She grabbed a paper knife and threatened her nurse, who hid behind Thaddeus. "The little lady then transferred her attentions to me, her black eyes ablaze with fury, " recalled Thaddeus. Elena, raised by a mother who was highly conscious of her social status, was also considered snobbish by some. "Poor little thing, I feel sorry for her, " wrote her mother's social rival, Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, for she is really quite sweet, but vain and pretty grandiose.
" Elena's "grand manner irritated some people at court.