Russia History Romanov Letters Tsar Nicholas II to Dowager Empress Maria Fyodorovna Letter from Nicholas II to Maria Fyodorovna from Stavka in Mohilev on 17 October 1916

Letter from Nicholas II to Maria Fyodorovna from Stavka in Mohilev on 17 October 1916

Ts[arskaya] Stavka, 17 October 1916

Darling dear Mama,

I am taking advantage of the departure of Kaufmann [1] to write you a few lines. I am sending this note from Madame von Richter, [2] whose grandson is marrying on 30 Oct[ober]. She hopes that you will send a chiffre for his bride! If you agree, please wire me, if it is possible or if you do not want to. I constantly think of you, especially those weeks when you arrived in Russia, and then your engagement and your marriage on the twenty-eighth. [3] If I can, I will try to visit you, but I do not know if I will succeed.

Tomorrow, I am going for four days to Tsarskoe Selo, where I have not been for exactly six months.

The intervention of poor Romania, instead of helping, has caused us enormous difficulties, as we are clearly obliged to save her and the line of our front has grown even longer! [4]

They were in a terrible panic at the start, but have now grown calmer, because they see our help.

Regarding Count von der Pahlen, I have written to Nidor, [5] who is now in place of Fredericks, [6] and on 5th October Pahlen was returned his court title again. [7] You will probably be pleased about this.

Goodbye, my dear Mama. Alexis and I hug you tenderly and wish you the very best with all our hearts.

God be with you! Loving you with all his heart,

Your Nicky.



1. Peter Mikhailovich von Kaufmann (1857–1926): Court marshal, senator, member of the State Council. Head of the Red Cross at army headquarters. Inherited the prefix of “Turkestansky” (1914).

2. Wife of Otto von Richter (1871–?), aide-de-camp and rear admiral.

3. Princess Dagmar arrived in Russia to marry Tsarevich Alexander on 14 September 1866. She converted to Orthodoxy as Grand Duchess Maria Fyodorovna on 12 October and married Alexander on 28 October.

4. In 1916, Romania declared war on Austria-Hungary (14/27 August), Germany (15/28), Turkey (17/30 August) and Bulgaria (19 August/1 September). The Romanian armed forces consisted of four armies. The Russians threw their 47th army corps across the River Danube to assist the Romanians. With the help of the Russians, Romania launched unsuccessful offensives in Transylvania (20 August) and Dobruja (1 October). The Central Powers regrouped and launched a joint counter-attack, defeating the Romanian army (13/26 September). German troops entered Bucharest, which was abandoned without a fight (22 November/6 December).

5. Count Fyodor Maximilianovich Nidor (1871–?): Major general of the imperial suite. Commanded the Dragoon Life Guards Regiment (1912–15). Assigned to the reserve (1915). Temporarily replaced Count Vladimir Fredericks as minister of the imperial court (1916).

6. Count Vladimir Borisovich Fredericks (1838–1927): Cavalry general (1901), minister of the imperial court (1898–1917).

7. Nicholas II wrote to Alexandra Fyodorovna on 19 September 1916: “Before leaving, Fred[ericks] sent me a whole bundle of letters from Count von der Pahlen to his wife, in which he harshly criticises the military censorship, the rear, etc. The old man [Fredericks] asked me to divest him of his court title, to which I agreed, although I now realise that this punishment was too severe. Mama also wrote to me about this” (Perepiska Nikolaya i Aleksandry Romanovykh, Moscow/Leningrad, 1927, Vol. V, p. 42). On 7 September 1916, Pahlen was stripped of his court title, which was restored by Nicholas II on 5 October 1916, following the intercession of Alexandra Fyodorovna and Maria Fyodorovna.

Random articles