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  #61  
Old 03-12-2009, 07:06 PM
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I've re-read Michael & Natasha and nowhere in there is there any allusion to Jewish ancestry or religious beliefs by the Countess Brasova. She would have had to prove Orthodox baptism and confirmation in order to have been married in the Serbian Orthodox Church to GD Michael, which of course is how they were married religiously.

How on earth did Nathalie go from being an Orthodox Christian and hereditary noblewoman to being Jewish in Tsarist Russia? That would be quite a story indeed - if there is any truth to it.

Like Grace Angel, I'd like to see a source on this.
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  #62  
Old 03-12-2009, 08:46 PM
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Yes, I'd be surprised if she was Jewish she'd even have been allowed to marry morgantically into the Romanov family or had she and Mikhail got away with marrying anyway there might have been more backlash than there was. The opposition to her marriage with Mikhail ( they married abroad, without permission) was due to the fact she was a commoner and divorcee, both heavily disaproved of. Thanks for looking it up in the Mikhail and Natasha book. I'd read the book but it was years ago and I no longer own a copy, so you were very helpful.
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  #63  
Old 03-13-2009, 10:33 PM
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An interesting discussion about Grand Duke Michael and his wife...

I have stumbled upon the discussion about Grand Duke Michael and his wife Nathalie.
Quote:
Sarai on March 15, 2004, 05:59:16 PM
... [snipped] It is unfortunate that this couple had to live at a time when divorce was so looked down upon. The authors write, "The uncompromising views of the Dowager Empress, for example, were shared with no less absolute conviction in England by her sister Queen Alexandra, as well as by her daughter-in-law the Empress Alexandra. Their doors were closed firmly in the face of any divorcee, as were those of hostesses, royal or otherwise, who continued to believe, and would go on so believing for half a century more, that divorce was a disgrace which condemned both guilty and innocent parties to the shadows" (pg. 34). [my bolding and snipped] ...
Reference:
Crawford Rosemary and Donald, "Michael and Natasha"
http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=61.0
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  #64  
Old 03-14-2009, 02:14 PM
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What would we do without you, Al Bina?

I find it interesting that the Orthodox faith permitted divorce but that the leaders of society still frowned strongly upon it. Having the information that you just forwarded, it seems doubly odd that Ducky (Victoria Melita) was rehabilitated as a Grand Duchess after her divorce from the Grand Duke of Hesse and remarriage to G.D. Vladimir.

Dagmar is someone I really wish I could have known, even from a position of mere personal observation.
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  #65  
Old 03-19-2009, 07:42 PM
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Having the information that you just forwarded, it seems doubly odd that Ducky (Victoria Melita) was rehabilitated as a Grand Duchess after her divorce from the Grand Duke of Hesse and remarriage to G.D. Vladimir.
But don't forget Ducky was a Princess in her own right and a grand daughter of Victoria's. Natasha was just a divorcee and somewhat common. There was a BIG difference between the situations.
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  #66  
Old 03-19-2009, 10:21 PM
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Yes, eventually the furor over Ducky and Kyril's marriage died down. Natasha has been called kind of a Wallis Simpson type figure, although I'm not sure she was. Natasha was after love and not at all fame or fortune. She knew the opposition her marriage faced from the Romanov family. She was not only once divorced, but I believe twice. Society looked down on divorce then, but what to many royal families was worse was marriage to a commoner. I would have liked to meet Marie Feodorovna too. She faced many things in her life, but unlike Alexandra, wife of Nicholas II, she made the best of things and was quite popular as a result. Marie Feodorovna seems to have been practical.
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  #67  
Old 03-20-2009, 08:40 PM
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She also seemed to be a lot of fun like her sisters (though not as deaf). I think I read it in Fate of the Romanovs where they said Mrs. Wulfert was an adventuress and ordered Misha around a lot. I will have to find that info.
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  #68  
Old 03-28-2009, 05:05 PM
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I've read too that Natasha was an adventuress etc, I think some people thought that because she was a commoner and divorcee' marrying into the Imperial Family. She certainly had quite an impression on men- Grand Duke Dmitri P was quite affected by her as the book Michael and Natasha shows. MF was indeed not deaf unlike her sister Alexandra. I don't think Thyra, MF's other sister was deaf. Alexandra of England and MF were more interesting than Thryra, their other sister, or perhaps Thyra is just less famous.
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  #69  
Old 04-08-2009, 09:39 AM
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It was true love between Maria Feodorovna and ALexander III. He was for her a real mold. By the way, thanks to Maria Feodorovna, the christmas tree became one of the integral part of New Year in Russia.
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  #70  
Old 04-08-2009, 12:30 PM
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I never read/heard that before, but it makes sense about her introducing the Christmas tree. I know that Albert, husband of Queen Victoria introduced the Christmas to England, it was a German custom. Dagmar of course had German origins as well as Danish.
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  #71  
Old 04-08-2009, 05:57 PM
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Marie and Nixa did become emotionally attached and exchanged poetry during the engagement. Nixa and Sasha were complete opposites: Nixa was intellectual and refined whereas Sasha was "bear-like" and less educated (since he wasn't expected to be Tsar). Nevertheless, Marie and Sasha complemented one another and had a very happy marriage.
I am not surprised that Sasha fell in love like Nixa did, even if he had loved someone else before. Marie (along w/ her sister Alexandra) was probably one of the most attractive and charming princesses of her generation. And her social and glamourous personality made her very suited to the Russian court, especially as its Empress.
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  #72  
Old 04-08-2009, 09:52 PM
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That's true. Dagmar had a far happier marriage than Alexandra of England did, though, luckily for her. Alexander III was an excellant husband, unlike Edward VII of England.
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  #73  
Old 04-09-2009, 07:29 PM
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That's true. Dagmar had a far happier marriage than Alexandra of England did, though, luckily for her. Alexander III was an excellant husband, unlike Edward VII of England.
Bertie was good to Alexandra, in his way. . . So it was a successful marriage, as royal marriages go. . .
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  #74  
Old 04-09-2009, 08:36 PM
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I guess I was judging by modern standards. Edward VII had several serious mistresses and was famously unfaithful, while Alexander III was a paragon of marital fidelity. But Alexandra's marriage wasn't as bad as some royal marriages of the time. I just think Dagmar's was really the ideal royal marriage of the time, or one of them, by modern standards.
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  #75  
Old 04-10-2009, 07:17 PM
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I guess I was judging by modern standards. Edward VII had several serious mistresses and was famously unfaithful, while Alexander III was a paragon of marital fidelity. But Alexandra's marriage wasn't as bad as some royal marriages of the time. I just think Dagmar's was really the ideal royal marriage of the time, or one of them, by modern standards.
Well it's all Victoria's fault for falling madly in love with Albert and wishing a love match for all her children and grand children.
But Bertie was in love with his wife, though yes, he was a notorious run around. I wonder if that weren't to prove something since Victoria would never let him in on her meetings.
But, as it is, Alexandra and Dagmar did very well for themselves being Danish princesses.
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  #76  
Old 04-10-2009, 08:04 PM
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I think Bertie's social life etc was because Victoria didn't let him have anything to do with goverment, I agree. I don't think it was to prove anything, it was merely because he had nothing better to do, although he certainly liked high society life anyway. He liked to entertain and be around people. Dagmar was like that too, whereas Alexander III liked to be home. Alexandra of Denmark certainly participated in her husband's social life, but she wasn't as much of a social butterfly as Dagmar, perhaps because of her deafness.
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  #77  
Old 04-13-2009, 08:00 PM
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I wonder how much it cost to entertain Alexander and Marie as opposed to Bertie and crew. It was said in that one book we read for the TRF book of the month club that people went into considerable debt entertaining Bertie.
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  #78  
Old 04-13-2009, 11:35 PM
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Dagmar was also lucky that she was more or less, de factor first lady of Russian society, even as Tsesarevna. Her mother-in-law the Empress, Marie of Hesse was not sophisticated or social to fit well into the Russian court (could be a Hessian thing as Alix was the same way). Furthermore, Marie predeceased Alexander II, which meant when Dagmar did not have to compete with a Dowger Empress as Empress. Unique to the Russian court, the Dowger Empress outranked the Empress, causing friction between Empresses, like Dagmar and Alix.
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  #79  
Old 04-14-2009, 01:59 AM
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I wonder how much it cost to entertain Alexander and Marie as opposed to Bertie and crew. It was said in that one book we read for the TRF book of the month club that people went into considerable debt entertaining Bertie.

This is off topic, but the British aristocracy running themselves into debt to enterain the RF was nothing new in Bertie's time. The progresses of the Tudors across the countryside during the summers called for nobles to entertain them at their estates, and so the nobles did, running a lot of debt in the process. The Russian aristocracy was perhaps more wealthy than the British aristocracy, and of course, the Romanovs themselves were very wealthy. The wealth of the Yusupovs ( Russian noble family) outstripped that of the Romanovs even.
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  #80  
Old 04-14-2009, 07:55 PM
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This is off topic, but the British aristocracy running themselves into debt to enterain the RF was nothing new in Bertie's time. The progresses of the Tudors across the countryside during the summers called for nobles to entertain them at their estates, and so the nobles did, running a lot of debt in the process. The Russian aristocracy was perhaps more wealthy than the British aristocracy, and of course, the Romanovs themselves were very wealthy. The wealth of the Yusupovs ( Russian noble family) outstripped that of the Romanovs even.
Indeed, Yussopov's book, Lost Splendor talks about that.
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