woman adamantly against it who continued to be rather resentful of Ella's role. 

Offline edubs31

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1014
    • View Profile
Re: Queen Victoria's Family
« Reply #371 on: January 14, 2014, 03:46:23 PM »
Very helpful info there CountessKate, I thank you.

I guess it would have behooved Victoria to make nice with Ella later on? If for no other reason than to impress upon Ella the importance of helping her younger sister in any way possible make the difficult transition of leaving Darmstadt for Russia and then from relatively unambitious Princess to Empress of a vast domain. Of course given the difficulty Alix experienced in fitting in with court and broader Russian society it seems any recommendation made by the Queen directly, or the Queen through Ella fell on deaf ears.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

Offline Превед

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1075
  • Мой Великий Север
    • View Profile
    • Type Russian Without a Keyboard
Re: Queen Victoria's Family
« Reply #372 on: January 14, 2014, 05:51:23 PM »
Queen Victoria was anti-Russian, both with regard to politics and personal prejudice. (How her low-church, Kirk of Scotland side must have abhorred Orthodoxy!)

According to Lytton Strachey's "Queen Victoria", chapter 8:

These were significant episodes; but a still more serious manifestation of Victoria's temper occurred in the following year, during the crowning crisis of Beaconsfield's life. His growing imperialism, his desire to magnify the power and prestige of England, his insistence upon a "spirited foreign policy," had brought him into collision with Russia; the terrible Eastern Question loomed up; and when war broke out between Russia and Turkey, the gravity of the situation became extreme. The Prime Minister's policy was fraught with difficulty and danger. Realising perfectly the appalling implications of an Anglo-Russian war, he was yet prepared to face even that eventuality if he could obtain his ends by no other method; but he believed that Russia in reality was still less desirous of a rupture, and that, if he played his game with sufficient boldness and adroitness, she would yield, when it came to the point, all that he required without a blow. It was clear that the course he had marked out for himself was full of hazard, and demanded an extraordinary nerve; a single false step, and either himself, or England, might be plunged in disaster. But nerve he had never lacked; he began his diplomatic egg-dance with high assurance; and then he discovered that, besides the Russian Government, besides the Liberals and Mr. Gladstone, there were two additional sources of perilous embarrassment with which he would have to reckon. In the first place there was a strong party in the Cabinet, headed by Lord Derby, the Foreign Secretary, which was unwilling to take the risk of war; but his culminating anxiety was the Faery.

From the first, her attitude was uncompromising. The old hatred of Russia, which had been engendered by the Crimean War, surged up again within her; she remembered Albert's prolonged animosity; she felt the prickings of her own greatness; and she flung herself into the turmoil with passionate heat. Her indignation with the Opposition--with anyone who ventured to sympathise with the Russians in their quarrel with the Turks--was unbounded. When anti-Turkish meetings were held in London, presided over by the Duke of Westminster and Lord Shaftesbury, and attended by Mr. Gladstone and other prominent Radicals, she considered that "the Attorney-General ought to be set at these men;" "it can't," she exclaimed, "be constitutional." Never in her life, not even in the crisis over the Ladies of the Bedchamber, did she show herself a more furious partisan. But her displeasure was not reserved for the Radicals; the backsliding Conservatives equally felt its force. She was even discontented with Lord Beaconsfield himself. Failing entirely to appreciate the delicate complexity of his policy, she constantly assailed him with demands for vigorous action, interpreted each finesse as a sign of weakness, and was ready at every juncture to let slip the dogs of war. As the situation developed, her anxiety grew feverish. "The Queen," she wrote, "is feeling terribly anxious lest delay should cause us to be too late and lose our prestige for ever! It worries her night and day." "The Faery," Beaconsfield told Lady Bradford, "writes every day and telegraphs every hour; this is almost literally the case." She raged loudly against the Russians. "And the language," she cried, "the insulting language--used by the Russians against us! It makes the Queen's blood boil!" "Oh," she wrote a little later, "if the Queen were a man, she would like to go and give those Russians, whose word one cannot believe, such a beating! We shall never be friends again till we have it out. This the Queen feels sure of."


WW1 would not have happened the way it did if QV had been alive. Not so much because she would have been a calming influence on Wilhelm II, but because she would never have allied herself with "barbaric Russia" which clashed with the expansion of her precious Indian Empire. (Edward VII and Alexandra allied Britain with their favourite countries: Edward VII with France and Alexandra with Russia (the Glücksborgers' autocratic Baltic support line). QV would rather have gone to war with Russia over the Dogger Bank Incident.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2014, 06:15:12 PM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline grandduchessella

  • Global Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 13039
  • Getting Ready to Move to Europe :D
    • View Profile
    • Facebook page
Re: Queen Victoria's Family
« Reply #373 on: January 14, 2014, 07:40:22 PM »
Here are further excerpts from the previously mentioned book:

July 15 1890

I will write to you today instead of to dear Papa & ask you to answer his questions.
1st. He misunderstood me a little when I said that I regretted Alicky's again going to Russia as it led to every sort of report--but I did not mean that it meant anything abt Niki as he is away & besides it wld not do on acct of the religion, & I know moreover Minnie does not *wish* it. In short *that* cld *not* be. But there are many other Grand Dukes & Pces: & I heard that Ella was determined to try & get a marriage with another Russian & *this* I meant wld grievously hurt Uncle Bertie & At Alix as well *as me*. But it may not be ture, & if you take care & *tell* Ella that no marriage for *Alicky in Russia* wld be *allowed*, then there will be *an end of it*; But I am afraid reports will be spread again.

Oct 15 1890

I hope I was *right* in telling Uncle Bertie that I *knew* there was *no question* of a *Marriage* for *her in Russia* & that you have brought her back safe & *free*? Uncle Bertie says he knows Ella will move Heaven & Earth to get her to marry a Gd. duke!

Queen Victoria then tried proposing a match between Alix & Max of Baden (late 1891) and then Eddy.

Feb 15 1894
I wonder if poor dear  Alicky has talked to you abt the *end* of Niki's hopes. At Alix & Victoria say he is miserable & that our dear Ella *always* encouraged him instead of doing the reverse.

May 25 1894
Oh! darling Victoria, the more I think of sweet Alicky's marriage the more unhappy I am! *Not* as tot he personality, for I like him *very much* but on acct of the Country the policy & differences with us & the awful insecurity to wh that sweet Child will be exposed. To think she is learning Russian & will probably to talk to a Priest--my whole nature rises up agst it--in spite of my efforts to be satisfied.--But I will *try* & bear it  & make the best of it. Still the feeling that I had laboured so hard to *prevent it* & that I felt at last there was *no longer* any danger & all in one night--*everything* was changed. Ella shld never have encouraged it originally as she did--at one time.

She would later lament that Alix would marry Nicky so soon after the Emperor's death and she wouldn't see her again before the marriage--feeling that if she hadn't gone to Livadia, she wouldn't have married so quickly.
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
Come visit on Pinterest--http://pinterest.com/lawrbk/

Offline Kalafrana

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2912
    • View Profile
Re: Queen Victoria's Family
« Reply #374 on: January 15, 2014, 05:36:01 AM »
By 'Beaconsfield' Lytton Strachey means Disraeli, who was made Earl of Beaconsfield a few months before his death.

Ann