‘Cover you with kisses, my Angel’: #Romanovs100 intimate love letters
A love story lies at the heart of the #Romanovs100 project. Private correspondence between Tsar Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, born Alix of Hesse and by Rhine, reveals a relationship that survived extraordinary tumult.
The royal couple spent almost all of their time together and the only reason for such an extensive correspondence was the need for Nicholas II to spend more time in the army HQ during World War I. He would sometimes exchange several telegrams a day with Alexandra in addition to lengthy letters.
They first met in 1884 – Nicholas was 16, Alix was 12. Five years later they met again, but marriage prospects were bleak so their romantic correspondence began in secret. The Russian heir had to wait till 1894 to officially become engaged to the Darmstadt princess, and this was only made possible by the sudden and grave illness of his father, Alexander III.
After Alexandra's visit to Stavka in 1916 Nicholas sent her a heartfelt letter: "Warmest thanks for all the love and kindness you showed during our six days together". He goes on with a beautiful confession: "I do not know how I would have endured the burden had God not give you to me as wife & friend! I speak in earnest. It is difficult to say such truths, it is easier for me to write it out on paper - due to foolish shyness". ⠀ ⠀ #romanovs100
Nicholas and Alexandra wrote to each other in English, using sweet nicknames for themselves and their children. The Empress would address her husband as “My very own Treasure,” “My own Sweetheart” and “Sunshine,” while he mostly called her “Sunny.” They both called their son, Alexei, “Sunbeam” and “Sun Ray” when they didn’t refer to him as “little one” or “baby.”