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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.

Imperial Succession and the Throne / Re: The succession
« on: February 23, 2004, 12:11:32 PM »
Nick, do you mean Maria Pavlovna was Orthodox at the time of Kirill's birth? She was not, actually. The first Grand Duchess to keep her religion after marrying into Romanov's. She has converted after 1905( claiming that it was due to her son's miraculous survival in Tsusima). Many (cynically?) thought- to clear up the way to the throne for her son. Russian monarchists will come out with more agruments against Vladimirovichi then I can remember. Nikolai Nikolaevich had probably  better chances, he seemed to be well regarded by many.
After having written that - suddenly remembered the anecdote that after the Borki crush Alexander II said ''Imagine Vladimir's disappointment'' . So perhaps his line would have been next, after all. Grey area.

On the subject of validity of Naryshkina's book. Gleb Botkin mentions in passing that it was very badly received in Russian emigree circles when first published. I suppose they are if not experts, but at least witnesses and their opinion counts for something.
And I came across several aristocratic emigrants replying to the question if they knew Kerensky: ''Kerensky? I would not WISH to know him''. Bob is so right - Naryshkina tried TOO hard.
It is a well know piece of gossip that Alexei was Orlov's son. There was some sort of 'suspicious' friendship going on between Alexandra and Orlov. And then he died suddenly. Some think poisoned on Tsar's orders! (In the style : the  Duke of Edinburg plotting to kill Diana) More gossip anyone?

Dear Janet
it depends of what we call 'gossip'. For me - saying something you can't possibly know for sure regarding other people  (such as Anna's feelings and her husband's sexual abilities). I can't see how Naryshkina could have had any personal knowledge of both (unless....) I do not have all my Romanov books by hand, but what to do with Lili Dahn mentioning   Vyrubov's wife beating as a well known fact in the society? She was just as close to Alexandra's circle as Naryshkina. I am sure I have read something about Vyrubov's sexual pervertions somewhere, as well. Gossip is not a bad thing as such, it 's a flavour of the time, but it is difficult to base judgements on it.
I have found another passage on Anna :Alexandra pushed Anna into loveless marriage, telling her it was her duty to have  a husband...The man, Alexander Vyrubov .. was mentally disturbed. The marriage soon fell apart- Anna discovered that her husband was disturbed. He was also importent and could not consumate the marriage'' written by... Greg King in Last Tsarina! And no refferal to sources.  
But I did not mean to make a big issue of it, just a passing comment, it is not an important subject.
Sorry to be a bore!

Greg, I am not  being intimidated with Naryshkina's titles! :) Gossip she was. Everything regarding intimate relationship of other people sounds like gossip. And so many prominent people of this time wrote complete rubbish in their memories. Amusing to read - yes, final words of wisdom- no.  Most of them were very jealous of Vyrubova's closeness to the Family and considered themselves far more suitable for such position. So why would they be fare to a poor woman? The marriage did not work out (as Rasputin predicted...) - that's the only fact we know for sure.

It is probably about one of the officers on Standart (can't remember the surname). There were a couple of publications about him in Russian press recently. He was 'advised' to marry someone else(whole Tsar's family, Olga included was present) survived the Revolution and is burried in the US.

Greg, do we really care about Vyrubov's sexual performance? And do you really trust St.Petersburg gossip regarding his marriage? What did they NOT said about this marriage?There is a Russian saying ''ia so svechoi ne stoial'' meaning I was not holding light by their bedside. So true in this case.
I do not remember reading anything even slightly symphathetic about Anna Vyrubova anywhere (Radzinsky, perhaps, but he is not a contemporary). Can you think of anything?

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