Author Topic: Grand Duke Kyrill, his wife Victoria Fedorovna and children  (Read 157175 times)

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Offline investigator

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Grand Duke Kyrill, his wife Victoria Fedorovna and children
« on: February 09, 2004, 01:38:10 AM »
What sort of a man was he? And how were his relations with Tsar Nicholas II.  In the movie Anastasia: the mystery of anna it was shown that Cyril met Anna Anderson.  Is this true?
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Offline Jane

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Re: Grand Duke Kyrill, his wife Victoria Fedorovna and children
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2004, 11:56:58 AM »
One interesting take on Kirill Vladimirovich is that of his sister-in-law, Queen Marie of Romania.  She described Kirill as "The Marble Man"--very reserved and non-demonstrative.  Most of what I've read about him seems to be very negative; his mother was intensely ambitious on behalf of her three sons, and he appears to have been disdained by surviving Romanovs for not only flying a red flag atop his palace after the February/March Revolution, but his Imperial pretensions after he and his wife fled Russia.  One book you may wish to read is "A Fatal Passion" about his wife, Ducky.  It certainly is a "pro-Kirill" viewpoint.

James Hogland

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Re: Grand Duke Kyrill, his wife Victoria Fedorovna and children
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2004, 02:17:41 PM »
Not only did Cyril fly the red flag over his palace but betrayed the tsar and tsarina in other ways also for which he was disdained by other members of the family and monarchists after the war. As commander of the Garde Equipage, the marines guarding the Alexander Palace at the time of the revolution, he and they were the almost sole protectors of the tsarina and her children who were ill with the measles. Instead of being true to the family and his oath, Cyril ordered the marines to march away from the palace and march to Petrograd, leaving the palace and family virtually unguarded. In Petrograd Cyril offered the services of the marines to the new provisional government and himself took an oath of allegiance to the new government. Probably he was playing politics, hoping that the Constituent Assembly would restore the monarchy with him as emperor, since Nicholas had taken himself and Alexsei out of the running, and Michael had disassociated himself with it.
These actions together with his questionable marriage to Victoria Melita were the basis for supporters of the monarchy being cool to his claims to the throne after war. He, and his brothers, were also notorious rakes, drinkers and womanizers. Cyril's career in the navy had not been stellar either.

Offline 3710

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Re: Grand Duke Kyrill, his wife Victoria Fedorovna and children
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2004, 08:48:23 AM »
James, a word in defence of Cyril's brother Andrei: why do you call him a womaniser? Mathilda Kshessinkaia would have disagreed -  they have been together since his mid 20s. The only refference of his womanising I read about was in Lidia Kiusht memories( almost forgotten ballerina) -she mentioned he kept on asking her out and she kept on turning him down preferring a (simple) officer before he met brilliant Mathilda! Not a great record.
Galina
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 3710 »

Offline Louise

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Re: Grand Duke Kyrill, his wife Victoria Fedorovna and children
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2004, 09:59:00 AM »
I believe the Vadlimirovitch brother that is referred to as the "womanizer" would be Boris. Boris also made an attempt in asking the Tsar and Tsarina for Olga's hand in marriage. Alexandra had unkind words regarding Boris, and of course nothing became of his attempt

Louise
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Offline Jane

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Re: Grand Duke Kyrill, his wife Victoria Fedorovna and children
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2004, 03:10:20 PM »
Galina, I agree with you that GD Boris definitely seemed to be the biggest womaniser of the sons of Grand Duke Vladimir, but it seems to me GD Andrei must have been more devoted to fidelity than Kschessinska--wasn't she also involved with GD Sergei Mikhailovich throughout much of the same period she was involved with Andrei? My understanding is that she was never sure which of them had fathered her son.
Apologies to all for getting slightly off-topic.  ;)

Jane

Offline Sushismom

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Re: Grand Duke Kyrill, his wife Victoria Fedorovna and children
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2004, 04:48:01 PM »
My opinion of him is based on his actions as have been recorded in most books about the Imperial Family. I disagree with much of what he did during the initial phase of the Revolution. Afterwards, though, I felt he was a person to be pitied for the most part.

David

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Re: Grand Duke Kyrill, his wife Victoria Fedorovna and children
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2004, 07:28:40 PM »
According to at least one biography I read, Cyril was a bit of womanizer. Alledgedly, shortly before Duckys death in the 1930s, she had a something of a nervous breakdown and seemed oddly estranged emotionally from the Marble Man. I have to confess that Ive never been much impressed by the Vladimirichis. GD Vladimir was a major blowhard- and his sons werent much better. Boris was a spoiled and pathetic bon vivant, Cyril was a failed naval officer and a disloyal gardesman. Only Andrei comes out of that gaggle with a shard of intelligence, though he too was drawn to the gaming tables.

Offline Jane

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Re: Grand Duke Kyrill, his wife Victoria Fedorovna and children
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2004, 10:42:35 AM »
Sushismom, I think you've hit the nail on the head.  I agree with you that Kirill was a pathetic figure after the Revolution.  The manner in which he and Ducky so desperately clung to the past, their pretensions, etc.  I recall reading about an incident where someone had paid a visit to St. Brissac, and wrote a 'thank you' note to Kirill and Ducky.  Ducky's secretary sent back a very snooty response along the lines of "One does not thank Their Majesties for a nice time, one thanks them for their graciousness."  A pat example that breeding does not necessarily beget good manners.

Like David, I have never been favorably inclined towards the Vladimirovichi, based on all that I've read about them.  Further, all I have read about his few living descendants and their pretensions, in my very humble opinion, illustrates the old axiom that "the apple never falls far from the tree."

Jane

Offline Jackswife

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Re: Grand Duke Kyrill, his wife Victoria Fedorovna and children
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2004, 03:41:08 PM »
 I wonder if any of you here can shed some light on Grand Duchess Vladimir, Kyril's mother? She's also known as Miechen, or as Marie Pavlovna. I find her a very fascinating character but I know very little about her. Evidently, she did not much care for Alexandra, and I wonder how much (if any) that came into the equation at the time of Nicholas II's abdication. A very interesting thread.

Offline Katharina

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Re: Grand Duke Kyrill, his wife Victoria Fedorovna and children
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2004, 08:32:01 AM »
Here is a story told by Prince Roman Romanov:

During the last years of Imperial Russia Marie Pavolvna used to have her own tea party at the Mariinsky Theatre whenever the two empresses were out of town.

The tsar didn't say anything against this arbitrary act. The Dowager Empress however was upset.
At first she ignored this new habit as if she had not been told. Yet in private she decided to teach Miechen a lesson. By the way, Marie Feodorovna did not like her sister in law very much.

One evening the Dowager Empress returned unexpectedly from Tsarkoe Selo. What a shock for Miechen when all of a sudden there were two tables laid with cookies and pastry in the antechamber of the imperial box!

From that day on Miechen never hosted a tea-party at the Mariinsky again.

Offline Jackswife

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Re: Grand Duke Kyrill, his wife Victoria Fedorovna and children
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2004, 09:19:31 AM »
 :o Fascinating story! Really shows how the Dowager Empress was able to get across her point. Thanks so much. These are the kinds of things I was looking for about Miechen.

sourcream

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Re: Grand Duke Kyrill, his wife Victoria Fedorovna and children
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2004, 10:55:08 PM »
You may find a few more tid-bits about the Vladymir clan in the following books: Romanov Autumn & also Flight of the Romanovs It seems that the parents (Miechen & GD Vladymir) while not a love match, were committed to each other out of a sense of duty. They both were lovers of fine food, gambling, living abroad, the arts, generally having fun & enjoying other people. I recall one incident described in one of the above books where the two of them were banished from Russia by Alexander III for their atrocious behaviour at some dinner function - both were enjoying the company of other companions when GD Vladymir noticed his wife's activities & proceeded to start a punch-fest with the chap who was openly smooching with Miechen. I guess that about says it all if you really read between the lines - which really begs the question of how faithful were any of the aristocracy to their marriage vows?

James H

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Re: Grand Duke Kyrill, his wife Victoria Fedorovna and children
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2004, 12:21:09 AM »

Jackswife

The Alexandrovichi didn't like the Maria Pavlovna because they thought her pretentious and overbearing. Also after the Alexandrovichi Maria Pavlovna's Family were next in line.  When Boris Proposed to Olga the Empress refused to even consider the match which infuriated Miechen. Another interesting story is that just before the revolution Miechen mentioned to a government official that Empress Alexandra must be "Annihilated".  She seems to have been vain and self assured and cetainly spent a great deal of money on Jewelery I read that she was one of Cartiers best customers. Hope this help:)

James

Offline Nick_Nicholson

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Re: Grand Duke Kyrill, his wife Victoria Fedorovna and children
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2004, 08:19:46 AM »
On Maria Pavlovna (the elder) --

Maria Pavlovna was born a Princess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, an ancient and important German mediatised family.   The problem with the Mecklenburgs is that their fortune and their influence had been divided over the years by the rise of cadet branches (Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Strelitz, etc.).  Maria Pavlovna was raised to believe she should be a Queen regnant, but this was not to be.

Maria Pavlovna arrived in Russia as one of the most important women at court; Maria Alexandrovna (daughter of ALexander II) had served as official hostess due to her mother's long illness, and had left Russia to marry the Duke of Edinburgh.  As a result, Maria Pavlovna was the number three woman at court after the Empress, and the Tsarevna (Maria Feodorovna).

As time went on, Maria Pavlovna was bumped out of the highest positions by the majorite of Grand Duchesses Olga and Xenia. Grand Duchess Elizabeth married into the family and was universally regarded as the most beautiful and interesting of the foreign Grand Duchesses.  When Alexandra married nicholas and churned out four ravishing Grand Duchesses of her own, Maria saw her position as irrevocably eroded.

As Alexandra withdrew after 1905, Maria Pavlovna became bolder, asserting her primacy as the wife of the third in line to the throne.  From the Vladimir Palace in Petersburg, and her palace at Ropsha, Maria Pavlovna effectivley set up an alternate Imperial Court; she entertained lavishly and frequently, she travelled extensively, and her influence was widely felt.

After the forced exile of her oldest son after his marriage to Victoria Melita and the death of her husband, she felt her power slipping, and it was then that she began to lash out at Nicholas and Alexandra with comments regarding the "annihilation" of the EMpress.  She was quite desperate at the end.

Sadly, what Maria Pavlovna wanted more than anything came to pass; her son Kirill became heir, but by then it was too late.

She was, as was mentioned earlier, one of Cartier's greatest clients, commissioning hundreds of pieces over the years.  When she died, I heard from a Cartier expert that she owed more than 250,000 roubles in unpaid bills to the Parisian jeweler.

Best,

Nick
Nick Nicholson
New York City