PRINCESS FROM THE HUNT
Back in 1884, cesarevich Nikolai, when he first saw Alice of Hesse, fell in love with her. He wrote in his diary: “It is very, very sad for me that the Darmstadts are leaving tomorrow, and even more that sweet Alix will leave me.”
From that moment on, the crown prince began to dream of marriage with Alice. Emperor Alexander III and Empress Maria Feodorovna strongly opposed it.
Alix was a poor princess from the duchy, who had long ago become the outback of the German Empire. Her mother suffered from a nervous breakdown, but, worst of all, she was a carrier of a hereditary disease - hemophilia, which is transmitted through the female line to her sons, but the carriers themselves do not get sick. Naturally, neither Alexander III nor Empress Maria Feodorovna at first did not want to hear about this marriage.
Alix's Darmstadt relatives tried with might and main, but, alas, her capabilities were small. The first violin in the struggle for the imperial crown for Alix was played by the grandmother Queen Victoria. And all the services of the kingdom worked for her, from diplomats to career intelligence officers.
Found the "fifth column" in St. Petersburg. At its head were the Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich (the Tsar's brother) and his wife Elizabeth (Sister Alix), as well as the Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna (the Tsar's daughter) and the Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich. Moreover, behind the latter there were still three brothers of Mikhailovich - the grandchildren of Nicholas I.
Needless to say, the grand princes and princesses did not deal with the device of the marriage of the crown prince at all out of altruism and the desire to help the couple in love. By the end of the 19th century, several dozen great princes and princesses were spinning around the throne, who continuously competed and intrigued with each other - there was a struggle for orders, money, palaces, and even personal freedom in choosing a bride or groom.
But this is one side of the coin. And the other is Matilda’s social position. It is now illiterate actress, inflated cheeks, climb into politics. And then the actresses ... as if to say more softly ... were considered the ladies of half light.
FROM MUD YES AT PALACE
Today, school teachers, unfortunately, often read the texts of the classics to students, without going into the essence. Recall:
Obshkat Phaedra, Cleopatra,
Moinu cause (in order
Just to hear it).
Or, like Tolstoy Pierre, with drunk officers, went to the actresses with a drunk, yes, I remember, they also took the bear.
In the XVIII - early XX century in the company of the officers of the Guard it was very prestigious to have popular actresses as mistresses. To a certain extent, this contributed to career growth. But the marriage with the actress, even the most famous, clearly put an end to the career of an officer or state official. The most honored officer was obliged to leave the regiment.
As for the great princes from the house of the Romanovs, they could marry only with the permission of the emperor and only with a sovereign person. In this case, the person could have already lost her kingdom or duchy. It was enough for one title.
Here, for example, at the beginning of 1891, in the Italian town of Saint-Remy, Grand Duke Mikhail Mikhailovich was married to Countess Sofia Nikolayevna Merenberg. Sophia was the daughter of Prince Nicholas Wilhelm of Nassau and Natalia Alexandrovna Pushkina. The daughter of the “sun of our poetry” divorced her husband and again married Prince Nikolai Wilhelm of Nassau. Their marriage was recognized as unequal, and Natalia and her children were forbidden to carry the name of her husband. In exchange for her father-in-law, the duke of Nassau was given the title of Countess Merenberg.
Alexander III did not recognize this marriage, and Mikhail Mikhailovich deprived of all ranks and titles and by special decree forbade him entry into the empire.
Mish-Mish reacted calmly to the royal decree. The newlyweds chose England as their main residence. Queen Victoria conferred on them the title of Count de Torby. In Russia, the Counts of de Torby have never visited.
As you can see, the Grand Duke could not even marry the prince’s daughter because her mother was divorced. Well, when the Grand Duke expressed a desire to marry a merchant's daughter, she and her family were sent without trial to places not so remote. And interested in specific episodes, I refer to my book "The Fate of the Dynasty."
Naturally, not a single Grand Duke even thought about marrying an actress. And despite the fact that at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries almost all the grand dukes (with a normal sexual orientation) had a metress among actresses.
So, the Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich with ballerina Anna Kuznetsova had five children, who received the name Knyazevy. Grand Prince Nikolay Nikolayevich Sr. from the ballerina Ekaterina Chislova had four children, who received the surname of Nikolaev. Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolayevich Sr. was commander-in-chief of the Russian army in the Balkans during the Russian-Turkish war of 1877 — 1878. A talentless commander, he became the hero of an officer's jokes like: “Oleg the Prophet took Constantinople and nailed the shield to its gates, and Nikolay Nikolayevich wanted to beat the Chislovoy pantalonchiki to the gates of Istanbul,” he said.
The son of Nikolai Nikolayevich was also Nikolai, and also for the beginning headed the cavalry, and then became commander-in-chief of the Russian army. Accordingly, Nikolai Nikolayevich Jr. had his own actress, Maria Alexandrovna Pototskaya, a prima donna of the Alexandrovsky Theater.
Even the aged grand duke Mikhail Nikolayevich, in his declining years, began an affair with the singer Nina Fride.
Well, what did the actresses have of ties with the great princes?
First, the highest patronage in the theater. The director of the imperial theaters, Privy Councilor Vladimir Arkadyevich Telyakovsky wrote: “The real adviser is secret, and the direct directors are in charge, but they, like females, are not recorded by mistake in the administration lists.”
Accordingly, the editor of the newspaper, who published the article about the actress, was summoned to the police, where he was warned, or simply expelled from the capital.
In the course of a long relationship with the actresses, the grand dukes usually bought them a medium-sized house and presented them with jewelry. As a result, the grand mistress lived at the level of the second guild merchant's wife.
Especially valuable gifts to give metressam was not accepted and even dangerous. So, in 1874, the Grand Duke Nikolai Konstantinovich, the grandson of Emperor Nicholas I, had the imprudence to present a small part of the family jewels to his mistress American actress Fanny Lear, and he also showed an obstinate nature: he did not want to repent and humiliate himself. Nicholas Konstantinovich deprived of the title and sent to prisons and links.
Nikolai Konstantinovich stayed in the places not so remote for much longer than the Decembrists or the People’s People, and only in March 1917 he was released by decree of the Minister of Justice Kerensky.
INTRIGUE OF STATE VALUE
Matilda Kshesinskaya was no exception. She was never seen by the crown prince as a wife. Nikolai never discussed any state affairs with the ballerina. Especially since, to be honest, they didn’t hold much of the crown prince.
So, the connection with Kshesinskaya was an ordinary affair. As a result, she received a house and several decorations from Nikolay. By the time of the break in 1894, Matilda was inferior in her wealth to dozens of other dancers and actresses who had rich patrons. Here, in fact, all the cinema, plus a dozen sentimental dialogues and alcove scenes.
And because of this Kshesinskaya entered the history of Russia? The fact is that after 20 years after breaking up with Nikolai, who married Alexandra Fedorovna, the poor actress turns into the richest woman in Russia. And the emperor Nikolay had nothing to do with this.
During these 20 years, Matilda changed many lovers, but they were all not rich. The exception was represented by two great princes - Sergey Mikhailovich and Andrey Vladimirovich. But even they could not physically create for her a fabulous state.
In February 1917, Matilda pawned some of her jewels in the banks, rescuing 4 million rubles. She wrote that bankers robbed her. But in order to earn so much money, she would have to dance on the stage of the imperial theater ... 200 years!
Matilda became the owner of four luxurious palaces - in St. Petersburg on the Kronverkskaya embankment, two palaces on the Cote d'Azur in France and the palace complex in Strelna from a two-story palace, a concrete pier with a yacht and even a two-story power station. On the name of Matilda in Strelna gathered at least a thousand guests. For this, even changed the train schedule from St. Petersburg.
Where did the ballerina come from? She did not do business, like modern pop stars. The fact is that Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolayevich, Feldtseyhmeister General (died at 1909) and his son, Artillery Inspector General Sergei, controlled all purchases of military equipment, and above all artillery, out of control.
COMRADE BENDER AND NOT DECLINED
Sergey, together with Matilda and the management of the Schneider company and the Putilov factory, organized an organized criminal group - an organized criminal group. By law, in order to order a new artillery system for the Russian army, it was necessary to arrange a competition with the testing of the best samples of foreign and Russian factories.
Until 1894, the beginning of the connection between Matilda and Sergey, the instruments of the Schneider Company were not quoted in the Russian army. They preferred the tools Krupp and Obukhov factory. Well, and then Schneider's company took the lead. I myself studied in the archives the test reports of the Krupp, Skoda, Schneider, and Vickers guns. And everywhere there was a mass of postscripts and forgeries. For example, the Schneider 152-mm gun showed worse ballistics than the similar Krupp system. But, of course, they accepted Schneider’s cannon, since it was a few pounds lighter. The funny thing is that in the same document, our generals suggested making improvements to the Schneider system, which increased its weight by more than 300 kg, that is, making it significantly heavier than the Krupp system.
Reached jokes. In 1906 – 1909, GAU developed tactical and technical requirements for a 9-inch (229-mm) siege mortar. In 1912, tests of the 9-inch Krupp mortar began at the Okhtena test site, which, to the surprise of our generals, shot from the wheels. Well, Schneider simply could not make such a mortar. And then, on the orders of Sergei, GAU decided that 9-inch mortars of the Russian army are not needed.
And with the beginning of the First World War, the same Sergei ordered to order in England 44 "unnecessary" 9,2-inch mortars.
In 1907, Schneider did not have time to apply for the competition 122-mm howitzer. It was impossible to declare it "unnecessary", since there were no tools of mounted combat in the field artillery at all. It was necessary to adopt the Krupp howitzer, which was launched into serial production under the name “48-linear (122-mm) howitzer mod. 1909. A year later, Schneider finally brought his howitzer to St. Petersburg, which at least had no advantage over Krupp howitzer. But Sergei ordered to adopt it. Thus, two howitzers of fundamentally different designs appeared in Russian artillery. In the troops, howitzer of the 1910 model of the year, without hesitation, were called "Kshesinskaya howitzer systems".
I note that Krupp never wondered at which Russian factories they would make his guns. He fruitfully cooperated with both Obukhov and Perm plants. But Schneider signed contracts with the obligatory condition that his artillery systems would be made exclusively at the Putilov Works, the only private artillery plant in Russia.
Moreover, Sergey and Matilda decided to bankrupt the largest supplier of land artillery - Motovilikhinsky (Perm) artillery plant. From 1905 to 1914 year, the plant did not order a single gun! The plant was supposed to collapse, and the workers rebel. However, the plant was surrounded by villages where the proletarians previously lived. And the hard workers simply went to the peasantry.
Yes, even here Sergey was put in the leg by his brother Mikhail Mikhailovich. He lived in England and played golf with Cannon King Albert Vickers. I add that both were high degree masons. Vickers also laid eyes on the Motovilikhinsky plant. The battle of the titans began. But then inappropriately shots rang out in Sarajevo.
The war began. Putilov plant flunked most orders and was nationalized. But every third gun on the front in 1914 – 1917 was made at the Motovilikha plant.
TO THE LAST SOLDIER
The French government since the beginning of the twentieth century planned to wage war until the last soldier, of course, Russian and German. Russian army had only to attack. As a result, Sergei for the first time in the history of Russia in 1911 abolished heavy (siege) artillery, promising to recreate it in 1917.
From 1894, the Russian serf artillery did not receive a single heavy weapon and was content with the 1877, 1876 and 1838 systems. New tools in the fortress Sergey promised the king to deliver in ... 1930 year.
Meanwhile, in Germany, Austria-Hungary, France and other states, siege guns of 305, 380 and 420 mm caliber were created. And by the year 1915, the maximum caliber of the artillery artillery was 152 mm for guns and 203 mm for mortars.
But in the fortresses, not only the caliber of the gun and the firing range are important, but also the security of the installation. From 1863 to Belgium, and then to England, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Romania, Denmark, etc. medium-caliber guns in the land fortresses were installed in the rotating metal towers. So, by the 1908 year in Germany, Krupp plants produced 1903 towers, a Skoda plant built 485 towers, a Belgian Cockeril plant around 400 towers, etc. In Russia, in the land fortresses, by the year 1915 there was one tower, and that French one, by mistake, got into the Osovets fortress.
It was possible to install tools of medium and large calibers in concrete casemates or concrete cubes, as the Germans did, for example. Such installations were invulnerable to projectiles and bombs of any caliber.
In Russia, at the beginning of the 19th century 90, it was decided to remove medium-caliber guns from the forts and place them inside the citadel in order to “ease the load on the forts”. Thus, only light anti-assault guns of 57 – 76 mm calibers remained on the forts, and all large implements of 107 – 203 mm calibers were delivered on batteries behind the line of forts. Moreover, the Russian guns were delivered quite openly, protected only by a low earthen or concrete parapet.
Alas, heavy artillery became the decisive force in the positional First World War. And the three lines of the western Russian fortresses, which were considered the strongest in the world by 1894, were surrendered to the Germans with almost no resistance.
The modern Russophobes, using the example of Kshesinsky, prove to us that the entire Imperial ballet has fled from the excesses of the Bolsheviks. Alas, it was different.
Dygilev organized the troupe back in 1908 year and began to organize Russian seasons in Paris, and with the beginning of the war in 1914, he left the company from France in the USA.
Anna Pavlova left for England in the 1914 year and never returned to Russia from there. Vaclav Nijinsky with 1910 of the year - in Paris in the company of Dyagilev.
Lifar studied, danced and staged ballets in Soviet Russia. In 1923, he had an acquaintance (a novel?) With Bronislava Nizhinskaya (Vatslav's sister), and she invited him to the Russian Ballet troupe in Paris.
Georgy Balanchine studied at the Petrograd Drama School in 1914 – 1921. Then he was accepted into the corps de ballet of the State Opera and Ballet Theater and at the same time he studied in the ballet class of the Petrograd Conservatory. In 1923, he married 15-year-old (!) Dancer Tamara Zheverzheyeva. In modern Russia, he would have been sent to the zone for pedophilia, and Balanchine’s career would have ended. In 1923, he graduated from the conservatory, and the next year he went on tour with his company to Germany. There Balanchine received an invitation from Dyagilev to the place of the choreographer in the Russian Ballet. George agreed and immediately changed his name to George. As you can see, a career typical of Russia of the 21st century is an artist, mathematician, chemist, etc. She is educated and goes to work in the United States or Western Europe.
The famous ballerina Tamara Karsavina also appeared in the West. In 1917, she married British diplomat Henry Bruce and went to London with him. Only a person who possesses, to put it mildly, a rich imagination, can write to Tamara and all the above artists in political emigrants.
By the way, Matilda’s brother Joseph Kshesinsky continued to perform successfully on the Leningrad stage and even himself performed ballets. In 1922, the Polish government offered him to go to Warsaw. Later, Matilda got her brother a visa to France. But in both cases, Joseph decisively refused.
In the surviving passages of Kshesinsky's memoirs, two things surprised me. Firstly, instead of the USSR, he often writes “Soviet Russia”. If he wrote memoirs for the authorities, he would most likely use the official name of the country, and “Sovetskaya Rus” - I think this is from the heart. Jozef became a Russian man of Polish origin. Well, and secondly, Joseph never mentioned Matilda in his memoirs. Why? I do not know and do not want to make assumptions.
But we forgot about the second great prince, Andrei Vladimirovich. He was young, energetic and poor. Therefore, Matilda gave her son Vova, conceived in cohabitation with both great princes, gave the patronymic Sergeyevich. And Sergei Mikhailovich was very proud of his fatherhood.
In emigration, the laws of the Russian Empire were no longer valid, and poor Andrei married Cannas to rich Matilde in 1921. Well, Vova was rewritten from Sergeyevich to Andreevichi.
Soon Matilda lost her fortune in roulette. Andrei and Vova became prominent figures of the Russian fascist party “Mladorosy”. Pulling in green shirts, they came to the party congresses and, throwing out a hand in a Nazi salute, shouted: "Glory to the Head!" With the start of World War II, the French broke up the fascist party, and Vova sat for a few months in the Compiegne camp. Kazem-Bek fled to the United States, where the FBI was exposed as a Soviet agent in 1955. He fled through Cuba and Czechoslovakia to the USSR and spoke on the radio there, denouncing American imperialism.
Matilda died in Paris 6 December 1971 of the year, not nine months before her centenary.