Crossdressing Kings ??

I've long been fascinated by the central image in the collage above.
You probably recognize it as cousins King Albert and Czar Nicholas -
Isn't the resemblance striking ? More like brothers, than first cousins.

The photo was done in Berlin in 1913, just a few years before
The Last Czar would find himself on the cusp of a revolution and
turn to Albert in a plea for asylum in England.
Albert knew his country to be in a rather anti-Russian /German frenzy
and, fearing public opinion, denied this request.
Opps .. . . wrong choice, Al.

Guess we all know what happened to Nicky and his family . ..
that dreadful end in the basement in Yekaterinburg.

My collage above speaks of the fact that the clock was ticking and
there were but a few steps between this chummy ( yet ever so formal)
family portrait and the revolution which culminated with the tragic
deaths of the beautiful Romanov family in 1918.

Recent history:
I stumbled across a story which fills in some other details about the
photo . It would seem that the cousins decided to exchange formal
regalia for the portrait. Nicky, on the left, actually has on Albert's
dress uniform and Albert is wearing Nicky's !! !!

Can this be true ? Were they actually "Cross Dressing Kings"
having a bit of fun ?? !!

Though I've read several accounts of this meeting -
only one mentions this little tidbit.

Actually, I find it too funny to be true. Literally.
Do let me know if you have any further info on this ... . .

Digital Collage by me.
Top photo - Crossdressing Kings
Bottom photo - Albert & Nicky Play Dress Up


David Toms said...

Judith, thankyou for doing this! I have long been interested in Czar Nicky and have heard this story before! Your collage is wonderful

Ingrid Mida said...

This is a time period of which I am ignorant. I hope someone will fill in the gaps. It is a fascinating story and you have created yet another gorgeous collage.

Linda Sue said...

This story has always disturbed me mostly because of the grizzly ever after that befell the family in the basement, and the diamond underwear...Al TSK TSK! bad Al.

little augury said...

It would be impossible to site a period in English history that does not have all the dynamics of mystery, intrigue. Victoria's hand is still very much in it all. Yes, their crowns may have been paper thin, to big of a job to handle, I could go on with the symbolism of your collage. pgt