Imperial yacht "Standart". On the roads of Yalta, 1898 year.
In the presence of the august women on the Standard, the yacht was always accompanied by an escort from the 2-3 destroyers. Some of them could stand near the yacht, while others leisurely cruised on the horizon.
Cabinet of Nicholas II.
In the afternoon, the yacht slowly sailed between the rocky islands, generously scattered by nature off the coast of Finland, periodically delving into the picturesque coastal bays, bordered along the coast with trunks of tall ship pines. By evening, anchored in some secluded deserted bay, and in the morning the passengers of the Standard were already admiring its quiet, transparent water, the bottom with yellow sand and boulders of red granite, covered with thick bushes.
Salon of the Empress.
Dining room members of the imperial family.
The Empress, who suffered from private ailments, rarely went ashore, and spent most of her time on deck. Since 1907, Anna Alexandrovna Vyrubova became her maid of honor, and now, together with Alexandra Fyodorovna, she spent a lot of time on the yacht “Standart” and left interesting memories about it. When it was warm, the empress and the maid of honor were basking in the sun on the deckchairs, playing music, writing letters, and admiring the seascapes. In the evenings, when Nicholas II played with his adjutants at billiards or smoked cigarettes he stuffed with his own hands on the deck, Alexandra Feodorovna and Vyrubova did what they read aloud to each other or sewed by the light of an electric lamp.
Bedroom of the heir-crown prince.
Lunch of the lower ranks.
In good weather, Nicholas II used to take long walks with his daughters in the Finnish forests that grew along the shores of the coves. At the same time, he often released the guards accompanying them and walked with them alone. The girls were engaged in collecting bouquets of flowers, wild berries, mushrooms, growing moss on the rocks and sparkling small pieces of quartz sparkling with magical sparks. On the yacht, travelers full of impressions returned to noon tea, which they served on the upper deck under the marches performed by the brass band, or to the masterly play of a group of balalaika members of the yacht staff.
Princess Olga and Tatiana aboard the Shtandart.
In the evenings, the imperial yacht turned into a real cradle. Her slight swaying in the water lulled everyone. So, when the stewards began to set the table in the living room for dinner, there was very often no one to eat it: the whole imperial family was already fast asleep.
Tatiana in a sailor suit.
While aboard the Standard, Nicholas II continued to be involved in public affairs, so that ministers and secret police officers came to him on torpedo boats and boats. The emperor arranged the schedule of his annual June two-week vacation on board the yacht in such a way that it would work two days a week and rest for five days. At this time of rest, neither the ministers nor the high ranks of the secret police were allowed to board the yacht. But important reports, as well as various documents and the press on the "Standart" from St. Petersburg were delivered daily by express boat.
The imperial family on board the yacht "Standart".
In her memoirs, Vyrubova told in detail about what was happening on the yacht "Standart" in her presence. For example, that while the emperor's daughters were still small, each of them was answered by a special sailor-nurse (as they were called on the “Standard” - uncle), who were engaged in ensuring that the child entrusted to his care did not fall would be overboard.
Sablin N.P. - Author of memoirs about the service on the "Standart" in the company of the grand dukes and officers of the yacht.
Then the grand princesses grew up and received parental permission to swim in the sea on their own, but the “guys” were not canceled. Just so as not to embarrass them during water procedures, they were on the shore nearby and, standing on some hill, watched them with binoculars.
Imperial yacht "Standart" in Revel Bay. King Edward VII and Emperor Nicholas II.
It is clear that the older the princesses became, the more this guardianship made them and they, like all children, tried to show that they were “not small”. It happened that the princesses were teasing their uncles, and even arranged various tricks for them. However, Nicholas II never interfered in this relationship between his daughters with the yacht sailors-nannies. But every year for their uncles for their hard and very delicate work from the emperor as a gift were given a nominal gold watch, that is, it was rated very highly.
King Edward VII and Emperor Nicholas II aboard the Standard in 1908.
It happens, Vyrubova recalled, that the "Standard" anchored in the waters of the possessions of both Russian and Finnish nobility. And their owners could often meet in the morning on the threshold of their home the Russian emperor, who politely asked their permission to play with them on the tennis court. By the way, Nicholas II was an excellent tennis player, which she noted not alone.
The life of the imperial family on a yacht was easy and carefree. It was her own world, a world away from troubles and sorrows, a world in an “ivory tower”.
Alexandra Feodorovna with Tsarevich Alexei.
Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna and the British Princess Victoria aboard the yacht "Standart" in Revel.
Head of the Office of the Ministry of the Imperial Court A.A. Mosolov, in her notes “At the Court of the Last Russian Emperor,” published in 1993, wrote: “The Empress herself became sociable and cheerful as soon as she stepped onto the Shtandard’s deck. The Empress participated in children's games and talked to officers for a long time. These officers, obviously, occupied a very privileged position. Some of them were invited every day to the highest table. For his part, the sovereign and his family often accepted an invitation to tea in the mess-room ... The junior officers of the Standart little by little joined in the games of the great princesses. When they grew up, the games turned imperceptibly into a whole series of flirtations - of course, completely harmless. I use the word “flirting” in the wrong vulgar sense, which is now given to him; - Officers of the "Standard" was best compared with the pages or knights of the Middle Ages. Many times this youth rushed past me, and I never heard a single word that could cause a censure. In any case, these officers were wonderfully schooled ... "
Tsarevich Alexey and his uncle Andrey Derevenko.
And Vyrubova remembers how “... passing by the door of Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich, I saw the empress-mother sitting on his bed: she carefully cleaned his apple, and they chatted merrily.”
The Emperor and his wife on board the yacht "Standart".
In any case, the emperor, being on his yacht, tried as much as possible to be with his children. Moreover, the large size of the yacht turned it into an excellent playground. Young princesses, for example, rode on its deck on roller skates!
Princess Anastasia plays with kittens ...
Princess Maria and Tatiana play with kittens, 1908
But one cannot say that “Standart” was only a kind of floating home for the royal family. The yacht was very often used to participate in various diplomatic and representative events. At that time in Europe there was no such emperor, king or president, who at least once would not be on this vessel, did not step on his sparkling purity deck and did not admire her decor, brave crew and interior.
Maria, Olga, Anastasia and Tatiana ... They don’t know yet what fate awaits them in the future ...
"We arrived on business." The Minister of the Imperial Court, Baron VB Fredericks and Chairman of the Council of Ministers P.A. Stolypin on the deck of the yacht "Standart". Finland, 1910
In 1909, Nicholas II on board the "Standard" made his last visit to England, during which King Edward VII in honor of his crowned guest staged a royal military parade fleet. Both sovereigns were aboard the royal yacht Victoria and Albert, which sailed between the three lines of armadillos and dreadnoughts. At the same time, flags were lowered in front of the yacht on English warships, ships saluted with gunshots, and orchestras on decks played hymns "God Save the Tsar!" And "God Save the King!" King Edward VII and Emperor Nicholas in the form of an English admiral stood nearby on the deck and saluted, and thousands of British sailors shouted a loud “cheers” to them.
Nicholas II conducts a review of the Black Sea Fleet battleships-dodrednaught.
As for Nicholas II and Kaiser Wilhelm, the last time they had a chance to meet in June 1912, and again on board the yacht "Standart". Then the Shtandart and the emperor Wilhelm’s yacht, Hohenzollern, anchored aboard in Revel (now Tallinn). 30 June 1912, Nikolai wrote in a letter to his mother: “Emperor Wilhelm stayed for three days, and everything went quite well. He was extremely cheerful and friendly ... he gave good gifts to the children and Alexey gave a lot of board games ... He invited all the Stand officers to the yacht for a snack with champagne on his last morning. This reception lasted for an hour and a half, after which he told me that our officers had drunk 60 bottles of his champagne. ”
Photo of Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich of Russia with sailors, 1908.
Interestingly, his white-and-gold yacht “Hohenzollern” had a displacement of 4000 tons and was therefore much smaller than the “Standard”, and the Kaiser could not hide his envy by looking at this beautiful vessel. “He said,” wrote Nikolay II to his mother, “that he would be happy to receive her as a gift ...” But ... how much he did not hint to Nicholas, as it would be good, he did not heed his hints and “Standard” in the end remained so with him.
The engine compartment of the yacht "Standart".
One of the voyages in the skerries ended in an accident. Here is her description, made by Robert Massey in 1907, that is, immediately after the incident: “The yacht went out into the open sea through a narrow strait. The passengers sat on the deck. Suddenly, with a deafening crash, the yacht hit the underwater rock. The dishes overturned, the chairs fell, the musicians fell on the deck. The water rushed into the hold, "Standart" tilted and began to settle. Sirens sounded, the sailors began to launch the boats. At this point, there was no three-year-old crown prince, and both parents became frantic with grief. It turned out that the sailor-nurse Derevenko, when struck by the “Standard” on the rock, grabbed Alexei in his arms and transferred him to the bow of the yacht, believing quite correctly that it would be easier for him to save the heir from this part of the ship when the yacht was completely destroyed.
Nicholas II was always at the leerra, watching the descent of the boats. He often looked at his watch, counting by how many inches per minute the Standard was lowered into the water. He estimated that 20 minutes remained. However, thanks to its hermetic bulkheads, the yacht did not sink. And it was later renovated. ”
“The yacht“ Standart ”- Faberge's egg.
Olga recalled that while Standart was being repaired, the sailors from the yacht were often invited to the Mariinsky Theater to play the role of slaves and soldiers, for example, in the opera Aida. “It was funny to see these tall men standing awkwardly on stage, wearing helmets and sandals and showing their bare hairy legs. Despite the fierce signals of the director, they gawked at the royal box, and smiled broadly and cheerfully at us.
“The yacht“ Standart ”- Faberge's egg. Close-up.
In Soviet times, the Marty minelayer was made of the yacht “Standart”, but this is already completely different история...