Just as they were different in every other way, the four sisters all loved different flowers and their scents.
1648-Tsar Alexei I comes of age to choose a bride. An old Russian tradition was that all of the eligible noble girls would be presented in the hopes of marrying the Tsar. Hundreds of girls would become only a few, being weeded down due to health, looks or other reasons. Finally Alexei came and chose his bride. His tutor Boris Morozov made the arrangements for Alexei to marry Maria Miloslavskaya, while he would marry Maria's sister Anna. The union brought a lot of power to the Miloslavsks, and made Maria's father a boyar. The marriage was considered a happy one and produced 13 children (2 boys and 6 girls survived to adulthood). After Maria died in 1669, many thought that Alexei would never remarry. It seemed that way until he met the young and beautiful Natalia Narishkina who he would later marry and have 3 children with (including Peter the Great).
The Romanov Bride's Crown. Catherine the Great had it made for her eldest grandson's (Alexander I) bride Elizaveta Alexeienva in 1793. Ever since then, every bride, those who were born in or married in, wore these two crowns on their wedding day. The bottom two pictures are of Grand duchess Maria Pavlovna in her wedding day wearing the crowns (1908), and a famous painting of Nicholas and Alexandra (wearing the crowns) on their wedding day, November 26, 1894.
Rasputin and his followers, 1914. Alexander von Pistohlkors is Princess Olga Paley's (2nd and morganatic wife of Grand Duke Pavel) oldest child from her first marriage. Alexander and his wife were both followers of Rasputin and were close to the Imperial family as well. In fact, Grand duchess Olga was the Godmother to their daughter Olga, and Grand duchess Tatiana to their daughter Tatiana. Alexander's relationship impacted his mother, stepfather and half-siblings, allowing them to return to Russia and even after Grand duke Pavel asked Nicholas II to allow a Constitution, remain in the family's favor. Alexander's sister Marianna on the other hand, was accused (one of the only 2 women accused) of participating in Rasputin's murder. Nicholas, knowing his uncle was in poor health, especially after Pavel's son Dmitri was already banished to the Persian Front, didn't punish Marianna (Pavel's stepdaughter). We only know of her alleged involvement because of a letter written by Prince Felix Yusupov to his wife Irina saying "Malanya's also taking part," which was Marianna's nickname. Of course this was 2 weeks before, so it is unknown whether or not she went through with it.
Rasputin and his followers, 1914. The two circled at the far left are Alexander von Pistohlkors and his wife Alexandra von Pistohlkors (who was pregnant at the time). The other woman circled is Anna Vyrubova the famous friend and confidant of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, also the older sister to Alexander von Pistohlkors.
Grand duke Pavel Alexandrovich Romanov (1860-1919). Pavel was the youngest child of Alexander II and his 1st wife Empress Maria Alexandrovna. Growing up, Pavel was always very close to his only (surviving) sister Maria and brother Sergei (who was the closest in age to him). He was considered by all very kind and gentle, very religious, and accessible to people. As all Grand Dukes, he joined the Russian Army and even rose to General (despite his gentle nature). Pavel first married Princess Alexandra of Greece, and they had 2 children together: Grand duchess Maria Pavlovna (1890-1958), and Grand duke Dmitri Pavlovich (1891-1942). Sadly, Alexandra died during premature childbirth with Dmitri, who was also considered dead for a while. Pavel soon fell in love with the commoner Olga Valerianovna Karnovich, who was married at the time. The two soon began an affair and Pavel left his two young children in the care of his brother Sergei and his wife Ella. Pavel and Olga had their son Vladimir while Olga was still married. Soon she got divorced, but Nicholas II refused to grant their marriage. They married in secret, causing scandal, living in exile in France. The couple had two daughters while living in France, Irina and Natalia. Pavel and Olga were later pardoned by Nicholas II, and allowed to return to Russia. Nicholas also gave Olga and their children the title of Prince/ess Paley. WWI broke out and Pavel's military career came back. He tried to get Nicholas to grant a new Constitution in 1916, but failed. Even so, he was very close to the imperial family, even to Alexandra. When the Russian Revolution happened, Pavel was one of the unfortunate victims. Despite his poor health he was placed in the Peter and Paul Fortress where despite his wife's pleas, he never was freed. On January 29th, 1919, Pavel along with 3 of his cousins, was shot and buried in a mass grave. His remains were finally found and identified in 2011.
Ducky and her two husbands. Both of her husbands were her 1st cousins. Ernest was her cousin through their grandmother Queen Victoria, Kyril through their grandfather Tsar Alexander II. The difference between these marriages is quite interesting. Ernest and Ducky's marriage was considered legal through the eyes of the government and the Church. Kyril and Ducky's marriage was not considered legal through the eyes of the government (Nicholas II refused to grant the marriage) as well as thrive the eyes of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Russian Orthodox Church has has rules about marriage between cousins for centuries, and 1st cousins weren't allowed to marry. If 1st cousins did marry, they forfeited their rights and their children's rights to the throne.
Princess Ileana of Romania first met the Tsarevich Alexei in 1914 right before the start of WWI. While they were both quite young, they instantly had a great bond. After growing up after the war, the two met again and fell in love. The two were married and Ileana took the name of Elena Feodorovna. Alexei became Emperor Alexei II of Russia, and Elena now his Empress consort. (Please remember that this is all my personal story of what could happen between the two)
I'm so so sorry that I haven't been active on here since forever. I've been super busy and have been traveling with no Internet connection. I will try to be more active from now on! ❤
Mathilde (1872-1871) was a prima ballerina on the Mariinsky Theatre. She is famous for being the lover of Tsarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich (future Tsar Nicholas II). Their relationship lasted from 1890-1894, it ended after Nicholas became engaged to Princess Alix of Hesse and he soon became Emperor. Nicholas swewtly nicknamed her "Little K". Mathilde in later years was a key figure in learning more about Nicholas shortly before he became Emperor, who he was, what he thought, how he acted, etc. After her darling Nicky was married and forever out of her reach, Mathilde had an affair with 2 Grand dukes; Sergei Mikhailovich and his cousin Andrei Vladimirovich. In 1902 Mathilde gave birth to a son, Vladimir (known in the family as Vova). It is unknown exactly which Grand duke fathered Vova, but Andrei later adopted him and married Mathilde. Mathilde converted from Catholicism (her family was of Polish origin) to Orthodoxy, taking the name "Maria". After escaping the Russian Revolution, she moved to Paris, opened a ballet school and happily lived there for 50 years, dying there just 8 months short of her 100th birthday in 1971.
"Give my love to all who remember me" - Grand duchess Olga Nikolaevna. Today 97 years ago we lost this family. The world never again would see or hear from Nicky/Nicholas, Alix/Sunny/Alexandra, the bookworm/Olya/Olishka/Olga, the Governess/Tanya/Tatiana, the Angel/the Amiable Baby/Masha/Maria, the Imp/Shizbik Anya/Nastya/Anastasia, and Baby/Sunbeam/Lyosha/Alexei. They are gone, but they will never be forgotten.❤
During the imprisonment and exile of the Romanov family, they lived in these three places. The first was the Alexander Palace, the beloved home of the family that they left, never to see again. There was a story about the front door, Catherine the Great was with her grandson Alexander as she entered the front door of the palace for the first time that she named after him. It is said that the last of the Romanovs exited the palace from this same door the list symbol of their power and past. The second place the Romanovs lived in during their exile was the Tobolsk Governor's Mansion. When Nicholas II was a Tsarevich, he was traveling around the world and one of his stops was Japan, it is known that there was an attempt on his life, and his parents decided to cut his trip short and have him return to them by going through all of Russia. One of his stops on the way back to his family was Tobolsk, where he spent time in the Governor's Mansion, where he said that he enjoyed the home, little did he know that he would come back, this time as a prisoner and in exile in his own country. The next place the Romanovs lived during their exile and imprisonment, was the last place they ever lived, the Ipatiev House or "House of Special Purpose". It is said that when Nicholas, Alexandra and Maria left Tobolsk, they were supposed to go to Moscow to prepare for a trial against Nicholas, instead the Ural Soviets took over the train and sent it to Ekaterinburg as to ensure proper punishment of Nicholas (they were the region who despised him the most). They refused to give him up and put the family in the Ipatiev House, after kicking out the owner. I've said before that Tsar Michael I was found in the Ipatiev Monastery, and Nicholas II was killed in the Ipatiev House, so the Romanov dynasty was born and died in a place named Ipatiev. The Alexander Palace and Tobolsk Governor's Mansion are museums dedicated to the Romanovs, the Ipatiev House was destroyed in the 1970s. In the place where the Ipatiev House once stood there is a cathedral called "Church on the Blood".
Charlotte (1694-1715) was the wife of Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich (1690-1718), and mother of two children Grand duchess Natalia Alexeienva (1714-1728), and Emperor Peter II of Russia (1715-1730) (r.1727-1730). Charlotte was the 2nd daughter of Duke Louis Rudolph of Brunswick-Lunenburg, and his wife Christine Louise. Charlotte grew up in the Polish court of August II, whose consort, Christiane, was a distant relative and Godmother of Charlotte. Growing up in this environment have Charlotte a great education for that time, as well as the opportunity to meet who would be her future husband, Tsarevich Alexei. Politically she was a good match for Alexei, with her sister being married to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI. The pair was married on October 25, 1711 making her the first woman to a foreign born Princess, breaking the tradition of Romanovs marrying from the Russian Nobility. Charlotte was the only Romanov consort to keep her own Lutheran religion, though her children had to be raised Orthodox. Charlotte lived quite an isolated love at court, only enjoying the company of her father-in-law. The first years of marriage to Alexei were happy, until his drinking began to strain their relationship, and caused him to openly take a mistress. Still Charlotte gave him two children, Natalia and Peter. Charlotte died only a few days after the birth of her son Peter. After her death, her children were left to fend fir themselves, as their father had no interest in raising, or even caring for them. Some of the places and people were abusive towards the children causing them to only care about one another. Peter later became Emperor of Russia after the death if his step grandmother Empress Catherine I in 1727, he only lived for three more years dying at the age of 14. Natalia was always by her brother's side constantly caring for him until her early death in 1728 leaving her brother alone.
Natalia was the youngest daughter of Peter I (Peter the Great) and his wife Catherine (future Catherine I). Natalia was born during the Great Northern War (Russia's war with Sweden lasted from 1700-1720). Natalia was named after her aunt, Natalia Alexeienva who died in 1918, the sane year as her niece's birth. Only Natalia and her two elder sisters Anna and Elizabeth were alive to see Russia officially become an empire in 1921and be granted the title of Grand duchess. Shortly after her father died in 1725, Natalia fell ill with measles and died shortly after her father. Since her father was not yet buried at the time of her death, she was placed next to her father and buried at the same time. Her death so soon after the death of her father's weighed heavily on her mother who was now Empress, and caused Catherine to have an emotional breakdown. Natalia was only 6 years old when she died, though she lived longer than most of her siblings, the exceptions being her half brother Alexei (1690-1918), and her full sisters Anna (1708-1728) and Elizabeth (1709-1762).
Here we have three of the most famous Russian imposters. The first is unclear exactly who he was, but the widely accepted version is he was the son of a nobleman named Yuri Otrepyev. Yuri pretended to be Dimitri Ivanovich, the youngest son of Tsar Ivan IV (known as Ivan the Terrible) who was assassinated in 1591 at the age of 8. This False Dimitri was able to get enough followers and enough power that he was able to take the Russian throne, making him the only pretender to Reign. He reigned as Dimitri I from 1605-1606 before a revolt broke out in which he was killed in the Kremlin. The next pretender was Yemelyan Pugachev, a Cossack who pretended to be the assassinated Tsar Peter III. He led the famous Pugachev's Rebellion against Catherine the Great, gaining many followers with promises such as the end of serfdom. The rebellion lasted from 1773-1774. It ended with the capture of Pugachev and his execution in 1775. The last famous pretender was Anna Anderson who pretended to be Grand duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna, youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II. For years many people believed that she was Anastasia, including some members of the Romanov family. Media put out many movies about Anastasia's survival because of her. In 1927, Alexandra's brother Ernest funded a private investigation that showed that Anna Anderson was in fact Franziska Schanzkowska a Polish factory worker. In 1991 after the bodies of Nicholas, Alexandra and 3 daughters were found, DNA evidence showed that Anna Anderson was in fact in no way related to the Romanovs. Anna Anderson died in 1985 of Pnemonia. Even today people still believe her story and in Anastasia's survival.
Self-portraits by Grand duchess Olga Alexandrovna. Olga was an avid artist who as seen here was quite skilled as a painter. All of the Romanov children learned art, and many were talented. The one in the right was painted in 1920, I'm not sure about the left image.
Peter III was the grandson of Peter the Great by his wife daughter Anna. Soon after his aunt Elizabeth took the throne he was taken from Germany to be trained as her heir, though it was soon realized that he had many issues. Peter was extremely loyal to Prussia and anything Prussian- he refused to even learn Russian only speaking German, he also loved the military and playing with military dolls. He came to the throne in 1762 and ruled for only 6 months before a coup put his wife Catherine on the throne and resulted in his death at 34 years old. The son of Peter III, Paul I shared the same fate as his father. Paul waited the 34 years of his mother's reign to become Tsar. He like his father was pro-Prussian as well as eccentric, very militaristic, along with a love of military dolls. Paul was extremely unpopular just like his father and 4 years into his reign he too was killed at 46 years old in a coup that placed his eldest son Alexander on the Russian throne. The next unlucky Tsar, was the grandson of Paul, Alexander II. Alexander II was the "Tsar Liberator" who freed the serfs. Many felt that he did not do enough, others that he did too much. There were 7 attempts on Alexander's life, the last one finally killing him after 26 years on the throne at the age of 62. Alexander's grandson Nicholas II was the last official Tsar who too had attempts on his life before he died. Nicholas is the last official Tsar of the Russian Empire, and abdicated in 1917 a year before his death in 1918. Nicholas ruled for 23 years, and died at the age of 50. While unofficial, Tsar Ivan VI who was deposed as an infant ruling for only a year, could also be seen as an assassinated Tsar as he was killed at the age of 23, the brother of Nicholas II, Grand duke Michael and the son of Nicholas II, Tsarevich Alexei can audio be seen as assassinated Tsars as they both can be seen as the successor of Nicholas II they died at ages 39 and 13 respectively.
In the Romanov family, the name Alexandra seemed to have bad luck when it came to the women who had the name. Grand duchess Alexandra Pavlovna was the eldest daughter of Tsar Paul I, she died when only 17 years old giving birth to a daughter who died the same day. The next unlucky Alexandra was Alexandra Feodorovna (nee Charlotte of Prussia) wife of Nicholas I, all her life she was sickly and after the Decembrist Revolt she had horrible neurological problems that plagued her fit the rest of her life and died in her sleep at the age of 62. Grand duchess Alexandra Nikolaevna was the next unfortunate girl, banned after her aunt, she shared the same fate dying at only 19, her son dying shortly after birth. Grand duchess Alexandra Alexandrovna was the eldest child of Alexander II, she died at the age of 6 of infant meningitis. The last cursed Alexandra was Alexandra Feodorovna (nee Alix of Hesse) wife of Nicholas II, plagued by illness real or imaginary all her life, she also gave her only son and heir the dreaded disease, Hemophilia, and was executed by the Bolsheviks at the age of 46.