Thursday, November 10, 2011

A French nurse for baby Grand Duchess

November 11, 1899

Czar Nicholas II has employed a French nurse for his baby daughter, reports the Marquise de Fontenoy.  This has caused a lot of excitement and attention because it is the "first instance on record of a foreinger being employed for this purpose by any reigning royal house."  

The nurse was hired for Nicholas'  second daughter, Grand Duchess Tatiana, as his eldest daughter, Grand Duchess Olga, was nursed by the young Empress herself.   It was also the first time in history in Russia that "an Empress had nursed her own child."  This was seen as the "inauguration of a new era in Russia," where even the "grave and ponderous London Times" devoted an entire column to the manner of the Empress' breastfeeding.   She had received the "cordial support" from her grandmother, Queen Victoria, who had nursed all of her children, while her eldest daugher, Empress Friedrich, "followed her example."


Rex said...


I believe Queen Victoria abhorred her daughters breast feeding their babies, and that she had quite heated correspondence with Princess Alice about this.
Just found a reference to her attitude towards breast feeding in Longford's Victoria RI - following the birth of her first child Vicky it says "the Queen had neither time nor inclination to nurse her and a wet nurse was obtained appropriately enough from Cowes.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Yes, Victoria was quite open to her family about being against breastfeeding ... you need to learn to take the Marquise de Fontenoy with a grain of salt.