Friday, January 9, 2009

Grand Duke Boris and wife en route to New York City

January 9, 1925

Grand Duke Boris of Russia and his wife are to sail to the US on Saturday. Many assume that the couple are coming to America "to reinforce Grand Duchess Cyril in obtaining the support of American society for Grand Duke Cyril," who is the pretender to the Russian throne.
Boris is Grand Duke Cyril's younger brother, and according to "some Paris dispatches, have not been on the best of terms." The Grand Duke's wife will be bringing with her 300 of the last Parisian gowns, and she would like to establish a Russian dressmaking shop in Paris.
At one time, Boris was "once described as Russia's favorite spender," but the Russian revolution brought about changes to Boris' life, as an exile in Paris. He was reported to be "short of funds," but his financial situation changed last year, after the death of his mother, Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna.
Shortly before her death, it was discovered that jewels, which were worth about $10,000,000 francs and thought to have been confiscated by the Bolsheviks, were actually smuggled out of Russia. Some of the jewels had been sold, and the money was deposited in the Grand Duchess' account in a Berlin bank. The surviving gems passed to Boris, who is said to have sold "several of the largest pieces."
It is not known how accurate this story is, but there has been a "marked rehabilitation" in Boris' finances. He recently purchased a "handsome chateau overlooking the Seine and began entertaining on a scale that recalled his magnificence in earlier days."

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