* boys clothing: European royalty - -Russia Tsarina Alexandria

European Royalty: Russia--Tsarina Alexandria

Figure 1.--This is Princess Alix of Hesse when she was a child abour 1881. This is an illustration. We are nitvsure whi the artist was. We note that Carl Backofen was the Hesse Court photograoher. Her mother was Prince Alice, the daughter of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria.

The story of Nicholas and Alexander is one of the great love stories and most tragic of the 20th Century. The two were devoted to each other throughout their lives. They had five children. The youngest child, Alexis Nicolaievich, was born August 12, 1904. The Czarevich Alexei suffered from hemophilia and was a permanent invalid. There were four daughters. Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia. Alexis during his time of need could always turn to his mother. Unlike some royal mothers who allowed the nursery staff to raise their children, the Tsarina was a hands-on mother and very involved in Alexis' life. Russian public opinion was hostile to the Tsarina. Many disliked her German origins, and she her as cold hearted, caring nothing for Russia and her people. They could not have been more wrong about her. Yet there was no way for them to know why she wouldn't accompany her husband on certain occasions.


Father (Grand Duke Ludwig of Hessen--1837-92)

Louis (Ludwig) IV, Grand Duke of Hesse-Darmstadt has been called a "red-faced bucolic". Some wonder why a girl so intelligent and charming as Alice would have mairred him. The mairrage with a German ruler did place Alice close to her beloved sister Vicky in Berlin. Louis is best known as the father of a Tsarina and ancestor of Lord Louis Mountbatten.

Mother (Princess Alice--1843-78)

The second daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Princess Alice, was born in 1843 and knicknammed Fatima. Queen Victoria was pleased when going through the baby linen and found almost nothing new needed to be purchased. Princess Alice was almost inseperable with her older sister, the Crown Princess Victoria who mairred the Crown Prince of Prussia. Princess Alice was very hurt to learn that her sister's mairrage was kept from her. Princess Alice became Grand Duchess of Hesse and the Rhine. She had strong views favoring the emancipation of women and pursued a livelong interest in education and nursing. Although she died at a tragically young age, her descendents had storied if often tragic lives.


Grand Duke Louis (Ludwig) and Princess Alice has seven children. The oldest son was Ernst Louis who became grand duke. The most well known was Alexandra of course because she married Tsar Nicholas. The youngest sister was Princess May who died of diptheria (1878). It was at this time while caring for the children that their mother, Princess Alice, contracted the disease and died.


Prince Wilhelm as a young man was a frequent visitor to Alix's home. She and her brothers and sisters were not impressed with the mecurial prince who would often insist they drop their games and listen to him read the Bible. She was reportedly an introverted girl. She spent coniderable time in England with her grandmother and thus spoke fluent English. I believe that she was called "Alix" in the family, although some English books refer to her as "Alicky", perhaps so as not to confuse here with Princes of Wales Alexandra who was her aunt.

Crown Prince Nicholas

Nicholas II, the last Russian Tsar or Emperor, was the eldest son of Alexander III and was born on May 6, 1868. Nicholas was born on the Alexander Palace, as the first born child of Tsar Alexander III and Tsarina Maria Feodorovna, of the House of Romanov-Holstein-Gottorp, in the small town of Tsarskoe Selo ("The Tsar's Village" in Russian), near St. Petersburg, the 2nd largest city of the Russian Empire, which at the time occupied an area of 1/6th of the globe and had a vast multi-ethnic population of 130 million subjects.

Wilhelm Promotes Marriage

Princess Aleandra was called Alix. Wilhelm II as Kaiser took a special interest in Alix. As a young man he had frequently visited her family. Alix's mother Princess Alice was Wilhelm's aunt. Wilhelm considered marrying one of Alix's sisters and his brother Henry did actually marry another. Now Kaiser, Wilhelm and and others stronly advised Alix to accept the marriage offer of Tsar Nicholas. Wilhelm had gotten on badly with Nicholas' father, Tsar Alexander III. He hoped to return to good graves by brokering the marriage and perhaps help move Russia away from the dangerous alliance with France (which his peronal interfearnces in foreign policy had make possible).


The Tsarevitch Nicholas had been in love with Princess Alix for some time. She hesitated, in part because a conversion to Orthodoxy would be required, but finally consented. [Battiscombe, pp. 204-205.] Nicholas became Tsar in 1894 after the untimely death of his father, Alexander III, who died from Bright's disease at only 49. Tsar Alexander's death and Tsar Nicholas' marriage took place at almost the same time, casting a palor of gloom over the ceremonies. The story of Nicholas and Alexander is one of the great love stories of the 20th Century. The two were devoted to each other throughout their lives. They had five children. The youngest child, Alexis Nicolaievich, was born August 12, 1904. The Czarevich Alexei suffered from hemophilia and was a permanent invalid. There were four daughters: Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia.

Tsareivitch Alexis

The illfated Tsarevitch is one of the most famous boys in history. He was raised in a loving family, but because of hemophillia, had to even more closely supervised than was normal for a young prince. This in addition to the fact that fear of assaination had made the Russians perhaps more security conscious that any other monarchy in Europe. The hemophillia was maintained as a closely guarded secret, fearing that the pubic knowledge would endanger the royal family. Alexis is perhaps best known for wearing sailor suits, but he wore many other styles as well. This page will describe Alexei and how he was dressed. Information on the family as a whole will be include on the page about his father, Nicholas II.


The illiterate monk Rasputin was born in Siberia, about as far away from the glittering salons in the Imperial Capital of St. Petersburg as one can imagine. He is among history's most shadowy and mysterious characters. He was an individual of starkly different personality traits. He claimed to be a miracle worker. Many believe him more accurately to be a crafty manipulator, especially when he gained access to the Imperial Family. He had very strange religious views. He decided to take them to St. Petersburg in 1905. The church there took him for an aesthetic monk--very far from the truth. The dark brooding Rasputein had an elment of spirituality that contrasted to his crude, outrageous behavior. He was taken as a new age guru in society salons and finaly came to the attention of the Tsarina. Alexandria was interested in faith healing. Rasputein witnesses a serious incident of bleeding in 1907 when Alexis was 3 years old. Rasputein prays at his bed side. For over 10 years, Rasputein repotedly heals Alexis on several occasions. The Tsarina believed that Rasputein had some inexplicable power over the Tsarevich and his deadly episodes of bleeding. Rasputein's feat amazed the doctors treating Alexis who admitted that they had no idea how he did it. This unexplained ability convinced Alexsandra that Rasputein, however unsavory his reputation, could have only been delivered to her by God. This rough monk. no matter how uncultured was to the Tsarina the answer to her heart-felt, pious prayers to God imploring that he save her dear son. Despite his outward appearance, she just could not believe that this man of God could be anything except the instrument of God's protection of her son. Rasputein became a convenient scapegoat for those who did not like the German Tsarina and desired to attack the Tsar's officials and policies, but who dared not confront the Tsar himself. When the Tsar went to the front in 1915, the Trarina begin to dismiss those that spoke up against "Our friend." Rumors spread as Raputein's behavior grew worst. He was finally poisoned, shot, and dumped in an icy river by a group of conspirators. Much new information has come to life in recent years with the discovery of a file prepared by the Bolsheviks. They were collecting information on the royal fmily and advisors before they decided to simply kill the royal family.

Public Image

The introverted Tsarina was never popular in Russia. She was never prepared to beva Russian Tsarina, her childhood experiences were in Germany and England. The Russians considered her a foreigner. She was never able to bridge that gap and never accepted by many. The Tsraina's attachment to Rasputein did not help matters here as Rasputein's own wild tales fed the rumors. This was in part due to the fact that Alexis' hempohilia was kept a secret.

World War I

The First World War sealed the fate of Nicholas and his family. Without the War, Russia may have been able to have evolved into a democratic government. It would have been difficult, but not impossible. The War made such a transition virtually impossible. Horendous losses were suffered in World War I, which Russia entered on the Allied side on August 1, 1914. Russian participation forced the Germans to divide their forces, probably saving France on the western front. Russia's loss of territory, massive casualties and confusion at home were the main reasons for the Second Russian Revolution in February 1917.

Abdication and Assasination

Nicholas II abdicated on March 2, 1917, in favor of his brother Michael. No fool, Michael renounced his claim the next day. After the abdication, the royal family first remained in Czarskoe Selo then, by decision of the interim government, were transported to Siberia. The Bolshevik government in April 1918 decided to move the Imperial family to Ekaterinburg in the Urals. Here Lenin ordered them to be shot on July 17, 1918. The bodies were hidden and have only recently been found and identified. They were given a Christian burial in 199?.


Battiscombe, Georgina. Queen Alexandra (Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1969).


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Created: August 5, 2001
Last updated: 11:54 PM 5/20/2020