2 week catch-up again for Darcy's Postcard Challenge :S
Week 42 RUSSIA and week 43 FINLAND
The National flower of Russia is the humble Chamomile
" My dearest Lillian,
I have visited many beautiful buildings on my travels, but nothing yet could have prepared me for the luscious extravagance of the Winter Palace. We have been visiting with Tsar Nicholas II and his wife the Empress Alexandria. Did you know they have only been married a month longer than Richard and myself? They are thinking of moving into this glorious creation of a building in time for Christmas. The ballroom is so large, your cottage would fit inside it at least 6 times!
I have to tell you, Her Imperial Highness is not the jolliest of people. I think I have only seen her smile once, and the Tsar seems totally dependant on her for his strength. I suppose it was a shock, becoming Tsar so suddenly.
No sign of baby arriving just yet, though Richard and Miss Francesca are both complete "nervous Nellies". If I get much bigger I am sure I will pop!
Yours affectionately, Ophelia xxx"
"My darling Ophelia,
Yes I was aware of the Tsar's rather rushed wedding. It was reported here at the time as being rather inappropriate, given he was still in mourning for his father. Oh, and he is not actually the Tsar at this time, his coronation will not take place until next year. I suppose it is just polite to call him by that title any way. As for his young wife, it is rumoured that the Russian people are not too pleased about having a German Lutheran for an Empress. The poor girl has tried all sorts to appease them, even taking on their religion.
I can not imagine why some one would want to live in such an enormous place. Even with it's incredibly ornate décor it must feel so empty. I would take my cottage, filled to the brim with happy children, over a grand palace any day.
The children are all settled to their studies now the nights are drawing in. Snow is expected soon, and with it the sadness deepens in young Geoffrey's eyes. Children should want to enjoy playing in the fresh snow, but I fear this year will be spoiled by the hurtful memories of last winter.
Your Loving friend, Lillian xxx"
The national flower of Finland is the LILY OF THE VALLEY
" My dearest Lillian,
After visiting with the Russian Royal Family, the Empress suggested I might enjoy a visit to the Imperial Alexander university of Finland, in Helsinki.
Apparently the Finnish women are very forward thinking, and are encouraged to take up posts in nursing and teaching, whilst at the same time holding motherhood and nurturing in the highest regard.
Miss Francesca was rather hoping the baby would arrive during our visit here, knowing that the medical situation here is most advanced, both morally and scientifically. I got a bit upset. Confused as to whether my baby would be British, Swedish, Prussian, Russian or Finnish? What if my baby is born in a non-commonwealth state? OH GOOD GRIEF!!! I hadn't considered any of this before!
Your ever so slightly emotional friend, Ophelia xxx"
" My darling Ophelia,
Pull yourself together! Try not to worry about where your baby will be born. I am sure Sir Richard is an a position to make sure his child is born a British Citizen, wherever you may be at the time. Are not all children born in Embassies classed as being on British soil? To be on the safe side, you could always come home for a while.
What an unexpected place for you to be visiting. I never thought of you walking the halls of a great university. Rather, more at home in a grand house, entertaining guests, or even having your own art studio. Although art and science are not mutually exclusive. I hope you pick up some ideas for how you would like to extend your education. Just because you will be a mother and a wife, it does not mean you have to give up on self improvement.
Your loving friend, Lillian xxx"