Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Parades and Picnics at Gatchina Palace 1898

Nicholas II and Alexandra left Tsarskoe Selo at 11:00 am on Saturday May 9th 1898 for Gatchina Palace. Nicholas wrote that at ‘noon there was a Cuirassier parade on the palace square. Before drinking toasts, Misha [brother] was counted in the regiment’s list. We had lunch with the officers in the White Hall’.

Photographs (below) of Regimental Parades in Gatchina

Photograph (below) of the White Hall in Gatchina Palace

The following month on Monday June 1st at ‘2:00 pm we went to Gatchina to celebrate Olga’s birthday. She is now sixteen years old. At 3:30 we went off in a big group in three carriages to a picnic beyond the Pedlinsky forest to a small Finnish house. Of course we made the food ourselves with our own hands. The best chef turned out to be Count Golenischev-Kutuzov. We had a very merry time and returned to the palace at 10:00 where we watched fireworks at the lake. We were home at 12:00 am in Tsarskoe Selo’.

On Saturday June 13th at ‘2:00 pm we went to Gatchina. Around 4:00 we went off with almost the same group as the last time to a picnic in the tea house at the Lis Knolls. The weather remained excellent. The fare this time turned out very successfully, simply delicious! We stayed until 9:30 and returned home at 11:00’.

Photograph (below) of Nicholas II and group at the picnic in 1898

Five years later on Sunday May 11th 1903 they ‘went off to Gatchina. We went quickly upon arrival to the picnic in the Finnish house. Misha, Petya and I rode on horseback. The air was wonderful, the mood the very best, but the mosquitoes were such a pain!’


  1. They visited to open a letter coinciding with an anniversary related to Tsar Pavel. It appears that a monk had given him a foretelling letter only to be open in early 1900, the exact date escapes me. Apparently they came back somber and sad, the lady in waiting said, adding that 1918 would be a bad year. Who knows, perhaps just some more posterior rubbish, but as I said the Pavel letter was there.....

  2. It is a legend of a box with a letter. I have the items listed in Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna's will after her death in 1828 and the distribution of Emperor Paul's things.