L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Friday, August 26, 2016

Kissing the Imperial hand - the Kremlin, April 10th, 1900.

An assembly of noble ladies in the St. Andrew's Hall (throne room) of the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow. They are participating in a reception known as the baise-main (hand-kissing). Every first of January the Empress would hold such a reception at the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, where noble ladies, officials, and other privileged individuals would file past, be presented to the Empress and kiss her hand. In 1900 the "Young Empress", Alexandra Feodorovna, was in Moscow for Easter, and the ladies of Moscow were given the opportunity to do homage to the Emperor's wife.

Detail of above.
Detail of above.
Detail of above. Ladies-in-waiting of the Empress along with three court chamberlains. 
The formidable looking lady second from right is Princess Marie Golitsyn, the Empress' Mistress of the Robes.


(Edit: A big thank you to fellow blogger, Joanna Wrangham, who has since posted the same images and others taken during the Easter sojourn of 1900. Though I had found them labeled as being taken during the coronation ceremonies in 1896 she, using extracts from the Emperor's diaries, has given us the correct date of these photographs. Thank you, Ms. Wrangham!)


  1. No quotes around new, describing Empress. Alexandra Feodorovna was Empress of Russia from the death of her father in law, HIM Emperor Alexander Alexandrovich in November 1894. To my knowledge, there were no debutantes in Imperial Russia.

    1. I'm not sure I understand your point; Empress Alexandra Feodorovna was "new" compared to her mother-in-law, the Empress Marie Feodorovna. (Who, by the way, as dowager still had precedence over her daughter-in-law.) Also, Alexandra wasn't yet married to Nicholas when his father died; they wed and she became empress only a few weeks afterward. From my study, they - were - débutantes in Imperial Russia, and their presentation took place each January at the Winter Palace. (At least during the first few years of the last régime. Later, the Empress Alexandra held small receptions for only a few young ladies at a time, at the Alexander Palace, Peterhof, etc.) As I said, I don't know the ceremony pictured in the first two images, but it's some sort of presentation of ladies during the coronation festivities. Do you have any idea what might be occurring, Lisa?

  2. Note my edit, above. The actual date of these images and the activity viewed has been updated/corrected. I'm always workin', folks! : )