Monday, October 20, 2014

Alexander III dying

October 20, 1894

There are "conflicting rumors" regarding the condition of Alexander III of Russia, reports the New York Times.   Official circles "profess to have no information or positively refuse to furnish any," and several Russian journals are sending reporters to Livadia.

Adding to the burden of confusion,  there are also reports that that the condition of the Emperor's second son, Grand Duke George, who suffers from consumption, is "very serious."  Some quarters say he "is dying."

A "special dispatch" from St. Petersburg to the Neue Freie Press in Vienna states that Empress Marie Feodorovna, who has spent every day at her husband's bedside, has suffered "a stroke of apoplexy."  Her elder daughter, Grand Duchess Xenia, has "broken down under the nervous strain," and is now confined to her bed.

Another report from St. Petersburg notes that "early in his illness," the Emperor had a long talk with the Tsarevitch, in which he "outlined the policies that should be pursued in foreign and domestic affairs."  He also told his son that he approves of his marriage to Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine, and the "marriage might take place without delay, in order that he might give his blessing to the couple before his death."

However, it is unlikely that Princess Alix will reach Livadia in time to be married before the Emperor dies.

The latest dispatch from St. Petersburg (1:30 p.m.) states that the Emperor's condition is "so grave," and there is little "ground for hope" that he will survive the next few days.

There are also reports that Alexander III died "last night," but there have been no official confirmation of this dispatch.

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