Author Topic: Margarita Sergeevna Khitrovo, "Rita" (1895-1952)  (Read 56857 times)

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Janet Whitcomb

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Margarita Sergeevna Khitrovo, "Rita" (1895-1952)
« on: April 17, 2004, 06:13:33 PM »
Thomas, I've been interested in Rita Khitrovo as well, so I'm glad you brought her to our attention. I don't have my information with me right now, but -- from memory --Margarita Khitrovo (my spelling may be a tad off) was a lady-in-waiting -- perhaps more in the honorary rather than day-to-day sense -- who, being approximately the same age as Grand Duchess Olga N., became good friends with her.  This is noteworthy, because we've all read that the Grand Duchesses generally were kept -- purposely? -- from developing friendships with other young women. Somehow, an exception to the rule seems to have been made with regards to Rita.  When the family was sent into Siberian exile, Rita did "go the distance" to see them, but was arrested soon after her arrival.  What happened next I do not know, but I remember reading that she died in America in the 1950s; I will need to get back to my source material for more exact information.

I have seen a photo of Olga N. and a friend sitting on the beach at Peterhof, smiling and relaxed; I wonder if the young woman sitting with her is Rita?  

Offline Lanie

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Re: Margarita Sergeevna Khitrovo, "Rita" (1895-1952)
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2004, 01:36:55 AM »
From what I understand that lady is indeed Rita. When I went to the Hoover Archives there were letters from the girls in Tobolsk to Rita; alas I can't read Russian and there were no English translations as promised (but one wasn't allowed to copy them, which made me a little annoyed).  The database said that they were to "Margarita Khitrovo, nee Erdeli" so I suppose Rita was married?  Anyone else know?

elisa_1872

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Re: Margarita Sergeevna Khitrovo, "Rita" (1895-1952)
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2004, 10:27:31 AM »
I'm interested in Rita K too, & wanted to know more about her.  :)
I managed to find a source in one of my books that reads: -

"Margarita Sergeevna Khitrovo (Rita) 1895-1952. She was a graduate of the Smolny Institute. She was a former lady-in-waiting to the Empress Alexandra, and companion of Nicholas and Alexandra's daughter Olga. During the war, she was a nurse at Tsarskoe Selo Infirmary. Arrested after she travelled to Tobolsk on her own initiative and tried to contact the imperial family. She was accused of plotting a monarchist coup but released for lack of evidence. She emigrated, eventually settling in the United States."
In this same book is an article on her arrest, when she was on the way to Petrograd. There was also an interrogation on a Liubov Vladimirovna Khitrovo, who it appears was her mother.


Best wishes!
Elisa :)

elisa_1872

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Re: Margarita Sergeevna Khitrovo, "Rita" (1895-1952)
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2004, 10:38:44 AM »
I found a few more quotes from Wilton's book "The Last Days of the Romanovs":-

"The Grand Duchess Olga was very friendly with a young lady named Margaret Khitrovo, who often came to me [Colonel Kobylinsky] and asked me to deliver letters to Olga Nikolaevna. She always used to sign her letters Margaret Hitrovo... Miss Khitrovo visited Tobolsk. She was quite a young girl and she adored the Grand Duchess Olga. Her arrival created a whole story that was taken up and exaggerated by all the newspapers. She was searched, but nothing compromising was discovered on her..."

Great that the lady on the beach could indeed be "Rita" !
Lanie, what a shame you were allowed to copy those marvellous letters!!! :( They must have never been published.. such a terrible pity..

Elisa

Janet Whitcomb

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Re: Margarita Sergeevna Khitrovo, "Rita" (1895-1952)
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2004, 05:58:38 PM »
Thank you; your sources sound like the ones I have!

The next step: Someone to translate those letters!  If copies can be obtained, I know several people who could do so, although I'm sure many of us know folks who could translate them.

Offline TennPat

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Re: Margarita Sergeevna Khitrovo, "Rita" (1895-1952)
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2004, 10:16:28 PM »
I found this picture on the Livadia.org website. Is this one of the pictures you are talking about?

http://www.livadia.org/olishka/images/olgarita.jpg

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Margarita Sergeevna Khitrovo, "Rita" (1895-1952)
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2004, 09:28:32 AM »
This has all been VERY interesting - I liked the bio and the photo - can anybody tell us more?

Bob

Offline Louise

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Re: Margarita Sergeevna Khitrovo, "Rita" (1895-1952)
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2004, 03:03:55 PM »
I adore that picture. I look at that and see two young women, with beautiful smiles enjoying life and each others friendship. It makes Olga seem so young and relaxed. It's one of the few pictures that shows someone in the IF totally relaxed and so natural.

Louise
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Janet Whitcomb

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Re: Margarita Sergeevna Khitrovo, "Rita" (1895-1952)
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2004, 04:39:57 PM »
I agree!  The photo has an almost contemporary look to it.  And it's so good to see Olga having fun with a friend, especially since we've all read what isolated lives OTMA tended to live.

Since Rita died in 1952 in the United States, I wonder how difficult it would be to find out more about her? The "nee Erdeli" aspect throws me, though, because if Rita's mother was a Khitrovo, then perhaps Erdeli was Rita's married name and the names were simply juxtaposed?

Offline TennPat

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Re: Margarita Sergeevna Khitrovo, "Rita" (1895-1952)
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2004, 07:08:44 PM »
No. 147
Tsarskoie Selo, Nov. 3-rd 1915

My very own beloved One,

Many happy returns of our big Olga's 20-th birthday. We are having a Te Deum at 121/2 in my big room with the ladies - as it is less tiring for her & me. Such a foggy morning, Tatiana has gone off to the hospital, Rita Khitrovo was yesterday with Olga & touched me by saying, that the wounded are very sad I am not there to do their dressings, as the Dr. hurts them. I always take the worst. So stupid not to be able to work again, but I must keep quiet - one day the heart is more enlarged, the next less & I don't feel nice, so have not even smoked for days; receptions & reports are quite enough. - Saw poor Martinov on crutches, the leg is 4 inches (!) shorter - its now soon a year & by May one hopes he may be able to serve again. Its a marvel that he is alive - how wonderfully he every time escaped, 2 horses killed under him being already wounded & crushed & both bones shot through, broken. -- I spoke with Count Nirod about Easterpresents for the army - we .did not use up the 3 million roubles you had given fr. the appanage & wh. to be replaced by the cabinet. A little over 1 in. remains & with that we to get & order things for Easter. Only each man will get much less, as everything is far more expensive & in such quantities as we need, not even to be had.

Then Mr. Malcolm came again with a proposition of a society of the suffragists, who have been working splendidly in France, to look after our refugees, especially the women who are expecting Babys - one can set them to work here under Tatiana's committee - Buchanan must still speak to Sazonov about it. I told Malcolm to see Olga, he is off to Kiev to-night & then Odessa - it would have interested you to have seen him, such a nice man & ready to help everywhere. He wrote home to Engl. begging one to collect for our prisoners - most kind, general Williams knows him. They have asked me to be the patroness of the hospital in Ella's house, it will be called after Aunt Alix I think. - Then I saw my rifles I enclose their names - 4 splendid men, one ran away before & was cought again - So have already returned through Belgium & Holland - there they left one now at the Consuls to act as interprator - they were kindly cared for, fed & clothed, they went at night by the compass. They were made prisoners nov. 11 of last year - Vikrestov's brother is there too, but under another name & as a soldier, so as easier to run away. The one man, the flag-bearer says, that the bits of the flag wh. were not burned by the old Sergeant, different men kept - & the top too. - Then I saw Olga's commander too. And Alia came with her 2 children for 3/4 of an hour, wh. made me very tired. When you see N. P. alone, tell him to be careful about Dzhunkovsky's book, on account of Drenteln(?), who may make a nasty story of it - only that should never guess it came through Ania. - The tail & Beletzky dine at Ania's - a pitty I find, as tho' she wanted to play a political part. O she is so proud & sure of herself, not prudent enough, but they begged her to receive them- probably something to give over again & they don't know how to do it otherwise & our Friend always wishes her to live only for us & such things.

Sweetest Treasure I must end now. God bless & protect you & give you wisdom & help. What news about Roumania & Greece? I wish our "fliers" could do something in Bulgaria on the railway lines where so much is being in time & succeed. It would be a great thing.

Endless kisses of deepest devotion & great yearning.


Question re message board protocol: Is it better to post a link or text-- Or does it just depend on practicality (size of document)?  Thanks, Pat

Offline TennPat

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Re: Margarita Sergeevna Khitrovo, "Rita" (1895-1952)
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2004, 07:23:49 PM »
To give credit to the previous post re Rita K - the letters are from the Alexander Palace website -- Letters of the Tsaritsa.

Offline TennPat

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Re: Margarita Sergeevna Khitrovo, "Rita" (1895-1952)
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2004, 10:26:20 PM »
A letter from Olga N to Rita K (from livadia.org website)

26 December 1917 (to Margarita Khitrovo)
How do you do Ritka dear!

Your letter from the seventh was obtained yesterday in the evening and I thank you greatly for it. I wrote to you on the fourth, and I don't know if you will get it or not. Here it is already the holidays. The fir tree we have is in the hall and gives off a wonderful smell, in no way like at Tsarskoe Selo. This is a special type called a balsamic fir tree. It smells strongly of oranges and along the trunk resin always flows. There are no ornaments, only silver rain and wax candles from the church. After dinner into Christmas Eve, we gave gifts out to all, a larger part of them embroideries. When all was assorted and ready to be given, I was reminded of the charitable markets in Yalta. You do remember such preparations? The night service was at ten in the evening and the candles on the tree burned. It was beautiful and comfortable. The chorus was large and it sang well, only it is too "concerto," and I do not like it. Ritka, do you know that we have not a line and generally nothing from Lili from August, which is sufficiently strange. We know only from your letters that she was in Odessa. Really, did she forget about our existence? I am writing to you in the large hall, on the huge table, where the soldiers are placed. Somewhere further Papa and the others drink coffee, but Mama did not get up yet. The sun seems bright and shines on a paper through my right shoulder. These days there has been snow and our mountain grows. If you could, please transmit regards to all. Katya writes, and Sonya also. Bibi has been silent three months, and Alya still longer! Isa arrived, but is in the house where the retinue lived. We see her only from the window. Now I finish. I wish you much happiness in the coming year, Ritka mine. Everyone sends greetings. Mama kisses and is healthy. God be with you.

Your Olga.

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: Margarita Sergeevna Khitrovo, "Rita" (1895-1952)
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2004, 10:47:35 PM »
Oh, this is wonderful Tenn. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!   :D   :D   :D

Offline Lanie

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Re: Margarita Sergeevna Khitrovo, "Rita" (1895-1952)
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2004, 10:59:37 PM »
That letter was from this Russian webpage I fuond... a friend of mine translated it.  There were a few others, as I believe, but my friend didn't translate those. :(  I should find the site again and bug her.  It was an Orthodox Imperial Martyrs site (in Russian as said :) ).

Offline TennPat

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Re: Margarita Sergeevna Khitrovo, "Rita" (1895-1952)
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2004, 11:11:14 PM »
Lanie, you all at livadia.org are great! I think I know the website you mean. Unfortunately, I can not read Russian :'( I also know someone who could translate.
I particularly like your selection of pictures and artwork.

Best regards, Pat
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