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  #61  
Old 05-12-2016, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Marengo View Post
Grand Duchess Viktoria Feodorovna of Russia, born Princess Victoria Melita (25 November 1876 – 2 March 1936), was a member of the British Royal Family, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria...

[1891: Meeting of Victoria Melita and Cyril Vladimirovich Romanov at a Russian funeral, whereupon the following happened:]

[Victoria Melita and Cyril Vladimirovich] were deeply attracted to one another, [yet] Victoria's mother was reluctant to allow her to marry him.


[As a consequence, Victoria Melita was not permitted to pursue a relationship with Cyril but was more or less forced to marry Enest-Louis of Hesse-Darmstadt instead, because that was the wish of her powerful grandmother's, Queen Victoria of GB.]


You quote Wikipedia; and this is indeed the information given there. But I never found out how this alleged 1891 meeting of Victoria Melita and her cousin Cyril, where they allegedly fell madly in love with each other, even BEFORE Victoria Melita ever set eyes on Ernest Louis of Hesse-Darmstadt, and the whole story of her mother's warning Victoria Melita off Cyril and pressing Ernst-Ludwig’s suit instead has been attested.

How do we know about this alleged meeting between Melita and Cyril?

Hugo Vickers, the author of Alice, Princess Andrew of Greece (a biography of the present Prince Consort Philip's, the Duke of Edinburgh' mother) in this book of 2000 also touches upon the story of Victoria Melita, Ernest-Louis of Hesse and Cyril Vladimirovich but assumes a completely different dating.

Vickers does not know or mention that alleged, fateful 1891 Russian-funeral-meeting of Melita and Cyril at all.

According to him, the first event in the story took place in 1891, and consisted in a meeting of Victoria Melita's and Ernest-Louis'
at a party at Balmoral in Scotland. There these two struck up a friendship, which was obvious enough to be observed by Queen Victoria of GB, the grandmother of both, who had hosted this party.

In 1892, when Ernest-Ludwig succeeded his deceased father as Grand-Duke of Hesse-Darmstadt, Queen Victoria proceeded to bargain and make a match between Melita and Ernest reality.

Melita and Ernest did get married in 1894 (this is undisputed).

But according to Vickers, Melita did meet Cyril [whom she married in 1905] only later, namely in 1896.

This alters the story reported in Wikipedia considerably.

I.e., if Wikipedia were right and there had been an early (1891) meeting between Melita and Cyril, with an irrepressible love springing up between the two, which Melita had to suppress to marry Ernest-Louis, the story becomes far more romantic, making Melita a martyr of her first passion etc, than if she met him only two years into her marriage with Ernest.

Which dating is correct? And how do we know it to be correct?
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  #62  
Old 05-12-2016, 10:24 PM
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In 1904, during the Russo-Japanese War, Grand Duke Cyril was on active service when his ship was blown up at Port Arthur. He was one of the few survivors. The experience made him more determined than ever to have Victoria Melita as his wife.
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  #63  
Old 05-13-2016, 08:06 AM
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1904 is a later date, when Melita was already divorced.

What do we know about Cyril's first meeting of Melita, and when did they meet? Before or after Melita's first marriage in 1894?

Is Cyril's and Melita's alleged meeting in September 1891, on the occasion of Gandduchess Alexandra Georgiyevna's funeral (the deceased had been the wife of Grandduke Pavel Alexandrovich) really well-attested? (This meeting is assumed by Wikipedia---but that they met there seems in dispute.)

That is, can one be sure that they already met at a time when apparently there was no question yet of a wedding between Melita and Ernest-Louis?

[NB: There seems to be no quarrel about another meeting of Cyril's and Melita's in 1896 (as guests at the coronation of Nicholas II. of Russia's), when Melita and Ernest-Louis had been married for two years.]

The real date of their first meeting is probably important for the general assessment of the situation, Melita's character and the match making activities of Queen Victoria's of GB. Well, yes, and also to explain the grim countenance of their wedding guests recorded on the famous Coburg wedding photo, where nearly none of the nobles present seems able to muster a smile. The Imperial Court : Photo
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  #64  
Old 05-28-2016, 09:56 PM
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Grand Duke Cyril as Tsar Cyril I
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  #65  
Old 07-03-2016, 02:36 PM
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In profile: the British princess who scandalised the royal family | History Extra

An interesting article.
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  #66  
Old 04-06-2018, 06:34 PM
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In 1910 Cyril and Victoria moved to Russia, where Nicholas II recognized their marriage. Did Cyril and Victoria's marriage offend the Russian Orthodox Church as much as it offended Nicholas and Alexandra?
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  #67  
Old 04-06-2018, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by CyrilVladisla View Post
In 1910 Cyril and Victoria moved to Russia, where Nicholas II recognized their marriage. Did Cyril and Victoria's marriage offend the Russian Orthodox Church as much as it offended Nicholas and Alexandra?
According to the laws of the Russian Orthodox Church it was forbidden for first cousins to marry although dispensation could be given.
As the Tsar quiet conveniently was head of said church it didn't matter much which institution had it's rules most offended - The Tsar controlled them both.
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  #68  
Old 04-06-2018, 10:27 PM
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Thank you for the very interesting history lesson. What an interesting and strong woman she was during that time period. I really enjoyed reading it.
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  #69  
Old 04-07-2018, 12:27 AM
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According to the laws of the Russian Orthodox Church it was forbidden for first cousins to marry although dispensation could be given.
As the Tsar quiet conveniently was head of said church it didn't matter much which institution had it's rules most offended - The Tsar controlled them both.
For more details see ""The Russian Imperial Succession" by Brien Purcell Horan.

Scroll down to "The Marriage of the Grand Duke Kirill."

"The Russian Imperial Succession" by Brien Purcell Horan — The Russian Legitimist
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Old 04-07-2018, 04:26 PM
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Did the Russian Orthodox Church disapprove of only paternal first cousins marrying?
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  #71  
Old 04-07-2018, 04:47 PM
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No, if you read footnote 18 in the source I linked above, Mr. Horan states:

"I am grateful to Professor Russell Martin of Westminster College (Ph.D., Harvard University) for sharing with me his detailed knowledge of the Russian Orthodox Church and its connections over the centuries with the Romanoff dynasty. Dr. Martin has correctly pointed out that the Russian church rarely enforced the traditional canonical rules against marriage within certain degrees of consanguinity. It is important to note that not only first cousin marriages technically violated the consanguinity rules, but also marriages between first cousins once removed and even between second cousins: there was no such thing as different "degrees of validity", so all such unions would equally transgress the strict letter of Orthodox rules."

He goes on to list other Romanov marriages that violated this rule, for example Grand Duke Serge Alexandrovich who married Princess Elizabeth of Hesse and the Rhine, his first cousin once removed on his mother's side.

These sources also states the prohibition wasn't limited to first cousins only:

https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/201...ox-church.html

https://www.flintorthodox.com/requirments-for-marriage/
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  #72  
Old 04-08-2018, 04:17 PM
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Gawin, It was very informative about the requirements for marriage. Thank you for the sources.
How informed would Grand Duke Cyril have been on all these marriage restrictions?
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  #73  
Old 04-08-2018, 04:52 PM
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You're welcome. I found that website while searching for information on Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna's claim to be the head of the Romanov family.

It seems Cyril was aware of the restrictions regarding cousins. He was also aware that some of the opposition was due to Victoria Melita's scandalous divorce from her first husband. The situation was further complicated by the fact that her first husband happened to be the Empress Alexandra's brother. Alexandra had taken her brother's side and disliked Victoria Melita intensely.

Cyril, his parents, and Victoria's mother (also a Russian Grand Duchess) must have assumed the restrictions could be overcome since once the marriage took place they all lobbied the Emperor to recognize it. But Nicholas and Alexandra were incensed that Cyril had disobeyed them and the couple were banished from Russia.

It wasn't until 1910 - when emotions had cooled and Cyril was now third in line to the throne - that Nicholas recognized the marriage and the couple returned to Russia. Only to flee for their lives seven years later!
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  #74  
Old 04-08-2018, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Gawin View Post
You're welcome. I found that website while searching for information on Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna's claim to be the head of the Romanov family.

It seems Cyril was aware of the restrictions regarding cousins. He was also aware that some of the opposition was due to Victoria Melita's scandalous divorce from her first husband. The situation was further complicated by the fact that her first husband happened to be the Empress Alexandra's brother. Alexandra had taken her brother's side and disliked Victoria Melita intensely.

Cyril, his parents, and Victoria's mother (also a Russian Grand Duchess) must have assumed the restrictions could be overcome since once the marriage took place they all lobbied the Emperor to recognize it. But Nicholas and Alexandra were incensed that Cyril had disobeyed them and the couple were banished from Russia.

It wasn't until 1910 - when emotions had cooled and Cyril was now third in line to the throne - that Nicholas recognized the marriage and the couple returned to Russia. Only to flee for their lives seven years later!
One does wonder if the sickness of Alexei had anything to do with the marriage being recognised.
Had he been healthy and expected to father children of his own I don't think the Tsar would have been so quick to forgive the couple for disobeying orders. The Tsarina was the one who wore the pants in that family and, like an elephant she never forgot anything.
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  #75  
Old 04-08-2018, 05:13 PM
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It's any first cousins, as far as I know. The story is that Grand Duke Michael wanted to marry Princess Beatrice of Edinburgh, which would've been a very suitable match had his father and her mother not been siblings. So that was a no-go. In the days when the rule was followed in the Western churches, the Pope would grant a dispensation (if suitably "encouraged"), but I've never come across any instance of a Russian Orthodox patriarch doing that.
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  #76  
Old 04-08-2018, 05:18 PM
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Yes, and by 1910 Nicholas's brother Michael was involved with his divorced mistress (they eventually married morganatically). Cyril was next in line after Michael, followed by his own unmarried brothers who were occupied with their own mistresses, so Cyril's marriage to a granddaughter of Queen Victoria (however scandalous) must have appeared highly suitable in comparison.
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  #77  
Old 04-08-2018, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Alison H View Post
It's any first cousins, as far as I know. The story is that Grand Duke Michael wanted to marry Princess Beatrice of Edinburgh, which would've been a very suitable match had his father and her mother not been siblings. So that was a no-go. In the days when the rule was followed in the Western churches, the Pope would grant a dispensation (if suitably "encouraged"), but I've never come across any instance of a Russian Orthodox patriarch doing that.
There was no Russian patriarch between 1721 and 1918. The church was run by the Holy synod of which the tsar was "extreme judge" .
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  #78  
Old 04-09-2018, 04:28 PM
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Do you believe that the fact that Cyril's father, Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich, being Nicholas' senior male uncle may have had any influence upon Nicholas II to recognize the marriage of Cyril and Victoria?
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  #79  
Old 04-09-2018, 08:06 PM
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Yes, because that meant Cyril was next in line for the throne after Nicholas's sickly son Alexis and his unmarried brother Michael who was involved with an unsuitable mistress.
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  #80  
Old 04-10-2018, 03:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Gawin View Post
Yes, and by 1910 Nicholas's brother Michael was involved with his divorced mistress (they eventually married morganatically). Cyril was next in line after Michael, followed by his own unmarried brothers who were occupied with their own mistresses, so Cyril's marriage to a granddaughter of Queen Victoria (however scandalous) must have appeared highly suitable in comparison.
1910 is also the year of birth of Michael's son George, later styled Count Brasov. After his birth Michael talked openly about marrying Natalia and his hopes that this would have him removed from the Line of Succession.
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