Well Russo more about the Kolemine affair !
Prince Louis of Battenburg married Princess Victoria of hesse the daughter of the Grand Duke Louis IV. Though the Grand Duke Louis had promised his late wife the Grand Duchess Alice, that he would allow their children to marry for love, and he readily gave his consent to this marriage, the news was not welcomed elsewhere....
The Hessian Parliament rudely opposed the marriage and refused to give the Princess her dowry, because she was marrying beneath her and will become a morganatic. In the Berlin and Russian courts there was insulting remarks about the anteccedents of Prince Louis and the Battenburg's! Moreover given this feeling towards the marriage, it is understandable as to why some guests at the wedding reacted in the way they did when the bombshell of the Grand Dukes secret second marriage was leaked out. Well think of it: the Grand Duke had made a unsuitable marriage on the very day that his daughter had married a Battenburg, for the Battenburgs was hated in many eyes throughout Europe and what more the Grand Duke had not realised his family ties with the Imperial houses of Britain, Germany and Russia entailed so complete a surrender of his personal freedom.
The Grand Ducal Palace became deserted. The Empress Augusta of Germany was informed and the old Empress, already displeased with the enagement of Priness Elizabeth of Hesse to Grand Duke Serge of Russia and the romance between her Granddaughter Princess Victoria of Prussia with a hated Battenburg, now ordered the Crown Princes and Princess to leave Darmstadt, which they did on the 2nd of May!. Court officials developed colds and were confined to their rooms. Ministers found business to attend to in near by towns. At long last Queen Victoria, who remained outwardly calm -but behind closed doors there was tamtrums- sent for her son the Prince of Wales, she ordered him to interview Kolemine and to arrange that the marriage to be declared null and void....she had spoken!
The old Queen was not adove interpreting the sacredness of marriage to suit her own convenience and in this marriage she found nothing sacred about it at all. it was not until late June or early July that the marriage was annulled, Hermann Sahel the former German Secretary to the Queen, who had retired to Darmstadt, reported to Sir Henry Ponsonby "You will be glad to hear that substantially the untieing of the morganantic knot is accomplished, and by degrees the formal severance will be pronounced by a court of Law convened for the purpose".
It is said that the marriage between the Grand Duke and Alexandrine von Kolemine was not consummated. so i guess that was the grounds for the annulment of the marriage!
Kolemine was introduced to the Grand Duke by Prince Isenburg and his wife, who encouraged the liaison. The two elder girls (Princess Victoria and Princess Elizabeth) was fully aware of their fathers friendship and often accompanied the couple on their walks. Very soon there was rumours of a wedding in the air, Princess Victoria declared "Papa will never marry again", however the Grand Duke abmitted that "he could hardly bear the thought of further loneliness in his life after she [Princess Victoria] left him. Indeed it is said that over time the Grand Ducal children was glad to think she would there for their father after they married off themselves!.
The Battenburg / Hesse wedding took place in Darmstadt on 30th April 1884, after the wedding banquet, the Grand Duke unnoticed left his guests for a while and entered a room in the Scloss, there Kolemine and three men were waiting for him.....not long afterwards he left the room as a married man, Starck the Prime Minister of Hesse had married him to Kolemine, the witnesses being Prince Isenburg and the brides brother!. Princess Victoria, later wrote (as Lady Milford Haven) the following...."Influenced, i fancy, by Madame de Kolemine's dread of opposition to the marriage , nobody had been told of it.except his children and prosective sons in law. Though Louis and Serge were in dispair about it. they gave their promise to keep the secret. We others quite liked the lady, who was full of intentions towards us and i hoped my father would less lonely when married to a woman he was much in love with."