What games did Russian emperors play in their childhood?
Adults remember the world of the child as something magical, whimsical and fascinating. But it was our imaginary children's games that largely determined who we are now. The more interesting to look into the imperial palaces with their children, where the future heirs of the throne were brought up. What did the royal children play and how did this childish fun shape the character of the future rulers?
Imperial traditions of children's games
The imperial families had their established traditions. For example, to give a one-year-old boy a wooden horse by the end of the first year of life. It is unlikely that a child of this age could appreciate an expensive toy at its true worth, but this gift was more symbolic than practical. Earlier, there was a custom - “putting one on a horse”: with age, every boy had to undergo such an initiation, which made him courageous and fearless, because he is a future warrior.
And since the days of Peter the Great, this custom has been disguised as a child's play and has become a new tradition. The horse was made like a real one: the wooden saddle was upholstered with felt and red morocco, buckles and bridles were made of silver, the toy figure was decorated with emeralds.
Morale of the future emperor
To raise the morale of the child, who in the future should be the commander in chief of many battles, was the main task. Much of what we know about the games of the first emperor is related to the military theme. The heir had toy drums, painted banners, and other toy weapons: bows, axes, and maces.
At the same time, the emperor had to grow up to be a diversified personality, therefore various toys were selected for him. A small carriage made especially for Peter I was preserved: it was all covered with velvet and gilded, “and kings and kings of all lands are written on the glass”. Special small horses of special breed were harnessed into it.
Swings and other games in the royal family
There were a royal child and a swing on the ropes, trimmed with velvet, various figures of birds and animals, painted by the best craftsmen, are not distinguished from the real ones.And even miniature cymbals to develop the musical abilities of the king's son. For the games of Peter built sweet cities and ice slides.
However, of all the “pryashes” of Peter, it was the military that later turned out to be part of his adult life and was remembered in history: the amusing army and flotilla became not just a game, but part of the education, personality of the future emperor. He ruled all his life just as he played.
Children's games of Alexander the First
Fast forward to the XIX century, in the nursery of Alexander I. Much has changed since then. By the beginning of the century, various mechanisms appeared, outlandish for those times - clockwork toys: a drummer and a toy soldier, a doll that combed its hair itself.
The imperial and loving grandmother, Catherine II, was in charge of the upbringing of the heir, who gave orders for the Tsarevich to play in severity and silence.
Alexander was quickly fed up with these children's fun, too soon the heir matured. Simple games did not interest him anymore - instead of toys, the heir was amused at the carpenter's art, typing on a pocket typewriter, he had gotten in Germany, fishing, planning trips around the globe.The strict requirements that were imposed on the future emperor almost deprived him of his childhood with that pleasant nonchalance and immediately placed on young shoulders the burden of responsibility for the whole country.
They had a common childhood with brother Nikolay - however, the youngest in the family was much more liked by the military toys of the royal children. Already adults, the emperor remembered his first wooden rifle and favorite horses, and the child liked tin soldiers most of all. Even after he grew up, he continued to collect these slender figures recreating military ranks and costumes. In his childhood games, he liked to include historical details and later these qualities, a love of rigor and order, would make from his image a “gendarme of Europe”.
The childhood of the emperor-liberator Alexander II took place in an atmosphere of family comfort, because his father, Nikolai Pavlovich, did not know then what would become emperor, therefore he could devote a lot of time to raising his children.
Love for "boyish" war games
Father and adults kept the love of boyish war games and tried to make miniature battles a family tradition.Tin soldiers, guns and tents were supposed to teach little Sasha not only the art of battle, but also the moral code of the military.
But the fate of the father and son changed dramatically when responsibility fell on their shoulders for the whole of Russia: they say that seven-year-old Alexander wept when he learned that now he was the heir to the throne.
We know a lot about the education of the emperor: the teachings of V. Zhukovsky, the study of science, sports activities, service in the cadet corps - all this is similar to the childhood of an ordinary boy. But it was in his games that he could feel like a little emperor: especially for the heir, a red house was built on the children's island, where Alexander was in charge of small boats, which in his imagination did not just travel around Tsarskoye Selo pond, but make whole world tours.
Childhood of the last Russian emperor Nicholas II
The childhood of the last Russian emperor Nicholas II is another example of the atmosphere in which the heirs of the throne were brought up. And we know about interesting details from the memories of the king himself, which allows us to look at these children's games with his eyes.
The magic children's room is one of the most memorable impressions of childhood: “I have never seen anything like it before. First, there is a railway on the floor, small but real, with rails, with guard booths, with three classes of carriages, there are shelves of soldiers with shakos, helmets, Cossacks in caps, but horses with manes, camels with humps but the drum, the guns in the box, the pipe with a brush, the mountain of sand. "
Children's games supposedly prepared the heir to further fate. After many years, the matured emperor will deploy railway construction for 70 thousand kilometers and will be the supreme commander of the Russian army in the First World War.
Special toys of Tsarevich Alexei
Special toys were with Tsarevich Alexei: the disease has changed the life of the heir to the throne. No piercing objects that could injure the crown prince; military fun, which relied in the royal family, were limited due to health.
The playing heir was arranged by his mother, Empress Alexandra, with love and care. Protecting the child from injury, but not depriving him of that childish curiosity and gaiety was his mother’s task.
In a large room about 60 square meters. m were educational games, models of weapons and aircraft, reproductions of famous paintings. Toys, reflecting the innovations of its time and stylized antique. Puppet Theater Gignol from the best masters of the country. But at the same time, doctors were always on duty near this magic nursery to avoid accidents.