Topic: Alexander Palace
Today marks the birthday of the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna (nee Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine) who was born on June 6th, 1872.
During her life, she had a great love of flowers, particularly lilacs which often filled the rooms of the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo.
This year, in honour of the Empress' birthday, the former rooms of the Empress at the Alexander Palace will be adorned with the fragrance of her favourite blossoms. In keeping with tradition, the Mauve Boudoir and two adjoining drawing-rooms will be decorated with lilacs which are now in full bloom throughout Russia.
Alexandra loved all shades of the colour mauve, which is why the Mauve Boudoir (or Lilac Study) became her favourite room in the palace. Each spring, and on the Empress' birthday, vases full of lilacs and lily-of-the-valley would fill this room. Her other rooms would be decorated with flowers year round. The Maple and Palisander Drawing-Rooms were decorated with gorgeous bouquets of lilacs grown in the nearby greenhouses at Tsarskoye Selo or Livadia in the Crimea.
Note: I have only just returned from St. Petersburg where I spent an entire day at Tsarskoye Selo. I was overwhelmed by the abundance of lilacs growing wild in the parks surrounding the palaces. I counted four shades in the Alexander Park including lavender, dark purple, white and pink. No matter where I stood in the park, the gentle breezes continually carried the fragrance of these beautiful flowers.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 06 June, 2012