Monday, May 24, 2010

Death of a Grand Duchess

Grand Duchess Leonida Georgievna of Russia died yesterday at La Paz Hospital, Tres Cantos, outside Madrid. Hospital. She was 95 years old. The Grand Duchess was the widow of Grand Duke Wladimir, the head of the Russian Imperial family, and the de jure emperor, who died in 1992.
Leonida was born in Tiblisi, Georgia, the daughter of Prince George Bagration and Elena Zlotnicka.
She was the last member of the dynasty to have been born in what was the Russian empire.
The family left Soviet George in the 1920s and settled in France. In 1934, Leonida married a wealthy American, Sumner Moore Kirby. They had one daughter, Helene, before divorcing in 1937. Moore died in a concentration camp during the second world war. His daughter, Helene, was his main heir. In 1948, after she moved to Spain, Leonida married for a second time. Her new husband was Grand Duke Wladimir of Russia, pretender to the Russian throne. Their only daughter, Grand Duchess Maria, was born in 1953. She is now the head of the Imperial House of Russia.
The Grand Duchess was in poor health for several years. On Sunday, her condition deteriorated rapidly, and she was rushed to the hospital, where she died shortly before midnight.
She will be buried next to her husband in the Fortress of St. Peter and St. Paul.
Grand Duchess Leonida is survived by her daughters, Helene Kirby and Grand Duchess Maria Wladimirovna, and one grandchild, Grand Duke George of Russia.

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