Revealed the delicate details of the tender romance of the last Russian Empress Alexandra Feodorovna

Photos provided by the Elisabeth-Sergius Educational Society

Photos provided by the Elisabeth-Sergius Educational Society


On November 1, the anniversary celebrations solemnly ended in Moscow. XXV Elisabeth-Sergius Readings. This year they are dedicated to two sisters – Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna and the last Russian Empress Alexandra Feodorovna.

– November 1 – the birthday of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna. Also this year we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of her sister, Alexandra Fedorovna, so our conference is called “August Sisters Elizabeth and Alexandra – a feat of mercy,” explained a leading researcher at the Institute of World History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Elisavetinsko-Sergievsky educational society” Anna Gromova. – Within the framework of the conference, we are talking about difficult times for Russia: the Russian-Japanese, Russian-Turkish wars, the First World War, the history of the Red Cross. About the charitable activities of the sisters, who not only did charity work, but also personally worked in hospitals, caring for the wounded.

“Today we live in a very indifferent society, a very small part of people, despite the situation in which we find ourselves, do charity work, think about mercy and self-sacrifice,” the archpriest believes. Dmitry Roshchin, Head of the Department for Interaction with Public Organizations of the Synodal Department of the Russian Orthodox Church. – If we recall the events of 100 years ago, the First World War, we will see that everyone – from young to old, from kings to commoners – were involved in it, people gave everything they could for the sake of the front and victory. The example of the past can and should inspire us to become Christians again, People with a capital letter.

Dmitry Roschin.  Photos provided by the Elisabeth-Sergius Educational Society

Dmitry Roschin. Photos provided by the Elisabeth-Sergius Educational Society


The international conference brought together representatives of the largest museums, educational and religious organizations not only from Russia, but also from Jerusalem – from the monastery of St. Mary Magdalene.

The first reports were made on October 30 and 31 in Tobolsk, where the subject exhibition “Merciful Service of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna” has recently opened in the Museum of the Family of Emperor Nicholas II. The final performances were held in Moscow in the building of the former Stroganov School, which was patronized by the Governor-General of Moscow, Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich and his wife, Grand Duchess Elizaveta Feodorovna. Now this building houses the Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (RAZhViZ) Ilya Glazunov.

Ilya Glazunov.  Photos provided by the Elisabeth-Sergius Educational Society

Ilya Glazunov. Photos provided by the Elisabeth-Sergius Educational Society

“We are hosting the Elisabeth-Sergius Readings for the first time,” admitted Ilya Glazunov, candidate of art history, people’s artist of the Russian Federation, member of the presidium of the Russian Academy of Arts and rector of RAZhViZ. – But we remember and honor traditions, even our students study according to the same classical program.

The aim of the conference is education. The participants recalled how children react with surprise to things that seemed ordinary a century ago – that women from the imperial family learned not only to help the wounded, but also to ride horses, to wield weapons, that it was a great honor for them to bear the title of regiment chief, then have to be an honorary commander.


– The amazing life of the sisters Elizabeth and Alexandra needs to be studied and popularized, – the director of the State Archives of the Russian Federation is sure Larisa Horny. – We have a huge collection of diaries, letters and notebooks of the last Russian Empress, including those with Emperor Nicholas II, in our archive. This is more than a thousand letters that they wrote to each other from the very beginning of their acquaintance, from 1889 to 1917.

Larisa Horny.  Photos provided by the Elisabeth-Sergius Educational Society

Larisa Horny. Photos provided by the Elisabeth-Sergius Educational Society

At the same time, only letters from a married couple from the period 1914-1917 were published earlier. Now the archive staff has finished translating from English the first letters they wrote to each other when their relationship was just beginning.

– From them we learn a lot about the life of Alexandra Feodorovna in London and Darmstadt: what she was fond of, what she read, what music she listened to. These letters contain her doubts, because when she moved to Russia, she also had to convert from Lutheranism to Orthodoxy. And Nikolai – then still the Tsarevich – very gently and delicately helped her in this, – says Larisa Rogovaya. – I really hope that this year we will be able to publish this first volume, and it will become available to everyone.


Vitaly Suchkov, Head of the Department of National Policy and Interregional Relations of the City of Moscow

The Moscow government has supported and will continue to support the Elisabeth-Sergius Educational Society in holding conferences and other events that are interesting and informative not only for Muscovites, but also for guests of the capital, for the whole world. Nowadays, the theme of mercy sounds in a special way, it is relevant, therefore, such social work is very important.

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