On November 14/26, 1896 Tsar Nicholas II married his cousin Alix of Hesse, just one week after Alexander III's funeral. According to one account:
On the morning of the wedding, the Dowager Empress Marie took her future daughter-in-law to the Winter Palace where the ceremony was to take place.Share
As troops and crowds lined the streets outside, Nicholas, wearing a Hussar's uniform, arrived at the Winter Palace. The ceremony was straightforward and simple and, out of respect for the late Tsar, no festivities were allowed. "One day in deepest mourning, lamenting a loved one, the next, in smartest clothes being married," was how Alexandra described it.
Immediately after the ceremony, the young couple drove to the Anichkov Palace, enthusiastically cheered by huge crowds. As the marriage had been arranged so hastily, no proper preparations had been made for the couple and they agreed to stay as the guests of Nicholas's mother. The rooms they shared at the Anichkov Palace with Marie were cramped and lacking in privacy.
In these small rooms, Alexandra sat all day, moving into her bedroom when her husband had to receive official visitors in the sitting room. But she was entirely happy; her husband was always near her.