The Imperial Tea Party

Family, politics and betrayal: the ill-fated British and Russian royal alliance

by Frances Welch

  • Published: 14 Jun 2018
  • Price: 12.99
  • Format: Hardback
  • Extent: 288p
  • ISBN: 978-1-78072-306-8
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The British and Russian royal families had just three full meetings before the Romanovs tragic end in 1918. In The Imperial Tea Party, Frances Welch draws back the curtain on those fraught encounters, which had far-reaching consequences for 20th-century Europe and beyond. 

Russia and Britain were never natural bedfellows. But the marriage, in 1894, of Queen Victoria s favourite granddaughter, Alicky, to the Tsarevich Nicholas marked the beginning of an uneasy Anglo-Russian entente that would last until the Russian Revolution of 1917. 

The three extraordinary meetings that took place during those years, although generally hailed as successes, were beset by misunderstandings and misfortunes. The Tsar and Tsarina complained bitterly about the weather when staying at Balmoral, while British courtiers later criticised the Russians hospitality, from the food to the music to the slow service. 

In this wonderfully sharp account, Frances Welch presents a vivid snapshot of two dynasties at a time of social unrest. The families could not know, as they waved each other fond goodbyes from their yachts at Cowes in 1909, that they would never meet again.

About Frances Welch

Frances Welch has written for the Sunday Telegraph, Granta, The Spectator and the Financial Times. She is co-author of Memories of Revolution: Russian Women Remember (Routledge, 1993), The Romanov & Mr Gibbes (Short Books, 2003) and A Romanov Fantasy: Life at the Court of Anna Anderson (Short Books, 2007) She is married to the writer Craig Brown, and has two children. She lives in Aldeburgh, Suffolk.

Other books by this author

<a href=""><strong>The Russian Court At Sea</strong><br />The Last Days of a Great Dynasty: The Romanov's Voyage into Exile</a><br /><a href="" class="plain-link">On 11th April 1919, less than a year after the assassination of the Romanovs, the British battleship HMS Marlborough left Yalta carrying 17 members of the Russian Imperial Family into perpetual exile. </a><a href=""><img  src="" border="0" 		width="160px" 	height="244px" alt="" /></a><a href=""><strong>The Romanov Fantasy</strong><br />Life at the Court of Anna Anderson</a><br /><a href="" class="plain-link">Did the 17-year-old Anastasia survive the massacre of the Russian Royal family in 1917? The possibility that she, the youngest of the Tsar’s daughters, might have escaped, and the universal longing to salvage some thread of hope from the tragedy, has provided a rich spawning ground for claimants.</a><a href=""><img  src="" border="0" 		width="160px" 	height="244px" alt="" /></a><a href=""><strong>The Romanovs and Mr Gibbes</strong><br />The Story of the Englishman who taught the children of the last Tsar</a><br /><a href="" class="plain-link">Frances Welch draws on a wealth of unpublished material to throw new light on the Romanov story, telling it from the English teacher’s point of view. </a><a href=""><img  src="" border="0" 		width="160px" 	height="244px" alt="" /></a><a href=""><strong>Rasputin</strong></a><br /><a href="" class="plain-link"></a><a href=""><img  src="" border="0" 		width="160px" 	height="244px" alt="" /></a>