Friday, October 25, 2013

Nicholas hoping for a son

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 October 25, 1913

The question of succession to the Russian throne may be "settled soon," reports the Chicago Daily Tribune's St Petersburg correspondent.   Europe is very interested in the announcement that Empress Alexandra is expecting another child.  For the past few months, the wife of Nicholas II has been "living in retirement" at Livadia, the imperial family's summer home in the Crimea, and is said to be "in fine health."

Empress Alexandra will remain at Livadia until the "interesting event occurs."

All of the couple's five children, except Grand Duchess Olga, were born at Peterhof.   The only son, Tsarevitch Alexis, is "slowly dying from necrosis."  A newspaper being circulated by the Nihilists "boldly declares" that imperial doctors have stated that the nine-year-old heir has only a few months to live.

Women can only inherit after the death of the final eligible male Romanov, which means Nicholas II's eldest daughter, Grand Duchess Olga, cannot succeed him.  Next in line is Nicholas's only surviving brother, Grand Duke Michael.  His marriage is morganatic, and his issue will not have succession rights.     All of the other grand dukes are said to be "generally unfit to reign."

In other Imperial news,  Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna is completing plans to move to England to live with her sister, the Dowager Queen Alexandra, at Marlborough House and Sandringham.  It is an "open secret" that the Dowager Empress and her daughter-in-law, Empress Alexandra "are not on the best of terms. 

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