Friday, June 28, 2013

Grand Duchess Maria

A moving portrait of the third daughter of Nicholas and Alexandra. From Madame Guillotine:
It would be impossible not to be charmed by the Grand Duchess Maria anyway – always chubby with huge blue eyes (known within the family as ‘Maria’s Saucers’, rosy cheeks and softly curling brown hair she was perhaps the prettiest if not the most classically beautiful (that would be Tatiana with her almost austere Russian high cheekboned beauty) of the sisters and was exceedingly sweet natured also – winsome, contentedly placid and well behaved right from the start. In fact so well behaved was she that when she was later apprehended stealing a handful of biscuits (she could also be rather greedy) from her mother’s tea tray, her father refused to have her punished for this transgression, saying laughingly that he was ‘always afraid of the wings growing. I am glad to see she is only a human child.’

Within the family, it was Maria’s rôle to be the peacemaker, pouring oil over troubled waters and soothing stormy situations whenever she could. While her elder sister, Tatiana was especially close to their mother, Maria was her father’s particular pet and would stay close to him whenever the family was together. Within her sibling group, it was Anastasia that she was closest to as together they formed the ‘Little Pair’, wearing identical clothes, sharing lessons and treats and sleeping in the same austerely furnished room. Although Anastasia was the younger of the two, she was also the noisier and more bossy which suited sweet natured Maria just fine. Her more strong minded elder sisters would never have been at someone else’s beck and call and certainly not that of a younger sister but Maria was content to let Anastasia boss her about and take the lead in their games. (Read entire post.)

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