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  #381  
Old 05-29-2011, 12:27 AM
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I think there was more of a general dislike against Alexandra which intensified after Russia entered into the war against Germany. Many countries were rightfully becoming concerned about Germany's aggressive stance and growth during this period of time, which did not help those princesses which married into royal families opposed to German aggression. However, I don't think the Russians disliked Alexandra because she was German but after growing to dislike her public persona, it became easy to append the country of her birth to any mention of her as an additional slur.

As for her attitude, Alexandra loved the Russian people and was ashamed of her native country's position and attitude towards others which precipitated the war. And with her upbringing at Hesse by Princess Alice before she died and yearly visits to Windsor to see Grandmama, Alexandra was more of a Brit than a true German.
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  #382  
Old 05-29-2011, 02:57 AM
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No, Alix was neurotic and plain unpleasant. Minnie, who was Danish and charming put the spotlight on her daughter-in-law's short comings.
This is true.Minnie played the game and cultivated the courts favor and Alexandra never did which was a huge difference between them.
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  #383  
Old 05-29-2011, 05:59 AM
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Well now, isn't this fascinating!!! It is generally accepted that when unrest occurs anywhere it always filters down from where the power lies - the top, so when disarray and lack of focus happen within the few members in any boardroom, sooner or later there will discontent in the masses. Imperial Families NOT exempt!!! When I asked who held responsibility for A's being disliked-leaving out A, herself!!! I suspected "the Uncles" all of whom could probably have done a better job than Nicky. However, the respondents to my last post have all named Minnie, albeit, in a last sentence, and it struck me that the damage possible for her to inflict was without limit!!! I suspect the biggest thing for her was the German issue which A could never get round. Leaving aside the undoubted trauma and grief Minnie was experiencing, did she, from the outset, unconsciously-or otherwise-snub A, who at that stage, may have welcomed a warm and loving relationship with her MIL, but we're looking at cause and effect here and perhaps Minnie found it all too easy to say, with a smile, words which would cause an unattractive red flush to stain A's face and neck. Socially adept, it wouldn't have been difficult for M to cause huge public discomfort to this naive, nervy,socially inept girl-even more enjoyable for her if her performance was being watched and such fun to talk about it later. Was M spiteful? She clearly was not prepared to play second fiddle to any younger woman let alone a German one......and how might A have responded to what could be seen as a cleverly veiled drip of venom? I think she might have felt powerless. She could prove nothing, M was loved and protocol was all. We know WHAT she did, we have the books. My own interest lies in WHY and I can't get away from feeling that a more generous Minnie could have, had she chosen, made life easier for and been more supportive of A, gentle encouragement may have erased some of those aspects of her personality that make her difficult to warm to. Did Minnie ever take any responsibility for the lack of closeness in her relationship with Alicky or did she lay the blame solely on Alicky?
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  #384  
Old 05-29-2011, 09:26 PM
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I don't think Minnie ever took any responsibility for the lack of a close relationship between her and Alix. Society followed Minnie's lead and if she kept a distance from Alix, then so did society. Of course, if Alix had been smarter, she could have gotten around Minnie somehow but her pride and perhaps crippling anxiety kept Alix on the frine of society, with no protectors and no defenders.

I wish I could remember exactly where I read this but I recall a passage in a book which said that Minnie's mother, the Queen of Denmark, implored Minnie to have a warmer relationship with Alix because the Queen had a bad relationship with her own daughter-in-law and knew first hand how destructive and harmful that was. But it appears that Minnie did not listen to her own mother.
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  #385  
Old 05-30-2011, 04:47 AM
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Minnie's unfortunate sister-in-law, who didn't have a good relationship with her mother-in-law, must have been Louise of Sweden, who eventually became queen of Denmark. Yes, poor Louise never was all that popular with her in-laws, only her money was.

It's also interesting to note, that Minnie was able to escape the revolution, but her son and his family weren't. How did that happen? Was it only because she was more popular than her son and (especially) her daughter-in-law were?
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  #386  
Old 05-30-2011, 07:52 PM
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Marie was undoubtedly more popular than her son and daughter-in-law but I am not sure that alone insured her safety. Most likely it was geography -- after meeting with Nicholas when he abdicated, I believe Minnie went to Kiev and then from there travelled south to the Crimea. She was placed under a sort of house arrest but was left pretty much alone. However, when things turned really bad for the royalty and aristocracy of Russia, Minnie was at last persuaded by her sister, Queen Alexandra of England, to flee Russia on HMS Marlborough.
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  #387  
Old 06-02-2011, 03:12 PM
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I think Alix was also unpopular due to her association with 'Father' Gregoriy Rasputin. Those of us who are familiar with the history of the last Imperial Family of Russia know that his presence at court was tolerated (and I use that term very loosely) because of Aleksey's illness. Alix was convinced that GR was helping her child, and refused to see reason when advised to get rid of him. Now, the public was not aware of the situation with the heir, and therefore didn't understand why someone like Rasputin, who lived a rather debauched life, would be welcomed at the Imperial Court. Hence, the rumors started and the idea that the Empress was having an affair with this man was taken as fact. I remember reading in Greg King's biography of Alix that Nicky didn't really push the Rasputin issue because he felt it would be better to 'have one Father Gregory than ten fits of hysterics a day'.

Add to all this the fact that Alix was naturally shy and may very well have suffered from social anxiety, and you get a woman who is basically isolated, and not really known at court or outside of the palace. The fact that Empress Maria Feodorovna was keen on putting emphasis on Alix's faults added more fuel to the fire, and I can only guess isolated the younger Empress even more. I think overall, the Rasputin situation along with shyness and a mother-in-law who wasn't supportive added and contributed to the unpopularity of Alix. I do think the whole process was started when she did indeed arrive 'behind the coffin' of Tsar Aleksandr III.
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  #388  
Old 06-02-2011, 03:49 PM
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Daria,

Excellent observations. Keeping Alexei's illness from the public was understandable and Nicky did give in to Alix's wish to keep Rasputin near to protect their son. But I think, even if the public knew about all of this, the Romanov dynasty was doomed because of economic, social and political factors: the poverty of the majority of Russians; the inequality between the classes; Alix's interference with government; and the war which exacerbated every other problem and killed millions of good people.
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  #389  
Old 06-02-2011, 04:50 PM
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VM I read somewhere, I can't remember if it were the Crawfords book on Michael or another, however they said there might have been a chance to save the monarcy if N & A would have had Alexi on the throne iwth Michael as regent letting the public know of his illness--not specifics, just to cull the publics sympathy. Well all know that was a snowball's chance of happening, however, it is an interesting what if.
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  #390  
Old 06-02-2011, 10:22 PM
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Russo my dear,

I really must get the Crawford book. There are probably many things in that book which I have not read elsewhere. I do recall in Massie's book that there was talk of Alexei being put on the throne but Nicholas would not hear of it because of the boy's illness and because he did not think Alexandra could be parted from her son. It is an interesting "what if" to consider what might have been if Alexei took the throne under a regency.
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  #391  
Old 06-03-2011, 03:10 PM
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Here's an Amazon link. I got my copy from the library. Mr. Russo is NOT happy at the amount of books I currently have as it is!
Amazon.com: Michael and Natasha: The Life And Love Of Michael Ii, The Last Of The Romanov Tsars: Rosemary A. Crawford, Donald Crawford: Books
That is where I learned that Grand Duke Dmitri was in love with Natasha and not Olga like some had claimed.
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  #392  
Old 06-03-2011, 10:45 PM
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Russo my dear,

Thank you for the link. I do most of my book buying from Amazon so in a couple of clicks the deed was done and the book will soon be residing on my shelf. I look forward to reading the history of the Romanovs from Michael's perspective.
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  #393  
Old 06-03-2011, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Vasillisos Markos View Post
But I think, even if the public knew about all of this, the Romanov dynasty was doomed because of economic, social and political factors: the poverty of the majority of Russians; the inequality between the classes; Alix's interference with government; and the war which exacerbated every other problem and killed millions of good people.
But other monarchies in Europe have survived to this day, even if they now have become constitutional and only have ceremonial powers. I guess the situation in Russia was extreme though, and the monarchies of Germany, Austria and Turkey were also abolished around the same time. But I personally would have preferred, if Russia had been able to keep their monarchy somehow, but with less autocracy, rather then having them suffer from the Soviet Union for seventy years.
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  #394  
Old 06-04-2011, 01:16 AM
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As I've stated the Dowager Empress didn't help her daughter-in-law at all when she repeatedly helped to spread rumors about Alexandra that were swirling around and even put in a few of her own! Marie was loved by the Russian people, but she was a nasty woman to Alexandra. History would not have changed, but Marie could have helped a great deal if she had stood up for Alexandra and squashed rumors and put on a united front with her, at least in public. The whole situation was a sad tragedy of errors and rumors.
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  #395  
Old 06-04-2011, 02:17 AM
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Marie knew before they got married that Alexandra was not cut out to be an Empress of Russia and she turned out to be right. Alexandra was very pig headed and didn't want to hear other people's opinions; and when they came to her with concerns she just wrote them off and perhaps barred them from her inner circle.
Of course I wasn't alive during the time when Imperial Russia existed; but man do I wish they were still around. They just seem to be at the top of the food chain when it comes to royalty and have the best palaces, jewels, names, history etc.
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  #396  
Old 06-04-2011, 04:17 AM
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"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned"........or, perhaps like an Empress widowed too early. Jealousy comes in many guises.
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  #397  
Old 06-04-2011, 09:02 PM
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Maria had little reason to be jealous of Alexandra. She was lovely, charming and well loved. Alexandra could have aspired to those attributes, but she was petty, over religious and neurotic. Which would you choose?
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  #398  
Old 06-05-2011, 07:17 AM
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Countess, on the intellectual level you are right, but as intellect and emotion are polarised, I find myself wondering if it was something more than grief that gnawed in Marie when she watched a socially inept girl, who she had always believed to be an unsuitable bride for her son, performing badly-or not at all-those functions which she, herself, had performed so affortlessly well. She must have hated having to stand down from prime position.
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  #399  
Old 07-04-2011, 01:03 AM
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I think that the biggest problem came from the fact that Alexandra was so reitring and unsuited to Court life. Like it or not, any royal consort has to be sociable and out there, meeting people, staying informed and making sure that the RF was seen as caring.

Alexandra was also unbalanced in her devotion to religion and she was also unnaturally prejudiced against the Court/courtiers who could have protected her from the revolution and they could have accepted her if she had at least tried to make a change of herself. Many were ready to welcome her and so was the nation. Another fatal mistake was hiding her son's medical condition and isolating her daughters from other people their own age and despite the secrecy, people KNEW something was horribly wrong, they just didn't know what.

She was also more ambitious than able (in regards to affairs of state) and Nicholas failed on more than one occasion to help facilitate changes that would have eliminated the need for a full blown revolution, along with all the butchery that followed. He could have granted a constitution sooner and then proceeded to relinquish absolute power and then he owuld have neutralized the Bolsheviks easily. Many became Communist and atheists mainly because relying on "God's Will" wasn't working when it seemed like God wasn't listening or helping.

The Imperial Family was being raised in a cult-like environment where their healthy growth was horribly stunted and they had no life of their own, just each other. I think personally Alexandra was sick in the head and Nicholas was a total doormat and they were a disaster waiting to happen. There was no ideal and while they were nice enough, niceness isn't enough when you have millions depending on your correct decisions.
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  #400  
Old 07-05-2011, 04:05 PM
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I think your take on the whole situation Cat is rather spot on! :thumbsup:
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