Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Queen and the Empress

Queen Louise of Prussia and Empress Elizabeth Alexeievna of Russia

In 1809, Tsar Alexander I and the Empress Elizabeth welcomed King Frederick William III of Prussia and Queen Louise in St. Petersburg. The lovely and vivacious Prussian queen managed to charm the whole court, even the Empress Elizabeth herself. The sight of these two beautiful women together caused quite a sensation at the Russian court. Apparently, Louise and Elizabeth instantly "clicked" and they were to become very good friends. Observers were quick to notice the physical resemblance between the two and Joseph de Maistre, Sardinian ambassador to Russia wrote in his memoirs:
"[Queen Louise] has often been compared to the reigning Empress [Elizabeth]. The Queen may be a beautiful woman, but the Empress is a more beautiful sovereign."
After the Prussian couple's departure, Queen Louise and Empress Elizabeth continued writing to each other. Louise wrote to Elizabeth about her and her husband's return to Berlin:
"Our entry was a very touching experience. The people received us with the utmost joy. We could feel that they welcomed us with all their hearts. The King has never been more popular. We see only friendly faces everywhere. God be thanked that we are again in Berlin. Whatever we may still have to endure will be more easily endured here."
Elizabeth was very fond of the Prussian queen. She confided to her mother her thoughts about Louise:
"There is no need for me to measure my words and exercise prudence in speaking of the Queen of Prussia. It is impossible for anyone to be more delightful, more easy to get on with than she is. I cannot think how those reports about her affectation and coquetry originated. I have never seen a trace of any such thing. She was extremely sociable, and one could note the liveliness of her natural disposition. Her relations with the King were quite a pleasure to me. In society she was sure of her position and quite at her ease. Alone with me she was genuinely friendly and confidential. If there is any shade in her portrait I assure you it is barely perceptible."

1 comments:

Jenny said...

These are very fascinating and touching quotes, Gem! It's very interesting glimpse on the relationship between two of Europe's beautiful crowned heads.

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