Sunday, July 15, 2018

Imperial Russia: Centennial of the Assassination of the Imperial Family

This evening (July 16-17) we reach the fateful centennial of the martyrdom of the Russian Imperial Family.

On the evening of July 16/17, 1918, Tsar Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Grand Duchess Olga Nicholaevna, Grand Duchess Tatiana Nicholaevna, Grand Duchess Marie Nicholaevna, Grand Duchess Anastasia Nicholaevna, and Tsesarevich Alexei Nicholaevich, accompanied by four loyal servants, were assassinated by Yakov Yurovski and his posse in the basement of the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg, the most Bolshevik city in post-Tsarist Russia.

The Imperial Family were kept under various forms of house arrest for nearly 17 months, starting immediately after the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II. This imprisonment brought them from the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoe Selo, to the Governor's Mansion in Tobolsk, ending inside the lugubrious prison that the Ipatiev House eventually became.

At times, the Imperial Family were treated with respect and deference. Contact with the outside world was sporadic. Visitors were few and far between. Members of the former ruling dynasty were kept at bay. Some messages managed to get to them; replies managed to get out. It was nearly 17 months of difficulty for the Tsar and his entourage. They arrived in Tobolsk with a retinue of nearly 40 staff. By the time Yurovsky sealed their fate, only four loyal servants remained. They would also be martyred in that small basement in Yekaterinburg.

Tsar Nicholas and ten other victims met a harrowing end at the hands of their jailers. Barrages of bullets came in deadly waves. Smoke filled the room. The stench of gunpowder, blood and flesh ... the presence of death overpowering. Those who were not killed by the bullets, were stabbed and rifle butted. It was a frenzy of brutality; a vicious culmination to a heinous act.

The bodies were disposed later that early morning. Their whereabouts remained unknown for over six decades. When finally found, the site was kept secret for fear of Soviet retaliation.

In death, Tsar Nicholas II and his legacy were vilified, as was the entire tsarist period. Was he an effective ruler? That is a question over which entire books have been written. As a political leader, Nicholas II left much to be desired. yet, he was a product of his environment. As a husband, although loving, devoted, and loyal, he allowed his love for his wife to cloud his better judgement. As a father, Nicholas II seems to have excelled. His children were devoted to him, just as he was devoted to them. As Head of House Russia, Nicholas II failed. Many have criticized other Romanovs for seeking to save themselves from the revolutionary tsunami that engulfed Mother Russia. Yet, as Head of House, Nicholas II forgot that he was responsible for the survival of his dynasty. He isolated himself from other Romanovs. He caused an unbridgeable rift within the dynasty. He ignored their warnings. He led the Romanovs into an abyss of death, poverty and exile.

And yet, Nicholas II did not deserve to die in the manner that Yurovsky and his minions secured his horrific ending. His wife, their children, and those four loyal servants, did not deserve to meet the death that was reserved for them.

Let us not forget as we observe this dreadful centennial that many other members of the dynasty met equally harrowing deaths.

The night after the murders in Yekaterinburg, six other Romanovs met a brutal end in a forest outside there town of Alapaievsk. This second group of martyrs included: Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna, Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovich, Prince Ioann Konstantinovich, Prince Konstantin Konstantinovich, Prince Igor Konstantinovich, and Prince Vladimir Pavlovich Paley, as well as Sister Barbara, Elisabeth Feodorovna's faithful companion. Their end was just as vicious as that met by the Yekaterinburg martyrs.

Nearly a month before the ghastly events of Yekaterinburg, Grand Duke Michael Nicholaevich and his faithful secretary were brutally assassinated outside Perm.

And yet, the Bolshevik butchery was not at an end...

In January 1919, four other Grand Dukes were executed inside the walls of the Peter and Paul Fortress: Paul Alexandrovich, Dimitri Konstantinovich, Nicholas Mikhailovich, and George Mikhailovich.

Today, as we remember the victims of Yekaterinburg, Alapaievsk, Perm, and Petrograd, we must be reminded that violence begets violence. Imperial Russia, as difficult as it was for many, does not compare in the brutality and reign of terror that ensued. Modern Russia deserves better than what it has...for the reign of Putin is far worse than the Romanovs ever inflicted on their subjects.

May They Rest in Peace ...

In remembrance of the Imperial Martyrs, Eurohistory will be releasing this Fall 2018, a book authored by Greg King and Penny Wilson. ROMANOVS ADRIFT – The Russian Imperial Family in 1913-1919 catalogue sin amazing detail the tragedy that consumed the last years of the dynasty as it headed to an avoidable abyss.

Thew Hessian Grand Ducal Family


Ernst Ludwig and Alix of Hesse and by Rhine with their sister Irene and her
husband Heinrich of Prussia


Princess Alix and her father Grand Duke Ludwig IV


Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine


A royal gathering in Coburg, April 1894


Tsar Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna in 1895


Tsesarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich


Tsar Nicholas II in England
Tsar Nicholas II 

Tsar Nicholas II and Tsesarevich Alexei Nicholaevich
Empress Alexandra Feodorovna


The Imperial Family


Tsar Nicholas II and Tsesarevich Alexei Nicholaevich


The Imperial Family


Tsar Nicholas II


Tsar Nicholas II during the Great War


Tsar Nicholas II imprisoned at the Alexander Palace, Tsarskoe Selo
Prince Vladimir Pavlovich Paley


Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna


Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich


Grand Duke Michael Nicholaevich and Nicholas Johnson


Grand Duke Dimitri Konstantinovich


Prince Igor Konstantinovich


Prince Konstantin Konstantinovich


Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhailovich


Grand Duke George Mikhailovich


Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovich


Prince Ioann Konstantinovich

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Funeral of Prince Michel of Bourbon-Parma

Family and friends of the late Prince Michel of Bourbon-Parma gathered at the Hotel des Invalides (Paris) this morning to bid farewell to his earthly remains.

Besides his close family, other royals in attendance included: Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg and his brother Prince Jean, the Prince and Princess of Venice, as well as Prince Dushan of Yugoslavia. Several of the late prince's Danish descendants traveled to France to pay their respects to their father and grandfather.





Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Eurohistory: Issue CXVII, Volume 21.1 Printing!

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Inside Issue CXVII you will find the following articles:

1. The Return of Prince Nicholas of Romania, by Seth Leonard (with the cooperation of Nicholas and Alina-Maria de Roumanie)


2. An Imperial Bicentennial: The Tsar Liberator, by Coryne Hall

3. Grand duke Adolf Friedrich VI of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, by Marlene Eilers Koenig


4. WHO IS IN THE PHOTOGRAPH: The Family of there Infante don Carlos, by Arturo E. Beéche


5. Wittelsbach castles and palaces in Bavaria, by Susan Symons

6. Book Reviews

7. Royal News

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Sunday, July 8, 2018

+ HRH Prince Michel of Bourbon-Parma (1926-2018)


Michel of Bourbon-Parma: Last of the Royal Swashbucklers


By Charles Stewart 8 July 2018


The death of Prince Michel of Bourbon-Parma (1926-2018) on 7 July severs the last link binding several of Europe's royal families in history and kinship. 


The late Prince Michel of Bourbon-Parma.



He led a fascinating life, straddling Europe's major Catholic and Protestant royal dynasties. He belonged to the Danish branch of the House of Bourbon-Parma, but grew up mostly in Paris and retired there and to Palm Beach, Florida. His grandfather was Roberto I de Bourbon (1848-1907), the last ruling Duke of Parma who fathered 24 children in exile. His father was the Duke's 19th child, Prince René (1894-1962), who married Princess Margrethe of Denmark (1895-1992), whose mother Marie was an Orléans exile, and whose father was Christian IX's youngest son Prince Valdemar (1858-1939) – he whose lifelong liaison with his nephew, Prince George of Greece (1869-1957), was respected by their wives and families because of the pair's discreet but steadfast mutual devotion. 


Michel's sister, Anne (1923-2016) was a classmate of Philip of Greece at The Elms, an American school in Paris, and later married Philip's playmate/cousin, King Michael of Romania. Michel attended The Elms later too, and his mother is the "Meg Bourbon" mentioned in Battenberg correspondence who was one of the relatives/neighbors concerned when Philip's mother Alice began to lose her sanity in the late 1920s. 


The family of Prince René of Bourbon-Parma: René, Jacques, André,

Margrethe, Michel, and Anne.



Michel twice became a hero in the 1940s, secretly parachuting with US troops into Nazi-occupied France during WWII. In 1945 the communist Viet Minh in French Indochina interned him as a prisoner of war, after parachuting in. Captured, half-starved and marched from one prison camp to another, always trying to escape yet always re-captured, watching most of his compatriots die from the rigors of nearly a year in captivity, he was finally freed by Geneva Convention negotiations, about which he would write a book. He was awarded the French Legion of Honor and Croix de Guerre, as well as the British Military Cross. 


From the left: André, Jacques, Prince George of Denmark, Michael, Prince Flemming

of Denmark, and Princess Anne.



Later he took up the modern profession of idle royalty (replacing Crusades to the Holy Land, expeditions to colonies, and military commands in Europe): sports car racing. 


Prince Michel of Bourbon-Parma with his mother and Princess Isabelle of France.



He married, separated from and then reunited with two princesses: 1. Princess Yolande de Broglie-Revel (1928-2014), whom he finally divorced in 1999. They had five children. 2. HRH Princess Maria Pia of Savoy (born 1934), daughter of ex-King Umberto II of Italy, whom Michel finally married in 2003. Her second pair of twins, Prince Serge and Princess Helena, born before her 1967 divorce from their legal father, Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia (1924-2016), continue to bear the name and titles of their mother’s first husband.


Prince Michel of Bourbon-Parma and his first wife, Princess Yolanda de Broglie-Revel.



Michel's eldest son by his first marriage, Prince Erik (born 1953) took up residence in Denmark, where in 19980 he married (later divorcing) his second cousin Countess Lydia af Holstein-Ledreborg (born 1955), daughter of Princess Marie-Gabrielle of Luxembourg, herself the daughter of Michel's uncle, Felix of Bourbon-Parma, Prince Consort of Luxembourg. By Erik's son, Prince Henri of Bourbon-Parma (born 1991), Michel lived to see the birth of his great-granddaughter in October 2017, Victoria de Bourbon de Parme, whose mother is Henri's fiancée (and 2nd cousin), Archduchess Marie-Gabrielle of Austria (born 1994, daughter of Archduke Carl Christian of Austria and Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg). 


HRH Princess Maria Pia of Savoy.


Michel's younger son by Yolande is Prince Charles-Emanuel (born 1961), a leader in the French Legitimist movement. Two of Michel's five daughters pre-deceased him, leaving non-dynastic children. Another is Amélie de Bourbon de Parme (born 1977 of Michel's affair with Laure LeBourgeois), who has two children by her 2009 marriage to Igor Bogdanoff (born 1949), one of the French twin TV stars famous for their scientific theories and bizarre lifestyles who were raised in a Gascon château by their Bohemian grandmother, Her Illustrious Highness Countess Bertha of Coloredo-Mansfeld (1890-1982, née Countess Kolowrat-Krakowsky). From her frustrated affair with the African American opera tenor, Roland Hayes (1887-1977), a daughter (Maya) was born. Bertha's husband, Count Hyeronimus, refused to recognize the child and the couple divorced quietly. Although Hayes offered to adopt the live child, Bertha declined that option. 


The late Prince Michel of Bourbon-Parma and Princess Beatrice of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.



Michel was the son-in-law of King Umberto II of Italy, brother-in-law of King Michael of Romania, and first cousin of Archduke Otto (Head of the Imperial House of Habsburg), Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg, Carlos-Hugo Duke of Parma, and Prince Axel of Denmark (husband of Anne, Viscountess Anson, née Bowes-Lyon, a first cousin of HM The Queen). Michel was also the last surviving of his parents' children. His eldest brother, Prince Jacques died in 1964 in an automobile accident; Queen Anne died of old age in 2016; and Prince André died in 2011. 


The late Prince Michel of Bourbon-Parma and Princess Beatrice of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.



Princess Maria Pia and the late Prince Michel of Bourbon-Parma and

Princess Beatrice of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.



The late Prince Michel of Bourbon-Parma and Princess Beatrice of Bourbon-Two Sicilies,

with Prince Michel of France, Count d'Evreux.










Sunday, July 1, 2018


Prof. Roberto Gonzalez has posted an insightful and thoroughly well-written review of Eurohistory's latest contribution to the study of the Romanov Dynasty: Terry Boland and Arturo Beéche's DEATH OF A ROMANOV PRINCE.

Death of a Romanov Prince - Prince Oleg Konstantinovich’s Promising Life and Early Death “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.

The book can be purchased on AMAZON at:

Review by Prof. Gonzalez...

I became more familiar with personal character and domestic world of Prince Oleg Konstantinovich of Russia, especially in relation to his large immediate and extended families.

The beginning chapters increased my comprehension of the extent of the Konstantinovichi branch of Romanov wealth and lifestyle.

My appreciation and liking of the Konstantinovichi branch grew as it became apparent that they were not indiscrete contributors to the short-sighted, dynasty-destroying sniping of Nicholas II and Alexandra and the concomitant competition from within the mainline Alexandrovichi, the Vladimirovichi and some members of the Mikhailovichi and Nikhailovichi branches of the Romanov Imperial Family.

Numerous photographs throughout the book enhanced my learning.

Boland's explanation of those early weeks of the Russian Empire's entry into the Great War, especially the insufficient training of calvary regiments on flat fields which singularly failed to prepare horse and rider to navigate the terrain they actually encountered in battle on the Eastern Front, was the first time that civilian me understood this flawed planning.

The differences between German and Russian standards of battle field medical facilities and transports was clarified for me more than ever before in this work.

I was highly conscious of my stunned, then startled reaction by the nature of Prince Oleg's war wound.

Surely, I've read and own "Gilded Prism," "Memories of the Marble Palace," and the diary entries of Oleg's father K.R., but I had not grasped until reading this book the hideousness of Oleg's fatal injury.

Which is just as well, because I am inclined to immerse myself in reading again relevant parts of those other works. Just as I "follow-up" by reading for myself some of the references cited in every book I read.

But I was left wondering if better battle field medical facilities located nearer to the Eastern Front could have saved Prince Oleg's life.

As a retired Latino counseling psychologist (culturally imbued with the Sorrowful Mother at the Foot of The Cross, which I find similar to the devotion to the Mother of God Orthodox iconography), the worst human suffering I ever saw in my clinical practice were bereaved parents.

Bereaved parents' anguish is most often physically manifested in excruciatingly painful, violent abdominal diaphragm spasms that leads the sufferer to feel like they are being ripped in half.

So, both personally and professionally, I came away with much more compassion for Prince Oleg's father K.R. and, more than ever, for the Prince's mother "Mavra."

Given my own educational background and decades of field-based live-supervision of graduate level individual and family therapists, I found "Death of a Romanov Prince" to be a humanizing case study of one of the lesser known Romanovs.

Dr. Nelly Auersperg (1928-2023), Cancer Researcher and Grandniece of "The Woman in Gold"

  At the age of ninety-four, Dr. Nelly Auersperg passed away on 15 January. Nelly's father Viktor. Born on 13 December 1928 ...