You are here

Dagmar and Donata

Submitted by Carlos Quinto on Tue, 23/10/2018 - 23:00

Dagmar and Donata

Dagmar of Denmark - (1847 - 1926) born Princess Dagmar of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg later Empress Maria Feodorovna, Empress of All Russias, mother of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia (the last Russian emperor), and a few other titles.

Donata of Mecklenburg (1956- )

So, what of the two?

It is about family resemblances, and how they show up in unexpected ways. Dagmar is Donata's great-grandaunt via her great-grandmother Princess Thyra and her great-great-grandmother Princess Louise of Hesse-Kassel.

There are not that many photographs of Donata, but Dagmar seems to be one of the most photographed royals of the late 19th and early 20th century.

So what is the resemblance? There are few pictures of Donata in the public view, and those that around show her in her later years, unlike Dagmar whose photographs go back to her early childhood. Dagmar took to wearing a veil in her later years and Donata wears glasses and has grey hair.

They both have the eyes which sort of slant downwards in the outer corners, but Donata's are smaller, sort of more narrow.

The notable thing about Dagmar is her full lips, especially those taken in her earlier years, which are accentuated in those that have been coloured on. It seems that she was always pressing them together to make them look thinner, or maybe it was the way she was supposed to pose for photographs. There is something about the way the female royals from those families posed that makes one suspect trying to make their lips look less full was a thing in that era, a practice that seems to have persisted to this very day. Perhaps they were not supposed to smile at all. On the hand it could be due to a need to press the lips down over overbites, or bad dentistry, though I would suspect the quality of dentistry was improving by the late 19th century.

The lips are the notable feature of Donata, and there is no need to repress them being that "bee-stung" lips are the fashion in these times. No need for fillers, collagen and all that.

Maria Feodorovna ( of Sweden), Empress of Russia


 (Dagmar of Sweden), Empress of Russia

Maria Feodorovna

The other feature they share is the strong chin and jawline of Dagmar, more accentuated in Dagmar's younger years when her face was slimmer. There are very few pictures of a young Donata on the internet and in fact the only one I have noticed so far is the trigger for this post.

Another difference is the "bags under the eyes" trait Donata displays, the trait displayed by Enoch Powell and Oprah Winfrey. Although at first sight Dagmar does not display that trait, it is visible in the photos of her later years, which leads me to suspect that it was concealed by her makeup or her photos were retouched to minimize them in her earlier years.

The photo of Donata is one in which she is seated by her husband on the arm of a settee, who is reading a book to their young child. What strikes me about the pictures is the uncanny resemblance she bears to Dagmar, so much so that when I first saw it gave me the chills. It is not so much the physical appearance, but the manner in which she appears to internalize Dagmar's mood, the mood which gives Dagmar the look she has, a kind of wariness and kind of decidedly unroyal diffidence. Another thing I find so striking is how strongly the resemblance shows although Donata's is looking downwards. I think Dagmar was her great grand aunt, but the resemblance is strong, something more obvious in the few photos I've seen when Donata was younger, darker-haired and without spectacles.

I started writing this post some time ago, and put it on hold for some reason I can't remember. In any case there is point in me waffling on about something readers can see for themselves.

 of Mecklenburg

Duchess Donata

Vertical Tabs

Add new comment