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Passengers of the Marlboro: How the descendants of Russian emperors left Russia and how they earned their living in a foreign land
Passengers of the Marlboro: How the descendants of Russian emperors left Russia and how they earned their living in a foreign land

Some of the representatives of the House of Romanov managed to survive and escape by flight on the British battleship "Marlboro". Their life in exile developed differently, but each of them had to drink the cup of a painful break with their homeland and their former way of life. They did not give up hope for the return of the former Russia and the revival of the monarchy. But routine demanded from them the solution of pressing everyday issues, and each of them did it in his own way.

Who was among the passengers of the British battleship "Marlborough", which departed on April 11, 1917 from the Crimea to Great Britain

Cruiser "Marlboro". Postcard autographed by the Romanovs

All relatives made fun of Nicholas II's great-uncle Peter Nikolayevich - he designed (he was fond of architecture) and built a house in Crimea that looked like a fortress. But thanks to the fact that the Romanovs were kept under house arrest in the villa of Pyotr Nikolaevich, they survived. People from the Sevastopol Council protected them from the aggressive intentions of the Yalta Bolsheviks. And then there was an offer to leave for Germany from the Germans who occupied Yalta, angrily rejected by the Romanovs, and an offer from the commander of the British fleet that arrived in Crimea.

By order of King George V of England, nephew of Maria Feodorovna (mother of Nicholas II), Admiral Kellthorpe provided members of the imperial family with a ship to sail to Britain. Maria Fedorovna achieved the consent of the British to take away at the same time all those who would wish to leave Russia with her, who were in danger of perishing at the hands of the Bolsheviks. In addition to the Empress Dowager, the grandchildren of Nicholas I and the great uncles of Nicholas II went aboard the Marlborough: Nikolai Nikolaevich Jr. and Pyotr Nikolaevich with their spouses, Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich with Ksenia Alexandrovna (the emperor's sister) and their children, including the elder daughter Irina with her husband and child, parents of Prince Felix Yusupov. They were received with due honors. They left their homeland forever, but it seemed to them that this was a temporary measure, therefore, in addition to the bitterness of parting with the past (their own and their country), they felt in their souls the hope of returning.

Where the mother of Emperor Nicholas II settled down Maria Fedorovna and his sister Ksenia Alexandrovna

Maria Feodorovna, mother of Emperor Nicholas II, in exile

The Empress Dowager first stayed with her sister Alexandra, widow of King Edward VII of England, but did not stay there, as they could not get along. Maria Fedorovna moved to Copenhagen to the reigning nephew Christian X. Due to her inherent categoricalness, it was also impossible to establish an even and long relationship with this relative. To the great joy of both, King George V gave his aunt an annual payment of ten thousand pounds sterling, and she moved to a large estate in Wieder, which belonged to her and her two sisters.

Ksenia Alexandrovna Romanova in exile

Her daughter Ksenia Alexandrovna lived with Maria Fedorovna for some time (until she moved to England, when she received a house on Hampton Court from the English king). Maria Feodorovna was popular among the Danes - she was born and raised in the same country with them, was a person of a strict disposition and a broad soul. Even in exile, despite her modest financial resources, she tried to help everyone who asked her for help.She did not believe in the death of her son Nicholas II and his family; she tried not to interfere in politics.

How the only daughter of Ksenia Alexandrovna Irina became famous all over the world

Irina and Felix Yusupov, founders of the Irfe fashion house

The Yusupovs settled in Paris. At home, they had to leave untold riches, the heir of which, after the death of his elder brother, was Prince Felix. They managed to take some of the money and jewelry on the road, which for quite a long time made it possible to live comfortably. But still, the couple had to think about the source of income. They had an idea to open a fashion house. They named their offspring "Irfe" (Irina, Felix). Both had a delicate taste and flair for fashion trends, so their venture was a success. Irina, slim and tall, sometimes even took part in fashion shows herself.

Then the Yusupovs launched a perfume line. The Yusupovs were trendsetters in the 1920s. Branches of their fashion house were opened in London, Berlin and Touquet (a resort town in Normandy). But during the Great Depression, their business became unprofitable, the spouses did not have enough business acumen to stay afloat in such conditions. The fashion house in Paris, like its branches in other cities, was closed.

In what areas did the sons of Ksenia Alexandrovna find themselves?

Ksenia Alexandrovna and her children: Andrey, Fedor, Nikita, Dmitry, Rostislav, Irina and Vasily, who were aboard the British battleship Marlboro in 1919

The fate of the six sons of Alexander Mikhailovich and Ksenia Alexandrovna was very different. Andrei Alexandrovich, having married Elizaveta Fabritsievna Sasso, first settled in Paris, and later, together with his family, moved to England to the house of Ksenia Alexandrovna. To support his family, Prince Andrey painted pictures and put them up for sale. He and his brother Prince Vasily Alexandrovich became patrons of the Order of Malta. In addition, he was one of those on whose initiative the Association of members of the Romanov family was founded.

Fyodor Alexandrovich in the early years of emigration lived in the house of his sister Irina Yusupova and worked as a taxi driver. After a divorce from his wife, he lived in his mother's house in England. When he was diagnosed with tuberculosis, he moved to the south of France, where his sister Irina's villa was located.

Nikita Alexandrovich also took advantage of the hospitality of the Yusupovs and lived on their estate until his marriage to Maria Vorontsova-Dashkova. He worked as an employee in a bank.

Dmitry Alexandrovich until 1930 was a stockbroker in Manhattan. Then, already in Biarritz, he became the manager of the Coco Chanel store. He was married twice. In 1940 he served in the British Navy Volunteer Reserve. After the war, he was the secretary of a travel club in the capital of France, and in the 50s - a representative of a company that was engaged in the production of whiskey.

Rostislav Alexandrovich left England after his beloved Alexandra Pavlovna Golitsyna in Chicago, where they got a job together as simple sellers in a store. Over time, the wife became a co-owner of the store, and the husband remained a simple clerk in it, and they parted. After the divorce, Prince Rostislav had two more marriages, and he himself became a highly qualified accountant.

The youngest of the brothers, Prince Vasily, grew up with his mother. Due to the constant lack of money in the family, he got a job as a driver. In 1928 he left for New York, where he met his future wife Natalya Alexandrovna Golitsyna. After graduating from the University in Sacramento, Vasily Alexandrovich happened to be an employee, then a stockbroker, and later he even maintained a beauty salon and worked for Sikorsky's firm (helicopter production). During the war and after it, the prince changed his profession more than once. Thanks to his efforts, the family lived comfortably in the most difficult years.

How was the fate of the grandchildren of Nicholas I (Nikolai Nikolaevich Jr. and Peter Nikolaevich) in a foreign land

Nikolai Nikolayevich Jr. is the first son of Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolayevich (elder) and Grand Duchess Alexandra Petrovna, grandson of Nikolai I, great uncle of Nikolai II

Nikolai Nikolaevich Jr., the one who was the commander-in-chief of the fronts during the First World War, became the unofficial leader of the Russian emigration. He was remembered and respected by the officers, since 1924 he headed the Russian General Military Union. For some time he lived in Genoa with King Victor Emmanuel III, who was his brother-in-law.Later he settled in France in Antibes. For some time, the family of his brother Peter lived with him.

There was a constant confrontation between Nikolai Nikolaevich and Kirill Vladimirovich on the subject of who of them could be the guardian of the throne, and, under favorable circumstances, the new Russian emperor. Kirill Vladimirovich is the second son of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich, third son of Emperor Alexander II, and Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna. He was a cousin to Nicholas II. Kirill Vladimirovich was the eldest in the order of birthright, and Nikolai Nikolaevich - in age and authority. When Kirill Vladimirovich declared himself the guardian of the throne, and then the future emperor, Nikolai Nikolaevich categorically could not accept this, as did the Empress Dowager, the mother of Nicholas II, Maria Fedorovna and most of the white emigration.

Pyotr Nikolaevich is the second son of Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich (the elder), grandson of Nicholas I, and great-uncle of Nicholas II

Pyotr Nikolaevich was far from all this, but he supported his brother. He was fond of art: he tried his hand at painting and architecture, in particular, he was interested in church architecture, took an active part in various exhibitions. In 1929, Nikolai Nikolaevich died in Antibes, and in 1931 his brother Peter died there.

And the Romanov dynasty began with the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Filaret, who put his son on the throne.

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