Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Russian heir in grave condition

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November 14, 1902

Grand Duke Michael, the heir presumptive to the Russian throne, is said to be in "a very weak condition, according to the New York Times, which bases its report on a dispatch from St. Petersburg to Paris.

The Grand Duke has had to give up a "course of physical exercises," which he had been "pursuing under the guidance" of L.J. Phelan, an American athlete.

His Russian doctors have pronounced his condition to be "hopeless unless the climate of the Crimea works a miracle." 

Grand Duke Michael was born in 1878.  He is the youngest child of Alexander III and the only surviving brother of Nicholas II.  In the event of Michael's death, the heir to the throne would be Grand Duke Vladimir, the Czar's eldest uncle.

Nicholas II and his wife, Alexandra, are the parents of four daughters.  Grand Duke Vladimir has three sons and one daughter.


emeraldcity said...

Why would the possible heir to the throne in 1902 be GD Michael or GD Vladimir and not one of the Tsar's Daughters? Other women had previously inherited the throne.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

The Pauline laws, named for Paul I, established a succession law, which was semi-Saluc. All the male romanovs, take precedence before the women, so Nicholas's daughters came after the last eligible male.

emeraldcity said...

Interesting, so GD Vladimir used the Pauline law to inherit then promptly changed it so his daughter could claim the title. I wondered why there was an on going family feud. Who would be the modern day male in line for the title if it was still strict Pauline law?

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Not at all. Wladimir was the last eligible male to succeed. All of the other eligible males were dead. The Pauline laws also marriage, whose eligible, etc. Very precise. Prince Vassily was ahead of Maria, and it was with his death, that Maria became the sole heir to the throne.