Even during her glory years, Empress Maria Alexandrovna was something like a ghost walking the halls of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. As frail as she was beautiful, the haunting royal often hid from balls and other official events, preferring to let her boisterous, domineering husband take the spotlight. But behind closed doors, Maria kept painful secrets.
1. She Was A Lonely Girl
Maria’s upbringing was a strange one, especially considering the tragedy she would eventually experience. As the daughter of Grand Duke Ludwig of Hesse and his wife Wilhelmine, you’d think she grew up in luxury. But the reality was much sadder. Thanks to the fact that her father was a total bore, the court at Hesse was staid and strict, and Maria was raised woefully ignorant and naïve.
Then again, maybe this ignorance was a good thing—because her parents were hiding big secrets.