CZAR'S RAGE IS ASTIR AND IT FALLS UPON THE ROYAL HEAD OF AN ERRING AUNT
(By cable to New York and via leased wire, the longest in the world. Copyright, 1900, by W. R. Hearst.)
BERLIN, September 3. A serious quarrel has broken out between the Czar and his aunt, the Grand Duchess of Vladimir, which has had the result of causing her husband, the Grand Duke, to tender the resignation of his office as Commander of the Metropolitan Military District of St. Petersburg and of the Imperial Guard.
The trouble, which has not only set all Russian society by the ears, but has also perturbed several courts, including that of Emperor William, is due to a question of baccarat and roulette. Last spring the Czar, alarmed by the extraordinary increase of the scandals at court, in society and in the army due to high play, issued an edict strictly forbidding baccarat or roulette.
This ukase followed almost immediately the startling discovery made by Nicholas that the chapter of one of the principal churches of the metropolis had pawned the church plate and jeweled icons to pay gambling debts contracted at baccarat and roulette.
By the army and clergy the Emperor's commands have been obeyed, and baccarat has stopped at the Yacht and other leading clubs. But society has treated the imperial edict with something very much akin to derision, and this is largely owing to the attitude adopted by the Grand Duchess Vladimir.
The latter is a German Princess by birth, and the only foreign woman who has declined to change the faith in which she was reared for that of her husband on marriage. The Grand Duchess is passionately addicted to gambling. To her is due the introduction of the roulette table as an article of furniture in the saloons of most of the palaces an mansions of St. Petersburg, and the edict of her nephew in no way modified her openly proclaimed determination to visit no house and to attend no entertainment where roulette and baccarat were not provided for her amusement. As the Grand Duchess is the most dashing member of the imperial family and the acknowledged leader of St. Petersburg society, from which the Czar and Czarina hold wholly aloof, the great world of the Russian Capital has ignored the ukase of the Emperor and taken the cue from his aunt.
On discovering the manner in which his orders were defied and the part which the Grand Duchess has played in the matter, the Czar intimated to her that unless she set an example of obedience to his behest he would reluctantly be compelled to visit her with a public token of his displeasure by banishing her for a time from court and depriving her of the use of the imperial liveries and of imperial honors.
The San Francisco Chronicle, September 4, 1900.