Friday, August 29, 2014

The Daughters of Emperor Paul I of Russia

The daughters of Emperor Paul I: (From left to right:)
Alexandra, Elena, Maria, Catherine and Anna 

Emperor Paul I of Russia and his second wife, Empress Maria Feodorovna, née Princess Sophia Dorothea of Württemberg, had six daughters: Alexandra, Elena, Maria, Catherine, Olga, and Anna. All of the grand duchesses, with the exemption of Olga who died when she was only two years old, married into the royal houses of Europe. Shy and gentle Alexandra married the Archduke Joseph of Austria and lived in Hungary; sensitive and altruistic Elena became a Princess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin when she married Friedrich-Ludwig, Hereditary Prince of Mecklenburg-Schwerin; intelligent and artistic Maria married Grand Duke Karl Friedrich of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and presided over the cultural development of Weimar; vivacious and strong-willed Catherine was first married to Prince George of Oldenburg and after his death she married the future King William I of Württemberg; and the youngest and sombre Anna became a Dutch queen when she married King William II of the Netherlands.

Emperor Paul, beyond his purported eccentricities and cruelty, was a doting and devoted father to his children, while the Empress Maria was a woman of strong character who was determined to maintain unity and order within her large family. The grand duchesses thus grew up in an idyllic atmosphere of happy family life. They were educated to a high standard, and were taught the necessary skills for their future roles as consorts. Duty has always comes first before one's self. But behind the glittering palace rooms and dazzling court life where these grand duchesses spent their childhood, their lives would never be easy. As they faced a future of uncertainty, it was but their only desire to be of good use to their adoptive countries that made them strive, above all else, to be dedicated consorts and overcome their ever-present longing for their beloved Russia.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

"A world of our own..."

Louis IV and Princess Alice, Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Hesse
"If I say I love my dear husband, that is scarcely enough - it is a love and esteem which increase daily, hourly; which he also shows to me by such consideration, such tender loving ways. What was life before to what it has become now? There is such blessed peace being at his side, being his wife, there is such a feeling of security; and we two have a world of our own when we are together, which nothing can touch or intrude upon. My lot is indeed a blessed one; and yet what I have done to deserve that warm and ardent love which my darling Louis ever shows me? I admire his good and noble heart more than I can say."
-Princess Alice's letter to her mother Queen Victoria, 1862.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Powered by Blogger