Author Topic: Death of Michael Feodorovich Romanoff de Russie (1924 - 2008)  (Read 11703 times)

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Offline LisaDavidson

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Death of Michael Feodorovich Romanoff de Russie (1924 - 2008)
« on: September 26, 2008, 03:20:36 PM »
Dan Willis is reporting the death of Prince Michael Feodorovich, who was known by the surname "Romanoff de Russie" in France where he lived his entire life, one day after the death of his cousin, also named Michael. (likely both were named in honor of Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich?)

Michael F was the son of HH Prince Feodor Alexandrovich, who was the son of Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich and Grand Duchess Xenia - and thus a great-grandson of Emperor Alexander III and Princess Irene Paley, who was thus a granddaughter of Emperor Alexander II, making her son also a great grandson of Emperor Alexander II.

Michael F's son, also a Michael, I believe, lost his only son in an accident, and afterwards adopted his only child, a daughter.

Steven L of this board reported that his post announcing this death was somehow deleted and I am checking into this. (Note later - I checked with Bob - we know of no reason why the earlier post is gone.)
« Last Edit: September 27, 2008, 01:31:10 PM by LisaDavidson »

Offline V_Corona

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Re: Death of Michael Feodorovich Romanoff de Russie (1923 - 2008)
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2008, 12:23:03 AM »
OMG, terrible sad new. May he rest in peace. I think he was know as "Tsesarevich of Biarritz".

Offline StevenL

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Re: Death of Michael Feodorovich Romanoff de Russie (1923 - 2008)
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2008, 11:27:08 AM »
Amazing coincidence:

Due to the different time zones, it turns out that the cousin/namesakes have the very same date of death, as Netty just announced at the Royals Portal (citing the date given in Le Figaro).

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Death of Michael Feodorovich Romanoff de Russie (1924 - 2008)
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2008, 04:23:07 PM »
My apologies to the Forum and Prince Michael's family for having his birth year incorrect.

Michael Feodorovich was born and died in Paris. Date of birth per Theroff is May 4, 1924.

All of us at the Alexander Palace Time Machine extend our most sincere sympathies to his widow, daughter, sister, and their families foir their loss.

Offline Ilias_of_John

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Re: Death of Michael Feodorovich Romanoff de Russie (1924 - 2008)
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2008, 12:15:15 AM »
Amazing to think that two cousins, both of Romanov Royal blood die literally within hours of each other.
I wonder if Prince Michael F. heard of the passing of Prince Michael A. before he passed?
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Offline Nick_Nicholson

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Re: Death of Michael Feodorovich Romanoff de Russie (1924 - 2008)
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2008, 01:26:06 PM »
Best obit yet from the London Times

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article4922121.ece

Michael Andreevich Romanoff: member of the Russian imperial family
Prince Michael Andreevich: his Australian workmates called him Mike

Prince Michael Andreevich: his Australian workmates called him Mike

Michael Andreevich Romanoff, a grand-nephew of the last Tsar, was, in age, the most senior member of the Romanoff family at his death.

He was born two years almost to the day after the massacre at Yekaterinburg, and his funeral coincided with a ruling from the Russian Supreme Court that the killing of Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra and their five children was a political act and that the family should be considered victims of Bolshevism. Yet, despite his links, of all the Romanoffs, his life in Sydney, where he lived for more than six decades, was probably most removed from his imperial heritage.

The family were already in exile when he was born, on the feast of St Vladimir the Great, in Versailles where his parents had fled with his paternal grandfather. He was the second child and elder son of Prince Andrei Romanoff. Prince Andrei was the eldest of the six sons of Romanoff cousins, Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich, a grandson of Nicholas I, and Grand Duchess Xenia, a sister of Tsar Nicholas II.

Andrei’s only sister, Irina, was married to Prince Felix Yussupov, one of those thought responsible for the murder of Rasputin. Michael’s mother, Donna Elisabetta, was the daughter of an Italian father, Don Fabrizio Ruffo di Sant’ Antimo, Duca di Sasso, and a Russian mother, Princess Mestcherskya. Since Michael’s mother was not royal, under the old Imperial Law, the marriage was “unequal” and therefore morganatic, but the family still accorded him the title of prince.

Soon after his birth he joined his grandmother, Grand Duchess Xenia, and other members of the family at Windsor. The previous year Xenia, her mother, the Empress Marie Feodorovna, and other members of the family, had been rescued from the Crimea when the Empress’s nephew George V sent HMS Marlborough to bring them to Malta then on to England where he offered them sanctuary.

In 1925 Xenia (his favourite cousin) and her large family moved into Frogmore Cottage in Windsor Great Park. The family proved so extensive that in 1934 the King had an extra wing built on the cottage to house them. Michael, his brother Andrew and sister, also Xenia, knew the King as Uncle George.

Young Michael was educated at the Imperial Services College, Windsor, and in 1938, the year he became a British subject, he attended the College of Aeronautical Engineering, London. In 1937 the family had moved with their grandmother to Wilderness House in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. It was here that his mother, who was suffering from cancer, died on October 29, 1940, the same day that the house was bombed. For most of the war the family were based at Craigowan Lodge on the Balmoral estate.

The Prince joined the Royal Navy and, as Lieutenant Romanoff, he found himself in Australia with the Fleet Air Arm as Japan surrendered. There was some delay in his repatriation and by the time it was announced he had decided to stay in Australia. Although his grandmother was to live at Hampton Court until her death in 1960, the intimate links with the British Royal Family died with George V. His father had remarried and gone to live in Kent while most of his family had left Britain.

Prince Michael developed a life-long passion for the sunshine and Sydney’s beaches. He found employment easily and in a number of fields. He was a Qantas mechanic for sea planes in Rose Bay, Sydney. He worked with wood, metal, jewellery and fabric and eventually established his own business as a painter-decorator. He kept his royal identity to himself. His Australian workmates called him “Mike”.

As early as the 1920s the family had been beset by pretenders. He recalled his grandmother, Grand Duchess Xenia, denouncing Anna Anderson’s claim to be her niece Anastasia. The family “looked upon Anderson and the three-ringed circus which danced around her, creating books and movies, as a vulgar insult to the memory of the Imperial Family”, he said. He felt vindicated when DNA tests indicated Anderson to be Franziska Schanzkowska, a Kashubian factory worker. He took a lighter view of less serious claimants. In the 1960s, on his first trip abroad since the war, he happily dined in New York with the celebrated restaurateur and actor Mike Romanoff. This Mike was, in fact, the Lithuanian-born Hershel Geguzin, a former trouser presser from Brooklyn — and splendid company.

In the mid-1980s he retired from full-time work and spent as much time as he could on the beach at Nielsen Park, Sydney. But a few years later he became involved in the Order of St John of Jerusalem. He was to become Royal Protector and Sovereign Grand Prior of the Sovereign Order of the Orthodox Knights Hospitaller of St John of Jerusalem. The ritual and costume of the order might have been a glimmer of grander days but what buoyed him was the merit of the charitable work and that both his father and Uncle Prince Vasili, following a tradition begun by Tsar Paul I, had been protectors of the order before him.

Princes are a rare species in the Antipodes, and his easy charm and noble bearing could have made him a valuable commodity, but he never traded on his legacy. He was taken up by the Monarchist League of Australia and Australians for Constitutional Monarchy. He had no personal imperial ambitions and never sought to be a claimant to the Russian throne but he was vice-president of the Romanoff Family Association, which represents the majority of Romanoff descendants of Tsar Nicholas I.

His only visits to the country that exiled his family were augustly sombre occasions that served to remind him of their demise. In July 1998, 80 years to the day after their assassination, Michael Romanoff joined 60 other members of the family for the burial of the remains of the last Tsar and his family in the Sepulchre of St Peter and St Paul in St Petersburg. He returned there again in September 2006 for the interment of his great-grandmother, Empress Marie.

Interest in the family and its fate grew with the years. He was recently asked whether his uncle Felix Yussupov ever spoke about his involvement in the murder of Rasputin.

“My boy, that’s all he ever talked about,” he replied. Ailing and only a few months before his death, he was present at St James Church, Sydney for a concert. When the choir of Danilov Monastery visiting from Moscow recognised him in the front pew they burst out with a rendition of God Save the Tsar, the old imperial anthem.

Michael Romanoff married firstly Jill Murphy in 1953 (dissolved the same year); secondly Shirley Cramond in 1954, who died in 1983; and in 1993 Giulia Crespi. She survives him with her son (his stepson, Daniel). Michael Romanoff had no children. By a remarkable coincidence, his first cousin and near-namesake, Prince Michael Feodorovich Romanoff, died in France on the same day as him.

Prince Michael Andreevich Romanoff was born on July 15, 1920. He died on September 22, 2008, aged 88
Nick Nicholson
New York City

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Death of Michael Feodorovich Romanoff de Russie (1924 - 2008)
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2008, 10:53:19 PM »
So that no one is confused, this obituary (thank you for posting, Nick) is not for Michael Feodorovich, but of his cousin who died the same day, Michael Alexandrovich.

Offline susana

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Re: Death of Michael Feodorovich Romanoff de Russie (1924 - 2008)
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2008, 12:09:30 PM »
Too sad again; I'm a little confused about whose son died and who adopted whom though. Feodor was I thought the handsomest and most robust of Xenia's boys and Charlotte Zeepvat's book has a charming photo of Michael Feodorovitch as a toddler. Is it correct that the Feodorovitch line has now died out? Who can enlighten me?
I'm redefining myself at present--any suggestions?

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Death of Michael Feodorovich Romanoff de Russie (1924 - 2008)
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2008, 12:54:17 PM »
Too sad again; I'm a little confused about whose son died and who adopted whom though. Feodor was I thought the handsomest and most robust of Xenia's boys and Charlotte Zeepvat's book has a charming photo of Michael Feodorovitch as a toddler. Is it correct that the Feodorovitch line has now died out? Who can enlighten me?

Prince Feodor Alexandrovich (1898 - 1968) had one son, the recently deceased Prince Michael Feodorovich. He in turn had one son, also named Michael. His son died (I think in 2000?) and left a daughter, Tatiana. Michael F married Tatiana's mother, Mercedes, thus making his biological granddaughter his legal daughter. Her line of descent is:

Nicholas I - GD Michael N. - GD Alexander Mikhailovich - Prince Feodor Alexandrovich - Prince Michael F - Prince Michael M - Princess Tatiana Michaelovich

In addition, Feodor was the legal father of Michael F's sister Irene, who also has descendants.

So, this line is extinct in the male line (the line of Feodor A), but still there are collateral and female line descendants as noted.

Offline susana

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Re: Death of Michael Feodorovich Romanoff de Russie (1924 - 2008)
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2008, 09:51:47 PM »
Thank you, Lisa; its a little complicated, and frankly pushes the limits of the social taboo but not in a genetic manner.
Some things never change...
I'm redefining myself at present--any suggestions?

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Death of Michel Feodorovich Romanoff de Russie (1924 - 2008)
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2008, 06:09:18 PM »
Thank you, Lisa; its a little complicated, and frankly pushes the limits of the social taboo but not in a genetic manner.
Some things never change...

I am not familiar with the circumstances, but here's what I do know. For whatever reasons, Prince Michael Michaelovich (the son of Michael F and grandson of Feodor Alexandrovich, and therefore great grandson of Grand Duchess Xenia and Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich) (1959 - 2001) had a daughter, Tatiana Michaelovna, in 1986, whose mother was Maria de las Mercedes Ustell Cabani. Michael M and Maria DLMUC apparently never married.

Prince Michael's marriage to Michael M's mother ended in 1992, and he married Maria, the mother of his grand-daughter, in 1994, and adopted Tatiana as his daughter in 1995. Michael M "died tragically" in 2001. Both Maria and Tatiana survive Michael F. I have been told by members of the family that Michael made this second marriage to take care of the woman who would have been his daughter in law and her daughter, who he legitimized through the marriage to the mother and that there was "no funny business". I have no reason to doubt this, as the family has always been very forthright about information with me in the past.

I finally found an obit for this Prince and will post the link.