Thursday, 11 January 2018

Prince Valdemar of Denmark supporting his sister Empress Marie

Fulfilling a promise to his daughter Empress Marie, King Christian IX and Queen Louise of Denmark visited Saint Petersburg in the late autumn of 1881. He worried about ‘the need to match the imperial extravagance’ writing that he ‘wished to live as close as possible to her but not in the palace’. The king, unable to justify another trip within six months, did not attend Alexander III’s coronation and sent his son Valdemar.


Georges Becker’s painting (below) of The Coronation of Alexander III and Empress Marie Feodorovna

Empress Marie’s letters to her mother reveal private details surrounding the coronation ceremony on May 15th 1883. The evening of May 14th ‘all the family was in the church for a long time.  After the service, Valdemar [her brother] and I had dinner and were together until about 11:30 pm. Then we had confession with Father Yanishev. After that we went to bed. Fortunately I was able to fall asleep but poor Sasha [Alexander III] had not slept all night. We rose at 7:00 am, awakened by cannon shots that ushered in the beginning of the celebrations’.
  
‘At 9:00 with beating hearts and tears in our eyes we left our chambers. I wore the silver coronation dress with a long train, nothing on the head and a small pearl necklace to not feel naked. We entered the ancient Assumption Cathedral and stopped in the center on the dais before the two thrones. Valdemar stood next to me. Sasha was presented with a crown. He solemnly laid it on his head. Valdemar laid a large velvet pillow at his feet on which I had to kneel. Sasha solemnly put a little crown on my head’.

Engraving of Georges Becker’s Painting (below) of The Anointing of Emperor Alexander III



Nicholas II hung the two paintings above of his father’s coronation in his Reception Room (176) on the 2nd floor of the northwest section of the Winter Palace (below).  The Anointing of Emperor Alexander III is on the right.

 Photograph (below) of the Reception Room in November 1917


5 comments:

  1. All the times that I have seen the picture of the reception room I had no idea there was a picture of his father’s coronation hanging on the wall!
    Thanks so much Joanna
    Ghostie x

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  2. What other pictures hung in the various apartments in the palace, were there family portraits, painting's ect...?
    Ghostie x

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  3. There were many paintings throughout the private rooms from various contemporary artists and masterpieces such as Raphael. Also family portraits. I describe many in my forthcoming book.

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  4. I'm looking everywhere on the internet for the second painting but cannot find one with at least laptop size, only small picture available without watermark. Too bad, that painting is so beautiful. I wish I can have one for my laptop wallpaper.

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  5. The location of the original painting is unknown. I have found a copy on glowimages site. I added it to the post above for you. I am unaware of the source though of glowimages copy.

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