Author Topic: Princess Sonya Orbeliani (1875-1915),maid-of-honor  (Read 28125 times)

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Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Princess Sonya Orbeliani (1875-1915),maid-of-honor
« on: April 23, 2004, 09:49:57 AM »
Hello Thomas,

I read Sonia had creeping paralysis. You can see a photograph of her with the Empress in Livadia´s tennis court in 1912 in the book Nicholas II, by Marvin Lyons (page 135). For some details about Sonia´s personality you can read in Anna Virubova´s book.

Thierry

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Re: Princess Sonya Orbeliani (1875-1915),maid-of-honor
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2004, 05:47:03 PM »
There is a nice photo of her with Countess Lubov Gottlobovna v. Rehbinder in Jacques Ferrand's "Noblesse russe : portraits", vol. 5 (1993).

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Princess Sonya Orbeliani (1875-1915),maid-of-honor
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2004, 09:58:05 AM »
Alix had a new elevator added to the right-hand wing so that Sonya could get up and down to her rooms easily.

Bob

Johnny

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Re: Princess Sonya Orbeliani (1875-1915),maid-of-honor
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2004, 04:27:55 PM »
I remember once I calculated Sonia's age at her death, because both her age at the time she first came to the palace and the year and the year of her death were given. I don't remember precisely, but I believe she was 36-38.

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Re: Princess Sonya Orbeliani (1875-1915),maid-of-honor
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2004, 05:35:15 PM »
The question of her age is easily answered by Greg King's new biography of her, here on our website:
http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/soniaorbeliani.html

Offline Belochka

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Re: Princess Sonya Orbeliani (1875-1915),maid-of-honor
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2004, 11:46:32 PM »
Just as a point of interest concerning the Orbeliani Dynasty ... her distant relative Prince Sulkhan Orbeliani (1655 - 1725) compiled a dictionary of the Georgian language. A monumental work for the times ... being the first of its kind.

Aside this, I am unable to find any information as to where Sonya was buried. She died in Alexandra's arms at the Catherine Palace hospital. Alexandra latter attended her funeral service. It would be interesting to find out more information.







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Nadya_Arapov

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Re: Princess Sonya Orbeliani (1875-1915),maid-of-honor
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2004, 03:53:25 AM »
Several years ago I purchased Jacques Ferrand's book "Romanov Fragments De Vie," in it he mention's Sonia's brother Col. Prince Dimitri Ivanovich Orbeiani. He was an officer in the Chevalier Guards. He served first as an ADC to Grand Duke Mikhail Mikhailovich and then, after Miche-Miche's marriage, as ADC to Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich. He appears to have been close to both Sandro and Xenia. It was Sandro who first introduced his sister Sonia to the Empress.

Dimitri fled Russia aboard the H.M.S. Marlborough in 1919 with the Grand Duchess Xenia and her children. He was married to Countess Vera Vladimirovna Kleinmichel. Vera was the niece of the St. Petersburg hostess Countess Maria Kleinmichel. I don't know if Vera left Russia or whether the couple had any children. Vera wasn't listed as a passenger on the Marlborough. Dimitri moved to England and lived in Chelsea so he could be near the Grand Duchess Xenia. He died sometime prior to 1956.

Sonia had a second brother Prince Mamuka Orbeliani b. 3/13/1873 d. 1924 probably in Georgia. He married (1898) Princess Elisaveta Iraklievna Gruzhinskaya b.Tbilisi 10/27/1870 d.Tbilisi 11/25/1942. I do not know if they had any children.

Their uncle Prince Peter Dimitevich Svyatopolk-Mirsky served as Minister of the Interior. He was married to Countess Ekaterina Alexeevna Bobrinskaya. One of their children Dimitri (1890-1937) was a literary critic. He fought in W.W.I and later in the Civil War in Denikin's Army. He left Russian in Feb. 1920 and went to England where he worked as a lecturer specializing in Slavic Studies at the University of London (1922-1931). During his time in England he edited several different Russian language newspapers. Oddly enough this former White officer joined the British Communist Party in 1931 and in 1932 returned to Russia. He became a member of the Union of Soviet Writers in 1934. He was arrested in June 1937 and executed.

elisa_1872

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Re: Princess Sonya Orbeliani (1875-1915),maid-of-honor
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2004, 07:04:16 AM »
Nadya, thanks so much for posting that information on Sonja's family :)

I too would really like to know where Sonja is buried+
Does anyone know?

I've asked the Forum Admin if he would kindly post for me the photo of Alexandra and Sonja in the Marvin Lyons book.

Janet_W.

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Re: Princess Sonya Orbeliani (1875-1915),maid-of-honor
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2004, 01:21:46 PM »
I, too, would like to know the location of Sonia's final resting place. I am sure Alexandra, whenever possible, would have visited to site to pray and meditate.

pushkina

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Re: Princess Sonya Orbeliani (1875-1915),maid-of-honor
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2004, 10:47:28 PM »
do we have a modern diagnosis of what disease she suffered form all those years?

as i first read the account in nicholas and alexandra when i 11, i assumed that she has MS, the disease my mother had at the time, as i could relate to that and it seemed to be the same. and massie didn't name it at the time.

but we now have so much more knowledege, both medically and historically, has someone been able to "retroactively" diagnose the princess' complaint?

Offline Belochka

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Re: Princess Sonya Orbeliani (1875-1915),maid-of-honor
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2004, 05:01:48 AM »
pushkina what a great question!

According to Princess Marie Bariatinsky she suffered from terminal "creeping paralysis". Similarily, Anna Virubova described Sonya's condition as "a wasting spinal disease." Records state that the first symptoms presented in 1903, when Sonya was 28 years of age. Boettger claims that her disease was inherited.

Apparently she suffered for 12 years before she finally succumbed in 1915 at the age of 40.

Sadly due to the paucity of concrete medical information it is very difficult to provide a specific label about the nature of her condition.

As you are aware, MS is a chronic disabling condition more often presenting in females in their early 20-30's. It is characterized by gradual degradation of the Central Nervous System. Many patients with this condition live with this condition for decades post diagnosis, however Sonya deteriorated fairly rapidly, which can happen in a few cases. Although genetics has been attributed as one of the factors causing MS, it is not necessarily the only known risk factor. Scientists are still debating the triggers which cause MS. Sufferers of MS present with a diverse range of disorders.

From the brief descriptions we have today about Sonya's decline, it is possible that Sonya suffered from severe progressive M.S. However it would be unsafe to provide anything more definitive. ;)


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pushkina

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Re: Princess Sonya Orbeliani (1875-1915),maid-of-honor
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2004, 02:07:36 AM »
yes, well, i thought MS but ti coudl be any of the neurological wasting diseases, i.e.ALS et al.  

that is why i wondered had anyone made a real study of the record of sonia's symptoms and compared it to specific symptomologies (pain, headaches, vision problems, mood swings)?

Offline Belochka

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Re: Princess Sonya Orbeliani (1875-1915),maid-of-honor
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2004, 11:51:18 PM »
The reason I discounted A. L. S. (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) was because the few described symptoms do not mimic those attributed to A. L. S.

With A. L. S. the external appendages, such as the hands and feet are usually affected first. This causes problems with mobility, falling over and such like. The patient has difficulty picking up objects and writing. We know that Sonya's first symptoms were generalized muscle weakness accompanied with a high temperature.

Other initial signs are slurring of speech, muscle cramping and twitches which may be accompanied by uncontrollable periods of laughter or crying (the mood swings).  

As the muscles begin to atrophy, paralysis sets. This pattern spreads to the muscles of the torso as the condition progresses. With time there is loss of speech, swallowing becomes a challenge, and there is severe respiratory distress.

We also know that Sonya had good periods, and much later when she lost the ability to walk, she was still able to perform limited duties. She used her hands to help write letters for the Empress whilst reposed on a sofa.

None of the memoirists who saw Sonya daily, such as Buxhoeveden and Virubova ever mentioned that Sonya experienced unexplained changes in temperament (which would have effected all those around her). The fact that she remained within the inner circle, and was given a room next to those of the Grand Duchesses strongly suggests that she had a mellow personality throughout most of her ordeal.  

We also know that Sonya never lost her ability to speak. According to King, she was able to use her facial muscles, when she smiled at Alexandra, and expressed her gratitude before lapsing into a coma and dying soon after.

A. L. S. is neuro-degenerative disease which attacks the neurones in the brain and the spinal cord. There is progressive atrophy of all voluntary muscles which leads to total paralysis.

The key symptoms which I tried to describe above were not present in Sonya's case. Therefore A. L. S. must be excluded.


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Re: Princess Sonya Orbeliani (1875-1915),maid-of-honor
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2004, 10:06:42 AM »
We always suspected Multiple Sclerosis...but are not medical trained, so will leave that to the Doctors out there for a diagnosis.

Offline Belochka

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Re: Princess Sonya Orbeliani (1875-1915),maid-of-honor
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2004, 12:06:44 AM »
I am medically trained. Unfortunately there is not that much information available for me to be more certain about Sonya's condition to make a more informed diagnosis.

However on balance, the information strongly suggests that she suffered M.S.


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