Friday, December 18, 2009

Grand Duke Michael died today

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December 18, 1909

Grand Duke Michael Nicolaievitch died today at his home in Cannes. The Grand Duke, who was a grand uncle of Nicholas II, was 76 years old. He was the "oldest representative" of the Imperial family, according to the New York Times' obituary. He was born in 1852, the fourth son of Nicholas I. He had a distinguished military career, which, "like those other Grand Dukes under the old system, commenced at an early age." Grand Duke Michael entered active service when he was 14.

He fought in the Crimean war, and in the Turkish war of 1877 and 1878, Grand Duke Michael "commanded the Russian army against the Turks in the Caucasian theatre of war."

In 1881 Grand Duke Michael "became President of the Council of State. He played an active role "in its deliberations" until the Council of State was reorganized in the establishment of the Duma. He was named as honorary president of the Duma.

In his later years, Grand Duke Michael lived "almost constantly at his villa in Cannes."

In 1857, Grand Duke Michael married Princess Cecile of Baden. She took the name Olga Feodorovna when she converted to Orthodoxy. Grand Duchess Olga died in 1891.

Grand Duke Michael and Grand Duchess Olga had seven children: Grand Duke Nicholas, who was killed by the Bolsheviks in 1919; Grand Duchess Anastasia, the widow of Grand Duke Friedrich Franz III of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Grand Duke Michael who lives in London with his morganatic wife, Countess Sophie Merenberg, Grand Duke George, who married Princess Marie of Greece, who was killed with his brother, Nicholas, and two cousins, Dimitri and Paul, in 1919, Grand Duke Alexander, the husband of Nicholas II's sister, Xenia, Grand Duke Sergei was killed with Grand Duchess Elisabeth and other members of the Imperial family in July 1918; and Grand Duke Alexis who died in 1895.

The Grand Duke is survived by his grandchildren who include the Crown Princess of Denmark and the Crown Princess of Prussia, the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and numerous great-grandchildren.


Anonymous said...

Marlene, this article mentions Grand Duke Alexander being married to the Czar's sister, Xenia. In A Lifelong Passion (Malunas & Mironenko's book) there is mention of both of them having extra-marital affairs. Do you know who GD Xenia's paramour was?
I find the Romanov extended family fascinating, plus the identity of Anna Anderson! Despite the DNA findings I believe she was GD Anastasia. (I suppose you'll think - "another crackpot!".

Rex from Australia.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Xenia's diaries never mention the name, just calling him F. This is also discussed in the biography of Xenia.