Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna
Marriage of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna is called holy matrimony, and its date – November 26 – is remembered in Russia. Let’s find out why it was so successful.
5 years of waiting
Love to Alexandra Fedorovna, then Hessian Princess Alice, was the first love of Nicholas II. Feeling was born when he was 16, and she was only 12! But the future tsar saw his wife in Alice. Princess’s relatives named their baby Sunny, and Nicholas was already thinking about the wedding.
“My dream is to marry Alice someday. I fell in love with her in 1889, when she spent six weeks in St. Petersburg. All this time I did not believe that my dream can come true”- Nicholas wrote in his diary.
For five years he had been waiting for the marriage, for five years he had been praying, and wrote a diary on the first page of which there was a picture of his Alice. He wrote: “The Savior told us: “All that you ask for, God will give you”. And for five years, every night, I had been asking God to give Alice to me as a wife”. Five years later, the lovers got married to be together until their death.
Despite their highest position in society, the Emperor and the Empress lived a quite simple life, trying to bring up children in severity.
It is known that Nicholas preferred soup and porridge to fine French dishes, and instead of expensive wine he could drink ordinary Russian vodka. Emperor swam in the lake along with other men. And the behavior of Alexandra during the war is known to many people – she and her daughters worked as nurses in the hospital. Evil tongues discussed it and said that the simplicity would reduce the authority of the royal family, or that the Empress hated Russian and helped the German soldiers. But Alexandra and her daughters worked at the hospital from morning till night.
There are a lot of evidence that Nicholas and Alexandra easily communicated with soldiers, peasants and orphans – with every simple man. Alexandra taught her children that all are equal before God, and they should not be proud of their position in society.
It’s difficult to imagine royal family swimming with a kayak. Nicholas II had a passion for kayaking since childhood. 13-year-old prince was presented with his first kayak. Many relatives of the future monarch knew about his love to water, and Nicholas often received a boat or kayak as a gift for birthdays. Alexandra shared her husband’s passion.
From the first years of marriage Empress Alexandra worked with schools, hospitals, prisons. During the famine of 1898 Alexandra spent 50 thousand rubles on charity – it was the eighth part of the annual family income. Living in the Crimea, the Empress took active part in the life of tuberculosis patients who came to Crimea for treatment. She rebuilt sanatoriums using her own money.
They say, the Empress was a born nurse, and the wounded were happy when she visited them. Soldiers and officers often asked her to be with them during difficult operations.
Diaries and letters of the royal family are becoming increasingly popular in Russia and abroad. Young couples are looking for recipes how to maintain a strong and happy family there. And they find!
Here are some quotes :
“The meaning of marriage is to bring joy. Marriage is a divine rite. This is the closest and the most holy union on earth. After marriage, the principal duties of husband and wife are to live for each other, give each other new life. Marriage is a combination of two halves together. They are responsible for the happiness of each other.”
“The crown of love is the silence.”
“It’s a great art to live together and love each other. It must start with the parents themselves. Each house is like its creators. Rude people will make their house rude.”
Small and large gifts to each other were an important part of Romanov’s family life. In one of her diaries the Empress wrote: “The husband and wife should constantly show signs of the most tender love and attention for each other. Happy life consists of separate minutes, of small quickly forgotten pleasures: the kiss, smile, kind eyes, small compliment, but good thoughts and sincere feelings. Love also needs her daily bread.” Notes of the Empress weren’t just a theory but her daily life.
She loved to do surprises for Nicholas and children on various occasions. And her husband appreciated and shared this tradition. Perhaps the most famous and the most traditional gift in their home was Faberge eggs for Easter. One of the most touching and beautiful eggs is Clover (1902). It’s a four leaf clover with twenty three diamonds, and four miniature portraits of the four daughters of the Tsar: Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia inside.
Honeymoon for 23 years
All families remember the day of the wedding, but Alexandra and Nicholas annually celebrated … even their engagement day. On April 8 they always were together and parted for the first time when they were over forty. In April 1915, the emperor was at the front, but he received a warm letter from his beloved: “For the first time in 21 years we spend this day not together. But I remember, my dear boy, what happiness and love you have given me over the years …” After so many years of living together the Empress wrote that she kissed Nicholas’s pillow when he was not there.
No wonder, other contemporaries said, with some envy: “Their honeymoon lasted for 23 years …”
On the day of the wedding, Alexandra wrote in Nicholas’s diary: “When this life is over, we will meet again in another world and will stay together forever”.