Saturday, June 18, 2016

19th C. Russian Court Etiquette

Alexander II succeeded to the throne upon the death of his father in 1855. The 1st year of his reign was devoted to the prosecution of the Crimean War. After the fall of Sebastopol, negotiations for peace were led by his trusted counsellor Prince Alexander Gorchakov. Few imagined that he would be known to posterity as a leader able to implement the most challenging reforms undertaken in Russia since the reign of Peter the Great.


Russian Imperial Court Dance Etiquette

According to Russian etiquette, no subject who is not attached to the Court, can dance with the Princesses of the blood. A young Lieutenant of Hussars, ignorant of the established etiquette, asked the Grand Duchess Olga to dance with him, and she, who saw by his "orders" that he was a Crimean, consented. The Emperor, who saw his sister "polking" with the young sub, sent for the latter as soon as he had left his partner, and smilingly told him that he had committed an offence against etiquette. "As I hear," continued the good-natured monarch "that you distinguished yourself greatly at Sebastopol, I take you into my Adjutantar; and now, as you are attached to the Court, you can dance with the Grand Duchess again, if she has no objection." — Wide West News, 1856



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