Monday, February 17, 2014

Grand Duchess Xenia to wed cousin

February 17, 1894

Grand Duchess Xenia, elder daughter of Emperor Alexander III and Empress Marie of Russia, has been the subject of many rumors of a marriage with "eligible suitors of royal blood," reports the Chicago Daily Tribune.

These rumors have been laid to rest with the official announcement that the Grand Duchess is to marry her cousin, Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovitch.

The engagement was "celebrated by a magnificent ball" at the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. 

The Emperor and Empress attended the gala event, along with "the most aristocratic nobility."

After the "grand assemblage" paid homage to the Emperor and Empress, the young couple "received their felicitations and congratulations."
At midnight, the bride-to-be and her fiancé were accorded the place of honor in the "established court etiquette.

Grand Duchess Xenia was born on April 6, 1875, and is eighteen years old.  She cannot be "called handsome," as her features are said to be too pronounced.   However, her complexion is said to be "unsurpassed and her manner gracious and simple."

Her mother, Empress Marie, a Princess of Denmark by birth, raised her in "accordance with the simple girlhood of her Danish home."

Marie did not permit her daughter to be photographed until recently because  "the child was still in the awkward age."

At the ball, the young Grand Duchess, wore a gown that was "sumptuous in its severe simplicity and pure white."  She wore pearls, which, "against her dark hair and splendid complexion, were given an additional luster."

Grand Duke Alexander, who was born in April 1866, is the fourth son of Grand Duke Michael.   He has the "decided Romanov type in his appearance having heavy rather than handsome features."

he is said to be a favorite of Alexander III.  This engagement is "free from all political color" and is said to be a "love match." 

According to court circles, Alexander III was instrumental in arranging the matct as he had  a "secret horror" of his daughter marrying into a foreign royal house, and he "would do everything to prevent it."

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