Author Topic: The staff and friends of Grand Duke Mikhail Aleksandrovitch and his wife  (Read 32108 times)

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 From "Step Daughter of Imperial Russia" by Nathalie Majolier: " I must mention here Johnson, the secretary. In spite of his extremely English name, he was a complete Russian, in fact he spoke English rather badly and with a strong accent.

Thanks, Sunny! This is exactly what the author of Michael and Natasha said.

Offline AGRBear

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Thanks Belochka.

"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

Joubert, Pensees, No. 152


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I was reading through “Michael and Natasha” this weekend and I started to wonder what became of their loyal friends. The ones that immediately come to mind are Koka and Maggie Abakanovich, Prince Paul and Princess Olga Putyatin (I do know that they escaped via Malta and their only daughter Nathalie returned after she married and died there), the Schlieffers (Maria and daughters Tania and Marina), Prince Vladimir and Princess Vyazemsky, Alexei Matveev (Natasha’s brother-in-law), and Sergei and Olga Tupitsin (from Perm). Is anything else known about these people?

After Natasha’s escape from Russia, these people seem to fade away and you never hear about what happened to them.



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I think the Viazemskys ended up in the south of France running a bistro/cafe.The disporsa scattered families to the 4 corners of the world.Prince Gorchakov ended up in Montevideo,his sister Madame Brianchaninova settled in Paris and her 2 married daughters by her marriage to Prince Kudashev settled in Beruit and Scotland !!!.Prince Michael Cantacuzene went to the USA with his american wife but his daughter Zenaida married an englishman while his mother settled with her daughter and family in Mozambique!!!!.Very sad how families are split up by war......


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I assumed that being that they didn't come to Natasha's aid during her financial difficulties that they must have found themselves either still in Russia or somewhere else and out of reach. I am assuming that the Tupitsins and perhaps the Abakanovichs remained in Russia.


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I also have an interest in the Lusitania sinking so I was surprised to come across mention of the Romanovs connected with one of the passengers.

I recently read that a first class passenger, George L. P. Vernon, was on his way to complete an arms deal with Grand Duke Michael. His wife Inez Jolivet Vernon was a highly accomplished violinist who had been decorated by both King Edward VII and Tsar Nicholas II and due to this fact she was a friend of the family (I am assuming with Grand Duke Michael only). The article also says that the deal was completed by Inez even after her husband was lost in the sinking of the Lusitania.

Has anyone else ever heard mention of this?


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It is Russian but he has last name British, poor man, he gives me sadness to think of the anguish of their family


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Does anyone know of the fate of Mme Johnson ?...she was in the UK after the revolution.


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I always found his end and Grand Duke Michael's particularly sad. They were such close friends. It is a shame they couldn't escape. Natasha and her son George needed Michael so much.

Offline Inok Nikolai

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Re: The staff and friends of Grand Duke Mikhail Aleksandrovitch and his wife
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2014, 11:42:25 AM »
Paul Gilbert reports that the Russian government has officially cleared Johnson's name and "rehabilitated" him:
инок Николай


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Hello , just joined this forum as I have been researching a link with Michael and Natasha . This link relates to their friends ..maggie and Koka abakanovich. I am based in uk on a peninsula opposite liverpool called 'Wirral' . Well maggie abakanovich lived and died here !!!  Her and koka's son ...michael (named after the duke who was his god father) set up a carpet weaving business in the uk and married a woman who actually I know through my job (she was michaels second wife and married him when he was 56 and she was 28) . They never had children but michael had children from his first marriage. . I'm still finding out details after I only started reading about this in feb 2015 after a chance conversation with this lady after I had commented I had been to st Petersburg . The lady is in her 70's now ..but she is interested in getting the story told of her husband and mother in law maggie abakanovich . She said she will bring me some photos in. I will update any information I find's very exciting and an honour .
Whilst I'm doing this ...does anyone know anything about jack hoth ...Maggie's brother?
And Also maybe what ' Koka' is short for?
Thank you..I'm very honoured to be researching this lady and happy that I found this forum!!


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Prince Mikhail Aleksandrovich Gorchakov and his wife Princess Olga Orlov
« Reply #26 on: May 17, 2017, 03:13:52 AM »
Prince Mikhail Gorchakov was born in Tsarskoe Selo, his wife Princess Olga Vladimirovna Orlova, was born in their family palace in Petersburg, both left with their parents Russia, as a consequence of the revolution and settled in Germany. When the Red Army was advancing in German territory, they reached Italia with their daughters Olga, future Madame Vassily Vyrubov or Wyruboff, Daria, Serge and two others. When they arrived to South America, they decided through relatives to live in Argentina. Daria moved to the USA when she was married, I must ask Olga who is her husband and Serge lives in Buenos Aires as well. Olga is 86 years old I know her well, she had three daughters from her marriage to Count Vasily Vyrubov or Wyrouboff, her husband who passed away 25 years ago, was the General Manager and CEO of the Bunge Group in Argentina and South America. They were lucky enough to enjoy an excellent standard of living, and are very distinguish and elegant people. Prince Mikhail and Princess Olga are buried in the British Cemetery of Buenos Aires, in the Russian sector, both passed away in the late 1990’s.  Princess Sophie Mikhailovna is actually very ill, nevertheless still enjoys a unique memory and she is magnificent great lady