Two nights ago, I sat and watched the second episode of the Danish TV-series “Royal Jewels”. Let’s say that the first episode was all a repetition of things I already basically knew, but this second episode, totally focused on the Russian jewels. And a lot of the information was new to me, surprising and somewhat shocking. Queen Elizabeth’s favourite tiara, the Vladimir tiara, stems from Czar Nikolaj’s aunt. It was her favourite and as the program made it out, it seemed like Queen Mary didn’t quite get it, in the most honest fashion. Well, she bought it from a poor Russian refugee of the Romanov family, but if I understood it right, it still hasn’t been paid for in full. And yet, Queen Elizabeth wears it all the time, with the pearls in it, like the Grand Duchess did, without the pearls in the middle or with big emeralds in the middle of the “circles”.
The problem with TV-programs like this, is that they spit out all the information at the speed of a machine gun and they jumped back and forth in history and among people, that at least I felt totally confused. I tried to take notes to try to sort things out in my head afterwards, but things went too fast for that as well. So I spent all evening and parts of yesterday and today, trying to find out something on the internet. I particularly would have liked to have found out more about Grand Duchess Vladimir, née in Germany. She was a woman to count with, trying to get rid of the Czar and his jealous wife, since the Grand Duchess wanted her own son to become the Czar. Believe it or not but I still haven’t been able to find a book on this woman. Strange! There is one about the Czar’s sister Xenia and one of the people that reviewed it very wisely said “there is far too much literature about Nikolaj and Alexandra”. Sure, they and their children were murdered. For some reason this has been given a romantic view. What was romantic about it really? I admit, perhaps their love story was. But a family that lived completely in the blue, as far away from reality as possible, not knowing anything about Russian life, well that is not romantic but plain stupid. It was too late in history to be a stupid sovereign in 1917! The world was too educated and well-informed via newspapers and books to have an 18th century monarch! So why this interest in them? I’d say that there were far more fascinating persons at the Russian court to write about. The ones that staid right in the middle of things, like Grand Duchess Vladimir. I hope I can find out much more about her. I don’t give up that easy. Maybe I’ll have to write a book of my own about her? Haha!