Monday, October 19, 2020

Russian Emperors----

Ivan IV of Russia.

Emperor of Russia
Grand Prince of Moscow

His alleged lover was:
Fedor Basmanov.

"Prince Dmitry Fedorovich Ovchinin-Obolensky was executed probably in 1564. . . According the the Italian traveller Guagnini he was killed for accusing Ivan's favourite, Fedor Basmanov, of pederastic relations with the tsar. His father, Fedor Vasil'evich Telepnev-Ovchina-Obolensky, namestnik and voevoda of Starodub, was taken prisoner by the Lithuanians in July 1535. . . Dmitry must, therefore, have been nearer thirty than twenty." (Prince A. M. Kurbsky's History of Ivan IV: 180)

Alexei I of Russia

Tsar of Russia

Husband of:
1. Maria Miloslavskaya.
2. Nataliya Kirillovna Naryshkina (1651-1694) mar 1671
Peter III of Russia

Emperor of Russia

His lovers were:
1) Sophia Stepanovna Razumovskaya (1746-1803)

2) Yelizaveta Romanovna Vorontsova (1739-1792)
Russian aristocrat, courtesan & imperial mistress.

Daughter of: General Roman Vorontsov.

". . . At age sixteen he was married off to the charming and highly intelligent fifteen-year-old Princess Sophie von Anhalt-Zerbst, the future Catherine the Great. . . From the beginning Peter treated her with boorish scorn. . . The union brought neither party anything of the fulfillment and joy they had been led to expect. . . Peter's attention soon gravitated to some of the royal courtesans, particularly to Countess Elizaveta Vorontsova, who openly became his mistress. This limited and impulsive woman was given to drink, for which Peter himself quickly developed a lifelong predilection. While the grand duke cavorted with this homely, largely useless mistress, Catherine bided her time in the confines of her quarters. . . . " (Troubetzkoy: 18)

"Soon after the birth of Paul, Catherine's position was threatened when Peter fell in love with Yelizaveta Vorontsova, the niece of the vice-chancellor, whose ugliness and stupidity were the topic of much amusement around the capptal. They seemed to have had no sex life, but Vorontsova won Peter's heart because she encouraged his fantasies and enjoyed participating in his games. Indeed, the heir was so infatuated with his new love that he wanted to divorce his wife and marry his mistress. This, however, was out of the question without his aunt's approval. . . . " (Julicher: 137)

"Vorontzova, Elizaveta Romanovna – (1739 – 1792), Russian Imperial mistress. Countess Elizaveta Vorontzova was the second daughter of Count Roman Ilarionvich Vorontzov, and his wife Martha Surmina, the daughter of a wealthy merchant. Her younger sister was the famous memoirist Princess Dashkova. Ugly and sallow skinned, her face marked badly from an attack of smallpox, Elizaveta became the mistress of Tsar Peter III, the husband of Catharine the Great. Peter remained devoted to her, despite her drunken and obscene public behaviour, and he is said to have considered divorcing his wife in order to make Elizaveta his legal wife and empress. With the success of the empress, and the death of Peter, Elizaveta was treated generously by Catherine, who provided her with a house in Moscow, and stood godmother to her children after she was married to Colonel Ivan Polyanski, a chamberlain at the Imperial court. Her daughter, Anna Ivanovna Polyanska, served at the court as lady-in-waiting to the Empress, and was later married to Baron d’Hoggier, the Dutch ambassador to the Russian court." (Women of History - V)

" . . . Peter's attention soon gravitated to some of the royal courtesans, particularly to Countess Elizaveta Vorontsova, who openly became his mistress. This limited and impulsive woman was given to drink, for which Peter himself quickly developed a lifelong predilection. While the grand duke cavorted with his homely, largely useless mistress, Catherine bided her time in the confines of her quarters. . . ." (Troubetzkoy: 18)

" . . . It was about this time too, partly out of mere bravado, partly from vanity, and partly, perhaps, as a hint to his wife that she was not indispensable, that he chose for himself a mistress in the person of Elizabeth Vorontsova, the one ugly and stupid member of an exceptionally handsome and gifted family. This lady was the eldest daughter of Count Roman Vorontsov, and the niece of the Grand Chancellor, Count Michael Vorontsov... Elizabeth Vorontsova, if stupid and sulky, was at least warm-hearted and affectionate, and the Grand Duke, who had no fear of snubbing her in society, loved her with all his heart. . . ." (Bain: 31)

" . . . The convent was probably the Uspensky convent; here Agrippina Fedorovna Chelyadnin, sister of Grand Princess Elena's lover, Ivan Telepnev-Obolensky, and governess of Ivan IV, was made to take the veil by the Shuyskys when they took control of the government in 1538. . . ." (Prince A.M. Kubsky's History of the Grand Prince of Moscow: 4)
Paul I of Russia 

Emperor of Russia
Duke of Holstein-Gottorp

Son of: Pyotr III of Russia & Yekaterina II of Russia.

" . . . His father was officially Peter III but Catherine in her diary ascribes his paternity to her lover Sergei Saltykov. . . ." (Letters of Russia and the Soviet Union: 51)

Husband of:
1. Wilhelmina Louisa von Hessen-Darmstadt, Empress Natalia Alexeievna (1755-1776), mar 1773
2. Sophie Dorothea von Wurttemberg, Empress Maria Feodorovna (1759-1828)

His lovers were:
1) Adele Riflon.
Anna Lopukhina-Gagarina
2) Anna Lopukhina (1777-1805)
Lover in 1798.
Russian royal mistress.

Daughter of  Pyotr Vasilyevich Lopukhin

"At Gatchina, Paul showed himself a successor to Louis XIV in the realm of romantic conquest. By 1798 Anna Lopukhina had replaced Catherine Nelidova as the chief mistress, awakening the empress's apprehensions about the loss of her position at court. Paul displayed his mistress proudly at the balls of Gatchina; the liaison clearly was not platonic. She loved to dance at balls and even performed the waltz, which Paul now permitted, despite its connotations of licentiousness. . . ." (Scenarios of Power: 93)

"In fact, the licentious ways of the court encouraged easy virtue. Paul set the example. After long years of marital and extramarital fidelity, he wearied of both his wife, Maria Feodorovna, and his mistress, Catherine Nelidova. Moreover, after the birth of a tenth child (Grand Duke Michael), the doctors had forbidden the Empress to have casual relations with her spouse. Immediately, Kutaissov, a former barber and bootblack who had become His Majesty's intimate adviser, then Master of the Horse, presented to the forty-four-year-old sovereign a young lady of sixteen, Anna Lopukhina, who captivated him with her freshness. Catherina Nelidova was unceremoniously repudiated in favor of the newcomer, a child who was 'neither pretty nor amiable.' but so innocent that Paul's heart was stirred. He showered her with presents, elevated men whom she recommended to him and struck down others, and to protect her from public spite had her marry Prince Gagarin, who would serve as a screen. As soon as the Mikhailovsky Palace was finished, he installed her in an apartment above his own. A secret staircase enabled him to join her every night without being noticed by the servants. But though he hid his goings and comings, everyone knew of them. Still, who would dare criticize him? Lest of all Elizabeth, who since her adventure with Adam Czartoryski had been the focus of the court's curiosity." (Alexander of Russia: Napoleon's Conqueror: 44)

Affair's benefits to the royal mistress & her family.
"After Anna was brought to the capital, the Emperor appointed her father General Procurator and made him Prince with the title of His Serene Highness. Anna herself was showered with awards, including the Order of Saint John. On Paul's urging, the translation of her Hebrew name – 'grace' – was given to warships and inscribed on the standards of the imperial guards. All things considered, Lopukhina's influence on the tsar's irascible character is reckoned to have been beneficial, although the Emperor's constant attention seemed to importune her so much that in 1799 she asked his permission to marry a childhood friend, Prince Pavel Gagarin. After the sovereign acquiesced, Gagarin was recalled from Alexander Suvorov's army then fighting in Italy and the wedding took place on 11 January 1800. The marriage was also to protect her from public spite." (Wikipedia)

" . . . Anna Lopukhina would later become his mistress; her father was shortly appointed procurator-general." (Scenarios of Power: 91)

3) Iur'eva.
" . . . In 1801 he prepared a document to legitimize sons born to him from a mistress, Iur'eva, and spoke of banishing the empress. . . ." (Scenarios of Power: 95)

4) Lubov Bacarat.

5) Sophia Stepanovna Ouchakova.

Yekaterina Nelidova
@ Tumblr 
6) Yekaterina Nelidova (1758-1839)
Maid-of-Honour to Empress Nataliya.

"Friend of Pavel I and his wife Empress Maria. Her friendship with Pavel dated from her appointment as maid-of-honor to his first wife Natalia, but it seems unlikely that she ever became his mistress. She used her considerable influence to protect her friends and relations from the effects of the Emperor's frequent fits of irrational anger, and was even able to save the Empress herself from banishment to Kholmogory in the Archangel Province. She finally succumbed to Court intrigues and her place was taken by Anna Lopukhina. She continued to live in St. Petersburg after Pavel's death and remained the Imperial family's closest friend." (The Memoirs of Princess Dashkova: 318)

7) Avdotya Chernysheva (1693-1747)
Lover in 1708-1725.

Lady-in-waiting of Empress Anna of Russia in 1730-1745.

Daughter of: Prince Ivan Ivanovitj Rzyevskiy and Daria Gavrilovna.

8) Yekaterina Nelidova (1756-1839).

Lady-in-Waiting to Grand Duchess Natalya Alexeyevna and Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna.

Daughter of: Lieutenant Ivan Aleksandrovich Nelidov and Anna Alexandrovna Simonova.

"It was in these disconcerting circumstances that the Nelidova affair occurred. Catherine Ivanovna Nelidova was a graduate of the Smolny Institute for noblewomen and a member of Mariia Fedorovna's entourage. Toward the middle of the 1780s, she became a favorite companion of Paul and was soon rumored to be his mistress, which is unlikely. Their close relationship did not initially disturb Mariia Fedorovna, but eventually, platonic relations or not, jealousy did its work, and when the tensions of the young court became extreme, Nelidova modestly retired to Smolny. At length, however, Mariia Fedorovna discovered in her a sympathetic and unaffected character and an essential ally in the struggle to reason with and to exert a constructive influence on the increasingly willful Paul. They thereupon became inseparable companions. The entire affair is of the more revealing episodes in Paul's biography. (Ragsdale: 23)
Emperor of Russia
Son of: Pavel I of Russia & Sophia Dorothea von Wurttemberg.

Husband of: Marie of Baden, daughter of Karl Ludwig von Baden & Amalie von Hessen-Darmstadt, mar 1793. [YouTube]

Aleksander's physical appearance and personal qualities.

"As an adult, Alexander was widely considered handsome, although portraits show him to have had a prematurely receding hairline and a chubby face. Tall and well-built, he walked with a slightly awkward gait, the result of an injury to his hip sustained after falling from a horse. He was also deaf in one ear (the left) and grew increasingly short-sighted from his late teens onwards. His strawberry blond hair was curtly, his eyes blue, and he wore contemporarily stylish mutton-chop sideburns." (Napoleon and Russia: 59)

Aleksander at aged 40.
" . . . Nearing forty, he had a face as attractive as ever: a rounded oval with a fresh complexion, bright eyes, narrow lips, a balding forehead, hair carefully arranged on the top of his head, and wavy sideburns like silk floss on his cheeks. Every morning he washed his face with a piece of ice to tone his flesh. Being somewhat nearsighted he used lorgnette, and his slight deafness made him bend his head gracefully toward his interlocutors. . . ." (Alexander of Russia: Napoleon's Conqueror: 216)

Aleksander's personality and character.

"Alexander's personality was complex.Indeed, he is often referred to by historians as the enigmatic tsar. Napoleon, ever an astute judge of character, came to sum him up by saying, 'I find there is something missing in him; and I have never managed to discover what it is'. Certain things can be said about Alexander with confidence, however. He undeniably had presence, largely a result of his imposing physique. He could also be charming and was religious, his faith intensifying as he grew older, so that by the time of his death he was practically living the life of a monk. He was typically cautious and had a tendency to be fickle, both with projects and people, one moment seeming to be solidly committed, the next abandoning them, usually when the going got tough. Although he projected an image of modesty, this belied an inner arrogance. . . His own sense of importance led him to develop an urge to have a finger in every pie, to play a personal role in all manner of state activities, great and small. . . He came to believe that he was a man with a mission, chosen by God to lead his people, although he did not always know quite where he should lead them." (Napoleon & Russia: 60)

Aleksander's fascination with women & love life.
"Even as a youngster, Alexander was fascinated by women, in whose company he found greater comfort than with men. In the course of his life, a bevy of women came and went, some of whom exerted a significant influence on his development. For the majority of their years together their marriage was rocked by scandalous infidelities, as Alexander took on a succession of mistresses and she sought solace in the arms of lovers. As the years passed, Alexander slept with his wife only as a matter of duty. Sex to him was 'a many-roomed mansion' and there was nothing pejorative in multiple partners. . . . " (Troubetzkoy, 2002, p. 62)

From one romantic conquest to the next.

"Nevertheless, he was extremely agreeable in the bosom of his family. He surrounded his mother with considerations and even had her take precedence over his wife in official ceremonies. His wife he treated affectionately and respectfully even as he deceived her. Fickle by temperament, he liked to pass from one conquest to the next, often contenting himself with pleasing the lady without pursuing his advantage. Thus he courted the wives of his two friends, Stroganov and Kochubey, had a brief affair with a French singer, Mademoiselle Phillis; succumbed to the charm of another French artist, Madame Chevallier; sighed at the feet of a third, the famous Mademoiselle George; took a passing fancy to Mesdames Bacharach, Kremmer, Severin, and Schwartz, whose husbands looked the other way; and cherished for his very young sister Catherine a passion that was ambiguous, to say the least. . . ." (Alexander of Russia: Napoleon's Conqueror: 70)

Aleksander's collection of 'beauties'.
" . . . In turn, or simultaneously, he took a fancy to Princess Gabrielle of Auersperg, 'the virtuous beauty'; Countess Caroline Szechenyi, 'the coquettish beauty'; Countess Sophie Zichy, 'the vulgar beauty'; Countess Esterhazy, 'the astonishing beauty'; Julie Zichy, 'the dazzling beauty'; and Countess Saaran, 'the beauty of youth.' To this collection of pretty Viennese women were added Metternich's two friends, the Duchess of Sagan and Princess well as a number of young women of less importance. . . ." (Alexander of Russia: Napoleon's Conqueror: 216)

" . . . [A]lthough Alexander professed to hate the dissipation and immorality of his grandmother, his own behavior was hardly exemplary. Aside from the fact that he is believed to have dallied with almost every attractive woman he met, he took the wife of one of his own officials to serve openly as his mistress for some fifteen years. He even encouraged his own wife, with whom he remained on good terms to engage in love affairs of her own. No less inconsistent was his behavior on official occasions: in contrast to his father, he was unfailingly polite and courteous to others and strove to affect an air of humility and modesty. To this end, he wore no jewelry and discouraged displays of pomp in his honor, and traveled without a retinue. . . ." (Renegades, Rebels and Rogues Under the Tsars: 156)

Alexander I's lovers were:
1) Caroline, Countess Szechenyi.

2) Countess Esterhazy.

3) Countess Saaran.

4) Frances Anne Emily Vane-TempestMarchioness of Londonderry (1860-1865)

Daughter & heiress of Sir Henry Vane-Tempest 2nd Baronet & Anne Catherine McDonnell, 7th Countess of Antrim.

Wife of: Charles William Vane-Tempest (1778-1854), 3rd Marquess of Londonderry, mar 1819, as his 2nd wife. [Bio2:A Bit of History]

5) Gabrielle von Auersperg.

6) Julie Zichy, 
Grafin de Zich et Vasonkeo (1808-1873)

Daughter of: Graf Karoly Anton Alois Zichy de Zich et Vasonkeo & Grafin Julie Festetics de Tolna.

Wife of: Ferenc Hunyady de Kethely.

7) Leopoldine von Liechtenstein.
" . . . 'Of all the society ladies he has seen, Princess Leopoldine Liechtenstein is the one whom Alexander likes most. It is said in this connection that he shows himself to be very much a Russian, for he likes women of ice.'. . . ." (Alexander of Russia: Napoleon's Conqueror: 216)

8) Madame Bacharach.
9) Madame Chevallier, French artist.

10) Madame Kochubey.
11) Madame Kremmer.
12) Madame Schwartz.

13) Madame Severin.
"POTOCKA (Countess Severin), 1762-1829. Nee Princess Anna Sophia Sapieha; daughter of Paul Sapieha, Chancellor of the Grand-Duchy of Lithuania. She married, first, Prince Jerome Sapieha, from whom she was divorced in order to marry Count Severin Potocki, Russian Councillor of State and Senator." (Forty-five Years of My Life, 1770-1815)

14) Madame Stroganov.
15) Mademoiselle Phillis. French singer.

Marguerite-Josephine Weimer
Mademoiselle George 
16) Marguerite-Josephine Weimer, Mademoiselle George (1787-1867)
French stage actress.
Lover in 1813.

Natural offspring:
a. Maria Alexnadrovna Parijskaia (1816-1863)
"Mademoiselle Georges had created the role of Mandane, and had played it four times; but on the day of the fifth performance an ominous rumour spread through the theatre, and from the theatre out into the town. Mandame had disappeared. A satrap more powerful than Arbaces had carried her off---His Majesty the Emperor of All the Russias." (My Memoires, 1802-1833)

"When she appeared at Peterhof before the Emperor Alexander, before his brothers Constantine, Nicolas and Michel, before the reigning empress and the dowager empress, Mademoiselle Georges, preceded by the reputation of her great fame, appeared at the theatre in St. Petersburg. It goes without saying that at the theatre of St. Petersburg the orthodox style of drama that was in vogue. . . ." (My Memoires, 1802-1833)

" . . . In 1808 she went to Petersburg, where she had much success. . . ." (War and Peace: 1320)
Maria Naryshkina
17) Maria CzetwertynskaPrincess Naryshkina (1779-1854)
Lover in 1800-1822.

Natural Offspring:
a. Zenaida Naryshkina (1806-1810)
b. Sophia Naryshkina (1808-1824)
c. Emanuel Naryshkin (1813-1901) 

" . . . Sometime between 1800 and 1803, Czar Alexander I began an affair with the Princess Marie Antonovna Naryshkina, born in Poland as the Princess Czetwertinski and established in Russia as the wife of the wealthy Prince Naryshkin. Alexander had many liaisons before, during, and after his attachment to Naryshkina, but she was to become the one true passion of his life and endure as his mistress until 1822. . . This relationship . . . pursued its uneven course until 1819 and resulted in the birth of several children whom Alexander recognized as his own, although he was aware that Mme. Naryshkin had other lovers.'. . . ." (When the Mind Hears: A History of the Deaf)

"Princess Maria Antonovna Sviatopolk-Chetvertinsky became the wife of Dimitry Naryshkin, who belonged to one of the noblest families of Russia. Sometime after her marriage, in 1 804, Maria Naryshkin became Alexander's mistress and remained his official companion not only with the tacit consent and knowledge of her own husband but also with that of Elisabeth. Maria Antonovna bore three children to Alexander, two daugh- ters and one son. The eldest daughter, Zinaida, died as a child, in June, 1810; the second, Sophia, whom Alexander adored, and who had inherited her mother's beauty, died from consumption at the age of seventeen in 1824, on the very eve of her marriage with Count Andrey Shuvalov; the son, Emmanuel, enjoyed a long life. He died as Chief Marshal of the Household in the reign of the last emperor of Russia, Nicholas II." (Alexander I of Russia: 35)

"The heart of Alexander I, who ruled Russia for the first quarter of the 19th century, belonged to Maria Naryshkina, a scion of a noble Polish family. 'Her beauty was so perfect that it seemed impossible,' wrote famous memoir writer Phillip Vigel. 'Ideal facial features and impeccable forms were all the more vivid with the permanent simplicity of her attire.' Naryshkina did not wear jewels and at the court balls appeared in simple white dresses. She never wanted to become Alexander's wife, never meddled in politics and never used her position to amass wealth. The emperor practically never hid their relationship and would open balls with a polonaise with Maria. In 1814 their affair, which had lasted for 13 years, came to an end. It is not clear who was the initiator, just as it was unknown who was the father of Naryshkina's five children. But it is said that once when the emperor asked her husband, Chief Master of the Hunt Dmitry Naryshkin, about the health of the children, the latter responded: 'About which children, Your Imperial Majesty, are you inquiring? Mine or yours?'" (Russia Behind the Headlines)

"Soon after his ascension as Emperor of Russia, Alexander began an affair with a Russian prima dona, Princess Maria Naryshkina. Maria Naryshkina was a Polish princess and she was married to Prince Dmitri Naryshkin, court-master of the Russian court. She was said to be a woman whose beauty was so perfect that it was "almost impossible". Her jet black hair and black eyes were her main charms and she had a habit of wearing a simple white gown without any jewels in every ball and court ceremonies so she would stand out. She was not intelligent as Elizabeth and was rather vulgar and distasteful in her remarks, Nevertheless, Alexander found her irresistible and greatly enjoyed her company. Some historians often wonder why Alexander would fell for a woman like Maria Naryshkina who was described as "without any merit other than the charm of her beauty". Alexander's affair with Naryshkina would last for 13 years. And in those years, they virtually lived together as husband and wife. They had several children together who would unfortunately lived until their teenage years only." (Arrayed in Gold)

Physical appearance & personal qualities.
" . . . According to the contemporaries, Maria Naryshkina eclipsed all the other women at court.

'Her beauty,' wrote Viegel, 'is so perfect that it appears impossible, supernatural: the ideal lines of her face and her flawless silhouette stand out with particular clarity.'... The poet Derzhavin...praised 'the fire of her black eyes' and 'the roundness of her voluptuous breasts.' Dresses of a studied simplicity set off the lines of her body and the radiance of her face. At court receptions she invariably appeared wearing a white gown with soft folds, without jewels of any sort... Behind all this grace lay hidden a keen appetite for pleasure and a limited mind not the least interested in politics. Having no ambition to become the power behind the throne, Maria Naryshkina never wearied the Czar with her requests or advice. With her he didn't think, he didn't worry, he relaxed. (Alexander of Russia: Napoleon's Conqueror: 70)

18) Maria Ivanovna Katatcharova (1796-1824)
Lover in 1820.

Natural Offspring:
a. Nikolai Vassilievich Isakov (1821-1891)
19) Sophia Sergeievna Vsevolozhskaya (1775-1848)
Lover in 1795.

"The favorite of the future emperor Alexander I, later a writer and translator, who worked in the framework of the Bible Society, the author of religious and moral works." (

"Lukash was the illegitimate son of Alexander Pavlovich Romanov, the future tsar Alexander I of Russia and one of his lovers, Sophia Sergeievna Vsevolozhskaya (19 November 1775 - 4/11 October 1848), daughter of Sergei Alekseyevich Vsevolozhsky (1751 - 1822) and wife Yekaterina Andreyevna Zinovyeva (1751 - 1836), who married ca. 1798 Prince Ivan Sergeyevich Meshchersky (11 December 1775 - 17 March 1851), by whom she had issue." (Wikipedia)

Natural Offspring: 

Daughter of: Franz Szechenyi & Juliana Festetics de Tolna.

Wife of: Ferdinand, Count Zichy.
Varvara Turkestanova
Varvara Ilynichna Turkestanova (1775-1819)
Princess Tourkestanova 
Lover in 1818.

Natural offspring:
a. Maria Tourkestanova, Princess Tourkestanova (1819-1843).

22) Veronica Dzierzanowska.
Lover in 1817.

Natural Offspring:
a. Gustave Ehrenberg (1818-1895)

23) Wilhelmine von Kurland, Duchess of Sagan.
"Their sheer stamina compels respect: in the nine months the Congress lasted, the alluring Duchess of Sagan notched up as lovers Metternich, the British diplomats Lord Charles Stewart and Frederick Lamb, the Austrian Count Alfred Windischgratz, and possibly Tsar Alexander himself. Her half-sister Dorothée made do with her own uncle, Talleyrand, and the dashing Count Clam-Martinic, while Princess Bagration, 'the naked angel', who already had an illegitimate daughter by Metternich, went on to have affairs with the Prince Royal of Wurttemberg, Tsar Alexander again, and for good measure his brother the Grand Duke Constantine." (Telegraph)

24) Yekaterina of Russia.
His younger sister.

Yekaterina, Princess Bagration 
25) Yekaterina Pavlovna Skavronska, Princess Bagration.
Lover in 1814

" . . . September 25 (1814): Alexander arrives in the Austrian capital for Congress of Vienna, where he has a liaison with Princess Bagration. . . ." (Alexander of Russia: Napoleon's Conqueeror: 319)

Picture Gallery of Alexander I of Russia.
Nicholas I of Russia

Emperor of Russia

Husband of Charlotte von Preussen (1798-1860), mar 1817 (Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia).

Daughter of Friedrich Wilhelm III von Preussen & Luise von Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

His lovers were:

1) Anna-Maria Charlota de Rutenskiold (1791-1856)
Lover in 1824.
Swedish aristocrat

Natural offspring:
a. Anna Maria Charlota de Rutenskiold (1825-1923)

"In 1824, the Grand Duke Nicholas, the future Emperor Nicholas I of Russian, noticed the pretty Swedish at a court ball which was followed by a secret affair. A daughter Youzia (or Josephine) was born in 1835. (Wikipedia)
Elizabeth Conyngham
Marchioness Conyngham
2) Elizabeth DenisonMarchioness of Conyngham (1769-1861)
British courtier & noblewoman

"Lady Conyngham was considered to be a beauty and she acquired lovers and admirers including Lord Ponsonby and Tsar Nicholas I, whom she met during the peace talks following the end of the French Wars, when she was on the continent. . . ." (A Web of English History)
Julia von der Pahlen 
3) Julia von der Pahlen (1803-1875)

" . . . In life Samoilovna was a lightning rod for scandal; she was 'legendary for her stormy love affairs, extravagance . . . and the pomp of her unforgettable parties. Samoilova kept a salon at Slavianka, her family estate outside St. Petersburg, as well as in Milan. She entertained not only others in the nobility, but also a bohemian crowd of artists, musicians, writers--which at the time was frowned upon by Russian high society. Alexander Polovtsov (183201909), an art collector and writer, stated in a biographical account of Samoilova that 'the only career she was really fit for was that of Circe the Enchantress; this she practiced 9sic0 with wonderful zest.'" (Letter to a Goddess)

"Marie's first contact in Milan was with Julia Samoilov, who had first become famous as the mistress of Nikolai I of Russia.  After tiring of her, the czar had sent her abroad with a large income; she had settled in Milan where she was spending it with style. . . ." (Bolster)

Julia von der Pahlen's personal & family background.
"Yulia was called 'the last Skavronsky' because she became the sole heir to her grandfather Martyn Skavronsky. (Martha Skavronskaya was the wife of Peter the Great, mother of his children.) Yulia''s mother, Maria Pavlovna Skavronskaya was a wife of Count Pavel Petrovich Pahlen, who was officially regarded as the father of Yulia. However, the girl had southern beauty, black curls, velvet eyes and little face of Italian Madonna. It should be noted that Maria Pavlovna's stepfather was an Italian, known in Russia as Julius Pompeevich Litta." (Russian Personalities)

"Yulia Pahlen was a very charming girl . . .  But beauty with a fantastic dowry couldn't find a suitable groom.  It was rumored that she had a love affair with a great connoisseur of feminine beauty Emperor Alexander I.  As if he insisted that Yulia married Count Nikolai Alexandrovich Samoilov, adjutant of the emperor. Their marriage was unsuccessful, and after a few months they decided to divorce." (Russian Personalities)

"Popular and charming, Julia von der Pahlen married three times.  Her first marriage, to Count Nicholai Samoilov, captain of the Preobrazhenskii Guards, lasted only from 1822 to 1824. Their relationship quickly disintegrated because of Samoilova's highly active social life and her constant admirers. She left Samoilov and Tussia to live in her family villa near Milan in 1824.  Establishing herself as an hostess in 1828, she became known as the Russian Lady of Milan, entertaining writers and musicians such as Turgenev and Donizetti. She had an affair with the opera composer Giovanni Pacini from 1828 to 1831.  Samoilova's second husband was an Italian opera known only as Peri, whom she married in 1842; finally she married the French diplomat the Comte de Mornay in 1863." (Russian Personalities)

Julia's spouses.
1. Nikolai Samoilov, Captain of the Preobrazhenskii Guards,  mar 1822, div 1824

2. (Pierre) Antonin Perry (1815-1847), Italian medical doctor & opera singer, mar 1842;

3. Charles, Comte de Mornay (1803-1879), mar 1848. 
Julia's other lovers were:
Giovanni Pacini (1796-1867)
Lover in 1828-1831.
Italian composer

" . . . She had an affair with the opera composer Giovanni Pacini from 1828 to 1831. . . ." (Russian Personalities)

"She could not marry Pacini, widowed when she met him, for she was still married to Nikolai Samoylov. Tsar Nicolas I refused divorce . . . In Naples, she adopted two young children Giovaninna (Bartoletti) and Amazillia (Pacini), daughter of the first marriage of the composer. Unable to marry Pacini, she urged him to marry again . . . but they would always remain close friends." (geneanet)

" . . . She had an affair with the opera composer Giovanni Pacini from 1828 to 1831. . . ." (Russian Personalities)

Countess Jozefina Kalinowska, whose sister, Countess Olga happened to be the mistress of Tsarevitch Alexander, the son of Tsar Nicholas I, who had replaced his father on the Russian throne in 1826. In 1844 Jozefina died, and Ireneusz became a very eligible and fabulously wealthy widower, a fact that was noted with supreme interest at the Court of St Petersburg four years later. Olga was pregnant by – there is a choice of contemporary legend and rumour – either the Tsarevitch or his father. The important thing was to provide legitimacy for the new Romanov. Whether Ireneusz was coerced into marrying Olga or whether he did so willingly is, not surprisingly, not on record. However, in 1848 Olga gave birth to Prince Bogdan–Ogiński by name and Romanov by gene. The important fact was that the Ogiński name, a very good one and totally acceptable for an imperial child, had become available at a time when it was most needed. Thus was Ireneusz’s slate become impeccably clean, the misdemeanour of 1841 pronounced unfounded, and the family re-instated to full imperial favour." (Oginski Dynasty)
Image result for Varvara Arkadyevna Nelidova
Varvara Arkadyevna Nelidova
5) Varvara Arkadyevna Nelidova (1814-1897)

Natural Offspring:
a. Alexis Pashkine (1831-1863)

"Czar Alexander's vigorous and handsome brother and eventual successor to the throne, Nicholas I, was considered to be a bit of an eccentric because he didn't take a mistress until had had been married for twenty-five years, and only then when his wife's health failed. His choice of mistress, however---one of his wife's ladies-in-waiting, Varvara Nelidova---was not in the best possible taste. . . ." (Shaw: 119)

" . . . Their tsar, Nicholas I, was devoted to his sense of duty and his idea of honor. He had, for example, been notably faithful to his beloved wife, the German princess Alexandra, until late in life when, because of a heart condition, she was no longer permitted to have sexual relations. Only then did he take a mistress, the dazzling young Varvara Nelidova. . . ." (Edgerton: 79)
Varvara Yakovleva Albrecht
6) Varvara Sergeyevna Albrecht (1803-1831)

Daughter of Sergey Savich Yakovlev & Mavra Borisovna Yakovleva.

Wife of Karl Ivanovich Albrecht

Natural offspring:
a. Olga Carlovna Albrecht (1828-1898)

7) Yekaterina Mussina-Pushkina, Princess Trubetskaya (1816-1897)
Alexander II of Russia
Emperor of Russia
King of Poland
Grand Duke of Finland

Son of: Nikolai I of Russia & Alexandra Feodorovna (Charlotte von Preussen).

Husband of: Maria Alexandrovna (Marie von Hessen) (1824-1880), daughter of: Ludwig II von Hessen & Wilhelmine von Baden.

Meeting his future wife.
" . . . On his road home, at the old-fashioned castle in Darmstadt, he met the Princess Mary of Hesse (his second cousin on his mother's side), who a year later came to Russia, to be instructed in the Orthodox faith, and at the end of another six months, renounce Lutheranism to become the hereditary Grand-Duchess. . . ." (Life of Alexander II: Emperor of All the Russias: 14)

Aleksander II's spouse & children.
"After Alexander ascended the throne, relations between Alexander and his spouse, Maria Aleksandrovna, became increasingly distant, though the couple always retained the pretense of mutual respect. . . ." (Scenarios of Power: 233)

"On 16 April 1841, Alexander married Marie of Hesse and by Rhine, despite his mother's protests against the marriage as Marie was most likely the result of an affair between her mother and her lover, although she was acknowledged as the daughter of Louis II, Grand Duke of Hesse. Alexander had first met fourteen-year-old Marie while touring Europe in search of a suitable bride and had fallen in love with her. Alexander was devoted to Marie who bore him eight children but he wasn't always faithful and had a series of mistresses. . . ." (Sword & Lace)

Alexander & Maria's married life.
"The Czarovitz and his wife occupied rooms in the Winter Palace and at Czarco-Selo; where, as they could hardly call themselves their own masters, and were constantly subjected to the Imperial commands, both with regard to their occupations, and to the management of their children, the position of the Grand-Duchess could not always have been comfortable among so many brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law. She is believed to have acted with great discretion in all family differences, particularly when the Grand-Duke Constantine, who, though still a boy, commanded a vessel in the quality of High Admiral of Russia, thought fit to put his elder brother under arrest, the Czarovitz having gone on board his ship to pay him a visit. The Hereditary Grand-Duchess was informed of her husband's arrest, but took it very cooly, and affected to think it a joke, on which the Emperor was exceedingly angry, ordered his heir to be instantly released, and placed the youthful High Admiral under arrest for a much longer period. . . ." (Life of Alexander II: Emperor of All the Russias: 19)

Alexander as Hereditary Grand Duke.
" . . . From the time of his marriage, the Czarowitz seldom quitted the Empire till he came to the throne; for he acted as Regent on several occasions for his father, and was to some extent associated with him the Government. Many were the pardons he obtained for political offenders, some of whom repaid him with great ingratitude, and many were the angry decrees he softened or reversed. . . ." (Life of Alexander II: Emperor of All the Russias: 19)

Alexander II's physical appearance & personal qualities at 21 years old (1839).
"The Marquis de Custine described the Czarovitz at this period:---'He conveys that idea of a perfect gentleman and if he ever reigns, it will be by the charm inherent in graceful manners that he will cause himself to be obeyed. It will not be by terror, unless, at least, the necessities attached to the office of a Russian Emperor should, in changing his position, change his disposition. His expression is amiable, his carriage graceful, imposing, and altogether princely, and his manner modest, without being timid. The kind of grace by which he is distinguished reminds me of that peculiar charm of manner belonging to the Slavonic race---a combination of simplicity, of Scandinavian melancholy, and southern mobility. . . . He is evidently suffering from some grief; his eyelids are cast down with a sadness that shows the cares of a riper age. His well-formed mouth has a sweet expression; his Grecian profile reminds of antique medals, or of the portraits of the Empress Catherine. The tones of his voice are soft and harmonious. . . . The Grand-Duke of Russia is one of the finest models of a prince that I have ever met with. . . . These princes must be nearly approached to be appreciated. . . . They are made to be at the head of their country.'" (Life of Alexander II: Emperor of All the Russias: 18)

Alexander's character.
" . . . Assessments of character are difficult to gauge since it is such a subjective matter. Grenville had descried him as being indolent and indecisive which might be based on his stout figure at the tender age of twenty; yet in his public role as tsar he could be tenacious and determined as the process towards emancipation decree will show. Perhaps the observation of Kropotkin was accurate when he described Alexander as someone who had 'two different men' with him. 'He could be charming in his behaviour, and the next moment display sheer brutality.' The personality of the tsar remained as central to the events of the reign as it had under his father and uncle." (Imperial Russia, 1801-1905: 80)
Alexander II
A tsar continually falling in love.
" . . . Since every new love showed, everyone noticed, including the empress. But they did not pay particular attention. He was continually falling in love. The mistresses changes so quickly that even the Third Department stopped watching the women. They saw that the beauties had no influence on state affairs. Their sole function was to end up in the tsar's ned and vanish soon afterward." (Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar: 194)

A sex life that dazzled the imagination.
"Alexander's sex life dazzled the imagination. He had an insatiable appetite for women. Besides having six sons and two daughters by his wife Marie, he also fathered seven known illegitimate children. After his wife died on June 8th, 1880, he married his mistress Princess Catherine Dolgorukov with whom he already had four children." (Untimely Deaths by Assassination: 69)
Alexandra Dolgorukaya

Alexander II' s lovers were:
Lover in 1850-1862
Russian noble, courtier & royal mistress.

Maid of Honour to Empress Maria Alexandrovna in 1853

Daughter of Prince Sergei Alekseevich Dolgorukov & Maria Alexandrovna Apraksina.

Wife of Pyotr Pavlovich Aldedinsky, mar 1862

"Interestingly, the last dangerous mistress, Alexandra Dolgorukaya, was also from the same line and was a distant relative of Katya's" (Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar: 195)

2) Olga Kalinovskaya (1818-1854)
Countess Kalinovskaya.
Lover in 1847.

Russian courtier & imperial mistress.
Lady-in-waiting to Russian empress.

Daughter of: Jozef Kalinowski & Emilia Kalinowska.

Wife of: Count Ireneusz Oginski.

Natural Offspring:
a. Prince Michael Bogdan Oginski. (1848-1909), mar 1875 Countess Gabrielle-Marie Potulicka.

"His list of infatuations continued. But at eighteen he once again fell in love seriously, with Olga K, another lady-in-waiting. Later, when Alexander was tsar, he taught his own son, 'Remember, we have the right to nothing more than drawing-room intrigues.' But he broke that rule. He even told his mother about his pure love for Olga K. His father was informed of everything about his son, and he even read his diary secretly. Nicholas only smirked at the word 'pure.' He took measures. Olga K. was given in marriage to the Polish magnate Count Oginski. She had a son who always believed that he was son of the Russian tsar." (Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar: 60)

" . . . Alexander now fell in love with another of Mouffy's maids-of-honor, a Polish girl, Olga Kalinovskaya. Alexander told everyone, even his mother, about his love for Olga. Nicholas read his son's diary with some amusement. But, alarmed by hints of marriage, he removed the girl and gave Alexander some guidance: 'I explained that fondness for one female is natural but no need to surrender to dreams if they aren't appropriate in rank or status. I think his taste is decent'---even if did have an attraction for Polish girls. Alexander ' needs a stronger personality,' Mouffy told her lady-in-waiting Baroness Frederiks. 'Otherwise he will perish. He falls in love too easily. He must be removed from St. Petersburg.' Hence his tour of Russia---but on his return, he missed Kalinovskaya and moped. Observing this 'tendency to reverie,' the emperor ordered him to find a wife and despatched him on a European tour." (The Romanovs: 1613-1918: 367)

"But the real goal of young Prince's parents was to get him married. The Grand Duke Alexander Nikolaevich, Heir Presumptive to the Russian Throne, have been in the state of the sexual rise. From the age of fifteen, he flirted with Ladies-in-Waiting, and at the present time he was in love with his mother's Lady-in-Waiting, charming Polish girl Olga Kalinovskaya, and Olga answered his feelings." (Baker)

Sometime around the late 1820s, Ireneusz, married Countess Josefina Kalinowska, whose sister Countess Olga happened to be the mistress of Tsarevich Alexander, the son of Tsar Nicholas I, who had replaced his father on the throne in 1826. In 1844 Josefina died, and Ireneusz became a very eligible and fabulously wealthy widower, a fact that was noted with supreme interest at the Court of St. Petersburg four years later. Olga was pregnant by --- there is a choice of contemporary legend and rumour --- either the Tsarevich or his father. The important thing was to provide legitimacy for the new Romanov. Whether Ireneusz was coerced into marrying Olga or whether he did so willingly is, not surprisingly, not on record. However, in 1848, Olga gave birth to Prince Bogdan -- Oginski by name and Romanov by gene. The important fact was that the Oginski name, a very good one and totally acceptable for an imperial child, had become available at a time when it was most needed. Thus was Ireneusz's slate become impeccably clean, the misdemeanour of 1841 pronounced unfounded, and the family re-instated to fill imperial favour. The following year Prince Michal was born under perfectly normal circumstances to Ireneusz and Olga. Prince Ireneusz Oginski died in 1863 and left his vast fortunes to Princes Bogdan and Michal. The brothers -- or rather half-brothers -- died without known progeny in 1909 and 1902 respectively, and with them the Oginski name." (Oginski Dynasty)
Family Tsaar Alexander II von Holstein-Gottorp / Sophie Charlotte ...
Sophie Charlotte Dorothea von Behse

Daughter of Carl Caspar Theodor Behse & Charlotte Dorothea Reimers.

Wife of: Engbertus Jansen (1818-1890), mar 1844.

Natural offspring:
a. Charlotte Henriette Sophie Janse (1844-1915)

" . . . Sophie's mother tongue was German. According to oral tradition in the genus, she was a court lady or court lady in the court of the tsar in St. Petersburg. Petersburg, but this has not been confirmed in writing. In the family there is also a story that Sophie was the mistress of the heir to the throne Alexander (later Emperor Alexander II) and that Sophie's eldest daughter Charlotte would be Alexander's illegitimate daughter, but this has not been confirmed. In the church books in Strömfors and Lappträsk she is mentioned as Sophie von Behse. Marriage on 14.2.1844 in St. Petersburg on its 16th birthday with the Dutchman Engbertus Jansen (according to the transfer grade 3.10.1850 from St. Petersburg to Strömfors, signed by the father Carl Behse (Lappträsk move rating 1854-60, photo 377)). After the marriage was dissolved with Engbertus on February 19, 1968, Sophie received the apartment Jordas / Smeds in Lappträsk Labby." (geneanet)

4) Wilhelmine Bayer.
Lover in c1855.

Natural Offspring:
a. Antoinette Bayer (1856-1948)
Yekaterina Dolgorukaya
6) Yekaterina Dolgorukaya (1847-1922)
Princess Yurievskaya
Lover in 1865.

Russian aristocrat & royal mistress
Lady-in-waiting to the Empress

Daughter of: Mikhail Dolgorukov & Vera Vishnevskaya.

Physical appearance & personal qualities.
"On an autumn day in 1864, Katya needed all that knowledge. The August Persons came to Smolny and the emperor saw her again. The petite young woman (she was of average height, but she always seemed small to the very tall Alexander) with thick chestnut hair looked up at him with her enormous eyes, made her bow and curtsy, and spoke her French greeting in a trembling voice.

First encounter with "a walking doll, in a pink cape and with a thick chestnut braid" (1857).
"Alexander II was forty years old when he first saw her. He was observing military maneuvers near Poltava on the 150th anniversary of Peter the Great's victory over the Swedish king Charles XII. Alexander was staying at the estate of retired guards captain Prince Mikhail Dolgoruky. The Dolgoruky line went back to the Rurik princes and even had a saint, Prince Mikhail Chernigovsky, a legendary warrior who was a prince in Novgorod and grand prince of Kiev in the thirteenth century, tortured to death by the Tatars of the Golden Horde.Prince Dolgoruky was well-married to a wealthy landowner. After a marvelous lunch, the emperor went for a walk in their vast park. He met a walking doll, in a pink cape and with a thick chestnut braid. . . She never forgot that first meeting, although he probably never gave it a second thought." (Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar: 193)

"Katya was appointed lady-in-waiting to the empress. This was the usual spot for the tsar's mistress. But even when she became a lady-in-waiting, she did not become his lover. The tsar was burning with desire, but for some reason did not make demands. The young woman also did not appear in court. That was not because the tsar was protecting the empress, who had long grown accustomed to having ladies-in-waiting who were his mistresses. No, it ws Katya who did not want to the be presented to the court. It was the secret of the affair that neither her mother nor Vera Shebeko could understand. She was different." (Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar: 196)

Affair's consummation (1866).
"It happened in July 1866, on the day of the anniversary of his late parents' wedding. There is a small hunting palace with columns and a classical portico on the road between Peterhof and St. Petersburg, on a small hill called Babigon. It stands to this day. Its windows open on the domes of a distant church, a pond and green expanses." (Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar: 197)

The mistress who monopolized the tsar's affections.
"Before 1865 Alexander flirted and strayed but kept within the bounds of discretion. The blows of the heir's death and the Karakozov attempt undermined his confidence in his public mission. He turned instead to private pleasures, flouting public morality and violating the biblical injunctions that his parents epitomized as the cornerstone of the monarchy. Immediately after the death and burial of Nicholas Aleksandrovich, in April 1865, Alexander started a romande with Catherine Dolgorukaya (Katia), a schoolgirl at the Smolnyi Institute from a poor aristocratic family. The affair with Dolgorukova, with its titillating connivances and overtones of tragedy, transgressed far more than biblical norms. It was an act of violence against the familial ceremony to which Alexander clung as the moral and personal grounding of tsarist supremacy. While at court Alexander was the father, exemplifying probity; in private he pursued the romantic adventure of his youth, the quest for the blue flower, in a show of scorn for the norms of imperial conduct. His love was not the discreet affait that could remain within the bounds of secrecy and not challenge the monarch's bond to his spouse. He made clear that Katia monopolized his affections. During the 1870s he became increasingly open and demanded acceptance of his infidelity from his family and entourage." (Scenarios of Power: From Alexander II to the abdication of Nicholas II: 117)

He made clear that Katia monopolized his affections.

". . . Immediately after the death and burial of Nicholas Aleksandrovich, in April 1865, Alexander began his romance with Catherine Dolgorukova, Katia, a schoolgirl at the Smolnyi Institute from a poor aristocratic family. . . He made clear that Katia monopolized his affections. Their romance appeared to have been consummated in the midst of the July festival at Peterhof in 1866, the event Nicholas had introduced to celebrate the sanctity of marriage. he affair was soon known to all at court. The emperor, nearing fifty, had fallen passionately in love with a girl of less than twenty. . . . " (Scenarios of Power: 224)

An official second imperial family.
" . . . Alexander II's love affairs followed one after the other, until she---the beauty---appeared: Princess Catherine Dolgorukaya. To everyone's astonishment, Alexander II was faithful to his new mistress. Children were born. An official second imperial family appeared, and Alexander II spent nearly all his time with them. . . ." (The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II: 14)

Affair's benefits to the mistress.
". . . He arranged for her appointment as a maid of honor of the empress, a humiliation that Maria Aleksandrovna accepted with dignity. Rumors held that Alexander even arranged his 1867 trip to France so that he could be with her in Paris. By 1870 Katia was established in her own quarters in Petersburg. Alexander treated her as a wife, starting a second household. In 1872 she bore him a son, George, 'Gogo,' and a year later a daughter, Olga. Alexander treated both openly as his own." (Scenarios of Power: 224)

" . . . In 1841 Alexander married Princess Marie of Hesse, who became the mother of seven sons and daughters. Soon after her death in June 1880 Alexander married Catherine Dolgoruky (1847-1922), once his ward, and from 1865 onwards his mistress, who bore him several children. As Princess Yurievskaya she outlived the Tsar by more than forty years, most of them spent in Nice. . . ." (Who's Who In World Politics: From 1860 to the present day: 11)

" . . . The tuberculosis from which the Tsarina has been suffering since 1872 was running its course slowly, but with deadly certainty... She had long since accepted the fact that Katherine Dolgoruki Tsarina in this as in all other matters stood by her husband and accepted the insult in silence and with inimitable dignity to the very last moment. . . ." (The Downfall of Three Dynasties: 261)

" . . . In his will, he left this lady who . . . certainly did her best for his comfort during the last few months of his life, the same sum that he bequeathed to each of his sons; but . . . thinking it was hardly enough to provide for her three children, the eldest of whom was eight years old, has made her an additional allowance, and given her a small palace. . . ." (Life of Alexander II: Emperor of All the Russias: 324)

From mistress to imperial wife.
" . . . By the end of the 1870s his affair with Dolgorukova had turned into an open second marriage. In 1878 he secretly had his children by Dolgorukova legitimized with noble status, under the name Iur'evskii, presumably referring to Iurii Dolgoruki, the descendant of Rurik and prince of Vladimir, who in fact was not Katia's ancestor. But the name marked his new family as Russian. In 1881 he said of George 'Gogo': 'This is a real Russian; in him at least there flows only Russian blood.' This presumed, of course, that Russian blood flowed in his own veins. After the death of the empress on May 22, 1880, Alexander made preparations to wed Dolgorukova, ignoring the Russian Orthodox Church's prohibition of marriage within a period of one year after the death of a spouse. The ceremony took place in July, less than two months after the empress's death, in secret, with no member of the imperial family in attendance. Six months later, in an unpublished imperial decree, she officially received her new name, Iur'evskaia, and the title Most Serene Highness." (Scenarios of Power: 152)
(1) Home / Twitter
Nicholas II of Russia

Emperor of Russia

Son of Alexander III of Russia & Dagmar of Denmark (Maria Feodorovna of Russia)
Nicholas & Alexandra
Husband of Alix of Hesse (Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia)

Nikolai II's physical appearance.
"Nicholas, at twenty-one, was a slender youth of five feet seven inches, with his father's square, open face and his mother's expressive eyes and magnetic personal charm. His own best qualities were gentleness, kindliness and friendliness. 'Nicky smiled his usual tender, shy, slightly sad smile,' wrote his young cousin and intimate companion Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich. Himself prepared to life everybody, Nicholas hoped that people liked him. As best he could tell through the thickets of flattery and etiquette surrounding his rank, they did." (Nicholas and Alexandra: The Classic Account of the Fall of the Romanov Dynasty: 17)

Nikolai II's persona or character.

". . . Compared with the previous generation of Romanov Grand Dukes he was small, only 5 feet 7 inches, a trait inherited from his Danish mother Empress Marie Feodorovna. He was shy, extraordinarily polite, with enormous charm and a streak of obstinacy. There was no trace of his mother's vivacity or of the enormous physical strength that enabled Alexander III to straighten horseshoes and bend iron bars. . . . " (Imperial Dancer: n.p.)

Nikolai II's platonic romances.

"Nicholas had also begun to notice the opposite sex. he was in ruptures after seeing the beautiful American opera singer Sibyl Sanderson and his early diaries made frequent reference to whether the girls at this or that party were pretty. After a teenage crush on his cousin Princess Victoria of Wales his attention turned to Princess Olga Dolgoruky, with who he fell very much in love. These were just platonic romances." (Imperial Dancer)

Aborted love affair.
"There was rumoured to be a more serious affair with a beautiful Jewish opera singer, which ended when it came to the notice of the notoriously anti-Semitic Emperor. The lady and her entire household were sent away. According to gossip, Nicholas was at her home at the time and, although he protested . . ., he was taken back to the Anichkov Palace. The lady never returned to the capital." (Imperial Dancer)

Nicholas II of Russia

Caroline Otero
Nikolai II's lovers were:
Caroline Otero

Lover in 1890.

"One of the richest men in the world, Nicholas II, czar of Russia, had a bad complexion and rarely bathed. 'He really stank,' said Otero, and was still shaken from an assassination attempt that had occurred six years earlier. 'There were always a half-dozen huge, black-bearded armed guards at our bedroom door, some more at the window, and if there was a rear exit, he'd have half a regiment posted there. It almost felt like I was undressing in an army barracks or a bullfighting arena. . . But Otero 'grew quite fond of him' even though 'he had the strangest views about sex.' (The Intimate Sex Lives of Famous People:508)

2) Maria Lubunskaya (1868-?)

Russian dancer.

". . . In 1889 the Foreign Minister . . . reported that the . . . Chief of Police . . . had recommended a young member of the corps de ballet as a mistress for the Tsarevich. Maria Nicolaievna Labunskaya was born in 1868. She was 'very beautiful, with fine aristocratic features, delicate skin, large expressive eyes, luxuriously long, ash-blond hair, and a charming smile. . . One of the advantages of a dancer was that their health was carefully watched. There would be no chance of the Tsarevich picking up any unpleasant sexual disease." (Hall, 2012, n.p.)

" . . . In 1892, the Tsarevich’s official mistress, dancer Maria Lubunskaya, was banished from Russia, at the same time the Tsarevich turned his attentions to Mathilde. . . ." (Tumblr)

Mathilde Kschessinska
3) Mathilde Kschessinska (1872-1971)
Princess Romanovskaya-Krasinskaya
Lover in 1890-1894.

Russian ballerina & royal mistress.

Prima ballerina assoluta of the Maryinsky Theatre 1896-1918
Princess Krasinski 1926
Princess Romanovsky-Krasiski 1935.
Author of Dancing in St. Petersburg: The Memoirs of Kschessinska

Nicholas & Mathilde
First encounter, 1890.
"It was as a young officer in the spring of 1890 that Nicholas first met a seventeen-year-old dancer in the Imperial Ballet, Mathilde Kschessinska. A small, vivacious girl with a supple body, a full bosom, an arched neck, darl curls and merry eyes, Kschessinska had been rigorously schooled in ballet for ten years and in 1890 was the best dancer in her graduating class. By chance, that year the entire Imperial family attended the graduation performance and supper." (Nicholas and Alexandra: 20)

"In her memoirs she recalled the meeting saying: " . . . in both our hearts an attraction had been born impelling us irresistibly towards each other." The rest of that season, she pursued Nicholas often putting herself into situations that would put her in Nicholas's line of vision. But in October, Nicholas and his brother George set off on a nine-month cruise and he did not see Mathilde for a year. But once he returned home, he began to see Mathilde. He gave her a gold bracelet and a large sapphire. She had joined the military theatre at Krasnoe Selo where Nicholas visited her daily. In 1892, he had a house built for her. Her father was concerned at this and cautioned her that Nicholas could never marry her. The courtship between the two continued until 1894 when he told Mathilde that of his plans to make Alix his fiancee. Later, she dated two of Nicholas's cousins, Grand Duke Serge and Grand Duke Andrei. Mathilde and Andrei had a son, and in 1921 in Cannes, they married. Does anyone know what happened to their son? As far as I know, this is the only affair Nicholas had before he married Alix. Lexi" (The Royal Forums)

Mathilde's physical appearance & personal qualities.

" . . . She was not a beauty, yet everyone agrees the she had a magnetic stage presence. According to contemporaries, she was tiny, with a sturdy frame and a muscular almost athletic legs. Kschessinska's fascination lies in her spiciness, flirtatious nature and the air of scandal with which she was almost always surrounded. She adored roulette, diamonds, caviar, pineapples and oysters. Above all, Mathilde loved life and loved to flirt, even in old age. 'She loved ballet in particular and life in general,' said a former Moscow ballerina." (Imperial Dancer)

"Mathilde staged her whole life like a gala performance, in which she was always the star. She loved parties, masquerade balls, entertaining and, of course, the privileges of wealth. Intelligent, dynamic, and strong willed, Mathilde knew what she wanted and how to get it. From an early age she was almost obsessed by the Imperial family and was determined to become associated with them by any means possible. Her memoirs are a fantasy, in which she triumphs in every ballet and overcomes every petty intrigue (spun, of course, out of envy!) with the help of the Tsar. She claims to be everybody's friend (especially Diaghilev and Fokine) and the fairy godmother of rising ballet stars such as Pavlova, Karsavina and Nijinksy. The list of diamonds, rubies and emeralds is rivalled only by the enthusiastic reviews of her performances, which she quotes in full. Even these are not what they seem -- most critics flattered Mathilde out of fear, because of her powerful connections." (Imperial Dancer)

A relationship finally consummated.

"Back in St. Petersburg, Nicholas sought comfort from Mathilde Kschessinska and finally consummated the relationship. 'I am still under her spell---the pen keeps trembling in my hand!' he wrote in his journal." (George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I: 113)

A ballerina, that obligatory aristocratic accouterments.

Mathilde Kschessinska, c1916
" . . . In 1891 Nicholas even acquired that obligatory aristocratic accoutrement, a ballerina mistress---with a great deal of prodding from his father, who set him up at the Imperial Ballet School's graduation ball with a young dancer called Mathilde Kschessinska. Until its reinvention fifteen years later by Diaghilev, the ballet was regarded by the rest of St. Petersburg as old-fashioned, its main function to please the court and provide grand ducal mistresses. The girls were both from respectable backgrounds and thrillingly demimondaine; they were also clean, as their health was constantly monitored, which was important in a city where over half the small ads in newspapers were cures for VD. Giggling and flirtatious, the tiny Kschessinska---at four foot eleven nearly six inches smaller than Nicholas---played the charming, breathless ingenue. She was actually a pragmatic and unsentimental adventuress determined to grab her opportunities. It took nearly two years of---highly decorous---near-stalking to persuade the extraordinarily diffident Nicholas to install her as his mistress. It was a further six months before the affair was actually consummated." (George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I: 100-101)

Affair's benefits to Mathilde.

"She was known to be the first love Nicholas had and was considered his official mistress. Her household was financed by the Nicholas and he lavished her with gifts including a necklace with "walnut size" diamonds. He had a mansion built for her." (The Royal Forums)

Affair's end & aftermath.

"Despite Mathilde's success on the stage, the flame between her and Nicholas began to flicker. Nicholas had never hidden from Kschessinska his interest in Princess Alix. Early in 1894, he told Mathilde that he hoped to make Alix his fiancee' Later that year, Nicholas and Mathilde parted, saying goodbye at a highway rendezvous, she seated in her carriage, he astride a horse. When he rode away, she wept. For months, she went through 'the terrible boundless suffering. . . of losing my Niki.' The great ballet master Marius Petipa counseled her by persuading her that suffering in love is necessary to art, especially to the great stage roles to which she aspired. 'I was not alone in my grief and trouble. . . .  The [younger] Grand Duke Serge . . . remained with me to console and protect me.' Serge bought her a dacha with a garden by the sea. Later, at the height of her success, she met Grand Duke Andrei, another cousin of the Tsar. Although Andrei was seven years her junior, they traveled together on holidays to Biarritz and Venice. In 1902, Mathilde and Andrei had a son, and in 1921, in Cannes, they married." (Nicholas and Alexandra: 26)
Mathilde's Gallery
Books about Mathilde.

Videos about Mathilde.
"Matilda" (2016)

Tsar Nicholas II Gallery.
Groovy Fashions for Men. Zar Nicolas II
Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II of Russia, in Darmstadt, day of his engagement to the future Empress Alexandra.
Nicholas II of Russia

Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II of Russia

No comments: