Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Grand Duchess Marie arrives in New York

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December 16, 1928 

 Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna of Russia arrived today in New York on the French liner Paris. She is the daughter of the late Grand Duke Paul who was killed by the Bolsheviks on January 30, 1919. 

The Grand Duchess, who wore a "black Persian lamb coat and black hat with costume, stockings, and shoes to correspond, said she was in mourning for her aunt, Empress Marie, who died in October. The 38-year-old Grand Duchess is a "tall, rather slim brunette with an unaffected manner." 

In an interview with reporters, she said she learned English before Russian because her governesses and tutors were all English. She was asked about the young woman who claims to be Grand Duchess Anastasia. "Do you think that it is worth discussing now?" she replied. "It is not interesting, and the story is old." The Grand Duchess was asked if she believed the woman's claim. "Of course, I do not believe it." 

Grand Duchess Marie told reporters that she has come to America "to gratify a long-felt desire, and I am totally looking forward to my journey across this great country to California, where I am to be the guest of Mrs. William R. Hearst at her ranch near Santa Barbara." She said she expects to spend two months in America. 

"One of my chief objects is to study education and visit some of the large industrial plants. No one's education is complete without a visit to America, and I think Russians and Americans understand each other." Marie Pavlovna noted that there are 2 million Russian exiles living throughout the world, "and I want to see what chances there are of their coming to America to make a home in a new country." 

The Grand Duchess has been married twice. Her first husband was Prince Wilhelm of Sweden, whom she married in 1908. The marriage was annulled by imperial decree in 1914. Three years later, she married Prince Serge Poutiatine. When she was asked if the Prince lived in Paris, where Marie has resided for more than seven years, she replied tersely: "I am not married now." She also told reporters about her embroidery factory that she has run in the Rue Montaigne in Paris, "which was successfully operated by herself along commercial lines." 

The Grand Duchess has one son, Prince Lennart of Sweden, who turns 21-years-old, next May.

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