There will come a time when gifted poets will write verse in praise of the Grand Duchess, her noble soul, her radiant feats, feats of love and mercy. Her beautiful and noble deeds will never be erased from the memory of human nobility and mankind will bless her as great, for she was wedded to love.
Uneasy lies the Head that Wears a Crown
"History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illumines reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity" Cicero

Good evening guys, just to let you know that I will be away for a couple of day because tomorrow I’m moving to Paris and on tuesday I will have my first day at the Sorbonne, I will answer the ask afterwards. As soon as possible I will be back :)

wish me luck, you need it when you move to Paris…so many kind people always smiling and ready to help you… I have to practice my disdain look… you can’t survive if you smile. never.


Today marks the 79th anniversary of the tragic death of Queen Astrid, consort of King Leopold III. Ironically, August 29, 1935 dawned bright and clear, promising an enjoyable alpine excursion to the royal couple. As Time reported:

For days it had been raining in Switzerland. Leopold of Belgium and Queen Astrid, vacationing in the Villa Haslihorn near Lucerne, sent their three small children back to Brussels. But next morning the sun came out hot and strong, with the promise of a fine day for a mountain climb, a sport of which Leopold was just as fond as his father. Hobnail boots, ropes and alpenstocks were piled into the back of the royal Packard touring car beside the chauffeur. In front Leopold took the wheel while Astrid sat beside him, holding a road map. They started down the lakeside road, keeping close to the curb because the pavement was slippery. In a second it was all over. Just before reaching Kussnacht, with the car rolling along at 50 m.p.h. Leopold turned his head to look at the road map. The right wheels of the car slipped through one of the 18-ft. openings in the concrete curb. For some 95 feet it careened along, the right wheels at times three feet lower than the left. Then it struck a young pear tree, swerved at right angles. The Queen and the chauffeur were thrown clear. The car rolled down the bank, caromed off another tree and into the shallow water of the lake.

With his hands sprained, his lower lip slashed and a rib fractured, King Leopold crawled from the car and over to the body of his wife. He could see that she was already dead, her skull fractured, her chest gashed with broken glass. Aides following in a second car rushed hastily back for an ambulance while King Leopold, dazed and bloody, stood looking down at his dead Queen.

Witnesses reported the devastated King crying “Astrid ! Astrid ! ” and clasping his wife’s body to his heart. Later, he would confide to the Queen’s best friend, Anna Sparre: “My life is over." In a voice broken by sobs, he asked his secretary, Robert Capelle: " Why did the good God take her away from me ? We were so happy ! ” The tragic death of his father, King Albert I, only 18 months earlier, had plunged Belgium and its royal family into deep mourning, and now all the sorrowful scenes would be repeated…



The Jersey shore circa 1905.

3 days ago | 292 notes | Edwardian Era United States

Bronzino - Portrait of Eleonora di Toledo (1545)

(Source: marcuscrassus, via marthajefferson)

3 days ago | 647 notes | Art

Grand Duchess Alexandra Petrovna, wife of Nicholas I’s third son Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich, with their elder son Grand Duke Nicholas.


A composite photograph of the Russian Imperial Family and relatives, 1860s. [x]

From left to right: Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna (Queen of Wurttemburg), (?), Olga Feodorovna (Cecilie of Baden), Mikhail Nikolaevich, (In front: Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna), Nicholas Konstantinovich, Alexei Alexandrovich, Alexander Alexandrovich (future Alexander III), Maria Feodorovna (Dagmar of Denmark), Nicholas Nikolaevich (Snr), (?) Alexandra Petrovna, Elena Petrovna (Charlotte of Wurttemburg), (?,?,?), Alexandra Iosifovna (Alexandra of Saxe-Altenberg)

(Front, seated): Empress Maria Alexandrovna, Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, Grand Duke Pavel Alexandrovich and their father Emperor Alexander II.

If you can identify the questioned figures, please do

I think the man is Olga’s husband Charles I of Württemberg, then it’s Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna Duchess Leuchtenberg, after Elena I would say Grand Duke Constantin Nikolaevich, and then his eldest daughter Grand Duchess Olga Konstantinovna and her husband Prince George of Greece.

4 days ago | 46 notes | :) Romanov Russia Greece Prussia Germany
I have a lot of sympathy for Czar Nicholas II and I find him very interesting but one thing I cannot forgive him for is all the anti-Semitic pogroms and the generally brutal way he treated his Jewish citizens in Russia, which, in my opinion, wasn't very different to the way Hitler treated the Jews in Germany. I just cannot understand for the life of me how such a good man could be such a virulent anti-Semite his entire life?

I understand what you’re saying, I already talked about this so I’m going to gather all the information here :)

It is very difficult to form a fair opinion considering that many sources contradict themselves. In my opinion Nicholas was a moderate anti-Semitic for the standard of his time, he was a good aristocratic man of the late XIX century, he hadn’t the character of a great reformer.  For being fair you have to focus on the historically context, anti-Semitism was rampant throughout Russian Empire, even in the Victorian aristocracy in Europe it was something common, Jews were the classic scapegoats for the problems of a country, not only for Russia. It would have been nearly amazing for a man of his time and situation as Nicholas, NOT to have been anti-Semitic, but it is easily explainable by  his upbringing, his religious beliefs, and by a general acceptance of such views by his aristocratic peers at that time.

 His father, Alexander III, was convinced that it was Jews who were responsible for the death of his father, Alexander II. There is a lot of inaccuracies about Alexander II’s assassination, the members of Narodnaya Volya who assassinated Alexander were not Jews except Gesya Gelfman who had Jewish origin. There is also a popular story saying they were friend with Lenin but It is very unlikely, Lenin was 11 and his brother was 15 at the time of the assassination, their father Ilia Nikolaïevitch Oulianov was a monarchist. Anyway after Alexander II’s assassination, his son promulgated laws against the Jews such as the May Law, he left a superficial peace in Russia and Nicholas who had not the extreme character of his father but didn’t have the courage either to make great reform didn’t repealed this law and it remained in place until 1917. In  1905 civil rights for Jews were promised but there is nothing much to see concerning this improvement..  

But on the other hand there is this example it was after the murder of Stolypin I’m quoting Alexander Spiridovich ” Les Dernières Années de la Cour de Tsarskoe Selo” Chapter 4 :

P.A. Stolypin died on September 5th at 5 o’clock in the evening.

   Once the news of his death was known, the popular  centers were beginning to display a blame toward the Jews.  A pogrom was going to erupt.  Although he was orthodox, Bogrov was Jewish in origin, and that was enough to give rise to a hatred toward the Jews.  “The Jews have killed Stolypin. Kill the Jews” was heard throughout the city.  Governor Guirs and Kuliabko did everything possible to prevent a pogrom.  They both held great influence among the right wing organizations, although these same organizations say the Governor General as a partisan of Jews and had little confidence in him.

   The police patrols circulating in the streets hardly frightened the crowds.  They could only calm them and prevent vengeance against the Jews for the assassination of the minister by telling them that the Emperor wished that there not be a pogrom, and that he would be greatly upset if one happened.  I witnessed this myself, as I had not left for Tchernigov, and so I was asked by Kurlov to help Kuliabkov to assist in calming the crowds and to persuade them from starting a pogrom.

   Count Kokovtzev told me much later that the Tsar had thanked him most warmly in Kiev for having succeeded, as he had replaced the murdered Stolypin, in preventing a pogrom, and had even embraced him, a sign of personal recognition.”

Now when you focus on pogroms I think it is very easy to blame just one man. Lots of pogroms were spontaneous, the Orthodox Church was involved to propaganda anti-Semitism and they encouraged this violence.  But it was also government organization, for example the most famous pogrom of Nicholas II reign was in Kishinev, on Easter April 6-7, 1903 this was the brainchild of Vyacheslav Plehve, the Minister of the Interior, a radical.

The thing is  I never seen a document, a letter where Nicholas gave a direct order for one or all pogroms,  did he approve ? yes it is a possibility but here again I don’t think he had this cruel character, he was too much hesitant, and it is a shame because I do believe contrary to many people that he had the shoulder to do many things. It’s sad that Nicholas didn’t see beyond his education, but his father and tutor made everything to convince him that it was a duty to follow the old autocratic system.


Two examples of Britain’s war forces, a soldier in battle dress and a bearded Canadian sailor share a light at an English port, on January 14, 1941.”


(via tedderette)

4 days ago | 455 notes | World War II that smile
LADY MACBETH : Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty.

Make thick my blood.
—Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act I, Scene 5 (via vesperlynds)

(Source: camilla-macauley, via vesperlynds)

4 days ago | 372 notes | Macbeth Shakespeare Literature


”The war had taught me to cherish the present because tomorrow might not ever come to pass. What I didn’t know at the time was that tomorrow would prove to be less important than yesterday.”

Outlander / 1x01 ‘Sassenach’

(via alessandrahautumn)



The young Tsarevich Alexei of Russia with possibly his mother Empress Alexandra; C. 1908.

Almost positive that’s not Alix- anyone know who it might be, if anybody?

It’s not Alexandra but her niece Princess Alice of Battenberg, eldest daughter of Princess Victoria of Hesse. Here two more pictures from the same day :)

August 27, 1968  Death of Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent.

On this day, the Greek Princess deeply respected and loved not only by the British public but also by the entire Commonwealth, died at Kensington palace from a brain tumour at the age of 61. She had aroused affection and adulation, showing a devotion to her job that almost went beyond the call of duty. She made a decisive contribution to the evolution of the subtle relationship between the Royal Family and the British public. It was in keeping the magic and mystery of the monarchy alive that the Queen Mother and Prince Marina were so successful.

' She continued to uphold those tenets of duty and dignity and courage that were part of her Royal upbringing and to enhance an ideal of dynastic harmony that seemed to belong to another age. '

Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent.

5 days ago | 9 notes | Princess Marina Duchess of Kent England


"Another Harry in the family"

Princess Maud of Wales then Queen of Norway

(via returntodecency)

Cornell Capa photographs JFK’s presidential campaign, 1960.

(Source: jfk-and-jackie, via america-runs-on-kennedy)

5 days ago | 413 notes | Kennedy John F. Kennedy