As I approached the Palace I became sensible of an eerie change, both in it and in its immediate surroundings. I stopped to consider in what the change consisted. Then knowledge dawned upon me. Tsarkoe was a dead place. Its windows were almost hidden by the straggling branches of the undipped trees, grass grew between the stones of its silent courtyard, and I instantly likened it to a famous Russian picture, “Le Chateau Oublie.” It was indeed a forgotten castle! See more
I walked to and fro gazing up at the windows, but those within the Palace gave no sign of life. I wanted to call aloud that I was there, but I dared not imperil their safety or my own. I considered even now that I held my life in trust for the service of the Empress… Who knew when she might require me?
To my indescribable joy, after four months of melancholy waiting, I at last received a whole package of wonderful letters from my beloved Alix. When I saw the familiar handwriting I felt as if I had come back to life and become a new person. I imagined what pleasure I would experience over the next few days as I read the letters.
The rain had stopped before my morning walk, and at 3 o'clock the weather cleared up. Until dinner I gave Alexis a history lesson. We worked In the park, and Alix was there sitting in her chair. I finished Julian; I liked it. See more
Until dinner we took a walk. During the evening I read aloud the sixth book of Le comte de Monte Christo.
It was a hot, clear day. I took a long walk in the morning. I gave Alexis a geography lesson. Alix remained home. We chopped down and sawed up trees in the same place as before. We knocked over a large fir tree near the small path. I took a refreshing bath until tea time. We walked before dinner. See more
During the evening I began to read aloud the 5th, part of Le comte de Monte Christo. Benckendorf, Valya [Dologrukov] and both maids of honor received information about their release from service.
Dear MarieThird daughter of Nicholas II today is 18 years old. During the morning I took a walk with all the children; we went all around the park. The weather was wonderful. At 12 o'clock we went to prayer services. During the day Alix came out with us. We worked in the park for a while. We chopped down three large trees. See more
After tea, I finished reading a work by Kuropatkin called Problems of the Russian Army. It was very interesting to me. I began a French book. La maison des hommes vivants.
Three months have gone by already!! The people were promised that there would be more food and fuel, but everything is worse and more expensive. They have been deceived, and I pity them. How we tried to help them, but now they are done for…
The Empress sent me a nice note and a picture with her blessings and well wishes. It was very thoughtful. She wrote in Russian as the commandant does not understand English. They eat their radish and think it’s wonderful: the fruits of their labour.
Anastasia turned 16 today. How quickly time flies… I am dwelling upon the past. I must think of everything more calmly. What is there to do? If the Lord sends us such hardships, then he clearly believes we are prepared to meet them. They are a test in their own way—we need to show that we have not passed through them in vain. See more
There is something good, something useful, in everything; whatever our sufferings may be—let it be so. He will send us strength and patience, and He will not abandon us. He is merciful. We need only bow meekly before His will and wait—there, on the other side. He prepares for all who love Him unspeakable joy.
Dear Tatiana turned 20 years old. I walked to Mass with Tatiana, Marie and Anastasia. Korovichenko was one of the officers of the army guards. The weather had become lovely. During the day we went out for two hours. I went with the children to work in the forest. See more
His Majesty came to see me with Alexei and Tatiana. They were very sweet. The Empress also said that she would return after five o’clock tea. I hugged the Emperor several times, and he kept kissing my hand... my heart was breaking. It’s the state of the army which aggrieves the Emperor above all; he doesn’t understand an army without discipline. The Emperor came later and spent two hours with me. See more
I was overwhelmed. She showed such affection. She understands that I’m leaving for the sake of the children, and hopes for a counterrevolutionary reaction all the same; alas, if there is one, it won’t be in their favour!
Today the Tsesarevich told me: “Father gave us an exam. He remained very unhappy and said: “What did you learn?”" The young girls offered their services as teachers, and the crowned parents followed their example. The Emperor took upon himself the task of teaching history and geography, the Empress - God’s law and German, Iza - English, Nastenka - the history of art and music. See more
This is very good, as it engages them and brings a cultural stream into their democratised way of life. This was even noticed by one of the junior officers, who alternately guard the Emperor. He believes that they have just come down from the pedestal, and the Sovereign will gradually get used to his present way of life, if only his habits, his walks, tea at five o’clock in the evening and other meals will be allowed to him.
Kerensky arrived today, and the empress sent for me so that I might be present during the interrogation which was no doubt in store for her. She rehearsed all the unpleasant things she had been longing to say to him before his arrival. She was indignant and nervous, but I managed to calm her down by assuring her that Kerensky was doing all in his power to save her from the fury of the anarchists. See more
She agreed that I was right, and fell silent. At this point Kerensky entered the room accompanied by the commandant. He then asked us to kindly leave him alone with the Empress.
I then retreated with the Tsar into his bedroom and reported everything to him as it had been. We remained together until the interrogation was complete, at which point I went to the empress and Kerensky to the Tsar. The empress had been left with a favorable impression of Kerensky, who she called sympathetic and frank, and on whom she said she believed she could rely. I am left to deduce from this that Kerensky was similarly impressed, as she had spoken sincerely, and he must have seen that the description of her that I had given was accurate: she is entirely genuine in her unwavering deludedness.
The day of our engagement (23 years).