Author Topic: Princess Elena Petrovna, wife of Prince Ioann Konstantinovitch  (Read 81739 times)

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Offline Danjel

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Princess Elena Petrovna, wife of Prince Ioann Konstantinovitch
« on: February 22, 2005, 10:18:34 AM »
with thanks to Marc, a picture of Grand Duchess Helena Petrovna, born princess of Serbia



and of her mother Queen Zorka


Offline Annushka

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Re: Princess Elena Petrovna, wife of Prince Ioann Konstantinovitch
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2005, 11:33:35 AM »
Thank you for posting the picture.  Marie Pavlovna the younger mentioned Princess Helen of Serbia several times in "Education of a Princess."  I had wondered who she was.

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Offline kmerov

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Re: Princess Elena Petrovna, wife of Prince Ioann Konstantinovitch
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2005, 12:24:34 PM »
Helena was Princess of Russia,not Grand Duchess. She married Prince Ioann.
Actually, I think their marriage was the only equal marriage of a Russian Prince.

Offline Marc

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Re: Princess Elena Petrovna, wife of Prince Ioann Konstantinovitch
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2005, 12:48:12 PM »
Thanks,Danjel for posting these pictures for me!

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Princess Elena Petrovna, wife of Prince Ioann Konstantinovitch
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2005, 11:45:12 AM »
--it was a love match between her and Ioann and he was teased by some family for his love affair with Helen

--she was the sister of Alexander I of Yugoslavia (then just Crown Prince of Serbia)

--she actually accompanied her husband (voluntarily) to his exile in Alapayevsk (sp) and spent a rather good amount of time with him and the other prisoners (Ella, Serge M, etc)

--she and Ioann had 2 children (a son and daughter)

--once while in exile someone smuggled an old illustrated magazine with their engagement photos to Helen

--they also received news that the palaces had been taken over and the occupants turned out; worried about their children Ioann decided that Helen should try to retun

--since she had a 'safe conduct' pass signed by Trotsky it was decided that she should go find the children and return as a family; despite the pass the local Commissar only allowed her to go to Ekaterinburg to appeal to the head of the Soviet there

--she was reluctant still to leave her husband and when she went to leave she was so upset the guards allowed the prisoners to come out to wave goodbye; the sight of all of them lined up struck her with an overwhelming fear and shouted for the driver to stop but the family turned and went in after giving her encouraging signals; Helen thus went on

--she was thus on her own to travel and faced several dangers and intimidating situations

--when she arrived at Ekaterinburg she headed to the Atamanoffs' hotel (they were apparently familiar to Helen) and showed them smuggled letters she had for the Imperial family from the others but the Atamanoffs were terrified Helen would be shot if they were discovered and thus Helen burned them

--the head of the Soviet in Ekaterinburg (Beloborodov) wouldn't let her go to Petrograd but he wouldn't let her return to A. either; he was unmoved by her motherly pleas and told her a good mother wouldn't have left them to begin with; she also asked permission to see the Imperial family but this was also denied

--Helen nonetheless wheedled information out of the Atamanoffs as to where the Ipatiev house was and headed there until she was stopped by a sentry; she asked to see his commander knowing that the officer guarding the family at Tsarskoe Selo had been fair; Helen identified herself as the wife of an interned Romanov but also as the daughter of the King of Serbia; the commander was taken aback but refused entry but agreed to pass a message to the Tsar

--the Atamanoffs had a fright when that night a soldier came and asked for Helen but he had only come to pass the message that N&A thanked her for their message and assure her of their well-being; that seemed the end but a dawn 2 soldiers burst into her room and she was taken to the Cheka HQ to face a tribunal

--probably because by now her situation was known and the Serbs were making noises Helen was given her pass to Petrograd; the head of the Serb mission was at her hotel to greet her and gather the children and Helen and take them to Murmansk but Helen was determined to return to A. and Ioann; she would accept his help as far as Petrograd but announced she would not leave Russia w/o Ioann

--the group boarded a train but the bolsheviks uncoupled their carriage and surrounded it and they were taken prisoner on Beloborodov's orders; she was separated from the Serb diplomat and taken to Yurovsky where she was strip-searched and locked in a room

--after 2 weeks Helen was told the A. prisoners had been set free and the White Army was approaching; little did Helen know her husband and relatives had been murdered

--Yurovsky then ordered Helen to dress to go 'to Moscow' but they drove out to a forest where Helen was sure she'd be shot in reprisal for the prisoners' 'escape' but they entered a clearing where a train waited; the Bolsheviks were taking hostages to protect them from the Whites; the party of a few dozen included Mr Atamamnoff and the Serb diplomat; Helen was stunned to see that the only women in the group were Countess Hendrikova and Mlle Schneider who had accompanied the Imperial Family and who had been imprisoned since their arrival; the hostages were herded onto the train which headed to Perm where they walked to the prison and the 3 were placed in one cell

--they soon heard of the IF's fate and after a few weeks the guards came for Hendrikova and Schneider who were shot; Helen was now alone and she was soon moved to a cell w/12 female criminals who were mostly prostitutes who'd killed lovers, husbands or for money; things started off badly but Helen eventually made friends with some and promised to help them rebuild their lives if they survived; Helen spent 5 mos in total in the cell; because no one knew precisely were she was she was believed dead and her father began mourning

--in December the intrepid Norwegian ambassador (who helped as representative of a neutral country) found her ; the guards came for Helen who was sure this was the end but they informed her she would be given a diplomatic passport to leave Russia

--when she reached Moscow though she wasn't taken to the Norwegian consulate but rather to Lubianka prison; the man in charge was known for his cruelty but he actually treated Helen fairly well; he didn't confirm the A. deaths but did those of the IF; he promised to find out about her children and did--reporting they were in Sweden; Helen was supposed to be kept under guard in the prison but Peters obtained rooms for her in the Kremlin; she was given a good meal but her system was so abused that she couldn't eat it and instead gave it to a guard who'd served with her FIL

--Peters attempted to extend her comfort including books and exercise outdoors; he offered her clothing from the Tsarina's wardrobe but, naturally, she couldn't bring herself to accept so he bought her a new one (which she also felt she couldn't accept even though it was Dec/Jan and horribly cold)

--soon Peters gave her the news that she could leave the next evening but had to be off Russian soil w/in 48 hrs; the Norwegian ambassador told her to go to the Consulate and gave her papers to leave; the ambassador and his wife were leaving as well and accompanied Helen to Finland; as she was leaving she got a huge shock when Peters' assistant arrived with a huge bouquet of flowers and a note of apology for his not being able to see her off in person as he'd hoped

--as they reached the Finnish border they had to get out and walk as the bridge was destroyed; just short of the border Helen was stopped and said she couldn't leave; Helen began to panic but Mr Kristianson (the ambassador) gave the guard a hefty bribe and, with one last glimpse back at her adopted homeland, Helen left Russia forever; by the next day she was in Stockholm where Prince Schakovskoi (her BIL's former ADC) was waiting to take her to her children; on the way he suddenly blurted out that her husband had been killed with the others which was the first Helen had heard this; her reunion with her children was strained as they barely recognized her but she saw in them her husband and their legacy

--she went to Paris with the children where her brother Alexander was waiting to take her to Belgrade where she was reunited with her much-relieved father but settling permanently in Serbia was too painful of her as it reminded her of happier times so Alexander bought her a villa in the south of France where she recuperated before moving to England w/her children who were educated there; she later returned to France where she died in Nice in 1962 just short of turning 78 and having never remarried
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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Offline Annushka

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Re: Princess Elena Petrovna, wife of Prince Ioann Konstantinovitch
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2005, 02:31:31 PM »
Grandduchessella,

That was fascinating.  Where did you get it?

Holly
AKA HollyMI,  Princess of the ancient kingdom of Michigan, USA.

Offline Teddy

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Re: Princess Elena Petrovna, wife of Prince Ioann Konstantinovitch
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2005, 04:29:44 PM »
--Helen nonetheless wheedled information out of the Atamanoffs as to where the Ipatiev house was and headed there until she was stopped by a sentry; she asked to see his commander knowing that the officer guarding the family at Tsarskoe Selo had been fair; Helen identified herself as the wife of an interned Romanov but also as the daughter of the King of Serbia; the commander was taken aback but refused entry but agreed to pass a message to the Tsar


Did the family did get this message of Helen?

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Princess Elena Petrovna, wife of Prince Ioann Konstantinovitch
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2005, 05:56:41 PM »
Quote
Grandduchessella,

That was fascinating.  Where did you get it?

Holly


I took the information from an article that Royalty magazine did some years back on Helen. I only had the 2nd part though so I don't have information on her pre-Revolution life. The article was more descriptive than what I extrapolated from it but that article was about 6 pages long.  :)
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Princess Elena Petrovna, wife of Prince Ioann Konstantinovitch
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2005, 05:58:20 PM »
Quote

Did the family did get this message of Helen?


In the paragraph below the one you quoted I noted this:

--the Atamanoffs had a fright when that night a soldier came and asked for Helen but he had only come to pass the message that N&A thanked her for their message and assure her of their well-being;

Based on that it seems that they received her message whether in its entirety or not I don't know.
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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Offline Marc

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Re: Princess Elena Petrovna, wife of Prince Ioann Konstantinovitch
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2005, 05:28:02 AM »
Wow,this really is great,GDElla!I read in some book that Serbian ambassador in Moscow helped her also!He dressed her as a nun in order to escape,but don't know much more!

Offline Tsaritsa

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Re: Princess Elena Petrovna, wife of Prince Ioann Konstantinovitch
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2005, 10:58:11 AM »
Helena was very beautiful.  I wonder if there are any pics of her children or the whole family pre-revolution?
"Somehow it's always easier to talk brave than be brave."  Hannibal Heyes

Offline La_Mashka

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Re: Princess Elena Petrovna, wife of Prince Ioann Konstantinovitch
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2005, 01:42:36 PM »
Amazing story!


She was such a  strong woman!, It is simply incredible how she managed to survive, and how hes decisions were always aimed at being together again with her husband.
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Offline Teddy

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Re: Princess Elena Petrovna, wife of Prince Ioann Konstantinovitch
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2005, 04:50:40 AM »
I'm wondering. Are there no pictures of her during her captivity with the other prisoners?

Because during the captivity of the IF and of GD Michael A. there pictures.

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Princess Elena Petrovna, wife of Prince Ioann Konstantinovitch
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2005, 08:06:11 AM »
I've never seen any. I don't even know if I've seen photos of the entire group at all unlike the IF.
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Offline Svetabel

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Re: Princess Elena Petrovna, wife of Prince Ioann Konstantinovitch
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2005, 02:05:35 AM »
Quote
I'm wondering. Are there no pictures of her during her captivity with the other prisoners?

Because during the captivity of the IF and of GD Michael A. there pictures.


I guess such pictures are non-existent.  :-/

BTW I never saw any picture of Elena's daughter Ekaterina...or picture of Elena and her children after 1918 . There are only photos of Elena, her husband or their son Vsevolod (as a child and as an adult man) in our "Romanovs" Russian books  ???