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  1. Princess of Hesse. Grand Duchess Elizabeth was born Her Grand Ducal Highness Princess Elisabeth Alexandra Louise Alice of Hesse and the Rhine on 1 November 1864. She was the second child of Grand Duke Ludwig IV of Hesse and the Rhine and British Princess Alice. Through her mother, she was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

  2. Princess Johanna. Unnamed boy. v. t. e. Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine (Elisabeth Marie Alice Viktoria; 11 March 1895 – 16 November 1903) was a German Hessian and Rhenish child princess, the only daughter of Ernst Ludwig, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine, and his first wife, Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

  3. Elisabeth was born on 1 November 1864 as the second child of Ludwig IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine, and Princess Alice, daughter of Queen Victoria. Though she came from one of the oldest and noblest houses in Germany, Elisabeth and her family lived a rather modest life by royal standards.

    • Princess of Hesse
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    • Grand Duchess of Russia
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    Elisabeth was born on 1 November 1864 as the second child of Ludwig IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and British Princess Alice. Through her mother, she was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. Princess Alice chose the name "Elisabeth" for her daughter after visiting the shrine of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, ancestress of the House of Hesse, in Marburg. Alice so admired St. Elisabeth that she decided to name her new daughter after her. Elisabeth was known as "Ella" within her family. Though she came from one of the oldest and noblest houses in Germany, Elisabeth and her family lived a rather modest life by royal standards. The children swept the floors and cleaned their own rooms, while their mother sewed dresses herself for the children. During the Austro-Prussian War, Princess Alice often took Elisabeth with her while visiting wounded soldiers in a nearby hospital. In this relatively happy and secure environment, Elisabeth grew up surrounded by English domestic habits, and English became her f...

    Charming and with a very accommodating personality, Elisabeth was considered by many historians and contemporaries to be one of the most beautiful women in Europe at that time. As a young woman, she caught the eye of her elder cousin, the future German Emperor William II. He was a student then at Bonn University, and on weekends he often visited his Aunt Alice and his Hessian relatives. During these frequent visits, he fell in love with Elisabeth,writing numerous love poems and regularly sending them to her. He proposed to Elisabeth in 1878. Besides William II, she had many other admirers, among them Lord Charles Montagu, the second son of the 7th Duke of Manchester, and Henry Wilson, later a distinguished soldier. Yet another of Elisabeth's suitors was the future Frederick II, Grand Duke of Baden, William's first cousin. Queen Victoria described him as "so good and steady", with "such a safe and happy position," that when Elisabeth declined to marry him the Queen "deeply regretted...

    Sergei and Elisabeth married on 15 (3) June 1884, at the Chapel of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. She became Grand Duchess Yelizaveta Fyodorovna. It was actually at the wedding that Sergei's 16-year-old nephew, Tsarevich Nicholas, first met his future wife, Elisabeth's youngest sister, Princess Alix. The new Grand Duchess made a good first impression on her husband’s family and the Russian people. “Everyone fell in love with her from the moment she came to Russia from her beloved Darmstadt”, wrote one of Sergei's cousins. The couple settled in the Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace in St. Petersburg; after Sergei was appointed Governor-General of Moscow by his elder brother, Tsar Alexander III, in 1892, they resided in one of the Kremlin palaces. During the summer, they stayed at Ilyinskoe, an estate outside Moscow that Sergei had inherited from his mother. The couple never had children of their own, but their Ilyinskoe estate was usually filled with parties that Elisabeth organized...

    After Sergei’s death, Elisabeth wore mourning clothes and became a vegetarian. In 1909, she sold off her magnificent collection of jewels and sold her other luxurious possessions; even her wedding ring was not spared. With the proceeds she opened the Convent of Saints Martha and Mary and became its abbess. She soon opened a hospital, a chapel, a pharmacy and an orphanage on its grounds. Elisabeth and her nuns worked tirelessly among the poor and the sick of Moscow. She often visited Moscow’s worst slums and did all she could to help alleviate the suffering of the poor. For many years, Elisabeth's institution helped the poor and the orphans in Moscow by fostering the prayer and charity of devout women. Here, there arose a vision of a renewed diaconatefor women, one that combined intercession and action in the heart of a disordered world. Although the Orthodox Church rejected her idea of a female diaconate, it did bless and encourage Elisabeth's many charitable efforts. In 1916, Elisa...

    In 1918, Lenin ordered the Cheka to arrest Elisabeth. They then exiled her first to Perm, then to Yekaterinburg, where she spent a few days and was joined by others: the Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovich Romanov; Princes Ioann Konstantinovich, Konstantin Konstantinovich, Igor Konstantinovich and Vladimir Pavlovich Paley; Grand Duke Sergei's secretary, Fyodor Remez; and Varvara Yakovleva, a sister from the Grand Duchess's convent. They were all taken to Alapayevskon 20 May 1918, where they were housed in the Napolnaya School on the outskirts of the town. At noon on 17 July, Cheka officer Pyotr Startsev and a few Bolshevik workers came to the school. They took from the prisoners whatever money they had left and announced that they would be transferred that night to the Upper Siniachikhensky factory compound. The Red Army guards were told to leave and Cheka men replaced them. That night the prisoners were awakened and driven in carts on a road leading to the village of Siniachikha, some 1...

    On 8 October 1918, White Army soldiers discovered the remains of Elisabeth and her companions, still within the shaft where they had been murdered. Despite having lain there for almost three months, the bodies were in relatively good condition. Most were thought to have died slowly from injuries or starvation, rather than the subsequent fire. Elisabeth had died of wounds sustained in her fall into the mine, but before her death had still found strength to bandage the head of the dying Prince Ioann with her wimple. With the Red Army approaching, their remains were removed further east and buried in the cemetery of the Russian Orthodox Mission in Peking (now Beijing), China, before being ultimately taken to Jerusalem, where they were laid to rest in the Church of Maria Magdalene. Elisabeth was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in 1981, and in 1992 by the Moscow Patriarchate as New Martyr Yelizaveta Fyodorovna. Her principal shrines are the Marfo-Mariinsky Conv...

    On 8 June 2009, the Prosecutor General of Russia officially posthumously rehabilitated Yelizaveta Fyodorovna, along with other Romanovs: Mikhail Alexandrovich, Sergei Mikhailovich, Ioann Konstantinovich, Konstantin Konstantinovich and Igor Konstantinovich. "All of these people were subjected to repression in the form of arrest, deportation and being held by the Chekawithout charge," said a representative of the office.

    Her Grand Ducal HighnessPrincess Elisabeth of Hesse and the Rhine (1864–1884)
    Her Imperial HighnessGrand Duchess Yelizaveta Fyodorovna of Russia (1884–1918)
    Holy Martyr Yelizaveta Fyodorovna(since 1981)
    Paleologue, Maurice. An Ambassador's Memoirs,1922
    Grand Duchess Marie of Russia. Education of a Princess, 1931
    Queen Marie of Romania. The Story of My Life,1934
    Almedingen, E.M. An Unbroken Unity, 1964

    Orthodox sources

    1. The Life of the Holy Royal Martyr Grand Duchess Yelizaveta 2. Life of the Holy New Martyr Grand Duchess Yelizaveta, by Metropolitan Anastassy 3. Pilgrimage to Alapaevsk 4. Photo Library of Saint Elizabeth 5. OrthodoxWiki:Elizabeth the New Martyr

    Orthodox hymns to Saint Elizabeth

    1. Akathist to the New Martyr Elizabeth 2. Canon to the New Martyrs Grand Duchess Yelizaveta and Nun Barbara

    Secular sources

    1. Murder details 2. The Alexander Palace Time Machine 3. American Reporter Interviews Elisabeth in 1917 4. HIH Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna by Countess Alexandra Olsoufieff 5. Yelizaveta and Romanov Discussion Forum 6. Murder of the Romanovs at Alapayevsk

    • The Childhood Years of Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine
    • The Married Life of Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine
    • The Death of Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine

    A tragedy marred the childhood of Princess Elisabeth. Friedrich, her youngest brother, died in 1873 after falling out of a window in the bedroom of their mother. After 5 years, at the age of 14, the princess lost her mother and youngest sister when a spread of diphtheria occurred all over New Palace in Darmstadt that affected all family members except for Princess Elisabethherself who was staying with Grand Duchess Elizabeth, their grandmother, during that time. The family’s dynamic changed with the death of their mother. Their father deeply mourned the death of his wife and Queen Victoriahad a stronger influence on raising her Hessian grandchildren, making sure that Princess Elisabeth and her siblings stayed with her in England.

    When Princess Elisabeth reached her late teens and early 20s, she became popular as one of Europe’s most beautiful women, with her beauty capturing the admiration and attention of Princess Marie of Edinburgh, her first cousin. Princess Elisabeth also caught the eyes of Frederick II, the future Grand Duke of Baden, and her maternal first cousin, Wilhelm II, the future Emperor of Germany. However, the princess’ hand was finally won over by Sergei Alexandrovich, the Russian Grand Duke, after the two of them got to know each other while visiting Heiligenberg. The Russian Grand Duke proposed marriage to Princess Elisabethtwice and she only accepted on the second time after seeing him grieving after his parents’ death the same way she did with the death of her own mother 10 years ago. Sergeir and Princess Elisabeth tied the knot in a Protestant ceremony and a Russian Orthodox ceremony at St Petersburg’s Winter Palace on June 15, 1844, and resided in Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace. Named as...

    After her husband’s assassination by the revolutionary Ivan Kalyayev in February 1905, Princess Elisabethworked in her convent as a nun, establishing an orphanage and a hospital on the grounds to help the poor and sick people. Similar to other members of the Romanov family, World War I marked the start of the final days of the Imperial House of Romanov and the life of Princess Elisabeth herself. An order was given to kill her and her party on July 17 and they were beaten then thrown down the mineshaft the next day. Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhinewas canonized by the Moscow Patriarchate as the New Martyr Elizabeth after Communist Russia’s fall in 1992.

    • Birth
    • Childhood
    • Death
    • Funeral and Legacy
    • References

    Her parents, nicknamed 'Ernie' and 'Ducky,' were first cousins who married at the instigation of their common grandmother, Queen Victoria. The marriage was an unhappy one from the start. Princess Victoria Melita was eighteen at the time of Elisabeth's birth. She was fond of Elisabeth, but found it hard to compete with Ernst's devotion to their daughter. Ernst was convinced even before Elisabeth could speak that he alone could understand her. At the age of six months, she was scheduled to move to a new nursery and her father 'consulted' her on her color preferences. He claimed that she made 'happy little squeals' when he showed her a particular shade of lilac material. Ernst then decorated her nursery in shades of lilac.He later had a playhouse built for his daughter that stood in its own garden. Adults were forbidden to enter "much to the frustration of royal nurses and tutors, who could be seen pacing up and down impatiently outside as they waited for their high-spirited young char...

    Margaretta Eagar, a governess for the daughters of Tsar Nicholas II, described Elisabeth as "a sweet and pretty child, with wide grey-blue eyes and a profusion of dark hair. She was much like her mother, not only in face, but also in manner." The four-year-old Elisabeth wanted a baby sister and tried to persuade her aunt and uncle to let her parents adopt one of her paternal first cousins, Tatiana or Maria.Her parents had only one other child together, a stillborn son, in 1900. She was a favorite with her great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, who called the little girl "my precious." Queen Victoria refused to permit the unhappily married Victoria and Ernst to divorce for the sake of Elisabeth. It was Elisabeth whom Queen Victoria asked to see first and to receive eightieth birthday greetings from in 1899. When the child heard Queen Victoria's pony cart approaching on the road below Windsor Castle, the four-year-old Elisabeth ran out on the balcony, waving and calling, "Granny Gran, I'm...

    On 6 October 1903, Ernst hosted a large family gathering at Darmstadt for the wedding of his niece, Princess Alice of Battenberg, to Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark. A few weeks later he took Elisabeth to stay with his younger sister, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, her husband, Tsar Nicholas II, and their family. At the imperial family's hunting lodge in Skierniewice, Poland, Elisabeth went on long walks and had picnics in the forest with her cousins. Her nanny, who called Elisabeth "my baby," woke Elisabeth in the middle of the night and settled her in a window seat of the nursery so that she might look out on the game spread out upon the grounds below. One morning, the eight-year-old awoke with a sore throat and pains in her chest, which the Russian Court doctor put down to too much excitement with her cousins the previous day. Her fever rose to 104 degrees. The imperial party didn't believe her illness was a serious one and went ahead with their plans for the day and attended...

    Elisabeth's body was placed in a silver casket, a gift from Nicholas II, for the journey back to Darmstadt. Her father arranged a white funeral, with white instead of black for the funeral trappings, white flowers, and white horses for the procession. The Hessian people came out by the thousands to view the funeral procession and "sobbed in unison so that I could hear it," Ernst wrote. A cousin, Kaiser Wilhelm II, expressed shock at the child's death in a letter to Tsar Nicholas II on 7 November 1903. "How joyous and merry she was that day at Wolfsgarten, when I was there, so full of life and fun and health ... What a terrible heartrending blow for poor Ernie, who doted and adored that little enchantress!" Elisabeth was buried in the Rosenhöhe with other members of the Hessian grand ducal family. A marble angel was later installed to watch over her grave. In a final gesture to Elisabeth and Ernst, Victoria Melita placed her badge of the Order of Hesse, granted to her upon her marria...

    Margaret Eagar, Six Years at the Russian Court,1906.
    Andrei Maylunas and Sergei Mironenko, editors; Darya Galy, translator, A Lifelong Passion: Nicholas and Alexandra: Their Own Story, Weindenfeld and Nicolson, 1997, ISBN 0-297-81520-2
    Michael John Sullivan, A Fatal Passion: The Story of the Uncrowned Last Empress of Russia, Random House, 1997, ISBN 0-679-42400-8
    John Van Der Kiste, Princess Victoria Melita,Sutton Publishing Ltd., 2003, ASIN B000K2IRNU
  4. Nov 16, 2012 · Princess Elisabeth was born on November 1st, 1864 in Hesse, the second child of the future Grand Duke Louis IV of Hesse and Princess Alice of the United Kingdom. She had an older sister, Princess Victoria, with five more siblings following her birth – Princess Irene, Prince Ernst Louis, Prince Friedrich, Princess Alix and Princess Marie.

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