Rahul Sharma

Wedding of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna

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Date  14/26 November 1894
Wedding of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsaa
Location  Grand Church of the Winter Palace

The wedding of Nicholas II of Russia to Alexandra Feodorovna (Alix of Hesse) occurred on November 14/26, 1894 at the Grand Church of the Winter Palace.

Contents

Engagement

On 19 April 1894, Tsarevich Nicholas was at the wedding of Ernst Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse to their mutual cousin, Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Nicholas had also obtained permission from his parents, Tsar Alexander III and Empress Maria Feodorovna to propose to Ernst's younger sister, Princess Alix of Hesse-Darmstadt, one of the favorite granddaughters of Queen Victoria. The Emperor and Empress had initially had been opposed to the match. However, Nicholas, who had first met Alix a decade earlier in St. Petersburg when Alix's sister, Princess Elisabeth of Hesse-Darmstadt married Nicholas's uncle, Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, was not to be dissuaded. Furthermore, Tsar Alexander's health was beginning to fail.

Shortly after arriving in Coburg, Nicholas proposed to Alix. However, Alix, who was a devout Lutheran, rejected Nicholas's proposal, as in order to marry the heir to the throne, she would have to convert to Russian Orthodoxy. However, Alix's cousin, Kaiser Wilhelm II, who had been at the wedding, along with their grandmother, Queen Victoria came to speak to her, insisting that it was her duty to marry Nicholas, despite her religious scruples. Elizabeth also spoke with her, insisting that there were not that many differences between Lutheranism and Orthodoxy. At the prompting of the kaiser, Nicholas proposed for the second time, and she accepted.

On November 1, 1894, Alexander III died at Maley Palace, aged forty-nine, leaving twenty-six-year-old Nicholas as tsar of Russia. The following day, Alix, who had arrived at Livadia several days earlier in order to receive the dying tsar's blessing, was received into the Russian Orthodox Church as Grand Duchess Alexandra Feodorovna. Alix had apparently expressed her wish to take the name Catherine, but decided to take the name Alexandra on Nicholas's request.

On November 18, after nearly two weeks of Orthodox liturgies, and a procession from the Crimea to St. Petersburg, via Moscow, Nicholas's father was interred at the Peter and Paul Fortress.

Marriage

Plans for the wedding, which had been set for the spring of 1895, had been in the works since Nicholas's engagement, and it ordinarily would have included a week of public celebrations and parades. However, the death of Alexander III put an end to such extravagant plans. Nicholas had initially expressed his wish to be married at Livadia before his father's funeral, which Nicholas's mother had agreed with. However, his uncles, Grand Dukes Vladimir, Alexei, Sergei and Paul argued that, as Nicholas was tsar, the wedding should be held in St. Petersburg with some pomp. With Nicholas unwilling to wait until the end of official mourning to marry, it was decided to hold the wedding on his mother's birthday, which would have allowed for court mourning to be somewhat relaxed. Nicholas had also intended to keep the wedding a private family affair, but his uncles had persuaded their nephew to invite the diplomatic corps to watch the procession to and from the cathedral.

Invitations had been sent out, along with a dress code: Russian gentlemen were to wear full regimental dress, bureaucrats were to wear the appropriate uniforms as stipulated in Peter the Great's Great Table of Ranks; Russian ladies were to come in full court dress, foreign women in evening gowns, with full jewels and awards.

At 11:30 am, on the morning of the wedding, Nicholas departed the Anichkov Palace in an open landau to the Winter Palace, in the company of his sixteen-year-old brother, Grand Duke Michael. Soon after, Nicholas's mother departed for the Sergeivsky Palace in a closed coach, the St. Petersburg residence of Grand Duke Sergei and Grand Duchess Elizabeth, to bring Alexandra to the Winter Palace.

At the Winter Palace, Alexandra was dressed in her wedding gown and imperial mantle. Her Honiton lace veil had been designed by her maternal grandfather Prince Albert and had been worn at the weddings of her mother, Princess Alice (who died in 1878 when Alexandra was six) and her sisters. She also wore the traditional Romanov nuptial crown, a 475 carat necklace and matching earrings that had belonged to Catherine the Great. Across her body, she wore the star and sash of the Order of St. Andrei.

At 12:10, the procession into the Great Church began, with canons of the Peter and Paul Fortress announcing the beginning of the ceremonies. Marie Feodorovna led the procession accompanied her daughter-in-law to be, with Nicholas walking behind them in his Hussar's uniform, complete with his medals and the orange sash of the Order of Hesse und Bei Rhein. Along with the Romanov Grand Dukes and Duchess, foreign royal relatives processed into the church, headed up by Nicholas's maternal grandfather, King Christian IX of Denmark. Other relatives included King George I and Queen Olga of Greece (uncle and aunt of Nicholas), and their son, George, the Prince and Princess of Wales (uncle and aunt to both Nicholas and Alexandra), and their eldest surviving son, George, the Duke of York, the Duke and Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (uncle and aunt of both Nicholas and Alexandra). Alexandra's brother, Ernest Louis had come from Germany, as had one of her sisters, Princess Irene and her husband, Prince Heinrich of Prussia.

The service was presided over by the Father John Yanishev, the private imperial confessor, along with various archbishop, bishops, archimandites and court priests. After Nicholas mounted the dais, Marie Feodorovna led Alexandra to the dais, and the court priest brought rings on a tray. After blessing them, Yanishev announced the betrothal of Nicholas to Alexandra to the congregation, and then handed them their rings. After exchanging them three times, Nicholas and Alexandra knelt and exchanged formal wedding vows, with Nicholas's best men, Grand Dukes Michael, Cyril Vladimirovich, Sergei Mikhailovich and Prince George of Greece holding the nuptial crowns above their heads. Following being led around the lectern, they knelt and kissed a gold cross, and following a final prayer, Nicholas and Alexandra were pronounced man and wife, at which point the church bells across St. Petersburg rung and guns were fired from the Peter and Paul Fortress.

Due to court mourning, there was no reception, nor honeymoon, with Nicholas and Alexandra going to reside with his mother and brother at the Anichkov Palace. In time, however, Nicholas and Alexandra would move to the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo.

The Groom's Family

  • The Empress Dowager of All the Russias, mother of Nicholas II
  • Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna and Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich of Russia, sister of and brother-in-law of Nicholas II
  • Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia, brother of Nicholas II
  • Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia, sister of Nicholas II
  • Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich and Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna of Russia, paternal uncle and aunt of Nicholas II
  • Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich of Russia
  • Grand Duke Boris Vladimirovich of Russia
  • Grand Duke Andrei Vladimirovich of Russia
  • Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia
  • Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia, paternal uncle of Nicholas II
  • Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich and Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fyodorovna of Russia, paternal uncle and aunt of Nicholas II; brother-in-law and sister of Alexandra
  • Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia, paternal uncle of Nicholas II
  • Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna of Russia, widow of Nicholas II's paternal granduncle
  • Grand Duke Constantine Constantinovich and Grand Duchess Elizabeth Mavrikievna of Russia
  • Grand Duke Dmitri Konstantinovich of Russia
  • Grand Duke Michael Nikolaevich of Russia, paternal granduncle of Nicholas II
  • Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhailovich of Russia
  • Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia
  • Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia
  • The King and Queen of Denmark, maternal grandparents of Nicholas II
  • The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark, maternal uncle and aunt of Nicholas II
  • Prince Christian of Denmark
  • Prince Carl of Denmark
  • Princess Louise of Denmark
  • Prince Harald of Denmark
  • Princess Ingeborg of Denmark
  • Princess Thyra of Denmark
  • The King and Queen of the Helllenes, maternal uncle and aunt of Nicholas II
  • The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Greece
  • Prince George of Greece and Denmark
  • Prince Alexander of Greece and Denmark
  • Prince George of Greece and Denmark
  • Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark
  • Princess Maria of Greece and Denmark
  • Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark
  • Prince Christopher of Greece and Denmark
  • The Crown Princess and Crown Prince of Hanover, maternal aunt and uncle of Nicholas II
  • Princess Marie Louise of Hanover
  • Prince George William of Hanover
  • Princess Alexandra of Hanover
  • Princess Olga of Hanover
  • Prince Christian of Hanover
  • Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover
  • Prince Valdemar and Princess Marie of Denmark, uncle and aunt of Nicholas II
  • Prince Aage of Denmark
  • Prince Axel of Denmark
  • Prince Erik of Denmark
  • The Dowager Duchess of Anhalt-Bernburg, maternal grandaunt of Nicholas II
  • The Dowager Duchess of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, widow of Nicholas II's maternal granduncle
  • Princess William of Hesse-Philippsthal-Barchfeld
  • Prince Christian of Hesse-Philippsthal-Barchfeld
  • The Duke and Duchess of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
  • Princess Victoria Adelaide of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
  • Princess Alexandra Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
  • The Dowager Princess of Waldeck and Pyrmont
  • Prince Albrecht of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
  • Prince Julius of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, maternal granduncle of Nicholas II
  • Prince Johann of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, maternal granduncle of Nicholas II
  • Princess Frederick Augustus of Anhalt-Dessau, maternal grandaunt of Nicholas II
  • The Grand Duchess and Grand Duke of Luxembourg
  • The Hereditary Grand Duke and Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
  • The Hereditary Grand Duchess and Hereditary Grand Duke of Baden
  • Princess Bathildis and Prince William of Schaumburg-Lippe
  • The Queen and King of Württemberg
  • Princess Pauline of Württemberg
  • Prince Frederick of Schaumburg-Lippe
  • Princess Bathildis of Schaumburg-Lippe
  • Princess Adelaide of Schaumburg-Lippe
  • The Dowager Landgravine of Hesse, widow of Nicholas II's maternal granduncle
  • The Landgrave of Hesse
  • Prince Frederick Charles and Princess Margaret of Hesse
  • The Dowager Lady of Näsbyholm, maternal grandaunt of Nicholas II
  • The Bride's Family

  • Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse and by Rhine's family:
  • The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine, brother and sister-in-law of Alexandra
  • Princess Victoria and Prince Louis of Battenberg, sister and brother-in-law of Alexandra
  • Princess Alice of Battenberg
  • Princess Louise of Battenberg
  • Princess Irene and Prince Henry of Prussia, sister and brother-in-law of Alexandra
  • Prince Waldemar of Prussia
  • Prince Henry of Hesse and by Rhine and Baroness Emily of Dornberg, paternal uncle and aunt of Alexandra
  • Prince Wilhelm of Hesse and by Rhine and Baroness Josephine of Lichtenberg, paternal uncle and aunt of Alexandra
  • Princess Julia of Battenberg, widow of Alexandra's paternal granduncle
  • Princess Marie, Countess Gustav of Erbach-Schönberg and Count Gustav of Erbach-Schönberg
  • Count Alexander of Erbach-Schönberg
  • Count Victor of Erbach-Schönberg
  • Countess Marie of Erbach-Schönberg
  • The Count and Countess of Hartenau
  • Prince Francis Joseph of Battenberg
  • The Queen of the United Kingdom, maternal grandmother of Alexandra
  • The Prince and Princess of Wales, uncle and aunt of both Alexandra and Nicholas
  • The Duke and Duchess of York
  • The Duke and Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, uncle and aunt of both Alexandra and Nicholas
  • The Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
  • The Crown Princess and Crown Prince of Romania
  • Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
  • Princess Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
  • The Duke and Duchess of Connaught and Strathearn
  • Princess Margaret of Connaught
  • Prince Arthur of Connaught
  • Princess Patricia of Connaught
  • The Dowager Duchess of Albany, widow of Alexandra's uncle
  • The Duke of Albany
  • Princess Alice of Albany
  • The German Empress Mother, aunt of Alexandra
  • The German Emperor and German Empress
  • The Hereditary Princess and Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Meiningen
  • Princess Viktoria and Prince Adolf of Schaumburg-Lippe
  • The Hereditary Princess and Hereditary Prince of Hesse
  • Princess Helena and Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, aunt and uncle of Alexandra
  • Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein
  • Prince Albert of Schleswig-Holstein
  • Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein
  • Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein
  • Princess Louise, Marchioness of Lorne and Marquess of Lorne, aunt and uncle of Alexandra
  • Princess Beatrice and Prince Henry of Battenberg, aunt and uncle of Alexandra
  • Prince Alexander of Battenberg
  • Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg
  • The Dowager Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, widow of Alexandra's maternal granduncle
  • Foreign Royals

  • Duke John Albert of Mecklenburg
  • Prince Wilhelm and Princess Maria Maximilianovna of Baden
  • The Duke and Duchess of Leuchtenberg
  • The Duke and Duchess of Oldenburg
  • References

    Wedding of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna Wikipedia


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