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  #61  
Old 02-28-2010, 04:30 PM
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In Greg King's "The Court of the Last Tsar: Pomp, Power, and Pageantry in the Reign of Nicholas II", there is a section on court dress and the coronation and gives a really vivid account of what all the czar and empress had to wear (and the grand duchesses and grand dukes).
For the women, it was really like putting on medieval armor!

And yes, Alix's shy nature made the the coronation (and any state occasion) a night mare.

There is a funny quote about he sending one of her ladies to address the lowcut dress of a Russian lady at a ball.. Sending her lady over, the empress wanted the Russian lady at the ball to know that "In Hesse, we don't wear our dresses that way..." To which the Russian grand dame replied..."You may tell Her Majesty that in Russia, we do..."
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  #62  
Old 02-28-2010, 04:37 PM
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Alexandra definitely was very shy and reversed in public - too shy in fact for a Russian court. By the way, I ve read the same line Carolina, but where I read it , it said that it was not a grand dame, but it was a young unmarried girl, which is why the Empress was so much shocked, because she didn't expect a virgin debutante to appear so boldy dressed in public. I don't know which version is correct, but in any case I can't imagine how brave (and rude) must have been the woman who had the nerve to answer that back to her Tsar's wife!
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  #63  
Old 02-28-2010, 05:20 PM
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Ouch! For sure.... if it were an unmarried gal, it wouldn't have been appropriate (in Russia or Hesse!!)
But I have to have a chuckle that someone would fire that response back at Alix.... she was liked very much.
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  #64  
Old 03-01-2010, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velkoknezna Maria View Post
For those interested in picture form the coronation there is this great album at webshots:
What a great link! Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolinaLandgrave View Post
There is a funny quote about he sending one of her ladies to address the lowcut dress of a Russian lady at a ball.. Sending her lady over, the empress wanted the Russian lady at the ball to know that "In Hesse, we don't wear our dresses that way..." To which the Russian grand dame replied..."You may tell Her Majesty that in Russia, we do..."
When I read about this incident (I believe it is set forth by Massie in Nicholas and Alexandra), not only did the woman reply as quoted but she made a point at pulling her dress even lower at the same time.
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  #65  
Old 03-01-2010, 07:14 PM
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I don't know if " everything" would give her a headache (she was definitely easily tired), but certainly the coronation itself would. It was a royal and extremely formal event and the worst part was that she couldn't avoid it. And I don't think that having to pass this through wearing a dress heavily embroidered with tissue made from a precious metal was helping her to deal more easily with the situation. It must have been a true nightmare for her shy nature.
And the ceremony went on. . .and on. . .and on. . and on. I would have had a Merlot afterwards with a Tylenol chaser.
Maryhill has Queen Marie's gown from the coronation. I want to make it back there to see. Here's a link to the museum. It's a beauty.
Maryhill Museum of Art

Alix was not suited for the position she was in. Minnie played it perfectly, she knew there were a bit more loose at the Russian court and she had her favorites and those she did not favor, though Minnie, ever the able diplomat never let a good piece of gossip or information go by that she couldn't use just because someone was not in her favor. Unlike Alix who cut many people to where nobody was invited to the court balls anymore .(that from Minnie's book by Coryne Hall and the Crawfords on Misha.)
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  #66  
Old 03-01-2010, 08:15 PM
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Marie had been at the Russian Court for 17 years before she became Empress. Alix only one month. One has to remember she had no time to properly adjust.
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  #67  
Old 03-01-2010, 08:29 PM
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Well stated, Russo. Minnie was well suited for the job of Empress of Russia, Alix was NOT.
Classic case of wrong person for the job!! IMO.....
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  #68  
Old 03-01-2010, 08:35 PM
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Marie had been at the Russian Court for 17 years before she became Empress. Alix only one month. One has to remember she had no time to properly adjust.
Don't forget Alix didn't really try either. (Per Coryn Hall's book)
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  #69  
Old 03-02-2010, 09:49 AM
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I know it's hard to change one's personality - as its kinda something you are born with... but she should have realized the visibility of the position that a marriage to a reigning monarch was going to place her in - and knowing that she was shy.... now having said that, you can't help who you fall in love with (my late grandmama always said love falls on cowcrap as well as roses....).
She definitely didn't have the personality of her mother-in-law or her Aunt Miechen!
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  #70  
Old 03-02-2010, 04:54 PM
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Well stated, Russo. Minnie was well suited for the job of Empress of Russia, Alix was NOT.
Classic case of wrong person for the job!! IMO.....
oh i dont know.....Minnie had quite a few years, as the wife of the heir and knew what was expected of her when she became Empress, Alicky was thrusted into job overnight so to speak.
also that Minnie was a rather difficult mother in law and made no concessions toward the new Empress on both the domestic and official side of things

but then, if Alicky was overshadowed by her accomplised mother in law, the same can be said of Nicky, he too suffered in the same way with his assertive uncles !
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  #71  
Old 03-02-2010, 05:03 PM
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Absolutely correct there Jonny, and I agree 100%, but Minnie's personality lent itself to that of a public role.. ie, an Empress of Russia. Alicky's was more that of a shy, pious (almost to a fault), recluse. Just my thoughts, right or wrong. (:

Nicky did have a rotten time with the uncles. They would throw tantrums and demand he do this or that..... I recall the story of when Grand Duke Vladimir pitched a fit over the marriage of Kiril and Victoria Melita - storming in and throwing his decorations around and resigning his posts.
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  #72  
Old 03-02-2010, 06:26 PM
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It's both push and pull on the sides of both women. On one hand, Minnie wanted to keep her place as the first lady Nicky's life as well as the Russian court. In the latter, she had a right to overshadow Alix because Alexander I had made provisions for the dowager Empress to take precedence over the Empress consort (and luckily for Minnie, she never had to deal w/ a dowager Empress because Marie of Hesse had predeceased Alexander II). On the other hand, I'm sure Minnie tried to reach out to Alix and teach her how to be a good Empress, but Alix was too stubborn and imposed her own prudish and conservative beliefs on her role.
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  #73  
Old 03-02-2010, 06:36 PM
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Minnie did try to befriend Alexandra. For example , after their engagement, although she was not exactly flying over the sky, she wrote a quite warm letter to Alix, giving her consent and blessing to the marriage and asking her was kind of jewelery did she like, because she and her husband wanted to send her a gift as her future in laws and she wouldn't like picking somethoing that Alix wouldn't like. She was acting in good will and this can be seen form the fact that she was always openly objecting to Alix when she disagreed (and was not hiding her thoughts and stabbing her in the back). Alix on the other hand I guess although appreciated and respected her mother in law, was feeling suffocated by the grasp Minnie had on her husband and she tried to put a stop to that , in a not so diplomatic way I guess. Epsecially after Alexei's birth and ilness the family would keep to themselves and would be often cutting out their other relatives, even Minnie
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  #74  
Old 03-02-2010, 08:09 PM
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If Alix hadn't been so stubborn, she'd have graciously accepted second fiddle to Minnie and sponged up all Minnie knew. Minnie was not ready to give up the spot light and who could blame her? She was still young, beautiful and influential. Unfortunately, Alix wasn't as astute and thought Minnie's behavior quite petty. Maybe it was. I would have let Minnie shine and reaped the rewards. It is always better to catch flies with honey than vinegar.
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  #75  
Old 03-02-2010, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by EmpressRouge View Post
luckily for Minnie, she never had to deal w/ a dowager Empress because Marie of Hesse had predeceased Alexander II
and whilst the Empress was living, she not being happily married and often ill, absented herself from court for long periods, perferring to spend time with her German family in Hesse, of whom Alicky was also a member !. thus Minnie had the field to herself and was the leading female figure at the imperial court
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  #76  
Old 03-03-2010, 04:41 PM
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Didn't I read somewhere (maybe the book about the reigning granddaughters of Queen Victoria, Born to Rule) that Empress Marie's mother, the Queen of Denmark, wrote to her daughter and implored her to treat Alix nicely and not make the same mistake with her daughter-in-law that the Queen of Denmark had made with her own daughters-in-law? Perhaps there was fault on both sides, Alix was too sensitive and Marie was too insensitive.
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  #77  
Old 03-03-2010, 07:05 PM
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Marie was egotistic. She was lovely, fun and lost her station in life too soon. Alix was dour and stiff and overly religious. They were oil and water.
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  #78  
Old 03-03-2010, 07:37 PM
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Didn't I read somewhere (maybe the book about the reigning granddaughters of Queen Victoria, Born to Rule) that Empress Marie's mother, the Queen of Denmark, wrote to her daughter and implored her to treat Alix nicely and not make the same mistake with her daughter-in-law that the Queen of Denmark had made with her own daughters-in-law? Perhaps there was fault on both sides, Alix was too sensitive and Marie was too insensitive.
VM I have not read that book so I couldn't say, though COUNTESS is correct.
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  #79  
Old 12-09-2013, 12:29 AM
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The costume ball of 1903
(originally posted by bellezza_storia)

The above is photos of the Russian Imperial family and aristocracy attending the costume ball in the Winter Palace.
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  #80  
Old 12-09-2013, 01:54 AM
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What a fantastical occasion that must have been!
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