I just completed the mystery The Secret Daughter of the Tsar by ?? and it has no lodged the notion of Russia in my brain. I wished to look at the Russian court fashions of the ladies of the “Blessed Family.” I fear this might be a long post, full of glorious portraits of the Russian Empresses and their daughters throughout the 1800s.
The first real consort of the new era from 1801-1825; was Elizabeth Alexeivna (nee Louise Baden). Below as the Grand Duchess of Russia (equivalent to English Princess) prior to her wedding. She was married to Alexander I.
Elizabeth of Russia as she was known, only had two daughters that died as toddlers (she herself died at the age of 47), The lineage does not continue from her. Charlotte of Prussia, who was to become Alexandra Feodorvna was the wife of Nicholas I.
Russians have a thing about “red.”–Like her consort before her Charlotte had a difficult time adjusting to the Russian court. Nevertheless, she had seven children, three of which were daughters. Maria was her eldest daughter who retained her Duchess title by marrying a duke
Grand Duchess Maria Nicolaevna of Russia now Duchess of Leuctenburg, became head of the Imperial Academy of Arts.–Russians also have a thing for big honkin’ jewels, and I must say, they look striking! Below is her younger sister, Olga who went from Grand Duchess to Queen of Wuttemberg.
I am speechless . . . while I adore this hue of blue . . . I am at lost for words for the frock as a whole. She bore no children and devoted her life to social causes including the education of girls and wounded veterans. The last of Charlotte daughters was the fair Alexandra.
Poor Alexandra, she contracted consumption days before her wedding. However, she did become pregnant, but gave birth to the child (a son) three months premature. Both she and her son died that same day. The next consort below was Marie of Hesse or Empress Maria Alexandraovna to us, plebeians.
While I appreciate novelty, I cannot say I agree with the way the strands of pearls used as dreads/locks of hair is becoming on her. She ended up having eight children, two of which were daughters. She must have been loved by the Russian people for producing so many spare heirs. However, her eldest daughter, beautiful as she was died of infant meningitis around the age of six years. Her surviving daughter was Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia who later became Duchess Saxe-Coberg and Gotha and Duchess of Edinburgh.
In essence, she was Queen Victoria’s daughter-in-law through her second son. I did not find any painted portraits of her, since it was becoming more fashionable to pose for photographs. You know how the Royals are, always at the forefront of technology. Beneath is the last Empress of Russia during the 1800s (albeit, the fated Alix, Nicholas II’s wife and Queen Victoria’s granddaughter was truly the last Empress of Russia, period).
Dagmar of Demark later Empress Maria Feodrovna of All the Russias was Empress Alix’s formidable mother-in-law. I absolutely adore this portrait in all its splendor! Maria/Dagmar gave birth to six children, two of which were girls. Grand Duchess Xenia (yes, like the warrior princess) was the eldest.
Grand Duchess Xenia in all her Russian glory. Can you imagine the hours that went into making that garb?! She was the sister of the ill-fated Nicholas II. Lastly, is little Grand Duchess Olga.
Seen here wearing the traditional outfit of the Russian monarchy. Oh, if this photograph was in color, could you imagine the splendor?