Thursday, January 24, 2019

January 24, 1779 - Birth of the Empress Elizabeth Alexeievna

"Today, on your birthday, my dear Eliza, I write this letter in response to yours, passed by Amelia [Elizabeth's sister]. May Heaven grant you happiness and bliss in this world! This is my most heartfelt and ardent desire! But for this, you should adhere to the principle that you have defined for yourself in the form of a motto: patience and perseverance! Remind yourself that it was Providence that determined your place; leaving it voluntarily would be a sign for the disgruntled."

-Extract from a letter written by the Margravine of Baden to her daughter the Empress Elizabeth on the latter's birthday on January 24, 1811.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

New Portrait of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna

A lovely portrait of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna by little-known Russian artist, Ekaterina Ieronimovna Viskovatova, 1896. 
This particular painting of the Grand Duchess is currently on display at the Buckingham Palace as part of the exhibit, "Russia, Royalty and the Romanovs"
Courtesy: The Royal Collection

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

In Remembrance of the Martyrdom of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth

Grand Duchess Elizabeth from a black-and-white photo,
colorized by Klimbim

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna of Russia. She, along with other members of the extended Imperial Family, were murdered by Bolsheviks on July 18, 1918, in the Siberian town of Alapayevsk. Their death, even with those of the Tsar and his family, a day before, were one of the bloodiest chapters on the history of Russia. 

As a commemoration to this beautiful and selfless woman, who has been an inspiration to me for so many years already, here are quotes from her cousin and admirer, Queen Marie of Romania:

"Aunt Ella, on these occasions was so fairy-like an apparition that I would like to dip my pen in colour, so as to be able to make her live again, if only for a moment, because eyes that have never beheld her will never be able to conceive what she was. With that divine smile curving her perfect lips, with a blush on her cheeks, only comparable to almond-blossoms, and an almost bashful look in her long-shaped, sky-blue eyes... Her gown, heavily embroidered in silver, is a colour which is neither blue nor green, the colour of glaciers or of aquamarine; her kokoshnik of emeralds and diamonds is truly a halo for her angelic face, and the gorgeous jewels, covering arms and throat, have, when she wears them, the aspect of gifts, piously offered to some beloved saint."
"Aunt Ella, beautiful, beautiful Aunt Ella, may something of my love for you reach you in that faraway country where you rest in a martyr's grave. Now you are in the Holy Land, the victim of this world, too dark for your light."

Saturday, September 9, 2017

The Austrian Empress and the Russian Grand Duchess


"The Grand Duchess was always terribly interested in everything that concerned the Austrian Empress. Perhaps, some envy played a part in this, since the Empress was famous for her beauty. So, for example, the Grand Duchess often asked: "Is my hair as beautiful as the Empress? Do you not find that I am like her?" I remember how she once interrogated someone who has newly returned from Vienna, where he was traveling with an order to Emperor Franz Joseph, Adjutant-General von Stühler: "Who is more beautiful, the Austrian empress or I?" General Stühler, slightly embarrassed, replied: "If the Austrian empress is the most beautiful woman on Earth, your Highness is undoubtedly the most beautiful princess! "The Grand Duchess was satisfied with this answer."

--From the "Memories of a Shipwrecked World" by Countess Kleinmichel.

Monday, September 4, 2017

The idol of Moscow

"As for Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, she was the idol of Moscow, the soul of every charitable enterprise and the ornament of every meeting. She was not shy, like her sister, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, she knew how to talk to anyone about anything. She was everywhere, she knew everyone, and if her help was needed, she would render it with both hands. She had a rare gift of sympathy and understanding, which enabled her to enter into the position of each person."
-From the memoirs of Princess Lydia Leonidovna Vasilchikova, 1886-1919
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