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  #21  
Old 02-17-2008, 10:57 AM
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You are all correct. What I would like to know, is what did she see in Sergei. Some say he was a homosexual, that I don't know. But he was not noted as being a nice person. Grand Duchess Xenia's husband Sandro, Alexander Mikhilavich, said he could think of no redeeming feature of Sergei. He was disliked by many of his family, least of all the public. Ella was charming, gay, beautiful and, I think, could have made a better marriage. I am just asking opinion, as none of us know what she really thought.
I have always wondered the same. I have also wondered how much truth there was to the information about Sergei and how much was rumors stirred by his family? That would make some intersting research.
Lexi
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  #22  
Old 02-18-2008, 12:54 PM
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Countess, don't you have the Warwick book? I believe that it has reference to Sergei's homosexuality in there. I am wondering if Ella just wanted to party and Sergei had the means to allow her that. I remember glancing through the Warwick book where he said that she flirted an awful lot and went to a lot of parties.
Marriage of convenience, it would seem to me.
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  #23  
Old 02-18-2008, 03:33 PM
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I don't think I have the book you mention Russo. What is the full name?
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  #24  
Old 02-18-2008, 03:38 PM
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Ella: Princess, Saint and Martyr by Christopher Warwick, I haven't read that biography but I do have 'Elizabeth: Grand Duchess of Russia' by Hugo Mager which I found somewhat disappointing.

I believe Ella was indeed enjoying the society of Moscow and St. Petersburg before her husband died and her own sister thought she and her clique were arrogant etc. Not that that was too surprising as Alix basically didn't approve of any relative of course.
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  #25  
Old 02-18-2008, 03:55 PM
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I have read that Grand Duke Serge was homosexual. Elizabeth´s problem was her grandmother. Because Queen Victoria wanted to marry grandchildren between them or with other royal houses. It doesn´t matter the diseases or genetic problems. In this case, sexual preferences.
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Old 02-18-2008, 03:58 PM
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Queen Victoria was always very much against any of her grandchildren marrying a Russian, both in Alix as in Ella's case either and she wasn't overly excited about Maria Alexandrovna as a d-i-l.
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  #27  
Old 02-18-2008, 05:41 PM
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Ella: Princess, Saint and Martyr by Christopher Warwick.
This is the one, Lex. I have it on my nightstand. I might read it in Hawai'i. . . or I might just lay by the pool and drink Sneaky Tiki's and leave all this Russian Obsession alone for a few days. . . .
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  #28  
Old 02-18-2008, 05:53 PM
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Yes, very good book. And, you are right, Victoria loathed her grandchildren marrying into Russian intrigue and backwardness.
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  #29  
Old 02-18-2008, 07:08 PM
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I don't remember Victoria being particularly anti-Russian. At some point she seemed to be anti-anything but British. If her daughters or granddaughters couldn't marry a Brit she seemed to want them to marry a small German nobleman who would live in England with his wife.

I'm not so sure of Ella but Alix was definitely raised as a British lady rather than a German aristocrat.
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  #30  
Old 02-18-2008, 07:15 PM
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Y, is that because Ella was so much older than Alix? When did Alice die? I believe Alice's influence on Ella was much stronger than Alix--being the younger, of course--and did that have more influence in their personalities and upbringing?
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Old 02-18-2008, 07:18 PM
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Wel the war in the Crimea might have fueled Victoria's dislike for Russia but even before that she wasn't overly exited about the country and esp. about the Romanovs. I believe she found them somewhat loose (affairs with ballerina's and such), though she usually said nice things about Alexander III and Minny (as she was a sister of her own daughter in law AND they led a family life without any scandals and such. Apart from that she might disagreed with an autocratic rule as opposed to her own constitutional rule in the UK, though I can not remember a book that ever researched that part.

Added to that, Victoria dreaded the 'Royal Mob' in general, even her Rumpenheim relatives (she disliked Queen Louise of Denmark too I believe as she found her too fond of gossip).

Anyway, her dislike for the Romanovs didn't prevent 3 of her grand daughters from marrying a Russian.
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  #32  
Old 02-18-2008, 07:21 PM
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Added to that, Victoria dreaded the 'Royal Mob' in general, even her Rumpenheim relatives (she disliked Queen Louise of Denmark too I believe as she found her too fond of gossip).
Well, what else were they going to talk about except who was sleeping with whom?
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Old 02-18-2008, 08:34 PM
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Y, is that because Ella was so much older than Alix? When did Alice die? I believe Alice's influence on Ella was much stronger than Alix--being the younger, of course--and did that have more influence in their personalities and upbringing?
Alix was 6. Her mother died in 1878. Ella was staying with her paternal grandparents at the time. She didn't come home until after her mother and little sister were dead.
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  #34  
Old 02-18-2008, 09:26 PM
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Wel the war in the Crimea might have fueled Victoria's dislike for Russia but even before that she wasn't overly exited about the country and esp. about the Romanovs. I believe she found them somewhat loose (affairs with ballerina's and such).
Interesting Marengo. I think all of Britain found the Russians a bit loose. Robert Massie has a wonderful account of Nicholas' coronation and a British diplomat's re-telling of his horror of daringly cut necklines, large jewels hung in indiscreet places in the body, too much dancing and not enough decorum.

Victorian British males were probably not accustomed to such wanton display.
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  #35  
Old 02-18-2008, 09:30 PM
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Ella: Princess, Saint and Martyr by Christopher Warwick, I haven't read that biography but I do have 'Elizabeth: Grand Duchess of Russia' by Hugo Mager which I found somewhat disappointing.

I believe Ella was indeed enjoying the society of Moscow and St. Petersburg before her husband died and her own sister thought she and her clique were arrogant etc. Not that that was too surprising as Alix basically didn't approve of any relative of course.

Thanks! I don't have the book, I'll have to add it to my list. What didn't you like about Mager's book?
Lexi
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  #36  
Old 02-18-2008, 09:32 PM
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I think you are all correct, but Victoria was a wise woman and, I think, she saw Russia as an unmanageble, backward, dangerous country. She raised Alix as if she were her own daughter and it dismayed her to see this "child", become pat of this scene. She was right.
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Old 02-18-2008, 09:33 PM
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Y, is that because Ella was so much older than Alix? When did Alice die? I believe Alice's influence on Ella was much stronger than Alix--being the younger, of course--and did that have more influence in their personalities and upbringing?
Well if Alice was British, you'd expect Ella to act more British than Alix did but Alix was the one who took her cockney maid and nanny to Russia with her. These were the same English maid and nanny that Alice had taken to Germany with her. They were the source of OTMAA's English and when the family visited England, either Victoria or Edward were horrified with the cockney accents of the tsarevich and grand duchesses and demanded that their English be rectified forthwith!

I don't know as much about Ella's upbringing as I do Alix's.
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  #38  
Old 02-19-2008, 12:24 PM
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Y, Peter mentioned that. And also said they couldn't speak properly. Then with the addition of Gilliard and Gibbes, it didn't help the children much.
Now, Ella, on the other hand, I have read GD Marie Pavlovich's book, said Ella wasn't much of a warm mother that she needed. How were the tutors that she and Serge hired for Marie and Dmitry? How did their education differ than OTMAA's?
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  #39  
Old 08-14-2008, 04:23 PM
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My favourite photos of Ella, I completely love these! She was such a beauty.

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Old 08-19-2008, 08:34 PM
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I'm still in the middle of Christopher Warwicks book on Ella (due to currently reading TRF's book of the month! ) and, of course I skipped ahead and it mentioned that Ella was very much a flirt. I will be most anxious to get back to that and see what was what.
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