Table of contents:
- First beauty and enviable bride
- Unsuccessful matchmaking
- Intrigues of Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna and another failed marriage
- Wedding with the Crown Prince of Württemberg
- Was Olga happily married
Video: Why the most beautiful daughter of Nicholas I married later than all the sisters and did not become happily married
2023 Author: Richard Flannagan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 05:58
The attractive, educated and well-mannered Princess Olga, the middle daughter of Nicholas I, was considered one of the most enviable brides in Europe. Contemporaries described the princess as a slender, fair-faced girl with a "heavenly" gleam in her eyes, full of kindness, condescension and meekness. But despite the beauty and numerous virtues, Olga Nikolaevna was never lucky in love. She married the future king, but the relationship with her husband was far from ideal.
First beauty and enviable bride
The daughter of the Russian emperor is one of the highest levels in the hierarchy of brides in the European marriage market. But even the status of a princess could not be a guarantee of a quick and happy marriage. Olga Nikolaevna is a good example of this.
In 1838, the imperial family went to Prussia to the King Frederick William III. There, at one of the balls, 16-year-old Olya, as she was called in her close circle, liked Maximilian of Bavaria. The princess's parents were already waiting for the official announcement of the engagement, but Olga categorically refused to even think about a wedding with the crown prince.
A year later, Tsarevich Alexander paid a visit to Vienna, where he became friends with the Austrian Archduke Stephen, the son of the Viceroy (Palatine) of Hungary. The heir to the Russian throne saw in Stephen an excellent candidate for the role of husband for his sister, which he immediately reported back to his homeland. Nicholas I supported the idea of a son, since such a relationship was beneficial from a political point of view - for the restoration of a kinship with the Habsburg house. The Archduke was invited to the wedding of Maria Nikolaevna, scheduled for July 1839, in order to somehow facilitate his rapprochement with Princess Olga. But instead of him, another representative of the dynasty, Albrecht of Austria, unexpectedly arrived, who fell in love with the Russian princess and immediately proposed to her. Olga Nikolaevna refused him - she was already used to Stefan in absentia and expected reciprocity from him. In her diaries, the girl wrote: "Stefan, at least, is not as unpleasant to me physically as others …".
But the new alliance with the Austrian Habsburgs, on which Nicholas I pinned hopes, did not materialize. A letter came from Vienna stating that "the marriage of Stephen and Olga Nikolaevna, professing different faiths, is unacceptable for Austria." The Viennese court considered that another palatine of the Orthodox faith could pose a great danger to the country and increase the influence of Russia here.
Stefan himself said that he learned about Albrecht's feelings and simply decided not to interfere with his brother's happiness.
The 18-year-old princess was credited with an affair with Alexander Baryatinsky. The prince even intended to propose to her, but for Nicholas I he was not the best candidate for the role of son-in-law. The emperor's eldest daughter Maria, despite the interests of the dynasty, married for love, but this marriage was considered a misalliance. For his middle daughter, the emperor planned a completely different fate.
Among the suitors who were "rejected" by Nicholas I was Alexander Gessensky, the brother of the wife of Tsarevich Alexander. As soon as the emperor noticed that the young man was showing excessive affection for his daughter, he immediately sent him to the Caucasus.
Olga's early marriage was attempted by her aunt, Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna (wife of Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich). She wanted to marry the emperor's daughter to her brother Frederick of Württemberg. The princess was categorically not satisfied with this option: “He was twice my age, at one time he danced with Mom, he is the same age as my Parents; I treated him like an uncle. In the end, Frederick was kindly turned down. Even Nicholas I did not begin to influence his daughter, giving her this time complete freedom of choice. Elena Pavlovna was offended by this decision of her niece, and later she would once again interfere in her fate.
In June 1843, another promising groom arrived in St. Petersburg - Prince Friedrich Wilhelm. The heir to the humble Landgrave was not the most suitable party for the daughter of the emperor, but he had strong family ties with the royal family of Denmark, which made him one of the contenders for the Danish throne. At court, many decided that the prince would ask Olga Nikolaevna's hand, but he did not live up to everyone's expectations. Friedrich passionately fell in love not with the alleged bride, but with her younger sister Alexandra (Adini), and soon proposed to her.
Intrigues of Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna and another failed marriage
Alexandra continued to search for his daughter right party, actively izuchaya¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬ information about potential suitors from Europe. As a result, the royal family opted for Duke Adolf of Nassau. Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna also looked after him for her middle daughter Lilly (Elizabeth), dreaming of placing her in Wiesbaden.
Having learned about the plans of his daughter-in-law, Nicholas I made a wise decision and gave the right to choose to Adolf himself. Elena Pavlovna, in turn, did everything possible to make the duke prefer Lilly. She wrote to her sister Paulina, who was married to Adolf's father, that she, under any pretext, would prevent the young man from coming to visit Olga. As a result, their meeting never took place. And after a while, the Prince of Nassau arrived in Kronstadt with his younger brother Moritz. When meeting with the emperor, Adolf unexpectedly asked for the hand of his niece Elizabeth. Nikolai Pavlovich was unpleasantly surprised, but nevertheless gave his consent.
Meanwhile, the younger brother of Adolf, Prince Moritz, during his visit to Russia, began to show signs of attention to Olga Nikolaevna. Later she wrote about him: "He was a handsome boy, well-built, very pleasant in conversation, with a slight touch of sarcasm." Maria Nikolaevna noticed that her sister liked the young man and even volunteered to talk to her father so that he would give permission for marriage. But Olga categorically refused, because she believed that the wife should follow her husband, and not the husband to the wife's Fatherland. For her, the very thought that her husband would play the same role as Maximilian Leuchtenberg, whom her older sister married, was humiliating.
Wedding with the Crown Prince of Württemberg
In 1844, the Grand Duchess turned 22, which at that time was considered a respectable age. By that time, the elder brother Alexander had already married, both sisters were married. Children have already been born in their families, and even the youngest Adini was expecting a child. Princess Olga continued to dream of marriage and children, but suddenly a grief happened in the family, which made them forget for a while about personal experiences. In the summer of 1844, 19-year-old Adini died of consumption. She managed to give birth to a premature baby, who was never able to leave and was buried with her mother.
The empress's health deteriorated, and in 1846, accompanied by Olga, she went to Palermo for treatment. There Alexandra Feodorovna was visited by the Crown Prince of Württemberg Karl Friedrich Alexander. He was Olga's second cousin and was a year younger than her. In her memoirs, the daughter of the emperor wrote that she immediately felt the man whom her heart had been looking for for so long. Here, in Palermo, the young people got married. The wedding was played already in Peterhof, after which they immediately left for Stuttgart, the homeland of Karl.
Was Olga happily married
In a foreign country, Olga took up charity work, built a hospital and a school with teaching in Russian, founded the Society for Assistance to the Blind and the Royal Women's Gymnasium. During the Franco-Prussian War, she founded the Society of Voluntary Sisters of Charity at her own expense.
Olga Nikolaevna's family life cannot be called happy in the usual sense of the word. Already at the time of the engagement, all of Europe was gossiping about the prince's unconventional orientation. With his chosen ones, he could openly appear in public places, appointed them to important posts and awarded them with titles. One of them, the former clergyman Charles Woodcock, was honored by the Crown Prince with the title of Baron and donated substantial property. Rumors about Karl's hobbies leaked to the press and reached Bismarck himself. Public criticism forced the prince to part with the chosen one and dismiss him from his post. Olga Nikolaevna honorably and humbly performed the role of the future king's wife, despite his scandalous fame. Outwardly, the couple looked quite happy and traveled a lot, but on each trip they were accompanied by another young adjutant.
Since her youth, Olga dreamed of children, but she did not have a chance to become a mother, so she decided to adopt her niece Vera - the daughter of her younger brother Konstantin. Vera was a physically unhealthy, irascible and nervous child, but the couple fell in love with her as their own, raised and married her to a member of the dynasty. The grandchildren became a real outlet for Olga Nikolaevna and her husband.
Through charity work, Olga, as best she could, tried all her life to smooth out the scandals associated with her husband. The people disliked King Charles I, but idolized their queen, who really did a lot for the German population.
Olga Nikolaevna lived with Charles I for 45 years. Despite the problems in her marriage, she was very upset by his death. The memory of the Grand Duchess and Queen is still alive today. A street in one of the cities of Württemberg is named after her, and many of the institutions she created are still functioning.
And the rejected royal wives found their end in this monastery.
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