Alexandra Feodorovna
Empress consort of Russia
Alexandra Feodorovna
Alix of Hesse and by Rhine later Alexandra Feodorovna Romanova, was Empress of Russia as spouse of Nicholas II, the last Emperor of the Russian Empire. Born a granddaughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, she was given the name Alexandra Feodorovna upon being received into the Russian Orthodox Church, which canonized her as Saint Alexandra the Passion Bearer in 2000.
Alexandra Feodorovna's personal information overview.
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Visite du tsar Nicolas II et du président Emile Loubet - L'Union
Google News - over 5 years
Son épouse l'impératrice Alexandra Feodorovna arrive avec le président Loubet dans une voiture tirée par six chevaux, escortée par un régiment de Spahis. Sur l'air de « Sambre et Meuse », les 6 000 soldats de la 1re division d'infanterie défilent en
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Balurile de legendă inspiră Casa de bijuterii Van Cleef and Arpels - Cotidianul
Google News - over 5 years
Timp de mai multe săptămâni, croitorese iscusite şi bijutieri au lucrat pentru a satisface dorinţele ţarinei Alexandra Feodorovna. Marea Ducesă Elisabeth, soţia lui Nicolae al II-lea, a decis de a oferi un bal consacrat Rusiei secolului al XVII-lea
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Faberge eggs offer feast for the senses -
Google News - over 5 years
It was presented to Czarina Alexandra Feodorovna in 1896, the year of the coronation of her husband, Nicholas II, Russia's last emperor. The work was her favourite, displayed on her desk until the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917
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Virginia museum displays Faberge treasures -
Google News - over 5 years
It was presented to Czarina Alexandra Feodorovna in 1896, the year of the coronation of her husband, Nicholas II, Russia's last emperor. The work was her favorite, displayed on her desk until the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917
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Royal Fabergé - Jóia Br
Google News - over 5 years
Outro destaque é um magnífico Ovo de Páscoa Imperial encomendado pelo Czar Nicolau II para a Czarina Alexandra Feodorovna, em 1901. Confiscado durante a Revolução Russa em 1917, o Basket of Flowers Egg é decorado com ouro, esmalte e diamantes e foi
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Monaco : Tout est « fastes, grandeur » et volupté aux Cours d'Europe... - Paris Côte d'Azur
Google News - over 5 years
Le tsar était, entre ses résidences d'été de Tsarkoïe Selo ou Gatchina, fortement lié à la Côte d'Azur, sa mère Alexandra Feodorovna passant ses hivers à Nice. Nostalgie slave d'une autre époque. Un voyage qui se clôt après l'Italie, entre Turin et
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Best pictures from the past 24 hours - Globe and Mail
Google News - over 5 years
The egg, acquired by Queen Mary in 1933, was originally a gift from Tsar Nicholas II to Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna in 1914. It will be on display during the summer opening of Buckingham Palace which starts on July 23. Competitors ride in the rain in
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Rare Fabergé on show at palace - Evening Standard
Google News - over 5 years
The collection includes an Imperial Easter egg with an ornate basket of flowers that was commissioned by Tsar Nicholas II for Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna in 1901. Also going on display are a miniature gold tea set that originally belonged to Queen
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The Largest Collection of Fabergé in the United States is On View at the ... - Art Daily
Google News - over 5 years
Two important loans from the collection are the extraordinary and delicate Lilies of the Valley Basket - the favorite possession of Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna - and the Imperial Napoleonic Egg of 1912, both key works in the Fabergé oeuvre
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Q&A with "Fabergé Revealed" curator Géza von Habsburg - Lynchburg News and Advance
Google News - over 5 years
Between 1895 and 1916, Czar Nicholas II presented Fabergé eggs every year both to his mother and to his wife, Czarina Alexandra Feodorovna (with the exception of 1904/05, the years of the Russo-Japanese War). Of the 50 eggs, 42 have miraculously
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ANTIQUES; Fabergé Pieces From Forbes
NYTimes - almost 15 years
''Talking about Fabergé with a collector is almost like playing tennis,'' said Alexis de Tiesenhausen, the head of Christie's Russian works of art department. ''You have to send the ball back and forth.'' Mr. Tiesenhausen was discussing his clients, buyers of Fabergé works originally commissioned by the Romanovs, European royalty and
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A Brief Walk Through Time
NYTimes - about 15 years
My old sauntering buddy Danny got an offer he couldn't refuse, if he had been given the chance. A friend asked Danny's wife, Annie, if he'd like to walk across India with him. She refused, instantly and authoritatively. ''No,'' she said, ''he has enough trouble with traffic lights and curbs. He can't handle tigers.'' Somehow this thwarted adventure
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ANTIQUES; Collecting Russian Treasures
NYTimes - about 16 years
The world of Russian antiques and works of art is unlike any other. Sales are affected by past and current Russian politics, world politics, Russian nostalgia and the international art market. There are also vast differences between the markets in London and New York. Alexis de Tiesenhausen, Christie's Russian specialist in New York and London,
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BALLET REVIEW; Memories of a (Perhaps) Princess
NYTimes - over 17 years
If only Kenneth MacMillan's ''Anastasia'' were a novel. Then one could skim over its loquacious bits and finally be gripped by a thrilling conclusion. But ''Anastasia'' is not a novel. It's a three-act ballet that entered American Ballet Theater's repertory on Thursday night at the Metropolitan Opera House. And it cannot be skimmed. The production
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A Murdered Child And a Media Assault
NYTimes - about 19 years
YOU'VE seen it on the covers of books by Donald J. Trump and other celebrities, the well-known name paired with another that is not. ''Tears of Rage,'' written by the host of ''America's Most Wanted,'' John Walsh, with Susan Schindehette, a senior writer for People who worked on the book at her home in Southold, follows the convention. Their
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Antiques; Romanov Treasures Still Rule
NYTimes - about 19 years
The Romanovs are coming. Whether it's Russian literature, poetry, ballet, art or pre-Revolutionary dynastic tragedy, Americans can't seem to get enough of the Romanovs. When the Faberge exhibition came to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1996, it broke all attendance records for a decorative arts show. This year we have ''Anastasia,'' an animated
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ART REVIEW;Multiple Uses For Faberge
NYTimes - about 21 years
TO get the most out of "Faberge in America," the blockbuster in a jewel box that is beginning its 5-stop, 16-month national tour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I recommend the multiple-personality approach. This show, which has been organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, is visually seductive and historically interesting, but it
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NYTimes - over 31 years
Malcolm Forbes, the magazine publisher, yesterday paid $1.76 million for a bejeweled Easter egg, created in 1900 by Faberge for Czar Nicholas II. While the price set an auction record, it also established a record of even greater interest to Mr. Forbes. Until yesterday, the only other major collector of Faberge eggs in the world was the Soviet
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NYTimes - almost 34 years
EXHIBITIONS of antiques and decorative arts that focus on British creators and collectors form an important part of the ''Britain Salutes New York'' festival, which opened this week. Whether the works are Russian Faberge, Dutch engraved glassware or British silver, the selections represent some the finest examples of artistry and craftsmanship
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Alexandra Feodorovna
  • 1918
    Age 45
    On the window frame of what was to be her last bedroom in the Ipatiev House, Alexandra scrawled a swastika, her favourite good luck symbol, and pencilled the date 17/30 April 1918.
    More Details Hide Details In May, the rest of the family arrived in Yekaterinburg. They had not been able to travel earlier due to the illness of Alexei. Alexandra was pleased to be reunited with her family once more. Seventy-five men did guard duty at the Ipatiev House. Many of the men were factory workers from the local Zlokazovsky Factory and the Verkh-Isetsk Factory. The commandant of the Ipatiev House, Alexander Avadeyev was described as "a real Bolshevik". The majority of witnesses recall him as coarse, brutish and a heavy drinker. If a request for a favour on behalf of the family reached Avadeyev, he always gave the same response, "Let them go to hell!!" The guards in the house often heard him refer to the deposed tsar as "Nicholas the Blood-Drinker" and to Alexandra as "The German Bitch". For the Romanovs, life at the Ipatiev House was a nightmare of uncertainty and fear. The Imperial Family never knew if they would still be in the Ipatiev House from one day to the next or if they might be separated or killed. The privileges allowed to them were few. For an hour each afternoon they could exercise in the rear garden under the watchful eye of the guards. Alexei could still not walk, and his sailor Nagorny had to carry him. Alexandra rarely joined her family in these daily activities. Instead she spent most of her time sitting in a wheelchair, reading the Bible or the works of St. Seraphim.
    Nicholas, Alexandra and their daughter Maria arrived at the Ipatiev House on 30 April 1918.
    More Details Hide Details On entering their new prison, they were ordered to open all their luggage. Alexandra immediately objected. Nicholas tried to come to her defence saying, "So far we have had polite treatment and men who were gentlemen but now -" The former Tsar was quickly cut off. The guards informed him he was no longer at Tsarskoe Selo and that refusal to comply with their request would result in his removal from the rest of his family; a second offence would be rewarded with hard labour. Fearing for her husband's safety, Alexandra quickly gave in and allowed the search.
  • 1917
    Age 44
    Alexandra and her family remained in Tobolsk until after the Bolshevik Revolution in November 1917, but were subsequently moved to Bolshevik controlled Yekaterinburg in 1918.
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    The Provisional Government formed after the revolution kept Nicholas, Alexandra, and their children confined in their primary residence, the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo, until they were moved to Tobolsk in Siberia in August 1917, a step by the Kerensky government designed to remove them from the capital and possible harm.
    More Details Hide Details From Tobolsk, Alexandra managed to send a letter to sister-in-law, Xenia Alexandrovna, in the Crimea, "My darling Xenia, My thoughts are with you, how magically good and beautiful everything must be with you – you are the flowers. But it is indescribably painful for the kind motherland, I cannot explain. I am glad for you that you are finally with all your family as you have been apart. I would like to see Olga in all her new big happiness. Everybody is healthy, but myself, during the last 6 weeks I experience nerve pains in my face with toothache. Very tormenting... We live quietly, have established ourselves well Tobolsk although it is far, far away from everybody, But God is merciful. He gives us strength and consolation "
  • 1915
    Age 42
    When the tsar travelled to the front line in 1915 to take personal command of the Army, he left Alexandra in charge as Regent in the capital Saint Petersburg.
    More Details Hide Details Her brother-in-law, Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich recorded, "When the Emperor went to war of course his wife governed instead of him." Alexandra had no experience of government and constantly appointed and re-appointed incompetent new ministers, which meant the government was never stable or efficient. This was particularly dangerous in a war of attrition, as neither the troops nor the civilian population were ever adequately supplied. She paid attention to the self-serving advice of Rasputin, and their relationship was widely, though falsely, believed to be sexual in nature. Alexandra was the focus of ever-increasing negative rumors, and was widely believed to be a German spy at the Russian court. World War I put what proved to be unbearable burden on Imperial Russia's government and economy, both of which were dangerously weak. Mass shortages and hunger became the daily situation for tens of millions of Russians due to the disruptions of the war economy. Fifteen million men were diverted from agricultural production to fight in the war, and the transportation infrastructure (primarily railroads) was diverted towards war use, exacerbating food shortages in the cities as available agricultural products could not be brought to urban areas. Inflation was rampant. This, combined with the food shortages and the poor performance by the Russian military in the war, generated a great deal of anger and unrest among the people in Saint Petersburg and other cities.
  • 1914
    Age 41
    Nicholas and Alexandra intended that both their older daughters should make their official debuts in 1914 when Olga was nineteen and Tatiana seventeen, but the First World War began, and the plans were cancelled.
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  • 1912
    Age 39
    From 1912 onwards, Alexandra came to rely increasingly on Rasputin and to believe in his ability to ease Alexei's suffering.
    More Details Hide Details This reliance enhanced Rasputin's political power, which was seriously to undermine Romanov rule during the First World War. Rasputin's perceived interference in political matters eventually led to his murder on 30 December 1916. Amongst the conspirators were the nobleman Prince Felix Yusupov, who was married to Nicholas II's niece, Princess Irina of Russia, and Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, a first cousin of Nicholas. Newspaper reporter Michael Smith wrote in his book that British Secret Intelligence Bureau head Mansfield Cumming ordered three of his agents in Russia to eliminate Rasputin in December 1916. The outbreak of World War I was a pivotal moment for Russia and Alexandra. The war pitted the Russian Empire of the Romanov dynasty against the much stronger German Empire of the Hohenzollern dynasty. When Alexandra learned of the Russian mobilization, she stormed into her husband's study and said: "War! And I knew nothing of it! This is the end of everything."
    In 1912, Alexandra finally revealed the truth about Alexei's illness, in confidence, to her mother-in-law and Nicholas's sisters, but the knowledge soon reached a limited circle of courtiers and relatives.
    More Details Hide Details The revelation backfired on Alexandra, since she was now blamed for Alexei's frail health and, because it had first appeared among Queen Victoria's children, his condition was known to some as "the English disease," adding to the element of foreignness that clung to Alexandra. Increasingly, she became an unpopular figure with the imperial family, the aristocracy and the Russian people. During the Great War, her German birth further inflamed this hatred and made her the immediate and primary focus for almost any aspect of opposition to the monarchy.
  • 1904
    Age 31
    Three more years passed before the Empress gave birth to the long-awaited heir: Alexei Nikolaevich was born in Peterhof on 12 August 1904.
    More Details Hide Details To his parents' dismay, Alexei was born with hemophilia, an incurable bleeding disease. Grand Duchess Olga was reportedly shy and subdued. As she grew older, Olga read widely, both fiction and poetry, often borrowing books from her mother before the Empress had read them. "You must wait, Mama, until I find out whether this book is a proper one for you to read," Olga wrote. Alexandra was close to her second daughter, Tatiana, who surrounded her mother with unvarying attention. If a favour was needed, all the Imperial children agreed that "Tatiana must ask Papa to grant it." During the family's final months, Tatiana helped her mother move from place to place, pushing her about the house in a wheelchair. The third Grand Duchess, Maria, liked to talk about marriage and children. The tsar thought she would make an excellent wife. Maria was considered the angel of the family. Anastasia, the youngest and most famous daughter, was the "shvibzik," Russian for "imp." She climbed trees and refused to come down unless specifically commanded to come down by her father. Her aunt and godmother, Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, once recalled a time when Anastasia was teasing so ruthlessly that she slapped the child.
  • 1902
    Age 29
    In 1902, it was also suggested that if Nicholas and Alexandra were to sponsor the canonisation of Seraphim of Sarov, Alexandra would give birth to a son.
    More Details Hide Details Imperial pressure from the tsar led to the church canonising him in 1903. Imperial interference in the canonisation process, which forced the Church to disregard the established rules regarding canonisation, led to an outcry from both laity and clergy alike. Alexandra lived mainly as a recluse during her husband's reign. She also was reported to have had a terrible relationship with her mother-in-law, Maria Feodorovna. The Dowager Empress had tried to assist Alexandra in learning about the position of empress, but was shunned by the younger woman. Unlike other European courts of the day, in the Russian court, the position of Dowager Empress was senior in rank and precedence to that of the tsarina—a rule that Maria, with the support of Nicholas II, enforced strictly. At royal balls and other formal Imperial gatherings, Maria would enter on her son's arm, and Alexandra would silently trail behind them according to court protocol. It did not help that Maria tended to be extremely possessive of her sons. In addition, Alexandra resented the ostentatiously considerate treatment of Maria by her husband the tsar, which only slightly evaporated after the birth of their five children. For Maria's part, she did not approve of her son's marriage to a German bride and was appalled at her daughter-in-law's inability to win favour with the Russian people. In addition, Maria had spent seventeen years in Russia prior to her coronation with Alexander III; Alexandra had a scarce month to learn the rules of the Russian court (which she seldom ever followed), and this might have contributed to her unpopularity.
  • 1901
    Age 28
    Through her, Alexandra was introduced to a mystic by the name of Philippe Nizier-Vachot in 1901.
    More Details Hide Details Philippe enjoyed a brief influence over the imperial couple, until he was exposed as a charlatan in 1903 and was expelled from Russia.
    It was in fact, the last time that grandmother and granddaughter would see each other, and when Queen Victoria died in January 1901, pregnancy with her fourth daughter Grand Duchess Anastasia prevented Alexandra from attending the funeral in London.
    More Details Hide Details Unlike her predecessor and mother-in-law, Alexandra was heartily disliked among her subjects. She came off as very cold and curt, although according to her and many other close friends, she was only terribly shy and nervous in front of the Russian people. She felt her feelings were bruised and battered from the Russians' "hateful" nature. She was also frowned upon by the wealthy and poor alike for her distaste for Russian culture (her embrace of Orthodoxy notwithstanding), whether it was the food or the manner of dancing. Her inability to produce a son also incensed the people. After the birth of the Grand Duchess Olga, her first-born child, Nicholas was reported to have said, "We are grateful she was a daughter; if she was a boy she would have belonged to the people, being a girl she belongs to us." When her "sunbeam" Alexei the Tsarevich was born, she further isolated herself from the Russian court by spending nearly all of her time with him; his haemophilia did little to distance their close relationship. She associated herself with more solitary figures such as Anna Vyrubova and the invalid Princess Sonia Orbeliani, rather than the "frivolous" young Russian aristocratic ladies. These women were constantly ignored by the "haughty" tsarina.
  • 1896
    Age 23
    In addition to her five live-born children, Alexandra allegedly suffered a miscarriage in the summer of 1896, presumably because she became physically exhausted during her coronation festivities, and a phantom pregnancy in August 1902.
    More Details Hide Details Alexandra's health was never robust and her frequent pregnancies exacerbated the situation. Without exception, however, her biographers, including Robert Massie, Carrolly Erickson, Greg King and Peter Kurth, ascribe the semi-invalidism of her later years to nervous exhaustion from obsessive worry over the fragile tsarevich. She spent most of her time in bed or reclining on a chaise in her boudoir or on a veranda. This immobility enabled her to avoid the social occasions that she found distasteful. Alexandra regularly took a herbal medicine known as Adonis Vernalis in order to regulate her pulse. She was constantly tired, slept badly and complained of swollen feet. She ate little, but never lost weight. She may have suffered from a very rare condition of high levels of the thyroid hormone, which can lead to atrial fibrillation. The tsarevich Alexei was born during the height of the Russo-Japanese War on 12 August 1904. He was heir apparent to the throne of Russia, and Alexandra had fulfilled her most important role as tsarina by bearing a male child. At first the boy seemed healthy and normal, but in only a few weeks' time it was noticed that when he bumped himself, his bruises did not heal. He would bleed from the navel and his blood was slow to clot. It was soon discovered that Alexei suffered from haemophilia, which could only have been transmitted from Alexandra's side of the family.
    Alexandra Feodorovna became Empress of Russia on her wedding day, but it was not until 14 May 1896 that the coronation of Nicholas and Alexandra took place inside the Kremlin in Moscow.
    More Details Hide Details The following day, the coronation celebrations were halted when the deaths of several thousand people became known. The victims had been trampled to death at the Khodynka Field in Moscow when rumours spread that there would not be enough of the food being distributed in honour of the coronation for the thousands who had gathered there. The relatively small numbers of police in attendance could not maintain order, and thousands were crushed in the ensuing stampede. In light of these events the tsar declared he could not go to the ball being given that night by the French Ambassador, the Marquis de Montebello. Nonetheless his uncles urged him to attend so as not to offend the French. Nicholas gave in, and he and Alexandra attended the ball. Sergei Witte commented, "We expected the party would be called off. Instead it took place as if nothing had happened and the ball was opened by Their Majesties dancing a quadrille." Alexandra was affected by the loss of life, "The Empress appeared in great distress, her eyes reddened by tears" the British Ambassador informed Queen Victoria. Although Alexandra and Nicholas had visited the wounded the day after and offered to pay for the coffins of the dead, many Russians took the disaster at Khodynka Meadow as an omen that the reign would be unhappy. Others used the circumstances of the tragedy and the behaviour of the royal establishment to underscore the heartlessness of the autocracy and the contemptible shallowness of the young tsar and his "German woman".
  • 1895
    Age 22
    Almost one year after her marriage to the tsar, Alexandra gave birth to the couple's first child: a girl named Olga, who was born on 15 November 1895.
    More Details Hide Details Olga could not be the heir presumptive due to the Pauline Laws implemented by tsar Paul I: priority in the order of succession to the Russian throne belonged to male members of the Romanov dynasty, however distantly related to the Tsar, so long as any remained alive. Olga was well loved by her young parents. Three more girls followed Olga: Tatiana on 10 June 1897, Maria on 26 June 1899 and Anastasia on 18 June 1901.
  • 1894
    Age 21
    The marriage with Nicholas was not delayed. Alexandra and Nicholas were wed in the Grand Church of the Winter Palace of St Petersburg on 26 November 1894, the birthday of Nicholas's mother, now Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna, when court mourning could be somewhat relaxed. The marriage that began that night remained exceptionally close until the pair was assassinated simultaneously in 1918.
    More Details Hide Details The marriage was outwardly serene and proper but based on intensely passionate physical love. The wedding of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna was performed so soon after the death of Nicholas' father that even the bride wrote to her sister: "Our wedding seemed to me, a mere continuation of the funeral liturgy for the dead Tsar, with one difference; I wore a white dress instead of a black one." Many people in Russia took the arrival of their new Empress so soon after the death of Emperor Alexander as a bad omen:"She has come to us behind a coffin. She brings misfortune with her."
    In April 1894 Alix's brother Ernest Louis, who had succeeded his father as Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine in 1892, was to be married to his first cousin, Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha ("Ducky"), daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and his wife, Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia.
    More Details Hide Details The wedding brought a number of relatives to Coburg, Germany, for the festivities, including Queen Victoria herself (who had arranged the marriage), the Prince of Wales, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, and the Empress Frederick, mother of the Kaiser and eldest daughter of the Queen. As well as being Queen Victoria's godchild, Victoria Melita, as a granddaughter of Tsar Alexander II through her mother, was also a first cousin of Nicholas. The tsesarevich headed up the Russian delegation, which included three of Nicholas's uncles; Vladimir, Sergei and Paul, and two of his aunts by marriage; Elizabeth Feodorovna and Maria Pavlovna. The day after his arrival in Coburg, Nicholas proposed to Alix, and she rejected him on the grounds of her refusal to convert to Orthodoxy. However, after pressure from the Kaiser, who had told her that it was her duty to marry Nicholas, and her sister Elizabeth, who tried to point out the similarities between Lutheranism and Russian Orthodoxy, she accepted Nicholas's second proposal.
  • 1890
    Age 17
    Alix was married relatively late for her rank in her era, having rejected a proposal from her cousin Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale (the eldest son of the Prince of Wales) in 1890, despite strong familial pressure.
    More Details Hide Details Though Queen Victoria had intended for Alix to be Britain's future queen, she relented, accepting Alix's objections as indicative of her strength of character. Alix had already met and fallen in love with Grand Duke Nicholas, heir to the throne of Russia, whose mother, Empress Maria Feodorovna (Dagmar of Denmark), was a sister of the then-Princess of Wales, and whose uncle Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich was married to Alix's sister Elisabeth. Alix and Nicholas were related to each other via several different lines of European royalty: the most notable was their shared great-grandmother Princess Wilhelmina of Baden, mother of Alix's paternal grandfather Louis III, Grand Duke of Hesse, and Nicholas's paternal grandmother, Empress Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, making them second cousins via this line; and King Frederick William II of Prussia, who was simultaneously the great-great-grandfather of Alix and the great-great-great-grandfather of Nicholas, which in that line made them third cousins once removed.
  • 1887
    Age 14
    She was also present at her grandmother's Golden Jubilee celebrations in 1887.
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  • 1885
    Age 12
    Alix and her surviving siblings grew close to their British cousins, spending holidays with Queen Victoria. With her sister Princess Irene, Alix was a bridesmaid at the 1885 wedding of her godmother and maternal aunt, Princess Beatrice to Prince Henry of Battenberg.
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  • 1884
    Age 11
    Nicholas and Alix had first met in 1884 at the wedding of Nicholas's Uncle Sergei to Alix's sister Elisabeth in St. Petersburg.
    More Details Hide Details When Alix returned to Russia in 1889, they fell in love. Nicholas wrote in his diary: "It is my dream to one day marry Alix H. I have loved her for a long time, but more deeply and strongly since 1889 when she spent six weeks in Petersburg. For a long time, I have resisted my feeling that my dearest dream will come true." Initially Nicholas's father, Tsar Alexander III, refused the prospect of marriage. Alexander III and his wife, both vehemently anti-German, had no intention of permitting a match with Princess Alix and the tsesarevich. Although Princess Alix was his godchild, it was generally known that Alexander III was angling for a bigger catch for his son, someone like Princess Hélène, the tall, dark-haired daughter of Philippe, Comte de Paris, pretender to the throne of France. The prospect of marrying Hélène did not appeal to Nicholas; "Mama made a few allusions to Hélène, daughter of the Comte de Paris," he wrote in his diary, "I myself want to go in one direction and it is evident that Mama wants me to choose the other one." Fortunately for Nicholas, Hélène also resisted, as she was Roman Catholic and her father refused to allow her to convert to Russian Orthodoxy. After appealing to the Pope, who refused to even consider the marriage, the relationship ended. The tsar, despite his anti-German sentiments, then sent emissaries to Princess Margaret of Prussia, sister of German Emperor Wilhelm II, who - like Alix - was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.
  • 1878
    Age 5
    In November 1878, diphtheria swept through the Grand Ducal House of Hesse; Alix, her three sisters, her brother Ernst ("Ernie"), and their father fell ill.
    More Details Hide Details Elisabeth ("Ella"), Alix's older sister, had been sent to visit her paternal grandmother, and thus escaped the outbreak. Alix's mother Alice tended to the children herself, rather than abandon them to doctors. Alice herself soon fell ill and died on the 17th anniversary of her father's death, 14 December 1878, when Alix was only six years old. Alix, Victoria, Irene, and Ernst survived the epidemic, but their youngest sister, Princess Marie ("May"), did not.
  • 1872
    Alix was baptized on 1 July 1872 (her parent's tenth wedding anniversary) according to the rites of the Lutheran Church and given the names of her mother and each of her mother's four sisters, some of which were transliterated into German.
    More Details Hide Details Her godparents were the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Tsesarevich and Tsesarevna of Russia, Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom, The Duchess of Cambridge, and Princess Anna of Prussia. Her mother gave her the nickname of "Sunny," a practice later picked up by her husband, while her British relatives gave her the nicknames of "Alicky" in order to distinguish her from her aunt-by-marriage, the Princess of Wales (and later Queen of the United Kingdom), who, while having the given name Alexandra, was known within the family as Alix. Alix's hemophiliac older brother Prince Friedrich of Hesse and by Rhine ("Frittie") died in May 1873 after a fall when Alix was barely a year old.
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