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Dmitri Pavlovich

Dmitri Pavlovich

Dmitri Pavlovich, the second child and only son of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich and a grandson of Alexander II of Russia, and Alexandra Georgievna, the daughter of King George I of Greece, was born at Ilinskoe near Moscow on 18th September 1891. His mother died soon after childbirth and he was raised by his uncle, Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich and the Grand Duchess Elisabeth of Hesse, who had no children of their own.

On 17th February 1905, Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich was killed when he became a victim of a bomb thrown by revolutionary terrorists led by Boris Savinkov, during the early stages of the 1905 Russian Revolution. The Grand Duchess Elisabeth of Hesse became a nun and Dmitri now went to live with Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarini Alexandra Fyodorovna. It has been argued by Richard Cullen, the author of Rasputin (2010): "Nicholas and Alexandra were very fond of young Dmitri. In fact, some evidence exists that they wanted him to marry their eldest daughter, Olga, and pass on the throne to them jointly, in the likely event Aleksei did not survive childhood." However, the Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna, disapproved of Dimitri's behaviour with woman. Cullen goes onto argue: "Dmitri's love of high living and comparatively loose ways very likely shocked the more strait-laced Olga. Dmitri and Olga were first cousins once removed, a connection she may have felt was not healthy for any children they would have together."

In September, 1915, Nicholas II assumed supreme command of the Russian Army fighting on the Eastern Front. As he spent most of his time at GHQ, Alexandra Fedorovna now took responsibility for domestic policy. Rasputin served as her adviser and over the next few months she dismissed ministers and their deputies in rapid succession. Alexander Kerensky complained that: "The Tsarina's blind faith in Rasputin led her to seek his counsel not only in personal matters but also on questions of state policy. General Alekseyev, held in high esteem by Nicholas II, tried to talk to the Tsarina about Rasputin, but only succeeded in making an implacable enemy of her. General Alexseyev told me later about his profound concern on learning that a secret map of military operations had found its way into the Tsarina's hands. But like many others, he was powerless to take any action."

Rumours began to circulate that Grigory Rasputin and Tsarina Alexandra Fedorovna were leaders of a pro-German court group and were seeking a separate peace with the Central Powers in order to help the survival of the autocracy in Russia. Michael Rodzianko, the President of theDuma, toldNicholas II: "I must tell Your Majesty that this cannot continue much longer. No one opens your eyes to the true role which this man (Rasputin) is playing. His presence in Your Majesty's Court undermines confidence in the Supreme Power and may have an evil effect on the fate of the dynasty and turn the hearts of the people from their Emperor". Rasputin was also suspected of financial corruption and right-wing politicians believed that he was undermining the popularity of the regime.

On 21st November 1916, Vladimir Purishkevich, the leader of the monarchists in the Duma, wrote to Prince Felix Yusupov: "I'm terribly busy working on a plan to eliminate Rasputin. That is simply essential now, since otherwise everything will be finished... You too must take part in it. Dmitri Pavlovich Romanov knows all about it and is helping. It will take place in the middle of December, when Dmitri comes back... Not a word to anyone about what I've written." Yusupov replied: "Many thanks for your mad letter. I could not understand half of it, but I can see that you are preparing for some wild action.... My chief objection is that you have decided upon everything without consulting me... I can see by your letter that you are wildly enthusiastic, and ready to climb up walls... Don't you dare do anything without me, or I shall not come at all!"

Eventually, the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich Romanov, joined Felix Yusupov, Vladimir Purishkevich, Dr. Stanislaus de Lazovert and Lieutenant Sergei Mikhailovich Sukhotin, an officer in the Preobrazhensky Regiment,in the conspiracy to kill Grigory Rasputin. Yusupov later admitted in Lost Splendor (1953) that on 29th December, 1916, Rasputin was invited to his home: "The bell rang, announcing the arrival of Dmitrii Pavlovich Romanov and my other friends. I showed them into the dining room and they stood for a little while, silently examining the spot where Rasputin was to meet his end. I took from the ebony cabinet a box containing the poison and laid it on the table. Dr Lazovert put on rubber gloves and ground the cyanide of potassium crystals to powder. Then, lifting the top of each cake, he sprinkled the inside with a dose of poison, which, according to him, was sufficient to kill several men instantly. There was an impressive silence. We all followed the doctor's movements with emotion. There remained the glasses into which cyanide was to be poured. It was decided to do this at the last moment so that the poison should not evaporate and lose its potency. We had to give the impression of having just finished supper for I had warned Rasputin that when we had guests we took our meals in the basement and that I sometimes stayed there alone to read or work while my friends went upstairs to smoke in my study."

Vladimir Purishkevich supported this story in his book, The Murder of Rusputin (1918): "We sat down at the round tea table and Yusupov invited us to drink a glass of tea and to try the cakes before they had been doctored. The quarter of an hour which we spent at the table seemed like an eternity to me.... Once we finished our tea, we tried to give the table the appearance of having been suddenly left by a large group frightened by the arrival of an unexpected guest. We poured a little tea into each of the cups, left bits of cake and pirozhki on the plates, and scattered some crumbs among several of the crumpled table napkins.... Once we had given the table the necessary appearance, we got to work on the two plates of petits fours. Yusupov gave Dr Lazovert several pieces of the potassium cyanide and he put on the gloves which Yusupov had procured and began to grate poison into a plate with a knife. Then picking out all the cakes with pink cream (there were only two varieties, pink and chocolate), he lifted off the top halves and put a good quantity of poison in each one, and then replaced the tops to make them look right. When the pink cakes were ready, we placed them on the plates with the brown chocolate ones. Then, we cut up two of the pink ones and, making them look as if they had been bitten into, we put these on different plates around the table."

Felix Yusupov added: "It was agreed that when I went to fetch Rasputin, Dmitrii, Purishkevich and Sukhotin would go upstairs and play the gramophone, choosing lively tunes. I wanted to keep Rasputin in a good humour and remove any distrust that might be lurking in his mind." Stanislaus de Lazovert now went to fetch Rasputin in the car. "At midnight the associates of the Prince concealed themselves while I entered the car and drove to the home of the monk. He admitted me in person. Rasputin was in a gay mood. We drove rapidly to the home of the Prince and descended to the library, lighted only by a blazing log in the huge chimney-place. A small table was spread with cakes and rare wines - three kinds of the wine were poisoned and so were the cakes. The monk threw himself into a chair, his humour expanding with the warmth of the room. He told of his successes, his plots, of the imminent success of the German arms and that the Kaiser would soon be seen in Petrograd. At a proper moment he was offered the wine and the cakes. He drank the wine and devoured the cakes. Hours slipped by, but there was no sign that the poison had taken effect. The monk was even merrier than before. We were seized with an insane dread that this man was inviolable, that he was superhuman, that he couldn't be killed. It was a frightful sensation. He glared at us with his black, black eyes as though he read our minds and would fool us."

Vladimir Purishkevich later recalled that Yusupov joined them upstairs and exclaimed: "It is impossible. Just imagine, he drank two glasses filled with poison, ate several pink cakes and, as you can see, nothing has happened, absolutely nothing, and that was at least fifteen minutes ago! I cannot think what we can do... He is now sitting gloomily on the divan and the only effect that I can see of the poison is that he is constantly belching and that he dribbles a bit. Gentlemen, what do you advise that I do?" Eventually it was decided that Yusupov should go down and shoot Rasputin.

According to Yusupov's account: "Rasputin stood before me motionless, his head bent and his eyes on the crucifix. I slowly raised the crucifix. I slowly raised the revolver. Where should I aim, at the temple or at the heart? A shudder swept over me; my arm grew rigid, I aimed at his heart and pulled the trigger. Rasputin gave a wild scream and crumpled up on the bearskin. For a moment I was appalled to discover how easy it was to kill a man. A flick of a finger and what had been a living, breathing man only a second before, now lay on the floor like a broken doll."

Stanislaus de Lazovert agrees with this account except that he was uncertain who fired the shot: "With a frightful scream Rasputin whirled and fell, face down, on the floor. The others came bounding over to him and stood over his prostrate, writhing body. We left the room to let him die alone, and to plan for his removal and obliteration. Suddenly we heard a strange and unearthly sound behind the huge door that led into the library. The door was slowly pushed open, and there was Rasputin on his hands and knees, the bloody froth gushing from his mouth, his terrible eyes bulging from their sockets. With an amazing strength he sprang toward the door that led into the gardens, wrenched it open and passed out." Lazovert added that it was Vladimir Purishkevich who fired the next shot: "As he seemed to be disappearing in the darkness, Purishkevich, who had been standing by, reached over and picked up an American-made automatic revolver and fired two shots swiftly into his retreating figure. We heard him fall with a groan, and later when we approached the body he was very still and cold and - dead."

Felix Yusupov later recalled: "On hearing the shot my friends rushed in. Rasputin lay on his back. His features twitched in nervous spasms; his hands were clenched, his eyes closed. A bloodstain was spreading on his silk blouse. A few minutes later all movement ceased. We bent over his body to examine it. The doctor declared that the bullet had struck him in the region of the heart. There was no possibility of doubt: Rasputin was dead. We turned off the light and went up to my room, after locking the basement door."

The Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich Romanov drove the men to Varshavsky Rail Terminal where they burned Rasputin's clothes. "It was very late and the grand duke evidently feared that great speed would attract the suspicion of the police." They also collected weights and chains and returned to Yuspov's home. At 4.50 a.m. Dimitri drove the men and Rasputin's body to Petrovskii Bridge. that crossed towards Krestovsky Island. According to Vladimir Purishkevich: "We dragged Rasputin's corpse into the grand duke's car." Purishkevich claimed he drove very slowly: "It was very late and the grand duke evidently feared that great speed would attract the suspicion of the police." Stanislaus de Lazovert takes up the story when they arrived at Petrovskii: "We bundled him up in a sheet and carried him to the river's edge. Ice had formed, but we broke it and threw him in. The next day search was made for Rasputin, but no trace was found."

Rasputin's body was found on 19th December by a river policeman who was walking on the ice. He noticed a fur coat trapped beneath, approximately 65 metres from the bridge. The ice was cut open and Rasputin's frozen body discovered. The post mortem was held the following day. Major-General Popel carried out the investigation of the murder. By this time Dr. Stanislaus de Lazovert and Lieutenant Sergei Mikhailovich Sukhotin had fled from the city. He did interview Dmitri Pavlovich Romanov, Felix Yusupov and Vladimir Purishkevich, but he decided not to charge them with murder.

Tsar Nicholas II ordered the three men to be expelled from Petrograd. He rejected a petition to allow the conspirators to stay in the city. He replied that "no one had the right to commit murder." Sophie Buxhoeveden later commented: "Though patriotic feeling was supposed to have been the motive of the murder, it was the first indirect blow at the Emperor's authority, the first spark of insurrection. In short, it was the application of lynch law, the taking of law and judgment forcibly into private hands."

Dmitri Pavlovich was sent to the Persian Front and was out of the country during the Russian Revolution. Pavlovich wrote to Prince Felix Yusupov: "Yes! It (the Revolution) has happened! The development of events, the possibility of which you and I had visualised, has come to pass. The final catastrophe has been brought about by the wilful and short-sighted obstinacy of a woman (Alexandra). It has, naturally, swept away Tsarskoe and all of us at one stroke, for now the very name of Romanov is a synonym for every kind of filth and indecency. I regard the future gloomily, and if I had not firm faith in God's mercy, and were not convinced that everything comes to an end that better days must dawn at last - I should most likely have lost courage long ago!"

Pavlovich managed to escape London where he joined up with fellow conspirator, Prince Felix Yusupov. The two men fell out over Yusupov's decision to speak openly about the killing of Grigory Rasputin. He moved to Paris where he had a brief affair with Coco Chanel.

In 1927 Pavlovich married an American heiress, Audrey Emery. The following year they had a son, Prince Paul Romanovsky-Ilyinsky. The couple were divorced in 1938 and Audrey took her son to live in the United States.

Pavlovich was active in the pro-fascist Union of Mladorossi. However, it has been argued that he rejected a suggestion by Adolf Hitler to lead exiled Russian soldiers within the German Army as part of Operation Barbarossa. The reason for this was probably for health as much as political reasons.

Dmitri Pavlovich died from kidney failure in Davos, Switzerland, 5th March, 1941.

On the night from the sixteenth to the seventeenth the point duty policeman heard several shots near 94 Moika, owned by Prince Yusupov. Soon after that the policeman was invited to the study of the young Prince Yusupov, where the prince and a stranger who called himself Purishkevich were present. The latter said: "I am, Purishkevich. Rasputin has perished. If you love the Tsar and fatherland you will keep silent." The policeman reported this to his superiors. The investigation conducted this morning established that one of Yusupov''s guests had fired a shot in the small garden adjacent to No. 94 at around 3 a.m. The garden has a direct entrance to the prince's study. A human scream was heard and following that a sound of a car being driven away. The person who had fired the shot was wearing a military field uniform.

Traces of blood have been found on the snow in the small garden in the course of close examination. When questioned by the governor of the city, the young prince stated that he had had a party that night, but that Rasputin was not there, and that Grand Duke Dmitrii Pavlovich had shot a watchdog. The dog's body was found buried in the snow. The investigation conducted at Rasputin's residence at 64 Gorokhovava Street established that at 10 p.m. on 16 December Rasputin said that he was not going to go out any more that night and was going to sleep. He let off his security and the car in his normal fashion. Questioning the servants and the yard keeper allowed police to establish that at 12:30 a.m, a large canvas-top car with driver and a stranger in it arrived at the house. The stranger entered Rasputin's apartment through the back door. It seemed that Rasputin was expecting him because he greeted him as somebody he knew and soon went outside with him through the same entrance. Rasputin got into the car, which drove of along Gorokhovava Street towards Morskava Street. Rasputin has not returned home and has not been found despite the deployed measures.

These were my recollections as I sat in the rear of the car, with the lifeless corpse of the "venerable old man", which we were taking to its eternal resting place, lying at my feet. I looked out of the window. To judge by the surrounding houses and the endless fences, we had already left the city. There were very few lights. The road deteriorated and we hit bumps and holes which made the body lying at our feet bounce around (despite the soldier sitting on it). I felt a nervous tremor run through me at each bump as my knees touched the repulsive, soft corpse which, despite the cold, had not yet completely stiffened. At last the bridge from which we were to fling Rasputin's body into the hole in the ice appeared in the distance. Demitrii Pavlovich slowed down, drove onto the left side of the bridge and stopped by the guard rail....

I opened the car doors quietly and, as quickly as possible, jumped out and went over to the railing. The soldier and Dr Lazovert followed me and then Lieutenant S., who had been sitting by the grand duke, joined us and together we swung Rasputin's corpse and flung it forcefully into the ice hole just by the bridge. (Dmitrii Pavlovich stood guard in front of the car.) Since we had forgotten to fasten the weights on the corpse with a chain, we hastily threw these, one after another, after it. Likewise, we stuffed the chains into the dead man's coat and threw it into the same hole. Next, Dr Lazovert searched in the dark car and found one of Rasputin's boots, which he also flung off the bridge. All of this took no more than two or three minutes. Then Dr Lazovert, Lieutenant S. and the soldier got into the back of the car, and I got in next to Dmitrii Pavlovich. We turned on the headlights again and crossed the bridge.

How we failed to be noticed on the bridge is still amazing to me to this day. For, as we passed the sentry-box, we noticed a guard next to it. But he was sleeping so deeply that he had apparently not woken up even when... we had inadvertently not only lit up his sentry-box, but had even turned the lights on him.

Yes! It (the Revolution) has happened! The development of events, the possibility of which you and I had visualised, has come to pass. I regard the future gloomily, and if I had not firm faith in God's mercy, and were not convinced that everything comes to an end that better days must dawn at last - I should most likely have lost courage long ago!

Ah, how desperately I long at times to have a talk with you! How intensely I long to share my thoughts and opinions with you! We have lived through so much together; it is not often that people meet under such strange conditions. You used to understand me so well; you knew how to support me in moments of trial. For God's sake write to me. What is happening? How are things?

Could you not tentatively inquire what it would be advisable for me to do? Honestly speaking, I have no particular desire to come back to Russia just now; anyhow, what am I to do there? Shall I come back, and, with hands idly folded in my lap, calmly endure all sorts of filthy insinuations only because I bear the name of Romanov and am descended in a straight line from the "Tsar liberator" I cannot do that. Furthermore, I am firmly convinced that, should tile need for my services arise, I shall not be forgotten. So I must again restrain my urgent desire to see you and to speak to you... When all is said and done, we have had sonic delightful times, although we have gone through trying experiences, as for example our separation. But we have had occasion for laughter too...

In finishing this letter, my dear friend, I might even say without fear of exaggeration, my dearest friend, I wish to assure you my sincerest affection. My thoughts often and often fly to you in an eager but impotent desire to help you, or only to be with you. Kiss your wife for me. She will know me better by now from your descriptions of me. I send my love to your parents. Tell your mother that I frequently think of her.

God keep you, my dear friend. Keep up your spirits. I am as yet far from losing courage. For God's sake, write to me as much as you possibly can, and with as many details as you can get in. If you disagree with me, say so outright, we shall understand each other.


Felix Yusupov

Imagine, for a moment, if you will, that you’re watching the (fantastic) animated film Anastasia, right? And at the end of the movie, the credits roll, and then you see the disclaimer that tells you that it was fictional and none of the characters were intended to be like real people. You probably roll your eyes and chuckle a little — obviously Rasputin didn’t have a talking bat sidekick, right? But what you probably didn’t know is that that disclaimer is actually kind of a piece of queer history at play, and that it’s partially due to Rasputin that it’s there at all. But mostly it’s because of Prince Felix Felixovich Yusupov, Count Sumarokov-Elston.

Felix was born on March 23, 1887 in the Moika Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia. His mother Zinaida Yusupova was last of the incredibly wealthy Yusupov family, and his father was Count Felix Felixovich Sumarokov-Elston. The Yusupovs had more money than the Romanovs who, y’know, ran all of Russia. They had four palaces in Saint Petersburg along, three palaces in Moscow and 37 estates elsewhere in Russia. Not just old money sitting around gathering dust either — they were raking it in with coal mines, iron mines, oil fields….all kinds of industries that were booming at the time. So, the point I’m trying to drive home here is….he was born into money. He just had to inherit it.

Standing in the way of that inheritance was his older brother Nicholas Felixovich Yusupov. Nicholas was a lady’s man and a womanizer, but someone Felix looked up to as a child — but was also deeply jealous of him. According to Felix’s memoirs Lost Splendour, Felix lost his virginity while abroad with his family in Contrexeville, France in a chance encounter with an Argentinian man, who’s name never came up, and his girlfriend when he was still pretty young. He confided the experience to Nicholas, but — to Felix’s frustration — his elder brother ignored him, convincing Felix to keep such stories to himself in the future. (I think it’s relevant to note that, whenever this encounter comes up in his memoirs it is always the Argentinian man he talks about and the woman is just “his girlfriend.”)

Felix also soon discovered a penchant for dressing in women’s clothes for parties — he discovered he enjoyed the clothes, and the attention he received from men. Nicholas encouraged this, and brought Felix — in dresses — out to debaucherous parties with him. He began performing in drag at a cafe in Saint Petersburg called The Aquarium — until his mother recognized him during one of his shows that she happened to attend. Although the scandal was kept secret, it ended Felix’s performance career. He continued to dress in drag for parties, however, until his father learned of these “pranks” and furiously threatened to send him to a Siberian convict settlement.

Nicholas was killed in a duel at 26 years old on June 22, 1908. The duel, which was over the affections of a married woman, was something of a surprise to most of the family — Felix, however, had been warned about it (by the woman in question) well in advance and made no moves whatsoever to prevent it from happening. As a result, Felix no longer had to split the family fortune. And before you say I’m being cynical, I present to you this excerpt from Felix’s own memoirs, immediately following his brother’s death: “The thought of becoming one of the richest people in Russia intoxicated me.”

Although Felix clearly came out ahead, there were a lot of people who lost in that duel. Nicholas died. The married woman left her husband and joined a convent, so he still lost his wife. Felix’s mother battled severe depression for the rest of her life, brought on by the death of her eldest son. And then there’s Maria Golovina, a woman who had been in madly love with Nicholas and mostly ignored by him. She latched onto Felix as, essentially, her new best friend to help her through grieving. Her family, however, decided she needed “professional help” from self-proclaimed holy man Grigori Rasputin. When they met, Felix was not impressed by Rasputin, and immediately believed him to be a depraved con artist, writing “The young woman was too pure to understand the baseness of the ‘holy man.'”

Google Street View of Felix’s Oxford address

From 1909 to 1912, Felix attended University College at Oxford, studying forestry and English. He was essentially forced there by his family, who believed it would help ground him. Not so much. While there, he did found the Oxford Russian Club, which was something I suppose, but Felix was still living extravagantly. He was a member of Oxford’s Bullingdon Club — which was basically a dining club for rich boys — and employed a full staff at his residence, including a chef, a valet, a housekeeper, as well as housing numerous pets including a bulldog, three horses, a bear cub, and a macaw. According to the University College Oxford website, he spent more money while attending the school than almost any other student. He spent most of his free time partying with friends like Oswald Rayner (remember that name!), and ultimately became very good friends with pianist Luigi Franchetti and Jacques de Beistegui. I’m hesitant to say that there was anything physical or romantic about his relationship with either, because I can’t find any information about who they were outside of what I’ve just said, but they did both move into his English home at 14 King Edward Street. I’m not saying anything definitive but there’s an awful lot of people (and animals) in what is, by all outside appearances anyways, not a particularly large residence. Little bit crowded in there even if people are sharing beds, that’s all I’m saying.

Anyways, in 1912 Felix returned to Russia without graduating, writing that he was too busy in Russia to return to school. He developed a relationship with Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich — something heavily implied in his own memoirs to be more than a friendship, but less than a romance. There’s no evidence that Dmitri felt the same way about Felix. Felix rejected the advances of one of Dmitri’s friends, and Dmitri was sent elsewhere — effectively ending whatever their relationship may have been for the time being. Felix was pretty quickly married off to Princess Irina Alexandrovna, the only neice of Tsar Nicholas II. Their wedding was on February 22, 1913 and although the wedding was described as modest, don’t worry, it’s not a “real people” version of a modest wedding — Irina was wearing a veil that had once belonged to Marie Antoinette. You know, nothing like getting “something borrowed” and “something old” out of the way at the same time. For their honeymoon they went to Jerusalem, London, and Bad Kissingen in Germany.

They were both still in Germany when World War I began in August of 1914. They were detained in Berlin. Because European royalty is pretty much all one really weird family tree, Irina reached out to her relative the Crown Princess of Prussia to try to help them get back to Russia, but Kaiser Wilhelm II was not about it, and instead offered them their choice of one of three German estates to reside in for the duration of the war. However, Felix’s father intervened by way of the Spanish ambassador to Germany, and the newlyweds were allowed to return to Russia as long as they went there by traveling through Denmark and Finland.

Felix and Irina in 1915

On March 12, 1915 Irina gave birth to their first and only child — a daughter named Irina Felixovna Yusupova — nicknamed Bébé. Irina and Felix found they were both utterly incapable of actually taking care of a child, and so Felix’s parents did most of the parenting. Nevertheless, Bébé was very close with her father and quite distant from her mother. This was probably because Felix and his parents spoiled her rotten. There’s also a distinct possibility that Irina wasn’t thrilled with Felix’s, in his words, “love affairs of a special kind” which were, y’know, with men. He once wrote “One may censure those relationships but not the creatures for whom normal relationships against their nature are impossible.”

Around this time, Felix decided to use some of his vast fortune to help out with the war, converting part of Liteyny Palace into a hospital for soldiers. Felix did not have to actually serve as a soldier because there was a law that stated only sons did not have to serve — nevertheless in February 1916 (after a scathing letter from the Grand Duchess Olga to Tsar Nicholas II called him a “downright civilian” and “a man idling in such times”) Felix began attending the Page Corps military academy.

Meanwhile, concern began to grow that Russia would concede to Germany in the war. Part of this was due to Russia’s economic decline, which many people — particularly those loyal to the monarchy — blamed, at least in part, on Grigori Rasputin and his undue influence with the tsar’s wife Alexandra Feodorovna. Felix, for his part, remained convinced that Rasputin was drugging the tsar in order to slowly weaken him and eventually make the tsarina the regent even at the time of writing his memoir.

What actually transpired is a bit of a mystery. While the official accounts, as told by Felix and his cohorts, match up with each other reasonably well albeit not perfectly, the autopsy reports tell a drastically different story. And further evidence from British Intelligence indicates yet a third different story. But since this is an article about Felix, I am going to focus on his version of events as explained in his memoirs.

It was little wonder that when he received a letter from Vladimir Purishkevich proposing that Felix join him and the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich (whom Felix still pined for) in assassinating the Rasputin, that Felix joined in eagerly — although he insisted on being involved in mapping out the scheme itself. Purishkevich also recruited Doctor Stanislaus de Lazobert and contacted Samuel Hoare at the British Intelligence Service, which is perhaps why MI6 operative and Felix’s college-friend Oswald Rayner visited with Felix a number of times the week that the plot unfolded. Meanwhile, Felix recruited lawyer Vasily Maklakov and an army officer named Sergei Mikhailovich Sukhotin, who was recuperating from an injury sustained in the war.

Grigori Rasputin — honestly, he looks less creepy in “Anastasia”

Felix worked through his friend Maria Golovina, who had introduced him to Rasputin years before, to ingratiate himself to the tsarina’s advisor. It was quite successful and easy — particularly laying the trap. Felix lured Rasputin in with an invitation to the Moika Palace, with a promised invitation to meet his wife Irina, who was actually in Crimea at the time. Dr. Lazovert prepared cyanide crystals, sprinkling them over the tops of cakes and leaving some to be poured into Rasputin’s drink. Lazovert was convinced that it was enough cyanide to instantly kill several men.

Felix brought Rasputin to his home, all of his other cohorts hiding upstairs from the dining room. encouraged Rasputin to partake of the cakes and poured him three poisoned glasses of wine. The cyanide, however, had no effect discernible effect (though the wine slurred his speech.) Excusing himself, Felix went upstairs to discuss this surprising lack of a turn of events with his friends, and they ultimately determined the next course of action had to be to shoot Rasputin. Upon returning to the room, Felix shot Rasputin in the chest. Dr. Lazovert rushed in and, after a brief examination, determined he was in fact dead.

The last part of the plan involved Sukhotin bringing Rasputin back to home, so as to avoid arousing suspicion. However, as they prepared to do so, Rasputin leapt to his feet and charged at Felix — who was forced to hit Rasputin with a rubber club to escape his grasp. Rasputin began crawling out the door into the courtyard, and disappeared into the night. Purichkevich fired two shots into the dark after him. They pursued Rasputin into the courtyard, and Purichkevich shot him two more times.

The gunshots, of course, aroused police suspicion. Felix tried to convince the investigating police officer that it was just a drunken friend firing a gun — but Purichkevich proclaimed that he had killed Rasputin. The police officer agreed not to turn them in. After all of this excitement, Felix passed out and his servants put him to bed. He was later told that Dmitri, Sukhotin, and Lazovert took Rasputin’s body, wrapped it in linen, placed it in a car, drove it to a bridge, and dumped it in the water (breaking the ice as they did).

Although that police officer did not report Purichkevich’s confession, the police investigating Rasputin’s disappearance found the unusual gunshots happening at the same night, at the home of someone acquainted with the missing person to be suspicious. Felix was questioned the next day. The police let Felix go, as he repeated the story about a drunk friend, but rumors flooded Saint Petersburg that Felix had killed Rasputin at the Moika. The tsarina ordered the police to search the Moika — but, because Irina was a Romanov, such a search could only be ordered by the tsar himself. A lucky break, as it gave Felix and his servants time to clean up all of the blood. After that task was completed, the conspirators met for lunch to decide on a story. They all agreed to stick to the story Felix had already told the police.

Though they stayed with this story, and were questioned without arrest a handful more times, Felix and Dmitri were forbidden from leaving Saint Petersburg. The tsarina was already calling for their execution, despite no evidence linking them to a crime. The body took days longer to recover, but it was eventually found. Police were sent to protect Dmitri and Felix, who had made things easy on both their protectors and the multitude of people who wanted to kill them by taking up residence in the same palace. As much as that must’ve been nice for Felix, as I said before, there’s no evidence Dmitri returned his feelings and at this point they were both pretty focused on the aftermath of the assassination they’d committed.

Now, the autopsy of the body revealed a lot that doesn’t add up to Felix’s version of events. They found Rasputin had been shot by three different guns — one of which was the standard issue for British Intelligence operatives. The same type of gun, in fact, carried by Oswald Rayner. (Although the memoirs note that Oswald was aware of the plot to kill Rasputin, it only mentions him checking in on Felix the day after the murder.) The examination of the body also indicated that Rasputin had been severely beaten, and that someone had tried to castrate him. Tried, and failed — not sure how that works but okay. None of that was mentioned in Felix’s story and that lends some credence to the theories that he wasn’t actually involved at all.

Anyways, unable to find evidence proving anyone else killed Rasputin, and unable to find enough evidence they had killed Rasputin, Dmitri and Felix were exiled from Saint Petersburg. Dmitri was sent to Persia, ordered to remain there under the supervision of the military general commanding troops there. Felix was sent to his family’s estate in Rakitnoye. (It helps to have like forty residences, right?) Felix was really heartbroken to be separated from Dmitri. I guess he thought after they assassinated one of the most influential people in Russia, he and Dmitri would live together forever?

This was January of 1917, however. So anyone who knows Russian history at all knows what’s about to happen to the tsar who ordered that exile. The February Revolution began on March 8, by March 12 buildings in the capital were ablaze and by March 15, Tsar Nicholas II had given up the throne of Russia. This ended Felix’s exile from Saint Petersburg but overall made things very complicated for him. His wife was a Romanov, but most of the population thought Felix was a revolutionary because he’d murdered Rasputin. He spent some time kind of playing both sides, clearing out valuable possessions from his family estates, trying to keep below the radar of the new provisional government (who were very much trying to keep an eye on him) and trying to help the imprisoned Romanovs with whatever influence he still had. When the Bolshevik government fully came into power, Felix and Irina headed to Yalta to stay even further below the radar — but be closer to one of the places where some of the Romanovs were being kept in the hopes of somehow improving their situation.

Felix & Irina in exile in France

However, when that proved impossible, Felix and Irina went into permanent exile from Russia. They traveled to Italy, but ultimately settled in Paris, France. They began a couture fashion house called IRFE, and Felix became known for his charitable giving towards France’s Russian immigrant community. He published his memoirs, Lost Splendour: The Amazing Memoirs of the Man Who Killed Rasputin in 1928. Rasputin’s daughter promptly sued him, but the case was dismissed as the French courts had no interest in dealing with a political assassination that had occurred in Russia in any capacity whatsoever. The stock market crash of 1929 (and some poor financial decisions Felix had made) led to IRFE being closed.

In 1932, Felix and Irina sued MGM for invasion of privacy and libel for their portrayal of Irina (as “Princess Natasha”) in the film Rasputin and the Empress. In the film, Princess Natasha is seduced by Rasputin. The English courts sided with the Yusupovs and awarded them $127,373 in damages (over $2 million when adjusted to today’s values!) The court specifically mentioned that text appearing at the beginning of the movie made it seem like it was intended to be a retelling of actual events and worked against MGM’s arguments. As a result, MGM began attaching a disclaimer to each of their films, declaring it as a work of fiction with no intended similarity to any person living or deceased. Numerous other studios followed suit — and to this day, that boilerplate disclaimer shows up on almost every American movie. He was involved in a handful of other, less consequential lawsuits over the next few decades and Felix passed away on September 27, 1967.

Felix remains somewhat of a controversial figure — not because it’s his fault that movies have to explain that they’re fictional in a disclaimer, and not just because he may have murdered Rasputin. Also because, I’m sure you guessed this, his sexuality is often called into question. Per usual, a lot of historians claim he could not have been bisexual. His Wikipedia page even falsely claims that he outright denied being bisexual in his memoirs. I just read his memoirs for this article, they’re available online for free right here. The closest I found to any such denial is this quote: “I have often been accused of disliking women. Nothing is further from the truth. I like women when they are nice.” Nothing about that is a denial of bisexuality especially since right before it is this statement: “I thought it quite natural to take my pleasure wherever I found it, without worrying about what others might think.”

So there you have it, the story of Russia’s bisexual, drag-performing, accidental revolutionary, clumsy assassin prince and how he changed both Russian history and cinematic history forever.


Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia

HIH Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia [i] was exiled to the Persian front by Nicholas II after his participation in the murder of Grigori Rasputin in December of 1916 was made known. His exile meant he was spared the fate of his father and cousins murdered by the Bolsheviks from 1918-1919. After the Revolution, the 29-year-old Grand Duke arrived in Teheran, and came under the care of the British Ambassador to Persia, Sir Charles Marling. [ii] Marling was responsible for securing safe passage of the Grand Duke to London [iii] , but Dmitri Pavlovich soon moved to Paris, where he was quickly pulled into Russian monarchist affairs.

Grand Duke Dmitri had been proposed as a potential candidate for the throne by several monarchist groups, and by the time of his arrival in Paris, Dmitri Pavlovich was aware of the bitter rivalry between the camps of the supporters of Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich and those of Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich. He also understood that he attracted supporters of his own who supported neither Nicholas nor Kirill.

On August 8th, 1922, a makeshift “Zemsky Sobor” had been convened at Priamur, and Grand Duke Nicholas had been “elected” Emperor, in direct violation of the Pauline laws and the order of succession. The Grand Duke had neither accepted nor refused this illegal empty gesture. Having waited for confirmation of the death of Emperor Nicholas II, his son, and his brother, in 1924 Kirill Vladimirovich announced (also on August 8) that he would assume “guardianship” of the throne of Russia. Shortly thereafter, on September 13, he issued his manifesto on the assumption of all imperial rights and the title of Emperor. On the 25th of September 1924, Grand Duke Alexander issued his famous appeal to Russians to stand with Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich [iv] , and it was at this time that Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich attached himself firmly and publically to the Legitimist cause.

Grand Duke Dmitri with his son, HSH Prince Paul Romanovsky-Ilyinsky, and his wife, Princess Anna Romanovsky-Ilyinsky (née Audrey Emery)

In 1926, Grand Duke Dmitri sought permission from Grand Duke Kirill to marry morganatically. His wife, the former Audrey Emery of Cincinatti, converted to Russian Orthodoxy and took the name Anna Ioannovna in baptism. She was subsequently granted the title of Princess Ilyinsky “ad personam” by Grand Duke Kirill. Their son, Paul Dmitrievich was born in 1928, and styled His Serene Highness Prince Ilyinsky. Grand Duke Dmitri and Princess Ilyinsky would divorce in 1937. [v] [vi]

In 1928, the Dowager Empress died, and Grand Duke Kirill was received at the funeral as head of the House of Romanoff by the Royal family of Denmark – it was the last time that the entire Dynasty appeared as a single undivided family and Grand Duke Dmitri was a prominent figure in the proceedings. In his memoirs, on the funeral of the Dowager Empress Harald Graf recounts:

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia, 1930's

“ At 6 p.m., Grand Duke Dimitry Pavlovich arrived. He advised that the notorious Supreme Monarchist Council, apprised of the imminent death of Nicholas Nikolaevich, was requesting Dimitry Pavlovich to assume the overall leadership of the monarchist movement. At the time the council consisted of A. Krupensky, Prince Gorchakov, Markov the 2nd, Talberg, Prince Shirinsky-Shikhmatov, Kepken and several others.

In response to this proposal Dimitry Pavlovich had answered: "Why are you making me this offer? You should know that my leadership would compel you to submit to His Majesty Kirill Vladimirovich." Displeased with this reply, the subject was dropped.

Dimitry Pavlovich inferred that they not only were seeking his leadership but had hopes of later persuading him to dispute the rights of Kirill Vladimirovich to the succession of the throne. After the death of Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich, on their own initiative, they expressed their "subservience" to His Majesty, only to later attempt to come up with their own pretender to the throne in the person of Prince Nikita Alexandrovich.” [vii]

After the death of both the Dowager Empress and Grand Duke Nicholas, the way was cleared for a stronger Legitimist movement

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich at right, with Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich

HIH Grand Duke Dmitri stands between the Head of The Russian Imperial House, Grand Duke Wladimir Kirillovich and HH Prince Vsevolod of Russia at the wedding of HIH Grand Duchess Kira Kirillovna of Russia to HRH Prince Louis-Ferdinand of Prussia, 1938.

The youngest of the Grand Dukes, Dmitri Pavlovich frequently represented Grand Duke Kirill at events public, private, and political. He was prominent at the at the funerals of King Georgios II of Greece (1924), Queen Astrid of the Belgians (1935), at the wedding of Grand Duke Kirill’s daughter, the Grand Duchess Kira to Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia (1938), and also at the ceremonies surrounding the accession of Grand Duke Wladimir to the rights of the headship of the Imperial House on the death of his father in 1938.

Grand Duke Wladimir Kirillovich on his accession to the headship of the Imperial House in the presence of the Union des Nobles, Paris, 1938. Note Grand Duke Dmitri directly behind Emperor-in-Exile Wladimir.

Grand Duke Dmitri was also active politically. Together with his cousin, Prince Dmitri Alexandrovich, he was very involved in the monarchist youth organizations which sprang up in the years between the wars. By 1923, the largest of these was the “Union of Young Russia” (Союз Молодой России) which was renamed the “Union of Mladorossi” (Cоюз Младороссов) by 1925. This problematic group began as a monarchist organization, but was gradually radicalized along the lines of Italian fascism by its founder, Alexander Kazembek. Grand Duke Dmitri grew increasingly uneasy with the tenor of the group’s politics, and by the outbreak of World War II was publicly making anti-fascist statements. Grand Duke Dmitri warned his cousin Grand Duke Wladimir Kirillovich of any association with the fascists, prompting Grand Duke Wladimir to make a filmed statement disavowing rumors of collaboration with the Nazi authorities in Germany. [viii]

Grand Duke Dmitri was poised to become one of the chief advisors and confidants of Grand Duke Wladimir, and his support would have been invaluable to the 21-year-old head of the House of Romanoff [ix] , but unfortunately the tuberculosis which had plagued Dmitri Pavlovich since the early 1920’s became chronic and ultimately fatal. The Grand Duke died at a health sanitarium near Davos, Switzerland in 1942. He was buried first in Switzerland in 1942, and his remains were later transferred to the Bernardotte family crypt at the home of his nephew at Mainau, on Lake Constance, where he rests with his sister, the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna the Younger.

The funeral of Grand Duke Dmitri, Switzerland, 1942.

NOTES

[i] Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich was born on his family estate at Ilyinskoye near Moscow on the 18th of September 1891, the only son of HIH Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia (1860-1919) and his first wife, née HRH Princess Alexandra of Greece and Denmark (1870-1891).

[ii] Sir Charles Murray Marling, GCMG CB (3rd December 1862 – 17 February 1933), was educated at Wellington and Trinity College, Cambridge before he entered the Diplomatic Service in 1888. He was the British Ambassador during the Constitutional Revolution in Persia from 1905-1907, and served again as Ambassador during the First World War from 1915-1918. In March of 1919 he was appointed the British minister to Denmark, and from 1921, he was based at The Hague until his 1926 retirement.

[iii] Cf. Wikipedia entry for Grand Duke Dmitri and which cites the correspondence of Sir Charles with the Foreign Office, kept at the Public Records Office, Kew, UK. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Duke_Dmitri_Pavlovich_of_Russia retrieved 12 February 2018).

[iv] The appeal of Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich “Russia Shall Arise” (originally released on 12/25 September, 1924 in the French press, and later reprinted in the Émigré journal “Faith & Truth” (Вера и Правда) 1/14 January, 1932) was an exhortation to Russian émigrés to stand with Kirill Vladimirovich: “I call upon you, the Russian people, without respect to faith, age, or social standing, to unite into one spirit with the spirit of our lawful Tsar.”

[v] It appears that Audrey Emery was granted the style of Serene Highness and title of Princess Ilyinsky ad personam on her marriage and for her descendants, with the style of Serene Highness descending to the senior male issue. However, on 15/28 July, 1935, Grand Duke Kirill issued his edict on titles for the morganatic spouses and issue of members of the Imperial Family, and as of that moment, both Princess Ilyinsky and her son were known as serene Highnesses, and Prince/Princess Romanovsky-Ilyinsky. (cf edict on titles http://www.imperialhouse.ru/en/dynastyhistory/dinzak3/1113.html retrieved 12 February, 2018)

[vi] “Grand Duke in Divorce” New York Times, 23 December 1937, p.12

[vii] Graf, H.G. (Graf, V. & Dunn, W., trans.), “In the Service of the Imperial House of Russia 1917-1941.” Hagerstown: HBP, 1998, pp. 184-185.

[viii] Ibid. pp. 226-238 for an examination of the changes in structure and rise of fascism within the Mladoross.

[ix] Ibid, pp. 578-587, see also Sullivan, Michael “A Fatal Passion” New York, 1997, pp. 395 for Dmitri’s centrality as a Legitimist figure.


ROMANOV FAMILY: GRAND DUKE DMITRI PAVLOVICH – HOME VIDEOS

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich was the son of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich, brother of Tsar Alexander III, and first cousin of Tsar Nicholas II.

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, first cousin of Tsar Nicholas II with his wife Audrey Emery.

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, first cousin of Tsar Nicholas II with his sister Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna the Younger.

Dmitri’s mother died giving birth to him, and after his father made a morganatic marriage, the little grand duke and his sister were adopted by their uncle Grand Duke Sergei and his wife Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna.

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, first cousin of Tsar Nicholas II.

For many years Grand Duke Dmitri was very close to Nicholas II and his family, who treated him like a son and brother. But after Dmitri got involved in the murder of Grigori Rasputin in late 1916, he was exiled from Russia, which actually ended up saving his life when the Russian revolution broke out.

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, first cousin of Tsar Nicholas II.

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, first cousin of Tsar Nicholas II.

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, first cousin of Tsar Nicholas II.

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, first cousin of Tsar Nicholas II. Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, first cousin of Tsar Nicholas II.

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich lived the rest of his life abroad, marrying an American heiress Audrey Emery, after his passionate love affair with the famous fashion designer Coco Chanel.

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, first cousin of Tsar Nicholas II with his wife Audrey Emery.

Video below was given to the Tsarskoe Selo museum by Grand Duke Dmitri’s grandson, Prince Michael Pavlovich Ilyinsky:


Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia Russian Royalty

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia was previously married to Audrey Emery (1926 - 1938) .

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia was engaged to Grand Duchess Olga (1913) .

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia was in relationships with Vera Karalli (1913 - 1919) , Pauline Fairfax Potter, Natalia Brassova and Feliks Yusupov.

About

Russian Royal Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia was born Dmitri Pavlovich Romanov on 18th September, 1891 in Ilyinsky, Russia and passed away on 5th Mar 1941 Davos, Graubünden, Switzerland aged 49. He is most remembered for murder Grigori Rasputin. His zodiac sign is Virgo.

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia is a member of the following lists: 1891 births, Russian expatriates and 1941 deaths.

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Relationship Statistics

TypeTotalLongestAverageShortest
Dating4 6 years 1 year, 6 months -
Engaged1 108 years, 11 months - -
Married1 12 years - -
Total6 108 years, 11 months 21 years, 1 month 6 years

Details

First Name Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia
Middle Name Pavlovich
Full Name at Birth Dmitri Pavlovich Romanov
Age 49 (age at death) years
Birthday 18th September, 1891
Birthplace Ilyinsky, Russia
Died 5th March, 1941
Place of Death Davos, Graubünden, Switzerland
Buried Mainau, Lake Constance, Germany
Build Average
Eye Color Brown - Dark
Hair Color Brown - Dark
Zodiac Sign Virgo
Sexuality Bisexual
Religion Russian Orthodox
Ethnicity White
Nationality Russian
Occupation Royalty
Claim to Fame murder Grigori Rasputin
Father Paul Alexandrovich Pavlovna
Mother Alexandra Georgievna of Greece
Brother Vladimir Pavlovich Paley, Vladimir Paley (half-brother)
Sister Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, Irina Pavlovna Paley, Natalia Pavlovna Paley, Natalia Pavlovna Paley (half-sister), Irina Paley (half-sister), Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia

Grand Duke Dimitri Pavlovich of Russia (Russian: Великий Князь Дмитрий Павлович 18 September 1891 – 5 March 1942) was a son of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia, a grandson of Tsar Alexander II of Russia and a first cousin of Tsar Nicholas II.


My Friend Dmitry Pavlovich (1967-2018)

A eulogy in memory of church historian Dmitry Pavlovich.

I made the acquaintance of Dmitry Pavlovich Anashkin before the start of the fall semester, 1994, when Dima arrived from Russia to study at Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville. In Moscow, he had received instruction in Orthodoxy through the seminars of Boris L. Kozushin (later, Hieromonk Tikhon). These were “salons” held in the late 1980s and into the 1990s, where meetings took place with Orthodox luminaries both from Russia and abroad.

HTS Class of 1998. Left to right: A.V. Psarev (HTS Class of 1995), D.Anashkin, J. Narnickis, S. Pavlov, G. Lapardin, N.Olhovsky, I. Kharlamov. Photo: May 1997

During his studies at the seminary, from 1994-98, Dmitry Pavlovich performed his obedience in the editorial office of Pravoslavnaia Rus’, of which I was the executive editor. In the 1990s a great number of clippings from the right-leaning and conservative Russian press had been acquired by the editorial office. Thanks to the abilities of Dmitry Pavlovich, all of this chaotic material was systematized, using robust principles of archiving.

Prior to the time of his enrollment at Holy Trinity Seminary, Dmitry Pavlovich had served in the Zabaikal’skii military region and had received an outstanding historical education. His studies at the Moscow Pedagogical Institute (today, the Moscow State Pedagogical University) imparted to him an acquaintance with the leading specialists in Russian history and the critical methodology of the historian’s craft. In the fall of 1995, I began teaching, for the first time, History of the Russian Church, and Dmitry Pavlovich was enrolled in my class. My lectures were based on the work of Metropolitan Makarii (Bulgakov, +1882) and were in their essence more descriptive-hagiographic than analytical. I understand how difficult it was for this professional historian to sit through my lectures. Ten years later, as a guest “student”, I attended a course of lectures on the history of the Byzantine Empire, given by Dmitry Pavlovich at Holy Trinity Seminary (HTS). And still later, while working on my Ph.D. dissertation on the ecclesiastical history of the Byzantine Empire, I was able to assess the depth of Dmitry Pavlovich’s preparation for these lectures and his familiarity with contemporary interpretations of Byzantine history.

Twice he would return from Jordanville to Moscow “for good.” The first time he went back was in 1999, a year after the end of his seminary studies. In Moscow, he had already settled down, had a job, but in 2003 he was “pulled out.” HTS invited him to teach History of the Christian Church. For ten years of his life at Jordanville, Dmitry Pavlovich was engaged in the study of the history of the ROCOR. He created his monumental project – an electronic database (index) of articles of Pravoslavnaia Rus’, containing more than 30 thousand records. I hope that this phenomenal reference tool soon will be available to online users.

In 2014, Dima again returned to his homeland, where he was very happy, living in his house in Pushkino near Moscow, with his wife Irina and his father, Pavel Vasil’evich. He began writing his Candidate in History thesis, working as a researcher for Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox University of Humanities (PSTGU). Dima also began working on an annotated edition of the minutes of ROCOR’s synods and councils of the inter-war period. (The original documents have been preserved in the State Archive of the Russian Federation in Moscow.) By the time he had returned to his homeland in 2014, Dmitry Pavlovich had already become the author of two monographs in Russian on the legislation of the Russian Church Abroad and on Orthodox church resistance in the USSR (1927-1988).

Dmitry Pavlovich loved reverent worship that observed Typikon requirements and he valued liturgical art. Two years ago, he began to serve in the altar of the dependency of the Holy Trinity St. Sergius Lavra – the church of St. Paraskeva behind the walls of the monastery. Reader Dmitry treasured and perceived this obedience as his Church ministry. A year ago, he began to share his vast knowledge with parishioners: more and more people attended his lectures.

December 26th, 2018 was an ordinary day: the pre-New Year preparations foreshadowed what happened in the evening — an instantaneous stroke. An autopsy revealed that half of Dmitry Pavlovich’s brain was covered in blood.

It is not true to say that everyone is dispensable. To become a professional historian, to choose an area of expertise, to acquire knowledge of the field and to develop intuition, working relations with other experts and publication record takes years and years. I cannot imagine who will now write an analytical study on the conservatism of the ROCOR, its relationship to the Vietnam War, or will lecture engagingly on the history of the Church to parishioners. It is encouraging that Andrei Aleksandrovich Kostriukov, a leading expert at the Research Department of the Newest History of the Russian Orthodox Church at PSTGU, intends to deliver to publication the project on synods and councils of the ROCOR that Dmitry Pavlovich had been working on.

It was easy to be around Dmitry Pavlovich. He had a remarkable quality – to relate positively to the reality surrounding him, whether in Jordanville or Pushkino. He was ready to take part in practical jokes, in fun. His home in Jordanville had been open to seminarians and to monastery neighbors.

In the army, Dima developed a quality that helped him in Jordanville. He could “read people” but did not consider it necessary to communicate these observations to others. His observations became clear in isolated remarks, often made long ago after the situation. He also kept in confidence what might compromise others or what was told to him privately.

Last spring in Jordanville. 2014

I have no doubt that those who knew Dmitry Pavlovich Anashkin would agree he was gregarious, outgoing and humorous. Therefore, it is so difficult to be reconciled with the fact that he is not here now with us anymore. “For life!” was one his most favorite toasts. This is how he will remain in our memory.

One of the Russian prose poems (Krokhotki) of Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhenitsyn is entitled “And we shall not die!” The transition to the other world of Dmitry Pavlovich (we were the same age – 51) shows that another reality, an invisible, ethereal wall is near, and its portal can be opened at any time.


Biography [ edit | edit source ]

Early life [ edit | edit source ]

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich was born at Ilyinskoe [near Moscow, the second child and eldest son of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich and a grandson of Alexander II of Russia thus, he was a first cousin of Nicholas II of Russia. Dmitri Pavlovich's mother, Grand Duchess Alexandra Georgievna, née Princess Alexandra of Greece, was a daughter of George I of Greece and his Queen consort, Olga Konstantinovna of Russia. As such, he is also a first cousin of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His mother, Alexandra, was seven months' pregnant with him when, while out with friends, she jumped into a boat, falling as she got in. The next day, she collapsed in the middle of a ball from violent labor pains brought on by the previous day's activities Dmitri was born in the hours following the accident. Alexandra slipped into a coma, from which she never emerged. Although doctors had no hope for Dmitri's survival, he lived, with the help of Grand Duke Sergei, who gave the premature Dmitri the baths prescribed by the doctors, wrapped him in cotton wool and kept him in a cradle filled with hot water bottles to keep his temperature regulated. "I am enjoying raising Dmitri," Sergei wrote in his diary. Ώ] Grand Duchess Alexandra died shortly after Dmitri's birth. She was only twenty-one years old at the time of her death, and the cause was almost certainly preeclampsia. Dmitri and his sister Maria lived in St Petersburg with their father until 1902, when Grand Duke Paul married a divorced commoner, Olga Pistolkors, and was banished from Russia by the Emperor. He was not allowed to take the children with him into exile, so they were sent to live with their uncle, Grand Duke Sergei Aleksandrovich (Paul's brother) and aunt, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna (the Empress's sister), in Moscow. The loss of their beloved father and the sudden move to Moscow caused the children great distress. [see, for instant, letter of Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich to Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, 27 October 1939. The original is in the family archive at Insel Mainau, home of the late Count Lennart Bernadotte, Maria Pavlovna's son] In her memoirs, Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna (the Younger) describes Grand Duke Sergei as a stern disciplinarian, and his wife, Grand Duchess Elizabeth as a cold and unwelcoming presence [Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna, "Education of a Princess"].

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich as a teenager.

On 4 February 1905, Grand Duke Sergei, who had recently resigned from the post of Governor General of Moscow, was assassinated by Ivan Kalyaev, a member of the Socialist Revolutionary Battle Organization, a revolutionary terrorist group. Kalyaev, armed with a homemade bomb, had aborted his first attempt to kill the Grand Duke when he spotted Dmitri and Marie with their uncle in his carriage. His uncle's death was only one of several assassinations that robbed Dmitri of close family members. His paternal grandfather, Alexander II, was murdered by revolutionary terrorists in 1881, and his maternal grandfather, George I of Greece, would be shot by an assassin in 1913. His father, Paul, and half-brother Vladimir ("Bodya") Paley would be murdered by the Bolsheviks in January 1919. After Sergei's death, Grand Duchess Elizabeth undertook to raise her niece and nephew on her own, thus making them part of a rare female-headed household. Maria Pavlovna continued to have some feelings of anger toward her aunt, whom she would blame for her overly hasty marriage to Prince William of Sweden in 1908, but Dmitri formed a very strong bond with Elizabeth and came to admire her personal fortitude (Diaries of Grand Duke Dmitri, passim].

Maria Pavlovna's wedding to Prince William took place at Tsarskoe Selo in 1908, and after she had departed for Sweden with her new husband, Dmitri and Elizabeth Feodorovna stayed on for time at Tsarskoe as guests of the Emperor and Empress. It was during this period that Dmitri began to form a close bond with Nicholas II, looking upon him as a surrogate father. He would join the Emperor on his daily walks and seek to spend as much time with him as possible. Nicholas, in turn, treated Dmitri very kindly. He seems to have loved the young man's free spirit and sense of humor, a welcome diversion from the stresses of his daily life. Dmitri wrote several letters to his sister during his stay with Nicholas and Alexandra, describing how much he was enjoying himself there. The original letters survive in the Bernadotte family archive on the Island of Mainau. His later correspondence with Nicholas II, from 1908-1914, would fall into the hands of the Bolsheviks after the revolution and be published in 1925 in a volume entitled "Nicholas II and the Grand Dukes" ["Николай II и Великие Князья"] edited by V.P. Semennikov.

In 1909 Dmitri left Grand Duchess Elizabeth's care to move to St Petersburg with his head tutor and companion, G.M. Laiming. Established first at his father's vacant palace, then at the Belosselsky-Belozersky Palace, which he had inherited from Grand Duke Sergei, and which would become his principal residence before the Revolution, he prepared to enter the Nikolaevskoe Cavalry School. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a cornet in the Horse Guards Regiment, which his father had once commanded, and in which he had been enrolled at birth. He is reputed to have been a very good equestrian, and competed in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, coming seventh. Before World War I, he instigated the idea of a national Russian sports competition, the very beginning of what under Soviet rule became the Spartakiad.

Adulthood [ edit | edit source ]

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich Romanov, around 1910.

Outside Russia [ edit | edit source ]

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich Romanov in exile in the 1920s.

Dmitri Pavlovich's sister Marie had, like many aristocratic Russians in exile, found a niche for herself in the rising Paris fashion industry by founding a business called Kitmir that specialised in bead and sequin embroidery and did much work for Chanel. (Dmitri himself found work as a Champagne salesman.)

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich Romanov with his wife Audrey Emery in the 1920s.

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich Romanov, around 1910.

Throughout his life, Dmitri would always enjoy the companionship strong-willed and highly intelligent women, both as lovers and as platonic friends, perhaps a holdover from his adolescence when two strong-willed and intelligent women, Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna and Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, loomed so large in his life. He would often have strong but overlapping relationships, as, for instance, with Natalia Brasova (wife of Grand Duke Mikhail Aleksandrovich) and the ballerina Vera Karalli, both of whom he saw in 1915 and 1916 (he would be reunited with both women in exile, and would briefly resume his relationship with Karalli). His diaries chronicle relationships with many of the most fascinating women of his day, but the affair he most remembered for was with iconic fashion designer Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, whom he first met in pre-WWI Paris. Their relationship lasted about a year, beginning in spring 1921 with an off-season stay in Monte Carlo where they endeavored to live as discreetly as possible since neither was as yet sure where the relationship was going, and what the future would hold for Dmitri in particular. [Diary of Grand Duke Dmitri, March/April 1921]. Rumors that Dmitri was gay or bisexual have never been substantiated, and his own letters and diaries very firmly contradict them.

Rumors that Dmitri fired the fatal shot in the Rasputin assassination likewise have never been substantiated, resting entirely upon baseless speculation. Again, his own letters and diary entires, at times written under emotional duress as he relieved events that continued to disturb him greatly, support the conventional historical account of the assassination. His frankness, his tone, and the details he provides all speak to his credibility on this topic. His final break with Felix Yusupov in London in 1920 is well documented in letters exchanged between the two men, none of which have ever been published. The originals are all part of the Ilyinsky family collection, along with Dmitri's diaries, and have been woefully, almost incredibly, neglected by scholars. Dmitri who, as an adolescent, had envisioned Nicholas II as a 'man of action' and admired him greatly, was devastatingly disillusioned by the Tsar's attitude and behavior during the war years. Like many other grand dukes, he tried to warn Nicholas of Russia's imminent peril, but was unsuccessful. The assassination was, in his conception, a patriotic act and one of desperation, but he almost immediately regretted it, and would later describe on several occasions in his letters and diaries the disgust and remorse he felt about his own involvement in the affair. Yusupov was, in 1920, offered a chance to speak about the assassination in a US lecture tour, the profits from which would go to the Red Cross, and it was his interest in pursuing this tour that proved to be the last straw in his relationship with Dmitri. The direct result of his involvement in the December 1916 assassination was exile to the Persian front where he served briefly under General Nikolai Nikolaevich Baratov at his headquarters in the Persian city of Kazvin. But after the February revolution Baratov had to ask Dmitri to leave since there were rumblings from the lower ranks and his safety could not be guaranteed. In Tehran he lived briefly with General Meidel, then head of the Persian Cossack Division, before being taken in by the British Minister to Tehran, Sir Charles Marling and his wife Lucia. Sir Charles became an important father figure to Dmitri, and the relationship there established between Dmitri and the entire Marling family, would prove to be a close and enduring one. It was Sir Charles who, by persuading the British Foreign Office in 1918 that Dmitri would undoubtedly become the next Emperor of Russia, gained his admission to Great Britain after many previous rejections. [See Sir Charles's correspondence with the FO, preserved at the Public Records Office, Kew, UK. Nikolai Nikolaevich's papers are at the Hoover Institute, Stanford, and Dmitri's diaries likewise provide a detailed account of his life in Persia, his relationship with the Marlings, and his attempts to gain entry to Britain].

Dmitri married an American heiress, Audrey Emery, in 1926 morganatically, and she was granted the title Her Serene Highness, Princess Romanovskaya-Ilyinskaya by his cousin Cyril. He did not seek a grand ducal title for her or for her son, not because Cyril was unwilling to grant one, but because it would have violated Pauline dynastic law of 1797. He refused, on the same grounds, to acknowledge Prince Gabriel Konstantinovich as a "Grand Duke". the as he stated to his friend, Vladimir Kozlianinov, in a letter of 22 April 1940, he would not address Prince Gavriil Konstantinovich as "Grand Duke," since Cyril had had no right [unpublished letter from Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich to Colonel V.F. Kozlianinov, 22 April 1940, Bakhmeteff Archive, Columbia University]. It was his belief that not even an enthroned emperor had the right to violate the Pauline law. [Unpublished letter of Constantine de Grunwald to Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, 3 June 1939, Mainau] The two had a son, His Serene Highness, Prince Paul Romanovsky-Ilyinsky, who grew up in France, England and the United States, and served as a US Marine in the Korean War. In 1989 he was elected Mayor of Palm Beach, Florida, and thus became the only Romanov descendant known to have held elected public office. Following the fall of communist Russia in 1991, a delegation of Russian royalists approached Paul Ilyinsky and asked him to assume the title of Tsar, a position he declined. ΐ] Dmitri and Audrey were divorced in 1937.

In the late 1920s, Dmitri became involved with the Union of Young Russians [Союз Младороссов], which, in 1935, became the Young Russia Party. It was a Russian nationalist group, modeled on Italian fascism, and formed with the express purpose of establishing a "Soviet monarchy" in Russia. He joined this group as a stand in for Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich who, as pretender to the throne, could not affiliate himself directly with any political organization or party. In 1935 Dmitri gave a series of speeches to Young Russia chapters throughout France. Over the course of the next few years, however, he grew very disillusioned with the group, and ultimately broke with it entirely. He loathed Hitler and National Socialism, and spoke out publicly against Hitler in January 1939. [unpublished letter of Constantine de Grunwald to Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, 3 June 1939, Mainau]. Young Russia's founder, Aleksandr L'vovich Kazem Bek, a White Russian emigre of Georgian heritage, was arrested by authorities in Vichy France, allowed to emigrate to the US, where he was active in Orthodox Church affairs. After WWII he returned to Russia, giving rise to suspicions that he had been Soviet agent, but no proof of this has ever been obtained, and his lifelong devotion to the Church would seem to make it unlikely. Dmitri reputedly rebuked later advances from Hitler to lead exiled Russian nobles within the German army against the Bolsheviks with the firm statement that nothing would induce him to fight against fellow Russians. However, at that time Dmitri was in no condition to fight at all any more.

Death [ edit | edit source ]

Despite the popular conception of Dmitri as frail man who had suffered all his life from chronic tuberculosis, he was, for most of his life, a very active sportsman, excelling at polo, horse racing, tennis, and bobsledding. His doctors in London and Davos estimated that he first contracted tuberculosis around 1929, and it did run a chronic course, but he had not had it previously. He entered Sanatorium Schatzalp on 2 September 1939, the day after the German invasion of Poland, and remarked in a letter to his sister that he had never before spent a single night in any kind of hospital or medical institution. His cause of death remains unknown, since there is no cause listed on his death certificate, and all of Schatzalp's medical records were destroyed after the conversion of the sanatorium into a hotel in the 1950s. His son believed he had died of tuberculosis, and his cousin Prince Michel Romanov cited uremia, and his NY Times obituary cited uremia as well. Rumors of murder sprang up locally, but have never been substantiated, and there was no police investigation. [William Lee, "Leben und Sterben in Davos," in Davoser Revue, 2000]

Grand Duke Dmitri was laid to rest in the Waldfriedhof, Davos. In the late 1950s his remains were transferred to Mainau Lake Constance in southern Germany, where they now rest beside his sister's in the Bernadotte family crypt.


Dmitri Pavlovich Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov (1891 - 1942)

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich Romanov (Russian: Дмитрий Павлович), was born prematurely on 18 September 1891 [6 Sep 1891] at Ilyinskoye, Russia. His mother, Princess Alexandra of Greece (Alexandra zu Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, Princess of Greece and Denmark), died almost immediately after giving birth to Dmitri

One therefore cannot blame Dmitri's father, Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich Romanov, for holding very mixed feelings toward his newborn son. Indeed the entire court of Tsar Nicholas II expressed its sincere sympathy for the Grand Duke Paul (the Tsar's uncle), because Princess Alexandra had been well liked at court.

People could not be blamed, also, for recoiling somewhat when first presented with the tiny child who had caused so much sorrow and grief.

Imagine the disturbed emotions, then, when Grand Duke Paul soon found comfort in the arms of another woman -- a divorcee?

"Dmitri and his sister, Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, lived in St Petersburg with their father until 1902, when Grand Duke Paul married a divorced commoner, Olga Pistolkors, and was banished from Russia by the Emperor."

FATHER EXILED BY THE TSAR

"Paul was not allowed to take the children with him into exile, so they were sent to live with their uncle, Grand Duke Sergei and their aunt, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna (the Empress's sister), in Moscow.

"The loss of their father and the sudden move to Moscow caused the children great distress. In her memoirs, Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna (the Younger) describes Grand Duke Sergei as a stern disciplinarian, and his wife, Grand Duchess Elizabeth as a cold and unwelcoming presence,"

On 4 February 1905, his uncle the Grand Duke Sergei was assassinated. His aunt, the Grand Duchess Elizabeth, though widowed, continued to raise Dmitri and Maria alone.

GUEST OF THE TSAR AT TSARSKOE SELO

In 1908, Dmitri's sister Maria Pavlovna became engaged to wed Prince William of Sweden. They were invited to live for a time at Tsarskoe Selo, where they became guests of Tsar Nicholas II and the Empress Alexandra. Dmitri later claimed that he formed a close bond with the Tsar, and looked upon him as a father figure.

SISTER MARRIED TO PRINCE OF SWEDEN

Marie was married at Tsarskoe Selo and then left Russia to live with her new husband in Stockholm, Sweden.

EDUCATION AT ST. PETERSBURG CAVALRY SCHOOL

In 1909 Dmitri left his aunt's care to move to St Petersburg. He lived at the Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace, and entered the Nikolaevskoe Cavalry School.

Upon graduation in 1911, he was commissioned as a cornet in the Horse Guards Regiment, which his father had once commanded, and in which he had been enrolled at birth.

He is reputed to have been a very good equestrian, and competed in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, finishing in seventh place.

AFFAIR WITH BALLERINA VERA KARALLI

According to Wikipedia, Grand Duke Dmitri was certainly a lady's man. "He would often have strong but overlapping relationships, as, for instance, with Natalia Brasova and the ballerina Vera Karalli, both of whom he saw in 1915 and 1916. (He would be reunited with both women in exile, and would briefly resume his relationship with Karalli.)"

In December1916, Dmitri participated in the murder of Gregory Rasputin at the Yussupov Palace. He invited his girlfriend, Vera Karalli, and his half-sister, Marianne von Pistohlkors, to attend the event, and several historians have agreed that Dmitri was probably one of the two shooters who killed Rasputin.

But Dmitri was never tried or convicted of the murder. Rather, he was exiled from Russia by Tsar Nicholas II, and sent to serve in a cavalry unit on the Persian front. He served briefly under General Nikolai Baratov at his headquarters in the Persian city of Kazvin.

After the war, he was permitted to live in Britain for a short time, but after two years he moved to Paris. In 1921 he enjoyed a brief affair with Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, who found Dmitri work as a champagne salesman.

After bashing around Paris in the 1920s, enjoying the good life, Dmitri finally settled down and married an American heiress, Anna Audrey Emery, daughter of John Josiah Emery and Leila Alexander, on 21 November 1926 at Biarritz, France.

In the late 1920s, Grand Duke Dmitri became involved with the Union of Young Russians [Союз Младороссов], which, in 1935, became the Young Russia Party. It was a Russian nationalist group, modeled on Italian fascism, and formed with the express purpose of establishing a "Soviet monarchy" in Russia.

He joined this group as a stand in for Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich who, as pretender to the throne, could not affiliate himself directly with any political organization or party.

In 1929, Grand Duke Dmitri contracted tuberculosis, and his health began to suffer.

He and Anna Audrey Emery were divorced on 1 February 1937.

According to Wikipedia: "The two had a son, His Serene Highness, Prince Paul Romanovsky-Ilyinsky, who grew up in France, England and the United States, and served as a US Marine in the Korean War. In 1989 he was elected Mayor of Palm Beach, Florida, and thus became the only Romanov descendant known to have held elected public office. Following the fall of communist Russia in 1991, a delegation of Russian royalists approached Paul Ilyinsky and asked him to assume the title of Tsar, a position he declined."

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich died on 5 March 1942, age 50, at Davos, Switzerland. There are rumors that he may have been murdered. But most historians accept that he died of natural causes at a Sanintarium for the treatment of tuberculosis and uremia.

Grand Duke Dmitri was laid to rest in the Waldfriedhof, Davos. In the late 1950s his remains were transferred to Mainau, situated in Lake Constance, where they now rest beside his sister's in the Bernadotte family crypt.


Mendeleev's 1869 table

In 1869, his colleague Nikolai Menshutkin on the behalf of Mendeleev presented the paper The Dependence between the Properties of the Atomic Weights of the Elements to the Russian Chemical Society. The paper was published in the same year in the Russian language, and a German version of the paper consisting of the table and his eight remarks was circulated in Zeitschrift für Chemie.

His first table is given below.

Mendeleev's 1869 table
Ti = 50 Zr = 90 ? = 180
V = 51 Nb = 94 Ta = 182
Cr = 52 Me = 96 W = 186
Mn = 55 Rh = 104.4 Pt = 197.4
Fe = 56 Ru = 104.4 Ir = 198
Ni = Co = 59 Pd = 106.6 Os = 199
H = 1 Cu = 63.4 Ag = 108 Hg = 200
Be = 9.4 Mg = 24 Zn = 65.2 Cd = 112
B = 11 Al = 27.4 ? = 68 U = 116 Au = 197?
C = 12 Si = 28 ? = 70 Sn = 118
N = 14 P = 31 As = 75 Sb = 122 Bi = 210?
O = 16 S = 32 Se = 79.4 Te = 128?
F = 19 Cl = 35.5 Br = 80 I = 127
Li = 7 Na = 23 K = 39 Rb = 85.4 Cs = 133 Tl = 204
Ca = 40 Sr = 87.6 Ba = 137 Pb = 207
? = 45 Ce = 92
?Er = 56 La = 94
?Y = 60 Di = 95
?In = 75.6 Th = 118?

From the previous table, the elements were ordered from the top to bottom with increasing atomic weight. He grouped the elements according to their valency. For example, fluorine, chlorine, bromine, and iodine are placed in the same horizontal row. These elements have the valency equal to one and shared similar physical and chemical properties. This pattern that the elements in the same row have similar characteristics is what we called the periodicity of the elements.

The other thing to notice is the position of tellurium (Te = 128) in the table. Its position is interchanged with iodine (I = 127). Since iodine is lighter than tellurium, it should be placed immediately down to antimony (Sb = 122). Instead, Mendeleev reversed the order since he believed the atomic weight of tellurium was incorrectly measured and the iodine shared the properties with F, Cl, and Br, not with O, S, and Se. Based on this, he presumed the atomic weight of tellurium must be more than iodine. This partially came true. He was correct for the interchange of the position. In the modern periodic table, iodine is placed with other halogens in group 17, and tellurium is placed with O, S, and Se in group 16. But he was wrong for the prediction of the atomic weight of tellurium. The tellurium has an atomic mass of 127.6 u and iodine, 126.9 u. Even though tellurium is heavier than iodine, it is placed before iodine in the modern periodic table since the elements are ordered with the atomic number, not with the atomic weight, in the modern periodic table.

Mendeleev also stated the atomic weight of an element determined its properties, and the properties of an element could be predicted from its atomic weight. In the above table, there are two slots labeled with ? one after aluminum (Al) and the other after silicon (Si). He predicted the existence of the two elements that filled these slots. He named them eka-silicon and eka-aluminum.


Biography

Early life

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich was born at Ilinskoe near Moscow, the second child and son of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich and a grandson of Alexander II of Russia thus, he was a first cousin of Nicholas II of Russia. Dmitri Pavlovich's mother, Alexandra Georgievna of Greece was a daughter of George I of Greece and his Queen consort, Olga Konstantinovna of Russia. As such, he was also a first cousin of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Dmitri and his sister Maria were mostly raised by their uncle and aunt, Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia and his wife, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fyodorovna, the elder sister of Tsarina Alexandra.

His mother, Alexandra, was seven months' pregnant with him when, while out with friends, she jumped into a boat, falling as she got in. The next day, she collapsed in the middle of a ball from violent labor pains brought on by the previous day's activities Dmitri was born in the hours following the accident. Alexandra slipped into a coma, from which she never emerged. Although doctors had no hope for Dmitri's survival, he lived, with the help of Grand Duke Sergei, who gave the premature Dmitri the baths prescribed by the doctors, wrapped him in cotton wool and kept him in a cradle filled with hot water bottles to keep his temperature regulated. "I am enjoying raising Dmitri," Sergei wrote in his diary. [ 1 ]

As usual in his circle at the time, Dmitri Pavlovich joined a guards regiment as an officer. He is reputed to have been a very good equestrian, and competed in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, coming seventh. Before World War I, he instigated the idea of a national Russian sports competition, the very beginning of what under Soviet rule became the Spartakiad.

Adulthood


Throughout his life, Dmitri Pavlovich was known as a great womanizer. Among his lovers were popular Russian ballerina and early film actress Vera Karalli [ 3 ] and Pauline Fairfax Potter, an American fashion designer and writer. He also temporarily pursued the Duchess of Marlborough (the American-born Consuelo Vanderbilt), who was separated, and later divorced, from the Duke of Marlborough. The fact that Dmitri Pavlovich was both 16 years the Duchess' junior, and economically challenged, did not assist his case. His most notable affairs were with Natasha Sheremetyev, morganatic wife of his cousin, Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich, and in the early 1920s with Coco Chanel however, the one (reputed) affair that had the most influence on the course of his life and that effectively gave him his place in history was with another man: cross-dressing and presumably [ dubious – discuss ] bisexual Prince Felix Yusupov, with whom he had a relationship in the winter of 1912/1913 that caused quite a scandal. It was this relationship that caused the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna to decide against Dmitri marrying her eldest daughter, the Grand Duchess Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna . Later, in 1916, Felix was the one who involved him in the murder of Grigori Rasputin.

Older sources (among them Felix's own memoirs) always maintained that the murder of Rasputin was Felix's idea, and that Dmitri was only involved because he owned a car that could move unimpeded through the strictly controlled city of St. Petersburg in wartime because of its imperial standard. Newer research, particularly that of Edvard Radzinsky in his book The Rasputin File, has proposed the idea that the murder originated with Dmitri, and that he probably fired the shot that ultimately stopped the dying Rasputin from escaping. It is thought that the story subsequently told by the conspirators was concocted to protect Dmitri from a stain that would endanger his chances of succeeding to the throne of Russia.

As a direct result of his involvement in the murder, Dmitri Pavlovich was sent to the Persian front, which ultimately saved his life most of his relatives were executed by the Bolsheviks, including his father, his aunt Elizabeth, and his morganatic half-brother Vladimir Paley, but he himself escaped, with British help, via Teheran and Bombay to London.

Outside Russia


In London in 1919, he met Felix Yusupov again, but they soon fell out officially over Felix's open gloating in the press of having killed Rasputin, which would endanger Dmitri's chances of a succession to the throne (still thought possible at that stage) by mere association. According to Felix's memoirs, the real reason for their estrangement was that Dmitri did not believe the restoration of the Russian monarchy was possible, but some self-serving elements around him tried to keep up appearances, and elbowed the dangerously disreputable Felix out.

Dmitri Pavlovich's sister Marie had, like many aristocratic Russians in exile, found a niche for herself in the rising Paris fashion industry by founding a business called Kitmir that specialised in bead and sequin embroidery and did much work for Chanel. (Dmitri himself found work as a Champagne salesman.) This way, Dmitri met Coco Chanel, eleven years his elder just like Natasha had been, with whom he conducted a brief affair in 1921. Through Dmitri and Marie's contacts in the industry, Chanel met perfumers in Grasse, and master perfumer Ernest Beaux, which led to the creation of the famed Chanel No. 5 perfume — involvement in the creation of which is Dmitri's second claim to historic importance.

Dmitri married an American heiress, Audrey Emery, in 1927 morganatically, procuring for her the title of Princess Romanovskaya-Ilyinskaya and the style of Serene Highness from his cousin Cyril for her as the marriage officially was regarded as unequal. The two had a son, Prince Paul Romanovsky-Ilyinsky, who was elected Mayor of Palm Beach, Florida in 1989, and thus the only Romanov descendant known to have held elected public office. Following the fall of communist Russia in 1991, a delegation of Russian royalists approached Paul Ilyinsky and asked him to assume the title of Tsar, a position he declined. [ 4 ] Dmitri and Audrey were divorced in 1937.

Also during the 1930s, Dmitri was embroiled with the somewhat fascist Young Russian (in Russian: Союз Младороссов) movement around Alexander Kazembek, who was later found out to have been a possible Soviet agent provocateur - a thoroughly dishonourable affair. However, Dmitri reputedly rebuked later advances from Hitler to lead exiled Russian nobles within the German army against the Bolsheviks with the firm statement that nothing would induce him to fight against fellow Russians. However, at that time Dmitri was in no condition to fight at all any more.

After his divorce, Dmitri and Elisabetha of ROmania began a romantic relationship in 1937. Elisabetha and Dmitri spent considerable time together during her mother's illness and care at a sanatorium near Dresden. According to the House of Hohenzollern-Sigmarigen (Prince Karl Fredrich Hohenzollern-Sigmarigen), the office of Peter Broadmann- CEO and Finance Director at Sigmarigen, historians identify the marriage, however, documents were not saved. The couple resided at Elisabetha's private residence at Banloc, Timis, on the Hungarian border. Much of this story and the people surrounding it disappeared during World War II. Then history became more secretive for the Romanians as they became dominated by a Soviet state. The child, known as Grand Duchess Ana Romanova, has sought the assistance of historians and investigators to assist her in piecing her life together. Historian and investigator, Harry Binkow, has worked with the Princess for three years gathering authenticated documents, artifacts, and interviews with those parties who hold archives in the family. According to The House of Hohenzollern-Sigmarigen, on the 17 July 2013 at Sigmarigen, the following statement has been released.

". as far as we know there was a marriage between Elisabeth of Romania and Dmitri of Russia, but there is not save information, if they had children together. It also can be that children came into the marriage from the side of Dmitri of Russia which are not direct descendants of the marriage between Elisabeth and Dmitri". - Peter Brodmann, Group Prince of Hohenzollern - Investments.

Through the books authored by Dmitri Pavlovich's sister, Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna, much is learned about her brother. After his divorce decree, Dmitri spent a considerable amount of his time with the Romanian royal family. In particularly, Elisabetha. Photographs of the two together at a reunion at Ahlbeck, Germany in 1937 confirm their association and close proximity to Queen Marie while receiving treatment. A daughter was born by cesarean section, 27 October 1937, performed by an American physician who was a recent graduate of Stanford University (OB/GYN)who was in Europe as a consultant to Queen Marie of Romania's physicians at the sanatorium near Dresden, Emil von Dessonneck. Hidden from her uncle Carol II, this baby became the ward of Princess Ileana. She was placed in a foster home at the time of the Anschluss with Austria in 1938, and was often shuttled between Germany and Austria. American author of plays, screenplays, and memoirs, Lillian Florence "Lilly" Hellman (June 20, 1905 – June 30, 1984) wrote several plays on her experiences and relationships with the Romanian Princesses that worked with the underground in Europe to defeat Fascism. Her story "Julia", in the book "Pentimento: A Book of Portraits" (1973), identifies the disappearance of the baby. This story later became a film, "Julia" (1977) which starred Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Jason Robards, and Meryl Streep. Vanessa Redgrave won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role as the title-named character, Julia, and Jason Robards won his second consecutive Best Actor in a Supporting Role award. The film was Meryl Streep's first cinema debut. Another play, "Watch on the Rhine" (1941), identifies political and sinister corruption of the Nazi regime in Europe. Hellman's depositions reveal only loyalty to families and individuals during the Cold War who still lived within the iron curtain of soviet states. Hellman refused to give their names. Eventually, Princess Ileana immigrated to The United States. The baby, Ana Dmitriievna, arrived in Massachusetts from Germany in 1968. The two were reunited in 1988 by telephone as Ileana, now Mother Alexandra was then Abbess at her Monastery of the Transfiguration, Ellwood City, Pennsylvania. They met privately there in June 6, 1990, in the presence of an Orthodox priest and Ana Dmitriievna Romanova's thirteen year old son. Mother Alexandra shared with her this most difficult story, her apologies and grief for what had been a most unwarranted childhood, as well as the fear of her elimination due to greedy relatives. Ana Romanova is the only full biological first cousin of King Michael I of Romania. Like King Michael I, Ana Romanova is a third cousin of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Death

Despite his athletic interests, Dmitri Pavlovich's health had always been somewhat frail, and in the 1930s his chronic tuberculosis became acute and necessitated extended stays at a sanatorium in Davos, Switzerland, where he died in 1941 from acute uremia following complications after having been pronounced cured. Rumours circulated that either the Bolsheviks finally got him (or that Hitler had taken his firm "no" badly), but soon lost relevance in the general clamour and mayhem of World War II.

After the war, Dmitri was reburied in the palace chapel on the island of Mainau in Lake Constance in southern Germany as a favour to his sister Marie, as her son Count Lennart Bernadotte owned the property there.

Descendant

Paul R. Ilyinsky (1928–2004) was his only son, by his morganatic wife Audrey Emery. Ana D. Romanova (1937-present) is his daughter, by his royal dynastic second wife Elisabetha of Romania.


Watch the video: Satisfying colourisation of a Rasputin Assassin. Dmitri Pavlovich (January 2022).