Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Make It An Imperial Christmas with a Romanov Book: Choose From 7 Titles!

The cover of A Life for the Tsar.

This book is the result of a long, organic evolution. Fascinated as the authors both are with the Romanov Dynasty and interested in pursuing unique and exciting aspects of its history, they stumbled upon the Coronation of Nicholas II as a potential subject quite by accident. The ceremony itself formed an integral part of Greg King’s 2005 work The Court of the Last Tsar: Pomp, Power, and Pageantry in the Reign of Nicholas II. In the research and writing process, Janet Ashton discovered a wealth of previously neglected materials on the subject that helped bring the event to dramatic life: so much material, in fact, that it was impossible to include more than a tantalising hint in a single chapter. The Coronation was beautiful, opulent, and almost surreal. Wispy clouds of incense drifted upwards through golden shafts of sunshine, while the “high, clear voices of the boys mingled with the deeper bass notes of the men” intoning sonorous hymns as Russia unknowingly celebrated the coronation of its last emperor. Flickering flames of a thousand votive candles shimmered over gowns of silver brocade, flashed across gilded icons, sparkled against diamonds, and glanced on medals. This intoxicating pageant of sounds and colors, scents and sensations left onlookers “dazed.” Nicholas II’s Coronation in Moscow’s Cathedral of the Assumption that May of 1896 was a carefully crafted piece of stagecraft, meant to transport the densely packed congregation to a realm of intense spiritual power fused to unyielding autocracy. The scene was not without irony: the imperial splendor and religious rituals of the Russian Orthodox Church celebrated a monarch who scarcely carried a drop of Russian blood in his veins. The book contains over 220 beautiful images illustrating 248 glossy pages!

Purchase A Life for the Tsar from Amazon.


The cover of Romanovs Adrift.

In 1913, the Romanovs celebrated three hundred years of sitting on the Russian Imperial throne. Great fanfare and hope accompanied the celebrations. A year later, Imperial Russia entered a "war to end all wars," with the hope of "being back home for Christmas." It was not to be. Instead, in February 1917, after years of administrative and military ineptitude and incompetence, the Russian people had enough of its government's inefficacy and corruption. The consequences, as it turned out, changed the world. Tsar Nicholas II was overthrown; members of the Imperial Family faced persecution, arrest, financial instability, uncertainty, and worse. This is the compelling story of how the Romanovs dealt with glory, war, revolution, persecution, imprisonment, and escape!


The cover of The Grand Dukes.

Arturo E. Beéche, founder and publisher of The European Royal History Journal, thought of the idea for an anthology on Russia's Grand Duchesses in 2004. Consequently, a companion book on the Russian Grand Dukes became imperative. The Grand Dukes: Sons & Grandsons of Russia's Tsars Since Paul I examines the biographies of nearly forty men whose birth gave them the right to one of the world's most prestigious positions. All sons of Russian tsars are covered in Volume I. The sons of collateral grand ducal branches are covered in Volume II. The biography of each of the Grand Dukes of Russia brings to life a deeply gripping human saga. These men were born into what then was one of the world's most powerful ruling dynasties. They were not all saints; they were not all demons - they were men whose birth showered them with untold privilege. Some used their birthright for the common good; some did not. Yet, they all remain amazingly intriguing, complex, complicated and conflicted human beings. At birth they were showered with untold privilege, including a lump sum of money placed in trust for them. By the time these funds were made available to a Grand Duke, the interest alone made them amazingly wealthy. Added to this benefit, they derived salaries from their military appointments, investments, real estate and inheritance. Thus, the Grand Dukes were able to maintain a lifestyle only surpassed by today's oligarchs and yesteryear's robber barons. They were consummate spenders in paintings, art, architecture, jewels, all while acting as sponsors of talented writers, thinkers, poets, ballerinas, among many others. One was a playwright of considerable talent. Another played a role in working toward the liberation of the serfs. One was a leading admiral with a fondness for "fast women and slow ships." Another Grand Duke lived a tortured existence as a closeted homosexual, yet became the father of nine children. Told in a two-volume set, this is their story.


The cover of The Other Grand Dukes.

Included in this unique work, the Second Volume in a two-volume series, are 18 biographies of Russian grand dukes. These were the junior lines of the Russian Imperial Family at the time of the Revolution in 1917: Vladimirovichi, Pavlovichi, Konstantinovichi, Nikolaevichi and Mikhailovichi. The book is illustrated with exquisite and rare photographs of these intriguing men, their families and descendants. It also includes several family trees. The chapters were authored by some of today's most recognized authors and scholars on the Romanov Dynasty.


The cover of Russia & Europe - Dynastic Ties.

This excellent book authored by Galina Korneva and Tatiana Cheboksarova includes nearly 600 photos, an overwhelming majority among them collected from the main archives of Russia and several European countries. The moment captured by these original photos is able, often times, to tell the reader far more about the unique world of royalty and aristocracy than countless pages of text. The authors also relied on important information obtained from Russian and foreign periodicals, memoirs and scientific literature. The English-language version of this book was expanded with contributions by Arturo Beéche, founder and publisher of Eurohistory / The European Royal History Journal. He is an expert on European Royalty, as well as author of more than a dozen books about the various royal families that have shaped the continent's history.


The cover of A Poet Among the Romanovs.

Prince Vladimir Paley, first cousin of the last tsar, was a poet among the Romanovs. The rules of the Imperial Family prevented him from being considered a member of the dynasty due to the unequal marriage of his parents. This circumstance could have saved his life. Instead, when he was requested by the Bolsheviks to denounce his father, Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia, young Prince Vladimir chose love, loyalty, honor, and affection. His only crime was being related to a dynasty of which he had not even been an official member. This is the compelling story of a young man, and a talented poet, who in different circumstances would have attained great heights.. Destiny, however, played a sad role in bringing a brutal and early death to a promising life.

Jorge F. Sáenz brings to life the previously unknown figure of Prince Vladimir Paley. In doing so, Mr. Sáenz adds to a long and distinguished list of historical studies he has written over the last thirty years. His books number well over a dozen, most of them focusing on various aspects of Costa Rica’s history and unique democratic traditions, that make the country a bastion of democracy in Latin America. His study of the life of Prince Vladimir Paley was first published as a biographical essay in Eurohistory — The European Royal History Journal. The success of this essay led to the story of Vladimir Paley becoming a full-on book. Mr. Sáenz is a career diplomat for Costa Rica, as well as a distinguished law professor at the University of Costa Rica. EUROHISTORY is pleased to announce the hardback publication of this rare and uniquely extraordinary work of royal biography! This book was first published in paperback nearly 20 years ago. The UPDATED and EXPANDED hardback edition contains more information than the original, as well as a new 24-page photo section different than the few images included in the original paperback edition!


The cover of Death of a Romanov Prince.

“The coffin was lowered into the grave. Soon there was a burial mound above. It was quickly covered with wreaths, flowers and crowned with a plain wooden cross. Prince Oleg’s promising life was finished.” 

Death of a Romanov Prince follows the brief life-journey of Prince Oleg Konstantinovich, one of the lesser-known members of the powerful and privileged Russian Imperial family. He was a talented young man of intellectual and artistic genius. Oleg was the gifted son of the talented Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich, who wrote under the pseudonym of KR. The Grand Duke was a friend of Tchaikovsky, who set his numerous poems to music, and who established literary circles for his troops, translated Hamlet into Russian, and wrote The King of the Jews, an original play that he and his sons performed. The reader will follow Prince Oleg Konstantinovich, his family, and Imperial cousins, as his life takes him via the luxuries of the family’s four magnificent palaces of Pavlovsk, in Tsarskoye Selo, the Marble Palace in St Petersburg, the Konstantine Palace at Strelna; and the Ostashevo Estate near Moscow; as well as numerous holidays in the Crimea. The young prince enjoyed the most liberal program in literary, scientific, and artistic education. He was the first Romanov to be enrolled in a civilian school and graduated from the Imperial Lyceum in St Petersburg, where in 1913 he won the Pushkin Medal for his academic achievements. At the age of 21, Prince Oleg Konstantinovich was on the crest of a brilliant career and personal greatness when World War I began. Then tragedy struck. 

Death of a Romanov Prince brings the reader into the battlefields of World War I’s Eastern Front. Bloody battles fought in northern Poland and Lithuania’s Masurian Lakes. It was while fighting there that Prince Oleg led his troops into heroic cavalry charges against the Germans.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

The Passing of a Patriarch: Andrew Andreevich Romanoff, Prince Romanovsky (1923-2021)

Prince Andrew at his home in 2015.
Photo (c) Hearst Newspapers via Getty Images / San Francisco Chronicle.

On 28 November 2021, Andrew Andreevich Romanoff, Prince Romanovsky, died at the age of ninety-eight. Andrew was the longest-lived male-line descendant of the Romanov dynasty. He was the last surviving great-nephew of the last Russian Tsar, Nicholas II.

Prince Andrei Alexandrovich of Russia
Born on 21 January 1923 at London, Andrew was the youngest of the three children of Prince Andrei Alexandrovich of Russia (1897 - 1981) and his first wife Donna Elisabetta "Elsa" Ruffo di Sant' Antimo (1886 - killed in London during the Blitz in 1940). Andrew followed two older siblings: Princess Xenia Andreevna Romanovsky (1919 - 2000) and Prince Michael Andreevich Romanovsky (1920 - 2008). Since their parents' marriage was morganatic, Andrew bore the style and title His Serene Highness Prince Romanovsky, which was granted to his parents by the Head of the Imperial House.

Andrew's paternal grandmother: Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia
Andrew's paternal grandfather: Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich of Russia.
Andrew grew up near his grandmother Grand Duchess Xenia (1875 - 1960), who lived in a grace and favour cottage at Windsor. He did not have as much contact with his grandfather, Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich, as Xenia and Alexander lived separately in exile. Andrew Andreevich received his education at the Imperial Service College. He joined the British Navy in 1942, and served until the end of World War II.

Andrew Romanoff's Petition for Naturalisation, 1954.
Andrew Romanoff's Petition for Naturalisation, 1954.
Prince Andrew's eldest son: Alexei Romanoff, 1969.
This photo was taken when Prince Alexei was a student at St. Mary's College High School.
In 1949, Andrew moved to the United States and settled in Oakland, California. In 1954, he became a US citizen. Andrew studied criminology and sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. On 9 September 1951 at San Francisco, Andrew married Elena "Helen" Constantinovna Dourneff (Tokyo, Japan 5 May 1926 - Oakland 31 May 1992), the daughter of Constantin Afanasievich Dourneff and his wife Felixa Stanislavovna Zapalski. Andrew and Helen had one son: Alexei Andreevich Romanoff, Prince Romanovsky (b.Alameda 27 April 1953; married Zoetta Leisy). Andrew and Helen divorced in 1959. In 1968, Helen Dourneff Romanoff married to US Air Force Technical Sergeant Odom Wayne Modling (1923 - 2007), a survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Andrew and Kathleen Romanoff after their civil wedding in 1961.
The obituary of Kathleen Romanoff (1967).
This appeared in The San Francisco Examiner on 10 December 1967.
Andrew remarried on 21 March 1961 to San Francisco native Kathleen Norris Roberts (San Francisco 1 March 1935 - San Francisco 8 December 1967; former wife of Gilbert Jay Roberts Jr.). The couple were joined in marriage by Judge Gerald Levin, who performed the ceremony in his chambers at the Hall of Justice. The bride wore a blue and white Dior print dress with a white coat. Kathleen's sister, Mrs. Hartley Cravens, was her attendant; Prince Nikita Romanov served as the best man for his cousin Andrew. Kathleen was the daughter of Dr. Frank and Mrs. Alice Norris (née McCreery); her grandmother and namesake was the noted author Kathleen Norris, wife of Charles Norris. Andrew and Kathleen had two sons: Peter Andreevich Romanoff, Prince Romanovsky (b.San Francisco 21 November 1961; married Barbara Jurgens) and Andrew Andreevich Romanoff, Prince Romanovsky (b.San Francisco 20 February 1963; married Elisabeth Flores). Tragically, in 1967 Kathleen Romanoff died of pneumonia at the age of thirty-two. Princess Kathleen was laid to rest at the Serbian Cemetery in Colma, where her husband's uncle Prince Vasili Alexandrovich of Russia and his aunt Princess Natalia were also buried when they died in 1989. 

Andrew Romanoff and his wife Inez Storer in 2015.
Photograph (c) Todd Pickering
Finally and thirdly, Andrew married artist Inez Mary Storer (b.Santa Monica, California 11 October 1933; former wife of Thomas Tone Storer) on 27 December 1987 in Washoe County, Nevada. Inez was the daughter of architect Franz Nicholas Bachelin and his wife Anneliese "Anita" Maria Camilla Hirtfield.  Andrew and Inez resided in the idyllic town of Inverness, California. Like his wife Inez, Andrew Romanov was an artist, and his works were displayed in numerous exhibitions. He must have inherited the artistic streak that his grandmother, Xenia, and his grand-aunt, Olga, also possessed. A book entitled The Boy Who Would Be Tsar appeared in 2007 and documented Andrew's life. At the time its publication, the prince stated in a profile: "At certain moments I would be called upon to play the game, be a prince. But it's always the people around me who get exited about it. My mother and father just wanted me to grow up to be a real person.

Left to right: Prince Alexei, Prince Andrew with his granddaughter Princess Natasha, Prince Peter, and Prince Andrew, 1995.
Prince Andrew is survived by his widow, his three sons and his daughters-in-law, and his granddaughter.

May He Rest in Peace.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Portrait of Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich of Russia at Auction This Week

A portrait of Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich of Russia, only son of Grand Duke Kirill Alexandrovich and Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna, will be sold in London tomorrow by MacDougall's Fine Art Auctions. Serge Ivanoff, the artist who created this depiction of Grand Duke Vladimir, Head of the Imperial House of Romanov from 1938-1992, completed the painting in 1944. The grand duke sat for sittings in Paris, where the portrait was finished.

Source: Portrait of Grand Duke Vladimir Romanov

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Thyra, Duchesse d'Harcourt (1930-2021)

La duchesse d'Harcourt.
Portrait (c) Carme Arisa.
Thyra de Zayas, Duchesse d'Harcourt, died on 8 November 2021. She was ninety-one years-old. 

Alfonso de Zayas.
Juliette d'Harcourt.
Born on 31 August 1930 at Palma de Mallorca, Maria Teresa "Thyra" de Zayas y d'Harcourt was the daughter of don Alfonso de Zayas y Bobadilla (1896-1970), Marques de Zayas, and his first wife Marie Gabrielle Juliette Vierne d'Harcourt (1900-1977), who wed in 1921. Thyra had five siblings: José Eugenio de Zayas y d'Harcourt (1924-2011), Margarita de Zayas y d'Harcourt, Carlos de Zayas y d'Harcourt, Carmen de Zayas y d'Harcourt, and Luis de Zayas y d'Harcourt. 

The history of the Marqués de Zayas.
Revista Hidalguía número 73. Año 1965, p. 775.
Thyra's paternal grandparents were Bartolomé de Zayas y Borrás and María del Pilar Bobadilla y Escrivá de Romaní. Her maternal grandparents were Count Eugène d'Harcourt (1859-1918) and Armande de Pierre de Bernis (1876-?). Thyra's maternal uncle was Count Bruno d'Harcourt, who married Princess Isabelle d'Orléans.

François, Duke of Harcourt.
On 17 January 1961, Thyra de Zayas married François, 11th Duc d'Harcourt (1902-1997). The couple were third cousins. Their common ancestors were Eugène, 8th Duc d'Harcourt, Duc de Beuvron and Aglaé Terray. François and Thyra did not have children.

Thyra, Duchess of Harcourt.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Simon Cochard.
The funeral of the duchesse d'Harcourt took place at l'église de Thury-Harcourt on 13 November 2021, and she was buried in the chapel of the Château d'Harcourt. A mass for the duchesse will be held at the Basilique Saint-Clotilde in Paris on 23 November 2021.

May Thyra Rest in Peace.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Royal Karađorđević Baby Expected!

Princess Ljubica and Prince Mihailo of Serbia with their daughter Princess Natalija.
Princess Ljubica of Serbia shared last week that she and her husband, Prince Mihailo, are expecting their second child. The couple, who married five years ago in October 2016, have one daughter, Princess Natalija, born in 2018. The newest Karađorđević will be a great-grandchild of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia and Queen Marie (née Romania); Prince Mihailo, father of Princess Natalija and her younger sibling-to-be, is the youngest child of the king and queen's second son, Prince Tomislav. 

PRINCEZA LJUBICA I PRINC MIHAILO IMAJU LEPE VESTI: Uskoro postaju roditelji po drugi put!

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Lobkowicz Twins Karl and Nicolas Engaged to European Aristocrats

The engagements of the twin and youngest sons of Prince Wenceslas von Lobkowicz (b.1953) and his wife Princess Armelle (b.1955; née de Guillebon) have recently been announced. 

Prince Karl von Lobkowicz (b.1993) is engaged to Astrid Dagneau de Richecour, the daughter of Dominique Dagneau de Richecour (b.3 August 1961) and his wife Béatrice (b.1965; née de La Barre de Nanteuil). Astrid has four siblings, two brothers and two sisters: Eléonore, Thomas, Mayeul, and Pauline. Astrid's paternal grandparents are Louis René Robert Dagneau de Richecour (1927-Paris 3 August 2012) and Marie Jeanne-Françoise de Font-Réaulx (Paris 29 June 1934-Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, Paris 12 May 2001). Astrid's maternal grandparents are Vicomte Joachim de La Barre de Nanteuil and Geneviève de Rubercy (d.13 August 2013).

Prince Nicolas von Lobkowicz (b.1993) is engaged to Benedetta Zanardi Landi, the daughter of Count Antonio Zanardi Landi di Veano (b.Udine 24 May 1950), an Italian ambassador to various countries, and his wife Countess Sabina (b.1963; née Cornaggia Medici Castiglioni). Benedetta has a brother, Pietro, and a sister, Catarina. Benedetta's paternal grandparents are Count Vittorio Zanardi Landi di Veano (~1909-1999) and Mariangela De Faveri Tron (~1926-2017). Benedetta's maternal grandparents are Gherardo Cornaggia Medici dei Marchesi di Castellanza (Milan 11 November 1912-Porto Ercole 17 August 1983) and Donna Guilia Boghese (Rome 21 March 1926-Rome 13 November 2006).


January 2004 - Un udinese ambasciatore a Belgrado

August 2013 - Madame Geneviève De La Barre De Nanteuil

October 2017 - Oggi l’ultimo saluto alla contessa Zanardi Landi

November 2021 - Fiançailles princières Lobkowicz

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

The Fiftieth Birthday of the Duchess of Aosta

Princess Olga.
Painted by her mother Marina Karella (Princess Marina of Greece).
Today, Princess Olga of Savoy, Duchess of Aosta, celebrates her fiftieth birthday!

Princess Olga and her father Prince Michael.

Born at Athens on 17 November 1971, Princess Olga Isabelle of Greece is the second daughter of Prince Michael of Greece and Denmark (b.1939) and Princess Marina (b.1941; born Marina Karella), who married in 1965. Olga has one sister, Princess Alexandra (b.1968; married Nicolas Mirzayantz).

Princess Françoise d'Orléans and Prince Christoper of Greece on their wedding day, 1929.

The paternal grandparents of Olga are Prince Christopher of Greece and Denmark and Princess Françoise d'Orléans. The maternal grandparents of the princess are Theodoros Karella and Elly Chalikiopoulos.

Aimone and Olga's engagement picture, 2005.

On 7 May 2005, Princess Olga and Prince Aimone of Savoy (b.1967), Duke of Apulia, became engaged in Turin. Aimone is the only son of Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta, and his first wife Princess Claude d'Orléans. Although related in several different ways, Olga and Aimone are second cousins. Both are the great-grandchildren of Prince Jean d'Orléans, Duke de Guise, and his wife and first cousin Princess Isabelle d'Orléans. 

The Duke and Duchess of Apulia on the day of their religious wedding, 2008.

On 16 September 2008, Aimone of Savoy and Olga of Greece were civilly married at the Italian embassy in Moscow, Russia, where the couple live. The pair celebrated their religious wedding on 27 September at the Church of Panagia Diasozousa on the Isle of Patmos in Greece. Their union was attended by their parents and by King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of the Hellenes.

The Duke and Duchess of Apulia with their first child, Prince Umberto, at his baptism.

The first child of the Duke and Duchess of Apulia arrived in 2009. Prince Umberto Sathya of Savoy, Prince of Piedmont, was born on 7 March at Neuilly-sur-Seine. The prince was baptised on 18 June and received as godparents Princess Maria Gabriella of Savoy and Carlo Radicati di Primeglio.

The baptism of Prince Amedeo of Savoy.

Aimone and Olga welcomed their second child in 2011. Prince Amedeo Michel of Savoy, Duke of the Abruzzi, was born on 24 May at Paris. The prince was baptised on 8 June 2012 at Milan in the Basilica of San Marco and received as godparents Princess Mafalda of Savoy, Princess Marina of Greece and George Antaki.

The baptism of Princess Isabella of Savoy.

The Duke and Duchess of Apulia had their third child and only daughter in 2012. Princess Isabella Marina Vita of Savoy was born at Paris on 14 December. The princess was baptised on her first birthday, 14 December 2013, at the église Saint-Thomas-d'Aquin in Paris.

The 2020 Christmas card of the Aostas, showing Prince Umberto, Princess Isabella, and Prince Amedeo.

Prince Aimone and Princess Olga, Duke and Duchess of Aosta, live with their children in Russia. Naturally, they have very close ties with their families in Italy and Greece. 

Princess Olga and Prince Aimone arrive at the reception following the wedding of Grand Duke George of Russia in Saint Petersburg, 2021.

Our best wishes to Princess Olga on her birthday!