Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia - Marriage

Marriage

In September 1912, Michael and Natalia spent a holiday abroad, and as usual they were trailed by the Okhrana. In Berlin, Michael announced that he and Natalia would drive to Cannes, and instructed his staff to follow by train. The Okhrana were under instructions to follow by train rather than car, and so Michael and Natalia would be unaccompanied on their journey south. Michael's journey was a deliberate ruse. On the way to Cannes, the couple diverted to Vienna, where they were married on 16 October 1912 by Father Misitsch at the Serbian Orthodox Church of Saint Sava. A few days later, after travelling through Venice and Milan, they arrived at Cannes, where George and Natalia's daughter from her first marriage joined them. Two weeks after the marriage Michael wrote to his mother and brother to inform them. They were both horrified by Michael's action. His mother said it was "unspeakably awful in every way", and his brother was shocked that his brother had "broken his word ... that he would not marry her".

Nicholas was particularly upset because his heir, Alexei, was gravely ill with haemophilia, which Michael cited as one of his reasons for marrying Natalia. Michael feared that he would become heir presumptive again on Alexei's death, and would never be able to marry Natalia. By marrying her now, he would be removed from the line of succession early, and preclude the prospect of losing Natalia. In a series of decrees over December 1912 and January 1913, Nicholas relieved Michael of his command, banished him from Russia, froze all his assets in Russia, seized control of his estates, and removed him from the Regency. Society in Russia was shocked at the severity of Nicholas's reprisal, but there was little sympathy for Natalia. She was not entitled to be known as Grand Duchess; she instead used the style "Madame or Countess Brasova".

For six months, they stayed in hotels in France and Switzerland, without any decrease in their standard of living. They were visited by Michael's sister Grand Duchess Xenia and cousin Grand Duke Andrew. In July 1913, they saw Michael's mother in London who told Natalia "a few home truths" according to Xenia's diary. After another trip to continental Europe, Michael took a one-year lease on Knebworth House, a staffed and furnished stately home 20 miles north of London. Michael's finances were stretched as he had to rely on remittances sent from Russia at Nicholas's command, and Nicholas still controlled all his estates and assets.

Read more about this topic:  Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich Of Russia

Famous quotes containing the word marriage:

    It appears that ordinary men take wives because possession is not possible without marriage, and that ordinary women accept husbands because marriage is not possible without possession; with totally differing aims the method is the same on both sides.
    Thomas Hardy (1840–1928)

    the mother lies down on her marriage bed
    and eats up her heart like two eggs.
    Anne Sexton (1928–1974)

    Every relationship that does not raise us up pulls us down, and vice versa; this is why men usually sink down somewhat when they take wives while women are usually somewhat raised up. Overly spiritual men require marriage every bit as much as they resist it as bitter medicine.
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900)