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Old 04-26-2012, 07:16 PM
Sarabellum1976 Sarabellum1976 is offline
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Nicholas II and Alexandra of Russia

They had 5 children in total. First, four daughters, all about 2 years apart. Then, 3 years later, their son and heir, the Tsarevich Alexei. Then they were done, apparently. I have read nothing that would suggest that they planned on having more, or were disappointed when no more children showed up.

Alexei was noted to have hemophilia pretty early on - not exactly a "death sentence" but not a good indicator that he would live a long life. So my question is: Why did Nicholas and Alexandra apparently choose not to have any more children after Alexei? Surely, it could have only been a good idea to have a spare boy waiting in the wings?

Why did they think one hemophiliac boy would be enough to secure the future of their monarchy?
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:43 PM
colonial colonial is offline
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Russian had a precedent for female monarchs: Elizabeth I, Elizabeth II,
and Catherine the Great, so there may have been no legal necessity for a male heir.
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:41 PM
chizzuk chizzuk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colonial View Post
Russian had a precedent for female monarchs: Elizabeth I, Elizabeth II,
and Catherine the Great, so there may have been no legal necessity for a male heir.
Catherine the Great's son Paul I changed the succession laws so that females could only inherit in the absence of a legitimate male heir. So if Alexei had died, Nicholas' brother Mikhail would have become tsar.

As for why they didn't have more children, any boy would have had a 50% chance of having hemophilia just like Alexei. Maybe they didn't think it was worth the risk? I think the inheritance pattern was fairly well understood at that point.
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:50 PM
njtt njtt is offline
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Not having a healthy male heir was hardly their biggest problem.
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:53 PM
colonial colonial is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chizzuk View Post
Catherine the Great's son Paul I changed the succession laws so that females could only inherit in the absence of a legitimate male heir. So if Alexei had died, Nicholas' brother Mikhail would have become tsar.
Thank you for the information; I wonder, though, exactly what the definition
of "legitimate" might have been. Sons and brothers are obviouly qualified, but
then what?- uncles? cousins?

Also, without looking it up wasn't Mikhail a debauched profiligate? If so, given
the malleability of succession law perhaps he could have been disinherited.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:21 PM
Sarabellum1976 Sarabellum1976 is offline
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Grand Duke Michael, the younger brother of Nicholas II, was indeed, the go-to heir when Nicholas was deposed.

Tsarevich Alexei SHOULD have been first in line, but his father did not want to subject a young boy (he was maybe, 13, 14?) to the pressures of trying to maintain the monarchy during the upheaval. (Maybe Nicholas suspected that this would just get Alexei killed?) So he abdicated on his own behalf AND on Alexei's behalf, and put his brother Michael in line.

But that was not exactly a solid choice on Nicholas' part, either. A desperate choice, really. Because, you see, Michael had hauled off and married his extremely skanky (for the times) mistress, who was a commoner (a no-no for a Grand Duke) divorced (a serious no-no) AND he failed to get permission from the Czar (another no-no, not that Nicholas would have granted permission anyway) and therefore the Russian regency considered Grand Duke Michael to be persona non grata, and there were lots of hissy-fits and tantrums on both sides.

By "persona non grata" I mean, that Nicholas had his brother's accounts frozen, fired him from his military position, removed him from the regency (disinherited him) and had him physically removed from Russia, never to be spoken to again. They were SERIOUSLY pissed with him for "marrying down".

Nicholas relaxed his stance a little bit over the years, probably because Alexei was ill, (and for some reason having another son was not happening) so Michael was back in line, whether they could tolerate his wife or not, apparently.
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