Russia History Romanov Letters Dowager Empress Maria Fyodorovna to Tsar Nicholas II Letter from Maria Fyodorovna to Nicholas II on 3 December 1916

Letter from Maria Fyodorovna to Nicholas II on 3 December 1916

My dear, darling Nicky!

I congratulate you from the bottom of my heart on your name day, [1] and send you the most fervent wishes. God grant you happiness, health and success in everything. Most importantly, I wish you peace of mind. I had no idea that you had gone to Tsarskoe, and now I do not even know where you are spending 6 D[ecember], but I am with you in my thoughts, my darling Nicky, I am terribly sad not to be together. The weather is terrible, rain and a strong wind, and today frost with rain. It is completely impossible to walk in the garden, it so dirty, so I walk on the street, where it is much drier and pleasanter, on se send plus en liberté. [2]

Baby Olga is here again, such a delight to see her rayonnante de bonheur, [3] thank God. She visits me very day, once they both took tea with me, and he [4] is very nice, natural and modest. We are all under the impression of des propositions allemandes de paix. Toujours la meme chose, il veut [passer] pour un pacificateur en jetant toute la responsabilité sur nous autre, si on n’accepte pas. J’ésperè bien que personne ne s’y laissera prendre. Je suis tout a fait sure que nous et nos alliés resteront fermes et unis, et repousseront cette généreuse main tendue. [5]

I am very glad that Nurse Musina-Pushkina [6] (the fat one) was with you at headquarters after the trip to Germany with our poor prisoners. She was later with me and told me a great deal. As I wired to you, Denmark already offered a year ago de prendre des prisonniers malades chez eux pour qu’il soient au moins bien norris pour rester en vie. Mais malheurusement on ne leur a jamais donné de réponse pas meme un “merci chien,” ce que je ne comprends pas, puisque c’est par sentiment chretien et ne coutera rein puisque les Danois on tout préparé à leur frais. J’ésperè qu’aprez ton ordre au ministre de la guerre l’affaire marchera enfin. Je t’envoie ici un papier que Waldemar [7] m’a prié de te faire lire. C’est à propos de la Grande Société des Nordiske Telegraph qui existe depuis presque 50 ans don’t on a toujours été content. Maintenant on chasse tout d’un coup. [8]

I hope that you are all well. I hug you all tenderly, my darlings.

God protect you. I wish you the very, very best, my dear Nicky!

Deeply loving you,

your old Mama

Baby Olga also kisses you.



1. Nicholas’s name day was on 6 December, the main feast day of St Nicholas of Myra.

2. “And one feels more freedom” (French).

3. “Radiant with happiness” (French).

4. Colonel Nikolai Alexandrovich Kulikovsky (1880–1958): Second wife of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna.

5. “The German peace proposals. The same old thing all the time, he [Wilhelm II] tries to strike the pose of a pacifier and to lay all the responsibility on us, if they are not accepted. I very much hope that no one falls for this trick... I am absolutely sure that we and our allies will retain firmness and unity, and will repulse this generously extended hand” (French).

6. Countess Maria Illarionovna (Maiya) Musina-Pushkina (1871–1927): Born Countess Vorontsova-Dashkova, married Count Vladimir Musin-Pushkin.

7. Prince Valdemar (1858–1939): Son of King Christian IX of Denmark, youngest brother of Maria Fyodorovna. Married Princess Maria d’Orléans (1885).

8. “To accept sick prisoners-of-war, so that they are at least well fed and still alive. Unfortunately, they did not receive any response, not even ‘thanks, mutt.’ I do not understand why, as this is done from a feeling of Christian sentiment and will cost nothing, as the Danes have prepared everything at their own expense. I hope that, after your order to the minister of war, things will finally get moving. I am enclosing a paper, which Valdemar asked me to show you. It concerns the Great Northern Telegraph Company, which has existed for fifty years and with whose services everyone has always been contented. And now they are suddenly being driven out” (French).

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