Diaries and Letters - Marie Feodorovna Letters to Nikita Alexandrovich
The following are four handwritten letters recently acquired for our archives from Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna in Denmark to her Grandson Prince Nikita Alexandrovich, son of Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovich and Grand Duke Michael Nicholaievich. These were witten starting shortly after Marie Feodorovna went to Denmark from England, after the rescue of her and Xenia and her family, including Prince Nikita on the HMS Marlborough in April 1919. It is interesting that they are written on black bordered mourning note paper.
Written in Imperial Russian cursive, they are rather difficult to read by modern Russian native speakers, who labored for weeks to translate them. Some words and phrases are in English and French, which was typical for the Romanov Family at the time. I have included certain translations or editorial notes of my own which are in italics. If anyone can read them and provide a better or more accurate translation, we would be most grateful and eager to revise the translations here. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rob Moshein for the Alexander Palace Time Machine.
Letter #1 – Amalienborg, 4/17 April 1920
My dearest Nikita!
My darling, dear Nikita! Indeed He is risen, and I kiss you thrice!!
From all my heart I thank you for your nice letter that I had perfectly enjoyed yesterday.
I was so greatly missing all of you on Easter, which we always used to celebrate together. Thank God, dear Aunt Olga came here exactly on the Passion Week, so we could receive the Holy Communion together. It was a great joy, and you should understand how much I was happy and grateful to God. All four of them are well and cheerful, although it was to them, like to us then and there, emotionally heartbreaking and sad to leave the homeland! Tikhon has grown very much, and the small Guriy was exceptionally nice with me, so a charming little soul. Tikhon immediately recognized me and called “Amama”. We are getting up, drinking our morning coffee and having breakfast together, but in the evening we already don’t see them because they still go to bed at 8.
I am so pleased that you like it at Cambridge and that you have friends. I imagine how much Mama is happy to have all of you with her. I’ve just learned a son was born to Axel and Margareta, a great joy.
Goodbye, my dear Nikita, tenderly hugging you firmly, together with all your darling mother and brothers. Let God give you all the best.
Letter #2 – Hvidøre, 15/28 October 1920
My dearest Nikita!
From all my heart I thank you for your dearest letter that brought me great happiness.
I had not heard from you for such a long time and I am glad that you were happy to meet dear Mary in France. I have always liked her, she is such a nice Lady, the sort of person I love. I am also glad that Countess Vorontsov was so nice to you.
I hope that you are comfortable in Cambridge. It is so nice to be able to breathe near a river.
Good conduct (ie: behavior) shall do honor to the entire family. Tante Olga sends a warm greeting. Her children are such darlings, little Guri is just beautiful. They have both grown up so much. Weather is very nice, but it is already fall. Every day we take a ride in the morning. I walk by the sea, where it is so beautiful and good. My thoughts are with you always and I miss all of you very much! Mother was until now in Versailles, and very happy to be with Andrew. I am hoping that she will still come here, we could remember our very comfortable life. Such a pity that you could not come with her then.
Tenderly hugging you, my dear Nikita. Great greetings also from: Cogi, Dim
Letter #3 Amelienborg, 22 April (5 May) 1921
He is Risen Indeed!
My dear Nikita, I thank you for your nice letter that brought me great happiness, most especially the hope to see you by this summer.
I was waiting for this for a long time and happy that, Thank God!, it will happen. Almost two years now since I have seen you, and am missing you, my dear Nikita. Thank God that you are happy in Cambridge after a nice time in Cannes which you spent with dear Mary. I think about you a lot and remember the good times past, when we were all living together. I am happy that dear Mamma and T. Olga are here with Dmitr. Vasilevich, Tikhon and Guri. They are all very happy and Vas is playing with them. Dmitry is grown but has a cough, I don’t know who he will manage his work at Erik’s. To be just a laborer, I don’t think he will like it. His is a real dandy...but we will see. His is very satisfied to be at Cannes. We are with him and Vas every day and Vas is driving. But, it is getting cold, after such nice weather. Mother has unfortunately caught a cold and is inside.
Everyone sends their greetings and I am hugging you , with all my love. God bless you.
Letter #4 Hvidøre 21 August (3 Sept) 1921
My dear Nikita,
I was very happy to receive your letter and I thank you from all my heart. I was so glad that you finally (visited?) and fell in love with Denmark (mon pays natale, my native country). We, all of us, are missing you. I can imagine how happy you are to be with your dear bride, and I am with you in my thoughts. Hug her for me and tell her I am so glad that she will be my granddaughter.
The weather is good, but a little cooler during the last day. The little children, Tikhon and Guri, are not sleeping in the garden in the afternoon anymore. Dmitri is still riding and very satisfied. Today he went in to the city, chez le coiffeur (to the hairdresser). Vasia is running all day coming back only for meals. Every day we gather a lot of mushrooms, which is such a pleasure. By evening we play Bezique with Dmitri. We often visit Bernstorff, Margerite with her husband who just arrived not so long ago and N. Waldemar very happy of course. But they are departing to Kenya and South Africa, where she has an estate. They are glad and happy.
Kiss Andrew for me, who probably has forgotten me completely.
My best love to all the dear Cheremetieffs (written in English).
Hugging you, Mimi and Rostislav.
Tenderly loving you,