Monday, July 22, 2019

Grand Duke Michael leaves estate at $371,515

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July 22, 1919

Grand Duke Michael of Russia, a grandson of Nicholas I , who died in London on April 26 at the age of  67, died intestate, reports the New York Times.

The Grand Duke, a widower, left $371,515 in property.

In 1891, he married Countess Sophie von Merenberg, the daughter of Prince Nikolaus of Nassau and Natalia Alexandrovna Puhskina,  the daughter of the Russian poet, Alexander Pushkin.  Prince Nikolaus' marriage was unequal, which meant that his wife and children could not bear his titles.  Michael's marriage to Sophie,  was also morganatic.  This marriage led to Michael being stripped of military rank and sent into exile to live with Sophie, who was created Countess Torby by her uncle, Grand Duke Adolph of Luxembourg.

The Countess Torby died in September 1927.

The Grand Duke and his family lived in England for many years.  He was "famous for entertaining on a grand scale at his York Terrace and Kenwood homes in London."

The Russian Revolution in 1917 led to the loss of the Grand Duke's Russian properties and his appanage.  He had to give up the lease on Kenwood House and move into smaller accommodations.  The Grand Duke, a second cousin of the late Nicholas II, and the Countess Torby, remained close friends of King George V and Queen Mary.

The couple were the parents of three children:  Countess Anastasia, now known as Lady Zia Wernher, married Major Harold Wernher in 1917, Countess Nada is the wife of 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven (ne Prince George of Battenberg) and Count Michael, who is unmarried.

A highly recommended book about Grand Duke Michael and his family and the Wernhers.


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