Author Topic: Grand Duke Georgiy Aleksandrovitch (1871-1899),discussion and pictures  (Read 170033 times)

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sourcream

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Can anyone shed more light on GD George, brother of the last Tsar? As someone who has read extensively about the Romanovs, I find that he is one figure who remains more or less in the shadows - we all know about his illness, his close companionship with his elder brother and last days in the Caucaus - but i was rather surprised to read Peter Kurth's assertion in The Last Tsar that he was a homosexual, along with many other near relations - uncles & cousins far beyond Grand Dukes Sergei Alexandrovitch, Konstantin Konstantinovitch, Alexis Michailovitch, Ernest of Hesse & the Greek & Danish relations. In fact, the literature seems to suggest that perhaps it ran in the Vladimir clan as well. Peter Kurth even goes as far as to say that before the sabre attack on Tsarevitch Nicholas in Japan, that he & his Greek cousin George visited an all-male brothel. Is any of this true, and what is this information based on - documents in the Russian archives, diaries, letters or just hear-say?

Offline Robert_Hall

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Well now, to perhaps open a few minds..homosexuality is not hereditary. So it did not  "run" in any particular branch of any family.  Any large, extended family is bound by the simple statistics to have a few gay/lesbian members.
As far as the "all male brothel".  I think this is often mis-understood. In Japan, public bathhouses were/are pretty common. They are, of course, sexually segregated.  I rather doubt that the reality is the same as conjured up in current imagination. Actually, public baths are still pretty common in Eastern Europe.
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Offline Louise

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As in any extremely large extended family there are a few gays and lesbians sprinkled here and there in the family tree. As Robert said, being gay does not run in the family.

There are so many family members of the Romanov clan that I would love to discover more about.

Louise
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Offline masha

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I think the intent of the initial statement was not meant to offend anyone, or to express any disdain toward homosexuality, but rather to find out the source behind the statments alledged by Mr. Kurth, as no other publication about the family suggests, never mind states, what Mr. Kurth states about either of the Georges. I too have found much here and there in the literature about the Saxe-Coburgs as well as the Romanovs to suggest that alot of homosexual activity occured among many of the male royalty of the day - regardless of their true sexual orientation. A Fatal Passion also strongly suggests that GD Victoria (Ducky) was doubley struck by lightening in both her marriages in this regard by discovering some shocking secrets about her husbands. By the way, I should add that the Orthodox Church does not condemn an individual who is homosexual, just as it does not condemn one who is heterosexual. Rather, what is seen as a failing is one who gives into temptation & acts upon one's desire. The following article say it all - please read it http://www.orthodox.net/articles/homosexuality.html Does this clear the air?

Offline Robert_Hall

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No offence was taken by me, but I have heard this sort of comment before. It can be very difficult for  "Now Westerners" to see some of the extremely flowery language  & expressions of affection of the "Victorian" era as non-sexual.
The way some  people, same sex or otherwise, wrote to each other, or posed for photographs, could lead one into imagining all sorts of torid affairs.
It is still fairly common in a lot of cultures for same sex couples to be seen holding hands, embracing, etc. isn't it.
I agree that Peter Kurth  explored the topic a lot more than any other.  Personally, I reckon: why not? Everything else about their [the Romanovs] lives has been discussed....
A few things that Greg & Penny  mentioned certainly raised a few eyebrows, yet it was there all along
As for George himself.  well,  gay or not, there is simply not enough known about him to make any insightful discussions.
That is, all I have have read, personally, is the rather non-objective feelings of others.  Sympathetic, of course.  I know of no diaries, lettres or outside recollections of him. Would welcome them, though.

Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline masha

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Hi Robert_Hall,
Not sure who you mean by Penny & Gregg in your last reply. Please elaborate with who they are & whar they mention. Thanks in advance.
Also, as I once heard some royalty reporter/writer on a television program RE: the current British royalty say - the aristocracy are not like you, I & the next door neighbor. Their background is sooooooooo different from the majorityof us, their values are vastly different from ours, & so it should come as no surpise that their behaviour & mores are not things we would accept as normal. And so of course this would apply to the bedroom.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by masha »

Offline LisaDavidson

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Greg and Penny are Greg King and Penny Wilson, authors of the Fate of the Romanovs. They also post on this board.

As to Peter Kurth's sources, why don't you write him if they're not noted in his text?

Offline Greg_King

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Can anyone shed more light on GD George, brother of the last Tsar? As someone who has read extensively about the Romanovs, I find that he is one figure who remains more or less in the shadows - we all know about his illness, his close companionship with his elder brother and last days in the Caucaus - but i was rather surprised to read Peter Kurth's assertion in The Last Tsar that he was a homosexual, along with many other near relations - uncles & cousins far beyond Grand Dukes Sergei Alexandrovitch, Konstantin Konstantinovitch, Alexis Michailovitch, Ernest of Hesse & the Greek & Danish relations. In fact, the literature seems to suggest that perhaps it ran in the Vladimir clan as well. Peter Kurth even goes as far as to say that before the sabre attack on Tsarevitch Nicholas in Japan, that he & his Greek cousin George visited an all-male brothel. Is any of this true, and what is this information based on - documents in the Russian archives, diaries, letters or just hear-say?


I presume you are referring to "Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra"?  Peter doesn't quite say what you write above.  On page 40, he writes: "Gossip spread like wildfire, since both of the Georges in Nicholas's company, his brother and his cousin, were homosexual.  There was talk of male brothels and 'unspeakable acts,' and the rumor even got around that George of Greece had played a role in provoking the attack by insulting the honor of a Japanese boy.  This story, unfounded, was favored by Queen Victoria."

Peter clearly says these were rumors-and indeed I've encountered a lot of similar gossip about Prince George of Greece on the trip in a variety of sources.

That Prince George of Greece was gay was well known-he had an enduring relationship with another close royal male relative.

The idea that Grand Duke George Alexandrovich was gay is less easy to sustain, though again there have been a lot of rumors and family gossip.  I suspect Peter, from his close association with many members of the present day Romanov Family, has heard the stories firsthand.

But George Alexandrovich was named a few years back as homosexual in a scholarly article by a respected Russian historian, Simon Karlinsky.  He wrote an article (publication was in something like the Hoover Institute Digest, though I could be wrong on this) called "The Seven Gay Grand Dukes," in which he named George Alexandrovich; Konstantin Konstantinovich; Dimitri Konstantinovich; Serge Alexandrovich; and-if I recall-Dimitri Pavlovich, and two others I cannot remember-I think one was Nicholas Mikhailovich and the other may have been Serge Mikhailovich, though I am not at all certain.  So George Alexandrovich's homosexuality has certainly been asserted by others than Peter Kurth.

But that's balanced again George's time in the Caucasus, where he was said to have contracted not one but two morganatic marriages, the first with a native Caucasian woman in 1893 shortly after arriving at Abbas Touman.  The union, said to have produced a child, was dissolved after two years.  In 1894, he was believed to have contracted a second morganatic marriage, this time with a local woman, Mlle. Orkovska, who bore him two sons and a daughter.  These children, allegedly given the surname of Romanovsky, as well as firm evidence to support either of the two unions, disappeared after the Revolution.  I do know one gentleman who lives in the United States and says he is a grandson, I think.  I've never asked for evidence, but he has provided it to some well-placed friends who have no doubt that his claim is true.  Of course, having offspring doesn't preclude one being gay-witness Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich or Felix Yusupov.  But there are a number of claims about George that will probably never be resolved, given the lack of documentation.

Greg King

Offline masha

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Greg,
Thank you so very much for your response and for all the research you share with us. I will pass on your information to Sour Cream, who I know will also be very grateful for your help.

Lady Colin Campbell in her book Royal Marriages states on page 60: "... for the custom among Continental noblemen and royals was for them to have ourside interests, which the indelicate termed mistresses....Indeed, a lady or two on the side was hardly anything to rant about, not when the Danish and Greek royal families were a study in marital infidelity and odd sexual liaisons. There was Prince George of Greece who was besotted by his decade-older uncle, Prince Waldemar of Denmark."  I have to run now, but will be back with more comments later in the day. Again, cheers!

Jorge Saenz

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Re: Grand Duke Georgiy Aleksandrovitch (1871-1899),discussion and pictures
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2004, 01:19:48 PM »
Just my two cents on Grand Duke Georgy's alleged marriage: in the Enciclopedia Universal Europeo Americana, a very reliable and most detailed encyclopaedia published in 70 volumes in Madrid in 1905-1930, which is full of biographical data on royals, it is said that Grand Duke Georgy Alexandrovich "married morganatically princess Orkowska, who gave him three children". When I first read that in the encyclopaedia, I thought it was just a mistake, since the Gotha and other reliable sources made no mention of such wedding. However, reading Mr. Greg King's post, now I guess it was a somehow widespread rumor in the early XXth century.
Who made mlle. Orkowska a princess for the encyclopaedia, that I don't know...

Offline masha

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Re: Grand Duke Georgiy Aleksandrovitch (1871-1899),discussion and pictures
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2004, 07:50:07 PM »
Hello again, Greg

Just a few more observations about both Georges:
To pick-up again about Greek Georgie, I’ll refer again to Lady Colin Campbell in Royal Marriages pg. 51, who states that his reputation had been dealt a deadly blow over the Otsu sabre incident in 1891 during his tour of the Orient with his cousin Nicky, when one of the policemen attacked the Tsarevitch. “As is the way with royal courts, the Tsarevitch’s entourage tried to deflect any hint of blameworthiness, which might devolve upon the future Emperor as a result of policies that had instilled such hostility in the Japanese, and blamed George for provoking the attack. This sullied his honour in an age when a man’s reputation was his most prized possession, and George never recovered from the blow.”  
One wonders if the two cousins’ relationship warbled any as a result of this incident, and if they truly remained firm friends for life – just wondering if you can shed light on this Greg, as I don’t recall ever seeing any pictures of them together after this trip, and most particularly when they were married men.

Picking up the thread with GD George, I had forgotten about the rumours of his morganatic marriages. Now, this is an interesting mystery, especially when one recalls all the huffing and puffing that occurred when his younger brother Michael ran off to do the unthinkable with Natalia Wulfurt. SO, when you say that the documentation about George is lacking, I take it to mean, among other things, that the Empress Maria was rather cryptic in her diaries about this?

Masha

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Grand Duke Georgiy Aleksandrovitch (1871-1899),discussion and pictures
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2004, 01:12:39 AM »
Dear Masha-

I'd forgotten about Lady Colin Campbell, but there are other references in a number of things I've come across in the years.  Unfortunately, I just don't know enough about the issue of Grand Duke George Alexandrovich's possible morganatic marriages to comment above and beyond what I posted.  I suppose that, had they taken place, one might expect to find some documentation in the Dowager Empress's diaries, IF she knew about them-and that's the rub-I don't know when the story surface-maybe Jorge can let us know when the volume containing the reference he has was published?  If prior to the Revolution, then one would expect that there would be some reference among the family papers.  But if after, then it's possible he managed to keep it a secret and it only leaked out later.

It's an enigma at the moment, and certainly calls for further investigation!

Greg King

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Re: Grand Duke Georgiy Aleksandrovitch (1871-1899),discussion and pictures
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2004, 07:01:11 PM »
Dear Greg,

The Spanish encyclopaedia's volume (28th) containing the article on Grand Duke Georgy Alexandrovich and the reference to his alleged marriage and children has no specific printing data. However it has a copyright of 1926, and reading other articles in the same volume, for instance about Japanese politics, I guess 1926 could be certainly the printing year as well.

Of course, the article may have been written a longwhile before the actual printing. Nevertheless, the Grand Duke is mentioned in the article as younger brother of "the unfortunate Nicholas II", so I guess the article was written after the Ekaterinburg murders.  

Comparing the articles on his brothers, who may have been written by the same person, makes me guess the text on Grand Duke George was possibly written in the late 1918. The article on his brother Michael (volume 35 of the encyclopaedia, published later than the 28th and including an interesting photo of Michael in traditional Russian dress, may be for the 1903 costume ball), doesnt mention Michael's execution and seems to be written while he was alive or believed to be alive. The article on Nicholas II (volume 38) mentions the Tsars' execution, refers to Alexis has passing away in 1918 too, and says "there have been negotiations (August 1918)  so that the Tsars widow and daughters may come to live in Spain", so I guess it was written in the very same year of 1918, probably in September or so -and certainly much before the Sokolov report came out in 1924.

Regards,
Jorge



Offline KentKim

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Re: Grand Duke Georgiy Aleksandrovitch (1871-1899),discussion and pictures
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2005, 12:35:25 AM »
I remember reading somewhere that George's remains were exhumed, did this have anything to do with the DNA tests for the bones found, which were then believed to be the Romanovs? I'm asuming it was.

Is anything known about George's life, other than that he died in 1899, and suffered from TB? I read that he spent the majority of his life living in the mountains of the Caucasus. What did he do while there? Is anything at all really known about him?