Thursday, May 7, 2009

Financial difficulties today for Grand Duke Michael

May 7, 1917

Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia has been "hard hit" by the Russian revolution, according to Chicago Daily Tribune columnist, the Marquise de Fontenoy. The Grand Duke and his morganatic wife, Countess Sophie de Merenberg, and their three children have considered England their home, although they spend a part of each year in Cannes. 

 In 1909, the Grand Duke, who was at one time, one of the wealthiest of the Grand Dukes, took out a 99-year lease on Kenwood House from Lord Mansfield. He undertook "a series of extensive and costly alterations" as he turned Kenwood House into his principal residence. Michael and his entire family became "deeply attached to the house," but "financial stress" has "compelled him to now offer it for rent, fully furnished."

Most of Michael's property is in Russia, and since the change of government, he is no longer receiving his appanage or income from his estates. He and his wife, "a woman of extravagant taste, are now suffering embarrassment."

The  Romanovs who reside in England are no longer feeling welcome, and are "looked upon now as a source of embarrassment and as calculated to alienate the new Russian government."

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