08 February 2010

Love Affairs: Nicholas II & Alexandra

By Isabel Roman

Russian romance is often tragic, it's also often dramatic. The Russians do everything to excess. The old saying "live hard, play hard" seems to be triple for the Russians. Their corruption is audacious, their love affairs are no less so.

However, Nicholas and Alexandra weren't ordinary Russians. Their love was more subdued, but quiet and affectionate. When Nicholas Romanov saw Alix von Hessen und bei Rhein (Alexandra Feodorovna Romanova), it was love at first sight. Nicholas was never supposed to be Tsar, but upon his brother's death, and his ascension to the throne, he married Alexandra. The Russian people believed that a bad omen, marrying so soon after a death.

Oh, how right they were.

But until 1917, they were content in their relationship, passionate to a degree. Even though the Russian people rejected the shy Alix, Nicholas cared little for what they thought or wanted. When they were apart, he and Alix wrote many love letters, always affectionate, always missing the other.

As tsar, Nicholas could have had anyone, but he always chose his wife.

Nicholas' love for Alexandra transcended the malicious gossip of the court. When Alix's relationship with Grigori Rasputin was revealed, when rumors spread as to the intimate nature of the relationship, Nicholas stood by his wife. I don't believe she did have an affair with Rasputin, she was far too in love with her husband and used Rasputin to help her son, the heir to the Russian Empire.

When they died, they did it as they lived-tragically, dramatically, and surrounded by family.