Betrayal or political wisdom? Why George V didn’t save the family of Nicholas II
After the February revolution in Russia and the overthrow of Tsar Nicholas II, the British government initially was prepared to grant him and his family asylum and then refused. What role failure played a close relative of Nicholas, the British king George V, and did he have another way?
The epigraph to this story, it would be possible to take the words of Emily Bronte’s novel “Wuthering heights”: “Treachery and violence are spears pointed at both ends: someone who starts using them, they hurt more painful than his opponent”.
British monarchs, with one exception in the person of Charles I, managed as a result of quarrels with the Parliament to lose his head, has an amazing ability to adapt to circumstances.
Every time over the Royal family hanging sword of Damocles of popular discontent, they were together, regrouped and gave his subjects a new version of the monarchy, which had one single goal: to ensure their own survival.
The biggest victim in this way brought George V, who threw on the altar of his dynasty of their own blood relatives and close friends: the Royal family of the Romanovs.
You cannot choose your relatives
Queen Victoria was a lady, first, prolific, and secondly, nepotism. Before the First world war almost all the Royal houses of Europe were connected with Britain by ties of kinship. That does not mean that they loved each other.
Kaiser Wilhelm, for example, hated his uncle king Edward VII. Mainly because the British king, in contrast, was in Europe very popular.
Wilhelm from the very beginning thought that it is prejudice.
However, other immediate family members — George V and Nicholas II, each other sincerely sympathized.
It is curious that little princes became friends, despite the protests of her grandmother — Queen Victoria, which, like her subjects, believed the Russian bear, the main enemy of the British lion, from the time of the Crimean war.
These feelings were entirely mutual, and is accountable to the population of the Russian Tsar believed that the biggest intrigues to expect from the British.
The turning point came thanks to the daughters of the king of Denmark. One of them was married to the future king Edward VII, and another for Russian Tsar Alexander III.
Sisters continued to be friends, regardless of politics, and future sovereigns-emperors from childhood met on summer vacation in Denmark.
Almost like twins
The cousins resembled each other not only in appearance (and sometimes confused), but had similar personalities.
Both were shy young men, who preferred solitude to the noisy techniques, loved the entertainment and both were under the thumb of their overbearing mothers and hard.
“I consider you my oldest and most loyal friend,” wrote George Nicholas in 1894.
This friendship emerged for two reasons.
First: the mother of Nicholas from early childhood taught him to separate the British Royal family — dear Georgie (the future George V), his uncle Bertie (the future king Edward VII) and grandmother (Queen Victoria) from the “vile” British government who had been trying to seize the Asian territory, which it believed, rightly would have to be Russian.
The second is that second cousin, George, stamp collecting and shooting pheasants was always interested in much more policy.
In the end, Victoria decided that with the Russians can be friends. Especially because Nicholas is married to her favorite granddaughter Alice of Hesse-Darmstadt.
Friendship is friendship, snuff apart
The year before the Russian Prince came to the wedding of his cousin, and completely won over the Queen, who said that he was just a sweetheart.
Alas, the crown Prince called the British Queen “a large ball on shaky legs”.
The Queen really was of medium height, and in old age and became very fat.
Victoria even started to plan what Nicholas is able to contribute to British interests. However, its citizens and politicians continued to treat Russia without much enthusiasm.
But Nicholas also built a case against the next of kin of his wife. They say that during the Boer war he was thinking about whether you are unfortunate for Britain the situation to chop off a piece of its possessions in Asia.
However, this did not happen — whether because he promised “Granny” not to complicate the situation, either because Russia has on these escapades just didn’t have the money. Maybe the answer to this question didn’t know himself.
In the end, before the war, the political situation in Europe, we have the same as the relationships in the family. William sulked at all, considering that it insufficiently respected, and in General Germany has bypassed the colonies, and George and Nicholas all he could to delay the beginning of the war, which they absolutely disliked and difficult to live happily.
But this friendship was put to a tragic end when the British king chose the survival of their own family to save the life of the Russian cousin.