March 18, 1928
A million franc mortgage has been placed on Villa Alam, the home of Grand Duke Andrei of Russia, and this has led to the discovery that Andre's personal fortune "has been lost," reports the AP. Three years ago, the villa was said to be worth 16,000,000 francs.
Most of the loss can be blamed on Andre's wife, Princess Krassinskaya, who spent far too much time at the gambling tables of Monte Carlo where she "had anything but good luck."
Grand Duke Andre received 20,000,000 francs "as his share of the money realized by the sale of family jewels brought out of Russia during the revolution." Andre was able to renovate an old family home and he "commenced to entertain in true court style." Now his servants are "leaving one by one," and only "seven faithful retainers" remain of the original "ninety that formerly tried to keep up in France the memories of royalty before the Russian revolution."
Princess Krassinskaya is described as the "world's unluckiest gambler."
In 1890, the former Mathilde Kschessinska, a prima ballerina, and former mistress of Nicholas II (He gave her up when he married Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine.)
Mathilde acquired great wealth through her Romanov connections, and it was on her balcony, in February 1917 where Lenin addressed the crowds following his return from Finland.
Mathilde fled to France, where she married Grand Duke Andre is 1921. In 1902, she gave birth to a son, Vladimir, who has the title Prince Romanovsky-Krasinsky. He is known as Vova. His father is said to be Grand Duke Serge Milhailovich, but Mathilde was living with both Serge and Andre, so it is possible that Andre may have fathered her son.
Grand Duke Andre is now 49 years old, and Princess Krassinskaya is 62.