As we continue our look at the lives of the Romanov family through their own writing we gain an insight into the deep and loving relationship between Nicholas and Alix
Sept. 20th 1914. Oh, my love! It was hard bidding you goodbye and seeing that lonely pale face with big sad eyes at the waggon-window—my heart cried out, take me with you.… I came home and then broke down, prayed—then lay down and smoked to get myself into order. When eyes looked more decent I went up to Alexei and lay for a time near him on the sopha in the dark.”
18 November, 1914. My beloved Sunny and darling Wify.… I have read your sweet, tender letter with moist eyes. This time I succeeded in keeping myself in hand at the moment of parting, but it was a hard struggle.… My love, I miss you terribly—more than I can express in words.… I shall try to write very often, as, to my amazement, I have come to the conclusion that I can write while the train is in motion. My hanging trapeze has proved very practical and useful. I swung on it many times and climbed up it before meals.
25 November, 1914, in the train. My beloved, darling Sunny!… We [he had taken with him on his journey Nikolai Pavlovich Sablin, his aide-de-camp and one of the closest members of his retinue] are passing through picturesque country which is new to me, with beautiful high mountains on one side and steppes on the other.… I sat for a long time at the open door of the carriage and breathed in the warm fresh air with delight. At each station the platforms are crowded with people, especially children … they are charming with their tiny papakha [fur caps] on their heads.… The train is jolting terribly, so you must excuse my writing. After the hospitals I looked in for a minute at the Kouban Girls’ Institute and at a large orphanage dating from the last war, all of them Cossack girls.… They look well and unconstrained, here and there a pretty face.… This country of the Cossacks is magnificent and rich; a large number of orchards. They are beginning to be wealthy, above all they have an inconceivably high number of small infants. All future subjects. This all fills me with joy and faith in God’s mercy; I must look forward in peace and confidence to what lies in store for Russia
28 February, 1915. My beloved darling!… I was so happy to spend those two days at home—perhaps you noticed it, but I am foolish, and never speak of what I feel. What a nuisance it is to be always so busy and not to have an opportunity for sitting quietly together and having a talk! After dinner I cannot stay indoors, as I long to get out in the fresh air—and so all the free hours pass, and the old couple seldom get a chance of being together.
We will continue to bring you excerpts from the diaries of the Romanov family as we remember them this month. Please stay tuned.