Author Topic: Duke Alfred of Edinburgh (1844-1900) and his family, Part II  (Read 103255 times)

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Eric_Lowe

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Re: Duke Alfred of Edinburgh (1844-1900) and his family, Part II
« Reply #120 on: February 14, 2010, 02:36:32 PM »
No problem. I know Charlotte still has some stunners she had not used in her books. Some can be found in the new RD Quarterly that she is an editor. :-)

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Duke Alfred of Edinburgh (1844-1900) and his family, Part II
« Reply #121 on: February 14, 2010, 07:28:20 PM »
You can also buy issues from www.hoogstraten.nl. CZ is a very nice lady and she actually once bought a copy of a photo of Prince 'Frittie' of Hesse from me on ebay years ago. Of course, I had to gush over her like a fan girl when I discovered who the buyer was. : )
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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Cambria_Coheed

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Re: Duke Alfred of Edinburgh (1844-1900) and his family, Part II
« Reply #122 on: February 14, 2010, 08:40:41 PM »
haha! i think i'd be the same way! no need to feel embaressed by it!  :D

Eric_Lowe

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Re: Duke Alfred of Edinburgh (1844-1900) and his family, Part II
« Reply #123 on: February 15, 2010, 06:24:16 PM »
Charlotte is a very nice lady and very supportive of other writers and researchers.  ;-)

Of all the Edinburgh children, Baby Bee spent the least time in England (even though she was born in Eastwell Park). However it was she that lived in England with her family during the family's exile. Queen Marie of Romania (Missy her eldest sister) was impressed by her house in the country.

Offline Carolath Habsburg

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Re: Duke Alfred of Edinburgh (1844-1900) and his family, Part II
« Reply #124 on: April 20, 2010, 10:49:15 AM »
Alfred


Courtesy of Grand Duchess Ally

"...Пусть он землю бережет родную, А любовь Катюша сбережет....". Grand Duchess Ekaterina Fyodorovna to Grand Duke Georgiy Alexandrovich. 1914

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Eric_Lowe

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Re: Duke Alfred of Edinburgh (1844-1900) and his family, Part II
« Reply #125 on: April 20, 2010, 11:11:19 AM »
He looked a bit pensive. I think it must be the time when he was staying in Malta ?

Offline royal_netherlands

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Re: Duke Alfred of Edinburgh (1844-1900) and his family, Part II
« Reply #126 on: April 26, 2010, 04:20:03 PM »

A 'family gathering' of the Hesse and Edinburgh relations.


Offline royal_netherlands

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Re: Duke Alfred of Edinburgh (1844-1900) and his family, Part II
« Reply #127 on: April 26, 2010, 04:24:12 PM »
From Sotheby's these marvelous letters from the possesion of Marie the Duchess of Edinburgh/Saxe-Coburg and Gotha nee Grand duchess Marie Alexandrovna.



A remarkable correspondence of the Grand Duchess to a close friend who had known her since her childhood, covering a period of over thirty years during which she married, moved to England, brought up her family and became a grandmother.

Initially Marie is struck by the contrast between the "coldness" of England and the warmth of Russia (not the climate, but the people and the atmosphere), and she finds relations with her mother-in-law Queen Victoria difficult and unpredictable, a state of affairs which hardly altered over the years. She is however amazed by her visit to the Derby, and loves the Italian paintings in the National Gallery, which recall her tour of Italy before her marriage. While awaiting the birth of her first child, she finds her "villégiature" at Eastwell in Kent rather dull – at 20, she remarks wistfully, surely one has the right to some amusement – and misses her Italian and music lessons.

From Malta where Alfred is stationed with his ship she notes that "nous avons commencé à travailler pour les blessés" (a course of action which the Tsar had hoped would not offend Queen Victoria, the wounded in question being Russian officers) but it pains her to be away from Russia at such a time, but she admits guiltily that she gets bored with Alfred away at sea, and regrets that she cannot accompany him when he is posted to the Crimea ("vous pouvez bien vous imaginer combien j’avais envie de voler en Crimée, mais le Duc me supplie d’y renoncer pour ne pas exaspérer la Queen, qui déjà est si mal disposée pour lui").

On hearing of the assassination attempt on her father in 1879 she is overwhelmed with anxiety and desperate for more news

…j’en suis encore profondément émue et n’oublierais jamais ce jour affreux. J’attends des détails avec une patience terrible et les premières lettres ne sont pas encore parvenues. C‘est tellement abominable, indigne, que cela n’a pas de nom! Le seul sentiment consolant, si on peut l’appeler ainsi, que je ressens dans ce moment, est celui que cette catastrophe devait avoir lieu un de ces jours. Il me semblait impossible qu’après tous ces attentats les malfaiteurs ne s’en prennent à la personne de l’Empereur lui-même. Tout cet hiver ce pressentiment me poursuivit et je respirais presque librement quand j’appris que mon pressentiment s’était vraiment accomplie…

She goes to Ingenheim to see her mother, whose health is poor, and tries to prepare herself for the worst, knowing that she is mortally ill.

After the death of father she feels that Russia no longer exists for her, and has a profound sense of exile from her homeland ("…Cet écroulement de tout mon passé me brise le coeur… il faut presque dire que la Russia n’existe plus pour moi…").

A year later the sadness of the anniversary is acute; she states that she is living on her memories, and has harsh words for the new Empereur and his repressive policies

… il me semble à présent que j’ai brisé tout lien qui m’unissait à la Russie, et que je n’ai aucune envie d’y revenir. Le nouveau régime, les nouvelles idées, tout me sera pénible. Pas un mot par écrit de ma famille… Le parti archi-russe… sauveront-ils la Russie par leur patriotisme si ardent… et en politique intérieure, après avoir respiré plus librement, va-t-on de nouveau étouffer la pauvre Russie. Notre patrie est-elle un autre empire chinois, qui craint d’avancer d’un pas dans la civilisation européenne, de crainte de voir crouler tout le vieil édifice?

She finds that in her sadness the Queen has been kind to her, and they have gone for long walks together and talked a lot.

She is irritated at finding herself pregnant again, but is delighted when another daughter (Alexandra, named after the Countess, but known as Sandra) is born on Easter Day, which she feels is a good omen. She reports on the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, which went well, to the Queen’s satisfaction, and on her travels in Europe, with amusing accounts of a visit to the Queen of Spain, to Romania for the birth of her daughter Missy (Marie)’s first child, and to the Empress Frederick in Berlin, who hasn’t a good word to say for her son (Kaiser Wilhelm), though Marie finds him "honnête et ouvert". She complains of having to go to Windsor to inaugurate yet another statue of the Prince Consort ("comme s’il n’y en avait pas assez dans toute l’Angleterre"), and contrasts the elaborate reception of Wilhelm II at Osborne with his previous visit when he was all but ignored.

She has little time for the Prince of Wales, whom she describes as "l’homme le plus indiscrète et le plus dénué de principes de toute l’Europe". Her attitude to England remains ambivalent, particularly London, which she describes as "un carême perpetuel", but as she notes, they are obliged to spend two months a year there otherwise the government will strip them of their possessions. However, as she comments wryly, since Alfred has become Duke of Coburg they are in better odour in England; "nous sommes bien plus appréciés depuis que nous avons grimpé sur le trône de nos ancêtres cobourgeois".

She describes the wedding of second daughter Ducky (Victoria Melita) to Ernest of Hesse, which was attended by Queen Victoria, since both bride and groom were her grandchildren, this being a mixed blessing for all present

…La présence de la Queen pendant toute la semaine sainte était particulièrement dure à supporter. Toute son existence, toutes ses heures, toutes ses habitudes, étant si différentes du reste de l’humanité, compliquait le cours de nos journées d’une manière tout à fait fatigante…

Fortunately Queen Victoria would not live to see this marriage end in divorce. The only child of the marriage died in 1903. Marie tries to counter Countess Tolstoy’s disapproval, and informs her that Ducky wants to remarry one of her Russian cousins. The final letter refers to the "horrible Japanese war".

The lot also includes two letters by Marie to her close friend Ina ("Inushka") and other related items.

Offline royal_netherlands

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Re: Duke Alfred of Edinburgh (1844-1900) and his family, Part II
« Reply #128 on: April 26, 2010, 04:30:27 PM »


Description

Alexander II, Tsar. Ten autograph letters signed and twenty-six scribal telegrams to his daughter Grand Duchess Marie, in Russian and French, some 70 pages, folio and 8vo, Riga, Tsarskoe Selo, St Petersburg, Ems, 11 July 1862 to 8 March 1881 (less than a week before his assassination)


Condition Note:

Marie Alexandrovna, Tsarina. Twenty-nine autograph letters signed and twenty-five scribal telegrams to her daughter Grand Duchess Marie, in French, some 200 pages, folio and 8vo, Livadia (Crimea), St Petersburg, Tsarskoe Selo, 13 January 1874 to 29 May/10 June 1879

Marie, Grand Duchess of Russia and Duchess of Edinburgh. Twelve autograph letters signed to her father, in Russian, some 60 pages, 8vo, Buckingham Palace, Balmoral, Osborne, Eastwell Park, Ashford, Malta, 15 March 1873 to 4/18 February 1878

Alexander III, Tsar. Telegram to Grand Duchess Marie, 1 page, folio, in French, St Petersburg, 13 March 1881, 3.10 p.m., Announcing the (fatal) attempt on Alexander II’s life: ‘’Nouvel attentat Papa très gravement blessé conseille arriver au plus vite’’

 
 

CATALOGUE NOTE


a remarkable romanov family correspondence. Marie (1853-1920) was the Tsar’s only surviving daughter and considered to be the most eligible royal bride in Europe. She and her father were close and his concern and affection for her are evident in this correspondence. Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria’s second son, had set his heart upon Marie as early as 1869, but such an alliance did not initially find favour at either the English or the Russian court and it was not until 1873 that the couple were able to announce their formal engagement. They were married in St Petersburg in January 1874. Queen Victoria’s antipathy to a Russian bride for her son was largely dispelled once Marie arrived in England and she was won over by the girl’s warmth and charm. The correspondence however gives a vivid picture of the ambivalence and suspicion which attended the relationship between Britain and Russia in the 1870s, which easily degenerated into outright hostility and which made the position of a Romanov married to a Windsor acutely difficult. Marie would need all her charm and tact to deal with her formidable mother-in-law; her own mother was less guarded in her opinions.

Alexander’s correspondence with his daughter ranges over a wide variety of subjects. The telegrams are generally more personal in nature, with family news and hopes for her happiness and welfare, while the letters are concerned with politics and foreign affairs. One telegram however was written shortly after an unsuccessful attempt on his life in April 1879: he reassures Marie that he is safe and remarks that this is the third time God has preserved him from death (‘’ce matin [pendant] ma promenade ordinaire un individu bien habille a tiré sur moi plusieurs coups de revolver sans m’atteindre on l’a arreté sur place…’’).

Inevitably there is much discussion of the Eastern question, which was a source of contention between Britain and Russia. The uprising in Kabul prompts a reflexion that England might not find it easy to deal with either. Alexander sees help only from Germany and is awaiting the results of a meeting with Bismarck. He plans to replace Shuvalov as minister in London. At one point Alexander expresses the hope that the Queen is not angry at Alfred’s helping wounded Russian officers. The problem of the Nihilists requires a firm hand, and he cannot relax any security measures as he needs to get to the leaders. On mourning paper for his wife, he tries to convince Marie of the rightness of his morganatic marriage to Catherine Dolgoruka and objects to Queen Victoria’s trying to influence her opinion, contrasting her disapproval with the reaction of Sacha (his son and heir Alexander).

Marie enquires of her father what the Russians are going to do once the English fleet is in the Dardanelles. She expresses her pleasure at the victory at Plevna, but is afraid that England will interfere when Russia comes to sign peace with Turkey, since Disraeli is constantly in discussions with the Queen at Windsor. Victoria is claiming that Alexander is pursuing the same policies as Catherine the Great. Marie makes plans for a visit to Russia while Alfred is at sea in the Mediterranean, and is touched by his desire to celebrate Easter in the Russian style.

Tsarina Marie’s letters to her daughter are more outspokenly anti-English in their views, and she feels for Marie and Alfred (his position, as a naval officer, being especially delicate) being caught in the crossfire of a war in which Russia and England are on opposing sides. She criticises the Prince of Wales for his support of Disraeli’s policies and approves of Alfred who is prepared to criticise Disraeli. She urges Marie to translate for Alfred’s benefit the political passages of her father’s letter so that he will know of Russia’s Eastern policy at first hand.

..la flotte anglaise est devant Const;[antinople] et nous sur le point d’y entrer. La rupture s’ensuivra’t elle, Dieu veuille que non, mais mon cœur est angoissé… en cas d’hostilites tu iras des que tu pourras quitter Malte a Cobourg… l’Anglet:[erre] impossible…
 

Offline royal_netherlands

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Re: Duke Alfred of Edinburgh (1844-1900) and his family, Part II
« Reply #129 on: April 26, 2010, 04:30:57 PM »
She describes her work for the Red Cross during the war and the "trains sanitaires" that she is organising, and in an extraordinarily vitriolic outburst against Queen Victoria expresses her relief that Marie is leaving England for a while

…comme tu respireras librement en quittant cette odieuse Angleterre et la présence de cette fausse vieille, qui si elle n’est pas un peu folle, est la plus méchante créature qu’il soit possible d’imaginer… (7/19 May 1877)

By 1878 the position has become even more difficult following the replacement of Derby by Salisbury; she finds this ominous, as it suggests hostility towards Russia and makes the Tsar’s position very awkward

…ce qu’ils veulent c’est nous humilier, amoindrir notre prestige, sous quel prétexte nous faire la guerre est difficile à comprendre, aucun de ces éternels british interests n’est en jeu, ils ont été tous ménagés… car nous pouvions occuper Gallipoli et les enfermer dans la mer de Marmara, nous ne l’avons pas voulu dans l’espoir d’éviter la guerre et nous ne l’éviterons pas hélas…

English reservists are being called up, the Russian ambassador Shuvalov is being ostracised at court, and she suggests that Marie and Alfred should settle in Coburg. Following Alfred’s posting to Malta she is not surprised that the queen is unhappy about their return to England "…j’avais bien pensé que la queen elle-meme ne voudrait pas ton retour en Angleterre…"

She promises to try and get Marie some clothes from Paris, but complains that everything is very expensive and states that she has been wearing the same things for a year.

On the subject of her health, she admits that she has got very thin and Dr Botkin wants her to have fresh milk to build her up. She lists the books she is reading, comments on her grandchildren, and notes that having lots of daughters is an English trait, not one inherited from their family.

Following the assassination attempt of 1879, she describes how "Papa" (Alexander II) is annoyed at having to have Cossacks with him all the time when he goes out, and finds it shameful for the people to see their Tsar thus in need of protection

…Quelle douloureuse humiliation pour les honnêtes gens, de voir leur souverain forcé à des mesures de précaution pareilles. Il faut leur redonner du courage en faisant cesser le terrorisme qui paralyse la majorité. Espérons que les mesures prises améneront ce résultat…

Her hopes for Marie to being able to go to Berlin to see her father were dashed when Alexander has to call off the trip for security reasons.

The Tsarina died on 22 May/3 June 1880 in St Petersburg, just under a year before the assassination of her husband.

Offline royal_netherlands

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Re: Duke Alfred of Edinburgh (1844-1900) and his family, Part II
« Reply #130 on: April 26, 2010, 04:58:27 PM »


From Sotheby's: an interesting and rare photograph of Marie Duchess of Edinburgh, Grand Duchess of Russia (1853-1920) driving a carriage, the photo taken in Malta, circa 1876, where her husband Alfred Duke of Edinburgh was stationed, later made Admiral of the Fleet

Offline Carolath Habsburg

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Re: Duke Alfred of Edinburgh (1844-1900) and his family, Part II
« Reply #131 on: April 27, 2010, 08:00:51 AM »
Maria Alexandrovna



Alfred



He looks rather handsome in this one. Love it!

Courtesy of Grand Duchess Ally

"...Пусть он землю бережет родную, А любовь Катюша сбережет....". Grand Duchess Ekaterina Fyodorovna to Grand Duke Georgiy Alexandrovich. 1914

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Eric_Lowe

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Re: Duke Alfred of Edinburgh (1844-1900) and his family, Part II
« Reply #132 on: April 27, 2010, 05:57:17 PM »
Alfred was rather dashing as a young man. He seemed to be in love with his sister-in-law Alix, and even QV noticed when the trio (Bertie, Alix & Alfie) became too close...

Margot

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Re: Duke Alfred of Edinburgh (1844-1900) and his family, Part II
« Reply #133 on: May 13, 2010, 04:47:26 PM »
Yes! I weighed in the Royal Forums and alerted Marlene again! It was absurd! In the end, the Mod at the Royal Forums quashed the debate as it was going nowhere! The story makes no sense whatsoever! All that rubbish about the Fitzgeralds being involved! It is utterly baseless and the whole thing about Lady Irene being secretly given precedence etc was  utterly nonsensical! There was no Lady Mabel Fitzgerald of marriageable age in 1898/98 except a spinster Lady Mabel Fitzgerald (1855 - 1939) that was debunked immediately! Then all that twaddle about secret creations being performed in 1905 and 1917 and not appearing in the London Gazette were the last straw as far as I was concerned!

http://www.theroyalforums.com/forums/f165/prince-alfred-duke-of-edinburgh-1844-1900-and-grand-duchess-marie-1853-1920-a-10717-2.html#post1025426

I am Connie Cutmantle at the Royal Forums!

« Last Edit: May 13, 2010, 05:04:16 PM by Margot »

Lindelle

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Re: Duke Alfred of Edinburgh (1844-1900) and his family, Part II
« Reply #134 on: May 13, 2010, 07:53:12 PM »
Well Connie Cutmantle, I am a member of that forum as well.
What a fascinating read!
Margot just for the record 'encylopaedic' is acceptable as I am a tutor and it may be spelt both ways. :)