Monday, December 6, 2010

Grand Duke Michael of Russia: the wrong girl

December 6, 1908

Grand Duke Michael of Russia, younger brother of Nicholas II, and second in line to the throne, has "become infatuated" with a young woman,m the daughter of a wealthy landowner in Odessa, according to the Marquise de Fontenoy, whose latest dispatch is based on gossip from the imperial court at St. Petersburg. 
Michael's apparent dalliance is "interfering with the plans" being made by his family for a marriage with Princess Patricia of Connaught, younger daughter of the Duke of Connaught, and sister of Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden.
The young girl, who has not been named met and fell in love with Michael "before she became aware of his rank.  She discovered his true identity some months later.
Nicholas II and his mother, the Dowager Empress Marie, were unaware for some months about Michael's dalliance.  Eventually, they learned of the "purpose of his frequent and mysterious trips to the south of Russia."   Nicholas, who would certainly not support a marriage between Michael and the young woman, despite her wealthy, ordered the governor general of Odessa to suggest to the girl's father that they travel abroad for some time. 
This action has caused a strain between the two imperial brothers.  Michael has also gone abroad and is threatening to stay abroad until the young woman and her father are allowed to return to their home in Odessa.
Grand Duke Michael is completely freedom arrogance. He has a a kindness and a good humor, and is one of the more popular members of the Russian imperial family.  His love affair has received a good deal of sympathy, but there is little chance that Michael will be allowed to marry a wealthy Russian commoner.

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