Author Topic: Ladies-in-waiting,maids-of-honor,maids of Empress Alexandra F.  (Read 39633 times)

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Offline Teddy

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Ladies-in-waiting,maids-of-honor,maids of Empress Alexandra F.
« on: October 30, 2004, 01:41:35 PM »
Who were the ladies in waiting of Alexandra. I know of the old Countness Hendrikova and later her younger daughter who went with her in captivity, baroness Buxhoeveden, Princess Naryskina, Mll Schneider.

But were there more ladies in waiting?

Offline felix

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Re: Ladies-in-waiting,maids-of-honor,maids of Empress Alexandra F.
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2004, 01:55:50 PM »
The Empresses Ladies fell  in a  pecking oder, she didnt have much to say.  It seems she was closer to her Maids of Honor .When they married most left.

Offline Belochka

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Re: Ladies-in-waiting,maids-of-honor,maids of Empress Alexandra F.
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2004, 12:21:26 AM »
I am unable to pinpoint the exact reference (possibly in one of Buxhoeveden's memoirs), but I recall that there were over 200 Maids-of-Honor of varying rank who served Alexandra. They could only serve the Court if they were unmarried. There names were not made public. However some who survived the Revolution in exile wrote about this phase in their lives in their memoirs.

Alexandra was attended by a tiny select inner circle of Ladies-in-waiting. Those who served Alexandra personally changed over the years because of marriage or sickness and death, as in the case of Sonya Orbelliani, who died in 1915.

Many were graduates from the Smolni Institute.


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Offline Lanie

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Re: Ladies-in-waiting,maids-of-honor,maids of Empress Alexandra F.
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2004, 12:32:26 AM »
Anyone know if the Grand Duchesses ever had ladies in waiting of their own or did Alix not allow it (or were they too young)?

Offline Belochka

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Re: Ladies-in-waiting,maids-of-honor,maids of Empress Alexandra F.
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2004, 12:32:13 AM »
I believe that only the Empress was entitled to have Ladies-in-waiting.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Belochka »


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Offline felix

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Re: Ladies-in-waiting,maids-of-honor,maids of Empress Alexandra F.
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2004, 12:19:35 PM »
Belochka, All female members of the family had Ladies,all taken from the noblity. If you read biograbhies you can find mention of them.  I think G.D. Xenia has her lady mentioned in the book about her. Of course not as many as an Empress.Sorry if spelling is bad, not wearing glasses. F.

Offline felix

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Re: Ladies-in-waiting,maids-of-honor,maids of Empress Alexandra F.
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2004, 12:25:34 PM »
 Hi, I forgot but  Grand Duchess Elizabeth  M. wife of Konstantine left Russia with her lady for Sweden. Saved by the Swedish Queen Victoria.

Offline Belochka

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Re: Ladies-in-waiting,maids-of-honor,maids of Empress Alexandra F.
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2004, 09:59:58 PM »
Hi Felix,

You are correct, however the Empress had the most senior Ladies-in-waiting in her personal suite. There was a hierarchy, and in the later years Baroness Buxhoeveden was at the apex of this ranking.





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Offline felix

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Re: Ladies-in-waiting,maids-of-honor,maids of Empress Alexandra F.
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2004, 02:06:44 PM »
Belochka, Why would Sophie Buxhoeveden have gotten such a high rank if she was the daughter of an Ambassdor ?  And I read somewhere that Countess Hendrikov's mother was a Princess. Where the daughters of noble princesses titled countesses ?  Two things i wondered about. F.

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Re: Ladies-in-waiting,maids-of-honor,maids of Empress Alexandra F.
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2004, 05:29:46 PM »
I always wondered, what is a lady in waiting and what does she wait for? Was there an official job description?


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Re: Ladies-in-waiting,maids-of-honor,maids of Empress Alexandra F.
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2004, 07:00:47 PM »
    In the middle ages in most european nations a lady in waiting's role was to attend the Queen, help her to bathe, dress etc... and to socialise and amuse her acting as a companion/aid- a bit of a social guide /spy /  roommate / servant...
   But by the time of the 19th-20th century in Russia I really am not certain what would be entailed by this.

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Robert_Hall

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Re: Ladies-in-waiting,maids-of-honor,maids of Empress Alexandra F.
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2004, 08:14:49 PM »
The moder version is a pretty good model.
In the case of QEII, they accompany the Queen on visits, dinners, theatre and such. Help her entertain guests so that no one feels left alone. Take tha flowers that are given to her & pass them on, carry extra personal items like gloves, napkins,[handerchiefs] perhaps even shoes. They used to also answer mail, usually from children. Probably most likely dictated and signed it. Keep her company while traveling. Keep personal staff organised.
That sort of thing.
Cheers,
Robert

anna

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Re: Ladies-in-waiting,maids-of-honor,maids of Empress Alexandra F.
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2004, 04:30:59 PM »
Speaking about Ladies in waiting, browsing the site of my favorite secondhand bookstore in A'dam, I found this wonderful book about a lady in waiting.
"Louisa Lady in Waiting"- The personal diaries and albums of Louisa lady in waiting to Queen Victoria and Queen Alexandra- - compiled and edited by Elizabeth Longford.
Louisa Countess of Antrim spent nearly twenty years in the service of two Queens. It's a close observation of live at Victorian and Edwardian Court. The book describes daily life at Balmoral, Windsor, Osborne etc.
The book is full of anecdotes, photo's of the royal family and other royals, menu's, programme's of celebrations, inivitations too much to mention.
There's also an account of the journey on the royal yacht Victoria & Albert to Reval in Russia to meet the Standart with the IF.
Interesting is that the Tsar and Tsarina insisted on vistiting the King and Queen first, contrary to protocol but a nephew's respect for an uncle. There's also a note about Alix, who was found weeping alone one moment during the King's visit.

I don't know if anyone has read this book, but if you want to know how live of a Lady in waiting looks like I would highly recommend this.

Anna

Offline Belochka

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Re: Ladies-in-waiting,maids-of-honor,maids of Empress Alexandra F.
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2004, 09:25:59 PM »
Hi Anne,

I have never come across your book. Does the author explain why Alix was seen crying? This is quite intriguing!


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Offline Belochka

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Re: Ladies-in-waiting,maids-of-honor,maids of Empress Alexandra F.
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2004, 10:48:06 PM »
Quote
Belochka, Why would Sophie Buxhoeveden have gotten such a high rank if she was the daughter of an Ambassdor ?  And I read somewhere that Countess Hendrikov's mother was a Princess. Where the daughters of noble princesses titled countesses ?  Two things i wondered about. F.


Hi Felix,

Sophie's father according to her own memoir Before the Storm, states that her father family were Russian subjects since the early eighteenth century. He father was a graduate of SPb University before entering his career in diplomacy.

To answer your second query, nobility is passed down by the father. More likely Countess Hendrikov's father was a Count, and it was his title which passed down to his daughters? Maybe some else would know more? :)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Belochka »


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