Author Topic: Ella and Sergei 2  (Read 122671 times)

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Offline perdita

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #90 on: November 08, 2012, 04:43:37 PM »
I read that Serge was quite pocessive of Ella. While he encourged her to stand with officers during parties (instead of chatting with the ladies), he made sure that she and Paul were not overly close. However Ella and Paul did became close and when he married Alexandra of Greece, she accepted her as a sister. However Ella was very disapointed in Paul over his later mistress Olga (later Princess Paley).

It's conjecture how close Ella & Paul were before his marriages. There is no evidence that they were engaged in an adulterous affair. Certainly, Ella had no sympathy for Paul after he broke his pledge to the emperor, devastated his brother Serge, and eloped with his mistress. Apparently, Ella did not want Marie & Dmitri to become permanent sqatters in her household & deeply resented her husband's unqualified love for them. According to Marie Pavlovna Ella never forgave Paul.

Not conjecture is Serge's strong feelings for Paul's wife Alexandra of Greece.

Marie Pavlovna, quote:

"My uncle was profoundly attached to my mother. The early death which came to her, as I have said, at Alinskoe, left him with a sense of bereavement for which he could never be consoled. He ordered the room in which she had spent her last hours to be kept intact, exactly as it was when she died there. He had the rooms locked, & throughout the remainder of his life himself guarded the key, allowing no one else to enter."

Marie Pavlovna wrote that her Aunt Ella only tolerated Paul & Alexandra's children in her house because that was what her husband wanted. The exact reason for Ella's ("confessed") jealousy is unclear.

If Serge was possessive of his wife, there is evidence that Ella was even more possessive of her husband.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2012, 04:47:58 PM by perdita »

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #91 on: November 08, 2012, 05:46:02 PM »
Not really. Ella did not like the children because she could not produce any herself. The love Serge gave them was a reproof to her barren status. She would not felt that way had she been blessed with children.

Ella also flirted with Prince Nicholas of Greece too, so her flirtation with Paul maybe resented by Serge.

Offline perdita

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #92 on: November 09, 2012, 12:33:40 AM »
Not really. Ella did not like the children because she could not produce any herself. The love Serge gave them was a reproof to her barren status. She would not felt that way had she been blessed with children.

Ella also flirted with Prince Nicholas of Greece too, so her flirtation with Paul maybe resented by Serge.

When did Ella convey (to anyone) that she could not abide Paul & Alexandra's children in her household because she could not produce any herself? Many barren women love & adopt children. No problem. If the reason Ella had no children was Serge (sterility) it didn't prevent him from adoring children & going out of his way to assume responsibility for his brother's.

Tsar Alexander 111 apparently knew by the early 1890s that Serge & Ella would never have children. He didn't mention why he had that impression. If the reason Serge & Ella did not have children was that their marriage was never consumated it is highly unlikely that Serge would have advertized that circumstance to his relations. Odd, that Marie Pavlovna noted that while Serge & Ella never seemed very intimate (at least in her presence) they shared the same bed throughout their marriage which was highly unusual for members of the aristocracy. Without diaries & letters making clear the nature of Serge & Ella's relationship it is difficult to ascertain details with certianty. Both seemed diffident & possessive of the other. The reason is unkown. Marie Pavlovna wrote that her aunt & uncle were afflicted with jealously. Ella confessing this sin only after her husband died and asking forgiveness. Marie mentioned that Serge was "extremely jealous" and had he known the extent of her love for her father it would have "maddened him".  A mystery. An astute observer, Marie wrote that until the day of his horrible death Serge remained imcomprehensible to her.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 01:02:52 AM by perdita »

Offline Svetabel

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #93 on: November 09, 2012, 05:59:36 AM »


Tsar Alexander 111 apparently knew by the early 1890s that Serge & Ella would never have children. He didn't mention why he had that impression. If the reason Serge & Ella did not have children was that their marriage was never consumated it is highly unlikely that Serge would have advertized that circumstance to his relations. Odd, that Marie Pavlovna noted that while Serge & Ella never seemed very intimate (at least in her presence) they shared the same bed throughout their marriage which was highly unusual for members of the aristocracy. Without diaries & letters making clear the nature of Serge & Ella's relationship it is difficult to ascertain details with certianty. Both seemed diffident & possessive of the other. The reason is unkown. Marie Pavlovna wrote that her aunt & uncle were afflicted with jealously. Ella confessing this sin only after her husband died and asking forgiveness. Marie mentioned that Serge was "extremely jealous" and had he known the extent of her love for her father it would have "maddened him".  A mystery. An astute observer, Marie wrote that until the day of his horrible death Serge remained imcomprehensible to her.

The reason of the pair's childlessness was more likely Grand Duchess' illness - in 1908 she was finally operated (see the topic about Ella's illnesses, I had posted there a translation of a medical report about that surgery). Almost every year before the surgery she went to resorts for cure - mainly that was Franzensbad (famous when the reason of the illness was gynecological).

As for the relationship of Grand Duke and Grand Duchess...well, I read the diaries of Grand Duke, I read Grand Duchess' letters to her husband...My impression he did love her and that was not a love to a 'child' but to a partner, to his soul-mate, he always missed her when they separated for some reasons, he always waited for her to talk about everything, they had no secrets from each other in private. It's clearly seen from her letters to him: she describes every detail of her life, I especially like when she tells about the hairdresser and how he cleaned off her hair.

Offline perdita

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #94 on: November 09, 2012, 11:18:32 AM »


Tsar Alexander 111 apparently knew by the early 1890s that Serge & Ella would never have children. He didn't mention why he had that impression. If the reason Serge & Ella did not have children was that their marriage was never consumated it is highly unlikely that Serge would have advertized that circumstance to his relations. Odd, that Marie Pavlovna noted that while Serge & Ella never seemed very intimate (at least in her presence) they shared the same bed throughout their marriage which was highly unusual for members of the aristocracy. Without diaries & letters making clear the nature of Serge & Ella's relationship it is difficult to ascertain details with certianty. Both seemed diffident & possessive of the other. The reason is unkown. Marie Pavlovna wrote that her aunt & uncle were afflicted with jealously. Ella confessing this sin only after her husband died and asking forgiveness. Marie mentioned that Serge was "extremely jealous" and had he known the extent of her love for her father it would have "maddened him".  A mystery. An astute observer, Marie wrote that until the day of his horrible death Serge remained imcomprehensible to her.

The reason of the pair's childlessness was more likely Grand Duchess' illness - in 1908 she was finally operated (see the topic about Ella's illnesses, I had posted there a translation of a medical report about that surgery). Almost every year before the surgery she went to resorts for cure - mainly that was Franzensbad (famous when the reason of the illness was gynecological).

As for the relationship of Grand Duke and Grand Duchess...well, I read the diaries of Grand Duke, I read Grand Duchess' letters to her husband...My impression he did love her and that was not a love to a 'child' but to a partner, to his soul-mate, he always missed her when they separated for some reasons, he always waited for her to talk about everything, they had no secrets from each other in private. It's clearly seen from her letters to him: she describes every detail of her life, I especially like when she tells about the hairdresser and how he cleaned off her hair.


Thank you Svetabel. Many forum users haven't had access to the Grand Duchess Ella's letters to her husband and are unable to translate from the Russian.

Admittedly, Red flags went up when hearing about the Grand Duchess Ella's "cures" and the nature of her surgery (ovarian cyst?) in 2008.

Victoria of Battenberg knew Ella best. Victoria, pragmatic & out spoken, insisted Serge & Ella had a happy marriage. There exists no documentation in Ella's words that contradicts that impression. Clearly, Ella deeply loved and was profoundly attached to her husband. Had their marriage been an empty facade she would not have felt that. According to Marie Pavlovna, unable to sleep or eat after her husband's assassination, Ella confessed to her that she tirelessly buried her pain in ceaseless work with the suffering to forget her abject despair and loneliness. To honor of the memory of her husband Ella even confronted his assassin & forgave him. (Extraordinary.) In her memoirs (Vol. 2) Marie wrote that Ella never recovered from Serge's death.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 11:41:14 AM by perdita »

Offline Svetabel

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #95 on: November 09, 2012, 01:16:12 PM »


Tsar Alexander 111 apparently knew by the early 1890s that Serge & Ella would never have children. He didn't mention why he had that impression. If the reason Serge & Ella did not have children was that their marriage was never consumated it is highly unlikely that Serge would have advertized that circumstance to his relations. Odd, that Marie Pavlovna noted that while Serge & Ella never seemed very intimate (at least in her presence) they shared the same bed throughout their marriage which was highly unusual for members of the aristocracy. Without diaries & letters making clear the nature of Serge & Ella's relationship it is difficult to ascertain details with certianty. Both seemed diffident & possessive of the other. The reason is unkown. Marie Pavlovna wrote that her aunt & uncle were afflicted with jealously. Ella confessing this sin only after her husband died and asking forgiveness. Marie mentioned that Serge was "extremely jealous" and had he known the extent of her love for her father it would have "maddened him".  A mystery. An astute observer, Marie wrote that until the day of his horrible death Serge remained imcomprehensible to her.

The reason of the pair's childlessness was more likely Grand Duchess' illness - in 1908 she was finally operated (see the topic about Ella's illnesses, I had posted there a translation of a medical report about that surgery). Almost every year before the surgery she went to resorts for cure - mainly that was Franzensbad (famous when the reason of the illness was gynecological).

As for the relationship of Grand Duke and Grand Duchess...well, I read the diaries of Grand Duke, I read Grand Duchess' letters to her husband...My impression he did love her and that was not a love to a 'child' but to a partner, to his soul-mate, he always missed her when they separated for some reasons, he always waited for her to talk about everything, they had no secrets from each other in private. It's clearly seen from her letters to him: she describes every detail of her life, I especially like when she tells about the hairdresser and how he cleaned off her hair.


Thank you Svetabel. Many forum users haven't had access to the Grand Duchess Ella's letters to her husband and are unable to translate from the Russian.



The Grand Duchess wrote her letters to her husband in English. I can send you a file with her letters, it's not a problem.

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #96 on: November 09, 2012, 01:19:33 PM »
That would be nice to be able to read the letters.

Offline Olga Maria

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #97 on: November 14, 2013, 03:20:01 AM »
The more I look at this photo of younger Serge, the more I think he and Ella look alike in a general way.



If only you think his beard as invisible, I think you'll see more of their resemblance (or it just my illusion?)
Btw I have a question (which I wrongly placed in the '"suitors' thread"...

Quote
Quoted from Eric Lowe :Ella was very much into her appearance and clothes, but she was always generous in her charity work. That was one of the reasons why she was popular while Serge was hated.


 hmm, I wonder if Serge has given to charity in secret. Seems possible.
Did Ella have income as a Grand Duchess? (It was not Serge who gave her money to give to charity, right?)
Because if Ella wasn't earning something while Serge was still alive, then it means Serge was the one who gave Ella money for that.

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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #98 on: November 14, 2013, 02:59:39 PM »
I don't think Ella had a lot of money on her own. Her husband on the other hand had an appanage from the Emperor plus property and precious items inherited from his mother Empress Marie. After the death of Serge, people were surprised to find that Ella did not have much in terms of wealth since many were owned by the family and others were given use during the lifetime. The life of a childless grand duchess married into the family wasn't a life of riches in caparison. Ella had to sell her own personal jewels (those that belonged to the family had to be returned) to fund her own nunnery. Her husband's property and possessions passed into the hands of Serge's wards Dimitri & Marie. The fact that Serge's death made her much poorer than before was not noted and her husband's will did not make any provisions for his widow was quite shocking. It was under that situation that people began to speculate if Ella would marry again, since she lost the financial security that Serge gave her upon her marriage.

Offline Olga Maria

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #99 on: November 15, 2013, 11:58:34 PM »
Thanks for the new info, Eric!
So Ella didn't have any appanage. And with this, I now think most of the money she gave to charity were Serge's.
I also just knew from your post that she only had a little property of her own after Serge died, and that Serge didn't leave something for her in his will ~ do you (or anybody) know the reason why?
It really shocks me to know that. I thought Serge had left her something in his will (like what a loving husband would do for his wife)... I don't doubt his love for her, so I don't  think lack of love for her was the reason behind that.
Instead, I think perhaps he thought they would die together or almost at the same time in very old age (or possibly, he also thought he would outlive Ella), and leaving something for her would be of no use because he knew she would 'follow' him after a little while. Or maybe it was Ella herself who told him to not leave something for her...

« Last Edit: November 16, 2013, 12:26:39 AM by Grand Princess Shandroise »

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Offline Svetabel

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #100 on: November 16, 2013, 02:45:44 AM »
I thought Serge had left her something in his will (like what a loving husband would do for his wife)... I don't doubt his love for her, so I don't  think lack of love for her was the reason behind that.



The truth is that GD Sergei didn't leave a will, the only one "will", so to say, was a letter of 1892 year to his brother Pavel about GD's personal belongings.

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #101 on: November 16, 2013, 10:39:47 AM »
Indeed...Even members of the Imperial Family was shocked that more had not been done for the dower rights of Ella. Since she had no children, she cannot live on her children's money before they are of age. Since Serge left no will (strange since he al,ways believed he would be killed and had little time on earth, why didn't he provide more for his wife ?). The matter of fact that most of what she owned with her husband went back to the Imperial Family (and to her wards). so apart from the grace & favor apartments. Ella did not have a big property or cash portfolio. Many felt sorry for her (especially her brother-in-law The Tsar) chipped in to help Ella with her nunnery apart from the sale of her own personal jewelry.

Offline Olga Maria

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #102 on: November 18, 2013, 03:14:37 AM »
So it wasn't an official will but a letter only to Pavel ... now it answers why he mentioned only Pavel's children. He wanted to let him know about his plan. There's no need for him to mention Ella.
Thank you very much Svetabel : )

I'm sure Ella didn't blame anything on Serge. It seems to me she was willing to give up everything and change herself after her other half departed. Although Serge didn't leave anything for her, she lived quite well. She knows God will provide : )
« Last Edit: November 18, 2013, 03:19:29 AM by Grand Princess Shandroise »

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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #103 on: November 18, 2013, 03:54:09 PM »
Ella was not in a financially secure place and with no income. Her future looked bleak. Her only source of income was the sale of her jewels and some interests in her property (which is not a lot). The Tsar picked up the tab for here.

Offline Olga Maria

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #104 on: November 19, 2013, 11:23:15 PM »
With that few money it was especially harder for her because she suddenly became the only one who would provide for Marie and Dmitri. She surely struggled in budgeting their expenses. Maybe that's also one of the reasons that led her to marry off Marie to P. William of Sweden (so that she wouldn't see Marie stuck in their poverty).
Quote
The Tsar picked up the tab for her.
Because of that she remained grateful to Nicholas throughout her life.

Amazing colored fotos  by the most wonderful Yelena Aleksandrovna. Endless thank you very much!